5 best construction CRM systems in the UK

We examine the pros and cons of specialist construction industry CRM systems to find the best tool for effective supply chain management.

Our Research

Our team of writers and researchers review CRM software by rating each product against the key features businesses care about: ease of use; value for money; the ability to scale, plus the depth of functionality and advanced options.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young

Our independent reviews are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers.

In the construction industry, profits can be thin and overheads are brutal. One of the most important factors to keep a construction business flowing is well-organised communication. That’s where a CRM system proves invaluable. There are numerous cheap or even free CRM tools that lend themselves well to construction businesses.

Construction SMEs make up 16% of the UK’s business population, according to ONS data. But despite this dominance, today’s building firms are facing a cocktail of challenges including supply chain delays and a growing skills gap.

Construction CRM software takes the spanner out of these works. Platforms streamline contractor-client relationships and simplify delivery. But which is the best system to use? here are our highlights of the best brands on the market:

Best CRM Software For The Construction Industry

  1. Freshsales – best choice for firms with lots of apprentices of trainees
  2. monday.com – best for tracking long construction projects that take 8+ months
  3. Zendesk Sell – best for plant hire firms needing to focus on client communication
  4. ClickUp – best for billing lots of sub-contractors, boasts a great file storage system
  5. HubSpot – an outstanding CRM for marketing, best for house builders

We’ve spent the past half-decade publishing on and researching CRM software, in collaboration with an independent analyst.

Read on for a full run down of our top construction CRMs, based on precise pain points for the industry. We’ll cover their pros, cons, and pricing plans in detail throughout this guide.

Or, save time with our specially-designed online quote-matching tool. It’s 100% free and will find you the best provider to suit your company’s unique needs in just one minute.

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0 out of 0
Best for:

Larger teams with lots of trainees or apprentices

Best for:

Teams working on longer projects for 8+ months

Best for:

Equipment rental or leasing companies

Best for:

Main contractors billing lots of suppliers

Best for:

House building companies

Price per month (billed annually):

Free plan, or £7 per user

Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):

Free Plan, or from £18 (flat rate)

Free trial?

Free trial?

Free trial?

Free trial?

Free trial?

Features:
  • Freddy AI tool gives you insights ready-made
  • Communication, ecommerce, and accounting integrations
  • Big library of preset templates
Features:
  • Huge range of CRM board templates
  • Message board for dashboard collaboration
  • Widgets available for bespoke metrics
  • Unlimited contacts and dashboards
Features:
  • Communication integration for team working
  • Fast-loading dashboard for large datasets
  • 2 million contact limit
Features:
  • Unlimited CRM tasks
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited dashboards
  • Real-time chat
Features:
  • Send 2,000 emails per month
  • 5 active contact lists for outreach
  • Thorough 12-step onboarding process
  • Chatbots, campaigns, and webforms
crm pricing
Read More About CRM

This page is part of a larger series on CRM. Read more about the top CRM systems in our full guide:

Best CRM Software for Small Businesses

Freshsales: best for usability in large teams with lots of trainees or apprentices

Freshsales Suite
4.5
Freshsales' huge list of features means you'll never be caught short when it comes to CRM.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Brilliant customer support
  • Automated workflows make managing work easy
Summary Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM) organises your customer and sales processes into one easy-to-use platform – from sales and marketing to data management. It boasts a genuinely impressive list of features, including an advanced AI tool, and is unparalleled in terms of the number of capabilities.
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Freshsales screenshot

Freshsales dashboard

Historically, the construction industry has been underserved by technology, which has made some workers resistant to new products.

Freshsales was our highest-scoring CRM system for usability. Its innovative design is easily navigable, without sacrificing functionality.

Because of this, we’d most recommend it for companies with lots of apprentice or trainee construction workers that need to get new users up and running quickly.

Our testers liked Freshsales for simplifying basic CRM admin tasks, like contact management. It took just six minutes to input all of our mock customer data into the app’s dashboard.

Other helpful features include:

  • Custom fields for recording particular contact details, like service descriptions
  • Auto-assignment rules for allocating tasks to project leads
  • Company-wide notifications in case of delivery or shipment delays
  • Internal SMS, phone, and email communication

Freshsales is also extremely popular amongst users for its smart automation assistant, named Freddy. You can use Freddy to build your own automatic processes, saving you time and money spent on fiddly administration tasks.

For example, once you’ve marked an invoice as paid in your database, the Freddy tool could be set up to send an email with the receipt to your customer.

