Skip to main content ↓

Should I Use an SMB-Specific CRM?

Good customer relationship management (CRM) software is the not-so-secret weapon of every business that makes consistent sales. 

A CRM can help you to: 

  • manage your leads and customers in one place, 
  • encourage collaboration between customer-facing teams, and 
  • create a repeatable process for leading your prospect through the buyer’s journey successfully. 

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) will benefit from CRM software if they’re looking for steady sales growth. But as an SMB owner or sales team manager, you may be asking yourself: “Should I use an SMB-specific CRM or a general-purpose one?”

Read on to learn about the differences and advantages of SMB-specific CRMs and general-purpose CRMs.

What is an SMB-specific CRM?

An SMB-specific CRM is a CRM created to address the unique challenges of SMBs in the sales process. 

For example, a CRM that focuses on lead scoring—or lead confidence—helps your team spend time and resources efficiently on a bootstrapped budget. 

An SMB-specific CRM has the same features as a regular CRM but may focus on features that small and mid-sized companies would better appreciate.

Advantages of SMB-specific CRMs

A CRM built for SMBs will have benefits for users that include:

  • An industry-tailored interface
  • Features and tools that benefit SMBs
  • Affordability for growing businesses

Let’s look at each benefit in more detail.

Interface tailored to SMBs

Industry-specific CRMs usually tailor their interfaces to make them easy to understand and adopt for the industry they’re targeting, and SMB-specific CRMs are no exception.

Since SMB-specific CRMs were built with small businesses in mind, you’re more likely to have an easier time interacting with the interface, especially with a smaller team. 

Features that are helpful to SMBs

Speaking of tools, you can expect the minimal features present in SMB-specific CRMs to be more helpful to you than the wide range of tools that general-purpose CRMs offer. 

The slimmer range of features could make setup and implementation easier than it would with a general-purpose CRM.

More affordable

Small and medium-sized businesses generally don’t have a lot of money to spend on fancy software and tools. SMB-specific CRM companies understand that, so the price range of these tools is not going to be as expensive as in other industries. 

While you may be sacrificing a full range of CRM capabilities, an SMB-specific CRM won’t break the bank. 

However, it’s not always the case that SMB-specific tools are less expensive than general-purpose ones. 

Nutshell, for instance, offers an affordable yet robust CRM that helps teams organize their contacts, leads, and conversations. You can also add thousands of powerful integrations, including native add-ons, to boost conversions and revenue—without spending a fortune.


Want to kick the tires a bit?

No problem. To see if Nutshell is the right choice for your sales team, start a 14-day free trial today!


an illustration of a person in a green shirt standing in front of a group of people in the shadows

What is a general-purpose CRM?

A general-purpose CRM caters to a broader customer base of companies in various industries and sizes. It will have a wider range of features and add-on tools that industries can customize based on their unique needs.

Advantages of choosing a general-purpose CRM for your SMB

There are several advantages to using a general-purpose CRM as a small to medium-sized business, as opposed to an SMB-specific one. Benefits include:

  • An easy-to-use interface
  • Flexible pricing options
  • More integration capabilities
  • Ability to scale your CRM features as your business grows

Read on to learn more about each benefit in depth.

Easy-to-use interface

General-purpose CRMs are built to satisfy the user experience of their broad customer base. That often means the interface is easier to use and can be customized to your preference. 

This is because:

  1. General-purpose CRMs have the resources to develop and improve their interface continuously.
  2. These CRMs tend to have a larger customer base and, thus, more data and feedback on how they can improve their features and interface.

Scalable pricing options

While SMB-specific CRMs are more likely to be affordable, they also tend to be more rigid in their pricing since they cater to a smaller audience. 

A general-purpose CRM, on the other hand, often has the flexibility of multiple and custom pricing options. For instance, you could get a minimally-featured option at a modest price and add features as you need them. 

More integration capabilities

Since general-purpose CRMs cater to a broad audience, they usually have as many integration options as possible to satisfy their customers and the various software tools they use. 

If you have a dedicated tech stack that your team prefers or want to add new technologies down the line, then a general-purpose CRM—and its diverse integration capabilities—may be your best bet.


Is Nutshell a perfect match for your favorite software?

Nutshell integrates with tons of software, both natively and through Zapier. See if your favorites are on the list.


a cartoon illustration of two puzzle pieces with faces on them

Ability to scale with your CRM

Another benefit of a general-purpose CRM is its ability to customize its tools and services to the size of your business. As your small business grows, you may find it easier to continue using a general-purpose CRM while adding new features and capabilities. 

While an SMB-specific CRM may help you reach new heights in your business, you’ll outgrow it as your business matures and your goals and needs change.

How to choose between an SMB-specific or general CRM

Now that we’ve explored the different advantages of SMB-specific and general-purpose CRMs, you may still be wondering which option is the best for your business. It helps first to have a good understanding of your sales goals and how your CRM can help you achieve them.

If you’d prefer industry-specific features only, with fast implementation, and you’re not planning to scale anytime soon, then an SMB-specific CRM may be the best option for you. 

Otherwise, if you want more integration options for your tech stack, a customizable suite of features, and software that scales with your business, then a good general-purpose CRM is the way to go.

Choose Nutshell for your SMB sales growth

Nutshell is an all-in-one CRM solution that helps you make more sales and grow your small- to mid-sized business. We understand that SMBs span multiple industries and require a CRM that offers a broad selection of features and can scale with you as your business grows.

When you use Nutshell CRM for your business, you can expect standout benefits such as:

  • Task automation for your mundane administrative activities, which frees up your team to focus on sales-related tasks, moving the needle for your business
  • Advanced sales and revenue reporting that lets you monitor your performance and pivot where necessary
  • Automated email campaigns and drip sequences to nurture prospects and build stronger customer relationships

And that’s not even the half of it—enjoy other CRM features such as customizable sales pipelines, advanced team collaboration tools, and high-level contact management.

With flexible pricing options and white-glove support (including data importing and live demos), Nutshell is a general-purpose CRM that helps your SMB close more deals and grow. 

Try Nutshell out today for a 14-day free trial!


Ready to see Nutshell in action?

Attend a live guided tour!

  • Every Monday & Wednesday at 10am ET/7am PT
  • Every Tuesday & Thursday at 3pm ET/12pm PT


two Nutshell employees smile for the camera
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Join 30,000+ other sales and marketing professionals. Subscribe to our Sell to Win newsletter!