Here’re the top 7 free CRM solutions with the highest user ratings.
What is CRM Software?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software allows businesses to better manage customer interactions, support, and relationships through reliable systems and processes. It also integrates organizational processes across marketing, sales, and customer service.
Let me ask you a few questions:
- Does your business use spreadsheets to manage customers?
- Do you want to modernize your sales operations?
- Do budget constraints prevent you from purchasing a full software suite?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you need a solution ASAP. Usually, this means purchasing software or hiring consultants. However, you may not have to spend any money at all. There are many free and open source customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that offer the same functionality and benefits as a paid tool.
A free tool will offer you the productivity of using sales and CRM software without spending any money. What you need to do is search for a free or open-source CRM tool that offers the features you need to meet your long-term business needs.
And that’s where this report can help you. To help you find the right free CRM solution, we analyzed about 160 free and open source solutions on Capterra. Then, we shortlisted the seven best solutions in the market.
What does “best” mean? Each of the seven tools listed in this piece has a minimum user rating of 4.36 out of 5 from 2018 to 2019. This rating is the average overall rating for CRM solutions on Capterra. You can find our full methodology here. Products are presented in alphabetical order.
7 Best free and open source CRM solutions
Really Simple Systems CRM
1. Flowlu CRM
Flowlu CRM is a cloud-based tool for businesses of all sizes. Its free version offers CRM features such as lead management, contact management, quoting, invoicing, and project management.
Flowlu’s unique selling point (USP) is that it also offers a few business management features such as project management and accounting. This makes it ideal for first-time CRM software buyers who want to automate functions such as sales, marketing, customer service, and finance.
If after using Flowlu you want to upgrade, you can pay for advanced features such as API integration, access control, time tracking, cash flow management, and a knowledge base.
|Capterra reviewers said that the business management functionality saves time since you don’t have to toggle between different apps. They noted that the knowledge base feature is easy to use and helps the customer support staff quickly address all queries.||Some users feel that Flowlu’s task management interface could be simplified. They noted that the numerous features in the free version, such as contact management, financial management, and task management, can take some time to familiarize.|
Cost to upgrade: Apart from the free version, Flowlu has four pricing plans: Team, Business, Professional, and Enterprise. The Team edition is priced at $29 per month for up to eight users.
Most suitable for: Businesses of all sizes that are looking to manage various functions, such as sales, marketing, and finance, with the help of software.
Mobile apps: Android, iOS
Opportunity management in Flowlu
Freshsales is a CRM tool for businesses of all sizes. Its freemium plan offers contact management, lead management, email marketing, and interaction management.
The USP of the Freshsales freemium offering is the unlimited number of users and contacts. This plan also offers phone and email support.
The paid versions offer features such as sales pipeline management, SMS integration, built-in phone, workflows, multicurrency support, and a mobile app. Freshsales can be deployed on premise or on the cloud.
|Capterra reviewers find the integration with Microsoft Office and GSuite helpful in syncing emails and calendars. They also said that Freshsales’s interface is easy to learn and navigate. This lets them create, assign, and track tickets with ease.||Some reviewers feel that the reporting module could be made customizable. They also mentioned that it can take time to completely familiarize yourself with the upgraded version because of a high number of features in the paid plans.|
Cost to upgrade: There are four upgrade options: Blossom, Garden, Estate, and Forest. The Blossom plan starts at $19 per user per month.
Most suitable for: Businesses of all sizes that need a free solution for more than two users.
Mobile apps: Android, iOS
Lead scoring dashboard in Freshsales
HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM solution for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Its free version includes contact management, email scheduling, live chat, and meeting management.
HubSpot’s USP is its contact activity tracking. The free version lets you track the activity of contacts on your website for up to seven days after they are added to your contact list.
HubSpot’s CRM is completely free and there are no upgrade costs. But you may need to purchase other HubSpot products, such as Marketing Hub (for marketing automation), Sales Hub (for sales automation), and Service Hub (for customer service automation), to support the CRM.
|Capterra reviewers said that the Kanban board functionality helps them manage deals efficiently as the dashboard shows a snapshot of all the deals. They also noted that HubSpot’s integration with Gmail and Outlook was useful in mailing out the campaigns.||Some buyers feel that the contact management functionality could be improved. For instance, HubSpot doesn’t let them add multiple email addresses to a contact or merge two companies in the database. Users also felt that HubSpot could include more detailed reports in the free version.|
Cost to upgrade: HubSpot CRM is free for all users. However, you have to pay for other HubSpot products that support and enhance the CRM’s functionality.
Most suitable for: SMBs that are currently using spreadsheets to manage customer communications and want to improve contact lists with basic CRM software.
Mobile apps: Android, iOS
Deals pipeline in HubSpot CRM (Source)
4. Really Simple Systems CRM
Really Simple Systems CRM is for small businesses. Its free version supports up to two users and includes sales pipeline management, document management, contact management, and reporting functionalities.
The free version’s USP is the API integration. It lets you connect your other applications, such as accounting and project management, and handle 50 API calls per day.
