The 5 best free CRM tools

Carolin Puls 6/12/2024

We explain what CRM software is and what advantages and disadvantages it has

Table of contents
  1. What is CRM software?
  2. These are the advantages and disadvantages of free CRM software

Customer management must be continuous, but not difficult. Your customers should be satisfied with your products and enjoy using them. Unfortunately, to-dos that positively contribute to this can get lost in the hectic daily work routine. In the worst-case scenario, this can lead to your customers feeling neglected and switching to a competitor. To ensure that this doesn't happen and that you can offer them the best support, it may be worth purchasing a free CRM program. The aim of this program is to build a close relationship with your customers and thus retain them in your company. In this article, you will therefore find out what CRM software is and what advantages and disadvantages it has. We'll then take a look at the five best free tools and introduce you to some paid CRM tools.

What is CRM software?

The abbreviation CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, i.e. your customer relationship management. This refers to your strategy for systematically interacting and building relationships with your potential and existing customers. As this affects all phases of the customer journey, from the initial approach to post-purchase support, your CRM can be very extensive.

CRM software can help you to comprehensively map and automate the internal and external processes of the various phases and identify optimization potential. By using this software, you can improve your business relationships and make your buyers more satisfied. This applies to all areas of your company that maintain contact with your customers: Sales, marketing, customer service and e-commerce. For all departments, the focus is on customers and their needs.

Your individual processes are then derived from these requirements. All information from interactions with your customers and their various preferences is clearly recorded in a digital tool. Your colleagues can then work with this data to ensure a smooth process for your users. The best thing about it? You can use many CRM software programs for free and still benefit from their advantages.

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These are the advantages and disadvantages of free CRM software

Enough theory - what advantages do free CRM programs offer you in practice? And are there any disadvantages to using them?

CRM software saves time and money

It's all about money! And since time is money, this point is doubly important. By recording customer information and interests in a structured way, you only have to query them once and then don't have to search for them every time in a pile of paper or in different systems.

Even simple free CRM systems offer you a dashboard with which you can keep track of all important information and call it up directly when required. They are usually very intuitive to use. This saves you valuable time, allows you to close deals faster and make your customers happy.

Increase customer loyalty with a CRM program

Happy customers are loyal customers. Loyal customers will recommend your company to others. It has been proven that it is up to five times cheaper to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones. However, you will only succeed in this if you take their wishes and circumstances into account and give them a positive buying experience. You can do this by expressing genuine interest, storing all the information you have gained and making it transparently accessible to the colleagues involved in the support process.

Otherwise, your leads or existing customers can quickly get the impression that the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing when previously discussed topics are revisited. If you work with the information provided by your prospects and make them tailored offers, there is a good chance that leads will become existing customers and stay with you: Because they know that you are taking good care of their concerns.

CRM systems help your marketing to sharpen your target group

In a CRM system, your customer service can record how the prospective customers became aware of you. Did they visit your online store or see a print advertisement? Did they pass by your store while shopping or come across you via another website?

Or did satisfied customers recommend you to others? These insights will help you to narrow down your target group and develop CRM strategies for the future. For example, if many leads are generated via your search engine ads, this investment will probably continue to pay off in the future. A well-maintained CRM tool also stores all other important information about the decision-makers.

In addition to the industry, name and contact details, you can also record the feedback from your contacts about your offers, correspondence and personal information. This helps you to maintain a close and personal relationship with your counterpart. This allows you to build trust and obtain further information.

The quality of your contacts increases with CRM software

The fact that you already have all the important information from the contact history and have it in a structured form means that your customers will feel well looked after. This strengthens their trust in you, as they have the feeling that they are in good and competent hands with you, which makes them more open in their dealings with you.

As a result, the quality of your contacts increases and you can enter newly acquired information directly into your system. You can also access all information and documents while on the move, which means that customers can be provided with ideal support at all times. This in turn has a positive effect on their loyalty and recommendation of your company.

