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Best Free CRM Software of 2023 | TechnologyAdvice

Best Free CRM Software of 2023 | TechnologyAdvice

Customer relationship management (CRM) software can do a lot of good for a business, but some of the more impressive solutions have pretty hefty price tags. There are free options, but what is the best free CRM? 

If you have some budget to spend, you can absolutely try Salesforce. For teams that are still growing and have limited budgets, are there alternatives to signing an expensive contract? Of course, there are. What’s more, we’ve gathered the best free CRM options below.

Best free CRM solutions

  • HubSpot: The best free option overall
  • Zoho: The best free option for multiple users
  • Insightly: Best for project and pipeline management
  • Freshsales: Best for lead management
  • Bitrix24: Best for unlimited users

HubSpot: The best free option overall


Pros

  • Unlimited users and contacts
  • Extensive training resources and guides
  • Comprehensive free version compared to competitors
  • Detailed insights into contact activity
  • Some AI tools included in free version

Cons

  • AI Content Assistant only available at paid tiers of Marketing Hub
HubSpot logo.

Our Rating: 4.5/5

HubSpot is likely to appear on any list of “top CRMs for X.” It’s a major player in the space, offers industry-leading functionality and integrations, and has some of the best organic presence on the Internet. 

The HubSpot suite of tools includes CRM, marketing automation, customer service, CMS, and more. It’s comprehensive and robust, and its higher-priced tiers reflect that. Luckily, they offer a free plan and a starter subscription tier for teams that can’t yet handle the expense of a SaaS vendor. 

Ultimately, there’s not much middle ground with their pricing tiers. Either you’ll be using their lower tiers for an extended period, or you’re already in a place to drop $20k+ per year or more for the premium HubSpot experience. On whichever side of the spectrum your team falls on, you can try it for free for as long as you like before investing.

Zoho CRM: The best free option for multiple users


Pros

  • Remote-first functionality and support
  • Ample collaboration tools for decentralized teams
  • Additional tool sets for other critical business needs

Cons

  • Free/low-cost plans have reduced functionality

Zoho is the second of three comprehensive tech suites on this list. The full toolset covers more than CRM and sales enablement. 

Thankfully, a free plan includes just the core CRM functionality. Unlike most free plans, it allows you to use up to three user licenses. Its rich feature set supports a wide array of business needs, from sales and marketing to customer support, integrating across various communication channels. 

With options like AI-powered sales assistant Zia, real-time alerts from SalesSignals, and multi-channel support, Zoho CRM ensures every team member is informed and equipped to respond promptly to customer interactions. Its unique Blueprint feature further aids in automating and streamlining sales processes, guiding sales teams through each step of a deal. 

Also read: Best AI CRM for 2024

Insightly: Best for project and pipeline management


Pros

  • Free forever plan for up to two users
  • Up to 2,500 records
  • Email templates
  • Send up to 10 emails per day directly from the CRM

Cons

  • No AI tools
  • All tools are capped in free plan
Insightly logo.

Our Rating: 3.9/5

Insightly is software that integrates CRM functions with project management capabilities. Founded to provide a comprehensive tool for managing customer interactions and organizational projects within one platform, It has evolved to support a range of businesses across various sectors.

At its core, Insightly offers a detailed view of customer and pipeline data, incorporating features like contact management, email tracking, and detailed analytics. It’s designed to facilitate the management of the entire customer lifecycle from initial contact to final project delivery.

Insightly’s CRM capabilities are complemented by powerful project management tools, which allow for the creation, tracking, and linking of tasks to specific projects and milestones. This dual functionality helps organizations maintain a cohesive understanding of both their customer relationships and project progress, enhancing overall efficiency and collaboration.

Freshsales: Best for lead management


Pros

  • Free for up to three users
  • Email tracking and integration
  • Strong mobile app
  • High level of customization for free tier

Cons

  • Limited integrations
  • Storage limitations
Freshsales logo.

Our Rating: 4.3/5

Freshsales is CRM software developed by Freshworks. Freshsales provides functionalities such as lead and deal management, email tracking, and an event timeline that offers users a comprehensive view of customer interactions. Its capabilities extend to advanced features like workflow automation, AI-powered insights through Freddy AI, and a versatile communication platform supporting emails, calls, and chat within a single interface.

Recent updates to Freshsales have focused on enhancing its automation and AI capabilities. These include improvements in sales forecasting, more refined lead-scoring mechanisms, and better integration capabilities with other software. Freshsales has also bolstered its user experience with a more intuitive interface and additional customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the CRM to their specific processes and workflows.

Also read: 5 Best CRM Apps in 2024

Bitrix24: Best for unlimited free users


Pros

  • Comprehensive toolset
  • Unlimited users
  • Available in 18 languages
  • Facilitates easy migration from other systems or CRMs
  • No-code RPA (robotic process automation) and other automation tools

Cons

  • Support limitations
  • Limited storage and data handling
Bitrix24 logo.

Our Rating: 4.1/5

Since its inception, Bitrix24 has evolved from a simple project management tool into a platform that supports a wide range of business functions, including HR, task management, and e-commerce. 

Bitrix24 is comprehensive business management software that offers a wide array of tools for collaboration, communication, and productivity. Its integrated CRM system is central to its functionality, allowing businesses to manage customer interactions, automate sales processes, and organize data across the customer lifecycle on a single platform.

Specifically, Bitrix24 CRM allows for handling leads, deals, contacts, and companies. It also includes capabilities for marketing automation, sales intelligence, and online payments, which are essential for businesses looking to enhance customer relationships and drive sales growth. The free version of Bitrix24 offers an impressive range of features, including unlimited users, which is relatively rare in the CRM landscape. This makes it particularly attractive for startups and small businesses.

Also read: Best Open Source Software (2024)

Common limitations and omissions in “free” versions

Since SaaS vendors are hoping you’ll convert from a free CRM client to a paid subscription, there are certain areas they’ll typically squeeze to encourage the switch. After all, if the free plan is aimed at army-of-one sales teams, they don’t need multiple user licenses, right? 

Here are a few examples:

  • Reduced number values (lists, segments, languages, automations, options, etc.)
  • Limitations on customer support
  • User count restrictions
  • User management limitations
  • Branding from the CRM on assets created via their platform
  • Simplified analytics and reporting tools

Also read: Best CRM Certificates & Courses for 2024

Making the right choice

The right CRM can provide significant returns in reduced overhead and improved sales results. The more time that’s spent finding the right match, the longer it takes to see that return, and the more resources that are spent along the way.

When determining the best free option on the market, remember to consider several key factors. CRM software facilitates the sales process while keeping your team organized. As a result, revenue should increase. With more revenue comes more employees, which ultimately means more people on whom to train your preferred CRM solution. Adaptability, ease of use, and scalability are paramount when it comes to CRM or any business software.

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