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The 10 Best Free and Open Source CRM Software Solutions

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Update 3/21/16: This post has been updated with additional CRMs based off of the great suggestions and feedback in the comments. The pre-existing solutions on this list have also been updated so their information is current.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. It’s one of the saddest facts in my life, right up there with my insane student debt and the realization that Taylor Swift will probably never talk to me.

But there’s good news! I just saved a bunch of money by switching to… no, I’m kidding.

The real good news is that, while lunch may not be free, Customer Relationship Management software can be!

Free stuff is exciting!

Free stuff is exciting!

Free CRM comes in two categories – free, but limited (also known as freemium), and open source.

So the free, but limited, versions set caps on the amount of free users, contacts, storage, extra features, or some combination thereof.

Open source, on the other hand, offers an unlimited, fully functional CRM to users. The caveat is that your company needs a person (or team) who can install and configure the CRM. Of course, because of this, open source CRM is extremely customizable, which is nice. Most open source CRM companies also offer a preconfigured version and/or installation and support for a price.

Where can you find these magical free CRMs? Well, I put together a list for you! Check out the comparison chart below and read the details about the CRM systems that interest you.

Please note that I have not placed these in any particular order. Each system is different and each one will serve some companies better than others.

1. SuiteCRM

SuiteCRM

SuiteCRM is an open source alternative to SugarCRM and is actually based on Sugar’s open source version. Sugar’s open source product is extremely stripped down, and as one reviewer put it “SuiteCRM is the best of all worlds. It’s based on Open Source Sugar, but uses Open Source add-ons to make it close to, if not better than, the ‘Pay’ Sugar.”

Suite offers a preconfigured version for those users who don’t have the ability to install/configure in house. The upgrade fee for that is £10 or roughly $16.40 a month.

2. CapsuleCRM

CapsuleCRM

Capsule is free for up to two users with 10 MB of storage, and 250 contacts. To upgrade, it’s $12/user/month. With the upgrade comes two gigabytes of storage, 50,000 contacts, and integration with such applications as Mailchimp and Freshbooks.

Capsule’s best feature, according to its many glowing reviews, is its ability to integrate with at least 33 other software programs, including Mailchimp, Freshbooks, and Gmail.

In fact, according to the reviews, the only place Capsule is really lacking as a system is its customer support. While they have a FAQs section as well as helpful articles posted on their page, if you need any help after hours, you’re sunk. In addition, they offer no direct phone service. Rather, you must submit a form, though they do claim to call you back within a single business day.

3. Insightly

insightly

Insightly claims on its homepage to be the “#1 online small business CRM.” I have no evidence to corroborate this particular claim, but I can tell you that they offer a great free program and a very friendly website.

Insightly offers their system free for two users, 2,500 records (which they define as any stored item from contact to note), 200 megabytes of storage and ten custom fields. New features on the freemium level include advanced reporting and 10 emails a day. The upgrade fee is $12/user/month and includes 25,000 records, and 1 gigabyte of storage.

The feature that really sets Insightly apart from other CRMs is it’s built-in email marketing system. The freemium level has very limited access to the email marketing system, which is not likely to be a problem because a business that small probably won’t have the bandwidth for email marketing tasks. However, when your business expands, Insightly will save you money because you won’t need to spend extra on a second system for your emails.

As they say on their homepage, Insightly is great for small businesses. For many small businesses two users is really more than enough. However, many reviewers have mentioned that Insightly is not ideal for bigger businesses, particularly because its functionality is not capable of handling the demands of a larger business. One particular example cited is that the email integration lacks a lot of user functionality that other CRM platforms don’t think twice about. It should also be mentioned that Insightly only offers support via the online community.

4. Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems claims to be the best CRM system for small businesses. (But it does not claim to be the #1 online CRM for small business, so there’s no rivalry with Insightly.)

Really Simple Systems offers a free two user system that includes 100 accounts (business that you deal with), unlimited contacts within those accounts, tasks, and 100MB of storage, along with free full customer support. When you’re ready to upgrade, Really Simple Systems has very flexible pricing. If you choose to forego certain features, you can get the pricing as low as $8/user/month.

Customers love Really Simple Systems because it’s actually really simple and they offer excellent customer support. I honestly struggled to find the problems people had with this system, that’s how much users love it.

However, I did manage to dig up one con to keep in mind. Cloudpro’s review, while generally praising this CRM, does mention that Really Simple Systems offers more limited functionality, and so works best for small businesses compared to large or enterprise ones.

5. FreeCRM

FreeCRM

Here’s another CRM that claims to be #1 at something. This time its #1 at online free CRM software for business (so again, technically no rivalry!).

This free version comes with 100 free users, 100,00 contacts, and all the basic features. The upgrade fee is $24.95/user/month for more features, storage, and support. Two major drawbacks up front: you only get one year free, and no customer support.

So what makes FreeCRM worth it? First, their upgraded system is actually one of the most affordable CRMs on the market for mid to large sized businesses. Second, it’s a web-based solution, so you don’t need to create an expensive and time-consuming infrastructure to host it on, meaning pretty much anyone can get it up and running with ease.

6. Bitrix24

Bitrix24

I like Bitrix a lot because it offers really flexible price options. I like flexibility. For a completely free account you get 12 users, five GB of storage and the ability to do anything you want with that storage, which is already a pretty sweet deal.

This is how it gets better. The upgrade fee to get unlimited users and 50 gigs of storage is $99, but if you’re not feeling that cause really all you needed was a few more users, or maybe just more storage… Bitrix totally hears you! They offer an additional 12 users to the same program for $25/user/month. And/or if you want more storage they offer a tiered pricing plan on that up to one TB.

If you’re looking for an installed CRM, Bitrix can do that for you as well (although it’s not free). For a one-time fee of $4990, you can get their small-business installed CRM (good for up to 25 users).

So that’s the pricing.

Overall, reviewers find Bitrix to be a very easy-to-use system. In addition, its document management feature is well integrated and extremely usefulWhat makes Bitrix really stand out above the crowd is just how feature-rich it is. Check out this (very abbreviated) list of all the things the free version comes with:

  • Project management features such as: tasking, gantt charts, and time tracking. (In fact, Bitrix is actually one of our favorite free project management software solutions.)
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Telephony features such as: call-recording, and dial-out from within the CRM.
  • Sales automation
  • Sales funnel + reporting
  • Invoicing
  • Sales team management

The drawback that reviewers all point out is that Bitrix’ aesthetics are a little rough at points. One reviewer mentioned that they use a flashing clock in the corner to remind users to timestamp all activities, which I could easily imagine is quite obnoxious.

7. Raynet

Raynet1

Raynet markets itself as an easy-to-use, does-it-all CRM. It’s free version allows for two users, 150 accounts, 50MB of storage, and full customer support. Upgrade to 20,000 accounts and one TB of storage for just $19/user/month.

Raynet’s system is very aesthetically pleasing and features an “account card” (featured above) where you can glean most of the information you need about a customer from a single glance, including how much they’re worth to your company.

All that said, Raynet is a fairly new company, and the fact that it’s headquartered in the Czech Republic may make support difficult for U.S.-based companies (though they have an office in Florida).  Additionally, perhaps because it’s such a recent entrant to the American CRM market, there is not yet much third party information or reviews on software.

8. vTiger

vTiger

vTiger is an open source CRM, that is also based on Sugar. vTiger was actually originally a part of Sugar, but both have since gone their own ways.

While you can download and install the open source version of the software for free yourself, vTiger does offer several preconfigured versions starting as just $12/user/month. In addition, vTiger also offers installation, support, hardware, and/or administration for a price. This paid version integrates with MailChimp, Intuit and Paypal, among others.

One thing that vTiger does really well is offer a wide array of features for very cheap, even on the preconfigured level. These features include billing, inventory tracking, and project management capabilities, all of which are fairly unusual to find in any CRM system.

From reviews, it would appear as though a fairly important drawback to vTiger is the fact that it has compatibility issues with PHP 5.6 and above.

9. ZohoCRM

Zoho

Zoho is one of the big dogs of business software, so it’s pretty cool that they offer a free program. This CRM version is free for 10 users and 5,000 records. It comes with a mobile app and social CRM among other things. Their first step upgrade (for more users, features, and 100,000 records) is only $12/user/month.

Zoho is well known for being easy to use with highly developed importing features.

Unfortunately, Zoho is not as feature-rich as other CRMs on this list and has some quirks that take getting used to. An example that one reviewer used was that, when exporting from Zoho, you have to be very careful to ensure that there are no commas in any records, or else it will split up the record when putting it into Excel.

10. Zurmo

free and open source crm

Zurmo is open source, and is unique on this list because it is also gamified. Zurmo was written on the principal that offering users incentives along the way makes users better employees. So the system sets goals, or ‘missions’ (which are different for different types of users) and then gives badges along the way to goal completion. It also allows coworkers to challenge each other to missions with set rewards at the end (like a gift card).

Currently, the biggest drawback to Zurmo is that it’s pretty new on the scene – which, being open source, can actually be a bit of a bother. Zurmo’s open source version lacks some fairly basic features such as social CRM.  This, of course, is unlikely to remain a problem the longer it sticks around.

Zurmo’s preconfigured version has now been spun off as it’s own cloud-based, gamified CRM system called CRM.me. The upgrade fee starts at $35/user/month.

11. Hubspot CRM

free crm

At the time that I originally wrote this article, I mentioned that Hubspot was coming out with a free CRM. Well, they finally have come out with their CRM so let’s talk about it.

It’s a 100% free CRM. They have a few “Sidekick” features, like click-to-call that you do have to pay for if you want them, but this is not a product Hubspot is interested in making much money off of. Why? Because Hubspot’s main product is their phenomenal marketing automation solution and this CRM is intended to be a gateway system to using Hubspot’s marketing automation software.

Having said that, let’s talk about what makes Hubspot’s CRM worth looking at. For starters, being designed by marketing automation specialists with the purpose of eventually convincing users to start using their marketing automation software, Hubspot’s CRM has some amazing data gathering abilities. Traditionally, all the data in a CRM must be entered by a salesperson. That’s slowly changing, but Hubspot really jumped in. They’ve got a leg up on the competition because they long ago figured out how to pull data about people from their internet doings and email engagement rates among other things. All those abilities are put to good use in their CRM, the point being, of course, to make their CRM an intuitive part of their marketing automation software. As a result, though, Hubspot’s data tracking features are head-and-shoulders above the competition.

It’s important to keep in mind that Hubspot’s CRM is extremely lightweight. It is really only an option for small to midsize businesses that have never used a CRM before. Of course, the solution is brand new on the market. There may come a day when this free CRM can compete swing for swing against a solution like Salesforce (who also has a companion marketing automation solution).

12. InStream

free and open source crm

InStream is a fairly new CRM, but it’s great for small businesses. It’s free for 2 users, and includes unlimited lists, social integrations, and basic integrations. InStream’s upgrade price is roughly $11.36/user/month (it’s £8/user/month).

One feature that makes InStream great for small businesses is its suggestion feature. InStream is able to provide in-app suggestions on how to continue working on a prospect, which is a pretty cool feature for a sales team just learning the ropes.

InStream is so new that it’s still a very lightweight CRM, which makes it ideal for small businesses, but difficult to use for larger businesses.

13. High Rise

free crm

High Rise makes CRM simple for small businesses. Their free CRM level gives you 2 users and 250 contacts. Upgrade to 6 users and 5000 contacts for $24/month (which works out to about $4/user/month!).

High Rise is a lean, mean, contact-managing machine – what I mean by that is that it gives a small business everything they need to sell, without cluttering up their dashboards with anything unnecessary. High Rise also integrates with many other software products that are popular amongst small businesses (like MailChimp and Zendesk), making it really easy to supplement any current strategies you’re using.

Reviewers like High Rise because of its “simplistic and affordable” nature, though, predictably, they mention disliking the lack of features.

Honorable Mentions

So that’s my round up. CRM, though, is a category that’s very rich in free and open source programs. Some others to check out include Sugar CRM, Splendid CRM, OpenCRX, EspoCRM, and Xtuple.

Finally, there are a whole host of cheap and affordable CRM options you should be considering that, even though not free, may be the perfect fit for your organization.

Get a FREE Copy of the Top 20 CRM Software

Are there any other great free and open source CRM programs out there that I missed? Put them in the comments below!

If you’re still wondering if you even need a CRM, check out my post explaining what CRM is and what it can do for you here.

Looking for Customer Relationship Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Relationship Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Cara Wood

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Cara Wood is a marketing associate at Capterra and a graduate of Mary Washington! When she's not hard at work at Capterra, she can be found horse-back riding, reading and just generally having a good time at life.

Comments

Thank you for your recommendations Cara – Bitrix24 is godsend, I was looking for free CRM with integrated project management

I’m so happy to hear I could help! 🙂

For a free CRM option Workbooks must be considered be it won; #1 for customer satisfaction at G2 Crowd 2 years running, Channel Partners 2014 Cloudy Award for most Innovative Cloud Best Practice; 2014 Cloud Computing Excellence Award; and Cloud Computing Excellence Award for the Second Time Running, and took home the gold in 2014 CRM Wars!!
Learn more at: http://www.lucidswitch.com/blog

Thanks! This is definitely a good option!

Free?? First of all free CRM means you simply cant afford a real solution that costs $200 a year? If you can, then you should at least try Salesboom or Salesforce!

Free is great! With open source, you can customize to your business, and for a small business, freemium is a godsend. Bigger businesses with the budget, of course, don’t want freemium because it doesn’t provide enough users etc for their purposes. Plus, as you have said, bigger businesses usually have bigger budgets. You should check out our blog post on cheap CRM, if you want more information – http://blog.capterra.com/9-cheap-salesforce-alternatives-make-crm-simple-amazon-com/.

This list is excellent! Trying Bitrix24 as we speak – and it looks great (after using Salesforce at my previous job for three years)

I’m so glad to hear it could be of help!

Second Manosh – Bitrix24 is excellent!

I think you missed one very important thing about OpenSource CRM. That is the creeping transformation of many packages into proprietary software just like SAP, Microsoft etc.

SugarCRM had been built on the shoulders of hundreds of willing contributors giving their time to develop and bugfix. Over the time the Community Edition of SugarCRM (the Software you can actually download and install on your OWN Server) became significantly different from the SaaS version. They are holding back the achievements from the community. Many feel that they are violating the OpenSource principles.

So the project forked and VTiger was born. These guys claimed to be “real OpenSource ” again. But then after some years they too started VTiger as paid SaaS and the downloadable version – guess what – became crippled…

You mention SuiteCRM. This is also a fork of SugarCRM. The people behind that project understood that the only way an OpenSource Software would stay free if they put all the code and project governance into a not-for-profit foundation. To be able to accomplish that task and to bring the software to an up-to-date level SuiteCRM started a campaign on Kickstarter.

I thought about it for a while and I contributed.

The campaign is still ongoing…
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1212639306/100-enhancements-to-suitecrm-in-400-days-open-sour

Thanks for the little history lesson! Good luck with the Kickstarter! 🙂

Cara I think you might have misunderstood my point. You are proposing OpenSource CRM to the readers of your blog. Some of the above mentioned are changing slowly to proprietary software. Users might want to know that (for me a show stopper!).

I do understand what you mean. I’d like to point out that the list is about open source software, not open source companies. Vtiger was included because I read many reviews, and overall, users have a very positive response to VTiger’s open source product. I disclosed they had a paid product as well. Sugar didn’t make the main list because reviews stated that their open source is very limited. I don’t have a problem with companies producing both an open source version and a paid version. Many smaller businesses lack the tools necessary to implement and maintain an open source product. However, if they like the software, why should they not be able to have it? Open source companies offering a paid version allows companies without the resources to use the same product.

[…] Here is an article that lists The 10 Best Free and Open Source CRM Software Solutions […]

Hello Cara,

A real good article I must say. The comparison between ‘Free but SaaS version’ and ‘Free Open Source version’ has been very nicely put up. Your article actually brings out CRMs that actually focus on giving more features, clean UI design and good user experience in their free open source versions and not those which do provide free open source versions but are very much limited in many things. I personally believe that Vtiger is one of the best in that segment and http://crmprogrammer.com is doing a good job in providing cost effective customization especially using vtiger free and open source versions. They have industry specific custom crms too that are developed using vtiger. These can be further customized and used as per individual requirement.

