Small businesses and enterprises alike are finding a valuable solution in customer relationship management systems with integrated project management software. Bringing the two systems together eliminates silos and provides visibility to marketing, service, operations, and sales teams.
There are a number of strategic advantages to connecting CRMs with project management software:
- Businesses can manage the customer life cycle and multiple projects in one tool.
- Separate teams can collaborate on client initiatives and deliverables through unified task management, project pipelines, budgeting, reporting, and reminders.
- Customers’ feedback and input are connected with ongoing projects.
- There’s greater overall ROI for software subscription and purchase, as you typically only pay for one tool instead of two.
To help you with your search for a combined CRM and project management tool, we’ve curated a list of some of our favorites.
In this article...
Best CRM project management software
You’ll see CRM project management software packaged in a number of ways. Some vendors provide customer relationship management software with out-of-the-box project management tools, meaning you won’t need to purchase any separate add-ons or perform manual integration. Other vendors offer CRM and PM software modules that, while fully compatible, are sold and installed separately. We’ll look at examples of both.
|Software||Free Trial||Starting price (paid plans)|
|Insightly||14 days||$29.00/user/mo.||Try Insightly|
|monday.com||14 days||$8.00/seat/mo.||Try monday.com|
|Zoho CRM||15 days||$14.00/user/mo.||Try Zoho CRM|
|SugarCRM||7 days||$49.00/user/mo.||Try SugarCRM|
|Hubspot CRM||30 days||$30.00/mo.||Try Hubspot CRM|
Plan and pricing details up to date as of 4/25/2023.
Although its features are less extensive than some competitors, Insightly is one of the few products that offer integrated CRM and project management software below market price. Because of its low cost and high flexibility, this platform is a great choice for small businesses in any industry, although they also offer a custom-priced enterprise edition.
Insightly’s project management tool lets users create milestones, pipelines, and project tasks; receive automatic email reminders; customize contact roles; and view reports on project activity. Of course, you’ll also have access to traditional CRM tools like address books, email integration, calendars, notes, and web forms.
monday.com’s work management platform allows for seamless integration between CRM software and PM tools, via preconfigured workflows like the monday.com sales CRM. All client information is stored in one shared board to avoid confusion between team members or customers. Sales requests, new client onboarding, and account tracking are some of the features of the monday.com sales CRM dashboard.
The dashboard itself is unique from other CRM tools because it’s a user-configurable, visual board with color-coordinated tabs. The standard spreadsheet-style CRM doesn’t fit every team, which makes monday.com a highly sought-after CRM alternative for task management and tracking customer data.
Reviews of this tool say that it’s easy to understand and use. The color-coordinated dashboard provides a simple way to track progress, stages, and action items. This CRM feature is part of the base package; however, there are options to upgrade to higher packages with increased features and capabilities.
It’s no mystery that Zoho makes a great CRM. Zoho is perfect for businesses with intensive software needs (deeper analytics, automation, etc.). Its Projects module is a free add-on that comes with Professional and Enterprise editions of Zoho CRM. If you already have one of these editions, you’re one download away from having Zoho Projects.
The Projects add-on will give you access to some powerful abilities, including traditional PM tools such as Gantt charts, time tracking, and milestones, but also a few more innovative ones, like kanban boards for agile planning, detailed analytics, and the ability to create new projects directly from within customers’ accounts. These project management solutions directly connect to the CRM as well, which will give your teams better visibility and control in both directions.
Note: Zoho also makes standalone project management software available for purchase without CRM. This is distinct from the Projects tool.
SugarCRM is well known for its open-source software that packs innovative, user-friendly functionality into a flexible platform. Similar to Zoho, SugarCRM started offering integrated project management software in 2007 with its Sugar Professional and Sugar Enterprise product lines.
The core product addresses the three main pillars of CRM software—sales force automation, customer service, and marketing automation. The project management tool allows customers to deploy and manage projects directly connected to campaigns, opportunities, customers’ accounts, and cases. Users can share files, access project templates, view Gantt charts and collaboration history, and even export project data to external project management solutions like Microsoft Project.
The HubSpot CRM platform works well for small businesses all the way up to enterprises. While the base platform is free, you’ll have to pay if you want sales process automation or project management solutions. HubSpot can help businesses track customer interactions and make managing projects easier with nearly 1,100 native integrations.
HubSpot’s customer service CRM system organizes communication with ticketing and live chat options to improve customers’ satisfaction. Users can also create canned responses directing customers to the knowledge base for self-service options. Additionally, project teams get task management and customizable reports to track the business’s most important KPIs.
CRM software needs project management to be effective
CRM solutions have come a long way. Cloud and mobile technology, crowdsourcing, and a wealth of third-party app startups have slowly but surely transformed CRM into a key component of business IT.
But there’s still room for improvement. Ongoing development of project management software integrations is yet another way CRM is evolving and expanding its reach. Ostensibly, this move is about convenience and efficiency. But on a deeper level, it’s about adding value to customers’ experience by enabling a 360-degree view of each relationship your business maintains.
Featured partners: Project management software
Simple and powerful way to track and manage issues. It handles all kinds of issues (bugs, features, enhancements, and tasks) and can be used for bug tracking, development help, project management, or group task cataloging.
Organize anything, together. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, know what's being worked on, who's working on what, and where something is in a process.
3 Zoho Projects
Zoho Projects is an online project management software that helps teams plan projects and track them efficiently to the finish line. By intuitive reporting of project progress and budget health, the solution enables teams to make quick decisions. Catering to all kinds of teams, Zoho Projects facilitates automating tasks, workflows, and project notifications in a bid to improve productivity.