free-crm-tools-for-small-businesses-and-startups

Free CRM Tools for Small Businesses & Startups in 2022

Do you want to advance your sales process but you are tight on a budget? This article will guide you to find the best free CRM software for your small business!

If you ended up here, you are probably aware of your small business needs in managing the relationship with your customers. As your business grows, having a proper CRM automation system becomes essential quickly. So, briefly what does a CRM for small businesses do? 

CRM, as known as Customer Relationship Management, is a comprehensive system that keeps track of your customer and prospect data, also their interactions in one place. The values that a CRM tool can bring to your small business are;

  • Gathering all your customer data in a steady place,
  • Identifying sales opportunities,
  • Creating sales forecasts more accurately,
  • Building strong relationships more effectively,
  • Monitoring customers trends,
  • Providing the best customer experience,
  • Increasing overall profitability.

In the past years, having proper CRM software pertained only to large companies. The latest report on the State of Sales by LinkedIn found that 64% of businesses have integrated a CRM system into their sales process. So, it is clearly seen that businesses of all sizes can now implement CRMs in their systems. 

Making CRM automation systems accessible to all businesses has become even more possible with the release of free CRM tools. Wondering which free CRM software would be the right fit for your small business? 

Keep on reading then!

pipedrive-sales-automation-tool

Pipedrive: The Best Free CRM for Small Businesses & Startups

Get more qualified leads and grow your small business exponentially with using the best free CRM software today!

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Pipedrive offers many benefits to small businesses and startups from collecting customer data, creating sales opportunities, capturing effective and fast customer relations to increasing your overall profitability.

Pipedrive helps small businesses with;

  • Automatizing custom pipeline stages
  • Setting up well structured pipeline
  • Upselling and cross-selling their clients on future services
  • Keeping up the progress towards goals
  • Reporting and forecasting

Best Free CRM for Small Businesses

The market is flooded with free CRM tools that offer the same benefits just like paid ones. We have deeply analyzed down there the industry’s best free CRM tools to help you find the right one. 

  • Keap
  • HubSpot
  • Freshsales
  • Zoho

Keap

Keap is one of the most robust free CRM tools currently available in the market. The management system helps manage your contacts as each CRMs do. It also offers one steady place to communicate with your new leads and follow up with the clients. 

keap-crm-software-for-startups
Source: Keap

Like HubSpot’s free CRM app, the free plan is limited to up to 100 contacts. Along with customer relationship management, it keeps track of your tasks and notes too. Let’s have a look at the features that the free plan covers;

  • Lead management & tracking,
  • Document tracking, 
  • Pipeline management,
  • Email marketing,
  • Ad management & reporting,
  • Contact management,
  • Prospect tracking.

If you need more advanced features without any limitations, you can upgrade your current plan depending on your needs. By upgrading, you will get access to in-depth sales and marketing analytics & reporting features. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that all paid plans are based on a minimum of 500 contacts.

HubSpot

HubSpot comes at the top of our best free CRM tools list as it offers the easiest CRM for small businesses. You can get access to HubSpot’s beneficial world by one-click sign-up. The powerful solution provides the necessary tools to manage and organize your contacts. 

hubspot-free-crm-software
Source: HubSpot

HubSpot categorizes different types of customer-oriented businesses according to three different centres: Sales, Marketing and Service. This is one of the reasons that make HubSpot preferable compared to its competitors. 

The free plan provides great features if your small business needs to handle up to 100 contacts;

  • Lead management & tracking,
  • Document tracking, 
  • Pipeline management,
  • Email marketing,
  • Ad management & reporting,
  • Contact management,
  • Prospect tracking.

If you have more than 100 contacts, upgrading your free plan to one of the paid options will make more sense for you. In addition to the free tools, you will get access to full functionality and unlimited advanced CRM features. Such as sales analytics and forecasting, custom reporting, phone support, 1-1 meeting, eSignature and much more.

