9 Best CRMs for Architects To Manage Client Relationships

By Chelsea Williams
Senior Copywriter
Nov 8 2023 read

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is an essential technology for managing all information and activity involving your current customers and potential clients. If your CRM is not contributing to increased sales and revenue, improved client relationships and reduced operational costs, it’s time for you to evaluate some different options. 

There are a myriad of CRMs out there. However, the most widely used solution may not necessarily be the best for your architecture business. Each business and industry has unique needs, and it’s important to be clear on what those are before deciding on a solution.

What Is Architecture CRM Software?

Architecture CRM software is designed specifically for the unique workflow and client relationship needs of architectural firms or can be adapted for firms that manage projects and serve clients in the same way. CRMs that work for architects cater to the nuances of the industry’s approach to project management, client engagement and business development.

A CRM isn’t just for managing customer data; it should serve as an integrated ecosystem linking key information about client history, documents, projects, invoices and more. Some CRMs also provide advanced metrics and forecasting features to help you glean valuable insights about your firm’s performance and growth.

Why Do Architects Need a CRM System?

Your industry is dynamic, and using technology that can handle both ongoing relationships and long-term, complex projects is crucial. The right CRM platform adapts to your needs by providing the following.

Project-centric client management

Architects juggle numerous projects simultaneously, each with a unique set of requirements and client expectations. A CRM system centralizes all project details, enabling you to manage multifaceted projects with greater precision while staying focused on your clients.

Client lifecycle tracking

From initial contact to project completion and follow-up, a CRM enables architects to track the entire lifecycle of each relationship. You can collect detailed contact information and use the platform for lead management, then stay in the same digital space as you observe your sales pipeline, send quotes and move into project management.

Enhanced team collaboration

Architecture is innately collaborative. You must have seamless interaction between your architects, engineers, contractors and clients to be successful. A CRM solution facilitates this unity by giving you visibility and collaboration tools.

Features To Look for in an Architecture CRM

As there are so many CRMs on the market, it can be tough to determine which will work for your industry and, more importantly, for your particular business. Let’s zoom in on the specific features that make the above three outcomes possible.

Contact management

The core function of a CRM is to house customer data. It should give you the ability to segment contacts based on various criteria, track all interactions and maintain a history of client relationships. Moreover, your client records should be accessible across the entire client journey, not just in the sales and onboarding phases.

TIP: Seek a solution with extensive filters and convenient custom fields.

Lead management

To identify and nurture potential clients, you’ll want the ability to track leads as they progress through the sales pipeline. Especially if you don’t have a dedicated sales team, it can be helpful to set up notifications or automate follow-up tasks and generate data about conversion rates to help you optimize marketing campaigns.

TIP: Find a platform with templates and checklists to streamline your sales process.

Project management

Your CRM should also act as project management software, offering robust tools for managing project milestones, resources and deliverables. Having project data and history visible under a client record makes the system much more useful and efficient and smooths out the handoff from sales to projects without risking any details being lost from quotes or proposals. Having that holistic view makes it easier to stay knowledgeable about each individual client. 

TIP: Look for a CRM tool that lets you convert quotes to projects in one click.

Task management

It’s important that you can easily manage all tasks associated with a client project and track all of the activity and communication associated with each task. Assigning, tracking and updating tasks in one place, as well as tracking time your team spends on each kind of task,

TIP: Choose a CRM that offers easy visibility into overdue tasks.


Automations are another way to ensure tasks are completed and processes are followed. You might not have a laundry list of automations that you need within a CRM, but it’s worth talking to experts at different platforms to see what each is capable of. An example of this might be the system’s ability to qualify new leads and automatically start qualified leads into the appropriate sales process.

TIP: Ask about whether you can automate quoting when you attend a demo.


Robust CRMs provide insights into your business operations, project performance and client engagement. These are essential for making informed decisions and improving your internal processes as well as client satisfaction.

TIP: Review the types of dashboards and custom reports in each CRM you consider.


