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Guide to Best Free CRM Software Solutions to Consider in 2019

Category: B2B News

This article has been updated for 2019 to ensure it includes the leading customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions. This is the list of all the latest systems that can manage your business relationships for free.

What is the best free CRM software?
The best free CRM software is HubSpot both in terms of popularity and premium features it offers. It’s one of the most robust free apps, designed to cater specifically to fast-growing SMBs, helping them boost repeat and long-term sales. HubSpot’s automation features and its sales pipeline management are also excellent reasons for using the app.

Customer relationship management software systems can help you maintain quality relationships with your customers. However, the budget is usually one of the biggest concerns for companies interested in implementing a CRM system that will allow them to keep up with today’s competitive business environment. Fortunately, there are many high-quality CRM solutions you can get for free.

In this guide, we’ll help you save time and money by listing the best 12 free CRM software of 2019 according to our experts, who examined each popular solution in detail. These products are perfect to jumpstart your customer relationship management efforts, but are also capable to scale up with you as your business grows.

Let’s now take a comprehensive look at the best free CRM software of 2019. This will help you get to know the product better based on each unique functionality, target user, and included features on its free plan. Once you are ready to scale, there’s also a list of what additional features you’ll get should you decide to invest.

1. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM dashboard example

Choose it because: it is the most robust free CRM, no doubt.

There is little chance you will find a free online CRM tools listing where HubSpot CRM doesn’t appear, and the reason is that this fully powered system delivers all functionality for free. While most CRM providers out there reserve premium capabilities for pay-per-use clients, this all-singing, all-dancing automation engine gives it all for free. You can easily get the free HubSpot app 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
9.8
User satisfaction
99%

The system is a prime member of a larger productivity suite, and a premier Google partner. HubSpot CRM features are designed to help small and medium businesses close more deals and obtain full visibility of their sales pipelines. HubSpot CRM comes with an automated engine that tracks customer interactions via several channels (email, phone, meetings, and social media); stores leads on a clutter-free timeline instead of messy and shared inboxes; and blends easily with third-party systems and similar applications. What is particularly likable about HubSpot CRM is the intuitive interface and easy navigation, but enterprise-grade users may find it too basic for the customer service they provide.

Who is HubSpot designed for?

The prime target groups are sole vendors and service providers, and small/mid-tier companies looking to support a moderate client base in the retail, accounting, real estate, construction, and similar niches. Note that the system is flexible in terms of storage and base listing capacity, and thus able to expand in line with your market activity.

What features are available for free?

As we mentioned before, all HubSpot CRM features, integrations, and support services are delivered for free. All you need to do is to create your HubSpot account, import your data, and let the system manage customer relationships on your behalf. This is what you will get:

  • Unlimited users
  • Contact management
  • Contact & company insights
  • Company records
  • Gmail & Outlook integration
  • Documents
  • Forms
  • Contact activity
  • Facebook & Instagram lead ads
  • Canned Snippets
  • Email scheduling
  • Email tracking notifications
  • Email templates
  • Conversations inbox
  • Team email
  • Live chat
  • Conversational bots
  • Calling
  • Meetings
  • Deals
  • Tasks
  • Ticketing
  • Reporting dashboard

What features you will have to pay extra for?

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:

  • Ad management
  • Conversations inbox
  • Conversational bots
  • Reporting dashboards
  • HubSpot branding removed
  • Email marketing
  • Lists
  • Phone support
  • Blog & content creation tools

2. Freshsales

Freshsales dashboard example

Choose it because of: Help desk integration

Freshsales is a lineup product from the popular Freshdesk family, and it was designed to meet end-to-end all the contact management needs of different businesses. The presence of a well-balanced and free-to-use package makes Freshsales particularly attractive to small and developing businesses, just as the jazzy, up-to-date interface the software is best known for. You can easily sign up for Freshsales for free here.

Freshsales

An award given to products our B2B experts find especially valuable for companies

Freshsales won our Expert's Choice Award for 2018

Our score
9.7
User satisfaction
95%

If you’re running an established business with a considerable lead base in place, you won’t be dependent on its paid plan’s lead capturing capacity, and that’s enough of a reason to use it and maintain the relationships you’ve already built.

What is particularly likable about Freshsales is its simplicity, both when it comes to jumping on the bandwagon and humbling down complex contact management processes. For free, Freshsales benefits include capturing, distribution, scoring and verification of leads via various communication channels, just as Insightly does. In fact, the freemium logic of both systems is pretty similar, with the difference that this system won’t limit users, storage, or support in its free plan. The other good news is that free Freshsales users get to integrate the system with their Freshdesk accoun,t.

Who is Freshsales designed for?

Startups, small, and mid-market merchandise firms focused on both attracting and preserving leads. Freshsales will also be a smart choice for companies with power-up help desks in place, in particular, current Freshdesk users. Large companies can consider it as well, as long as they’re not looking for an all-in-one help desk with CRM support.

What features are available for free?

Freshsales’s free package is called Sprout, and it compiles all necessary features for easy and successful contact management. It lacks the sales management capacity, funnel views,  and smart notifications available in the paid plans, but with additional software in place, it will easily cover the needs of any retail business. If you’re looking exclusively to manage a lead base, look no further.

This is what you get for free:

  • Leads
  • Contacts
  • Deals
  • Accounts
  • Email
  • Built-in phone
  • Integrations
  • Mobile apps
  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited support

What features you will have to pay extra for?

Freshsales offers several paid plans for users to consider, but they all target a tightly specified group of needs. The number of users, contacts, records, and amount of storage are not limited in any of these plans.

