Top 10 Free CRM Solutions for 2021

December 16, 2020

free crm software

Sales is all about creating authentic, mutually beneficial relationships with your customers. 

And relationships, both personal and professional, require a great deal of communication, understanding, and the creation of valuable connections. 

Each party within a business deal expects something from the other, without which the relationship would fall apart. Sellers require that a customer pay for the solution being offered. Pretty simple.

For buyers, their requirements are far more complex. Not only do they want their needs met, but they also want them to be exceeded, calling for a great deal of work for the sales rep. 

While establishing a connection with the customer requires skills like conversation, listening, and empathy, any business can also benefit from using customer relationship management (CRM) software. 

CRM software helps businesses track and manage every single customer interaction in a single place. These tools can store customer data, preferences, and past communications with your company. Businesses will use CRM software to handle the data required to build a relationship with a customer, so they can focus on creating that human connection, listening, and anticipating their needs. 

Best free CRM solutions

The list below contains real-user reviews from the best customer relationship management software on the market.  It’s important to note that in the context of this list, vendors that offer a free trial are also considered to be free. To be included in this list, not only do you have to be a free application, but you also must:

  • Provide a bounded set of sales-related functions
  • Consolidate customer history and transactions into a single interface
  • Track prospects and contacts throughout the sales pipeline
  • Facilitate communication at all phases of the customer lifecycle
  • Integrate functions into a unifying database and platform

Some reviews may be edited for clarity. This data was pulled on December 7th, 2020.

1. Salesforce 

Salesforce is a customer relationship management software solution that can help businesses of all sizes automate their sales processes. This solution offers crucial features like lead and contact management, opportunity management, workflow automation, reporting and dashboards, and a mobile application. 

Salesforce offers a 14-day free trial, where you can import data, track contacts and deals, and integrate with other sales tools. 

What users like:

“Salesforce is the most complete sales tool in the world. It's amazing how we can organize our leads. I've tested several systems before, but none has brought me as many features as Salesforce. There are several different categories of management, allowing the organization of all customer information. There are also customization options so that we can make the system more operational. The main quality of Salesforce, in my opinion, is the variety and quantity of reports that can be generated in the system.”

- Salesforce CRM Review, Rogério G. 

What users dislike:

“The user interface is quite outdated therefore it doesn't look appealing. Furthermore, it tends to crash when encountering large sets of data. It is also important to mention that in order to develop a sophisticated structure, you need full-time employees. It is perfectly suited for the medium to large size companies that can afford to have a separate person setting up the platform and make it more accessible for everyone in the team. Therefore the user experience for the average person might be too complicated and it might be beneficial to change to a platform that may have fewer features but that is more user friendly."

- Salesforce CRM Review, Benediktas O. 

2. HubSpot Sales Hub

The HubSpot Sales Hub prides itself on being both powerful and easy to use. Key functionalities of this CRM solution include sales engagement tools, configure price quote (CPQ) capabilities, and sales analytics reports and dashboards. HubSpot’s CRM offers sales teams a single source of truth for sales process tracking and customer data, helping them offer a seamless customer experience from start to finish. 

HubSpot offers a free CRM option that includes features like contact management, reporting dashboards, and messenger integrations.  

What users like:

“I love how HubSpot makes it easy to manage when it comes to dealing with previous and current clients. Everything is stored in their CRM, which allows you to pick up on a client right where you left off. My personal favorite feature is knowing when exactly a client has opened one of my emails.”

- HubSpot Sales Hub Review, Mark I. 

What users dislike:

“I dislike the amount of training necessary for some of the functions. I also dislike some of the functionality in the sense that you have to click across separate tabs to use multiple tools. I wish that there was a way for everyone to have permissions to create their own dashboards in my company.”

- HubSpot Sales Hub Review, Daisee T. 

3. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is actually a marketing automation tool, however, it provides businesses with access to automations that combine the capabilities of CRM, along with email marketing and machine learning. The main pain point that ActiveCampaign is trying to relieve for sales teams is making it easy to segment your audiences and create personalized messaging for each one on channels like social media and email. 

ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial. 

What users like:

“The best feature with this platform is the automation capabilities at their price point. We are able to automate the form name and email address specific to our agents. We also utilize their conditions in email campaigns to personalize our email even more to different area stats and personalize it even more to our agents. The goal drip automations is another project that we are setting up and so far, it works pretty well.”

- ActiveCampaign Review, Mark E. 

What users dislike:

“There is a bit of a learning curve, so you need to dive into their extensive knowledge base. While there are aspects that are more plug and play, to get the most out of the software, you must view their training and educational videos on how to best implement it into your business.” 

- ActiveCampaign Review, Jessica L. 

4. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based solution that can work to the advantage of businesses of all shapes and sizes. The overall goal of the tool is to help companies establish lasting customer relationships all while maximizing the productivity of the sales team. 

Zoho CRM offers support for phone, email, live chat, social media, and even in-person meetings. The software’s AI-powered assistant, Zia, can handle data and offer predictions and solutions for sales reps, opening up more time for them to focus on the customer. 

Zoho offers a completely free version of their CRM software for up to three users. Other versions of the tool offer a 15-day free trial. 

What users like:

“Price, integration and customization makes Zoho CRM a good all-in-one solution for a small business like mine. The free plan allowed me to start and test my business idea without paying a single dime, and I'm really grateful for that.”

- Zoho CRM Review, Ebenezer M. 

What users dislike:

“While this platform has a lot of functionality, it could be much more user friendly. The layout can be confusing and it's not very intuitive. Hubspot has a much better layout as far as the user interface. Given the price, though, my feeling was that for all you get with Zoho it's worth taking the time to learn it.”

- Zoho CRM Review, Joni L. 

5. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales management tool that works for teams of all sizes. This CRM solution works to visualize your sales pipeline, ensuring that important prospect conversations are had at the right time with the right messaging. Pipedrive has a built-in forecasting tool and easily integrates with other software solutions important to your sales process. 

Pipedrive offers a 14-day free trial for all of their growth plans. 

What users like:

“We use pipedrive as our CRM and to manage our sales pipelines. The short answer is: it just works. It helped simplify our process and keep track of everything in one easy-to-use place. Our favorite features are the visible rot feature and the awesome contacts timeline - couldn't do without them. We also love the integration with Gmail and PandaDoc that helps us easily add and create contracts.”

- Pipedrive Review, Lauren L. 

What users dislike:

“There are functionalities that require a lot of training because they are somewhat complex, especially for beginners.”

- Pipedrive Review, Enrika C. 

6. Nimble

Nimble is a CRM software solution that focuses on streamlining the contact management part of the sales process for businesses. This is accomplished by integrating with platforms that fuel those conversations, like email inboxes and calendars. Overall, the team at Nimble works to offer its users a streamlined experience to help them close deals faster and more successfully. 

Nimble offers a 14-day free trial period, during which you have access to five licenses.

What users like:

“Through Nimble we have been able to more effectively reach potential customers through different channels, either through email or web platforms. Nimble offers incredible user-friendliness in its interface and has been instrumental in obtaining accurate information from active social media prospects, making it easier to contact and engage in meaningful conversations with them.”

- Nimble Review, Tatiana B. 

What users dislike:

“The email editor needs improvement. However, because Nimble can be used with Gmail and Outlook 365, you can send emails from them, and these emails will still be stored and visible in your Nimble database. The sales channel report is very basic. However, this is sufficient for companies that want to identify leads and offers and track the sales mix.”

- Nimble Review, Maria M R. 

7. Freshworks

Freshworks customer relationship management tool is an engagement platform that primarily focuses on breaking down internal silos and enabling sales and marketing teams to deliver personalized messages to customers. An AI-powered system, Freshworks CRM offers insights that help businesses better understand their customers and engage with them at each touchpoint. 

Freshworks offers an entirely free CRM tool and a 21-day free trial for all other plans. 

