What Is The Best Free CRM

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Who doesn’t love free stuff? From free books, to free music, to free pizza! When it comes to CRM software, you might feel that they all have a catch. If you’re a startup trying to manage sales and customer support, you’re going to need something robust. Something with real-time reporting and call center capabilities. Don’t despair though — no matter how big or small your business is, there is a CRM out there for you! And even better yet? Some of them are free!

Nowadays, thanks to the technological development, there is a wide range of available software solutions for small business. In particular, there is a huge number of Free CRM software you can use for your business.

Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM is a fit for individual business owners as well as SMBs. Users focused on B2B sales are best served by the platform. It’s a cloud-based option with a reliable mobile app as well.

Features include lead management, contact organization, customer segmentation, and call support. The free version offers all the features, but it’s limited to only two users, 10MB of contact data, or 250 contacts, whichever comes first.

This does severely limit the scalability of Capsule’s free option, even relative to other free CRMs.Capsule CRM's Dashboard

Manage contacts and leads with Capsule CRM. (via the Blueprint)

Capsule CRM is a relatively low cost if and when you’re ready to upgrade. The Professional tier is $18/month per user for 50,000 contacts, 10GB of storage, a ton of useful integrations, and more.

There’s also a Team tier that is $36/month per user for 100,000 contacts, 20GB of storage, advanced sales reporting, role definitions and team task assignments, and more. It’s unique to see limits on the storage, so be sure to keep that in mind when making your decision.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is part of a vast ecosystem of business tools. It’s meant to be the single platform from which to operate all components of your business. It offers pricing tiers and capabilities that suit businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietors to enterprises.

Zoho CRM offers a streamlined, user-friendly interface for both browsers and mobile. Key features include lead management, sales pipeline management, and in-depth reporting and analytics.

Zoho has three pricing tiers to go along with its free option. The free option includes social media management, sales task management, event tracking, call logging, and up to 10 pre-built email templates.Zoho CRM's Workflow

Automate follow-ups to boost your deal wins. (via the Blueprint)

Paid options for Zoho start at $12/month per user for the standard option, which includes workflows, forms, and custom reporting dashboards in addition to everything in the free version.

The Professional option is $20/month per user and adds real-time customer tracking and other features to the standard plan. Zoho Enterprise is next at $35/month per user and comes with AI tools, advanced reporting customization, and prioritized lead tracking.

The final Zoho CRM tier is $45/month per user and includes advanced AI and predictive analytics and maximum feature counts. The solution packs a punch at a great price, assuming you don’t have too many users.

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a unique solution that stands out in the CRM space. It’s a fit for SMBs that need help communicating and operating efficiency across silos.

It offers everything you’d expect for some typical CRM features, including pipeline management, lead scoring, deal tracking, landing page and form creation, email marketing, and pre-built workflows to automate outreach.

Unusual features provided by Bitrix24 include task manager tools, project management, basic e-commerce capabilities, and more. The free option is capped at 5GB and 1,000 emails per month, as well as a few other restrictions.Bitrix24's Dashboard

Jump into Bitrix24’s many features through their robust dashboard. (via the Blueprint)

A large majority of Bitrix24’s features are included in its free option. If you get to a point where you need to graduate to a larger plan, prices start at $24/month for two users and 10GB. It climbs up to $69/month for six users and 50GB.

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There’s also a Business plan for $99/month for 50 users, 100GB, and an unlimited number of users per month for $199 and unlimited data.

Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM, designed for small to midsize businesses. Freshworks CRM offers CRM and marketing tracking in its Forever Free plan. Freshworks CRM’s free plan includes access for unlimited users, contact management, and lead management through lead capture forms and website tracking. Users can leverage the built-in phone system and web chatbot to extend their customer communication touchpoints. As needs grow, businesses can upgrade to a paid program starting at $35 per user per month (billed monthly).

Freshworks CRM is the right CRM for you if you’re looking for a solution that is designed to grow with your business, and you like the idea of working with one company for many of your software needs. The full Freshworks portfolio includes customer support applications and IT service management (ITSM) solutions that can work in tandem with its CRM to meet your needs as you develop and build your business. Freshworks CRM has a complete suite of features that can meet the needs of most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well as mid-market enterprises, including pipeline management and automation features. Pipeline management helps businesses forecast revenue and supply needs, while additional automation and AI features help businesses automate and streamline complex processes. Some of these additional features come with additional price tags. See our section How Much Does Freshworks CRM Cost? below for more details.

