Best Free CRM Software 2022 | CRM Guide

Popular CRM Software

Online sales, customer retention, and email marketing became pivotal for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many employees and clients now working remotely, Fortune Business Insights predicts that the customer relationship management (CRM) market will continue to experience significant growth over the next few years.

CRM software is used by businesses to streamline marketing and communications. It helps startups and enterprises alike improve their customer support and interactions while automating and optimizing much of the sales process. Whether your company uses spreadsheets to manage operations, wants to modernize its sales processes, or is a startup that’s just getting going, a CRM system can help consolidate all your customer information into one platform.

It often takes time, effort, and multiple trials to figure out which CRM software is best suited for you and understand how to use it. Companies unsure about transitioning to a CRM may benefit from first sampling a free version. This way, they won’t be losing any money if a specific CRM doesn’t work well for their business.

Free CRM plans generally don’t have the advanced bells and whistles that come with paid versions, but they can be valuable for small businesses new to CRM software or for larger businesses with many CRM users who don’t want to pay a per-user fee. Unlike a free trial that has a time limit, a free version lets you take your time learning the new platform. You’ll also have more time to decide which features are most important to your business before deciding on a specific vendor. Check out our Best Free CRMs of 2022 rating below, which we compiled from our rating of the Best CRMs of 2022.

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The Best Free CRM Software of 2022

Investing in a CRM system is more than just the money you spend – it’s also the time that you and your team put into integrating the software with your business operations. Here are some of the best free CRMs available today to help you choose the right no-cost solution for your business.

Freshworks CRM – Best Free CRM of 2022

Freshworks CRM  »

Freshworks CRM

Best Free CRM of 2022

Monthly Plan Cost
$35/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Annual

Mobile App

At the top of our rating is Freshworks CRM, designed for small to midsize businesses. Freshworks CRM offers CRM and marketing tracking in its Forever Free plan. Freshworks CRM’s free plan includes access for unlimited users, contact management, and lead management through lead capture forms and website tracking. Users can leverage the built-in phone system and web chatbot to extend their customer communication touchpoints. As needs grow, businesses can upgrade to a paid program starting at $35 per user per month (billed monthly).

HubSpot CRM – Best CRM with In-Person Training

HubSpot  »

HubSpot

Best CRM for In-Person Training

Monthly Plan Cost
$25/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Monthly or Annual

Mobile App

HubSpot CRM was built around HubSpot’s focus on customer and client engagement. Its free CRM plan provides the features needed to start tracking clients and prospect interactions as well as access to some of HubSpot’s marketing features. HubSpot’s free CRM tools include lead and contact tracking, ticketing systems to manage customer support, and marketing tools such as email templates and a website messenger tool.

As your needs grow, you can upgrade to add CRM and marketing tools with the HubSpot Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, and more.

Agile CRM  »

Agile CRM

Monthly Plan Cost
$14.99/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Monthly or Annual

Mobile App

Agile CRM offers a free CRM solution for up to 10 users, allowing businesses to manage up to 50,000 contacts and companies. Agile CRM also offers email tracking, custom sales pipelines, and lead scoring – making it a robust free solution for small businesses.

Agile CRM also offers paid tiers for companies with more extensive needs. Features in paid tiers include landing page builders, marketing automation, and customer support. Agile CRM paid programs start at $14.99 per user per month.

Zoho CRM – Best Budget Small Business CRM

Zoho  »

Zoho

Best Budget Small Business CRM

Monthly Plan Cost
$9/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Monthly or Annual

Mobile App

Zoho CRM offers free CRM tools for up to three users. The free solution offers basic sales management tools for leads, contacts, and accounts as well as call logs, workflows, and standard reports. Users can also leverage basic email templates to streamline communication and implement website forms to collect new prospects.

Small businesses considering purchasing a CRM or that will soon outgrow a free CRM should consider Zoho CRM’s paid subscription. You can upgrade the free version of Zoho CRM to a paid subscription of Bigin, Zoho’s small business CRM, for more customization options and additional functionality. Prices for Bigin start at $9 per user per month, which is why this is our pick for the best budget small business CRM.

Insightly  »

Insightly

Monthly Plan Cost
$35/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Monthly or Annual

Mobile App

For teams of two, Insightly offers a free version of its CRM. The free version allows businesses to manage up to 2,500 records, including contacts, leads, and accounts. Users can also add up to two custom fields for each type of record, allowing the business to customize the tool to work for their own business. With five email templates, companies on the free plan can streamline and standardize communications. The dashboard analytics can display up to 10 custom reports.

