With so many different free CRM software available, figuring out which is right for you is tough. You know you want to affordably manage customer interactions, data, and relationships but need to figure out which tool is best. I've got you! In this post I'll help make your choice easy, sharing my personal experiences using dozens of different free CRM tools with a variety of teams and projects, with my picks of the best free CRM software.
What is Free CRM Software?
Free CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a tool that helps businesses manage customer interactions, data, and relationships at no cost. These software solutions typically provide basic functionalities needed for effective customer management, including contact storage, lead tracking, task scheduling, and sales pipeline management. They are geared towards small businesses or startups that require essential CRM features without the financial burden of paid software.
The benefits of free CRM software include improved organization and efficiency in managing customer relationships. They help businesses track customer interactions and sales processes, leading to better customer service and potentially increased sales. Free CRM tools also provide cost savings for small businesses or startups that might not have the budget for more comprehensive, paid CRM solutions. By centralizing customer information, they facilitate easier access to data and smoother communication with customers. While these tools may have limitations compared to their paid counterparts, they still offer valuable capabilities for businesses looking to manage their customer relationships more effectively.
monday offers a sales CRM with contact and pipeline management, process automation, and customer onboarding tools for sales teams.
Why I picked monday Sales CRM: This software has deal management and workflow automation features that sales teams, account managers, and business owners can benefit from. Users can set up customized deal stages to track their pipeline, automatically assign leads to sales reps, and view contact interactions over time. Sales forecasting and contact activity notifications keep sales reps planning ahead and responding to immediate needs.
For businesses where the sales team is at the forefront of revenue operations, this can be a great choice. The software does have features that marketing teams and customer support reps can use, but overall it caters primarily to sales teams. Customizable dashboards can also be created to measure sales KPIs and other performance metrics.
monday Sales CMR Standout Features and Integrations
Features include activity management, email tracking, email templates, workflow automation, custom pipeline builder, notifications, sales forecasting, team goals, and reporting dashboards.
Integrations include Airtable, Canva, DocuSign Easyform, Figma, Hootsuite, Jira, JustCall, Miro, PandaDoc, Tableau, Toggl, Twilio, and Zoho.
Price: Paid plans start at $10/user/month, billed annually
Free Trial: Free plan available
Companies using other monday products can stay in the ecosystem
Large knowledge base and YouTube channel to access support
Quick setup and friendly user interface
Those looking for a robust solution may not find every feature they need
Customer support is not readily available by phone
EngageBay has a free, all-in-one CRM suite for small businesses with automatic data entry, targeted marketing, and workflow automation features.
Why I picked EngageBay: The freemium version of this software offers many of the same features of a paid account, just with some limitations. Users can manage and segment contacts, create email sequences, build and test landing pages, and manage a help desk through the platform. It generally covers the basics of what your sales and marketing teams need from a CRM, with the greatest limitations being in the customer service features.
This software is a great option for small businesses that don’t require a robust customer support operation. Virtually all of the marketing tools are available in the free plan, but users are limited to 250 contacts, 1000 branded emails, and 500MB of storage. For sales, all you miss out on from the next plan tier is calling minutes and custom deal milestones.
EngageBay Standout Features and Integrations
Features include email broadcast and sequences, forms, landing pages, live chat, social suite, reporting dashboard, Facebook ads, appointment scheduling, and predictive lead score.
Integrations include Asana, BigCommerce, DocuSign, Google Meet, JotForm, LinkedIn, Outlook, QuickBooks, Shopify, Stripe, Trello, Twilio, Xero, Zapier, and Zoom.
Price: Paid plans start at $14.99/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan and free demo available
Virtually all marketing tools in the next plan tier are accessible in the free version
A/B landing pages helps users run tests
All integrations are accessible in the free version
Customer support features are limited compared to a paid plan
Freemium users can only access email and chat support from EngageBay
Streak is a Chrome extension CRM, bringing all of its functionalities directly into the Google Workspace tools (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Sheets, and Google Drive).
Why I picked Streak: App-switching is too often productivity’s pesky opponent, so the chance to connect a CRM directly with your most-used workplace tools can be appealing. Users can create custom pipeline views, track and view all contact interactions, and access contact data directly from Gmail. The software also has data importing and exporting capabilities and workflow customization features.
For companies that want to amplify the tools they're already using rather than migrate to a whole new environment, this can be a great option. In particular, professionals in the venture capital industry can benefit from the document organization and investment data access the tool offers. Likewise, those in the real estate industry can keep track of their client’s history and manage deal and commission information with the platform.
Streak Standout Features and Integrations
Features include email tracking, custom fields, A/B testing, custom pipeline views, contact timelines, smart inputs, automatic call logging, and a mobile app.