Here are the paid features you get access to with paid plans:

  • SMS Integration
  • 2 Sales Campaigns/user
  • Lead Scoring
  • 5 Intelligent Workflows
  • Basic Reporting
  • Integrations
  • Marketplace
  • iPhone and Android Apps
  • Gmail Add-on
  • Territories and Lead assignment
  • Advanced CRM customization
  • Auto profile enrichment
  • Reports Dashboard
  • Smartforms and event tracking
  • Multi-currency

3. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM dashboard example

Choose it because of: Sales force automation

Zoho CRM is another smart system you can position in charge of your relationship management activity, and do so without worrying that your free selection might be too basic. Keep in mind that Zoho CRM is not just a simple contact management app, for that purpose, the vendor developed a whole different product called Zoho ContactManager. Zoho CRM, meanwhile, is a fully equipped package for lead & sales management available for free for teams of up to 10 users. You can easily sign up for Zoho CRM for free here.

Zoho CRM’s plans differ in terms of communication channel availability, sales automation equipment, number of records, and custom modules, but one thing the company is particularly proud of is delivering unlimited support to users regardless of the plan they’ve chosen. The free plan is offered as a unified, customer-centric kit fully equipped for email marketing, visitor tracking, customer surveys, social media marketing, project management, and a really professional analytics board. The mobile apps developed by the company are also available in the free edition. Read our comprehensive review to learn more about Zoho CRM pros and cons.

Who is Zoho CRM designed for?

Small and medium business in the retail and service industry, looking for a complete sales force automation, email marketing and lead management system with reliable analytics. Sole proprietors are also invited to use it.

What features are available for free?

Zoho CRM’s Free Edition is currently among the most popular off-charge CRM tools, and the reasons are more than obvious. The unpaid package collates the best of the four paid plans and wraps it nicely in a 10-people working kit with unlimited support and access to Zoho products integrations.

These are the features you can get in the free edition

  • 3 users
  • Leads
  • Documents
  • Mobile apps
  • 24/7 priority assistance.
  • Salesforce 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 features will you have to pay extra for?

There are four paid Zoho CRM packages to consider, with prices varying between $12 and $100/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. All plans are billed monthly or annually and come with a handy 14-days trial where you can test their features.

Here are the paid features you can get:

  • Sales forecasting
  • Scoring rules
  • Charts and KPIs
  • Document library
  • Roles and profiles
  • Custom fields
  • Call center connectors
  • Webforms
  • Secure, encrypted transmission
  • Workflow rules
  • Social CRM
  • Email integration
  • Sales signals
  • Macros
  • Blueprint – Process management
  • Inventory management
  • Unlimited records
  • Google Ads integration

4. eWay-CRM

eWay-CRM dashboard example

eWay-CRM is a one-stop customer relationship software designed to help retailers boost their hold over their customers and convert CRM information into actionable insights. It can manage different areas of sales and marketing that are sure to increase bottom lines. The system comes with tracking abilities that enable users to come up with custom reports and analyze performance covering different organizations across a variety of industries. You can check the solution closely when you sign up for eWay-CRM free trial here.

Another llikable attribute of eWay-CRM is its customization feature, allowing users to configure it based on their requirements. This includes automated reminders and notifications. It comes with a user-friendly interface, too, powered by an easy to learn text editor and a drag-and-drop functionality. More conventional eWay-CRM features include customer, sales pipeline and marketing management capabilities. The vendor provides excellent support with competent teams on standby for customer calls. The platform is mobile-optimized so that you can access the system anytime, anywhere.

Who is eWay-CRM for?

eWay-CRM is highly-suitable for small businesses and retailers, giving them the opportunity to reap the benefits of a powerful CRM system for free.

What features are available for free?

e-Way CRM’s free plan is designed for a single user. However, it comes with all the basic features that meet the requirements of most businesses.

These are the features that you get for free:

  • 200MB cloud storage
  • Custom fields
  • No mobile apps
  • Email support

What features will you have to pay extra for?

e-Way CRM comes in two paid plans, a monthly subscription for $28/user per month and a lifetime license plan that is available for $399/user per month.

Here are the paid features you can get:

  • Monthly subscription
  • Supports multiple users
  • 10GB cloud storage (expandable)
  • Fully customizable
  • Accessible on multiple devices
  • Mobile apps (iOS and Android)
  • Email and phone support
  • Free upgrades and updates
  • Host on your own server
  • Email and Phone Support
  • 1hr free training/year

5. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 dashboard example

Choose it because of: Collaboration

Bitrix24 is another ring-a-bell name in the CRM software industry, and a very compact one having in mind that all functionality is available for free. Of course, Bitrix24 has premium and paid-for packages, but the only bridge to cross between those and the free unit is the different number of users. The coolest part of the process is that unlike other unpaid CRMs, Bitrix’s free plan involves as many users as you want (used to be 12).

Why Bitrix24? What we’re discussing here is a fully-featured CRM solution that collates all contacts on a single dashboard, manages them from there, and sends automated emails. For a small team looking to improve customer relationships, we’d agree this is more than enough. To make matters even shinier, Bitrix24 is equipped for comprehensive project management, in-time and secured document collaboration, internal social networking, and even video chat, which is why it is often referred to as a collaboration tool. Last, but not least, Bitrix 24 can be run on any platform, device, or operating system, and embedded easily on any website, app, or social media profile.

There are more Bitrix24 features that you can take advantage of. For starters, its interface is made simpler while retaining its power. Emails can now be sent and received through the system. You can also make your own landing pages and websites, which are connected to the app’s customer live chat, website forms, email marketing, messenger and automation tools. Kanban boards are also a made part of projects and tasks through its personal Kanban task planner. Its calendar has also been given a Schedule view, very useful if you handle numerous appointments.

