CRM software is great. But is there more you could be doing with your CRM than just managing customer relationships?
You bet there is. It’s common to see customer relationship management software covering other business processes. One of the most popular is combining CRM and project management software.
In this article, I explain why it makes perfect sense to manage projects from your CRM. I tell you what to look for when picking a CRM with project management tools. And I pick out 8 of the best CRM project management software. With a breakdown of their best features, costs, and who they are for.
The 8 Best CRM with Project Management Overview
There are several benefits of having a CRM with integrated project management tools. Combining processes on the same platform increases efficiency. People get used to the same interface and can switch between tasks easily. It also saves money by not having to pay for different platforms.
Here’s a quick overview of the best CRM tools with project management, including free plans and monthly starting prices:
|Monthly Starting Price
|Yes, 14 days
|Yes, 14 days
|Yes, 14 days
What is CRM project management?
CRM project management software marries 2 important business functions together. The names say it all.
CRM means customer relationship management. CRM software captures data about your customers. And tracks the interactions you have with them. The aim is to help businesses give the best possible experiences to their customers.
CRMs help marketers personalise activity and grab more attention. Sales CRMs help to convert more leads into customers. Customer service teams use CRM software to provide better support and increase customer satisfaction.
Project management software helps to manage processes across a team. In that sense, it’s pretty similar to CRM for marketing, sales and service. It’s all about tracking activity, sharing knowledge, and managing actions. So CRM and project management software are naturally a good fit.
Plus, for many businesses, projects are their product. Building a website, for example, isn’t about selling an item off the shelf. You clinch the deal, and the transaction isn’t over. You’ve got to complete the project to make good on the sale. CRM for project management supports this longer customer journey.
What are the most important features of good CRM project management software?
It’s important that any CRM with project management tool can deliver on both fronts. Here are the most important features to look out for:
- Ease of use: One of the big reasons for combining CRM with project management is to make life easier for your teams. You don’t want a platform that spoils this by being complex or clunky to use.
- Visual tracking: A visual interface underpins ease of use. You can track tasks, deals, customer journeys, project milestones and all the data you need.
- Integrated communication and collaboration tools: This means your teams can easily talk and share information within the platform.
- Process integration: For project-based businesses, the transition from sales to delivery is critical. CRM and project integration avoids duplications. And makes it easier to track project performance against what was agreed in the contract.
- Customization: Every business is unique. Your CRM and project management tool should reflect your processes.
- Project templates: Pre-made workflow templates speed up laying the groundwork for new projects.
- Automation: And talking of speed, automation is a must in any good CRM. It takes the burden of low-value tasks off your teams. And helps processes flow more smoothly.
What are the differences between CRM and project management software?
The main difference between CRM software and project management software is the processes they support. CRM is all about customer interactions. Project management is all about operational delivery.
They share a lot of features in common. Things like shared visual workflows, automations and collaboration tools. But CRM software focuses on customer data capture and management. The workflows take the form of sales pipelines or campaign automations.
Project management software focuses on tasks, resource allocation and performance tracking. Kanban boards and Gantt charts visualize and share project schedules, deadlines and milestones. Sales CRM tools track the financial value of prospective sales. Project management software tracks costs and expenditures.
The 8 Best CRM with Project Management in 2024
The best CRM with project management software is packed full of features. It’s flexible enough for many different teams to use. And user-friendly enough to improve efficiency for all. Here are our top 8 picks.
Monday.com is more than a CRM with project management features tagged on. In its own words, it’s a complete ‘work operating system’. It offers visual workflows covering many different business functions.
Monday.com calls its workflows ‘boards’. These provide a shared space for teams to organize tasks, data, documentation, and more. Boards are fully customizable and very user-friendly. And AI tools will help build the boards you need, fast.
Boards are organized into 3 main categories. One is a CRM suite which covers tools for sales and marketing. Another is called Works Management. This includes tools for project management, unified task management, portfolio management and more. There is also a package for software developers. This also leans heavily into project management.