These additional features and integrations do add to the complexity of Freshworks CRM; an organization with limited technical staff may find it challenging to get started, especially without the help of 24/7 customer support.

Insightly

Insightly is a CRM platform that’s designed for small- and mid-size business (SMBs) looking to improve their lead management and boost sales capabilities. Insightly offers a forever-free plan that provides everything users need to manage projects, record sales, and track contacts.

Insightly specializes in ensuring your business offers customers the best possible customer support. The platform is aesthetically appealing, with easy-to-use dashboards, cloud-based deployment, and it’s own superb customer service.Insightly CRM Dashboard

Do more with less for free with Insightly CRM for sales and marketing automation. (via the Blueprint)

If you graduate to a paid plan, you have three to choose from. The Plus plan is $35/month per user and builds on the free plan with additional features and 100 pre-designed email templates.

The Professional plan is $59/month per user and adds the ability to assign leads to individual salespeople. The Enterprise option is $129/month per user and provides unlimited components for all the main features you need.

Agile CRM

Agile CRM is built for SMBs as well as freelancers. It’s one of the CRM leaders in terms of ease of use. Agile CRM developers have optimized the usability to deliver a logical, easily navigable layout.

Most all major features are just a click away at any time. These features include streamlined customer data intake, lead tracking, appointment scheduling, email tracking, and call-tracking tools to make and record calls directly in the platform.Agile CRM's Dashboard

Agile CRM provides all your CRM needs for free. (via the Blueprint)

If you ever need to graduate from the free option, Agile CRM offers three affordable pricing options. The Starter tier is $15/month per user and adds more marketing levers.

The Regular tier is $50/month per user and builds in help desk tools and reporting capabilities. The final option is their Enterprise tier at $80/month per user and includes extensive integrations and even more reporting capabilities.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is the free software stalwart for CRM and marketing software. The free HubSpot option is a combination of HubSpot’s CRM, marketing, sales, and services tools.

It’s as well suited for sales teams in need of CRM, as it is suited for marketers to automate communications. Key features include contact management, deal tracking, form builder, email and ad management, live chat with site visitors, ticketing support for customer service, and more.HubSpot CRM's Dashboard

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Build workflows that automate communications based on lead behavior. (via the Blueprint)

If you use multiple apps within your company and want a CRM to integrate with them, there’s no better choice than HubSpot CRM. The mammoth App Marketplace has over 900 integrations available to various levels of HubSpot plans (e.g., Marketing Hub) with CRM free users able to choose from over 800 apps in categories such as eCommerce, analytics, events, finance, project management, and customer success. Not only that, but many of these third-party apps provide free editions, which allows greater accessibility for small businesses with limited resources. And the new, included Operations Hub provides additional data sync features for a select group of apps.    

The CRM is forever free and includes unlimited users and room for up to one million contacts. Included are deal tracking, landing pages, live chat/chatbot, basic email marketing, and a ticketing feature for tracking service requests. All of these are designed to provide a taste of their meatier Sales, Marketing, and Service Hubs, which provide advanced features at tiered pricing.    

For many, the CRM will be all that’s needed to track deals and manage relationships, especially if you’re integrating with other business apps in your stack. For example, a good first step is to connect your Outlook 365 or Gmail account, so you can email directly from a contact record, track conversations, and use the sales templates to quickly respond. 

HubSpot makes managing relationships easy with a contact record showing all sales, ticketing, and website activity with a timeline of pages viewed if the tracking code is installed. It will also show activity from your integrations. For instance, if you use Mailchimp for email campaigns, the contact record will show sends, opens, clicks, and bounces. Similarly, an Eventbrite integration will show an event registration in the contact’s timeline. 

Connecting apps was straightforward for the handful I connected, but if you get stuck, each app’s integration page has a setup guide and resources to help. Also note that not all of the integration features will be available to free CRM users because they require features from the advanced paid plans.

