If you’re looking for free CRM software, you’re probably in one of the following situations
- You’re launching a small project, and you an easy CRM to manage sales activities, but “real” CRM software is too expensive and cumbersome for a project that’s just getting started. The first 8 apps in this top list meet this use case.
- You’re ready to spend a lot of time setting up CRM software, but not a lot of money. You’re considering open-source or self-hosted CRMs, and you don’t want to break the bank. Be careful, though: you need to have a certain grasp of the main CRM concepts to get started. The last 4 apps in this top list meet this need.
- It’s a misunderstanding: you thought CRM vendors were offering real solutions free of charge. Some publishers (Hubspot is the most widely known) do offer a free plan. But it won’t stay free for long. Above all, it very probably won’t be the most suitable (or least expensive) solution for your needs down the line. If this sounds like you, I recommend you take a look at each solution to better understand the trade-offs between time, money and performance.
Check out our recommendation engine to shortlist the 3 CRM apps that best fit your requirements
In this article, we recommend 12 *really* free CRM software applications. We’ve sorted them by ease of setup, from thirty minutes for the first, to a few hours for the last.
More complex solutions will also survive your evolution longer, and the time invested at the outset is often worth it. The longer your sales cycles, the more you’ll depend on your CRM, and the more complex your CRM will become.
You should also give preference to solutions that will integrate well with the tools you are planning for the future, and if there are any, that you already use regularly.
Beware of the illusion of free access. If you are looking to equip yourself on a project that is intended to scale, hire, etc., free tools will be suitable for a while, and then you’ll have to migrate. That’s when you’ll waste a lot of time, money and information. In my opinion, the cost of migration is largely offset by the few months it would take to pay for an “overly robust” solution like Pipedrive or Hubspot.
#1 Hubspot CRM
One of the best free CRMs on the market, but only for a while
Hubspot is now very well established in the CRM world. Commercial CRM software has come a long way in recent years, and is now regularly compared to Salesforce – even if it’s still a bit behind in my opinion.
The free plan allows you to create up to 3 dashboards, with 10 reports per dashboard, but is limited to a single sales pipeline. You can connect your emails, but you can only connect one mailbox, which is prohibitive if there are at least two of you managing business relations. An online appointment booking tool (like Calendly) is also included.
To cut a long story short, if you’re the only one selling, it’s a no-brainer. You can access all the functional packages of one of the most comprehensive CRM software packages on the market, but as soon as collaboration becomes an issue, it’s not realistic to rely on the free plan.
If, on the other hand, you’re a large team with many collaboration needs, but relatively few advanced CRM features, solutions like Trello, Notion, or even Spreadsheet (presented later in this article) will be more suitable.
The very big limit with Hubspot is once you switch to the paid plans.
They have the best product on the market for small businesses with the Starter CRM suite: $250 / year for two users with access to the CRM suite, Marketing Automation, and Help Desk. You can’t beat it. But as soon as you go beyond that – for example, 3 users instead of 2 – Hubspot becomes one of the most expensive software packages on the market.
- It’s a true CRM solution, with all the associated functionalities – and there are plenty of them.
- Hubspot allows you to customize just about anything to your brand and sales processes.
- If there are more than 3 of you, Hubspot’s paid plans are really more suitable. Starter version starts at $20/month with 2 users (add $25/month/user thereafter)
Hubspot is free to access, no credit card required. You can also try one of their paid plans for free
#2 Brevo (ex-Sendinblue)
Email marketing software turned into a complete sales suite
Well, maybe I’m a little biased because I started out at Sendinblue – now Brevo. But they’ve really done a great job on the sales tools since they became Brevo, and above all the vast majority are accessible free of charge.
If you intend to spend hours every day on their CRM, think again. It’s clearly not a CRM for that. Use Pipedrive or NoCRM for this purpose.
No, Brevo is more about putting all your customer data in one place, and managing your customer communications from a single platform. But the best part is that you can harness the power of their marketing tools (emailing, SMS, etc.), and their sales tools (calendar, kanban, shared inbox, etc.) for free.
The free plan at Brevo really is one of them, with up to 50 ongoing opportunities, unlimited contacts (this is true of all free plans at Brevo), task management, calendar, live chat, etc.
For a lean organization with lots of contacts and comparatively few customers – for example, a company like Salesdorado – this is unbeatable.
Brevo offers a free plan – no credit card required. No free trial on paid plans, but the free plan is normally enough to get a good understanding of what you’d get by upgrading.