Who is Bitrix24 designed for?

Bitrix24 is a highly recommended system for small and medium teams, where the priority is to use collaboration in service of better customer support. It is definitely a great choice for on-budget buyers because its free plan is open to use by as many team members as you deem necessary. Ideal for sales businesses.

What features are available for free?

As the company likes to put it, their free plan is a great hit-off alternative, but we are more fond of the idea that Bitrix24’s unpaid version works well also for established teams that know what they want. All basic contact management, enterprise social networking/collaboration, and project management functionality are already embedded in this plan, and what make the difference are the number of users, available storage, and sales automation. Read on, and you will see that the difference between the free plan and the pay-per-use plan is almost unnoticeable.

This is the content of the free package:

  • Chat, audio and video calls
  • Group chats (public and private)
  • Online storage
  • Personal/Group/Company drives
  • Cross-device synchronization
  • One Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box integrations
  • Online editing in GoogleDocs, MS Office Online
  • Local editing (MS Office, OpenOffice, LibreOffice)
  • In text search
  • Access rights
  • Public file sharing
  • Public folder sharing
  • Restrict public sharing
  • Document lock
  • Version history
  • Unlimited number of users
  • 5 GB of storage
  • Lead & contact management
  • Email marketing
  • Sales automation
  • Invoicing
  • Full telephony suite (100 phone call recordings)
  • Unified communicators
  • Task and project management
  • Document management
  • Planning, reporting and time management
  • HR and employee management
  • REST API

What features will you have to pay extra for?

In addition to the extraordinarily well-equipped free package, Bitrix24 offers its Plus, Standard, and Professional Packages that are only slightly different from each other. Once again, the leading distinguishing quality is storage. Users are, as expected, unlimited for all packages, and so is customer support. To make comparison easier, we focused primarily on features that these plans contain, and which are not available in the free plan:

Here are the available paid features:

  • Groups with external users
  • Absence chart
  • Activity stream workflows
  • Business process designer
  • Records management
  • Change pipeline
  • Recurring deals
  • Repeat deals and leads
  • Recurring invoices
  • Triggers
  • Rules for leads
  • Rules for deals
  • Webhooks
  • Custom rules
  • Business process designer
  • CRM access log
  • Bulk emails

6. RevampCRM

RevampCRM dashboard example

A popular CRM software, RevampCRM is designed for small businesses and online sellers, helping them boost their sales and marketing processes. This robust system is capable of streamlining businesses’ workflows while providing automated reporting. Key RevampCRM features include lead segmentation, email campaign creation and automation workflows. Other processes are automated by the system as well, including lead scoring, reminders, follow-up emails and task creation.

The above-said functionalities allow users to better nurture leads while pre-defined workflows and campaigns let them hit the ground running. The platform generates reports, reminders and visual pipelines, which are very helpful in closing deals, specifically B2B and B2C transactions. Other notable features include ticketing, invoicing, eCommerce recommendation engine and third-party app integrations.

Who is RevampCRM for?

RevampCRM is designed for use by SMBs and eRetailers who can get to enjoy its free but powerful features.

What features are available for free?

The software’s free plan is designed for a single user but sports all basic features that a CRM system should have.

These are the features that you get for free:

  • 2000 contacts
  • Tasks and deals
  • Smart Lead Clipper
  • Gmail extension

What features will you have to pay extra for?

Revamp CRM’s paid plans start at $7/user per month. They offer additional features that can change the way users manage their sales and marketing processes.

  • Here are the paid features you can get:
  • Contact Management
  • Sales Management
  • Automated Email Marketing
  • Automated Workflows
  • eCommerce CRM
  • 5000 email credits
  • Action-Oriented Sales Pipeline
  • Sales & Funnel Reports
  • Multi Pipelines & Currencies
  • Keep-in-contact Reminders
  • Personalized Email Marketing
  • Sell to Organizations or Contacts
  • Email integration with your contacts, deals and tasks
  • Task Management
  • Calendar Google Sync and to iCal

7. NetHunt CRM

NetHunt CRM Dashboard sampleNetHunt CRM is designed to help businesses capitalize on the strengths of Google Suite. This CRM is also packed with a wide array of tools and functionalities that are programmed to help businesses of any size or industry to better manage their important customer and business data.

It offers robust scalability and flexibility so that as a business grows, there’s no need to change CRM systems, only for some additional, more premium features needed to address the operational growth and market expansion. Being a Google Cloud partner, NetHunt CRM guarantees the security of user data and now offers additional resources that enable innovative solutions for business users.

Who is NetHunt CRM designed for?

This CRM is mainly designed for businesses to integrate a CRM into how they use Gmail and other Google Suite apps in their sales, marketing, and support operations, plus a wide array of features like data flow automation and 24/7 access to business information.

What features are available for free?

NetHunt is a rich CRM platform for any business size.  So this means whatever your budget is, this CRM solution has something for you. For startups, enthusiasts, and small businesses with a few teams (up to 2 users), its free plan is already full-packed with the essential CRM features. Businesses with bigger teams will appreciate its paid plans, which covers the necessary sales, marketing and support teams’ requirements, including provisions for custom development.

These are the features you get for free:

  • Gmail Chrome Extension
  • NetHunt Web App
  • Call Logs & Meeting Notes
  • Import & Export
  • Saved Views and Filters
  • Multiple Pipelines
  • Deals & Opportunities Management
  • Contact Management
  • Custom Filters & Views
  • Custom Folders
  • Custom Fields
  • Mobile Access
  • Follow-ups
  • Email Open Tracking
  • Automated Email Logging
  • Bulk Email Campaigns (1 per user/month)
  • Basic Campaign Analytics
  • Email Personalization
  • Zapier Integration
  • Online Support
  • Self-Service Support

What features will you have to pay extra for?