Thanks,

Hi Cara:
Thank you for taking the time to do all this research. Can you recommend a CRM specifically for real estate agents. Particularly something that will allow for custom action plans for clients?
Thanks

Hi, Art,

I didn’t actually come across any during my research, however, you should check out our real estate software database. I’m linking you right to the results filtered for client database and client/property matching. (You should play around with the filters to help you find exactly what you need.) http://bit.ly/1AK9ZMW

If this doesn’t help you as much as you need, please call us up at Capterra: 703-994-4500. Feel free to email help@capterra.com, as well. We have a CRM specialist who would be happy to reach out to you to help you find what you’re looking for.

Please let me know if there’s anything more that I can do for you!

Quick question for anyone. If I use a freemium crm and further down the line I need to increase users or contacts or need more storage, how easy is it to migrate the data if I use I different provider?

With pretty much any freemium CRM that you use, you should be able to upgrade to some type of paid level for more contacts etc. There would, of course, be no data migration in that case. However, if you’re trying to keep your CRM free, you’re likely going to have to move to an open source platform (which can be costly if you don’t have a tech team/person). In that case, the data-migration-ease-level depends entirely on the platform you’re migrating to. Some platforms make data migration/uploading easier than others. While researching, look for features like .csv upload. A few of the solutions I’ve come across even allow for platform-to-platform migration, though I apologize because I can’t remember the names of these solutions.

Brilliant Cara, thank you. It looks like it’s pretty straight forward on the import/ export side of things. I’m using insightly at the moment which is quite clever in terms of field management and data recognition. I can’t find the mail shot option though. I’m sure it’s right in front of me but can’t quite see it. Like any new toy though its a chance to have a play around! Thanks again.

I’m glad to hear it! By the way, we’d love it if you left a review of Insightly for us to let us know all about your experience. If you feel so inclined, you can just click the link: http://bit.ly/1DBdyHG.

Thanks so much for reading my post. 🙂

Love the article, I have been researching on small and simple crm’s to fit my company (my wife and I) I need something very simple. My wife and I raise dogs, so I need something to keep track of previous customers, new sales and the litters of each dog. I am the only one who will be using this as my wife is not technical at all. Can you suggest something for us? Thanks, John

Hi, John!

Thanks for asking! On this list, Bitrix and Zoho would probably serve your needs best (they both have unlimited contacts, and Zoho has free support!). However, given that you’re actually a retailer, you may be more interested in a POS system with CRM and Inventory Management. This would allow you to separate the dogs (your products) from the clients. Listing the dogs in an Inventory Management system could have its drawbacks, so I think it’s something to think about, not jump right into. However, POS fits your needs a lot better simply because it will be able to track sales – who bought what, when – and you can include notes about each client – their email address, why they chose the puppy they did. Anyway, it’s not foolproof but its a method worth thinking about. I’m actually about to publish a free POS piece in about two weeks. If you’d like I can email you the link directly when it goes live. In addition, there may be sometime of pet-selling software that might suit your needs even better. After, most POS system will not be flexible enough to track a dog’s lineage etc, which you may really want.

It seems like everyone always overlooks Dolibarr. Its Absolutely Packed with features;
– web site integration for support,
– tons of free and paid addons,
– almost every option os customizable,
– includes Project Management with all the bells,
– has a good selection of ERP and inventory control,
– looks good and has several free or paid skins,
– and is logical in layout and workflow.

And then add in that its FREE if self hosted…
2 hands up here for Dolibarr! I’ve used it for my last 2 projects and am now using it with a third.

Many thanks for the information… I found what I was looking for my business.

Hi Cara,
Did any one try EspoCRM?

We are business consultancy company and we sell knowledge and know-how. Company is rather small but we have up to 2500 contacts. Is there any particular software to recommend? Currently we use Act! v16 but it is very old fashioned and difficult to use and navigate. The layout is just awful – just like in Windows 98 ..
We really want to change it for something else; especially if we can improve without big cost.
Any help, please?

Monica – FreeCRM may be a great option for you. It hold 2500 contacts, like what you’re looking for. When you upgrade it’s only about $14 a month, so it’s very cheap. If you need more help, feel free to check out: http://www.capterra.com/customer-relationship-management-software/. You can filter the results and everything to help you narrow down your options.

Not sure I want cloud based CRM or ones with monthly fees. I want my data stored safely on my own PC. Now using older Goldmine 6.7 but my new laptop won’t run it hardly. Suggestions?

Hi Cara,
Thanks for putting together this list – very helpful! Do you know if any of these products can support attaching photos to the contact records?
Thanks!
-Gary

Gary:

A lot of CRMs allow you to do that. On the list above, at least Zoho, Insightly and Capsule allow you to. (The others may as well.) This link from Zoho can tell you how to do it for Zoho: https://forums.zoho.com/topic/attach-files-or-photos-to-records-using-zoho-crm-developer-api.

Brett – Any of the open source options on this list will be locally installed and monthly fee free. At this point, most CRMs are going to be cloud-based simply because it ensures that multiple users can all access the same information. As well, it frees up space on your computer, allowing to run faster. Your laptop’s speed is likely lagging because of all the space being taken up by your current solution. And because cloud-based is offered as a service, you will be paying those monthly fees.

If you’re interested in looking at options off this list, follow the next link. I’ve filtered our directory for you so that all the options you see are locally installed: http://www.capterra.com/customer-relationship-management-software/?utf8=%E2%9C%93&users=&platform%5B2%5D=23&commit=Filter+Results

Thank you SOOO MUCH for the list. Loving Bitrix24, free CRM with unlimited records is exactly what I searched for. Most ‘free CRM’ (looking at you, Zoho) limit features that are available to free users, but not Bitrix24. vTiger is also good in this respect.

Great list, well done. After database crash I’m looking for CRM for the magazine our family business produces monthly. We have nearly 1000 contacts on our system. We contact advertisers and book in adverts, our system also sent out email invoices which were later typed into sage. So a CRM with invoicing is what our son-in-law wants! Any ideas?

Great question, Ron! I would check out Bitrix – they have invoicing for sure. Zoho can also integrate with the Zoho invoicing product. I’m not sure if they have a freemium for their invoicing product, though.

Thanks Cara.

Hi there,

Thanks for putting this report together! I’m a new hypnotist/hypnotherapist who is quite new to running my own business. Perhaps a lot of CRM’s are based around physical products? Wondering if any of these would work for tracking sessions with clients, along with the finances associated with the same. Any thoughts?

Many thanks 🙂

Craig – All CRMs are set up to work equally well with services provided, not just products. And I believe the same goes for finances. So feel free to pick anyone that works.

On a side note, I’m not sure exactly how hypnotherapy and hypnotist practices work, but there’s a lot of software out there specifically for therapists and mental healthy professionals. It may be worth looking into. You could start here if you wanted: http://www.capterra.com/categories. If you just search “therapy” in the top bar, it’ll pull up a couple of categories you might want to research. Let me know ho wit goes! 🙂

Hi Cara,

Thanks for this article it definitely helped me. I was wondering if you could recommend a specific one for my industry. I run an auto finance company that cold calls customers, pre approves them through lenders and then delivers the vehicle anywhere in Canada. I would like to be able to list any of the relevant details of the customers, the vehicle they purchased and set a reminder of when to do follow ups, birthday presents, promo’s from us etc. Then once we are happy with the CRM we have and are proficient with the UI upgrade to a more feature rich option..email campaigns etc . Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks again

Hi, Josh! I have a few options for you.

1. It sounds like you mainly want an email marketing solution to integrate with a CRM. I’d check out MailChimp, because they seem to integrate with everything, but I also wrote an article about MailChimp alternatives that’s worth checking out b/c one of them may work for you better: http://blog.capterra.com/top-10-mailchimp-alternatives-small-business-email-marketing/. Email marketing is very cheap and can send out promos/birthday emails, etc.

2. I have no specific recommendations of a CRM based on your industry – any CRM should be able to keep track of your customers to remind you to cold call them, and when their birthdays are coming, etc (again, if you integrate with an email marketing solution, you will be able to auto send on their birthdays). The CRM should be able to keep track of their purchases as well. The only a CRM probably won’t be able to is pre-approve them for a lender. If that is a necessity, I would recommend checking out Capterra’s Auto Dealer Software directory: http://www.capterra.com/auto-dealer-software/. I don’t know much about auto dealer software, but I know that they can come with CRM, credit reporting tools, inventory management, accounting management, and sales performance tracking features. (And I’m certain you can easily find one to integrate with MailChimp.) Now, I don’t know that you could find a free one, but it’s likely with some hunting you could dig something up. I’m happy to help, if you’d like.

Let me know what you decide on!

Thanks Cara! I’ve narrowed it down to a single solution from your list, just wondering why Nimble didn’t make it to the list though.

I’m so glad to have helped, Hamzah! And don’t worry about it! Haha.

Sorry, I forget that Nimble isn’t free. I apologize, I wasn’t searching for for free solutions per say, just for the most cost effective ones for my needs. This helped though Cara, thanks again!

After reading this, for our small business with 2 users, I’m thinking Bitrix but still unsure if I’m right. We have to do a lot of cold calling across the world on email & cater to regular repeat customers. Which one would best help manage & mine a large cold calling list? We get our leads from the web from any number of places & are always worried of wasting time by duplication of efforts. Any suggestions please? Don’t mind paying for a CRM if someone can vouch for it.

Hi Cara,
I have just started a home based travel agency and came across a post by another travel agent who mentioned that she used FreeCRM.com in order to create credit card authorization forms, allowing customer information to come directly to her electronically, eliminating the need to fax/mail/prepare the form in person, especially in situations when the client and agent are not in the same locale. She also uses it to retain customer information. My question is regarding free CRM solutions. Since I am new to the travel business, I don’t know what I do or don’t need. I looked at FreeCRM, Insightly, Zoho, and a few others and I am concerned about using a free solution and then needing to upgrade (after the free introductory period is over) and pay $15-$25 per month for the service since I need to keep my expenses low and manageable. Secondly, if my business grew and required an upgrade, if I begin using one platform how likely is it that I can switch to another product? I would like to mention that I have created a social media presence (Twitter and Facebook) and I am in the process of sending out my first newsletter in MailChimp. I appreciate your feedback!

Well, with the exception of FreeCRM, ironically, all the solutions on this list are ALWAYS free, as long as you stay within their limits. That means, until you start growing you won’t have to start paying. I’m not sure which ones on this list would suit your needs best – that’s something you’ll have to look into based on what you already know your needs are. However, I can say right off that bat that Bitrix probably has the biggest free plan, given that you can have up to 5 users on it. As for the data migration question – I’m not totally clear on what you mean. If you want to upgrade within a company (go from Insightly’s free to paid plan, for instance) you wouldn’t have to migrate your data at all. Upgrading like that is easy as pie. It’s within a company’s best interest to make sure that your upgrade goes smoothly. If you are migrating between solutions (from Insightly to Suite, for instance), you will certainly be able to migrate. Some solutions make it easier than others, though. You’ll have to read reviews on the products you’re thinking about to learn who’s easier and who’s not, though. And as for social media, nearly all CRMs have a CRX component to them today so that you can follow your customer’s social media presence easily. I mentioned on this list who has CRX capabilities, I believe.

i WANT TO EXPORT AN OLD VERSION OF ACT AND WANT TO KNOW CAN YOU EXPORT CLIENT HISTORY. THIS IS FOR 2 USER SO NOT SURE WHICH IS BEST AND THERE ARE TOO MANY BELLS AND WHISTLES FOR ME TO EVALUATE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OFFERED

Would any work better for real estate Cara?

None on this list are particularly aimed at real estate. Check this list out for real estate specific CRMs. I’ve already filtered it for you.

Hi Cara,
Thank you for this .. it was very helpful. We are a manufacturer – we have a manufacturing software that does all our invoicing and inventory control. I need a CRM that will track contacts, how much time is spent with them, where they came to know us (web, advertising), and followup. Lastly – we have begun constant contact – is one of these able to integrate? Thanks so much,
Suzanne

I’m glad you found it helpful, Suzanne. Any one of these CRMs will have the functionality you mentioned. Most, if not all, should integrate with Constant Contact. You can check with a sales rep or features list to find out for sure, when you’ve narrowed this list down to the ones that fit you best.

Hi Cara
Thanks for all the work you are doing. I don’t mind paying a little but need CRM to manage small tour company. ie Taking an enquiry all the way through to a sale via email and phone, invoicing, email, paypal and emarketing integration. Never used a CRM before. Any suggestions welcome. Cheers

Charlie – With those specifications, you should be able to pick more or less any CRM. Of those qualifications, the only one not every CRM will be capable of is the PayPal integration, although I believe most will be able to do that as well. On this list, I know for certain that both Capsule and Zoho integrate with PayPal.
Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with!

Great article. I wonder if you can help me to choose the good fit CRM. Need to remind me to do recurring task, such as email specific contacts every 2 months, coffee meeting every 3 weeks, etc. Zoho works well but I have to upgrade to paid account. Also tried Bitrix but seems they dont have it for recurring task. Thanks!

I’m surprised Bitrix doesn’t offer a recurring task feature. Recurring tasks/reminders are a very basic feature and are typically standard. To be honest, that’s not even a feature I checked for when I was researching all of these solutions because I assumed they all had that ability. I would just suggest that you pick ones on this list that fit you well and reach out and ask a sales representative specifically if they have the recurring tasks feature. On a side note, did you check with someone at Bitrix about this feature? It’s very possible it’s just difficult to find. I only ask because the recurring task ability really is in the basic definition of what a CRM does. It shocks me that they don’t have that feature.

Finally, since you’ve outgrown Zoho, you’re likely to grow out of all freemiums soon. Cheap CRM might be the next best option for you. I would check out this list of cheap CRMs.

Cara, you are right. Bitrix has the feature. I was looking for it in ‘activities’ tab just like in zoho but it is in ‘calendar’. I guessed I’m too Zoho :). Thanks!

Glad to hear it Ari!!! I was very surprised to hear it didn’t. Let me know what else I can help you with!

Great article!

Free CRM solutions are so important since many small businesses can’t afford to use the big guys like Salesforce. If I may include one more, it would be 1CRM. It’s an open source CRM that includes a completely free 3 user Startup Edition. It’s an all-in-one CRM solution that includes full order & project management, in addition to the standard features of a CRM system. I highly recommend them! http://www.1crm.com

Cara,

I just want to commend you for continuing to respond to readers comments 7 months after you posted the article. That is just amazing. Reading through the comments helped clarify some of my questions and I’ll be sure to contact whichever CRM developer to further fine tune my knowledge. Thank you for such a tremendous effort!

– Jeff

Thanks Jeff! People have had so many questions, I feel like I would’ve failed the goal of this post (to educate people on free CRM) if I didn’t respond to their questions. And thanks for reading through all the comments and keeping things from getting repetitive! 🙂 Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you!

I have to say I have installed the new 7.2 version of Suite CRM and it’s just fantastic. I was debating using Salesforce, but my issue has always been that I never truly own my own data and I would have to do as much customizations in Salesforce as I would with Suitecrm. And I dislike plans that charge me per seat where I am forced to pay for users that only lightly use the system.

So with Suitecrm I get my fully customized system, control my servers,my data and I can add users who are essential to my work but only partially use the system.

The new version has a responsive theme as a default so it can be accessed with tablets and mobiles (before I believe that was a paid add-on). The only thing I do not like right now is the email system. It’s just very dated and I do not think it’s been touched in a long while.

I noticed earlier comments asked about real estate. I am a real estate agent in NYC and have customized suitecrm for my business to handle both the SOI and farming efforts for my team of agents (there are about 6 of us). Most real estate products are focused on generic sub-divisions and cannot handle co-ops, condos, condops, mixed use buildings, etc. Agents can quickly create lead records while they are around town and also update a client’s activity. We live our lives out of the office, so this is an amazing plus for us.

I have been able to install it and customize it myself (with the help of their forums to get me over some of the more technical issues). I will likely hire someone in the future to help with some more sophisticated aspects of it, but the bulk I was able to do on my own which I am sure has saved me thousands of dollars.

There is nothing to pay to upgrade, you can have unlimited users, etc.

Terry – Thanks so much for that detailed description/review!!! I really appreciate it.

Hello Cara,

I was trying to find a CRM for “Free.” So you mention Zoho in which I used it before a company I worked for. So after I set it up for my fiancé company it only gave me a 15 day trial. You or they “Zoho” never stated a 15 day trial.
So can you please tell me which one is free? I would be the only one using it.