HubSpot’s Operations Hub was released in April 2021 as a way to provide easier and cleaner data syncing between the CRM and third-party apps. Currently, there are over 50 apps available for this new syncing feature. As a test, I connected my Zoho free account from the list of “data sync built by HubSpot” apps in the Marketplace. With a few clicks, both apps were connected. Then I chose how my contacts were to sync using the rule option (there are dozens of filters) for only the contacts where I was the owner. The contact fields that are matched between the two apps defaulted to 16—to get custom field options, you need to upgrade to a paid plan. Finally, I clicked the review button for a summary of the sync and then clicked save and sync to start the process. Within about 20 seconds, all my contacts were shared bi-directionally between the two apps. So my HubSpot contacts synced with Zoho and vice versa. Any contacts I added or changes I made in either app immediately appeared in the other. Check out HubSpot’s Ultimate Guide to Operations Hub for more details. 

Apptivo

Since its creation in 2009, Apptivo has become a popular way for businesses to manage customer relationships. The company’s founding mission was to provide a simple, straightforward way for people to keep track of business operations. Since then, the company – which is based out of Fremont, California – has grown to include more than 150,000 users in 194 countries around the world.

While Apptivo came about more recently than some of its competitors in the CRM market, it’s still a prominent industry name. Although Apptivo originally focused on small businesses its functionality has grown to the point where Apptivo says some of its clients are businesses with thousands of users.

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Apptivo CRM offers tools for businesses to manage all their leads, customers, and contacts. Beyond the expected contact management solutions, Apptivo CRM offers tools to manage numerous aspects of a business.

Apptivo is a cloud-based system that integrates all of its business solutions. Its CRM builds a bridge between your customers and contacts, which allows you to manage both in the same place. You can see all of their information at one time so it’s easy for you to understand what they’re looking for from your business. It also makes sending them offers or following up on leads much easier because Apptivo has those features too. Apptivo also offers extensive customization options through custom fields.

With five tiers of service, Apptivo has plans for a wide variety of business sizes and business needs, including a free plan for one user. Apptivo is an affordable CRM solution, with standard packages ranging from free to $25 per user per month. Paid plans also include live chat and phone support, while free plan users can access standard email support, self-service documents, and webinars to make the most of Apptivo.

EngageBay

EngageBay screenshot

It’s getting harder each year to find a free CRM that provides sales, service, and marketing functions. Understandably so. That’s a lot to ask for a freemium app. EngageBay, a relatively new kid on the block, is one of the few gratis all-in-ones left. Not only that, the company makes upgrading to paid plans very affordable.   

The app comes with 500 contacts, and each contact record shows a 360-degree view. Visible (when applicable) are activities, emails, deals, tasks, notes, workflows, chats, events, and other touchpoints that allow users to see how a contact has interacted with your company over time.

Create multiple—one of the few to allow this option—customizable pipelines for different sales processes or products. Sales sequences, which let you create, schedule, and track a series of automated, personalized emails for following up with contacts and leads, is another feature usually not found in a free plan. Sequences are also found under the marketing module, with the same setup process and functionality.

The marketing suite includes lead scoring, forms, pop-ups, email templates, landing pages, newsletters, and other tools to both capture and nurture contacts. EngageBay offers a nice selection of templates for these tools, or you can create your own from scratch. I created a newsletter pop-up for my personal website using one of the templates and launched it by adding some code to the HTML.

While creating automated workflows is only available in the two highest-tiered paid accounts, you can design and send emails and videos to your segmented lists. The social suite lets you add and monitor your Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. I connected my Twitter account, and within a few seconds, my feed, mentions, and retweets popped up on the screen. From here, you can also schedule posts for channels. 

For basic support management, the service suite provides ticket creation, automated assignment, and a dashboard for tracking ticket priority, first response time, and ticket count. With the live chat feature, you can create an additional support or sales channel and then track total chats, chat duration, and first response time in the dashboard. I tested the chat tool on my site, and while it’s fairly basic, for those new to chat and/or those running a small business, it should be adequate.

Stretch EngageBay’s functionality even more by connecting it to Zapier. For example, you can add new EngageBay contacts to your email marketing tool or add new customers from your eCommerce site to EngageBay. 

Conclusion

Free CRM software is a great fit for small business owners when they switch from manual solutions to automated one. Free CRM software is a breeze in implementation and doesn’t require any license fees. By utilizing an efficient tool you will have access to all of the most useful contacts related information, anywhere at anytime with just a few clicks.

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