Freshsales pricing

Costing £12 per user, per month (billed annually) Freshsales is an affordable CRM that we scored 3.5 out of 5 for value for money.

As the name suggests, Freshsales is specifically designed for sales teams. Its lowest-priced tier, Freshsales Growth, permits an unlimited number of users, so it’s a good option for larger teams.

  • Freshsales Free – £0
  • Freshsales Growth – £12 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Freshsales Pro – £29 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Freshsales Enterprise – £55 per user, per month (billed annually)

monday.com: best for teams working on longer projects for eight months or more

monday.com
4.3
monday sales CRM is an all-in-one platform that enables business owners and sales teams to manage all their CRM functions in one central location.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Ecommerce integrations offered - rare for a CRM tool
  • Excellent customisation means you won't have to redesign your existing CRM process
Summary Monday.com offers well-designed creative tools that make it an endlessly customisable CRM system, perfect for tailoring to clients’ needs. The app also uses a visually appealing traffic light system to help you track customers throughout the pipeline, and has over 200 dashboard templates, making it a particularly stylish tool to use.
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monday.com is the perfect sales CRM for tracking the lifecycle of a project from early-stage bidding to the final ribbon-cutting ceremony. Because of this, we recommend it for teams working on long-term projects.

Users benefit from a huge library of fully customisable templates and 15 widgets. This means you can install measurements for everything from project progress to budget tracking.

As it’s all in one place, this also makes project manager workloads considerably more efficient, as you won’t be constantly chasing down updates from colleagues.

However, a project is not just owned by its manager. In terms of team-working tools, monday.com has:

  • Automatic data sync so that every dashboard shows the full picture
  • Slack integration for internal communication
  • Mobile app to keep staff up to date, wherever they are
  • Time tracking so you can keep an eye on employee productivity

Another one of monday’s finest traits is its eye-catching traffic light task management system. The status of a task can be given as either red, green, or orange. Due dates and any necessary notes, such as upcoming client meetings, are also shown.

If you need to display sensitive information, you can also introduce user permissions to ensure only the necessary individuals have access to a dashboard.

monday.com pricing

We recommend monday.com Basic. It permits unlimited users for just £10 per seat, per month (billed annually).

  • Basic – £10 per seat, per month (annual billing, minimum 3 users)
  • Standard – £14 per seat, per month (annual billing)
  • Pro – £24 per seat, per month (annual billing)
  • Enterprise – bespoke pricing

Complaints about monday.com’s confusing pricing structure are common among users, however. If you want to know more about how much the platform will cost you, read our monday.com pricing guide.

Zendesk Sell: best for cross-site communication

Zendesk Sell
4.1
Strong business support tools and high-performing features make Zendesk a good option for SMEs providing specialist services
  • Free trial 30-day
  • Price from £15 per month
  • Long list of integrations
  • Excellent analytics tools
  • Unparalleled support services
Summary Zendesk is a powerful name in the business software market and it has a fantastic array of integrations, spanning across a huge range of categories including analytics and reporting, e-commerce, email and social Media, IT and project management, and tons more. Perhaps Zendesk’s best known feature however, is its excellent support tools. New users at any payment tier can utilise a vast library of handy materials including onboarding and adoption resources, guided learning paths, and on-demand training courses.
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Zendesk screenshot

Construction workers spend very little time behind desks. Largely, they’re based onsite and only intermittently checking mobiles or computers – which can cause siloing.

This is particularly true for equipment rental firms, who come with a designated driver. For them, we recommend Zendesk Sell.

The app’s extensive list of communication tools includes the ability to:

  • Make and receive calls
  • Record conversations for call analytics
  • Assign collaborators
  • @mention colleagues to notify them of an update
  • Integrate calendars across the organisation

The same is also true for client communications. Zendesk’s list of messaging tools helps to massively reduce email response time and ensure customers feel listened to.

For example, you can add custom fields to track the number of days you’ve gone without sending an SMS response.

Working on multiple projects, likely with different managers or architects, can lead to details becoming confused. Thankfully, Zendesk provides a unique ‘smart list’ tool that makes it easy to construct detailed lists of notes and criteria for each project.

We also found it took just under two minutes for our testers to import all the necessary information – making Zendesk the fastest CRM system in our research round.

Zendesk pricing

Zendesk Sell costs £19 per user, per month (billed annually) which makes it a slightly pricier product than budget-friendly construction CRMs like monday.com.

Still, we think Zendesk is worth the cost for large teams making lots of site visits. What it will save your business in avoiding delays means the app will pay for itself in the long term.

