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. Maybe cost is why only just over half of sales reps we surveyed use a CRM, which often cost more than $50 per user, per month. The good news is that, while lunch may not be free, customer relationship management software can be! This can be especially useful for small businesses getting started with CRM tech.
Free And Open Source CRM Software:
Free CRM comes in two categories: free but limited (also known as freemium) and open source. Freemium versions set caps on the number of free users, contacts, storage, and extra features (or some combination thereof). Open source systems provide an unlimited, fully functional CRM for users. The caveat? Your small business will need a person (or team) who can install and configure the CRM. Open source systems are extremely customizable, and most open source CRM companies offer a preconfigured version and/or installation and support, for a fee. Open source CRM software is a great fit for technically inclined companies that want to adjust their software’s code themselves and are less concerned about tech support and manual upgrades. If you don’t have access to cost-effective developer talent, though, and still need an affordable solution, you’ll want to stick with freemium software.
SuiteCRM is a fully-featured, open source CRM that includes lead and opportunity management, email campaigns, and workflow automation. It is free to download and there are no limits to the number of users, making SuiteCRM a great solution for sales teams that want a customizable product as powerful as an industry-leading but proprietary CRM like Salesforce, but also have a strong technical understanding.
Open source finds a particularly warm welcome in developing markets, which has given vTiger an opportunity to build a significant user community in the seven years since it was founded – and its adding customers in the developed countries, like Nokia and Aegon USA, to increase its global customer base. The India-based software company boasts 1.5 million downloads of its LAMP/WAMP-based product, which comes with Sales Force Automation (SFA), marketing automation, customer service, inventory management, calendaring and email integration out of the virtual box, with add-ons available for Microsoft Outlook and Office, Thunderbird, a customer self-service portal and web forms.
Zoho ranks second on our list of most popular CRM software and ninth on our list of most affordable CRM software. It’s free for three users and 1GB of storage. Upgrade to more users, features, and 100,000 records for $12/user/month. If you want a ton of features, including the ability to import contacts from LinkedIn automatically and forecast sales, Zoho is a great option, especially if you don’t mind a clunky UI and potential support struggles.
With a completely free account, you get five users and 5GB of storage. The vendor also offers an installed option for a one-time fee of $2,990, which gets you their small-business installed CRM (good for 50 to 500 users). If you need a system that has telephony and project management and don’t need a lot of handholding or the easiest UI, Bitrix24 is for you.
X2CRM is open source CRM software for marketing, sales, and customer service featuring an easy-to-use workflow engine and process management tools for complicated automation as well as website insights. It is offered a free on-premise desktop application, a browser-based cloud solution for mobile access starting at $35 per month, or a hybrid of the two. X2CRM is best for groups that want a CRM that can create complex automated sales processes.
SuiteCRM is the overall best open source CRM software for sales teams; it has robust features including account management, product and project management, email marketing, invoicing, and workflow automation. SuiteCRM gives you powerful tools you can further customize to fit the needs of your unique business.