The best free CRMs for B2B companies

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is more important than ever in today’s business world. CRM is software designed to help your salespeople better manage all their customer interactions and relationships. 

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The question for most business leaders isn’t whether they really need a CRM; it’s which CRM they should invest in. Luckily, there are plenty of free CRMs out there. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to see how much a CRM can boost your sales and your business.

Every free CRM offers some different advantages—and drawbacks. We take a look at some of the best on the market to help you decide which free platform is the right fit for your business.

The Vendasta CRM and end-to-end platform for B2B sales

Vendasta offers a 14-day free trial, which gives you access to the entire platform with all the bells and whistles. This includes full access to its sales CRM, known as Sales & Success Center. The only restriction is to the Payments section. You receive one free seat with the trial.

One key feature of the Vendasta platform that stands apart from all the other free CRMs is that it’s completely white labeled, so you can not only use it in your business but also resell it to your clients under your brand, too.

Vendasta’s CRM includes:

  • Marketing automation to help automatically bring in interested prospects to your door, so your sales reps can focus on closing.  You can build simple email marketing campaigns or multi-stage journeys. 
  • Sales intelligence in the form of the award-winning Snapshot Report. This report analyzes and grades a prospect’s online marketing performance (and its competitors!), so your sales reps can have more meaningful sales conversations. On average, partners who leverage the Snapshot insights have 18 times more revenue in their pipelines and 2.8 times more opportunities created. One Snapshot Report is included with the free trial.
  • A Hot Lead system, as well as more advanced automation capabilities, to rank leads
  • Revenue and activity leaderboards for salespeople and teams
  • Opportunity pipeline
  • Built-in campaigns and collateral
  • Order processing capabilities

The Vendasta CRM also integrates seamlessly with the rest of the platform, which includes:  

With a robust platform behind it, some learning is needed to get up and running, but the CRM will save time by freeing up your salespeople from manual processes and the need to dig for data. Instead, they can get back to doing what they do best: selling.

Zoho is a user-friendly free CRM

Another popular free CRM, Zoho offers many features and scaling opportunities, which means it can grow with your team.

One of Zoho’s best features is its simple user interface. If your team feels a bit daunted by CRM, then Zoho is a friendly place for them to start. It also offers automation, social media integrations, and customizable modules.

Zoho’s free plan has space for up to three users. That makes it an excellent choice for small businesses and startups. Their Standard Plan is also quite affordable and gives you access to a more robust suite of features, like KPI tracking.

The biggest drawback with this CRM is that it’s lacking individual lead notifications. If you rely on one-on-one engagement with your clients, Zoho might not be the right fit.

Agile CRM is exactly what it says on the box

The term “agile” first popped up in the world of software development (InfoWorld). It’s since been applied to almost every business operation you can imagine. The agile methodology lets B2B businesses stay nimble.

That’s an enormous advantage in an increasingly unpredictable business environment. The Agile CRM strives to live up to its name. Even on the free plan, it offers a wide range of features for sales, marketing, and customer service.

The free plan allows up to 10 users. After your team outgrows it, you’ll need to add a paid plan, which can add up quickly. The free plan is also capped at 1,000 contacts (CRM.org). That may be too few for agencies experiencing rapid growth.

HubSpot integrations and limitations

HubSpot is one of the heavy hitters of the CRM world, The free CRM offers unlimited users and up to a million contacts (FinancesOnline). If you’re already using several apps, HubSpot integrations make it easy to combine the CRM and your existing workflow.

That said, you might not get all the integrations you need with the free plan. HubSpot does offer paid plans, but they’re pricier than some of the other free CRMs you can choose. If you need more than one of the three “Hub” plans, your costs can add up quickly.

HubSpot’s free CRM includes a collection of limited tools, and the free version is meant to upsell you on the higher-level features. You may quickly find yourself on enterprise pricing just to get the features and functionality you need to run your business.

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Bitrix24 is one of the most popular free CRMs

Bitrix24 offers an extensive range of integrations. That makes it a better choice than something like Agile CRM, which offers very few third-party integrations at the free level.

Bitrix24 also ups the ante for many free CRMs that cap the number of contacts. On the other hand, it only allows 12 users on the free plan (PCMag), so you may find it isn’t enough for a growing team. The paid plans are also somewhat pricey. That could be a drawback for budget-conscious teams.

Be prepared for a steeper learning curve with this platform. That said, once your team gets the hang of it, you’ll find almost everything you could need, from task management to reporting.

Insightly has a surprising free version

If you’re surprised to hear Insightly offers a free version of their CRM, you’re not alone. It does exist; it’s just hard to find.

If you’re looking for a productivity-focused CRM, you should have Insightly on your list. Its features make it a great choice for anyone looking for end-to-end project management. Its flexible structure also allows you to pair it with more processes in your business. This is not just sales software.

The free plan, however, is definitely not the most robust offering on this list. Insightly caps the plan at two users, and it has a contact limit of 2,500 (Fit Small Business). In turn, you may find that you need to transition to a paid plan much sooner than you’d hoped.

With its Kanban board view, though, this CRM offers something you can’t find with many of the other free CRMs. It also has quite a few integrations, which extend its usefulness.

Apptivo offers customizable solutions

This free, cloud-based CRM offers a wide array of solutions. As a result, it's a flexible choice for agency leaders looking to get more out of their platform.

Apptivo lets you manage everything from distribution and supply chain tracking to human resources. As a result, Apptivo goes well beyond the “usual” features offered by free CRMs.

Despite this, there are quite a few drawbacks. The first is that the free plan is capped at just one user. Next, Apptivo doesn’t support third-party integrations at the free tier. You may need to reconsider the other software in your technology stack. Are the platforms you’re using better than what Apptivo offers? You might decide to stick with what you know and choose a different CRM.

The free plan also lacks some key functionality, like mobile support and workflow automation. Upgrading to a paid version of the CRM unlocks many of these features, but it may not be the most cost-effective solution for your business.

Freshworks has different platforms for different users

Freshworks has a whole suite of different CRMs. Each platform caters to different needs in your business. For example, Freshsales is focused on your sales team. Freshservice, by contrast, offers more tools for your customer service team.

Freshworks offers a whole bunch of features in its free plans, like in-built calling and contact management. Still, its best feature might be its ability to add an unlimited number of users.

That said, Freshworks doesn’t offer workflow automation. If you have a large team, you might find they end up doing a lot of manual work. A different CRM might save time (and money).

Try free CRMs and find one that fits your business

B2B companies are diverse, which means what you need from CRM may be different from what other businesses need. One of these free CRMs could be the perfect fit for you to grow sales and manage customer relationships.

About the Author

Solange Messier is the Content Strategy Manager at Vendasta. Solange has spent the majority of her career in content marketing helping companies improve how they connect with their prospects and customers. Her diverse background includes magazine publishing, book publishing, marketing agencies, payment processing, and tech. When she's not working, Solange can be found spending time with her family, running, and volunteering.

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