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5 Freemium CRM Software Products and What They Lack Compared to the Paid Version

Category: B2B News

Much of your business’s productivity depends on how you manage customer relationships, which makes choosing an adequate CRM system one of your most important software decisions. Luckily for small and midmarket performers, popular CRMs of today often offer a free/freemium version for first-time users, and pack some of their key functionalities inside no-charge packages.

In this article, we’ll be looking at 5 top CRM alternatives you can get for free, and compare their unpaid and paid plans to help you make a moneyworth decision. For most of them, you won’t be required to provide credit card details or to make any type of long term commitment.

These are the most popular free and freemium CRMs you should consider this year:

  • HubSpot CRM
  • Freshsales
  • Insightly
  • Zurmo CRM
  • Zoho CRM

1. HubSpot CRM

Intended Use: End-to-end CRM and marketing operations for inbound sales

HubSpot CRM is without doubt the leading CRM system you can obtain for free. As a member of a popular productivity suite, this system offers unparalleled flexibility and blends easily with all type of sales processes. You can use it to track each aspect of your sales pipeline, manage over a million of users and customers, and import and manage leads from a variety of interactive channels. HubSpot CRM is also easily applicable in all software environments, as it provides an admirably long list of third-party integrations (Gravity Forms, Base, Bigcommerce, Sugar CRM, Dropbox, and many more). If you want to try out the software on your own you can easily get HubSpot for free here.

HubSpot CRM

This award is given to the best product in our CRM Software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

HubSpot CRM won our Best CRM Software Award for 2018

Our score
User satisfaction

The highlight of the system is neat data organization, as it helps you build beautiful and comprehensive company/user profiles, assign tasks and roles with a single click, and observe historically the communication with your customers. At the same time, the system monitors and controls agents’ performance, and helps reveal both positive and negative trends.

This is what HubSpot CRM offers for free:

  • Up to 1,000,000 users and contacts
  • Unlimited storage
  • Arranged customer documentations & client profiles
  • Automated importing from email hubs, phone databases, and social media
  • Phone integration
  • Custom views and pipeline management
  • Lead enrichment and automated tracking of website visitors
  • Fast leads backlog
  • Drag-and-drop communicators
  • Deal & taskboard
  • Templates & scheduling
  • Phone support, live support, tickets, training base
  • Wide range of product integrations

What You’re Missing

In order to make this module work in synergy with HubSpot Marketing and HubSpot Sales (when not acquired as a standalone product), the company developed several advanced features the user can purchase to expand the functionality of this system. These are:

  • Meetings
  • Messages
  • Sequences
  • Content creation tools
  • Email marketing
  • Social media suite
  • Marketing analytics dashboard

2. Freshsales

Intended Use: Legacy CRM for sales campaigning teams

Freshsales is another of our productivity award winners that makes enterprise-grade customer intelligence accessible to low- and mid-tier market users. With all key legacy CRM functions in place, Freshsales specializes in lead capturing via diverse channels, but also distributes, nurtures, scores, divides, and verifies leads in an automated manner.

What makes Freshsales a special and competitive player on the market is its unique reporting suite, as it offers an array of revenue analytic features, source and rep metrics, and ready-to-use templates. When collating and processing stats, you can apply a variety of modern filters, and group and organize results in many different ways including summaries, charts, tables, or complex matrixes. The system is also well-integrated with third-party software, and gives 24/7 access to a knowledgeable support team.

This is what Freshsales offers for free:

  • Unlimited number of users
  • Unlimited contact base & records
  • Unlimited storage
  • Lead capture & automated lead importing (phone, email, social media)
  • Full management kit for leads, contacts and accounts
  • Basic lead scoring
  • Advanced reporting
  • Seamless Freshdesk integration

What You’re Missing

Freshsales offers several paid plans for users to consider, but they all target a tightly specified group of needs, and may have the final say on the type of users that are going to acquire them. The number of users, contacts, records, and amount of storage are not limited in any of these plans. Here are the prepaid features:

  • Deal funnel view
  • Real-time email tracking
  • Templates & notifications
  • Google Calendar integration
  • Custom reports
  • Auto profile enrichment
  • Lead assignment rules
  • Territories
  • In-app event tracking
  • Website events tracking
  • Segment integration
  • Advanced lead scoring

3. Insightly

Intended Use: Contact management, pipeline management and task management

Insightly is a unique provider of end-to-end contact management which will provide you a holistic view of all customers, vendors, partners, and suppliers, and analyze leads on your behalf. In this role, Insightly checks and validates the background of your contacts, stores your email communications history, collates and organizes your project data, and reveals valuable opportunities. You can also use it to create project milestones and compare their progress to your planned timeline, and give your team a collaboration-friendly environment to share opinions and ideas.

At the same time, Insightly is a mobile-first system, with intended Android and iOS apps that keep decentralized teams connected. Data is accessible any time and on any device, and migrates easily from one system to another thanks to Insightly’s numerous integrations. The same as Freshsales, Insightly prouds itself with a knowledgeable support team, and gives novice users a large suite of training materials and onboarding assistance.