Freshsales

Under the umbrella of Freshworks, Freshsales provides free solutions in customer relationship management. The CRM app simply works on boosting your sales while personalizing engagement with your customers.

It understands visitor intent and captures their information to help you focus on the best leads. With the AI-powered chatbots, Freshsales’ free CRM software allows you to connect with your visitors in real-time. So, building a more personalized engagement with your customers can shorten the sales cycle as well.

freshsales-best-free-crm-software
Source: Freshsales

We put in a nutshell below what the free plan includes;

  • Contact & account management 
  • Customizable sales funnels that capture contact lifecycle stages 
  • Seamless communication via built-in chat, email and phone 
  • 24×5 support through communication channels,
  • Mobile app access.

Didn’t the features we mentioned above satisfy you? Freshsales provides different paid options and also add-ons. Sales prediction, Whatsapp communication, multiple sales pipelines, workflow management and other custom solutions are available only for paid plans.

The last worth-mentioning point is Freshsales offers industry-based free CRM tools as well. From real estate to education, it is possible to maximize your sales and marketing efforts.

Tip: If you are a realtor who needs proper CRM software for real estate industry, here is an excellent guide for you: “Best 8 CRM Software for Real Estate Industry”. 

Tip: Read the article “Best 8 CRM Tools for Consulting Business” to find out the right CRM software for your consulting firm.

Zoho

The last mention goes to Zoho which empowers businesses to power up their sales channels, increase customer engagement and grow their business. Zoho CRM offers sufficient features for sales and marketing and powerful integrations within one secured place.

Source: Zoho

Their starting point when creating Zoho CRM is each business absolutely has to use a CRM tool but why would they have to pay for it so much? So, they simply gathered the necessary features together;

  • Contact management to organize your data in a way that drives sales,
  • Deal management to drive revenue with ease,
  • Personalized email marketing that truly speaks to your leads,
  • Website visitor tracking to know how they interact with your website,
  • Sales workflow automation to handle all tasks,
  • Performance reports getting insights on your sales & marketing activities,
  • Cloud data and file storage up to 5000 records.

Although the free plan is limited to 3 users, you can remove that limit by upgrading your package. The paid plans bring more custom solutions. Multiple pipelines, reminders, advanced filters, in-dept custom reports and much more.

As you can see each free CRM for small businesses listed above has its own unique features. The key point here is to determine how many people you have in your team and how comprehensive a solution you want.

How to Choose the Best CRM Software for Your Small Business

Choosing the best solution for your company is a challenging and time-consuming process. We can feel your concerns. You may still have a lot of questions after a long and detailed discussion. That’s why we included this part in the article to minimize the risks while you are choosing the best free CRM software.

Here are the key steps;

Deeply understand your business needs

Without determining your core needs, choosing the industry’s best in class CRM app will not make any sense. Please keep in mind that the best is not always the right fit for each business. To get the most value from your CRM investment, ask yourself the following questions;

  • What are your business requirements?
  • What is your budget?
  • How many people are in your team?
  • What are their expectations from the tool?
  • Does the implementation process take too much time?
  • How many tools does your business currently use?

Conduct a detailed analysis

As we mentioned above, the market is flooded with dozens of CRM tools. After you have put together the most suitable CRM tools for your business, you may start benchmarking the features they provide. While you are doing that, it would be also great to check out what type of businesses do currently use, what their customers think of the tool etc.

Test the ones you think are most suitable

Nowadays, each SaaS tool provides either a limited-time free trial or a free-forever option. As free trials give access to all features, it ensures that your idea is formed within the specified time. On the other hand, free-forever solutions are mostly good enough to meet small business needs.

Make your final decision

Once you are done filtering out all these choosing steps, you will be ready to choose the best CRM software. At this stage, At this stage, you can add customizable features or request a custom payment plan for your business type.

Before your sales communication process gets stuck, you should invest in a CRM app. Otherwise, it will cost your business lost revenue and missed opportunities. 

Now, you have a great selection of free CRM tools to start with and know how they add value to your business. It is time to choose the best fit for your small business. 




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