NetHunt CRM offers three plans–one without any cost for the user, while the other two are paid ones–and all plans have a 14-day free trial. The unlimited Free plan is ideal for small teams and startups as it can be used by up to 2 users and has the essential CRM tools built in. The Professional plan is at $24 per user/month (billed annually), allows users to customize NetHunt to suit their needs and take advantage of the robust unified Gmail CRM platform functionalities. The Enterprise plan is at $48 per user/month (billed annually) and provides users with full control, scalability, and flexibility of the CRM solution, including a dedicated Customer Success Manager and a customer development tool.

Here are the paid features you can get:

  • Google Calendar, Drive, and Hangouts Chat (for G Suite Integration)
  • Email Link Tracking
  • Bulk Update
  • Contacts Merge
  • HTML Templates Import
  • Custom Roles
  • Phone Support
  • Onboarding Assistance
  • Custom Development
  • Customer Success Manager
  • API Access
  • Permissions & Visibility Settings

8. Insightly

Insightly dashboard example

Choose it because of: End-to-end CRM service

If you’re looking for a granular-sharing, automated-tracking, and edge-cutting CRM tool available for free, look no further than Insightly. With a current user base of over 500,000, Insightly counts as one the most widely used small biz-friendly tools currently available on the market, in large part because of the neatly equipped free package.

Insightly continues to receive upgrades, among which is its Custom Objects feature, which enables users to make additional data fields while being able to model any aspect of the client journey. It can also be customized to suit real estate companies based on buyer, seller, property type, listings, and broker info. Equipment, logistics, shipping and work order, among others, can also be tracked. You will find a more detailed Insightly overview in our review of the platform.

Unlike HubSpot and Zurmo, Insightly is a freemium system where fully featured packages are delivered at a moderate fee. Nevertheless, they offer one of the most decent free plans in the CRM industry, designed for single proprietors and teams up to 2 users, and covering a basic portion of all functionality the vendor is famous for. Similar to their five subscription packages, the free plan is focused on group management and collaboration, and thus entails features such as onboarding sessions, online community, and social CRM. Migration to a paid plan, if you need one, is also made easy, as packages start at only $29 per month.

Who is Insightly designed for? 

The ideal Insightly user profile is small and developing companies at the initial stage of their CRM strategy, and those looking for a tool that will grow in parallel with their contact management needs. As it offers 5 paid plans to consider as well, we can also recommend it to larger teams and enterprises.

What features are available for free?

At first sight, all Insightly plans look the same and cover the exact same functionality, excluding premium support and smart notifications available to users of a particular plan. A serious drawback for potential users is that the free plan does not give users the right to use a dedicated mobile app. Yet, with 2 participants on the picture, this may hardly be a concern.

The functionality values and number of users, however, are limited depending on the amount you decide to invest. Our experts found Insightly’s free plan to be a great off-budget CRM option because it blends a decent dose of everything, and helps small businesses get on their feet without breaking the bank.

This is what you will get for free:

  • Lead funnel streamlining
  • Lead conversion
  • Customer social media account linking
  • Customer email attachment
  • Project and task management
  • 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 features will you have to pay extra for?

Alongside the free plan, Insightly offers three paid packages to meet the needs of different users. There is a free trial available for each package, and several supported payment methods (monthly or annually).

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. Basically, this means the company did well filling the functionality gaps from plan to plan, and allowing customers to switch options in line with their business’s development. Yet, potential buyers should know that support is different for each plan and that advanced features are only available to premium users.

Here are the available paid features:

  • Business intelligence
  • Collaboration
  • Business process modeling/automation
  • Connect to any app
  • MailChimp integrations
  • Onboarding sessions
  • Calendar & contact sync
  • Scheduled reports & smart alerts
  • Custom branding
  • Role-based permissions
  • Lead assignment rules
  • Workflow automation

9. AgileCRM

AgileCRM dashboard example

Cloud-deployed tool Agile CRM is a powerful platform that combines marketing, sales, web engagement, and service tools into a single product. It is popular among SMBs, providing them with a variety of features such as contact, sales, project and management, sales and marketing automation, email tracking, social media marketing, and customer service. The software helps corporate teams automate their sales and marketing efforts, resulting in process acceleration and increased accuracy.

AgileCRM has much more to offer, functionalities that are bound to boost your sales and grow your business. It can display contact activity histories such as content viewed, emails, and social updates. You are given total visibility over a contact’s activity history. Analytics allows for the tracking of web activities and subject lead behavior. The platform is also able to drill down into metrics using conversion reports, cohort analysis, and powerful analytics. Gamification is also possible, which lets you encourage collaboration and results in more conversions and income. More Agile CRM details are included in our comprehensive review of the tool.

Who is Agile CRM designed for?

Agile CRM is targeted at SMBs across a variety of sectors. Its massive features and functionalities such as contact management, sales and marketing automation, email tracking and landing pages, among many others, are bound to help these growing organizations. It’s also highly-suitable to these organizations as all basic CRM features come absolutely for free.

What features are available for free?

As previously discussed, all basic CRM features can be availed free of charge. All you need to do is sign up for the platform and you’re good to go. Once done you get to enjoy the following features:

  • 1,000 contacts and companies
  • Custom data fields
  • Lead scoring
  • Unlimited deals, tasks and documents
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Custom deal milestones
  • Email tracking
  • Email campaigns
  • Web engagement
  • Contact level analytics
  • Form builder
  • Email templates builder
  • Landing page builder
  • 5,000 emails (branded)
  • Web-to-lead
  • Marketing automation
  • Social monitoring
  • Mobile marketing
  • SES/Mandrill/Sendgrid integration

What features you will have to pay extra for?