Ideally, you’ll find software that has a combination of helpful native integrations and an open API for building custom integrations. At a minimum, your CRM should seamlessly connect with your accounting software and marketing tools. In architecture, it can also be helpful to integrate with design or document management platforms.

TIP: Choose a CRM with features beyond contact management so you need fewer tools.

Mobile accessibility

Since you likely work on-site frequently, a mobile app is a must. You should be able to update client information and tasks and communicate with both your team and clients on the go.

TIP: Find out if there are any limitations in the mobile version of each CRM platform.

Bonus features: Retainers and billing

Additional features such as retainer management and billing can be a huge plus, greatly increasing your efficiency and reducing administrative work. Tracking the work associated with recurring contracts, generating invoices and managing payments are some of the most error-prone tasks in a service firm.

TIP: Seek a true retainer management solution, not just a platform that supports recurring tasks.

The Benefits of a CRM for Architects

When you adopt a powerful CRM, you unlock deep potential for cost savings, revenue generation and overall profitability in addition to the more obvious benefits of improving client communications and internal visibility.

Enhanced client engagement and retention

A CRM enables more personalized and effective client interactions, which are key to client retention in the highly competitive architectural sector. By providing insights into your clients’ preferences and history, a good CRM will help you tailor proposals and communications. Happy clients are more likely to engage in repeat business and provide referrals.

Streamlined operations leading to cost savings

By automating repetitive tasks and centralizing client and project information, a CRM system drastically reduces administrative overhead. This streamlining translates into significant cost savings, as it minimizes the time your team spends on non-billable tasks like data entry, report generation and task coordination. Efficient project management supported by a CRM can also help you avoid costly project delays and miscommunications.

Revenue optimization

The analytics capabilities of a CRM can equip you with a wealth of data that you can leverage for strategic decision-making. You’ll be able to clearly visualize the relationship between project outcomes, client feedback and financial performance and identify areas for improvement. The data-driven approach allows you to fine-tune your services and operations, and therefore, create sustainable revenue growth.

Increased project profitability

Integrating financial management and project tracking within your CRM can give you a better view of project budgets and expenses. You can use this information to proactively manage resources and costs so your projects stay profitable. By closely monitoring financial metrics, you can identify trends and make quick adjustments that improve your profit margins.

Optimized marketing and business development

With lead management and marketing automation integrations, a CRM system helps you find and nurture leads more effectively. The result? A higher conversion rate! And the ability to track marketing ROI using your CRM sales data gives you a better sense of the most effective business development strategies going forward.

Risk mitigation through documentation

In the architecture industry, compliance and documentation can be time-consuming. A CRM provides a layer of security via an organized way to store and manage critical documents. This reduces your risk and ensures that vital information is easily accessible at all times.

Scalability and growth support

A CRM is not just a tool for current operations; it’s an investment in the future. Its scalability supports your business growth because it can accommodate an increasing number of clients and projects without the need for significant additional resources.

With this understanding of what to look for and what you could achieve using a CRM tool, we’ll explore a few of the top architecture CRMs and their key features and benefits.  

Best Architecture CRM Software Solutions

  1. Accelo
  2. HubSpot
  3. Keap
  4. monday.com
  5. Pipedrive
  6. Project-SalesAchiever
  7. Salesforce
  8. Unanet CRM
  9. Zendesk Sell

1. Accelo

Accelo is a complete cloud-based client work management platform built for architects and other service professionals. The platform focuses on boosting productivity and profitability by improving visibility, establishing processes and automating tasks. Accelo goes beyond client relationship management — the platform manages all aspects of client work, from sales, quoting and billing to project management, client requests and retainer management. 


