We’re here to save you time by going over some of the most popular free and open source CRM solutions and when you should consider paid systems (find out how we chose the featured products here).
Free CRM software companies earn revenue primarily by enticing businesses to purchase premium expansions which unlock better features or support structures.
As such, the following free systems, while coming without any restrictions, should be considered “freemium” systems, in that they come with a limited set of features and offer more with more expensive plans.
Freshsales is a cloud-based CRM solution that helps businesses across a variety of segments and verticals manage contacts, leads, and develop customer success strategies.
The software was the third most popular free CRM according to our methodology and functions with macOS, Windows 10, and any web browser (OS agnostic).
Its free version comes with several features, but it has three separate upgrade paths based on any other needs your business might have as you grow.
HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM system that helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. It’s the most popular free CRM based on our methodology and works with Solaris, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 8, Windows 10.
HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including accounting, construction, retail, real estate, and more.
HubSpot’s base CRM has all the core functionality a starting business might need and is 100% free with unlimited users and up to 1,000,000 contacts.
It also has some free versions of its marketing and sales software, if you find you need some extra features.
When you need to upgrade from the free version, HubSpot has a variety of different plans for your business’s unique needs starting at $50 per month per user.
Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based CRM system designed for small and midsize organizations that deal with customers in any capacity.
Really Simple Systems CRM is suitable for a variety of segments: accounting, construction, retail, real estate, and more.
The software was the second most popular free CRM according to our methodology and is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
Its free version comes with a variety of features for up to two users. If you require more features, it has several paid versions that unlock more functionality.
Open source CRMs are like blueprints that let you build your own fully customized system for your business’s needs. Businesses can download the software source code and edit it to their exact specifications.
Unlike freemium CRMs, you’re likely going to need a person or team familiar enough with the source code to configure the CRM, so, while open source systems are extremely customizable, they might not be the best fit for your business.
That said, if you have someone on your team who is capable, open-source CRMs are a great option to consider.
Odoo CRM is designed to meet the needs of any company, regardless of size or budget. Along with its CRM, Odoo offers a variety of other business applications ranging from sales to manufacturing, all of which integrate with each other.
If you have a need for deep integration and also have the technical expertise required to implement integrations, Odoo is a great option to consider because of just how interconnected each module is to the others.
Odoo is the most popular open source CRM according to our methodology. It is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
Its upgraded paid CRM application starts at $24 per user per month but comes with its complete suite of features.
SuiteCRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes and can be installed locally or operated via the cloud. Like any open source system, it’s incredibly customizable to fit the needs of your specific business whether you’re in sales, marketing, services, or IT.
This software was the second most popular open source CRM according to our methodology. It works with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.
As long as you have someone on your team to set it up, SuiteCRM’s features are all available from the get-go.
Before fully committing to a free or open source CRM, you should pause to consider if it’s actually the right choice for your business.
You might encounter these two main issues when using free or open source systems: lack of functionality and/or usability problems.
If you’re a very small business without expecting to grow much, a free CRM may work fine for you, but many businesses find the benefits of paid software are worth every penny, and you’d be closing the door on hundreds of great vendors if you disregarded paid solutions right off the bat.
With these freemium systems, you’re losing out on a lot of functionality that you might need to scale and grow your business.
Things like customization, storage and management, and support are lacking in the free plans from a lot of free CRM systems. You may also run into a cap on the number of users able to use the free system.
Free systems might not be the most usable either, with more functions and features unlocked behind a paywall.
On the other hand, the technical know-how required to set up and maintain open-source systems can be intimidating for the average business.
When it comes to usability, you generally get what you pay for or have to unlock the more usable versions of software at a higher tier.
To help ensure your software search is sufficiently thorough, download this list of top-rated paid software systems and their offerings:
We determined the most popular products to feature by choosing those highest ranked in Google search results during the week of July 29, 2019.
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