For small and medium-size businesses who want more functionalities, Agile CRM is available in a variety of pricing plans. The platform gets additional features when you subscribe to a paid plan, which includes its Starter, Regular, and Enterprise packages. The following are some of the features that these plans offer.

  • 2-way email integration
  • Custom deal tracks
  • 2-way telephony
  • Post-call automation
  • Call recording
  • Automated voicemails
  • Knowledge base
  • Dedicated account rep
  • Onboarding coach
  • Access controls (ACLs)

10. Streak

Streak dashboard example

Choose it because of: Free API access

CRM software provider Streak is recommended as the system that can transform your Gmail inbox into a fully featured CRM, and attach just the right sales management and email tracking features you need to improve customer relationships. Using it, you can easily manage different support queues from your Gmail account, share files and exchange opinions with a single click, and use the data available in other Google apps you’re using. Similar with the other systems discussed on this list, Streak is uncomplicated and fairly easy to learn and offers a free plan that covers most of its basic functionality.

Streak has received tons of new features since it was first developed. It doesn’t disrupt your workflow so just you can move a lead into a third-party app. Team conversations can be structured, which can be channeled into a discussion. You can likewise collaborate easily using the app’s spreadsheet-looking interface. Lastly, you can use the system to upload proposals, mockups, and other project-relevant docs. Reports can be generated using the software, helping users identify hindrances to idea realization.

Despite having a relatively modest off-budget feature landscape, Streak is still widely used among small and mid-tier businesses. The reason is that the system is hosted in the cloud, and doesn’t require training or engineering consultations to update and maintain. Its flexible no-coding structure will allow the user to make all desired changes of his workflows and operations, including product development, mail merge, and thread splitting.

Who is Streak designed for?

Small, medium, and large Gmail using teams working in the sales and product development niche. Individual users are also invited to try it.

What features are available for free?

Streak’s free CRM package is fairly limited compared to professional-use off-shelf packaged provided by other vendors, but still combines all basic email empowerment tools, and is available to an unlimited number of users. Despite the notable gap between the unpaid and the paid plans, you can use it to track emails and get boxes for private pipelines. Data recovery and phone support are not available in this plan.

Here are the main features you will get for free:

  • Basic CRM suite
  • Mail merge/mass email
  • Tracking of 200 emails
  • Custom columns/fields
  • Magic columns/fields
  • Search/auto-complete
  • File attachments
  • Import/export capabilities
  • Mobile access for iOS (Android is coming soon)
  • Basic API access
  • Unlimited private pipelines (and boxes)
  • 50 Shared pipelines

Which features will you have to pay extra for?

Next to the Free Package, there are Professional ($49/user/month) and Enterprise plans ($99/user/month) to consider. Both features cover all advanced CRM functionality, over 750 Zapier-empowered integrations, unlimited email tracking, and advanced reporting. The main difference between them is the availability of a dedicated customer success manager, premium support, and data recovery (available only in the Enterprise plan). The number of users is once again unlimited, with the difference that you need a minimum of ten participants to acquire the Enterprise plan.

Here are some of the features due to payment:

  • Advanced reporting
  • API access
  • 900+ integrations (via Zapier)
  • Custom permissions
  • Data recovery service
  • Customer success manager
  • Unlimited email tracking
  • Unlimited shared pipelines
  • Webhooks API access
  • Reporting and formulas
  • Data validation, permissions, and incident recovery
  • Premium email/phone support
  • Dedicated customer success program

11. SuiteCRM

SuiteCRM dashboard example

Choose it because of: Flexible deployment

SuiteCRM’s developers like to think of their product as the best open-source alternative to top-notch CRM tools, and there is a lot at stake to confirm such an opinion. The first thing users find impressive about SuiteCRM is its robustness, which despite being confusing at times, still helps accomplish nontraditional CRM activities one hardly expected to get from an unpaid system. With SuiteCRM, there are no paid plans, hidden maintenance costs,  or recurrent fees – everything is offered for free.

There are more SuiteCRM benefits that will perfectly suit your organization. It has been given a compact design, which provides users with more screen room for their information. Its dashboard can be customized using a range of colors to better suit your taste. A REST API is also included in the system, which also uses authentication that complies with industry standards. Surveys can be created and distributed to customers from within the system, the results of which, are stored within the CRM for reporting purposes. Meanwhile, additional restriction on passwords, login attempts, and password requirement enforcement has also been added to the platform.

SuiteCRM delivers detailed actionable insights for each customer, helps increase sales and boost conversions, and takes excellent care of customers. It is also collaborative by nature, which means that you and your team companions can easily exchange opinions and access data. What is particularly likable about this system is its flexible deployment, as the company gets to chose whether to deploy it in its private cloud, a public cloud, a private server, or in Amazon. Whatever it decides, enterprise-grade support will still be available.

Who is SuiteCRM designed for?

As the vendor likes to put it, everyone. Our experts agree with SuiteCRM being applicable in any business environment, as it is simple enough to cater to small teams and robust enough to respond to large and experienced groups.

What features are available for free?

With SuiteCRM being an open-source, absolutely free-of-charge system, all features listed in their offer are available for free. All the user has to do is to choose a deployment method, and consequently download the system or subscribe for their service to maximize the potential of his contacts. Note that SuiteCRM is a very simple system to use, and thus eliminates all need for training and complex installations.