Sincerely,
John

Hi, John,

Thanks for reaching out. It sounds as if you signed up for a free trial to their regularly priced CRM software. They have a freemium which is free forever. And actually, having just checked it out, it looks like you can now have 10 free users, instead of 3!! (I’m about to do an update of this piece, so that’s good for me to know.) I would suggest either calling up Zoho and sorting this out that way, or perhaps just cancelling your current subscription and restarting. This sign up page should sign you up for the free forever version.

As a note, most, if not all, of the freemium versions listed in here do have free trial periods for all their tiers, but the tiers that I’m talking about are free forever, with the single exception of Free CRM, which I noted is only free for a year.

Let me know if I can do anything more for you!

Couple days ago opensource.com wrote about EspoCRM
http://opensource.com/business/15/3/introduction-to-espocrm

Doesn’t look like HubSpot have released theirs for free 🙁

Hi Granulr!

I’m about to do an update on this article and I was looking into them briefly. They have released theirs for free, however, like all freemiums they do have caveats. I’m not super clear on what the caveats are – their page is a bit confusing, so I’ll have to talk to someone there. But I believe that you may have to purchase marketing automation software to use it.

We’ve recently and rather pleasantly stumbled across Streak. We now use the below two tools in conjunction with each other as an all-in-one tool for our sales team.

1. Streak – a CRM that sits inside your gmail inbox. Until using this we didn’t realise how much time was wasted going between our normal emails and CRM systems. A real breath of fresh air.

2. Found.ly. This works pre-CRM. It’s a sales prospecting tool which allows your reps to find and build targeted lists of leads including email, and phone records and reach out directly to them.

We use Found.ly fundamentally as our way to scalably grow our outbound sales activity and Streak to manage through the pipeline.

Thanks Sales Tech Roberts! That is definitely a creative way of doing it. It might work for others! 🙂

Hi Cara,

Your blog is proving very influential and we have received a great deal of interest at http://www.reallysimplesystems.com/. However, there are a couple of inaccuracies that I would like to point out: on your comparison table the box is blank for storage and states ‘No’ for Free Support. At Really Simple Systems the Free Edition includes 100Mb of storage and full support is included.

On the upgrade information, the table states we charge $15/user/month (for 5 years). I’m not sure where that has come from as the cost is $15 /user/month for up to 5 users – though the customer keeps their 2 free users from the Free Edition so would only pay for the extra 3. The upgrade to our Premium Edition is actually pay-as-you-go and, depending upon which additional features the customers wants, e.g. extra accounts, MailSync etc, so they could be paying as little as $8 per month.

I hope this is useful.

Helen-

Thanks so much for letting me know! I’m working on updating this within the month, so this is incredibly helpful info for me. All of that will be updated shortly. 🙂

Hi Cara,
Your article is good but i am not getting why you saying Sugar CRM is stripped down.
SugarCRM presents freemium pricing model also and now it is a mature CRM while SuiteCrm is launched in 2013.

Thanks for asking Abbie!

I chose not to include Sugar because, since they started selling a paid edition, their open source code comes with a lot less out of the box than a SuiteCRM. I also just checked their pricing and I’m not seeing a freemium edition. Would you link me to it? I’m pulling together the research for an update right now, and I’d love to include freemium Sugar!

Cara,

Thank you so much for the article and your responds, I found them very useful! I have a quick question, could you please recommend the best, free or cheap CRM for higher education institutions (recruit and enrol students)? I have been looking for one.

Best,
Novis

Novis: Thanks for asking. I just talked to our school admin software specialist here (check out her blog). Rachel informed me that most/all school admin software should have a built in CRM for tracking parents. She recommended you check out these free/open source school admin software options for a solution specialized for schools. If you’re not using the CRM to track parents, but rather donors, I’d recommend checking out these free/open source membership management systems. If neither of those types sound right to you, let me know and I can see if I can help narrow down a CRM for you.

This is a nice article but as CRM is highly competitive and ever changing market, probably you need to update this article with current data like FreeCRM is free for 100 users, Insightly is free for 2 users and few more. I have read similar article in another website that has more recent data.
http://www.techonestop.com/2015/04/best-could-based-free-crm-software-small-business.html

Allen – Thanks so much! I actually know all of that already. We’re going to publish the update this week. 🙂 It’s crazy how much all these solutions have change in just 6 mos! I also have two new solutions to add the list so stay tuned!

This is awesome info! It’s so overwhelming how many different options their are!
I’m looking for something either Free or paid for that will sinc with my google calendar, send auto-marketing campaigns, let me track and create reminders to call or contact via email/text/mail/in person etc.. It would be super cool if it could generate contracts, and invoices, but maybe that’s asking a bit much. Just new to all of this and have only used Zoho and a quick Intro to Infusionsoft. I just have a home office for now but over 1000 contacts to upload. Would it sinc contacts from my phone and a few email accounts, Facebook and LinkedIn? I want the CRM to do it all, but like I said I’m a rookie here:) let me know what the most cost effective version would be and which options Id be letting go of in order to save costs..? Thank you so much!!!!

Thanks for the tip Rob!

Erin – Any CRM should be capable of syncing with your Google calenday and let you track and create reminders about your contacts. I know that most, if not all, can create invoices. Some CRMs may be able to get your contacts off of your phone and social media, but I wouldn’t know them off the top of my head. Usually, CRMs require you to upload a list of your contacts in .CSV format. As for generating contracts… I’m honestly not sure if any CRM can do that, although I imagine there’s a solution out there that probably can. It’s a a question worth asking the solutions you choose to look at. And as for email marketing – that’s not something CRMs do. That’s actually a different software called, well… email marketing software. I’m sure there are free email marketing solutions, though I don’t know of any. I recommend checking out my list of cheap email marketing software to start your search, though.

Zoho is probably the best option available to you that’s currently on this list. I’m doing an update at the end of this week and I’m adding the solution HubSpot on here. They have a totally free solution for however many users, contacts, etc. that might be worth looking into. The only problem with them that I foresee: Hubspot is primarily a marketing automation solution, but they are expensive. That means, if you decide you want to pay something like $200 a month, you can easily integrate some of the best email marketing etc. available to the industry today into your CRM. Conversely, I suspect that if you decide you wanted to go with something cheaper, like MailChimp, you may find it very hard to integrate.

Hi Cara,
Interesting read. One I have been trying out is Odoo (formerly OpenERP) really handy with a boasted ~4000 modules for POS, Fleet Management, CRM, CMS, Real Estate and much much more.
Would recommend checking it out sometime.
https://www.odoo.com/

Very informative. I look forward to the updated list ! 🙂

WOW so much commercials. Seriously give Dolibarr a chance, has a huge amount of languages and it beats every price I have seen here so far. It is really free and is php. you even can edit your documents in it with libreoffice. And it has kind of an appstore, where you can buy from 160 modules like SCRUM and POS. Great community, a real rising star wit hERPand CRM integration.
Put dolibarr on the list!

Cara,

I am a solo attorney that developed an app to scrape circuit court websites for potential clients may have bankruptcy, DUI, foreclosure and family law cases. The app takes their addresses, charges and names and puts it in a excel spreadsheet and I can then draft them a marketing letter. I used QR codes to then drop them to my website and eventually to landing pages that will offer free reports or times for appointments. My hope is that with a CRM I could eventually develop email marketing funnels that sends out 6-7 emails and occasional reports to the potential clients. I probably will send out anywhere from 150-500 letters per month. I would also lie to be abel to intergrate payment options to the CRM. What do you think is the best and most affordable option.

Thanks!

Chad

Chad – I would seriously consider Hubspot if I were you. It sounds like you’re doing some pretty advanced marketing stuff, so you’re gonna want to go with a solution that’s capable of doing some pretty advanced marketing stuff. As I mentioned, as just a CRM, Hubspot is completely free. Their marketing automation solution is fairly pricey, once you jump on board with that. However, they have one of the top marketing automation solutions in the industry and it’s 100% worth every penny. If you’re making landing pages, as well as looking to eventually automate your emails, you’re going to want a marketing automation solution. (Because it can automate nearly all your marketing – including landing pages.) Marketing automation is always fairly pricey, and my argument for Hubspot would be – instead of paying for a CRM solution AND a marketing automation solution, it might be cheaper (or the same price) to get a free CRM and the one of the best marketing automation solutions out there.

However, if you don’t think that’s a good idea, anyone of the other freemiums on here will integrate with email marketing when you eventually decide to do that. Keep in mind, email marketing software just automates the emails for you. It will do little to nothing with landing pages, and whatnot on your website. Only you know what’s best for you.

Cara,

I really enjoyed your article. I have a small 3 man “Manufacturer’s Representative” company, each of us working from our homes basically. Over the years I’ve used ACT and when I got my iMac I migrated my data to Daylite. I’m the only one using Daylite (the other two salesmen have PC’s) and I’m not that happy with it anyway. I would like to change to a CRM system that is easy to use (for us Dinosaurs) will work on both types of computers and will allow us to share the data. It doesn’t have to be free but I would like to maximize the value I get for my money. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Fred

Fred – Thanks for reaching out! The good news about CRM these days is that it’s almost always web-based. That means you can access your software from anywhere that you have internet access. So most CRMs these days are Windows AND Apple friendly. 🙂 The CRM that came to my mind for you is Pipedrive. It’s very cheap at only $9/month for unlimited users! I think Pipedrive’s probably a good fit for you because it’s very easy to use. Of the ones on my list, you could try checking out Bitrix. They’re free for 12 users and I’ve heard great things. But I do think that Pipedrive will be easier to use. Good luck, and keep me updated in your search! -Cara

Great blog. Really informative.

Will be trying Bitrix. I have tried Zoho and Sugar in the past and found them cumbersome. Hopefully this will work out.

Keep up the good work.

I’m looking for a CRM that supports information beyond the sale and into the fulfillment process for ongoing services. Where the sale is not the endpoint.

What is the best end-to-end solution for a consulting/services company that looks beyond the sale?

Thanks

Matt

Matt – The good news is: Every CRM does that! 🙂 CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management – so it manages your whole relationship, from the first interaction to whatever your final action is. You can track a customer infinitely. The world of CRM is open to you. Pick your favorite.

Hi Cara, I would like to get your support in selecting a CRM system for me and our organization.

We are in the import and sales business for a wide range of products, which are commercialized by our three main business divisions. (Medical equipment, heavy machinery and power systems).

At this moment I’m assuming a new position as a Commercial Director for the Medical Equipment division, passing from been a Dept Manager in a country, to manage and overview all the departments in the medical division we have in all of our companies (6 companies each one in a different country).

Since we are located in Spanish and English spoken countries it is important to have a CRM system that allows any customization in this regard, besides the language issue, I also need a system that might be compatible with Windows and Mac OS.

I have about 10 to 15 people that I would love to give access to this system, in order to make the overview of what is happening in our organization in a easier and faster manner.

I am looking forward to receive your comments in order to start optimizing time and resources making our daily activities more effective and efficient. I had been checking Wrike, which seems to be very nice so far, however, considering also that our group of companies is preparing many things to install SAP for ERP and also CRM, I just want to have a CRM system as a temporary solution until we have SAP already implemented.

Best Regards,

Koichi K.

Thanks for asking, Koichi!

To be honest, I don’t have very much advice for you. I know very little about ERP solutions, so I have no idea what goes into preparing for them. I also know next to nothing about Wrike, because it’s a project management solution. If you’re interested in free and open source project management solutions, click here for our list. You will notice that Bitrix is on both this list and the project management list, and its free for up to 12 users, which is almost your max amount of users. Given what I can gather about your situation, it seems as though Bitrix might be the best idea. However, I think it may be best to just forego any in-between software and just jump straight for SAP. Otherwise that’s a lot of transitionary periods. Like I said, though, I have no idea what goes into preparing for ERP software, so only you can know what’s right for your company.

Thanks Cara for putting together a researched and useful post.
I am looking for a CRM that would help a small non-profit (100-200 people) keep a track on all donations/donations campaigns and donor information along with their preferences etc.
Could you please suggest one suited to our needs? I am excited about SuiteCRM and Bitrix24. However Bitrix24 is a paid solution and I would first like to go for something that is open-sourced and free.

Thanks.

Honestly, just about any of the freemium solutions on this list should work for you because you’re small enough. Bitrix is 100% free for up to 12 users – and users is on your end, not how many people you’re tracking. You didn’t tell me how many users you have, but given how small your non-profit is, I can’t imagine you’d have more than 12 users. If you DO have more than 12, check out Hubspot. They’re 100% free for EVERYTHING and as many users as you want.

However, I don’t specialize in nonprofit software, so you may want to check out out nonprofit blog for advice. Also… we have a free and open source membership management list. Membership management is intended for nonprofits, so it will probably work WAY better than CRM for you. Let me know what you go with!

Thanks Cara for taking the time to reply.

You are right – we would not need more than 12 people to manage the CRM, so Bitrix24 seems like a pretty good candidate. I also toyed around with and am pretty amazed at the flexibility of the DB model. You can basically customise every field, field values, menu order, etc.

I think I will give it a closer look and continue on with Bitrix24 for a while. Hubspot would be next on my list if Bitrix24 doesn’t work out!

And the cloud version feels really fast!

I am a developer and I need a crm I could totally customise, Bitrix looked great but at first but it became obvious I could not get the self hosted version for free for me to make further changes.

I then went for Sugar and then Suite CRM which is a better version of Sugar. I however found out there was a lot of customisation needed and some functionality was not there.

I then came across Dolibarr and it is great. It beats Suite in several ways in terms of functionality and it also has a modern day interface. For me product imports and creating quotations were quite important as well as a Project Management. I think Dolibarr should be at the top of this list and should not just get a mention.

Marvin – Thanks so much for the information. In my next update, I will look into them!

Siddharth – Awesome! I’m glad to have been able to help. I hear great things about Bitrix.

Hi Cara,

New to Crm’s and I was hoping you could give me your opinion on finding a good Crm/customer contact database for me. I need to keep track of customer contact, visits, notes and follow-ups to be sure. Never used a CRM before so free is paramount. I suspect I would need at least 1 user, 500-1000 contacts, no companies since all customers, and then notes with calendar for follow up. Thank you so much if you can assist!

Rob – The good news is: all CRMs have the functionality you described, so that means all you need to pay attention to is user experience and, since you’re interested in free, the number of contacts. You could check out Really Simple Systems, Zoho, Bitrix, or Hubspot. Those are all freemiums, so you don’t have to bother with open source coding, and they all have unlimited contacts. Look into all of them and decide which one you enjoy using the most, because that’s the only qualification left.

Thank you for the post! Kudos to you Cara for keeping up with this thread. I’m running a telesales company and use Act Cloud and Google voice. Act is only $10/user and Google Voice is free and I can assign an outbound number with just about any area code. I just wish I can dial out of my Act without having to use Skype. I do not need all the bells and whistles simply a crm in which I can customize fields, “sort” my data and dial out. Any suggestions? Cheers!

James – I appreciate the appreciation! This thread has been going strong, though! I’ve done a little research into your problem. I think that you have Call on CRM, right? That’s the app that allows Act! to call out via Skype from what I can tell? (The website is not very clear and rather buzzword-filled. See my article on that if you want to know how I feel about it haha.) It does seem as if Call on CRM may have a version where you can call out of something else called Broadsoft. It may be worth looking into, if you’re interested in staying with Act!

However, I did find something else I think is better news. Hubspot has a Sidekick feature that allows you to call out. You get the first 60 minutes free, and of course, the rest of the CRM is free. I think its a great option for you, because you can test it out. If you decide you want it, you’ll have to talk with a salesperson to work pricing out. The pricing is very customized.

Please keep me updated in your search!!

I’m trying to find an affordable CRM that provides rapid, efficient call-dispositioning. Several (VanillaSoft, CallPro, MojoSells, and LeadMaster) do, but are either weak in the CRM side, or are more costly than I like.
There must be at least 200,000 solopreneurs like me who need to make a lot of outgoing calls, who are also needing this feature in an affordable CRM.

Tom – To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t know any solutions that have call dispositioning. I’m sure that some of these solutions would have it as an add-on. If you’re not looking to pull special reports, I would recommend picking the CRM you like best and using the notes section to let yourself know the next time you check in how your last interaction went. Otherwise, it looks like there are call center solutions that you may be able to integrate with a free CRM. If you look here, I’ve filtered our call center software list by call disposition.