This is what Insightly offers for free:

  • The possibility to involve 2 users
  • Up to 200 MB storage
  • Up to 2,500 records
  • 5 Email templates
  • Mass emails (10 per day)
  • 10 Custom fields (2 per record)
  • 500 Rows of File import
  • 10 Advanced reports
  • Online community support

What You’re Missing

Put into perspective, Insightly plans are developed on a gradually increasing scheme, with each plan being available to more users, and offering larger storage or more records per user. These are the features reserved for premium users:

  • MailChimp integrations
  • Onboarding sessions
  • Calendar & contact sync
  • Scheduled reports & smart alerts
  • Custom branding
  • Role-based permissions
  • Lead assignment rules
  • Workflow automation

4. Zurmo CRM

Intended Use: Gamified CRM system with marketing automation features

The main reason to choose Zurmo CRM are its unique gamification features, as well as the unique combination of project management, marketing automation, and sales functionality. Despite of the fact it consists of several specific modules, Zurmo CRM is still reputed as one of the simplest and most intuitive CRMs for beginners. Another important highlight is that the system is completely free to use.

Zurmo CRM automates lead population via the Web-to-Lead Forms on your website, and lets you configure settings in line with your business specifications.You get a rich visualization engine to control your deals and customer interactions, and are able to generate effectiveness reports, which makes Zurmo CRM just ideal to identify and use cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. The system will collate and analyze leads on your behalf, monitor key performance indicators, and store your data in a secure and accessible location.

This is what Zurmo CRM offers for free:

  • Unlimited contacts with detailed and personalized accounts (360 views)
  • Custom dashboards, fields, layouts, and labels with dependent dropdowns
  • Global info search, language packs, currency conversion, and multiple timezone support
  • Lead management
  • Activity management (meetings, tasks, and notes)
  • Deal tracking (sales force automation, opportunity management, sales pipeline Tracking)
  • Custom reporting
  • Workflow automation with email alerts
  • Gamification
  • Marketing automation (email campaign creation; autoresponders; campaign management)
  • Product management (creation of catalogs, quantity management)
  • Advanced security
  • Community support and training documentation
  • Native Integrations with Gmail, Outlook, Zapier and more + Restful API

5. Zoho CRM

Intended Use: Lead and contact management and purchase control

Zoho CRM works equally well for small, medium, and large business, offering them end-to-end control of their leads and streamlined contact management. In parallel, Zoho CRM automates key sales and purchase operations, keeps a close eye on performance indicators, and engages potential buyers on platform where the user had limited to no access at all.

Why choose Zoho CRM? The unique feature of Zoho CRM compared to other freemium solutions is that it makes maximal use of social media platforms, where it engages and connects potential customers with the user’s products and services. While doing so, the system will also analyze their behavior and categorize them accordingly, so that you can send them the right incentives and invitations. The system is fully optimized for mobile usage, and comes with a well-planned list of integrations covering all Zoho suite products.

This is what Zoho CRM offers for free:

  • Support for up to 10 users
  • Sales force automation
  • Feeds for team collaboration
  • Social media features (Twitter, Facebook, and Google+)
  • Marketing automation (10 Email Templates, Email Opt Out)
  • Document Library (Folder Sharing, Attach Docs, File Versioning, Reviews)
  • Standard Reports
  • Web forms
  • 1 GB Storage
  • Product customization
  • Workflow management

What You’re Missing

There are four paid Zoho CRM packages to consider, with prices varying between $12 and $60/month. The main difference between the packages is the presence of email management and sales force automation capacity, while the analytic features offered by each are gradually improving from one package to the other. These are the main paid features:

  • Sales forecasting
  • Team collaboration between groups
  • Mass emailing
  • Custom analytics
  • 100000 Data Storage Records, 5000 calls a day
  • 10 Custom Fields & 2 Unique Fields per module
  • Slack integration
  • Synchronization with Google Contacts & Google Calendars
  • Full Inventory Management Kit
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Case Escalation Rules

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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Adam Edwin says:

Your article on the freemium CRM apps and what they offer surely helped me. Can you recommend any specific app for my needs? I own an auto finance firm that cold calls customers, pre-approves their loan, and delivers the vehicle to them. I wish to store customer information and the car they bought, and set reminders on when to do follow-ups, promos etc. Later, I wish to upgrade to a more robust software that supports email campaigns and more. Can you give any recommendations?

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Alex says:

My suggestion is you find an email marketing app and integrate it with a CRM. MailChimp is an ideal solution for your needs. It can do email marketing at a cheap cost and send out birthday emails/promos, etc. The CRM should help you keep track of your customers and remind you when to call them, their birthdays, purchases etc. To pre-approve customers for a lender, you can invest in a good auto dealer software which comes with CRM, accounting management, inventory management, credit reporting features, and sales performance tracking tools. You can easily get an app that integrates with MailChimp. You might need to do some digging to find a free product. Hope this answer is helpful to you. Happy hunting.

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