Here is what SuiteCRM offers to all users:

  • Customer self-service
  • Sales portal
  • Flexible workflow
  • Servicing
  • Marketing
  • ROI calculator
  • Finance management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Flexible modeling of business processes
  • Template quotations
  • Pricing strategy control
  • Contract renewals servicing
  • Q&A support

Which features you will have to pay extra for?

On top of SuiteCRM’s open source platform that you can download for free to customize the application according to your needs, it also offers premium solutions that you can use to scale. The SuiteCRM:onDemand is a service that gives you hosted CRM with no lock-in. The plan is built according to your needs by selecting the number of users, choosing your preferred level of support, and selecting the frequency of payment (it may be quarterly or annually).

Additionally, it has an enterprise-ready solution for a total care package that is SuiteCRM’s fully-supported and discretely built version.

These are the features you’ll get once you decide to invest and scale:

  • Extensive customer and technical support
  • Reduced code base
  • Tighter security
  • Indemnifications
  • Patent protections
  • Copyright warranty
  • Hosting
  • Multi-platform support
  • On-site and off-site deployment
  • Open source AGPL license
  • Warranties

12. Zurmo CRM

Zurmo CRM dashboard example

Choose it because of: Gamification

Zurmo CRM is another do-it-all CRM system that you can get for free, this time with a handy suite of gamification features designed to improve customer interaction and to produce incentives for better agent performance. This system is, in fact, a free open source CRM and contact management-exclusive tool, but you may be interested to know that the company also offers several preconfigured, fully-gamified versions under the name of CRM.me (prices start at $35/user/month).

Zurmo has been getting constant improvements as more and more users request for additional functionalities. The tool can now visualize all tasks using a Kanban board. This view can be switched to an all-task view when needed. Quick filter view options are also available now, including “hide completed” items, which applies to tasks that have been completed 30 days ago and “Items I own.” This view functionality can accommodate up to 1,000 tasks,

In a fashion similar to HubSpot, Zurmo combines customer relationship with marketing services, sales, and project management, but at the same time preserves notable simplicity that is often considered to be its strongest asset. Users can adopt it in no time and will need no training other than scrolling for a few minutes to see what is on the table. Another way to describe Zurmo’s interface is modern and fresh because it looks nothing like the rusty info engines and messy client spreadsheets your staff may be used to. Gamification features further support the idea of Zurmo being the perfect beginner-level CRM. Find more Zurmo details in our review of the software.

Who is Zurmo CRM designed for?

Zurmo CRM focuses on modern retailers and service providers, per-project teams, and small companies still wrapping up methods to interact with customers. The ideal usage level is beginner, but small offices with limited clientele often find its capacity fair and solid to preserve. We also recommend it to multinational companies, due to the variety of advanced internationalization features.

What features are available for free?

The free open source version gives users the capacity to build their own custom CRM application, and customize all processes until those meet the exact specifications of their brand. These are the features provided in the free package:

  • Contact management
  • Activity management
  • Internationalization
  • Developer-friendly
  • Mobile optimized
  • 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

What features will you have to pay extra for?

Since Zurmo is an open source platform, this means you get a fully functional CRM tool. The free version is already heavily featured and allows you to customize and build your own CRM system to match your needs. At the same time, it offers premium features such as:

  • Access to professional services
  • Automated backups
  • Continuous Integration (CI) tools
  • FTP backups to client-server
  • Premium support
  • CRM usage assessment

Is there real value in Free CRM?

Price isn’t always an indicator of value. Expensive products don’t always equate to high quality just as free products to mean they’re not good enough. In fact, 25-60% of big-boom CRM systems fail according to research by Elevation 43 strategy consultant Alexa Bridges in The Financial Brand.

Why? Investing in a tool that costs an arm and leg won’t plan a strategy by default for you. CRM is even still considered an executive concern, especially because many executives are missing the most important part of CRM according to Charlie Brown of Harvard Business Review. It highlights the “r” in CRM, which makes it more than just an efficiency tool but an actual relationship-building one.

CRM features

At the end of the day, a free CRM product that delivers its job well gives you more value than paid ones that don’t fit with your workflows. CRM solutions are valuable tools that don’t have to break the bank. In fact, 47% of companies that participated in a survey are offering their employees free social CRM. This stresses that in the world of CRM solutions, zero cost doesn’t equate to zero value.

We all know the good old one ‘when you get a horse for free, you don’t check its teeth’, but that’s not how things go with customer-focused software. Your CRM is literally the face of your businesses, and the source of operable intelligence no other system can collate. This is why even a free web-based CRM system should perform up to expectations, and give users an experience they will appreciate. It is therefore up to you to get the most out of your CRM.

The real value of free CRM software lies in their ability to help growing companies without them having to pay a dime, this makes these tools unbeatable in terms of popularity. There are lots of free CRM out there such as HubSpot, Freshsales, Salesforce CRM and Zoho CRM, all of which have the features that you’ll ever need to boost your sales and nurture client relationships. Taking advantage of these tools comes with huge economic savings to help you grow your business. However, there are certain issues that have been plaguing free CRM tools for years.

The fact that these products are essentially scaled down versions of their premium counterparts has always been a concern for users. However, there are features that make this ideal for startups and SMBs. First, they often enjoy the same level of support from vendors. This way, you do not have to worry if a system isn’t working as you expected. Leading free CRM platforms are known to satisfy all the needs of businesses, giving them an edge over competitors who do not utilize these tools. And then there are open-source CRM software that also come for free. These can be customized to suit any business’ unique needs,. Unlike paid systems, users do not have to spend for customization as this can be done by their own IT teams.

What are the main components of a free CRM system?