I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! Please let me know how your search goes, because I would love an answer to this question as much as you.

For NonProfits, CiviCRM is a great open source CRM system: https://civicrm.org/

I’m an individual user with Maximizer on my PC. I’d like to find a web based (free) program that can import Maximizer files while retaining the relationship of the Customer record being primary and then the individuals within that company location (don’t want to re-key location info). I like the look and feel of Maximizer’s automatically scrolling & synchronized windows showing my comments and be able to view all of the data within simultaneously open windows. This makes it very easy to navigate. I’m a single user with fewer than 5,000 contacts (not likely to grow) but want a fully featured program (don’t need project mgt, trouble tickets, etc; just company, contact, user defined fields, comments, etc.). I also want to have a tight integration with Gmail.

Bitrix24 says they can’t import Maximizer; anyone know of any others who might?

What would you suggest?

Bob – To be honest, I don’t know that anyone can transfer from Maximizer. Most solutions can’t import files directly from another solution. However, I would be surprised if you can’t export all your files from Maximizer (usually .csv), and then upload them into whichever solution you chose.

Hi Cara,

This article/list is a wonderful resource and thank you for sharing. I have a small, but steady, home-based cupcake/dessert business and I’m looking for a free CRM system that would allow me to keep track of customers sales – basically who bought what, when and any notes (birthday, anniversary) that would be conducive to a follow up.

Two questions: 1) Would I be better suited to use a POS system and 2) If I can, in fact, use a CRM system, which one would you recommend for a bakery?

I have used Zoho in the past, but I didn’t find it to be too user friendly.

Thank you again for providing this resourceful list.
Lamorea

Lamorea – Great question! And POS is my other area of expertise, so you’re actually in luck. For the level of detail that you’re looking to include on customers, I think you’ll have to stick with a free CRM. I would recommend looking at Insightly or Really Simple Systems. I think they may be the most simplistic/user-friendly on this list.

Now, there is free POS out there. Here’s my list. On that list, Vend is the only one with a built in CRM. Depending on how many different types of desserts you make and how many customers you end up having, Vend could be free. If you go with Vend, and ultimately outgrow it, you may want to look into Shopify. Their POS solution starts at $9/mo for unlimited products, and would be more than enough for your business.

Cara: I was hoping for a minor miracle with a Maximizer conversion but will test Bitrix & Insightly. Looking at my requirements above, am I making life more complicated than necessary? Would a “contact manager” be a better fit for my simple needs? If so, which one…… or am I not really taking-on an unnecessarily difficult task with those two companies I mentioned above when using only a few of their capabilities? My basic requirement if to keep track of companies, their employees and my notes about them along with a few user defined fields. However, I don’t want to jump through different screens to quickly get a picture of what my activities have been with each.

thank you,

Bob

Bob – Unfortunately, I can’t help you figure out what is too complex for you, or whether you should go with one type of solution over another. Only you know what’s best for you and your business. I can tell you that it’s unlikely that you will find a solution that allows a direct import from Maximizer, and that the import-export process should not be excruciatingly difficult by any means. I think that you should talk to the sales people over at Bitrix and Insightly. Run some demos. Talk to them specifically about the contact import problem. They will likely talk you through the import/export process. They might even agree to walk you through it. This is an extremely common problem among CRM-switchers. The sales people are very equipped to handle it.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

hi Cara
Thanks for the list, very helpful.

iam signed up with zoho but have a big issue. I operate 4 or 5 services and want to collate my accounts into groups/fields based on the service.

so few of these crms let you do this you have to use there preconfigured group headings which doesn’t work for us.

in zoho we just have our records in one big lump in contacts.

any suggestions
john

Hi Cara,
I own two food distribution companies with two separate P&Ls. Combined we have around 20 sales people including me. We have around 800 existing customers and around 3500 prospects. I’m looking for something that is cloud based, has iPad and mobile as well as desktop functionality as well as all the basic CRM functionality. Some additional customer service bells and whistles, blog functionality, email campaigns and or social media capabilities integration as well as a good management tool or dashboard for me and my vp of sales is asking a lot but would be great. I need two separate user interfaces so I can report on each company. Other than salesforce.com, what might be a more affordable recommendation that might meet most of my needs? I don’t mind paying per user, but I’m not thrilled about paying $250 per user/month for salesforce.com if I can avoid it. Thanks so much! Jim

Check out http://onsitecrm.com – it’s geared especially towards small businesses. Onsite CRM provides easy to use software at cloud platform and tracks your entire business each process online.

[…] We’ve compiled a list of the best free and open source crm software programs on the market! capterra helps businesses find and compare software……..More Info […]

Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I’ve been found some more pc optimization software called tunepro360. heck the Techvedic’s blog link on best PC optimization software, visit : https://goo.gl/5ZP2bl.

Thanks for your comments everyone!

Jim – I had our onsite CRM expert reach out to you directly the other day, because I’m not certain how to handle a situation in which you want to put 2 businesses on a single solution. Please let me know if he’s been able to help you! 🙂

[…] to get hunting! Here’s where I’m looking: a post from the blog Capterra that is chock full of information, clearly written, and recently […]

I am considering vTiger. According to https://www.rosehosting.com/blog/install-vtiger-crm-on-centos-7/ it is easy to install and very easy to use. Thanks for the helpful info.

Good to hear Aaron!

wondering that odoo.com is not in list.
It’s openSource ERP+CRM + business inteligence tool.

Thank you so much for this excellent, well articulated and detailed list Cara. I have gone down the HubSpot path for now to see if this suits my companies requirements.

Thanks Gary!

http://www.technologicalutopia.com/searchopensourcecode.htm lets you search the top four open source sites at once for free software. Open source contains no cripples or time trials that I have ever seen.

Hello Cara – you’re awesome. On the entire list I see only one software, vTiger, that integrates with “Intuit.” I use Constant Contact and QuickBooks (as my specific Intuit product) – so I have a few questions. 1) Are there any others on the list that integrate with QB? 2) Are there any others on the list that integrate with CC? 3) Regarding vTiger – when you say that it’s Open Source, does that mean it can’t be used “out-of-the-box” and needs to be configured before use? – or does that mean it can be used but that it needs to be configured to make full use of its potential? I don’t have any programming skills, so I’m looking for something that works out-of-the-box and but integrates with QB & CC.

Hi Antonio! Thanks for asking! I just did a little basic research, and I didn’t see that any of the others on this list advertise as being able to integrate with those two solutions. That doesn’t mean they can’t, though. I would definitely talk to the sales people for a solution you’re interested in and see if they can integrate. Often companies can build a special integration system for you, or walk you through a more complex integration. I wouldn’t rule out a solution before you investigate a little deeper.

As for open source. Open source solutions typically come with some minor functionality out of the box – some more than others. However, I do NOT recommend open source to anyone without any kind of programming skills, simply because: Even if it’s functional enough out of the box, if you run into a bug, you won’t be able to fix it. Unless you’re will to pay for a programmer, I don’t recommend going the open source route.

Let me know how your search goes. If you end up needing more help than you thought, Capterra’s resident CRM expert may be able to help you find a solution as well. (Although, all the free ones are here, so she won’t be able to help much more if you’re only interested in free.)

Hi Cara

I am after a CRM/Ticketing system.

Based in the cloud, myself or my colleague to be able to sign and click on customers. Here we can create customer records. Add notes and link to a knowledge base. Everytime a company logs a ticket it will added. We can then reply and it tracks down the issue and resolution. So we can look back if it is a re-occuring issue. Ideally if people can log tickets via an API or email, that would be pretty cool too.

Hi Nick! I think you’re actually looking at the wrong type of software. Based on what you’re describing is help desk software. I would check out Capterra’s help desk software database. The link I’ve linked you to has been pre-filtered for both ticket management and customer database features. Additionally, check out our customer service software blog. It’s filled with helpful articles on help desk software, including software comparisons. Between those two resources, you’re certain to find the perfect fit for your company.

You are amazing x

Hi. Do you know VTECRM? It’s quite similar to VTiger, some areas more complete, great customization possibilities but very simple to understand, which is the main point for me. I’m testing it. Any of you knows it?

Hello Cara…
Thank you so much.
Very informative… I have started using Bitrix24.

Ashwin

I need an Account (Business) Centric system CRM any recommendations?

Free is great! With open supply, you’ll customise to your business, and for alittle business, freemium may be a gravy.

We are small insurance agency – with 5 users. We use a make -shift spreadsheet that has worked but we are now outgrowing it. We want something we own, doesn’t cost a lot such as salesforce, sufficient for sales, follow ups, marketing, etc. We don’t want to be tripping over each other so we would like something we can all view as well. Thanks for your help.

Kay – Because you have 5 users, I would look at Bitrix, Zoho, and Hubspot. Bitrix and Zoho I believe integrate easily with MailChimp. I suspect Hubspot won’t, because they have their own marketing automation system. But its worth looking into anyway. You may choose to use Hubspot as your email marketing service.

Angie – I think any solution on this list will work with gmail, though I’ve no clue about Fivestreet. I suspect that none of the integrate out of the box with Fivestreet. I would recommend talking to the salespeople for one of the solutions you like here and seeing if they’re able to make a special integration for you. Companies are often able to help customers out with things like this.

I am looking for a free product to use for real estate that is good with fivestreet and gmail, any suggestions.

Thank you

Thanks for the great information on CRMs. Do you have a list of questions I can consider to determine which CRM is best for me?

Some features I’m looking for are:
1) process of loading data – looking for additional methods beside manual – maybe through my SquareSpace website or crowdfunding site, email correspondences, internet like LinkedIn, is there an app that scans a business card???
2) once data is entered, I want to set up a series of activities including emails, newsletters, phone calls, etc.
3) need to add tasks and notes; multiple people can access info and collaborate; monitor other sales peoples activity
4) free at the beginning would be nice, but prefer function
5) easy navigation
6) can access and update information on the go
7) I use QB, but willing to change if needed
8) Did I see one CRM calculates commissions?

Thanks for any additional info!
<R

Hi Rebecca, Thanks for asking! While most CRMS have most of the functionality you’re looking for, I’m not sure which ones can calculate commissions and allow uploads through multiple methods like you suggest. I’m actually going put you in touch with our resident CRM expert to help you pick exactly the solution that can do that. I’ve given her your email, so check your email. If, for whatever reason her email doesn’t get through to you, please feel free to call at (703) 994-4500.

Hi Cara,

So I painstakingly downloaded vTiger :). There are some quirks and I didn’t know anything about running open source software…Apache, PHP, MySql or any of it. There were some errors, and I had to fix code, if that’s what it’s called, to get it to run. Then I realized that there is no QuickBooks integration on the Open Source platform…only in the vTiger On Demand version. So perhaps that is something you can clarify above (and I’ve spent hours searching…so if I’m wrong about it, please let me know.) I’m going to try Zoho – I think I saw that there is a third-party that will at least provide some minimal integration of some information for free…and then has more robust paid packages.

Antonio-

I’m so sorry to hear this! I will absolutely update my post to reflect what you’ve found. That’s very unfortunate only the paid vTiger integrates easily.

Again, I would encourage you to talk to the salespeople at a solution you like and find out what they can do for you with regards to Intuit. Particularly if you’re planning on paying for an integration, you should get the solution that fits your needs best overall, not just when it comes to one integration.

Additionally, I can put you in touch with our resident CRM expert who can match you up with a solution, if you’d like. She knows a lot more than I do about what solution can integrate and how. Please just let me know!

Great article, gave me some good suggestions. However, you did write ‘millibyte’ where I think you meant megabyte. 🙂

Thanks! And you’re right – I just updated it.

You may also want to consider X2CRM for both Sales and Marketing Automation. X2CRM is a fully web based and includes a sales process engine and marketing workflow, drip marketing designer, customizer studio, website visitor tracking and more – all within one CRM app.

http://www.x2crm.com

Available in both Cloud and Download Editions. Free trial and demos server.
http://demo. x2crm.com

Great article. Question…I need a CRM solution that will allow 50 salespeople basic lead nurturing. I don’t want them to be able to view/steal each others leads, and I need to be able to view them all and run reports. I have my eye on a long-term paid solution, but at this point the company owners need to see that the team will use a CRM before committing money/resources. I have $0 (or very little) budget to work with. Any suggestions? Thank you!

Jay – thanks for reaching out! Due to your large amount of users and lack of budget, your options are very limited. If you have the resources, you can pick an open source product. If you don’t have the IT resources, you’re limited to Free CRM and Hubspot. Free CRM is free for a year, but once your year is over, it becomes a fairly expensive CRM. You mentioned if you can prove it works, you will have a budget – before committing to Free CRM, make sure that it would be a large budget. Hubspot is free forever, but it’s not exactly set up for enterprise level work or particularly complex things, so it may not have all the functionality you would require.

If you’re able to pay, you’re options, of course, shoot up. But do keep in mind that CRMs are typically a pay-per-user system. Even very cheap systems will end up costing quite a bit with your 51 users.

Finally, how long do you need to prove that a CRM is a worthy investment? Most paid CRMs offer some type of free trial, many for a month. If a month is all you need to prove the CRM works, I would recommend looking right into paid versions.

Can we contact you/ hire you/ directly for a consult to shorten the search time to settle on a CRM for our new venture?

Thanks, Jane

Hi Jane!

We have an in-house CRM expert that I can set you up with to help you find the perfect solution for you. It’s totally free. I’m giving your email to her and she’ll reach out shortly. Additionally, feel free to call 703-994-4500.

I’m look for a CRM that I can download to my local computer without loading sql/servers on my computer (like the old days). My company is small with a couple of hundred customers. It just seems to be a big pain these days to simply track my sales funnel.

Hi Cara, thank you for providing this well-put-together article! Many of these programs could suit me, however am having problems adjusting a seemingly critical item, the topic of foreign currency. The business is located in Philippines, hence will need to operate in Philippine Pesos. Am i missing something? it seems most of the programs i’ve looked at the solution is not obvious enough for me to find.
thanks again,
Mark Ambrose

Mark- That’s a great question, which unfortunately, I’m not certain of the answer. The CRMs I’ve dealt with don’t really operate in different currencies, mainly because when you deal with money, you leave it typically as a note in the CRM, so you can do it however you want. I do wonder what your business does, though, because it sounds like perhaps you’re looking for a point-of-sale system that integrates into a CRM. If that’s the case, you’re in luck because I’m the POS/retail expert here at Capterra, so I can help there. If you’re wondering what POS is, I made a brief video to explain. Take a look and let me know if this is what you’re looking for. Hope this helped somewhat!

Chris – Are you not interested in a web-hosted platform?

Trello is also a very good free to use CRM, it’s not classic CRM with all the functions, but I’m working in the online industry and that amazing software is very useful for task management.

Thanks Eyal!

Cara, Wow! What helpful information. I’m hoping you can help us narrow down our options even more.

We are a small business that is looking for a CRM system that will allow us to:
1. track and categorize leads
2. provide a reminder system for follow up that also allows us view a history of our email/phone correspondence with each account
3. the ability to invoice them once orders are placed
4. do reports/analysis on their purchasing
5. also, do you know off hand if any of them can sync with Constant Contact?

We currently have 500 leads/accounts. We only need 2 users and would like to have support available. Suggestions for which CRM would be a good fit for our needs?

Thanks for your time and expertise.

Wow, what a great write-up. Thanks for putting it together and sharing and also for replying to comments.

I have a beverage brand with a few sales reps and I’m looking for a CRM that allows me to track sales, quotas, quarterly reports, performance, etc. Do you know of any in your list (or not) that would be a good candidate for this?

I’m looking at Bitrix and it looks good but I haven’t found much on sales tracking (yet). Hubspot has a great interface but in my trial version, I really don’t see a whole lot of rich features when it comes to sales tracking. Salesforce seems to be an interesting option.

Really dumb question but when these CRM’s say “up to 5 users – $25/user/month” does that mean the cost is $25 x 5 = $125/month -or- does the $25/month include access for all 5 users?

Thanks again!!

Hi Clara,

Thank you for the great insight through your article. Its really commendable how you have been able to keep your audience engaged and have responded promptly to all their queries.

I have a query of my own and would really appreciate your advise.