  • Zendesk Sell Team – £45 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zendesk Sell Growth – £75 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zendesk Sell Professional – £89 per user, per month (billed annually)

ClickUp: best for main contractors billing lots of suppliers and needing a complex file storage system

ClickUp CRM

ClickUp
4.7
ClickUp's expansive list of features means it has a solution for virtually every area of project management - even at its 'Free Forever' payment tier.
  • Free trial 'Free forever' plan
  • Price from £3.62 per member
  • High-performing freemium plan
  • Generous functionality and feature list
Summary Small business owners will get outstanding value for money from ClickUp. The platform is well known for its wealthy list of features, with even its Free tier offering advanced tools like automations, custom fields, and Gantt charts. We’d recommend it for budget-conscious users that want a low-cost solution without skimping on functionality.
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As any construction company knows, there is a lot of paperwork involved in planning and building.

ClickUp isn’t strictly a CRM, but as a flexible workflow app it can be employed for plenty of customer management duties.

We like ClickUp most for its state-of-the-art document management system (DMS). You can use it to store, create, and edit any contract or invoice. Because of this, we think it’s best for larger contractors that are going to be hiring a lot of third-party suppliers.

User experience is at the heart of ClickUp’s interface. Subscribers have the ability to embed bookmarks to find folders more easily. Our testers also liked that you can connect documents to tasks, populating workflow dashboards with all of the relevant paperwork.

Handily, the ClickUp DMS allows for real-time editing, meaning budget holders and project managers can be instantly updated on any changes to plans.

Because it’s not strictly a CRM, ClickUp is not designed for sales. The platform is harder to customise for deal pipelines.

Still, buyers should think of ClickUp DMS as a knowledge centre. Every blueprint and redesign will be categorised, filed, and easily searchable. Your suppliers can even be added as guests via public permission settings.

ClickUp pricing

ClickUp prides its generous free plan on being ‘forever free’. You could theoretically use the platform for zero charge, forever.

However, the free plan upholds strict feature limits. Users are better off moving to ClickUp Unlimited for just £3.60 per user per month (billed annually) to remove all caps.

See our full ClickUp pricing guide for more.

HubSpot: best for house-building companies needing a good marketing tool for buyers

HubSpot email editor

HubSpot
4.2
An innovative marketing solution that's completely free.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Brilliant email marketing features that make it easy to attract new business
Summary Aimed at SMEs, HubSpot Free is an innovative CRM solution that offers lots of add-ons to supplement its core focus on email and marketing outreach. Because of this, it doesn't have as much feature depth as other products. However, advanced UX-focused tools like its live and historical data sync mean it's an intuitive and affordable CRM choice.
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As building SMEs are usually competing against larger companies, it is important to not let your marketing strategy sit on the back burner while your competitors capture nearby leads.

For consumer contracts, getting higher on search engines is easy thanks to HubSpot’s SEO elements. Even with the app’s free plan, you’ll get:

  • Topic suggestions to increase your search engine rank
  • Webforms to gather customer information and queries
  • Chatbots to ensure an immediate response
  • Website visitor tracking to monitor ad success
  • Social media integration to target advertisements locally

Make use of all of these features to build up a strong localised presence and stand out on Google business listings and other popular directories.

HubSpot’s premier marketing email design editor can also craft attractive and personalised email outreach lists, advertising your services to the right contact.

Target your consumer base with pricing and product information, or example case studies.

Do you use timber materials to ensure you are building sustainably? These are the kind of unique selling points that can swing a curious customer.

If you don’t think things are working as planned, you can also use HubSpot analytics to study traffic and see how you might need to adapt your communications or content.

HubSpot pricing

Construction SMEs can use HubSpot Free to get access to premium marketing tools for zero cost. But, be warned, you’ll have to put up with HubSpot branding on campaign materials.

  • HubSpot Free – £0 per month
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month
  • HubSpot Sales Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month
  • HubSpot Service Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month

Our HubSpot review outlines the pros and cons of the more professional-looking HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter pack (£17 per month, billed annually).

What is a construction CRM?

Construction customer relationship management software, or construction CRM, is a type of software that helps building firms to nurture relationships with their leads and customers.

Given the competitiveness of the construction industry, attracting new business is becoming increasingly difficult for construction SMEs. As contractors look for new ways to remain profitable, investing in CRM software can be key to winning contracts.

What can a construction CRM do for my firm?

The best CRM systems for small businesses, as outlined above, will enable you to assemble and store all project information in one easily accessible database.