You can visualize workflows in different ways. For example, by switching between timelines, Kanban boards and Gantt charts. You can create automations to handle the flow between process stages. Performance monitoring is covered with quickly accessible analytics dashboards.
- User-friendly graphic interface
- Fully customizable workflow templates with multiple views
- Covers a large range of work processes
- AI workflow builder
- Affordable pricing
- Some users report finding it tricky to track time and costs against individual tasks.
Monday.com pricing starts at $8 per user a month. There’s a free tier for project management. The Monday sales CRM starts from $10 per month for 3 users. Get started with a 14-day free trial to test all the features.
Pipedrive is a sales CRM platform. Its core features centre around lead and deal management. Users can build sales pipelines, automate task allocation, deal updates and much more to save time. Pipedrive also offers some email marketing and marketing automation tools.
A recent addition to the platform is Projects, a dedicated project management tool. Projects is built on Pipedrive’s main CRM engine. It focuses on the fact that sales and marketing teams often need to run projects themselves. A particular marketing campaign, for example. Or a B2B consultancy that only gets paid on completion of a project.
As with its CRM tools, Pipedrive Projects lets you manage, track and automate tasks. In place of pipelines, there are Kanban boards which update task activity. Project board views and data fields are easy to customize to suit your needs.
Projects has the same collaboration features as the CRM. You can share files on the platform and keep colleagues up to date with shared notes. There’s also the option to consolidate all of a project team’s emails in the platform.
- Great sales CRM platform for small businesses
- Accessible project management add-on
- Unlimited pipelines and Kanban boards
- User-friendly automations
- 400+ third-party integrations
- Having Projects as a paid add-on on cheaper tiers poses a cost barrier to smaller businesses
Pipedrive pricing starts at $14.9 per user a month. Projects is a paid add-on that costs $8.5 a month. It’s included in the price of the Power tier and upwards, starting at $64.90 a month. Pipedrive has a free 14-day trial for all tiers.
Wrike is a specialist workflow and project management platform. It offers visual workflow templates for marketing, content production, IT management and software development. You can toggle between different task-oriented views like Kanban boards and Gantt charts. All templates are fully customizable.
One area where Wrike excels is the way you can link projects and workstreams together. Cross-tagging means tasks can be added to multiple projects at once. This saves time and avoids duplication. Create a task once, and put it into several workflows at once. It also helps with situations when, say, different teams contribute to the same task. It helps to break down silos, makes resource planning easier and improves efficiency.
Wrike doesn’t have any specific CRM features. But it does offer a large suite of marketing tools. These cover outbound campaign management with internal process management. By treating contacts and audiences as ‘tasks’, Wrike in effect becomes a CRM. There are real-time analytics for tracking engagement and outcomes. And you can automate ‘next steps’ to assign tasks.
Wrike also offers 400+ integrations, so you can easily connect a CRM.
- Makes it easy to connect projects and tasks across departments and teams
- Customizable Kanban boards and Gantt charts
- Advanced automation tools, including for risk assessment and approvals
- Large suite of marketing features
- 400+ integrations
- No specific CRM tools
Wrike pricing starts at $9.8 per user per month, for a minimum of 3 users. There’s a free tier with basic task management and workflow views. Paid plans start with a 14-day free trial.
Engagebay is an all-in-one small business CRM. It covers the core CRM bases of marketing, sales and customer service.
Engagebay doesn’t offer the biggest list of project management features. Nor are they the most sophisticated. It’s more about task management for your customer-related processes.
But smaller businesses might find this straightforward approach useful. It offers an easy way to manage, say, marketing campaigns in a project-like way. Or managing a complex deal like a contract bid.
The best feature is the drag-and-drop task creator. Anyone can create a task in seconds and drop them into a workflow. Tasks are automatically shared, assigned and tracked. You can use filters to decide which are the most urgent and relevant tasks to focus on.