We are a start up company and have ventured into the field of e learning for working professionals. I’m looking to find the right CRM for us. Something which will help us track our leads from generation to conversion. This would include the various courses we would offer, student data, admission process, interaction through various mediums say phone. chat, email, social media etc. We are currently using Mail Chimp for our email campaigns and MixSpan for the Marketing Analytics, so integration with that also would be helpful.

Thanks for your time!

Pearl – I’m glad you reached out. It sounds like you’re actually looking for school administration software. Check out our school admin software directory and school admin blog for more help on that. Unfortunately, I know next to nothing about that software, so I can’t really help much further.

Eddie – Just so you know, Hubspot is free forever, so your trial is not really a trial. 🙂 You can continue using it as much as you want. Salesforce is one of the biggest and best solutions in the industry. It’s also very expensive. If you have the budget for that, though, it’s definitely worth it! As for pricing, yes, it’s $125/month when you have 5 users on it. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help clarify!

Becca – Glad you found this helpful! The good news is, all the solutions on here have the functionality you’re looking for! I’m not positive which ones integrate with Constant Contact, but it’s likely most of them can. I would talk to the sales teams at the solutions you’re interested in to find out more about that. In fact, many solutions will be able to help you integrate, even if its not necessarily a natural integration so-to-speak. Sales teams can be very helpful.

Hi Cara
Great info, thankyou.
We are a small new home builder, requiring only a couple of users to manage our current business. Looking to manage clients, integrate with calendar (a given) and to merge with mailchimp to name a few.
Do you know of any specific crm options that are suited to the new home building industry?
Have previously used zoho but find it very difficult to manipulate into what we require.

Chris – While most of the CRMs on this list have the specific functionalities you mention, I’m not certain that any of them would be suited to a home building company, as I do not know specifically what you require. If you have the budget to afford a paid solution, check out our directory of CRMs specifically for construction companies.

Additionally, if you require more help, I can put you in touch with our CRM expert here, who should be able to match you with the perfect solution. Please let me know if you would be interested in that.

You are actually amazing.
I wish i had found this posta few months back as i could have really used your help & support selecting a pos system for my family boat shop. I ended up with no crm as i just got too overwhelmed.
Just found this looking for a free crm with great customisable nuturing sequence for our weight management company.
Keep up the great work!

Great info! Thank you! I am interested in the responses to Rebecca Tyke from her comment on July 8th and Becca Slye from July 23rd…they was looking for several features that I am looking for. We are a very small (4-5 employees, but only 2-3 need access) event planning firm looking for an inexpensive way to trace leads and stay in touch with customers. From Rebecca’s requirements….some features I’m looking for are:
1) process of loading data – is there an app that scans a business card???
2) once data is entered, I want to set up a series of activities including emails, newsletters, phone calls, etc.
3) need to add tasks and notes; multiple people can access info and collaborate; monitor other sales peoples activity
4) inexpensive!
5) easy navigation
6) can access and update information on the go
7) functionality with Quickbooks
8) ability to calculate commissions

Thank you very much!

Ashley-

I very much appreciate you’re reading the comments so in depth! Thank you! There are a couple of things I have for you. You could check out this list of vendors who are extremely cheap. These are the vendors my in-house CRM expert recommends for the functions you’re looking for:

Pipedrive – $12/user/month

CapsuleCRM – $12/user/month

OnePageCRM – $12/user/month

Base CRM – $25/user/month

PipelineDeals – $21/user/month

Any one of those should work for you. Given that you are an event planning company, though, you may want to check out our Event Management Software Directory. That link is prefiltered for solutions that offer a built in CRM. I’m not an event management software expert, though, so I can’t really give you an idea of which solution is cheap/would fit your needs. Please let me know if you need more help!

Thanks for this super helpful article. I’ve been going back and forth using it to help decide on a really basic and easy to interface system for just one user. I’m between Bitrix24, which seems really feature rich–in fact probably way more than I need and therefore complicated–and Hubspot, which is pleasing to the eye but I really don’t want SideKick. Then I looked at Zurmo, and it seems fun and intuitive, but doesn’t seem to offer a free version. Has that changed since your article update? And do you have any other advice? Thanks for your expertise.

Julia – Zurmo is still open source. That means its free. That also means to you need to have some-a lot of programming knowledge.

Hubspot does not require you to get sidekick features either, so if that’s what threw you off, you can reconsider Hubspot. Hope this helps.

Cara,

Awesome work here. I’m very impressed by how responsive you have been throughout the comments. It’s not often you see someone so willing to help others on a blog like this. Thank you.

I’m actually hoping you could help me out too. I checked out two of the CRMs listed on this page (Hubspot and SuiteCRM). As far as functionality is concerned, I believe Hubspot has basically everything I need. SuiteCRM however is a little bit excessive for what I need. I don’t want to confuse my users with excessive modules and components.

My only issue is that Hubspot is Cloud based. I’m really looking for something similar to Hubspot in functionality, but allows me control data on a local server. We’ll probably have upwards of 50 users

Any suggestions? Thank you again!

Hi Joffrey (GoT reference?),

Do you have a budget? Looking for an installed one is going to land you in either open-source or paid territory. Open source is always going to come a bit unwieldy by nature, so I’m thinking you’re going to want to go paid.

As for cloud-based vs. installed: if you’re just holding out on cloud-based because you’re worried it’s not safe, I really recommend trying it out. Cloud-based systems have wonderful security now!

Hi Cara,

I am currently looking for a free CRM program to help me keep track of all the sales leads I give my sales team of 3 three people.
What would be the best one; we are an event center that do banquets, concerts, and large events. We just opened a few months ago and I just started working there as the operations manager and noticed that my sales people are doing lots of manual work and not really keeping track of the leads the way I am used to managing leads.

It seems that a CRM program would be best to use but since financially we don’t have a budget for this yet I need to get a software that is free, I can work on the cloud (anywhere) and will help me oversee our sales team.

I look forward to your recommendations.

Elizabeth – Thanks for reaching out! Of this list, I’d recommend looking into Zoho, Bitrix or Hubspot as those will have all the users you need. Given that you are an events company, though, you may want to look into event management software, many of which come with built in CRMs. You could start with a free event management solution (here’s the post) or you could check out our directory for a full list. Let me know if that helps!

Thanks for your article! You saved me a lot of time looking around! 🙂 I’ll see if I can find something suitable for my business!

Cara, your recommendations were truly Godsent!
Timing was perfect when I wanted to implement a truly functional and affordable CRM system in my new company. I found Really Simple Systems to be a perfect fit for now. I hope to learn more as we progress and yeah…all I can say is what a wonderful insight you gave. Thank you 🙂

Hey Cara,

I am currently looking for some Open Souce CRM Solutions for the Cloud. I am the most interested in CRM Analytics. Could you recommend me Open Source products for Cloud in this field?

I look forward to your recommendations.

Hi Cara, thank you so much for the great article and congratulations on how strong this thread has grown thanks to your dedication!

A quick question for you please if you have the time: would you know if there is any web-based CRM which provides a zero-knowledge framework in the same way as some cloud storage providers do? I would feel better if I knew my CRM info is encrypted with a key unknown to the provider and not possibly readable by anyone outside our company.

Many thanks!

Arnie – To be honest with you, I don’t know that I’ve come across any zero-knowledge CRMs. I would check in with salespeople if I were you. They can tell you a lot!

Korinna – Check out Zurmo! They have great analytics.

Thanks Cara for information. Bitrix24 is best option and Zoho is also a good one.
But Zoho have only 1GB storage. Please correct in your free crm comparison.

Deepak

Thanks Deepak! I’ll have the image corrected.

I have used ZOHO for CRM and Invoicing which is a very cool software. The CRM helped us at http://www.usajobboard.com to manage our clients better.

Thanks Cara – I found the information here and the comments very helpful. I know you can’t cater for everyone, but I am still struggling to find what I need so I thought I would pass on my experience so far in case there are others like me! Essentially I am looking for a free/cheap CRM to store my clients details and to generate and importantly customise invoices. We will be less than 10 users while we start up the business. I tried Bitrix, which I didn’t find very user friendly, and there is only a very limited capacity to customise invoices. They have a docdesigner app, but I couldn’t figure that out, and it doesn’t seem to be free. Next I tried ZohoCRM, which is really nice and easy, but I think I’m using the free trial of the professional version, and the fully free version is a lot less customisable. The invoices are not customisable on either version, but you can link to ZohoInvoices/Books, where they are fully customisable (exactly what i need), but you have to pay for that. It’s not so expensive but the caveat is that you can only connect ZohoInvoices to ZohoCRM if you also pay for ZohoCRM ;-)) I had a quick look at Really Simple Systems, and Hubspot, but neither seem to have invoices at all. So now I’m a bit stuck! My next idea is to see if I can store enough client details on ZohoInvoices to just go with that – not free, but hopefully it’s as much as we need for now. Thanks again though – very helpful info for someone who is just starting out!

Hi Helen!

Wow! I’m impressed with how much work you’ve put in! I’m not sure how much you looked at either Really Simple Systems or Hubspot, but if it really wasn’t much, I would encourage you to look again.
It does look as though Really Simple Systems has invoicing for sure. Check out this page and go far down the page to the section called “Accounting Integration”. It says you can pass invoices. As for Hubspot, while I don’t see any mention of invoices either, I suspect that’s just because invoicing is considered standard so they could have felt it unnecessary to talk mention it. You should try reaching out to the salespeople for more info if you haven’t already.

Let me know how the search goes and if you have any more questions!

Hi Cara,
I found the list very helpful, but I wonder if any of the CRM solutions you mentioned on the list has the abbility to “upload” information from the ERP software of the company?
I mean, for instance, need to upload information about daily invoicing goal accomplishment (hope you understand me!!)
Thanks…

Hi Cara,

Which of the CRMs might be the best for recruitment company where you want to keep track of the clients and “code them up” by skillsets they recruit for and location. Will you also be able to send bulk emails with any of the softwares!

Thank you for your help and research!

Best,

Karolina

Hi Cara, thanks for all the info on the different CRM’s available. I am on the Committee of Chihuahua Rescue Queensland Inc which is a registered charity. We care for and rehome abandoned and surrendered chihuahua’s and other small dogs that come into our care. While they are in care they receive health checks and all required vet work so they can be adopted as healthy, immunised, speyed and happy dogs.

As we are rapidly growing we are in desperate need of an easy to use and easily accessible database to keep track of our volunteer foster carers as well as our dogs in care. We really need something that could be easily accessed and updated by committee members via our Committee Facebook page.

Is there anything you could specifically recommend that would work for us or do you know if there is an organisation with a CRM that would support a charity?

Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Mario – I’m not entirely sure what it is you need to do, but I’m sure that many of these solutions allow for that. I would check in with the sales teams for these solutions about that. CRMs are usually great with uploading info.

Karolina- Any one of the CRMs on this list will allow you to keep track of clients and group them based on various things. As for bulk emails, Really Simple Systems is the only one on this list I know of that has email marketing built in, although its rather limited. Depending on how fancy you want to get with your email marketing (will you be splitting lists, for instance? A/B testing emails?), you may want to look into an email marketing marketing solution. Many of them are very cheap.

Michelle – You have a very unique set of needs right there. I’m gonna do my best to help you, but I may not be able to give you the answer. If that’s the case, we have a CRM/nonprofit software expert onsite who would be happy to match you (for free) with a few solutions that would fit your needs. So, here’s what I can tell you: I think that a CRM may not provide all the functionality you need. That is, you can do most of what you want in CRM, but it will be complex. (While we’re here, I have to tell you I don’t know of any software that can be updated through a Facebook page. I know of software that can update a Facebook page, but not the other way around. The onsite expert may be able to tell you differently, but I’m doubtful of that.) My guess is that you need sometime of nonprofit software, which, sadly, I’m not an expert on. There does appear to be a small umbrella out there in the nonprofit software industry that is dedicated to shelter software. I dug up this open-source option for you. Definitely google “shelter software” and see what that brings up for you! Also, feel free to call 703-994-4500, or email help@capterra.com, and we’ll help you find a tailored solution. Please let me know how your search goes!

Hi Cara
thank you so much for your amazing contribution to CRM for dummies 🙂

My company mostly does prospection via phone calls and customised emails.
We are handling 100 customers with a team of 2 sales people, growing to 1000 customers with 10 sales next year.

Which free “super simple to use” CRM do you recommend to start with ? (I am fine to have a paying upgrade next year when we a re bigger)

thank you!

Pascal

Pascal – I’d recommend looking into Really Simple Systems. It’s only free for 2 users so you’ll have to upgrade sooner rather than later, but they’re a much cheaper solution, and you get full support even at the free level. Zoho is another good option on this list, as you get up to 10 users free (although some people in this thread have said its not quite “super simple” to use. Free CRM, depending on your budget may be your best option. You get that first year free to get things up and running and its a really great solution. It IS on the more expensive end, though.

Hi Cara,

Thank you! So I could get any of the free CRMs and then one of the email marketing solutions?
I wanted to code people on the system as clients and candidates, plus code them by different skillsets and locations. Is that possible?

Best,

Karolina

Karolina – You should be able to take any one of these CRMs and integrate them with an outside email marketing solution. I would recommend looking into MailChimp as nearly every solution will integrate with that solution. As for dividing your your clients/candidates, etc., I’ve given it a think, and I think that this may be something that’s going to be really complex in a CRM. What I recommend you do is track your clients in a CRM, and integrate an applicant tracking system to track your candidates. You can still integrate the email marketing with the CRM. I don’t know very much at all about ATS, though, so I’m going set you up with my ATS expert here to help you get this system worked out. He’ll be able to help you figure out which solution is right for your particular needs. I’m giving him your email address, so keep an eye on your email. If you’d like, as well, you can go ahead and call him (or me) here at (703) 994-4500. We’ll be able to help you figure out your complex needs and get you the right system for your business. 🙂

Thank you for all of the good information on this blog. Question: I am a one man office selling insurance. I began my CRM adventure using Goldmine, but several years ago they decided, through their pricing that they were only interested in the bigger boys. I switched to maximizer, and am currently on version 11. It’s a great program (tracks prospects, creates a sales funnel, with $ of sales, % of confidence, generates emails, creates documents with imbedded fields, attaches documents , files and emails to specific contacts, schedules tasks and appointments, projects, dials the phone and creates a note). However, Maximizer 11 is not compatible with the upgrade I’m about to do to Windows 10, and like Goldmine, Maximizer has stopped supporting the smaller versions and is now only interested in the bigger boys.

I’m therefore looking for a cheap CRM with as many of the functions contained in Maximizer that I can get. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you

Bob – I regret to say I’m not very familiar with Maximizer at all, and when I went to go look up the features, I could find nothing. I’m going to set you up with our CRM expert, who knows more than I do and can find you the perfect solution for your budget and needs. Check your inbox for an email from him! If you missed it somehow check your spam or call us at (703) 994-4500.

Ever – Try MailChimp.

Hi Cara,
I am running small ecommerce company with 3 family members and we have one sale enquiry email to our store and my member will look into sale email inbox at their convenient time, due to this our sale enquiry emails got mess, sometime we are loosing tracking of leads due to lack of ownership. Can you advise us some open source free email management system to overcome this issue ?
Appreciate you reply.

Thanks

Thanks cara. I looked in mailchimp, it’s more for email marketing. What i am looking for email ticket management with ownership defined and tracking the email progress of the sale leads. Can you advise on this area?

Ever – I’m sorry, but I don’t know anything about that kind of software. Try our Help Desk software blog. It sounds like that may have the answers you’re looking for.

Check out http://www.calarise.com – it’s geared especially towards small businesses. Onsite CRM provides easy to use software at cloud platform and tracks your entire business each process online

i could that “I love you cara for the hard work you have done to compare so many softwares” I m going to choose one now

Hello Cara, first of all great work on the Blog!

I am working for a company who dedicates on selling advertising materials, so we don’t have what you call an inventory, but we need to set up prices for different items and services. I need to keep track of our leads in a simple way and if there is any option that reminds me and guides me through the steps that would be Awsome, i was trying Zoho and it was looking good, but i was using the professional trial. 🙁

I need something for 5 users with different roles,

3 administrators and 2 sales rep, it will be preferable that the sales rep could see the others rep accounts or clients, but not the contact information.
I will like something were I can set up Goals for the sales reps and see how they doing in real time.

I don’t know if you can give me any pointers as what is the best option for me.

Thank You

Hi Jp – You should be able to work with anything on here that allows at least 5 users. I would check out Hubspot, though. Sounds like you don’t need anything heavier than that.

