How do you navigate the plethora of free CRM platforms available to your sales and marketing team? The Ascent reviews the top free CRMs and tackles everything you need to consider.
CRM platforms are absolute necessities for modern businesses, especially B2B organizations. These tools enable you to track the status of leads and ensure proper relationship management, prioritizing leads based on their location in the sales funnel and their behaviors toward making a purchase.
CRM software also manages communications tools, allowing users to track outreach and take note of any useful learnings.
CRM systems span all price ranges and come with varying feature sets. A growing number of these CRM platforms offer forever-free options.
These are significantly capped compared to the paid options, but they offer all the features necessary for closing a sale and as much space as you’ll need to get started and test out the system. Some are even fully free open source CRM platforms.
Whether you’re starting out from scratch or moving to a new system, there’s a ton of benefit in adopting a free option to make sure it fits your needs without taking any financial risks. Continue reading to see our best free CRM software options.
Here are our top picks for the best free CRM solutions for your business :
- Agile CRM
- HubSpot CRM
- Capsule CRM
- Zoho CRM
What to consider when choosing free CRM software
Choosing free CRM software isn’t much different than choosing a paid platform. The only exception is that you should be more confident in testing out new CRM marketing systems with features you aren’t familiar with.
There’s definitely a time toll that is taken if you have to bounce from system to system, but it’s worth trying out a different system or two for free before committing to their paid options.
Here are three things to consider when you’re deciding between multiple free CRM systems.
1. Breadth of features
Many free options significantly limit the number of features they offer in their free plan. This is expected and understandable, but it’s worth keeping top of mind when you’re reviewing different paid systems for B2B sales and marketing needs.
It will be hard to get a full review of your new system if you get access to a quarter of the features.
2. Benefits for your business
Keep note of how long it takes your team to adopt their new CRM. You want this platform to provide newfound efficiency and put time back in the day for you and your team.
Most importantly, the system should also automate processes that you currently do manually that take up too much time and leave you exposed to too much human error.
3. Breakdown of pricing tiers
Make sure you understand the different pricing tiers for the free CRM you’re looking at. If things work out for your business and your new CRM, you’ll want to be able to afford to upgrade to at least the most basic pricing tier. This will ensure that as your business booms, you don’t have to learn an entirely new system.
Our top 6 free CRM software for small businesses
Here are six free options that provide varying degrees of CRM features and capabilities at no cost to your business. These free options provide a great opportunity to test out a system without the risk associated with full committing.
Insightly is a CRM platform that’s designed for small- and mid-size business (SMBs) looking to improve their lead management and boost sales capabilities. Insightly offers a forever-free plan that provides everything users need to manage projects, record sales, and track contacts.
Insightly specializes in ensuring your business offers customers the best possible customer support. The platform is aesthetically appealing, with easy-to-use dashboards, cloud-based deployment, and it’s own superb customer service.
If you graduate to a paid plan, you have three to choose from. The Plus plan is $35/month per user and builds on the free plan with additional features and 100 pre-designed email templates.
The Professional plan is $59/month per user and adds the ability to assign leads to individual salespeople. The Enterprise option is $129/month per user and provides unlimited components for all the main features you need.
2. Agile CRM
Agile CRM is built for SMBs as well as freelancers. It’s one of the CRM leaders in terms of ease of use. Agile CRM developers have optimized the usability to deliver a logical, easily navigable layout.
Most all major features are just a click away at any time. These features include streamlined customer data intake, lead tracking, appointment scheduling, email tracking, and call-tracking tools to make and record calls directly in the platform.
If you ever need to graduate from the free option, Agile CRM offers three affordable pricing options. The Starter tier is $15/month per user and adds more marketing levers.
The Regular tier is $50/month per user and builds in help desk tools and reporting capabilities. The final option is their Enterprise tier at $80/month per user and includes extensive integrations and even more reporting capabilities.
3. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot is the free software stalwart for CRM and marketing software. The free HubSpot option is a combination of HubSpot’s CRM, marketing, sales, and services tools.
It’s as well suited for sales teams in need of CRM, as it is suited for marketers to automate communications. Key features include contact management, deal tracking, form builder, email and ad management, live chat with site visitors, ticketing support for customer service, and more.
If you decide to graduate from HubSpot’s free CRM to one of their hubs, you’re looking at a baseline price of $50 per month for two users. The marketing hub goes up from there to $800 per month then $3,200 per month.
The sales hub is similar at $500 per month and $1,200 per month. There is an option to bundle paid plans, similar to the free CRM bundle. But you can see that it’s a huge commitment to go from the free option to a middle or top tier for one of the paid hub plans.
There’s no doubt these are powerful tools, but it will likely be some time before you need to graduate to all the features, users, and more that are offered with those expensive options.
4. Capsule CRM
Capsule CRM is a fit for individual business owners as well as SMBs. Users focused on B2B sales are best served by the platform. It’s a cloud-based option with a reliable mobile app as well.
Features include lead management, contact organization, customer segmentation, and call support. The free version offers all the features, but it’s limited to only two users, 10MB of contact data, or 250 contacts, whichever comes first.
This does severely limit the scalability of Capsule’s free option, even relative to other free CRMs.
Capsule CRM is a relatively low cost if and when you’re ready to upgrade. The Professional tier is $18/month per user for 50,000 contacts, 10GB of storage, a ton of useful integrations, and more.
There’s also a Team tier that is $36/month per user for 100,000 contacts, 20GB of storage, advanced sales reporting, role definitions and team task assignments, and more. It’s unique to see limits on the storage, so be sure to keep that in mind when making your decision.
5. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is part of a vast ecosystem of business tools. It’s meant to be the single platform from which to operate all components of your business. It offers pricing tiers and capabilities that suit businesses of all sizes, from sole proprietors to enterprises.
Zoho CRM offers a streamlined, user-friendly interface for both browsers and mobile. Key features include lead management, sales pipeline management, and in-depth reporting and analytics.
Zoho has three pricing tiers to go along with its free option. The free option includes social media management, sales task management, event tracking, call logging, and up to 10 pre-built email templates.
Paid options for Zoho start at $12/month per user for the standard option, which includes workflows, forms, and custom reporting dashboards in addition to everything in the free version.
The Professional option is $20/month per user and adds real-time customer tracking and other features to the standard plan. Zoho Enterprise is next at $35/month per user and comes with AI tools, advanced reporting customization, and prioritized lead tracking.
The final Zoho CRM tier is $45/month per user and includes advanced AI and predictive analytics and maximum feature counts. The solution packs a punch at a great price, assuming you don’t have too many users.
Bitrix24 is a unique solution that stands out in the CRM space. It’s a fit for SMBs that need help communicating and operating efficiency across silos.
It offers everything you’d expect for some typical CRM features, including pipeline management, lead scoring, deal tracking, landing page and form creation, email marketing, and pre-built workflows to automate outreach.
Unusual features provided by Bitrix24 include task manager tools, project management, basic e-commerce capabilities, and more. The free option is capped at 5GB and 1,000 emails per month, as well as a few other restrictions.
A large majority of Bitrix24’s features are included in its free option. If you get to a point where you need to graduate to a larger plan, prices start at $24/month for two users and 10GB. It climbs up to $69/month for six users and 50GB.
There’s also a Business plan for $99/month for 50 users, 100GB, and an unlimited number of users per month for $199 and unlimited data.
All the CRM power you need at zero cost
After running through these six free CRM options, you should feel confident about testing out a CRM without committing any resources. A free CRM option is a great way to get your prospecting, sales, and marketing automation off the ground and built into a budding component of your business.
Free options offer everything you need to get going, and if you like the system you’ve chosen, you can graduate to a paid plan and take all your data and customizations with you. It’s a risk-free way to delve into a modern business necessity.