Colleagues can add notes to tasks to share information. Engagebay also combines all outgoing communications in one place, including live chat. And analytics provide insights on task completion rates, churn, and outcomes.
Engagebay is very user-friendly. Free basic CRM tools are available to teams of 15. This makes it a great option for start-ups. Or anyone new to CRM.
- Beginner-friendly platform
- Free for small teams of 15
- All-in-one CRM for marketing, sales and customer service
- Simple, flexible task management
- Helps to prioritize tasks and monitor outcomes
- Lacks more advanced project management features
ClickUp is a highly flexible and feature-rich work management platform. Its main focus is visualizing workflows for teams. Whatever the project, ClickUp lets you create tasks in a customizable shared workspace. And view it the way you want.
ClickUp has 1000+ workspace templates. This includes close to 300 project management templates. And 60+ CRM templates. All can be edited using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
One of ClickUp’s USPs is how many different view options there are within each workspace. There are 16 view options for every template. These include Scrum/Agile boards and Gantt charts for planning and tracking tasks.
Team leaders can see who is working on what, and what workload capacity looks like. You get these options even with sales pipelines and other CRM templates.
Other features include analytics dashboards that provide progress updates. There are 100+ pre-made automations to take the load on admin. Collaboration tools include mind maps, virtual whiteboards, in-app chat and document sharing.
- 1000+ workspace templates, including 300 for projects and 60+ for CRM
- Easy-to-read visual interface with multiple view options
- Advanced project management tools covering planning, tracking, and resource allocation
- Extensive CRM and marketing options
- Great in-app collaboration tools for teams
- Feature-rich is great. But ClickUp is so big, it can be time-consuming to set up.
ClickUp pricing starts at $7 per user per month. There is a free plan with limited storage.
Hubspot is one of the biggest names in CRM software. It calls itself a ‘customer platform’ and boasts many features.
These are organized into 6 ‘Hubs’. Three covering the traditional CRM fields of marketing, sales and support. Plus content management, B2B commerce and operations.
There isn’t a specific ‘hub’ for project management. But the marketing hub includes campaign management tools.
Hubspot in effect treats campaigns as marketing projects. It provides a shared space for running multiple campaigns. Tasks can be created and assigned across teams. There are visual boards for tracking progress and project status. And collaboration tools for sharing information and co-working.
Hubspot also has a great marketing automation tool and analytics to track performance and resource use.
Hubspot is known for its long list of free tools. Small businesses can get started with marketing, sales and service CRM for free. But campaign management tools are only included on higher plans.
- Huge range of features
- Large suite of free CRM tools
- Advanced campaign management tools for professional marketing teams
- 800+ third-party integrations
- Project management tools are very marketing-specific. And only available on higher plans that are out of the price range of smaller teams.
Hubspot’s all-in-one CRM Starter Suite costs $20 per month for a single user. But campaign management features only become available on the Professional plan, starting at $890 a month. If that sounds out of your price range, read our guide with the best Hubspot alternatives.
Keap is a great CRM platform for small and midsize B2B businesses. Sales pipelines include options for generating quotes, client appointments and managing invoices. On the marketing side, there are lead capture tools and options to run email and SMS campaigns.
For many B2B businesses, the customer journey includes project delivery. Customer journeys can be complex and lengthy. Initial enquiries and discussions can bridge marketing and sales phases. Pricing and agreed deliverables are often bespoke. Payment is often conditional on project progress.
Keap lets you manage these more complex customer interactions in one place. The unified approach is summed up by Keap’s Lifecycle Automation feature. This provides a framework for creating conversion-focused customer journeys.
Lifecycle Automation serves as a CRM with project management features. For example, you can build goal tracking into pipelines. Client feedback and approvals can all be tracked in the same place. Similarly, you can keep tabs on when invoices are sent, what has been paid and what’s due.