Imran – You should probably be able to use any CRM on this list, but you may also want to look into help desk software.

Ruark – I’m not very familiar with ACT, but I believe quite a few ACT users have swapped to Zoho successfully. (Make sure you sign up for the free VERSION not the free TRIAL.)

Deepali- None of these CRMs are made for a school, so pick the one that you like working with the best, because they’re all going to require some creative thinking to mold to your purpose.

Gabrijel – With that number of users, I would recommend Hubspot. And look into inventory management software.

Emiliano – I would recommend Really Simple Systems. They’re very *simple* to use, and their paid version is very reasonably priced when you’re ready to upgrade.

Hi Cara. I am in South Africa. I have used the UK ACT CRM extensively for 5 years at my current employment. I am starting my own business and want to transfer my exel spreadsheet contacts to a Free CRM. I am looking for something similar in look and feel to ACT to migrate to if that is possible. Could you recommend one from your list of choices? Thank you for the superb article.

which is rhe best free CRM software for educational training institute?

Hi Cara,

can you recommend some free CRM software for a logistic company. Our company has 20 employees and it’s getting bigger every year.

Thank you for the answer.

Best regards,
Gabrijel Mrnjavac

thank you for this article.
we are small food import and distribution company.
never used crm before. 3 users and 100 costumers. qb accounting.
we will start with some free options, but this offer contains a lot of limitations.
i need super super easy to use and i hope to switch to payed version, but for now is
not possible.
any advise?

cara amazing article!

1 Question, we are a small growing company that provides training courses and trading.

The main reason i wanted a CRM software was to keep track of all our existing clients and also to keep a record of clients which we have sent quotations to and have not replied, for future reference.

I have narrowed it down to Bitrix24 and Hubspot.

Which software would you honestly go for to start with? Also can you export all the data from these softwares if you decide to go with another software at a future date?

Thanks :))

Obi – You can export data from all CRMs that I know of. Based on your criteria, either Bitrix or Hubspot would be good to go with. To help you out a bit more, though: If you’re planning on never getting that much more complex with the CRM and just adding users to it, go with Hubspot as it’s free forever. If you are planning, or think it’s possible, that your CRM usage could get more complex, go with Bitrix because Bitrix will certainly grow with your business.

Thanks for sharing these information!

but i used OneCRM software.I would recommend all folks to go for OneCRM, try OneCRM once, its really prodigious.

Hi Cara,

Great article! But I’m surprised not to find VIENNA Advantage CRM in this list. It is the fastest growing open source CRM solution available for deployment on-premises or on the cloud. It has powerful features, it is easy to use, can fit in multiple industry verticals, it is accessible from any mobile device and it is the first CRM with a HTML5 UI.

Check the full list of features and download free brochure here: http://bit.ly/VAcrm
Please check it out and if you agree add it to this list.

Thanks, Gligor! I’ll definitely look into it when I put together the next update!

Hi Cara,

thanks for the helpful article.
Have you checked the Outlook Business Contacts Manager? I have been using it for a long time and it is very effective in following up long sales cycles, keeping up with accounts and reports. It is now free of charge and you can simply download and it integrates with the outlook, which is a convenient place to have your CRM. Apart from being on a cloud with access from different machines, it seems to have the features that other products have. I carry my laptop so it is with me anyway.
Regards,
Amir

Hi Cara

Thanks for your clear article!

This may be a dumb question, but browsing to the Hubspot CRM webpage, it is unclear to me how to get started. There does not seem to be a download/registration link. Do you need to purchase their full markering solution before you can get the free CRM suite?

many thanks!

Peter-

That’s actually a great question! Their CRM site is a bit confusing, so the first time I looked at it, I had a lot of questions, too. If you click this link, the very top of the page should be a form for you to download the CRM. You don’t have to purchase anything! (Although if you need an email marketing or marketing automation system, I definitely recommend checking theirs out. It’s one of the best in the industry.)

Thanks for sharing these information!

but i used OneCRM software.I would recommend all folks to go for OneCRM, try OneCRM once, its really prodigious.

Cara,

Thanks for a good article. We have multiple analytical products for B2C companies like Insurance , hospitality etc. and now want to intergrate a CRM product to provide a complete solution. Do you have which product would be best suited and if it has been integrated as OEM with other products.

rgds

Dear Cara

Thanks for your quick reply.

If I click your link, I still do not see a link/form I can follow to start downloading the CRM.
I only see a ‘login’ button in the top right corner of the screen, and a box with the description of Hubspot CRM (but no link to click).

I made a screenshot of the screen I get. See: http://i57.tinypic.com/dmtnbq.png (hope you can see this).

many thanks for your help

Peter

Peter – Thanks for taking the screenshot! Interestingly, the page initially loaded for me the way your screenshot shows, but then converted within seconds to a page with a form. Is it possible that you have Hubspot marketing automation software? If that’s the case, you will likely have to login and get the CRM from within your current software. Additionally, I recommend scrolling to the bottom of the page as there is a second form there. I hope that one displays for you. 🙂

If all else fails, call up their sales team to set you up with the CRM. They have a really awesome team over there, so they’ll have you up and running in no time. They may even walk you through the platform. Their North American line is 888.482.7768. If you’re from any other continent, they’ve got a couple other numbers so scroll to the bottom of this page.
Let me know how it goes!

So, I am still new to the whole CRM world. All I am looking for is a centralized place where I can manage customer information (around 40 different properties), proposals sent to them, invoices and payments received. I tried Quickbooks but their templates are horrible and it is very financial based.

Any suggestions?

RGDM – Honestly, I’m not really sure of a product to help you. You may want to make sure you’re looking for a CRM and not ERP software. Check out this article to figure that out.

Nikhil – Good news! You’re definitely looking for a CRM! If you want to see everything a CRM can do for you, check out my article, What is CRM, to get an idea. I’m not sure what other qualifications you have for CRM or budget, but on what you’ve told me, you can use any CRM in the world. Liking it aesthetically is really the only differentiator from what you’ve said. Now, I would recommend (assuming you’re a small business) starting by checking out Capsule or Really Simple Systems because they’re both simple starter CRMs. They’ll treat you right and make life easy. The big difference I will mention between them is that Really Simple Systems will scale easier as you grow, while you will likely outgrow Capsule if your company grows beyond 50 users. Let me know if I can be of anymore help!

Hi Cara,

Good day to you,

I am looking for a sales CRM which must be open source and it must support to generate monthly sales report as per our sales team name wise.

Hope to hear you soon.

God bless you

bye

Hi there,

I’m looking for a free CRM for 5 users which is non cloud based, and I was wondering what you would recommend?

Many thanks

Thanks for reaching out Esther! Any one of the open source products on here will work for those criteria. Unfortunately, all the freemiums are cloud based.

I do recommend looking into the cloud-based solutions, though. It’s likely not going to be too much longer before installed software is a thing of the past, and cloud software is already extremely secure and convenient. If you just don’t want cloud-based because you have reservations about trying it, I definitely recommend putting your reservations aside and looking into it.

Using a Free CRM poses a security issue for me. How do I know my data is safe and secure and not being leaked back to anyone who could equally benefit from my contacts? Has anyone had issues with this? Are there more safe and secure options versus others out there?

Matt- Every single one of these options is highly secure. They will never, ever sell your information. On open source, your information is inaccessible to anyone but yourself because the CRM is actually installed and hosted by you. Freemiums are highly incentivized never to sell your information or allow any data breaches because freemiums are intended to be a first step to paying for their product. A freemium is given so that once you outgrow their freemium solution, you just upgrade and pay for their next level instead of paying for a different solution.

Dear Clara

Thanks for your very informative article which I read early this year. We are a ship broker company and our requirement is only to record all interactions / events / activities (telephone calls, SMS, meetings, etc ) with all our customers (about ~50) who approach us with their cargos and, so that all employees in our organization are fully aware of history of customer interaction and every cargo details . Our company has 5 employees and we are looking for a cloud based free CRM that gives good amount of storage say 5gb and eventually when we outgrow the free storage we want the upgrade cost to be reasonable.

We started using Bitrix24 since early this year after reading your article but since last month, in order to view history of activities of each lead, Bitrix is asking us to upgrade to Bitrix24 Plus stating ‘CRM history change’ is available in Advanced CRM only at $39/ month.( or free for 30 days more only)
So we are thinking of choosing another free CRM that suits our above requirement and would appreciate your advice in this regard. thank you

Mohamed – Thanks for coming back to me with this feedback! I really appreciate it!

Based on your requirements, you’re more or less limited to Zoho or Hubspot. Now I obviously know nothing about your company’s plans for growth with regards to your CRM, but you should keep in mind that Hubspot has no announced plans for large updates on their CRM. What that means for you is: if you want to go with Hubspot, make sure they have enough functionality to grow with you. Zoho definitely will be able to grow with you, plus it’s very affordable.

If neither of those work for you, though, you’re going to have to shell out some money. If that’s the case I recommend looking at our article about affordable CRMs. There are some seriously cheap but highly functional CRMs out there, so you’ll be able to find your perfect match! Let me know if you need more guidance or anything – I’m here for you all the way!

Hi Cara – Thank you for your prompt guidance , well appreciated and for the link to the affordable CRMs. For the moment this is fine and we will look at functionality and scaleability of Hubspot & Zoho to begin with. FYG based on our growth plans we would need a CRM that supports max 10 employees and ~200 customers in next 3 years, our being a B2B service sector. For the benefit of others, you may want to update the comparison table about Bitrix24 given that history access is now available only with their paid version, as i have learnt. Thank you

Mohamed – I definitely think Hubspot or Zoho will fit your needs. And I’ll definitely keep your information in mind as I head into the next update of this post!

Zachary – If you’re computer savvy, I definitely recommend looking into any one of the open source options on this list. Overall, they should all have the functionality you require, but you may want to look into vTiger first, since that has integrations with MailChimp. Have a look around the open source options and decide if you like on one of them. If you don’t, then you could start looking into cheap paid versions. If you decide to pay, check out our post about cheap CRMs. We reviewed 11 options.

Hi Cara. It’s great to see you have been keeping up with the replies for this long. All the info has really helped.
I am new to CRMs, but have read up a lot on them. My company is basically a real estate company based in Mongolia. However, I am not looking for a real estate CRM. We already have property management software, but we need something for our contacts. We will be putting over 1,000 contacts into the system and expecting it to grow. These contacts will be current tenants and prospective tenants. The point of this software will be to monitor current and prospective tenants for the purpose of marketing. Knowing when the current tenants lease is ending and having reminders. More importantly, knowing when prospective tenants’ leases are ending with the property that they are at (property that we don’t own), their need for space in their current location, and who has approached these people in the past. I would also like to be able to separate some of these things into categories to be searched by or reminders when the time comes to approach someone about moving into our properties. There would probably be only 7 (maybe 10) users. The administrator should be able to assign contacts to the other users, assign them reports, and monitor the users.
Now I believe that this all sounds like something a basic, free opensource CRM can do. I am pretty computer savvy so I could spend the time tailoring an open-source one. I would like to know your opinion. Which one do you think would be best? Should my company just suck it up and pay for a cheaper one like Nimble or Pipelinedeals? I want to help them choose a good one, considering I am a new employee, and especially if my company were to expand the usage of this CRM in the future.

Thanks!!! This info has been a life saver.

Thanks again!!!
However, vtiger doesn’t seem to be free either. 10 dollars for starter and 20 for professional (per user). Am I looking at the wrong thing there?
Also, I was looking at hubspot and it seemed pretty decent. Is there a reason you recommended vtiger over hubspot for me?

Zachary – This link to vTiger will take you right to the open source download page: https://www.vtiger.com/open-source/.

I recommended vTiger simply because you were interested in open source options. Hubspot is a great option and definitely worth looking into . Do keep in mind that the CRM is not Hubspot’s main product so it’s unlikely the product is going to gain a lot of new functionalities in the future. What I mean by that is: if you can’t see your business growing with the solution, it’s probably not the solution for you.

Thanks!
I’ll let you know what I choose

Zachary –

One more thing I just thought of! Hubspot is the ideal option for marketing because it works seamlessly with Hubspot’s fantastic marketing automation solution. So it could be the right solution for you based on your desire to use your CRM to hold the information for your marketing campaigns.

Hello
We run a small subscription service for children’s books. we send different books based on different age groups. We need a crm that helps us manage kids names, ages, and what we have sent them based on their age group and when they signed up.
Could you recommend one? We are very new to using crms-have google excel.
Thanks

Hi Randa!

Honestly, you could use any CRM you like, if those are your only functions. I would recommend having a look at a few of these and deciding which you find most easy to use. As a starting place, I’d recommend looking at Capsule or Really Simple Systems. Both are well-loved by first time CRM users, so I think you may find you like them.

I found Insightly matching my business needs very well.

Hi Cara! Thank you so much for this article!

I was wondering if you could help me make a decision on which CRM would be best for my company. We are a small, manufacturing company. There would only be 1-2 users for the CRM initially. We make one product that comes in different models, sizes, upholsteries, add-ons, etc. I want to be able to track current and prospective customers, quotes, sales, details on the sale/quote (qty, model, etc.) I need to be able to have 1000’s of contacts, not 100’s. I have multiple contacts for each company, and it would be nice to group and be able to filter by industry. I’d also like to be able to do marketing campaigns at some point, but not sure if this integration is even a possibility because I use Apple Mail. We are strictly Apple Based. If I need to do this separately, that’s fine. Just need to be able to filter and export, and make note of the potential customers I am emailing, and when.

The most confusing part for me, in choosing a CRM, is I am wanting to be able to link companies to other companies. For instance, lets say I am trying to sell to a hospital. Well, I will have contacts within that hospital, in addition to contacts at the parent hospital group, their interior design firm, their group purchasing organization, etc. And…take the int. design firm for instance, I would want them as a prospect as well, and will need to link them to other projects (companies) too. And each hospital group will have multiple locations that I need to keep track of. This is the hard part. It’s layered I guess, as opposed to flat data.

I’d like to be able to store documents (quotes, work orders, acknowledgments, invoices, user instructions, terms & conditions).

Lastly, if I could able be able to manage production (vendor list, inventory, pricing). If this needs to be separate that is ok.

Any recommendations or advice is GREATLY appreciated!!!

Julie – Thanks for all those details! It really helps me understand what you’re looking for.

So I’m going to be totally honest with you: I’m not sure you’re going to be able to use a free CRM because of your complexity. The exception would be an open source CRM, which, if you have the tech know-how, might actually be a good idea because you could customize it to your specifications. Additionally, it sounds like you’re going to need an inventory management system to integrate with your CRM. Because of this, I’d like to pass your question on to one of our software advisors. We have someone who specializes in inventory software, as well as CRM software, luckily for you, and I think that she would be able to help you pick out the perfect system to cover the complexity of your needs. I’m going to have our expert email you shortly, and if you don’t see the email, please feel free to call her directly at 1-703-997-2106. (In case you were wondering, it’s totally free of charge, so don’t worry about that!)

Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you!

Great article. I would like to add Sales Horse Rider’s Sales Manager into the list. It’s a nice contact and customer management app for small businesses. It is highly affordable as it cost around $9/ month. Try Sales Manager today itself at http://www.saleshorseriders.com

Hi Cara
What a legend you are! I am also going to ask for you help because I am sick of downloading CRMs only to find they are not what I am looking for.
I run a retirement village and many of the CRMs are too complex and too sales oriented for my needs.
This is what I need
Leads;
Contact details Surname and First name in seperate fields
Room for two peoples details on the record
Dates and records of ongoing contacts
Categorize CASH BUYER or HOUSE TO SELL
Status HOT WARM or COLD
Floor plan type
Budget to spend
Record of dates deposit paid, settlement date, inspection appointments etc (shown in a calendar would be great or integrated into my Outlook calendar)
CONVERT TO CLIENT
Client is then a resident. I need;
Unit number (this is most important and I need to be able to filter a report by this)
Next of kin information
Date and record of ‘events’ (eg hospitalization, fall, away on holidays etc)
Date and record of maintenance done on property
Date and detailed record of any improvements or changes to the property
Date of vacating property and reason (eg deceased)
Room for 2 peoples details on the record
Ability to link the unit number to past resident and new resident – providing a turnover history for that unit – dates, sale price, number of years of occupancy,
Ability to produce reports of LEADS and RESIDENTS by Surname, Unit number, HOT etc status and CASH BUYER etc status.
Not very specific MUCH lol, and while I am making a wish list I might as well ask for these as well;

Ability to attach documents and/or photos would be great or ability to insert hyperlink to those files on my PC hard drive.
Ability to email direct from software would be great or again ability to link to my Email programme.
NO INVOICING
NO INVENTORY
NO PRODUCT INFORMATION
NOT DEALING WITH COMPANIES ONLY INDIVIDUALS
And of course, FREE

I have tried REAL ESTATE software but that doesn’t give me the ongoing information I need. I don’t think patient software will give me the room for ongoing information about the building. I can’t think of what else might apply….any help would be appreciated.
Cheers and keep up the great work!

