Best free CRM solution

CRM Solutions - Appsure IT
Social Media to CRM Solutions

Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows businesses to better manage customer interactions, support and relationships through reliable systems and processes. It also integrates organisational processes across marketing, sales and customer services.  Many people will try and track their interactions with leads and customers within their email.  This may be ok for some but it can quickly get complicated, with actions, follow-up call/meeting to arrange and deal tracking required.  It can therefore be very tempting to complement your email by setting up a spreadsheet to support this.  In the past this would have been an acceptable solution as we all try and control our spending.  However the world of CRM applications now has a host of free offerings that provide a broad range of functionality; removing the need to create another spreadsheet.

With a number of different packages offering similar but varying degrees of functionality, it is worthwhile considering your businesses unique needs prior to selecting one of the free packages.

Before looking at the free packages available lets look at some of the CRM terminology, definitions and features to look out for:

Pipeline:  A pipeline is a sales process that describes how your business captures and matures leads into purchasing customers.  It is possible for organisations (and CRM) to have multiple sales pipelines, however this is generally limited within free versions of the applications.

Custom Fields:  Although not unique to CRM applications, this is generally an important part of CRMs.  The uniqueness of each business is often very present within the sales process.  It will be unlikely that any CRM will capture and report on all the information that your business needs to support the marketing and sales process, therefore the ability for you to manage custom fields that you define is often a critical requirement for a CRM.

Landing Page(s): A landing page is a website page that allows new leads to enter their details.  This will normally be some form of mailing list sign up, but may be used to request a call back, register for an event or download some resources.  Utilising a landing page within a CRM allows you to capture this new leads details straight into your CRM.

Remember to consider what your business needs and not just what others are using.

Agile CRM

www.agilecrm.com

Standard features available

  • 10 users.
  • 1,000 contacts.
  • Lead Scoring.
  • Deal \ pipeline Management.
  • Task Management.
  • Email Integration.
  • Email campaigns.
  • Landing pages.

Key feature(s):

  • 5,00 Emails (Branded)
  • Form builder.

Ideal for

  • A contender for those looking to utilise a lot of  marketing functionality, the Email Campaigns & Form builder are not as restricted as in some other applications.

Bitrix24

www.bitrix24.com

Standard features available

  • Unlimited users.
  • Unlimited contacts.
  • Tasks
  • Project management.
  • Quotes
  • Invoices
  • Product catalogue.
  • Automated replies.
  • Landing pages.
  • Activity stream.

Key feature(s):

  • Workgroups (This is an internal chat group that allows collaboration, similar to Teams or Slack).
  • Project management.
  • Video calling.

Ideal for:

  • Bitrix24 would suit business with lots of contacts and business with larger teams looking to work together to convert leads.

Capsule CRM

www.capsulecrm.com

Standard features available

  • 2 users.
  • 250 contacts.
  • Custom fields.
  • Deal \ pipeline management.
  • Task management.
  • Service ticket management.
  • Sales Pipeline Dashboards.
  • Gmail & Outlook integration

Key feature(s):

  • Simple elegant design.

Ideal for:

  • Although Capsule CRM may not provide the same amount of functionality as some of the other tools, it does focus on the core elements of a CRM.  This makes is a great option for those looking for an easy to use & visually appealing package.

EngageBay

www.engagebay.com

Standard features available

  • 5 users.
  • 1,000 contacts.
  • Lists
  • Email templates
  • Auto replies
  • Social suite
  • Custom fields
  • Reports
  • Send newsletters
  • Email broadcast
  • Deal \ pipeline management.
  • Task management.
  • Email tracking
  • Gmail \ Outlook \ Office 365 integration
  • Service ticket management

Key feature(s):

  • Predictive Lead Scoring

Ideal for:

  • New businesses looking for a complete Marketing, Sales CRM & Service Ticket Management requiring good integration for social media.

HubSpot

www.hubspot.com

Standard features available

  • Unlimited users.
  • 1,000,000 contacts.
  • Reports.
  • Email templates.
  • Landing pages.
  • Website tracking.
  • Ads Management
  • Quotes.
  • Custom fields
  • Reports
  • Send newsletters
  • Email broadcast
  • Deal \ pipeline management.
  • Task management.
  • Email tracking
  • Gmail \ Outlook \ Office 365 integration
  • Service ticket management

Key feature(s):

  • Customer self service meeting link.
  • Offering a wide ranging prebuild integrations as well as access to external integration tools makes this HubSpot great at working with your other business applications.

Ideal for:

  • Due to the range of functionality offered, HubSpot’s free packages will provide most businesses with a great CRM application.  It’s range of integration into other business applications are not all available within the free package so some may want to upgrade to properly integrate other applications like accounts packages or email distribution applications.

Streak

www.streak.com

Standard features available

  • 2 users.
  • Contacts will remain in your Gmail so this is not actually limited, but you will be limited to 500 pipeline items which is where you will manage your contacts and deals.
  • Deal \ pipeline management. (Can’t be shared with other team members).
  • Email campaign.
  • Task Management.
  • Customer fields.

Key feature(s):

  • Google Workspace integration (formerly G Suite).

Ideal for:

  • Any organisation using Gmail for their email should definitely give careful consideration to Streak.  This application brings the business pipeline into your Gmail account, allowing good organisation and management of leads, opportunities and customer contacts.  The free version of the tool does have limited functionality compared to competition.

Zoho CRM

www.zoho.com/crm

Standard features available

  • 3 users.
  • 5,000 contacts.
  • Tasks.
  • Workflow rules.
  • Standard reports.
  • Email templates.
  • Landing pages.
  • Team collaboration.
  • Website tracking.

Key feature(s):

  • Zoho CRM’s key feature is it’s integration into other Zoho packages.

Ideal for:

  • The Zoho offering is probably the most limited free package listed.  However the Standard package can be access for £10 per month and if used in combination with other Zoho modules, will offer growing business access to a great range of connected functionality for a relatively low price.

For many business the functionality offered for no cost may not tick all the boxes in your requirements list.  You will therefore need to look at paid versions of these applications in addition to other applications that do not offer free version.

If you do feel that a paid option is required, do not limit yourself to the provides currently offer free packages.  You should consider (and document) your requirements and review the best of what the market has to offer in your price range.  Providers such as monday.com, pipedrive, sugarcrm, salesforece, oracle, crmnext & microsoft could be more aligned to your requirements and provide the benefits you are looking for.

If you want to hear more about how Appsure IT can support your CRM selection and implementation you can simply email contact@appsureit.com or use the below form and we can book a free consultation.

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