- B2B-specific sales and marketing tools
- All-in-one CRM platform for small and midsize businesses
- Lifecycle Automation unifies processes and helps drive growth
- Can handle complex customer journeys that include project planning and delivery
- Automated quotation and invoicing
- Expensive compared to other small business CRMs
Keap pricing starts at $159 per month for 2 users. There’s no free plan, but you get a 14-day free trial.
Zoho CRM is a popular platform for larger businesses. It offers products for accounting, communication, HR, IT management and analytics. And project management, of course.
As a CRM, Zoho’s biggest strengths are the range and sophistication of its features. It supports multi-channel customer communications across marketing, sales and support. You can manage email, phone, social media, live chat and plenty more, all in one place. It offers in-depth analytics and AI-powered automation.
Zoho Projects is just as feature-rich. It uses Gantt charts for planning projects and tracking progress. You can break down project tasks and milestones to a very fine level. And use automations to smooth the flow from one step to the next.
Again, analytics and reporting is a real strength. Team collaboration tools are based on social media-like forums and discussion feeds. It makes for a very familiar and user-friendly shared environment for teams. Zoho Projects is also great for managing timesheets, invoices and budgets.
- CRM, project management, accounting, communication, HR, and IT management tools
- Advanced analytics and AI-powered automation
- Flexible and customizable Gantt charts for project planning and tracking
- Tools for managing project finances
- Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects are separate products. You pay for and run them individually
Zoho CRM starts at $14 per user per month. Zoho Projects starts at $5 per user per month. There is a 14-day free trial for the CRM and a 10-day free trial for projects. There are free tiers for both with limited features.
Concluding CRM with Project Management
Combining CRM with project management software can save your business time and money. It makes particular sense for B2B businesses that sell services on a project basis.
But, there are a lot of similarities between customer- and project-focused operations. It’s all about managing tasks, sharing information and effective collaboration. Tracking events in a controlled way towards a desired outcome. And, of course, managing those all-important customer relationships.
Picking the right CRM with project management will depend on your budget and business needs. But here’s a summary of our top picks.
- Best overall CRM with project management: monday.com and ClickUp
- Best CRM and project management software for small teams: Engagebay
- Best CRM project management software for sales teams: Pipedrive
- Best CRM with project management features for marketing: Hubspot
If you want one platform for CRM and email marketing, check out our review of the best CRMs with email marketing. Or if you want to find the best CRM in your country, check out our guides with the best CRMs in Canada and Australia.
FAQs about CRM with Project Management
Can you use CRM for project management?
They both involve tracking and managing processes across a team. You can use a standard sales pipeline to run sales and marketing projects. You get visibility of progress. You can allocate tasks and teams can share information.
Which CRM is best for project management?
The best all-around CRM and project management combos are monday.com and ClickUp. They specialize in visual workflow management and offer hundreds of flexible options across sales, marketing, CRM, and projects. The best CRM with project management software for small businesses is Engagebay. It’s easy to use and has sales, marketing, service, and simple task management tools.
What are the benefits of CRM in project management?
For project-focused businesses, it connects sales and delivery. Teams share the same customer and project data. Project teams maintain a complete view of the customer. If payments are due on completion of agreed project milestones, this can be automated. The best tools with CRM and project management are monday.com, ClickUp, Pipedrive, Engagebay, Hubspot, Keap, and Zoho.
What is CRM in project management?
This means project teams always keep full sight of the customer. And can tailor services to their needs. They can also see all negotiations and quotations with the sales team. So they can make sure they are working to expectations.
Is a project management tool the same as a CRM?
Project management apps don’t need any customer data. It’s all about the process. Workflow visualizations like Kanban boards and Gantt charts are key features. They’re used to assign tasks, allocate resources and track performance against deadlines. The best CRM project management solutions are monday.com, ClickUp, Pipedrive, Engagebay, Hubspot, Keap, and Zoho.