:: By Jane Hurst, @janehurst26 ::
As a business owner, it is important to take advantage of all of the tools at one’s disposal. Unfortunately, not all small business owners are able to afford the best tools for things like customer relationship management (CRM). Or, can they?
There are plenty of CRM software that is absolutely free to use. There are a couple of options on how to choose CRM software. One can use software that is free but limited, which means that they don’t get to use all of the features that are offered in a paid package. The other option is to use open source software. This needs to be installed by someone who knows what they are doing, but it is easily customizable. When it comes to free CRM software, here are our top five picks:
Two users can enjoy using Capsule for free, and there is up to 10MB of storage and 250 contacts. If a company wants to upgrade, the cost is just $12 per month, and it comes with 50,000 contacts, two gigabytes of storage and full integration with other applications, including Freshbooks. This software can integrate with many other software programs, including Mailchimp and Gmail, so business owners don’t have to keep switching back and forth, making things a whole lot simpler.
It isn’t often one sees free software from a company as big as Zoho, but here it is. The CRM software is free for 10 users, with 5,000 records. There is a mobile app, as well as social CRM and many other great tools. To upgrade for 100,000 records, more users, and more features, the cost is just $12 per month per user. Zoho is easy to use, and there are some pretty great importing features that will help improve any company’s customer relationship management.
Another software company that claims to be the best is Free CRM. The free version is for up to 100 users, 10,000 contacts, and offers all of the basic features one would expect from good CRM software. To upgrade, the cost is only $24.95 per month per user, and it offers many more features, support and storage. The drawbacks are that the free program is only for one year, and there is no customer support, so if there are any problems, one must figure out what to do without any help.
Here is yet one more company that claims to have the best CRM system for small business owners. But, that claim is pretty valid, because the software is good, and it is free. The free system is a two-user system that offers 100 accounts, as well as no limit on the number of contacts for each account. There is also 100MB of storage, and a great customer support system. Pricing for upgrades is flexible, and starts at just $8 per month per user for packages that don’t have a lot of features.
This software company claims to have the “number one online small business CRM." While one may be skeptical of this claim, it is worth checking out because it really is easy to use. The free program is user friendly, can be used by two users, and offers 200 MB of storage, 10 custom fields and 2,500 records. There are new features available, including 10 emails per day and advanced reporting. Upgrading costs just $12 per month per user, and offers one gigabyte of storage and 25,000 records.
Jane Hurst is a freelance writer from San Francisco. You can find her on Twitter and Linkedin!