Integrations include Google Workspace: Gmail, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Meet, etc. Zapier can also be connected for additional integrations with a paid account.
Price: Paid plans start at $19/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan available
Reduces app-switching by integrating directly into Google Workspace
Straightforward features make it easy to use and benefit from all features
Email tracking gives details like when emails are opened
Smaller menu of features; some users might be seeking more
Lacks a ‘home base’ for users because it’s a Chrome extension
Really Simple Systems is CRM software built specifically for small B2B businesses, designed to be simple and easy to use.
Why I picked Really Simple Systems: Users can build and manage relationships, collaborate, and understand their KPIs with the features this software provides. Sales teams can manage their contacts and pipeline, create sales quotes, and plan tasks, events, and calendars. Marketers can use the tool to manage their campaigns, automate their emails and marketing, create segmented lists, and build web forms. Customer support teams have access to case management and reporting features as well as service level agreements.
Simplicity is at the heart of the platform, and the company’s philosophy is to make complex applications easier and more affordable. Their aim is to provide everything small businesses need for their sales and marketing without unnecessary complexity.
Really Simple Systems Standout Features and Integrations
Features include contact management, pipeline management, workflow automation, web forms, reporting and forecasting, lists and segmentation, campaign management, and service level agreements.
Integrations include Google Sheets, Leadinfo, Microsoft Azure, Onelogin, QuickBooks, Sage Business Cloud, Xero, and Zapier, which offers additional integrations.
Price: Paid plans start at $18.21/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan and free trial available
Simple user interface makes the software user-friendly
Many free how-to videos are available through their YouTube channel
Responsive and knowledgeable customer support team
Businesses in B2C may find not all features relevant, and others are missing
May not be suited for large enterprises
Bitrix24 is a complete workspace software that offers CRM, project management, HR, website, and collaboration tools all in one platform.
Why I picked Bitrix24: CRM software are robust tools on their own, but this platform goes beyond the scope of a standard CRM to incorporate all spheres of business operations. Users can manage their revenue operations with the tool’s lead management, sales automation, and quote and invoice functionalities. They can also plan and track their projects, manage employee schedules and requests, and build and manage their website or e-store.
This software is a good option for companies looking to do more with less and centralize various aspects of their business. For small, early-stage businesses, it’s a good toolkit to get them started. For large enterprises looking to streamline their processes, it creates a central source of truth. It’s also worth noting that the tool offers flat-rate pricing tiers rather than pricing per user.
Bitrix24 Standout Features and Integrations
Features include contact management, video calls, social media management, rules and triggers for deals, inventory management, live chat, and a website builder.
Integrations include Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Google Workspace, Mailchimp, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, Xero, and Zapier, which unlocks additional integrations.
Price: Paid plans start at $61/month
Free Trial: Free plan available
Users can bring project, workforce, and customer relationship management into one platform
Free version offers enough functionality for small business
Flat pricing tiers means no guesswork from per-user pricing
The user interface can be overwhelming as there are so many features
The CRM tool can not be accessed independently of the rest of the platform
Freshsales is a sales CRM by Freshworks that helps users personalize their customer communications and shorten their sales cycles.
Why I picked Freshsales: This software is a great CRM starter kit for sales teams. It offers contextual customer data, multi-channel customer communications, workflow and sequencing automation, and detailed sales intelligence reporting features. Users can build out their sales pipeline to visualize deal progress, and use activity goals to break down broader sales objectives into smaller achievements.
What’s unique about this platform is that it’s one piece of the broader CRM suite offered by Freshworks. Their other product modules include Freshmarketer, a marketing automation platform; Freshdesk, a customer helpdesk; and Freshchat, a multi-channel chatbot tool. All three of these additional software offer free plans and can be purchased separately so users can test them out and custom-build a modular setup to meet their needs.
Freshsales Standout Features and Integrations
Features include activity timeline, customer highlight cards, email automation, chat campaigns, automated workflows, sales sequences, pipeline builder, activity goals, product catalog, and reporting dashboards.
Integrations include DocuSign, Gmail, Outlook, PandaDoc, PayPal, QuickBooks, Slack, Xero, and Zapier, which can unlock additional integrations with a paid account.
Price: Paid plans start at $18/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan available for up to 3 users; 21-day free trial available
Users can build a modular CRM solution, leaving out any unnecessary tools
24-hour weekday phone, chat, and email support are available with a free plan
Add-ons are available to create a more customized plan
Advanced chatbot and communications reporting are limited in the free plan
Free plan users are limited to building just one sales pipeline
eWay-CRM helps sales and marketing teams manage their contacts, deals, and projects directly from Outlook and other Microsoft products.