Really Simple System CRM’s paid versions offer access control, advanced reports, single sign-on, and marketing automation functionalities.
|Capterra reviewers like the product customizations. They can customize data fields in the contact database, accounts, opportunities, and reports. They also find the task management functionality effective in managing customer interactions.||Reviewers feel that the software’s interface could be made easier to navigate. Some also said that the reports aren’t easy to configure.|
Cost to upgrade: The vendor offers three upgrade plans: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. The Starter package is priced at $15 per user per month.
Most suitable for: Small businesses looking for a free CRM solution that integrates seamlessly with the business software they currently use.
Mobile apps: Android, iOSS
Dashboards in Really Simple Software CRM
SuiteCRM is an open source CRM solution for businesses of all sizes. It allows users to manage customer interactions across sales, marketing, and customer service teams.
SuiteCRM offers different open source solutions for startups, small businesses, and enterprises, making it suitable for businesses of any size and type.
|Capterra reviewers find the product’s features, such as contact management, project management, and billing, helpful for different departments such as sales, marketing, and finance. They also said that the reports are highly detailed and allow you to easily analyze the performance of your sales and marketing operations.||Users noted that the free version doesn’t include agents-based customer support (though you can ask questions on its community page). Some also pointed out that it requires technical skills to customize SuiteCRM’s features.|
Cost to upgrade: SuiteCRM is an open source product. It is available for free.
Most suitable for: Businesses of all sizes looking for an open source CRM software.
Mobile apps: Android, iOS
Lead management in SuiteCRM (Source)
6. Vtiger CRM
Vtiger CRM works well for SMBs and can be deployed either on-premise or on the cloud. The open source (i.e., the free) version includes contact management, marketing automation, sales automation, and customer support modules.
The open source version’s highlight is its Microsoft Outlook plug-in, which allows users to send emails and sync their calendar with Outlook.
Vtiger also offers paid cloud-based plans for managing sales, marketing, and help desk operations.
|Capterra reviewers said that Vtiger’s management console is easy to use and helpful in tracking and managing cases online. They also said that the open source version was easily customizable to their business’ needs.||Reviewers find the product’s email templates slightly outdated and feel that the vendor should update the templates and offer more options. Some also find the lack of Facebook and WhatsApp integrations a disadvantage because sometimes customers prefer to communicate via these channels.|
Cost to upgrade: The open source version of Vtiger is free for everyone.
Most suitable for: Businesses of all sizes looking for a CRM solution that integrates with their Microsoft Outlook account.
Mobile apps: Android, iOS
Sales opportunity tracking in Vtiger CRM
Yetiforce is also an open source CRM solution for businesses of all sizes. It has the highest recommended rating on this list. The software helps businesses manage leads, store contacts, track meetings on their calendar, send email campaigns, and manage customer interactions.
Yetiforce maintains an active GitHub repository for tech-related queries to help tech teams customize the product.
|Yetiforce is a GDPR-compliant software, which makes it ideal for businesses that have operations in the European Union. Reviewers find Yetiforce’s interface easy to customize to their requirements.||Though reviewers find the GitHub community helpful in answering their technical queries, they feel that the product documentation could be more detailed. Some also pointed out that the software can be difficult to use for employees who have limited technical proficiency.|
Cost to upgrade: Yetiforce is an open source solution, and therefore, available for free.
Most suitable for: Businesses of all sizes that have global operations, especially in Europe.
Mobile apps: Not available
Leads dashboard in Yetiforce
The final verdict: Which free or open source solution should you purchase?
After reviewing our list of free and open source CRM solutions, the next step is to find a solution that best fits your business needs. Follow these steps to find the right product for your business:
- Decide whether you need a free or open source solution. Compare each solution’s total cost of ownership (TCO) by checking the costs of implementation, data storage, training, IT staff hiring, upgrades, and other important factors.
- Ask your IT staff/consultants/third-party IT services provider whether they can implement an open source CRM on your existing network infrastructure.
- Review this list and select the features that will meet your vital business needs. Eliminate products that don’t offer the essential features.
- Compare the free usage limits (such as the number of free emails or contacts) and shortlist products based on your current requirements.
- Compare the upgrade costs of the various products and select one that will fit your budget when (or if) you upgrade the solution in the future.
If you are currently using a free CRM solution that’s working well for you, let us know about your experience in the comments section below.
For more information on CRM systems, check out the following resources:
This article was updated Aug. 2, 2019. Products considered for this article fulfill the following criteria:
For the purposes of this article, we classified a product as free if:
- It offers a free, standalone version of the software.
- It is not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a paid version after a limited amount of time.
Open source products
For open source software to be evaluated for this article, the tool has to make its source code open to everyone to inspect, modify, and enhance.
The source code must also have been updated (full version or small fix) within the past 12 months and must support one of the following operating systems: Windows, Mac, or Linux.
The products that met the above criteria were then evaluated against our CRM software definition—customer relationship management software helps organizations manage information (e.g., contact details) about current and potential customers.
CRM is a technique of putting customers at the heart of your business and using data about them to tailor a unique experience for each individual.
The software consolidates customer information in one repository so that businesses can better organize and manage relationships, automates the common processes, and provides tools for monitoring performance and productivity.
This check verified the basic CRM capabilities and appropriateness for the category. A product was classified as CRM software if it contained all the core features—contact management, interaction tracking, and lead management.
Software that met the market definition also needed a minimum of 10 reviews published on the CRM software category page between May 8, 2018, and May 7, 2019.