What users like:

“Customer relationships are the backbone of business, and you can only add to your business value by providing the best services to your customers. Freshworks has helped me in handling the customer queries and data in an organized manner. I got rid of excessive paperwork and customer calls. Now, through this channel, I’m in a better position when it comes to handling my omni channels and I have easily streamlined my customers conversations on this platform.”

- Freshworks Review, Alan S. 

What users dislike:

“Freshworks does not facilitate the implementation of marketing strategies for social networks. It’s possible to collect data from the networks, but it doesn’t have functions to carry out studies on them correctly, so you must use other software for that and import the data into Freshworks.”

- Freshworks Review, Cecil S. 

8. PipelineDeals

PipelineDeals offers a CRM solution crafted toward small- and mid-market sized businesses. This tool allows users to customize their user experience so they can build lasting relationships in a way that works for them. Their features are sales-focused, and they have a leading customer support team that will help users optimize their experience across the board. 

PipelineDeals offers a 14-day free trial. 

What users like:

“This platform allows effective and accurate CRM management. It’s easy to use and offers functions that provide the opportunity to follow up on all potential customers. It has good email integration which allows for email marketing and customer segmentation. The mobile access allows our work team to work remotely.”

- PipelineDeals Review, Lily B. 

What users dislike:

“Like all products they take a bit of time to get used to. Especially if you are switching from another platform. But this tool is so easy the transition was not hard at all. CRMs are awkward by nature, and the tagging could be a little bit different, but that’s just personal preference. Also the way in which the leads are categorized are a bit different and I'm not used to it, but in time I'm sure I will adjust.”

- PipelineDeals Review, Jared M. 

9. Keap (formerly Infusionsoft)

Keap, formerly known as Infusionsoft, is an all-in-one sales and marketing software that is best suited for growing service-based businesses. The goal of Keap is to store, organize, and manage all of your customer data in one place. With customer data taken care of, you can then allow sales reps and marketers to spend more time on offering a great customer experience.

Keap offers a 14-day free trial. 

What users like:

“The automation has saved my team countless hours of typing the same responses or copying and pasting templates. It’s also easy to pull data. This has been huge for our organization because any data we did have on lead capture or conversion rates were all manually tracked. Lots of room for error in that. Keap helps ensure fewer mistakes are made and numbers are more accurate.”

- Keap Review, Tym H. 

What users dislike:

“I wish Keap was a bit better with B2B. Everything is so contact-centric that it's a bit difficult to keep track of all interactions with a company, as opposed to a person.”

- Keap Review, Brett F. 

10. Copper

Copper is a CRM software designed to help growing small businesses manage their increasing number of leads, opportunities, and customers. This tool enables them to grow lasting relationships with buyers that will ultimately help their business grow even more. Copper can automate data entry and repetitive admin tasks. 

Copper offers a 14-day free trial for all plans. 

What users like:

“The seamless integration with Google's G-suite is the most useful feature, hands down. Not having to transcribe data, track communications, and otherwise link systems manually is a huge timesaver. The ability to quickly and seamlessly book meetings with customers is also a feature we love. The reporting is great, and the ability to export data that can then become part of financial reporting is also hugely important.”

- Copper Review, Andrew B. 

What users dislike:

“The UI is a bit lackluster, I found most of my time was spent in sidebars rather than utilizing the full screen. The new projects feature is very basic, but it's there if you need it.” 

- Copper Review, William P. 

Can you really automate relationships?

Customers aren’t going to buy from someone who sounds robotic. They want to establish human connections with reps that take the time, care, and energy to actually get to know them. So no, you can’t automate relationships. However, you can automate other sales tasks with CRM software, freeing up more time for sales reps to focus on what really matters: the customer. 

Make sure you have an established customer journey and sales funnel to get the most out of your CRM software. 

marketing automation
Bring it all together

Check out some free marketing automation software to cover every stage of the customer journey.

marketing automation
Bring it all together

Check out some free marketing automation software to cover every stage of the customer journey.

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