Liz – I had no idea I was a legend! I’m gonna have a big head for the rest of the day. Haha. Thanks for all those details! I feel like I know exactly what you’re doing now. You said you’ve tried several products and didn’t like any of them. Were any of them open source products? I’d recommend checking out SuiteCRM. You’re not looking for anything very difficult or out of the realm of a basic CRM, you’re just looking for more custom fields than I think many freemium products are going to come with. As a result, I think open source should be fairly easy for you to customize to your specifications, even with very limited computer skills. Otherwise, you may want to look into Zoho as from what I recall, they’re fairly customizable with their fields.

If these options don’t work for you, you may want to look lease management software. It’s meant specifically for rental properties, as opposed to real estate software, which is meant for real estate salespeople. I found this option which appears to be free. You could try looking into this.

Finally, if you can’t get the functionality you desire in a free system, you should consider spending a little bit on a CRM. They can be very cheap to get, with plenty of very good solutions starting at $12/user/month – which is basically a Netflix subscription, or two coffees/month at Starbucks. If you want our definitive list of cheap CRMs, check it out here.

I hope I’ve been able to provide some help here. Please let me know if there’s anything else you need me to clarify, or I got it totally wrong and you need me to try again! I’m here to help! 🙂

[…] There are also other CRM systems that are open source based that provide full functionality for free. Capterra.com has a great article on their blog that reviews 10 free CRM systems. […]

I am looking to integrate a CRM into my WordPress Site. The theme is directory based and will be operating a quasi directory with a basic CRM for its subscribers. They are able to manage their own clients which happen to by patients. Meaning security is of utmost importance. From a hardware and technical perspective I would like your professional input.

The CRM should be open source like freecrm. Am I potentially running virtual machine for each subscriber? How would it communicate with their dashboard hosted on the WordPress server. Lets start here and see where this takes us…

Of course for various reasons speed is important. A stand alone database is preferable. How do you all feel about freeCRM?

Open source sounds like it would be good for you… but FreeCRM is not, in fact, open source. FreeCRM is a freemium for a year, and then it becomes a paid product. I recommend looking into vTiger.

Hi,

Great artical, as a small chairtiy some of these CRM systems look like a great start. I am wandering though, as we are a charity, what are the best CRM systems for that? When looking the chairty based ones seem to costs at least £5,000 to £15,000 install. Using onse like salesforce can be slightly customised towards our needs (managing donors).

Any ideas on what are the cheepest options for a charity with CRM systems that are targeted towards us? I think CiviCRM is a great place to start but we cannot manage this ourselfs.

Michaela – Before you decide on a CRM, I recommend looking into membership or donor management software. Both types are built specifically for charities and other nonprofits to manage their donors or members. Unfortunately, we don’t have a free donor management software list (though I’m certain a quick Google search will find you some), but we do have this list of 7 free membership management systems. Check those out and let me know what you think!

Hi Cara, this is a very nice article, very helpful information and a quick overview of what we as user would call a free crm system…

I have a question for you, maybe you’ll know if exist something closer to Dynamics CRM… for me this is the best CRM tool, but as it’s good it’s expensive… i’m running my business in consulting and products… and in the request i would like the option to have email track from outlook or gmail or webmail… any service that i’ll use to the crm system… think’s in zoho, but i’m not sure… and i want to customizate it as any bussines need that i’ll have i need to do quotes, activities, something like a sales cycle… and also works multilang… does not matter a cheap price maybe between 15 to 30 usd could be a nice option to pay… could you please recommend me any solutions?

Thanks!

Best Regards!

I am owner of a water filter shop. I am not an IT man nor a MBA . I juts want to organise and improve Marketing side of my business. I need a CRM free forever even if it is for a single User. plz guide me. I am looking for a Free and Simple Android CRM. thank you.

Kamran – Try Really Simple Systems! I think you will like it.

Vile – I think a lot of former Dynamics users like Zoho, but you may want to check out Really Simple Systems as well!

Great article. Could you please let me know a suitable crm for MLM business. Thamkd

Have you ever tried Odoo? I use it and it is totally free for 2 users, which for many small companies is perfect. It not only does CRM but has a TON of add ons. Please take a look and include in your next update.

[…] thing about these technologies is that they don’t have to be expensive. There are a bunch of free CRM systems that work wonderfully for small-to-medium businesses, and there are plenty of email service […]

Hi, you should also try out our app!
A great helpdesk with CRM, knowledge base, feedback feature, task and time management and live chat. VoIP coming soon.
http://www.sugester.com

* looking for software for small business
* we currently have 5 users
* we need mobile support
* syncing between 3 computers
* open source for creativity if possible

thanks so much

Hi Cara,

We are looking for a free or nearly-free ‘cloud based’ solution that allows us to keep track of clients – basically see who has made initial and ongoing contact, outcomes of meetings, next steps, etc. Can you provide any assistance on what might work for us? This would be in an education setting.

Thank you!

Hi Jim!

Based on what you told me, any CRM on this list will work for you. Tracking all that stuff is a basic function for CRM. If that’s all your looking for, go ahead and do some demos or trials of some of the above software, and pick your favorite based on how easy it is for you to use. I might recommend starting with Capsule, as it sounds like this is your first CRM, and that one is built for first time users.

If you have more specifications than that, let me know and I’ll help you narrow down your choices.

Thanks so much, Cara!

Thanks for the great review, Cara. I wonder if you can help me shorten the trial process. I need to move from in-house highly customized Act! (with 6,000 contacts and extensive history attached to them) to a cloud CRM with some PM/Helpdesk functionality. I looked into Insightly, Apptivo and Bitrix so far – neither fits the bill, for different reasons.

Here is my list of requirements:
– Import contacts and their histories either directly from Act! or via CSV.
– Periodic complete backup or export of all cloud data (losing or corruption of my data is death to my business.) I found that this crucial feature is not always available.
– Ability to enter unlimited notes and log calls and other interactions with each contact. Automation is not required, we can type it in.
– Integration with Gmail, at least ability to see all emails received and sent for each contact. No need to send emails from within CRM, switching back-n-forth between Gmail and CRM is OK.
– Each contact will have multiple attached Projects or Opportunities that progress from stage to stage and need to be assignable to a specific team member.
– Each Project/Opportunity needs unlimited notes.
– No need for any sales analytics
– Need customizable fields
– Need search across multiple fields and partial content. For example, which contact has a phone number ending in -1234, across all types of phones?
– Ability to relate contacts to each other, like family and business partners.
– Integration with Google calendar or some built-in calendar
– Android app

We have 5 users. I do not want opensource due to complexity. I do not mind reasonably priced paid solutions, but have no budget for the Salesforce league.

Thank you for all your help!

Michael –

Hmmmmm… to be honest, it sounds like a free solution is not going to meet your needs. The good news is, there are a LOT of solutions out there that are cheaper than Salesforce. I’m certain we can find you the perfect solution. If you don’t mind, I’m actually going to connect you with our resident CRM expert here, as she has a far deeper knowledge of solutions than I do, and can definitely help you here. (I’m a free CRM expert, but I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as her when it comes to paid ones.) I’m going to give her all the info you gave me, and she’ll reach out via email to advise you. If for some reason you don’t get her email, email buyers@capterra.com. 🙂

Let me know if there’s anything else I can do!

Hi Cara,
We have been using Highrise for over 5 years now and it has really transformed our business. They do have a freemium offer.
I was just curious as to why they didn’t make your list as it really works for us and in particular is very user friendly for non-techy people.
thanks
Ali

Hi, Ali!

I just became aware of High Rise’s freemium option a few months ago. I’m glad to hear you like it as I was considering it as an option for my next update!

I still cant find a decent CRM which can offer integrated features to generate quote, export it in PDF and have a version control !

Hi Cara,

How many of these would be able to integrate seamlessly with other applications? Do they come pre-integrated or do we have to work on integration after deploying?

Jennifer – Nearly all of these should come pre-integrated with various applications. The most common is Mailchimp. You can check their websites for a full list of the applications each one integrates with.

Hello Cara.
Great post but as for me it would be interesting if you make additional post about industry level CRM systems.
We are developing CRM for travel agencies TravelCRM http://www.travelcrm.org.ua/en/
It’s free and open source.

Thank you, Cara, for your invaluable blog and for the time, energy, caring and knowledge that you put into responding to questions. Rather than adding another question I will call your CRM expert at the number you provided.

Have a wonderful holiday and new year.

Hey Cara,

I run an event company and am looking to take .csv files that have data from each of our events and upload those into a CRM with the main goal being to see who are our top customers (average revenue spent) over a certain period of time. Ideally a nice UI, graph system would be great. Any suggestions?

Jabari – While all CRMs should be able to take .csv uploads, I’m not aware of any of this list that can display the information in a graph system. I know that both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics can be configured to display graphs, but they’re very expensive systems. On this list, Raynet does provide at-a-glance cards that can tell you who your top customer is. Additionally, I am not positive that a CRM would necessarily be able to upload information about a person you already have in your system. Many of them delete duplicate information, or would simply create a new “card”. I’m sorry this probably wasn’t very helpful to you! I recommend either calling one of our CRM experts for advice on choosing a system (703-994-4500), or contacting the salespeople at systems that you’re interested in for more information! Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

Just tried to sign up for SalesBox but they are only giving a 2 week free trial now 🙁

Thank you so much for this article. I’m looking for a way to get an overview – and continue having it – for my own, small, event production company. I just want to import my contacts, tag them with useful keywords and keep track of who I had contact and/or appointments with, about what and when.
Almost all CRM systems are directed at large companies and their respective sales departments, so I’m happy to find out a bit more about the fremium deals they offer, as for me, I will be the only one using it anyway.

One more Free CRM with loads of features, CVENTURE.. Manages Complete sales lifecycle and support life cycle.. http://www.cventure.in

Thank you for your work to put this together.
We have been using SugarCRM for a few years and are about to hit the rock bottom of it’s performance. The more customers and communication we have gathered over the years the slower it became. Even with proper tuning, the performance of it is beyond unsatisfactory.
The problem is that the sugar has a very poor design of file management. (all your many thousands of attachments, documents, etc are stored on file system in one directory) it is a very bad idea. Did a novice programmer design this system?
We are about to migrate our system to something that was designed by people who know how to properly handle large volumes of data.
It was helpful to know that some of the systems are SugarCRM on the inside, we will be avoiding those CRMs.
What would be nice to see in the review is the performance ratings of those CRM applications with realistic and large volume of customer information and messages.

Thanks again.

Victor – I’m sorry to hear Sugar is so slow performing! As an open source application, it wasn’t designed by a novice designer, but it doesn’t come fully loaded. Sugar was fully intended for your internal tech team to configure it for your own purposes. If you guys haven’t configured it yet, it’s worth having your techies look at it before you give up hope.

I didn’t include information on speed of loading, etc. directly for any of the hosted solutions, mainly because the freemiums are very much intended for a small business, with a small amount of contacts. Depending on how many contacts/users you have, you won’t be able to use most freemium versions. If you doqualify for freemium, the hosted solutions should run perfectly for you.

Hope this helps!

Hi Cara,
Have you tried ERPNext. It is a great CRM but also accounting, inventory management, POS, HR, etc. A bit like Odoo but a lot more in the Open Source spirit (ie. no difference between community version and closed private version.)

hi Cara, glad to find this article. im new to this.. I wish to try free version for small banking setup that include call center and web chats.. can you give recommendation which brand should i first try?
thanks a lot

Hi Cara,

This was old post. Can you update? Apptivo CRM has more reviews and positive feedback. Recently got rewards from PCMag and Cloudswave. Check your Best CRM infographic post. Apptivo in top 15 in V5. Top 5 in Customers.

Loya – I’m definitely doing an update in the near future. I just checked out Apptivo, and from what I can see the freemium is really more of a contact manager, less of a full CRM. Is this the case? Please fill me in if I’m missing something – I want to make sure I have it right!

Hi Cara,

Can you please help, its a minefield….

We run a small business that places teachers (circus performers, breakdancers etc) into school programs and we need a system that will allow for contact management, business growth through marketing, calendar tracking of all teachers and their availability (so bookings), invoicing and more as we get familiar with the capabilities of a CRM package. We use ACT (2011) at the moment, but purely for contact management.

It’s a nightmare looking at all the options, happy for a free service, or one that has a very cheap monthly fee as we are a small business (1 to 2 users). Looked at Overture (no pricing available), and StudioCloud, and have considered Apptivo & Nimble ? What would you recommend?

Thanks in advance…

Hello,

I was wondering if you could make any suggestions for a CRM which is android based and can log communication from my android contacts. Something like BASE.
I need simple leads, contacts with custom fields like tags, appointments. It’s mostly to manage contacts and all the information about them including my communication with them using android phone.
Of course free too, since it’s for my personal use in sales, not a company.
I just need to know all my communication with the contact and when to call or meet them again.

Could you please recommend a free CRM for financial planners/investment advisors?
Any input appreciated. Thanks!

Cara, I am overwhelmed with your knowledge AND tenacity to answer everyone’s comments, so this is just a thank you really. I run a dating business – thedateshack.com and need a secure CRM that will not only house my clients’ personal details, but also photos. I’m assuming the three you suggested that allowed clients’ photos – Zoho, Insightly and Capsule – will only allow one photo per customer, which is a great start, so I’ll crack on with Zoho and see how it goes. I’ll also share this article because I think it’s brilliant. Thanks again!

Hi Cara,

I own a small, home-based life coaching type practice. I’m a solo-prenuer. I’m looking for a “communication management” software mainly. I like Contactually a lot because it seems perfect for customizing follow-up reminders, templates, etc. Lamentably they don’t have free plans, and the one I like is $59 per month. A little pricy for me right now. Can you tell me please which free CRM today may be the closest to what Contactually offers? I see Soho being very limited and no working very well with FB.
Bitrix24 and Vtiger are other alternatives I’m considering but I’m not sure. Thanks Cara

Coach Ed – Try looking into Capsule. It’s very focused on first time users, so you should find that they’re easy to use as just contact managers.

Jessica- Thanks for sharing!! I really appreciate it! 🙂

Jim – In theory, you should be able to use any CRM for that, but check out our financial CRM directory for an official list of specific options for your needs.

Laura – Check out Insightly. They have a great app!

Sarah – I think it’s worth checking out Hubspot. They’re probably the best solution for marketing on this list because they’re made by a marketing automation company.

Thank you so much for this article.!
I was looking for an answer for my new business, and this article helped me chose what I need. Beside I knew nothing about CRM, and you gave me tons of info, I’ve learned a lot. Thank you so much again.

Regards.

Which CRM solution is free and offers periodical data backup into a file?
Ideally the backup-file file could be imported into another CRM solution when necessary?

FYI Salebox seems to have changed their policy between the time the article was written and now. The option seemed interesting to me since we already have an all-iphone company but there is no free version now, only a 14 day trial.

Also, a comment on vTiger. We used it for years on our own server completely for free. If I would give it criticism is that it has too many features. It’s easy to get lost in the features and the multiple ways to do the same thing. But if you’re looking for more than just a CRM it definitely has its merits. It allows quote creation, trouble tickets, product/services catalog and inventory, etc. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time customizing it.

Thank you for all the great info. We’re currently evaluating Hubspot thanks to your article and Apptivo thanks to Loya’s comment.

Great Article Cara,

I am interested getting into the CRM market (with a twist) , I would like to conduct a market research before investing money and time.

Can you suggest where can I find more information and/or people I can talk to ?

Thanks

For membership organizations, I highly recommend Zenbership (www.zenbership.com). Zenbership is designed to take a visitor through the cycle of acquiring the lead, converting the lead to a member, marketing to the these users, and finally selling to their members, either subscriptions or event tickets.