Why I picked eWay-CRM: This software has contact and company management, email marketing, and sales automation features. Users can use the single, centralized database to store and access all of their contact data and send bulk emails with ready-made templates directly from an Outlook account. Automated workflows and reminders keep sales reps on top of every deal.
In addition to useful CRM features, the software can also be used for project management. The project management tool helps users keep emails, tasks, and meetings organized by project. Users can create tasks and subtasks in the platform and manage timesheets, billing, and deliveries. Again, all of these features are integrated into Outlook, meaning users won’t need to switch apps to access their project planning or CRM software.
eWay-CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include automatic email tracking, contact custom fields, notes and follow-ups, automated workflows, reminders and notifications, email templates, and project management.
Integrations include Adobe Sign, Microsoft Office, Outlook, PowerBI, Tableau, QuickBooks, WordPress, and Zapier, which unlocks additional integrations.
Price: Paid plans start at $20/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan and free trial available
Integrates directly into Outlook and Microsoft Office tools
Responsive and knowledgeable customer support team
CRM is connected with project management
Setup and getting to know the product can take some time
Not compatible with other email and workspace tools
Self-described as ‘one app to replace them all’, ClickUp is broad-spectrum software that includes CRM, project management, and HR, IT, and finance tools.
Why I picked ClickUp: Revenue operations teams can stay aligned with product and design teams using this software for their CRM needs. Sales reps can manage prospect and customer accounts, automate sales processes, and get real-time reporting in the platform. Marketers can collaborate on assets, manage campaigns, and plan content calendars.
The software also has specific features for product, engineering, design, finance, HR, and IT teams, bringing all departments together in the same platform. This means every team is connected and shares a workspace. The project management tool lets users visualize and plan projects, collaborate, and track progress across teams and departments.
ClickUp Standout Features and Integrations
Features include flexible pipeline and list views, over 50 dashboard widgets, customer onboarding, automated workflows, order tracking, and templates.
Integrations include Chrome, Clockify, Dropbox, Evernote, Figma, Harvest, HubSpot, Intercom, Outlook, Salesforce, Slack, Timely, Toggl Track, Zendesk, and Zoom. Additional native integrations are available, and Zapier unlocks even more integrations.
Price: Paid plans start at $9/user/month
Free Trial: Free plan available
Project management and reporting are in the same system as CRM
Facilitates company-wide alignment by bringing all teams into one platform
Highly customizable platform can be molded to fit virtually any business’ needs
Feature-rich platform, but can be difficult to navigate
CRM solution can’t be used separately from the rest of the software
HubSpot CRM is software that sales representatives, marketers, and customer service teams can use to plan, manage, and track the performance of their work.
Why I picked HubSpot CRM: This tried-and-true software offers contact, lead, and pipeline management tools as well as business intelligence and data analytics features. Sales teams can leverage the meeting scheduler, company insights, and deal tracking tools. Marketers can rely on the platform’s email automation, chatbot builder, and ad management. And customer success teams can manage their helpdesk, emails, and live chat in the same place.
Known for its quick setup, users can sign up for a free plan and get started right away. The simple and intuitive user interface makes the platform easy to navigate with minimal learning required. These factors make it a great option for teams that want to get a CRM solution up and running quickly.
HubSpot CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include form automation, ad retargeting, landing pages, list segmentation, email tracking, live chat, reporting dashboard, ticket pipelines, and company insights.
Integrations include Calendly, EventBrite, Facebook, Google Workspace, LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Microsoft Suite, Outlook, PandaDoc, Slack, Shopify Typeform, Zoom, and more. Zapier unlocks additional integrations with a paid account.
Price: Paid plans start at $1,781/month
Free Trial: Free plan and free demo available
Friendly user interface makes tool accessible and easy to use
Plenty of help content and community content for support
The platform is modular, so users can build up the stack they need
Free plan does not include customer support
Users may hit limits quickly in the free plan
Zoho CRM has features to help users build strong customer relationships, streamline their workflows, and manage and measure their business operations. A 15-day free trial is available for every plan tier.
Why I picked Zoho CRM: This software helps revenue operations teams create great user experiences with omnichannel coordination and data-driven personalization. Users can also build automated workflows and create assignments, escalations, and validations in the platform. The software has customizable charts and a range of data visualization options to analyze data and track metrics.
The tool’s real standout feature is its built-in AI, nicknamed ‘Zia’. Zia acts as a conversational assistant, giving users analytic and predictive insights on the go. This tool also scans customer emails for competitor mentions and sentiment analysis, giving sales reps and customer support staff useful information for navigating customer conversations.
Zoho CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include an AI bot, automated workflows, segmentation, attribution, omnichannel management, custom page layouts, reports and charts, sales forecasting, and a mobile app.