Businesses with more advanced needs can upgrade to a paid plan to unlock additional storage, integration, sync capabilities, and more support options. Insightly paid plans start at $35 per user per month when billed monthly.

Apptivo  »

Apptivo

Monthly Plan Cost
$10/User & Up

Subscription Plan
Monthly or Annual

Mobile App

Rounding out our rating is Apptivo. It offers a free starter CRM plan for one user. The CRM helps businesses manage leads, contacts, tasks, appointments, and notes. The selection of features allows a user to track the most important details about their prospects and customers in one simple system. Apptivo Starter CRM also includes tools to manage other key business contacts including suppliers, distributors, and employees.

Businesses with more users and more complex needs can upgrade to paid plans for $10 per user per month with a monthly subscription.

Customer relationship management software, also known as CRM software, helps businesses manage and track relationships with their customers and prospects. CRM systems are used to help businesses grow by improving connections with customers and streamlining processes. Adding a CRM system to your business can open communication between sales, marketing, and customer service teams to improve visibility and provide a 360-degree view of your customer interactions.

Here are a few reasons your business may need a CRM system:

  • Leads are falling through the cracks
  • You’ve got customer retention problems
  • Your sales team is spending a lot of time on repetitive tasks
  • Your marketing, sales, and customer service teams aren’t working together
  • You don’t have good visibility into your sales pipeline and revenue forecasting

A CRM system isn’t a magic bullet to solve all of these problems – you still need your teams to adopt the technology and change processes – but CRM software helps many businesses accelerate the sales cycle and increase cross-team collaboration. According to experts, CRM systems help organizations get to know their customers better and build long-term relationships with those customers.

Businesses that use CRM systems don’t just benefit in the short term. They also get long-term benefits as their business grows over time. A free CRM system can be a good way for small businesses to start managing their sales processes and gain visibility into their customer relationships.

The cornerstone of CRM systems is a shared database cataloging interactions with current and potential customers. This data allows users across your business – including marketing, sales, and customer support representatives – to share customer data in real-time. Plus, managers and business leaders can leverage reporting and analytics to forecast performance.

A big focus of CRM tools is sales and customer retention, as these systems track leads, accounts, and contacts through the sales process. However, a CRM system isn’t just a glorified address book. With customization options, businesses can track everything they know about a customer and integrate with other systems like social media to enhance that information.

Some CRM platforms also include tools to handle marketing and service. Marketing tools may include email templates, lead forms, and campaign management systems. The service tools support customers post-sales, either through customer service cases, project management, or both.

CRM systems can also reduce the time teams spend on repetitive, error-prone tasks such as data entry. Workflow automation also brings efficiencies for identifying leads, sending notifications, and creating opportunity cases. This frees up teams to focus on their specialties.

Integrations with other business technologies help move data between marketing, accounting, sales, support, and other departments to help with smoother invoicing, prospecting, lead generation, and more.

CRM systems are not one-size-fits-all platforms. Most solutions offer multiple plans with feature sets that expand as business needs grow. These upgrades often include marketing automation tools, customer support, and additional customization and reporting options.

When choosing the best CRM software for your business, it is important to take these steps:

  1. Decide why you need CRM software: Are you overwhelmed by your spreadsheets? Do you have trouble finding customer contact information when you need it? Keep these issues at the forefront of your mind, so you can find solutions in a CRM.
  2. Do your research: While most CRMs offer the same basics, there are some features that set each one apart. Compare the different standard features as well as the available add-on options and integrated third-party apps. Also, find out if a vendor offers an on-premise or a cloud-based CRM as the two offer different levels of security and customization options.
  3. Look at the vendor’s paid plans: Even if you’re currently comparing free plans, you may later end up needing the many features of a paid plan. To address this possibility before it becomes an issue, choose a free CRM that also offers affordable paid plans and the features that are most important to your company.
  4. Find the CRM vendor’s strong suit: If your company focuses mainly on sales and marketing, you may want a CRM platform that offers more advanced tools for these teams than one that includes customer service tools in its free plan. Or, if you’re always on the go, you’ll want a vendor with a useful mobile app.
  5. Review the vendor’s training resources: Part of the reason for getting a CRM system is to make your life easier by automating your menial tasks. However, if the CRM software you choose is too complex, and there aren’t many resources to help you learn, it will only make your life more difficult. Check reviews to find something more user-friendly.