Rather than having to search through crowded email inboxes and outdated spreadsheets, you’ll be able to spot delays or issues at a glance via a clear dashboard layout. 

Another benefit CRM systems offer is improved customer leads. It is important for construction SMEs to cultivate and maintain a positive relationship with their vendors, suppliers, distributors, and subcontractors during early stage procurement.

Sales CRM systems like monday.com create customised client profiles that can tell you everything about your existing customer relationships. This is useful for personalising outreach and securing new contracts.

How do you choose the best CRM for your construction business?

Here are four areas that small construction business owners should look into to ensure they choose the best CRM system for their unique industry needs:

1. Usability

We’ve previously written about the construction skills crisis. Finding a builder CRM that is easy to use, such as Freshsales, means you can quickly train new employees or trainees in your existing sales process.

Similarly, look for software that has good navigation and formatting. This is enormously helpful for creating and managing your sales pipeline.

2. Communication capabilities

Construction workers are, more often than not, working on-site or away from the office.

Remote work can lead to miscommunications. Internal communication tools are ideal for ensuring strong collaboration between workers, no matter where they’re based. We recommend Zendesk Sell for this reason.

3. Document management system

Few sectors have more red tape than construction. Keeping on top of paperwork is the bane of most building SMEs. Getting it wrong can also cause significant payment and time delays.

ClickUp performs particularly well for document management tools. These help you to store and share project bids, delivery slips, and receipts. You’ll be able to stay on top of deals and maintain a healthy cash flow.

4. Marketing tools

Marketing isn’t often considered by construction firm owners, but it’s essential for attracting new business. Look for a CRM system that can integrate with social media platforms and send out email marketing campaigns. 

These are a great way to showcase your employees’ fine craftsmanship, excellent pricing, and impressive client portfolio.

How we test CRM systems for UK small businesses

At Startups, it's important to us that the product recommendations we make to small UK businesses are useful, accurate, and based on thorough product testing.

We tested 13 CRM systems across seven main categories of investigation and 13 subcategories – all in all, we covered 84 areas of investigation. Next, we gave a ‘relevance weighting' to the final product category scores - this ensures the products' final ratings perfectly reflect the specific needs and requirements of Startups readers.

Our main testing categories for CRM systems are:

Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the CRM software, including contact management, lead and opportunity tracking, and task and activity management.

Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the CRM software.

Customisation: the ability to tailor the CRM software to suit the specific needs and processes of the organization, including customising fields, layouts, and workflows.

Scalability: the ability of the CRM software to accommodate the growth and changing needs of the organization, such as the capacity to handle a growing customer database.

Price: the cost associated with using the CRM software. It includes factors such as licensing fees and subscription plans.

Team Structure – Sales CRM: determining if a platform makes it easier to manage large sales teams, including team dashboards and team hierarchies.

Usability – Small Business CRM: assessing the simplicity of the interface, the ease of navigating through menus and options, and the overall user experience.

The Startups product testing process

The Startups product testing process diagram

Verdict

We think Freshsales is the best CRM for construction SMEs. Its workflow automation keeps tasks effortless for construction employees, who are often busy onsite and need a CRM that’s easy to master.

We recommend it to small construction businesses with lots of apprentices or trainees.

  • monday.com is the best option for SMEs working on large-scale projects lasting more than eight months, thanks to excellent project tracking tools
  • Zendesk is a good CRM for construction businesses working with plant hire or equipment rental, as an unrivalled option for those visiting lots of sites
  • ClickUp is our top CRM software for main contractors that are billing lots of subcontractors, boasting a top-quality DMS centre
  • We recommend HubSpot for brand-building in competitive service offerings, like house building

Construction is one of many industries that demonstrate specialist CRM needs. That’s why we also designed our online comparison tool, so you can be certain your CRM choice will produce the best value for your money.

It’s 100% free to use and gives you direct quotes from the top providers on the market – a much quicker way to compare costs.

Construction CRM FAQs
  • Why do contractors need CRM?
    Supply chain management is a top priority for building companies. Construction CRM platforms are used to oversee every aspect of your customer and sales pipeline, helping you to anticipate future delays and target new business opportunities.
  • What is the best construction CRM?
    We think Freshsales is the best CRM for construction companies. We gave it top marks for usability – it's easy for all employees to get the hang of, regardless of their level of training.
  • How much does a construction CRM cost?
    The importance of good customer relationships in building projects means we recommend construction companies don’t go for a free CRM. Economical options, like monday.com or Freshsales, mean you can still access premium tools for a bargain fee.
crm pricing
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Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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