A CRM tool makes it easier for you to understand why leads don't convert

Despite good support, it can of course happen that your leads decide against your offer. With free CRM software, you can analyze afterwards what could have been the reason if the prospects don't tell you why. You can check whether the requested offers were sent within the set deadline, how high the price was or whether the wishes expressed by the interested parties were fully covered. From this, you can then derive and implement optimizations for the future.

Reports from your CRM system form the basis for well-founded business decisions

Once you have established a CRM system in your company, it will be able to map your internal and external processes. You can generate automatic reports for various questions. Their answers can form the basis for decisions that affect the future direction of your company:

  • How profitable are customers from certain industries?
  • Are my offers better than those of the competition?
  • Does the after-sales service need to be improved? Can I automate certain steps?
  • What do customers want from me that I can't currently offer them?

A customer relationship management tool can provide you with answers to these and other questions.

CRM tools facilitate cross-team collaboration

The fact that all customer-facing areas work with one tool means that all employees will become better networked with each other over time. This is a great benefit, as the work of different parts of the organization does not always run smoothly. By working across teams and focusing on your customers, you will learn what information downstream departments need, how your colleagues work and how everyone involved can contribute their expertise in the best possible way. This will also have a positive impact on the experience of your contacts.

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You can increase your productivity with CRM software

Many tasks in the customer service process are very time-consuming. A CRM program can automatically generate simple administrative tasks and ask your customers about their satisfaction with new software, for example, or remind your colleagues to make a call about the latest offer. In the long run, these small tasks take up a lot of time, which you can now better invest in other areas. The prerequisite for generating automatic emails and reminders is, of course, that you have entered the required data correctly beforehand.

A CRM system has this "disadvantage"

Okay, there is a tiny bit of extra work involved with a CRM system: setting up the tool takes a little time to record all the information about your customers. But this investment will quickly pay for itself. Because here too, "knowledge is power". By investing the time at the beginning to enter your knowledge into the tool to provide the best possible support for your leads, you then have the power to meet their needs better than before. Over the course of the customer journey, the CRM program will save you double and triple the time you invested. So it's not really a disadvantage either.

These are the 5 best free CRM software programs

Now we come to the heart of the matter: the CRM tools. In the following section, we have compiled the five best free tools for you. You can also find an overview of all free and paid CRM tools and lots of helpful user reviews on OMR Reviews.

1. HubSpot CRM

With the HubSpot CRM you can manage your leads clearly. With Hubspot, you can track your emails accurately and carry out ad retargeting for two defined target groups. The tool also offers you various ready-made forms to use.

HubSpot CRM features

  • Contact & account management
  • Opportunity & pipeline management
  • Campaign management
  • Email marketing
  • Case Management
  • Activity & task management
  • Reporting & Analytics

HubSpot CRM costs

HubSpot CRM offers a free and a paid version, which differ in the scope of access. The free version allows you to create an automated email and access a shared mailbox. The functions of the paid version are an extension of the free version. Prices for the paid version vary between €41 and €2944 per month, depending on the package.

You can find more information about HubSpot CRM's pricing plans and user reviews with price references on OMR Reviews.

HubSpot CRM alternatives

If you're looking for an alternative to HubSpot CRM, then take a look at our software review platform OMR Reviews. There you will find experiences and reviews from other users to help you choose a suitable, free CRM software tool.

 
 

2. CentralStationCRM

With CentralStationCRM you can manage your tasks and contacts, work together on projects for your customers and look back on your communication history. The tool is primarily aimed at teams in small and medium-sized companies and focuses on ease of use and basic CRM functions.

CentralStationCRM features

  • Task and contact management
  • Communication history
  • Collaboration
  • E-mail marketing
  • To-do lists
  • Forecasting
  • User & rights management
  • Mobile user support

CentralStationCRM costs

You can use the CentralStationCRM starter package with three users and up to 200 contacts permanently free of charge. The costs for the three paid versions, which include more contacts and additional users, range from €18 to €99 per month.

You can find more information about CentralStationCRM's pricing plans and user reviews with price references on OMR Reviews.