Um, wow. Can’t believe you are still plugging away at this. Phenomenally done. I think I read all of your replies. Also, I sent an email to an address that I pulled from one of your replies to get some direction on a tool for our company. Thanks again for the great work and keep it up!

Hi Cara!

Thank you for this great and comprehensive article! You are indeed a legend 😉

I was wondering whether you could recommend an open-source CRM that is well suited for a small-medium sized eCommerce.

Ideally, the CRM would implement products, services & transaction capabilities. vTiger has them, but I am a bit skeptical because of the rather cryptic documentation and poor English throughout the site.

Thank you!
Guido

PS. May I suggest a small update for your great table? vTiger now also offers a cloud service.

Hi Guido! If you’re looking for something that can track your customers and manage your eCommerce site, I actually recommend looking into open source eCommerce solutions, like Magento. If you already have a site up and running and are just looking for a shopping cart, it’s likely that your website server has some type of plugin for eCommerce. For instance, if you’re working with WordPress, they make a plugin called WooCommerce. I actually wrote a whole list of open source eCommerce options that you should check out. Since CRMs don’t really have eCommerce shopping cart functionalities, my guess is that you either won’t need a CRM b/c your eCommerce software will have one built in, or you’ll have to integrate a CRM with your eCommerce software.

Hi Cara,
I have read the entire blog, and you are amazing !!!!!!
I was hoping to bug you for a quick answer please when you have time,
I sell Tiles to custom home builders/retail and also wholesale to other companies.
I have 100’s of products and different mark ups for retail/wholesale.
I would like to know if there is a free or a low cost crm software cloudbased, for 1 user, then can help with how much profits I made from each sale and product, and to which customer, and also have a crm in it so i can track and contact all my clients.
Thank you

Hi Cara,

Great Info. I am curious to know have you tried Pipe Drive? and do you know any products that integrate with Microsoft Dynamics NAV? I’m really looking for a simpler solution than the one Microsoft offers,

thanks!

Danny

Dolibarr ERP CRM is missing: https://www.dolibarr.org
With more than one million of users in the world, it is also a free erp and crm as it is open source.

Hi,
Thank you so much for putting this together and answering everyone’s questions. I was wondering if you can suggest something for a non-profit. We need it to keep track of our donors, send emails, marketing etc. as well as integrated with our website.

Thank you!

Hi..I am sourcing for free CRM software and i chanced upon this blog. Thanks Cara for a wonderful breakdown. I am in a small to medium size business consultancy firm and also another business doing wedding plannings. I am looking for a free CRM software that allows multiple companies. I know Zoho have this function but got to pay. Is there any free software that allows to have multiple companies in 1 place? Thanks!

Baila – There’s actually software made specifically for nonprofits that I think would work great for you! Check out this other article we have that lists the top free membership management software options.

Eric- To be honest I’m not positive that any of these CRMs offer that for free. I’m sure the open source options could be configured to do that. Hubspot may also be able to support multiple companies.

Hi,

I was wondering what is the best CRM software would recommend for a small private company. We dont make a lot money. In our company, we have 5 employees. Our company is a small international company helping people to find jobs/internships in China. Our office is located in Shanghai, China. We are a started up company since 2013.

Great help, here Cara. I have much experience using enterprise solutions (but not a technical user, meaning I have great understanding of the data and analytics, but am not a developer or DBA or implementer, more of strategist), so not really primed for open source. But see lots of great options on this list for a small manufacturer with 2-3 users with Account, Lead, Contact and Opportunity Management, Quote Creation and Order Management, some Mktg Automation, Campaign Management, Email Mktg (or integration with Constant Contact and MailChimp (all on list seem to enable that, in addition to native), and social. Any thoughts of what might be the best fit?

Hi Cara, Great info.
1 How would rate Bitrix for support? I was headed their way but got concerned with their support.
2. Head to Head – Hubspot or Bitrix or Workbooks

Thanks!

Hi James! Great questions!!

1. Bitrix is known to struggle somewhat with their support, though I’ve found some reviews that also mention good customer service. I think they’re worth trying on the free level (if you’re planning on paying), and testing out the service before committing.

2. Honestly, I’m not very familiar with Workbooks, so I can’t give an opinion on that. But between Hubspot and Bitrix: Bitrix wins for mid-large size companies. It is filled with features that are fantastic for larger sales team, but that would probably be completely lost on one or two person teams. However, in the small business space, Hubspot definitely takes it. They’re an elegant solution that gives a small team everything they need, without confusing them with add-ons.

Hi Cara,
Thanks very much for doing all of the research – you’re list is great!
We are a small consulting company of 2 people, working in 2 different countries. We need a CRM for lead and sales tracking, as well as project management. I think Bitrix24 or Zoho would work for us, but I haven’t seen much about tracking leads. I am very new to CRM’s and don’t want to make the wrong decision for our business. If you have a moment, I would really appreciate your insight on the matter. Thanks so much!

Leanne- I think Bitrix is a safe bet for you as it is both a project management and a CRM system – and strong on both fronts! Good luck!

Hi Cara, we would like to hire one people in each country of the world to find local distributors, schools, conferences and have a continuous followup on the progress of those potential sales leads. We must be able to have a view on a daily or weekly base about the progress from all those people. Which system would you advise? Thanks in advance for your valued input. John.

Hi Cara,
Thank you for this great post! I’m new to the CRM world and looking for a CRM for 2 users for our small business of selling handbags wholesale to retail stores. I would like to track store leads and be able to send invoices, email them, follow-up automatically after shipment, and upload documents & notes. Ideally, this system would integrate with an accounting system like Xero. We also sell our handbags direct to consumers on our Squarespace website, but I’m not sure if I should be using the CRM to manage both wholesale and direct customers. Would really appreciate your advice on which CRM would work best for my business. Thank you!

Cara, thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate your help, and I will continue to follow your posts. Best to you.

Great list of open source CRMs ! All of these software programs provide excellent features to improve business relationships with customers. Listing all of the functionalities of each open source CRM helps us understand which one best suits our company. You can also check out https://www.orocrm.com/download which has a great tool that can help organize customers’ information.

No way a small business should store their CRM information in the cloud.

I need a crm that will work with my google contacts and my android phone to give me a place to add a name once and have it available everywhere. (Maybe I should be looking for a great database like dBase of old)

[…] for your customers. Batchbook helps you learn and understand your customers, while ContactMe, a web-based CRM, comes with a range of tools for emailing, taking notes, calendar, task management and more. Zoho […]

Cara, We run a soccer club and are interested in e-mail marketing while storing all of our contacts in the CRM. We have over 5000 e-mails and we’re struggling to find the best solution for us while keeping costs down. What are your thoughts?

Cara,
Which of the CRM systems integrate with MailChimp and/or ReachMail?
Mike

Hi Cara,

Do you of know any FOSS CRM system that can be used in the Hospitality industry ?

DCase

[…] amazed by how many salespeople will chafe at its mere mention. Cost should not be an issue since today’s cloud-based SCRMs start at … free. Sure, you will have to adopt and establish some routines and then stick to those. “One, two, […]

[…] Wood enumerated her top 10 free and open source CRM tools. One of these is SuiteCRM, which offers basic features like lead gathering, task management, and […]

Hi Damion,

I’m Jennifer and I run the hotel management blog for Capterra. Let me see if I can help find what you need.

In the hospitality world, I think what you’re looking for translates to “guest experience management” or guest services. We have a filter for that in our hospitality property management directory, if you’re interested. You can find it here: http://www.capterra.com/hospitality-property-management-software/

In terms of free and open source, you’re in luck. Aside from free and open source hotel management software, there’s also free and open source hotel booking engine software, which also has a guest experience component, though it might not be as well-rounded as a foss hotel pms since its primary focus is organizing bookings/reservations.

I’ll link some articles below to direct you, so please feel free to check them out and shoot me a question if need be.

Free and Open Source Hotel Management Software: http://blog.capterra.com/top-free-and-open-source-hotel-management-software-solutions-compared/

Free and Open Source Hotel Booking Engine Software: http://blog.capterra.com/top-free-and-open-source-hotel-booking-engine-software-solutions-compared/

I work for a construction company. There are many to choose from. I am not necessarily looking for free. Just a reasonable CRM that is for at least 2 users, social media, app for phone, holds a large amount of contacts (2500 min) and memory, reminds me when to follow up on potential clients and/or projects. Ability to keep project info until it has been awarded (then our project management software takes over) Works with Microsoft and apple products. Ability to do email blasts every once in a while and print reports of my activity for the owner. Any suggestions?

Does anyone here have any experience with integrating a CRM with PLEX ERP? We have plex and are in the market for a new CRM.

Hello,

I’ve just discovered another free crm tool. It’s named Agile CRM : https://www.agilecrm.com

It’s free, up to two users. One highlight for me is that their website is full responsive. It’s a good thing for me because I use it on my phone.

It would be better if it was translate in french (maybe because I’m french 😉 ) but nobody’s perfect !

Thanks for your article !

[…] open source CRM options you can always find tons of information online, for instance: The 10 best free and open source CRM software solutions, Top 6 open source CRM tools for 2016, What is the best open source CRM software?. Or any other […]

[…] wrote an article regarding free CRM systems for business. She researched a number of CRMs and focuses on free […]

Hi Cara,

I’m looking for a CRM to manage brand building (via email, social, blogging, photos, videos, crowd-sourced photo sharing, and possibly research publication) for a statewide bicycle and pedestrian research/resource center run out of a university.

I’ve been told I should look into/use salseforce but I am uncertain if that’s the best (or most free) option.

Hi M –

Based on what you’ve given me, I might check out Insightly (because of the email marketing features). But it kind of sounds like what you’re actually looking for is a brand management tool. I would check out that link and see if it helps at all. If it doesn’t, please feel to comment again and I can keep trying!

Hi I am looking for a CRM that would be ideal for a pay day loan business, any suggestions?
Thank you

[…] open source CRM options you can always find tons of information online, for instance: The 10 best free and open source CRM software solutions, Top 6 open source CRM tools for 2016, What is the best open source CRM software?. Or any other […]

Taylor Swift is really nice. She will talk to you if you meet her on the street or in a restaurant, Just be normal and don’t pee your pants if you run into her in Nashville or Hendersonville

Thanks David! I take it you’ve met her! I’m super jealous!!!

Thanks for all of your current information. I am with a direct sales company and have about 500 in my downline group. I don’t actually sell them anything, but instead encourage and inform them and would like a good way to keep track of conversations we have and receive reminders about events, etc from those conversations. I really doubt that I will be interested in using this for my own sales, at least not any time in the near future. So, I need something fairly simple and straighforward.
I’m very impressed with your blog and how you have continued to answer questions and update information. Thanks so much!

Hi Cara.

First of all, great post! Extremely helpful and clear.

Even though, I need some assistance as this feature was not declared on any option, I need an expert opinion of what to look for.

I have an Outlook Exchange account share between 5-8 reps. for customer service, receiveing aprox 180 emails per day. Of course with this I have no visibility, no follow up, no kpi, no reports, no nothing.

So I was hoping to find a CRM that may let my staff organize their work, assing tasks, get reports, categorize tickets and contacts, make follow up and resolution actions, etc. What would you recommend?

Best regards,
Leo

Hi Leo –

From what you describe, I believe that any one of the CRMs above should be able to do what you mentioned. Though it does sound to me like you might be looking for customer service software. Check out that link and see if that’s actually the functionality you’re looking for.

Hi Cara

Great Post very helpful. Wondered if you could help me though…
I’m looking for a very simple CRM for only 2-3 users.
I would need each customer to have their own page with the products they buy and the price they pay. It would also need to have invoicing where multiple copies can be printed. Didn’t know is there was anything this simple around ?

Thank you

Hi Cara,

At the moment we are using Super Office in our business but we require integration like Google analytics, company logo, company docs/PDFs, etc.

I found “Really Simple Systems” and “PipeDrive” close to our demands, specially the latter one. But am not completely sure.

I considered maybe an open-source CRM could be the best solution, but from VTiger reviews it seems it’s not compatible with recent PHP versions and I am afraid to try that.

What’s your recommendation?

Hi Cara!

Thanks a lot for your post!
We are small-mid sized company, doing used car sales/export from Japan. Most of our customers are individuals and small car dealers, located in different countries all over the world. Can you recommend CRM software, not particularly from list above, which can be useful for 1-2 users? BTW, never used any CRM program before!
Any suggestion appreciated! Thank you!

Great, work and collection for any startup, i really fell good with vtiger …

Great help for a start up. We raise money for a variety of non-profits; don’t need to integrate their data but we just need a system to allow us to follow up on cards and prospects as well as current clients/staff.
Seems people like Bitrix but it’s not web based. Any thoughts?

Carl- Bitrix is great, and it’s definitely web-based! So go ahead and give them a try!

I just took a look at HubspotCRM, and it’s no longer free. The cheapest plan they have is $200/month and you only get 100 contacts with that.

Candice-

I think you’re looking at their marketing automation software, which does start at $200/month. The CRM is still free. I just checked. Here’s the right link.

[…] The 10 Best Free and Open Source CRM Software Solutions The 25 Best Free CRM Apps […]

where is orocrm

Hi Cara,

just need your suggestion on what CRM software to use, my business is a cafe, and we do want to keep track on what customer is buying and the amount, and there is also a point incentive program (which I haven’t found in free CRM) and birthday emails (reminder/notification is okay, though automated will be very nice).
Any suggestion on what, free if posssibe, CRM we should use? We don’t do a lot analysis, so BI is not a must 🙂

Thank you and have a great day!

Adi – I think I have the perfect software for you. It’s not a CRM, though. It’s a free point of sale software. Loyverse is a POS that will allow you to collect and track customers when you ring them up, and it has an integrated loyalty program,so you can easily run your incentive program!

Hi Cara, thanks in advance for your help! I work in a college counseling center and I manage the referrals to outside mental health providers. I’m considering using an online database to manage them. A feature I need but haven’t found yet is the ability to very quickly create a document from search results (e.g., all Brooklyn female therapists who take Aetna).

Thanks very much for this valuable information and for everyone’s comments and feedback. I have decided to take the plunge with Bitrix24 as it sounds like it will be a good option for me as a single user in a small to medium sized company to manage my leads using the Bitrix24 CRM module.

Cara,
We own a garage door business. We’re looking for a free CRM to simply track clients (so we need to list their home address) that only two of us use. Hoping to find one with an “Action Plan” feature such a SalesForce has so client maintenance program tasks can easily be assigned to new clients. Any ideas?

Dear Cara,
Thanks so much for this list, I crafted myself actually a very similar one but what I find is really hard to find is a CRM that doesn’t focus too much on sales. We are an association that is membership fee driven and therefore our CRM should be around visits, eventmanagement and contact management. Would you have any suggestion for this?
Cheers, elio

Elio – Sounds like what you actually need is a membership management system, not a CRM. Let me direct you to our blog for membership management. There are a lot of articles there about what membership management software is, and once you’re ready we have lists of free systems, and of the top 20 systems.

thank you so much for your quick answer. I will definitely have a look

Hi Cara, amazing list and its quite pleasant to see that you kept it updated over the years. I will try SuiteCRM for the moment and MyITCRM, but i have to ask, i am looking for a CRM for a Computer Repair shop, at the moment i am focusing more on repairs but i will branch out to retail at one point. Do you have any suggestions? Excuse my english i am from Argentina.

About 6 hours ago I magically ran into this watching youtube videos of cars and lead me straight to suitecrm 7.7.1. As i am a developer and never really used any other software because i create my own based on what my company needs. This actually defines some ease of use and productivity. Not to mention it yanks from linkedin WHEN USED CORRECTLY NOT SPAMMY OR ADVERTIZY… I am slowly beginning to believe I have found something to align and hone in on what I’m doing and easily takes some extra steps away. i can even program it to interact with my CRM/Direct sales based store management application.

Please pardon my lack of knowledge. On the comparison chart above, what does it mean to be self hosting? Also just to verify that the listed comparisons above are all free and online. Thank you!

I am looking for one that can at least have 5 users, online, contact management and task/project management is key. What would be your suggestions. I am somewhat familiar with ACT and Sugar. Thank you Again.

Vicki- Selfhosted means that you would host the CRM on your own server. And if you’re looking for project management, I suggest going with Bitrix. It’s the only solution on this list that is both a full-fledged CRM and a full-fledged project management system.

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