  • A centralized client database to provide all employees with up-to-date client information
  • Project management tools, including time tracking, resource management and project templates and triggers
  • Retainers, including contract management and automation of recurring work and tasks
  • Reporting and analytics, including revenue forecasting, client profitability reports and team member performance


  • Built for all aspects of client work beyond its robust CRM, including quote automation and project management 
  • Client portal to simplify project updates and quote acceptance


  • No built-in marketing automation tools — but does have multiple marketing-focused integrations, including HubSpot and MailChimp


Accelo offers five pricing plans that scale with your business, from a self-serve plan for managing client information, tasks and communication all the way to the Elite tier, which includes all quote-to-cash features, premium support and more.

See how Accelo can generate results for your architecture firm: Book a demo.

2. HubSpot

HubSpot CRM is a pipeline management tool that provides real-time visibility into your firm’s sales pipeline. Their free option offers additional tools to assist sales, marketing, customer service, operations and business owners to nurture existing client relationships.


  • Lead management, including nurturing, scoring and automated sales alerts and tasks
  • Email and online marketing, including dynamic content, email editor and email deliverability reporting, list management and landing pages
  • Campaign management, including calendaring and event and webinar marketing
  • Social media marketing, including social campaigns and social profile integration


  • Free subscription option with CRM essentials for new firms
  • Option to select the tools you need: one or more of HubSpot’s three core hubs (Sales, Marketing and Service) 


  • Free plan does not include customer support and it’s very easy to max out its limitations
  • Limited customization that’s not ideal for companies with complex sales processes


Along with its free version, HubSpot offers three paid tiers for its CRM Suite for different-sized businesses:

  • Starter: $45 per month
  • Professional: $1,600 per month
  • Enterprise: $7,960 per month

3. Keap

Keap combines CRM, sales and marketing automation, contact management and eCommerce capabilities with the primary focus of helping small businesses manage client relationships. Its set of tools offers a wide range of features beyond the typical CRM, including appointment setting and landing page and email templates.


  • Lead management including lead nurturing, lead scoring and automated sales alerts
  • Social media marketing, including social profile integrations
  • Campaign management, including calendars and event marketing
  • Reporting and analytics


  • Users report the platform supports increased lead generation 
  • Marketing automation capabilities create a consistent customer experience 


  • No option to remove or hide existing tabs — even with customization
  • Some features, including the mobile app and SMS messaging options, only available in limited regions


Keap has three pricing tiers:

  • Pro: $159 per month for 2 users and 1,500 contacts
  • Max: $229 per month for 3 users and 2,500 contacts
  • Ultimate: $279 per month for 3 users and 2,500 contacts

4. monday.com

monday.com is a versatile work management system that helps teams with workflow management and team collaboration. It’s designed to suit a variety of business needs, from project planning to document editing.


  • Dynamic project boards with customizable columns and visual project tracking
  • Automations that can be set up to trigger actions based on specific conditions
  • Time tracking at the task level
  • More than 40 integrations, including marketing software


  • Highly customizable
  • User-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality


  • Can feel overwhelming for small businesses
  • Premium features only available on higher-tier plans


monday.com’s pricing plans are as follows:

  • Basic: $8 per user per month
  • Standard: $10 per user per month
  • Pro: $16 per user per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing quotes available.

➡ Which is right for your firm: Accelo or monday.com?

5. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a CRM with additional sales-focused features, including lead segmentation and a customizable pipeline. Custom sales stages and activity reminders support smooth workflows and uninterrupted conversations with leads. Additional features include document management and email marketing.


  • Specialized team management
  • Detailed reports, including deal tracking, conversion rate by lead source and revenue forecasting
  • Embeddable forms to manage inbound leads
  • Tools for tracking team performance and setting goals


  • Not as complex as some larger CRMs, so easier to implement and train users
  • Sales automation and tips from AI-powered Sales Assistant 


  • One user notes that the platform lacks popular integrations
  • Not connected to the full client journey via project management, billing or other essential work management features


Pipedrive offers five pricing plans:

  • Essential: $14.90 per user per month
  • Advanced: $27.90 per user per month
  • Professional: $49.90 per user per month
  • Power: $64.90 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user per month

6. Project-SalesAchiever CRM

Project-SalesAchiever® CRM is used by architects along with construction companies, general contractors and engineers looking to better manage client relationships and win more business. The system advises businesses in architecture and construction industries on sales and marketing initiatives ranging from specification sales and marketing to managing and understanding project lead data. 