A free CRM system needs to cover the four basic—and most important—benefits: productivity, mobility, scalability, and support. It should offer an integrated approach to streamlining your operations and organizing data to manage and leverage customer relationships.

To deliver these benefits and simplify your business functions, here the core components you should look for in a free CRM system:

  1. Number of contacts, users, and storage. Some tools cap on the number of contacts, users, and storage space while others offer no limits. For SMBs and growing teams, having at least 10 users in a free CRM tool is a good number to start with.
  2. Lead management. Automating prospecting and improving lead quality help your team spend time and effort efficiently. This is essential in a CRM system to effectively manage your leads.
  3. Record management. To build a clean and organized slate, it is important for your CRM to segregate contacts and leads, create accounts, and manage deals individually.
  4. Reports. Accessing reports—while not as comprehensive or in-depth as advanced reporting—is crucial to extract insights and analytics to help you improve your relationship with customers.
  5. Integrations. Since it is important to connect the data from your CRM system to other business tools, it is important to find a free CRM tool that lets you sync business data and maximize insights through third-party integrations or API.
  6. Mobile CRM. Having a mobile app in the free version is essential nowadays, especially as it gives sales representatives access to the CRM software through their smartphone.

In this guide, we listed the best CRM solutions you can use for free completely at an unlimited time. After going over dozens of various solutions, our team tried to highlight the best budget-friendly options available so that you can find a product that will meet your company needs while at the same time leaving no dent in your spending.

Out of all the free CRMs out there, we found HubSpot to be the best option. It simply offers the best range and quality of features and gives you the opportunity to upgrade it in the future as your company grows. If you’d like to try it out you can easily get HubSpot for free here.

Incidentally, if your need is specific to retail, you can check our 15 best CRM software for retailers.

COMPARISON OF MAIN FREE FEATURES

Number of users

Number of contacts

Available Storage

Sales Automation Features

Email Marketing Features

Available support

HubSpot CRM

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

In paid plans

Integrated with HubSpot Sales and Marketing freemium plans

  • Phone
  • Tickets
  • Community
  • Live chat

Freshsales

Unlimited

Unlimited

Unlimited

Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Deals

Sales email forwarding, Bulk emails, templates

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Tickets
  • Training
  • Live chat

Zoho CRM

10

Unlimited

1 GB

Full SFA kit, Workflow management

10 Email templates, Email Opt Out

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Training
  • Tickets

Bitrix24

12

Unlimited

5 GB

Basic sales automation kit

Basic email marketing kit

  • Email
  • Training

Revamp CRM

1

2,000

In paid plans

In paid plans
  • Email
  • Tickets

eWay-CRM

1 200 MB Email forwarding

Bulk emails

  • Email

Insightly

2 2, 500 200 MB In paid plans

In paid plans

  • Community
  • Training

AgileCRM

10 1,000 Deals and sales automation

Email marketing

  • Email
  • Phone
  • Live support
  • Training
  • tickets

Streak

Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Private and shared pipelines

Track 200 emails/month

  • Email
  • Training
  • Tickets

SuiteCRM

Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Sales portal, finance management, modeling of business processes

Basic marketing suite

  • Q&A
Zurmo CRM Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited

Product development

Activity management

Campaign creation & management

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Tickets
  • Live chat

Really Simple Systems

2 100 100 MB Full SA kit

In paid plans

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Training
  • Tickets
  • Live chat

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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14 Comments »
Sergio says:

Why this article does not include EspoCRM, this is a very powerful FREE CRM!

Reply to this comment »
Dim says:

Completely agree. EspoCRM high customizable and very powerful. Also simple and very fast.

Reply to this comment »
Martin Devon says:

How does a free solution actually stack up against a paid solution? I’m thinking that even the cheapest premium plan is far superior to a free offering which is how I understand SaaS subscription model works. Free plans are simply entry level points with limited features that pave the way for you to upgrade eventually to paid plans. I can’t seem to grasp the value that you gain with a free solution if at the onset you might be better off starting with lowest paid plan available. I’d like to be clear on this as I’m a small business owner on the lookout for my first CRM software. I have a budget set aside for a premium CRM solution, albeit the most affordable one. But why should I go for free one instead of a paid one?

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Alex says:

If you have the means, and you say you have the budget, to go for the most affordable paid CRM software then by all means go for it. You are correct to say that premium solutions, even the cheapest ones offered, far exceed the offerings of free solutions which are inherently limited when it comes to number of users, data storage, and other functionalities. But that is the nature of free SaaS software. The vendor gives you an opportunity to try their product to jumpstart your CRM operation using their most basic features. The free software is not meant to sustain your lead qualifying and conversions for the long run; you need more robust tools and capabilities to do that which are offered by paid solutions. The gist of the article is that for small businesses with tight budgets, there are free CRM solutions out there that provide best value at zero-cost while giving you a solid footing and even sustain your operation for a time. Take for instance HubSpot CRM, a feature-rich, totally free system that gives you unlimited users and contacts, unlimited storage, all essential tools, and the best practices and techniques culled from the proven inbound principles. For a small business and for all intents and purposes, that is ultimate value at practically zero investment. A free solution is not meant to compete with a paid solution. That should be clear enough. Fortunately, there are solutions such as those in the article that give the same or even exceed the offerings of paid solutions which small businesses should be wise to take advantage of. Hope this helps.

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Emma Jimenez says:

Aren’t there any hidden charges, fees or additional costs when it comes to using free CRM solutions? I mean with the rich offerings of free solutions like those of HubSpot CRM and Freshsales, sometimes they are just too good to be true. Those two solutions I’ve mentioned offer unlimited users, unlimited contacts, and unlimited storage. How can these be made available at zero cost to users? Surely on the part of these vendors and providers, providing these “unlimited” features and functionalities entail costs and investments. How can they offer unlimited freebies without recouping the cost from their users?