Integrations include Dataddo, DropBox, Eventbrite, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, PandaDoc, PostgreSQL, QuickBooks, Qwilr, Slack, Stripe, Twilio, WhatsApp, and Zoom. Even more integrations are available with Zapier.
Price: Plans start at $20/user/month
Free Trial: 15-day free trial available
AI-powered bot ‘Zia’ gives users on-the-go insights and notifications
Users can access the full functionality of any pricing tier free for 15 days
A marketplace of over 800 integrations makes it easy to connect your tech stack
Users will need a paid plan to continue using the software after the trial
Some terminology in the product is not standardized, which can be confusing
How I Selected the Best Free CRM Software
To find the best free CRM software, I started with a long list of the top-rated tools on the market, then evaluated them based on my set criteria.
Once I had a long list, I narrowed it down by comparing the tools against each other, taking into account my years of revenue operations experience to look for standout, value-add features. Finally, I considered which use cases each software might be best for, which I’ve reflected in my overviews below.
Here are the evaluation criteria I used to select each free CRM software.
You’re probably already balancing a suite of SaaS tools and apps, so the last thing you need is a platform that’s overly complex. A friendly user interface with straightforward navigation goes a long way, so I took note of how easy each platform was to explore.
Many customer relationship management software are designed to be used by sales reps, marketers, and customer support teams alike. But some cater more to the needs of one team or another, and this can be beneficial depending on your revenue operations and GTM strategy. In conducting my research, I paid close attention to what type of user each software was best suited for.
Not all free CRM solutions are built the same. Some offer email automation with custom fields, while others have drag-and-drop landing page builders. I made a point of noting standout features and special functionalities these various tools offer, so you can spot the ones that would make the biggest difference for you.
What’s the help of a Microsoft Outlook integration if your team uses Gmail? We’re all looking for new software that can connect with our existing tech stack. I’ve included a list of each free CRM software’s integrations alongside its overview to help you see how it will fit in with your other tools.
All of the software on this list offers a free version, whether that’s for a trial period or free forever. You’ll also find pricing information for the paid plans available for each tool to get a sense of what an upgrade might cost you down the line. Usually, paid plans depend on factors like number of users and storage capacity.
What are 5 key CRM features?
Different free CRM software offer different feature sets, but here are 5 core features you might be looking for:
- Contact management: A cloud-based repository of contact data like phone numbers, email addresses, company name, industry, job title, and social media accounts.
- Workflow automation: Setting up automations for core processes, like lead scoring, scheduling follow-up meetings, or setting customer interaction notifications.
- Email automation: Building and scheduling email campaigns, segmentation, email templates, and email tracking all fall under this umbrella.
- Helpdesk: Managing customer support tickets, automating customer communication workflows, and managing chatbots to respond to customer experience FAQs.
- Reporting and analytics: Reports and dashboards that track core metrics and real-time pipeline performance and give predictive insights like sales forecasting.
What are the benefits of free CRM software?
Much like other SaaS tools, the main benefit of a free CRM is that it reduces your team’s manual workload. Of course, there’s also the added benefit that it’s free! Here are a few additional benefits of using free CRM software:
- Creating alignment between your RevOps teams: When everyone’s working in the same software, it’s easier to stay connected and up-to-date.
- A single source of truth for KPIs: No more disconnection in how teams measure LTV or CAC — let the software measure and track your core metrics.
- Consistent messaging across channels: Create brand consistency by establishing standardized messaging and managing multiple channels through a single platform.
How much does a CRM cost?
Of course, all of the software included on this list have a free plan available. But once you’re looking for additional functionality like unlimited users or deeper data analytics, you might need to opt for a paid plan. The price of CRM software can vary, and many tools have a number of pricing tiers to choose from. Generally, the cost is calculated per user, per month.
What other operations software should I use?
These days, teams rely on their tech stack to do their work more effectively. Here are a few other operations software you might want to consider adding to your stack:
- Content management system: Software that lets your team create, edit, and publish branded content in a way that’s collaborative and organized.
- Business intelligence software: Software that facilitates in-depth data analysis to get a more nuanced understanding of your business performance.
- Project management software: A tool you can use to plan projects, assign tasks, manage workloads, troubleshoot bottlenecks, and track team productivity.
For businesses big and small, starting your customer relationship management journey with free CRM software has many benefits. When you go with a free plan, your team members are able to test out the platform and see if it works for them. Whether you want to implement marketing automation, streamline your workflows, or improve your lead management, there’s a tool out there for it.
Ready to invest? Check out our list of the best CRM software for 2023, which includes paid options that weren’t on this list.
And check out more reading material about the ways CRM software can support your team:
- What Is Customer Relationship Management? Your Key To Successful Growth
- CRM & Marketing Automation: The Differences, Benefits & Why You Need Both
- 8 Insightful Tips For Building Customer Relationships That Last
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