CRM Price Comparison Chart

Nimble »
Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly $300
Yearly Cost – Billed Annually $228
Cost Difference $72
See Review »
HubSpot »
Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly $600
Yearly Cost – Billed Annually $540
Cost Difference $60
View Plans »
Agile CRM »
Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly $179.88
Yearly Cost – Billed Annually $107.88
Cost Difference $72.00
See Review »
Nimble » Company
$300 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$228 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$72 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
HubSpot » Company
$600 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$540 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$60 Cost Difference
View Plans »
Learn More
Agile CRM » Company
$179.88 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$107.88 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$72.00 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
Pipedrive » Company
$180 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$150 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$30 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
Salesforce » Company
$420 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$300 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$120 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
Zoho » Company
$216 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$144 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$72 Cost Difference
View Plans »
Learn More
Insightly » Company
$420 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$348 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$72 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
Apptivo » Company
$120 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$96 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$24 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More
Keap » Company
$948 Yearly Cost – Billed Monthly
$672 Yearly Cost – Billed Annually
$276 Cost Difference
See Review »
Learn More

While a free CRM seems like a good way to grow your business without spending a dime, many companies may find they require the advanced features and in-depth customer support that come only with paid plans. Still, a paid CRM solution doesn’t have to push your budget over the edge. Here are some tips to help you save money when choosing a CRM:

  1. Find a platform that offers a free trial: Not all CRM companies offer a free plan but you can often find a paid plan that comes with a free trial. These free trials typically last up to 30 days, giving you a chance to adjust to the platform and make sure you’re happy with its services before making a long-term commitment.
  2. Figure out exactly what tools you need: Many CRM platforms offer advanced tools such as call transcription and quote-based workflows. While these are all helpful, they may not be much help to the manager of a tiny marketing firm, for example. Don’t waste money on the complex bells and whistles if you’re not going to use them. Instead, make a list of the important features you need so you don’t overpay for unnecessary upgrades.
  3. Pay annually rather than monthly: Many CRM systems offer discounted rates if you commit to a year-long plan rather than a month-by-month subscription. If you finish your free trial and think your company can fully utilize the CRM platform for at least a year, opt for the annual payment plan and save some cash.
  4. Choose a user-friendly platform: Some CRM platforms offer more advanced tools and complex interfaces than others on the market. While this is great if you have a large staff dedicated to implementing the system and keeping up with its ever-changing updates, it may not be easy to navigate if you have a small team. Instead, choose a user-friendly CRM system with plenty of educational videos and demos.
  5. Find a plan with accessible customer support offerings: Some CRM companies include perks like 24/7 customer service in all their plans while other software providers charge you to upgrade beyond basic support. Easy access to company representatives will ensure you know how to use the service so you get the most bang for your buck.
  6. Find an all-in-one solution with many integrated apps: App integration is an important aspect of any CRM because more apps accessible within the platform means less time spent importing or exporting data. Built-in apps can include anything from communication platforms such as Outlook, G Suite, and Mailchimp to financial apps like PayPal or Venmo. If you want to add a standalone app to your CRM system, you might have to pay for it. Save money by choosing CRM software that is compatible with a wide variety of apps so you won’t have to worry about buying anything extra.

Free CRM software is a great place for small businesses to start. Generally speaking, it allows a limited number of users to test out some of the CRM system’s features to see how it will work for your company. Though some free CRM software, such as the Forever Free plan by Freshworks CRM, allows an unlimited number of users to access your system, most businesses will outgrow the limitations of free CRM plans.

It’s better to consider free CRM software as an in-depth trial of the platform. As your business grows or your CRM needs become more complex, you’ll likely find that you need to upgrade to a paid subscription to get the most out of your CRM system. When choosing free CRM software, it is important to consider the cost of upgrading the CRM software. Small business owners should consider free CRM software like Zoho CRM – our best budget small business CRM – because it won’t break the bank when it comes time to purchase a subscription. Small businesses and startups will find other top-rated CRM options in our Best CRM Software for Small Business rating.

When you upgrade to a paid CRM plan, you receive full access to the CRM software’s tools. Subscribing to CRM software will also allow you to add users and contacts and integrate the system with third-party apps. Check out our Best CRM Software of 2022 rating to find the right customer relationship management system for your business.

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For more information on CRM software, please see our pages:

Other CRM Software

Before choosing a CRM software for your business, look at our other reviews to determine which CRM is most suitable for your unique business needs.

Other Ratings from 360 Reviews

For more insight into other business services to help grow your company size, look at our other reviews.

How U.S. News Evaluated CRM Software

We explain what matters most when it comes to buying a CRM software by sourcing consumer and professional reviews. U.S. News researched the most important features of CRM services to provide an unbiased evaluation of CRM software. Our goal is to empower businesses with the information and tools they need to make informed decisions. More information about our 360 Reviews methodology for evaluating CRM software is available here.

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/business/crm/best-free-crm

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