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Alex says:

Not every CRM solutions provider can offer unlimited features to everyone. HubSpot CRM and Freshsales are more the exception to the rule. HubSpot and Freshworks which are the parent companies of the two CRM products I’ve mentioned are among the more established, stable, and leading solutions provider that have the capability to offer “too good to be true” solutions with unlimited features for free. They are trailblazers in the software industry and are highly regarded when it comes to CRM software. I have no way of knowing how they recoup investments from their free offerings but in the case of Freshsales, you have to pay additional to unlock more advanced features. Be that as it may, you have to go by the information that vendors put on their pricing page since they can be held liable for putting false or wrong information BUT not for limited information. It is best that you contact them and ask for details on their free plans so you can validate for yourself those unlimited offerings, and what it is for you if you upgrade later on to a paid plan. You may unearth valuable information beyond those that are published on their page regarding plans, prices, features, and other things. These are just my inputs and suggestions.

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Rich Reeves says:

Our team started with SugarCRM, but we transferred to HubSpot. It is more fit for us. More so now because we integrated it with our phone via a third party CTI (Tenfold). HubSpot's features combined with Tenfold's give our team an excellent unified view of our prospect/customers.

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David Weinhaus says:

Yes, CRM has become the hot big thing nowadays simply because it has produced proven results. And it will likely continue its growth driven by demand and necessity. The thing is CRM prices have gone down because of cloud technology providing an easy to use, cheaper, and accessible platform from multiple devices. Only 12% of businesses used cloud CRM six years ago, now that figure has increased to 87%! That’s why we’re seeing a proliferation of SaaS platforms and CRM is one of the biggest on-cloud adopter. Another thing is the growth of ecommerce and mobile purchases, which I think will be addressed more and more by multi-channel capable CRMs. Software cost and capability are also major considerations when it comes to acquiring business solutions like this.

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Kieran from Hubspot says:

David, may I just add that you're seeing widespread CRM adoption because it makes a lot of sense for businesses to take advantage of the benefits of a CRM system considering its potential impact on sales, marketing, and customer service experience. This is important. This article on CRM trends shows that 3 out of 4 customers spent more money with a company that provides positive customer experience. This creates strong brand loyalty and retention, and a CRM system gives you the tools and leverage to do that. I think many businesses have finally come to realize how indispensable CRM is.

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In reply to Kieran from Hubspot's comment, Pawan says:

The fact is that cloud is transforming the software industry and SaaS is replacing on-premise systems. A 2008 study showed that 88% of CRMs were installed on local computers, but today there’s almost a complete turnaround – 87% of CRM software are now cloud-powered. You are correct Kieran, the demand for mobile CRM and a flexible system that can be accessed from various devices is making cloud the preferred platform nowadays. By the way, great job on the article, the list of CRM solutions is really exhaustive and I can personally recommend at least a few of those solutions. I'm sure you'll benefit from checking out the tools, but as always, make sure you test more than one to be sure you get the best fit for you needs.

Bill Patterson says:

I guess it’s the affordability and availability of cloud-based CRM software today that is the reason we’re seeing widespread adoption, continued growth of the CRM market, and the great results for businesses as pointed out by Richard. It seems to me the huge demand for CRM will further drive the industry’s growth as there are projections that the CRM market will reach around $42 billion by 2018 from $24 billion in 2014. The article could mention more vendors offering free mobile CRM apps or mobile compatibility. Mobile CRM is on the rise and a studies showed that on average 65% of sales reps who have adopted mobile CRM have achieved their sales targets compared to only 22% of reps using non-mobile CRM. Is there a reason why many vendors do not offer mobile CRM for free plans?

Reply to this comment »
Alex says:

Bill, mobile support and compatibility are now integral features in most CRM offerings in the market and I think that is an important functionality which should be included whether they be paid or free plans. That being said, I do understand that by reason of scale or economics that mobile CRM often is not part of freemiums, and even for paid plans a full-featured CRM may not be possible in a mobile device. Hence, we get watered-down versions or mobile CRM apps allowing for basic tasks like accessing customer information and data while on the go. However, even now you can find some fully-loaded CRM apps for smartphones that allow you to complete sales and marketing stuff from basically anywhere. Such solutions do have a price tag most of the time though.

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Richard Young says:

I agree that CRM is indeed a game changer for businesses. I recently read an article on an IDC study that basically found out companies implementing a CRM yielded returns ranging from 16% to 1000%. Half of those surveyed reported returns from 50% to 500% largely reflected in increased productivity and enhanced business processes. Those are incredible results, with that many of the top CRM vendors having free or freemium plans if would be a sin not to try implementing a tool in your company. Having a free CRM tool can be a big boost especially for small and mid-tier businesses and those just starting out. I'm just curious, why are enterprise-grade features so often left out from free plans?

Reply to this comment »
Alex says:

Hi Richard! It's basically a norm that enterprise level functionalities are not included in free plans and are reserved for paid packages. But mind you, there are free plans with full, high level features that provide complete functionality. And some are scalable which mean that when you start small, you may only require basic features which come with free plans, but as you grow your business you may need more sophisticated features and opt for priced packages that carry those. On another note, I agree with you on the importance of CRM and its positive impact on businesses that use the system. Benchmark studies show that CRM applications account for increases in revenue of up to 41% per sales person, increase in customer retention of 27%, and – you’ll be amazed at this – improvements in Iead conversion rates of over 300%! I think this why the CRM market is growing at a staggering rate, and something like 91% of companies with over 11 employees now use a CRM platform.

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