  • Email marketing
  • Custom integrations
  • Strong visual insights
  • Tailored for construction and architecture industries


  • Complimentary with Microsoft Power BI
  • Good customer support


  • Some users report poor performance for large projects
  • Built as a desktop application with secondary web-based access that some users claim is lagging behind other cloud-based CRMs


ProjectSales-Achiever is free for Microsoft Power BI users. Otherwise, it’s priced by custom quote and starts at $49 per month.

7. Salesforce

Salesforce is a web-based CRM solution that helps companies manage their customers, partners and employees. The platform has multiple pricing levels and features that can scale with your business, making it a great choice for rapidly growing consulting firms who need a solution that can expand to meet their needs.


  • Sales automation including customer data management, workflows and contract management
  • Customer service and support, including case management and call center management
  • Project management, including tasks, billing and reporting
  • Reporting and analytics, including forecasting and pipeline visualization


  • Ability to automate business processes, including simple tasks like creating automatic email alerts to more time-heavy tasks like filling out orders 
  • Fully customizable, with options to add custom fields and tabs, create email templates and build reporting dashboards


  • Cost is often higher than other CRM options and increases with customizations and integrations 
  • May be too complex for smaller businesses


Salesforce pricing is based on the specific applications you want. Plans for its Sales Cloud application are as follows:

  • Starter: $25 per user per month
  • Professional: $80 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $165 per user per month

8. Unanet CRM

Unanet CRM offers a comprehensive cloud-based CRM built specifically for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). The platform supports business development and marketers to grow revenue and increase profits with better client management. It facilitates collecting, tracking and reporting on valuable client data for exceptional CRM and proposal automation.


  • Contact creation on the go with business card scan
  • Automatic call logs
  • Forecasting
  • Bid management


  • Built for AEC industries
  • Knowledge library and well-rated customer support


  • Legacy system that some users find outdated
  • Interface is a bit “techy” for some


As there are several variations of Unanet, pricing depends on the specific set of features you’re looking for and the types of users you need.

9. Zendesk Sell 

Zendesk Sell is a dynamic CRM platform known for its intuitive interface and sales automation features. It gives architecture firms an overview of client portfolios and project pipelines. The customization options and integrations make it an adaptable choice.


  • Email integration
  • Smart lists and templates
  • Pipeline analysis
  • Triggers and task automation


  • Built to connect with other Zendesk apps, including help desk software
  • Call logging and power dialing tools make the sales process highly efficient


  • Focused on sales team needs and not end-to-end
  • Some users find onboarding and data migration to be complicated


Zendesk Sell has four pricing tiers:

  • Sell Team: $19 per month
  • Sell Growth: $55 per month
  • Sell Professional: $115 per month
  • Sell Enterprise: $169 per month

How Do I Choose the Best Customer Relationship Management Platform?

Choosing the best platform is ultimately about figuring out what’s best for managing your client relationships. Your needs might not be cookie-cutter. After doing some research, you might realize that you need an integrated CRM that offers end-to-end features for client work.

Your best bet is to explore different platforms that are used by those within your industry, including those above, and do research on peer review sites like G2.

Once you have your shortlist, see the systems for yourself. Sign up for free trials where possible and give your team and leadership ample opportunities to try out each platform. Book demos for the CRM solutions that seem like the best fit for your business.

Gain clarity on your needs and the platform features you could benefit from the most by setting up an Accelo demo.


About the Author


Chelsea Williams is Senior Copywriter at Accelo, where she shares unique insights with service professionals and tells user stories via blogs, eBooks, industry reports and more. She has over 15 years of B2B and B2C writing experience — primarily in tech, sales, education and healthcare. Chelsea is an AWAI-certified Master Copywriter trained in brand storytelling and microcopy.

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