Free tools can be very useful for their ease of adoption. They accommodate the needs of younger or smaller teams because they make it easy to quickly get started using a tool.
A free CRM tool is a good option for your team if you have a small business, a tight budget, or if you only need limited seats or limited functionality. It offers the opportunity to test out software without committing to a payment plan.
However, a team considering a free CRM should be aware that there will likely be limitations with the software in functionality or in seats available. A free CRM will work well for a company that does not anticipate scaling up in team size or customer acquisition. Be aware that you may eventually have to switch to a paid plan or transfer your data to another tool if your needs exceed the free plan.
Teams researching free CRMs should consider the following tools:
- HubSpot CRM: Hubspot created a CRM that allows you to track sales, automate data input, and organize lead information. It's free forever, for teams of any size. It allows you to track up to 1,000,000 customers, users, and storage without any expiration date. It also automatically integrates with HubSpot's marketing and sales tools. Learn more here.
- Insightly CRM: Insightly is a useful tool for very small businesses. It focuses on time-saving features, like detailed sales reports and project management modules. Users can also integrate with several other programs that they're likely to use, like Google Calendar, MailChimp, Evernote, Dropbox, and Quickbooks. The tool is free for up to 2 users, and paid plans start at $12/month per seat. Learn more here.
- Streak CRM: Streak is a Chrome application that you can add to your Gmail inbox. It integrates directly to help you “run your entire business from your Inbox.” Setup doesn't require IT help—all you need to do is download the extension. The tool is designed to do the job of several external systems and be flexible enough to change as you grow. Learn more here.
As with open source CRMs, not every CRM will be right for your team, and it pays to do your research beforehand and consider all factors. Regardless of whether a CRM is paid, open source, or free, it will only be useful if your whole team understands it and can use it.
Perspectives on Free CRMs
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