CentralStationCRM Alternatives

If you are looking for an alternative to CentralStationCRM, then take a look at our software review platform OMR Reviews. There you will find experiences and reviews from other users to help you choose a suitable, free CRM software tool.

 
 

3. ZOHO CRM

The free CRM tool Zoho CRM you can easily connect to other applications. The free version includes your workflow management, the organization of your contacts, contracts and accounts as well as standard reports and marketing automations. Zoho CRM is currently used by 150,000 companies around the world.

Zoho CRM features

  • Quotation & order management
  • Product & price list management
  • Activity & task management
  • Customer service portal
  • Email Marketing
  • Opportunity & Pipeline Management
  • Knowledge Base
  • Reporting & Analytics

Zoho CRM costs

You can use Zoho CRM in the Free Edition permanently free of charge. The tool also offers three other plans: Sandard, Professional and Enterprise. In the same order, the costs amount to $ 14, $ 23 and $ 40 per month/user. The tiering of services makes Zoho suitable for any type and size of business.

You can find more information about Zoho CRM's pricing plans and user reviews with pricing on OMR Reviews.

Zoho CRM alternatives

If you are looking for an alternative to Zoho CRM, then take a look at our software review platform OMR Reviews. There you will find experiences and reviews from other users to help you choose a suitable, free CRM software tool.

 
 

4. monday sales CRM

With monday CRM, which is based on the Work OS from monday.com, you can manage the entire sales cycle and all customer data centrally in one place. The tool provides an overview of all processes and optimizes workflows in small and medium-sized companies.

monday sales CRM features

  • Contact & Account Management
  • Opportunity & pipeline management
  • Activity and task management
  • Territory Management & Quotation Management
  • Desktop integration
  • Quotation and order management
  • Reporting, dashboards, forecasting
  • Contract management for customers

monday sales CRM costs

You can use monday sales CRM with up to two people free of charge. There are also three other packages available: Basc CRM, Standard CRM and PRO CRM. In the same order, the costs are €10, €14 and €24 per month/user.

You can find more information about the price plans of monday sales CRM as well as user reviews with price reference on OMR Reviews.

monday sales CRM alternatives

If you are looking for an alternative to monday sales CRM, then take a look at our software review platform OMR Reviews. There you will find experiences and reviews from other users to help you choose a suitable, free CRM system.

 
 

5. Freshsales

With Freshsales

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you can personalize your customer interactions and close sales faster. You can have contextual conversations, automate time-consuming tasks and optimize your sales processes.

Features

  • Contact & Account Management
  • Opportunity & pipeline management
  • Activity and task management
  • Territory management & offer management
  • Email Marketing
  • Campaign Management
  • Lead Management
  • Product and price list management
  • Customer service portal

Costs

You can use the FREE FOREVER plan from Freshsales free of charge. There are also three other plans: Growth, Pro and Enterprise. In the same order, the costs are $15, $39 and $69 per month/user.

You can find more information about Freshsales' pricing plans and user reviews with price references on OMR Reviews.

Alternatives

If you are looking for an alternative to Freshsales, then take a look at our software review platform OMR Reviews. There you will find experiences and reviews from other users to help you choose a suitable, free CRM system.

Recommended CRM tools & software

In total, we have listed over 250 CRM system providers on OMR Reviews that can support you in customer relationship management (CRM). So take a look at OMR Reviews and compare the CRM-Tools with the help of authentic and verified user reviews. Here are a few worth recommending:

Managing your customer relationships will pay off

Investing in CRM software will quickly pay for itself, as it puts your customers' wishes and satisfaction at the center. With transparent information and work, you can offer them the best possible user experience, which will translate into loyalty to your company and referrals.

Carolin Puls
Author
Carolin Puls

Carolin ist freie Redakteurin bei OMR und mit ganzem Herzen Autorin. Als Brand Managerin war sie bereits bei verschiedenen Unternehmen aus der FMCG-Branche für das Marketing zuständig. Währenddessen hat Carolin berufsbegleitend Ihr Studium zur Marketing-Betriebswirtin abgeschlossen.

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