#3 Pipeline by Trello
The forever free CRM on Trello
If you’re used to using Trello, you know that the power of the tool lies in automation. You can assign, pre-fill and move cards automatically, set up deadlines, etc. Here are the main features you can use for free:
- Create an inbound lead or prospect management pipeline that can be tailored to your team’s needs for any type of contact or customer relationship management.
- Organize contact information and notes on each prospect’s record.
- Keep assets in a centralized location by attaching all relevant documents, such as emails and follow-up requests.
- Keep business development on track by assigning team members and due dates to tasks, then watch the map move through the process from “Incoming” to “Completed”.
- The free CRM template is well-designed, and makes it easy to see what automations need to be put in place (for example, the pre-appointment checklist, or the automatic arrival of leads when a contact form is processed).
- No real reporting in trello apart from the kanban view. You’ll need to set up other automations & be a little creative to adapt it to your business processes.
Try Pipeline by Trello
#4 Crmble on Trello
The most advanced Trello CRM by Crmble – almost entirely free of charge
If you’re looking for a simple CRM tool that’s powerful enough to manage your sales pipeline, try Crmble. It’s easy to learn and set up on your Trello board in just a few minutes. Here are the different functionalities you will find:
- Get instant access to your customers’ contact information with the “Crmble fields”. A key feature that helps you stay organized and offers consistent data collection and great integration possibilities with third-party services.
- A popular Trello feature is the ability to import a CSV file into Trello and turn your lines into cards on your Trello boards. Easily migrate your contact list to your board with Crmble!
- Whether you are using Google Forms, Typeform, Facebook Lead Ads etc., you can sync your leads directly into your board with Crmble.
- Start syncing your Trello card data with your Google account. Create a Google contact on demand from any Trello card, or save your card attachments to your Google Drive.
- It’s a much more advanced tool that makes it easy to add the right layers ofautomation.
- Significantly more complex solution, and quite rigid.
- A good solution to be guided, but you will need prior knowledge of some CRM solutions on the market like Pipedrive.
Try Crmble CRM on Trello
#5 CRM on Notion
The totally free CRM on Notion
Notion provides you with the basic elements that will allow you to create your own layouts and toolbox to work with. Many people refer to Notion as an “internal wiki” allowing teams and individuals to plan their projects and track their work and goals throughout the process. This workspace allows you to :
- Create your own wiki (with infinite content layers),
- Plan using a Kanban view, a calendar or a simple list view
- Capture your workflows and record everything that creates spreadsheets and databases.
In addition, Notion offers features for real-time collaboration and allows teams to share, comment and assign tasks and reminders.
Notion is an “all-in-one workspace”. It’s a SaaS designed to concentrate all the information and documents you need for your work. It works very simply as a pyramid system of pages that are all connected and can take a wide variety of formats.
- This solution is very similar to the free Google Spreadsheets CRM.
- Notion is therefore very simple and easy to set up, with the power of Notion and a much more pleasant interface.
- Quite limiting. The fact that there’s only one table means that if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a lot of columns that aren’t used very often.
Try Notion Lightweight CRM for free
#6 CRM Notion on steroids
The most advanced CRM at $27 on Notion by Alex Sherwood
Obviously, this version isn’t free, but paying $27 for access to a much more complete (and multi-table) version might make sense.
A word anyway. In my opinion, you have to be careful not to use Notion at all costs. We’ve been seeing a lot of “CRM on Airtable” or “CRM on Notion”, or “CRM no-code” – it’s been all the rage for the last 2 – 3 years.
In concrete terms, it’s great: you can actually do a lot of advanced things by spending a lot of time and clicking a lot of times – instead of spending a lot of time and writing a lot of code, which shouldn’t be seen as a revolution either.
But to think that off-the-shelf CRM can’t handle the “complexity” of your business is to think that we’ve invented something that nobody else has thought of in 30 years.
You’ve got to be a bit clear-headed: if you’re going to get involved in such complicated stuff, you’ve got to ask yourself the question: can’t we really do this with an existing CRM? In 99% of cases, someone in the team is eager to learn how to master Notion, or Airtable, or whatever. And it’s great. But not necessarily the right decision for the company.
- Multi-tables allow you to go much further & to limit the complexity of each table (and data filling operation, whether automated or manual).
- That’s still $27. At the same time, it helps a man who creates an incredible amount of stuff for the Notion ecosystem. Better than helping Salesforce, isn’t it?
Try Notion advanced CRM for free
#7 Streak CRM
Free, easy to use CRM software for gmail
Streak CRM is an add-on to the Gmail suite that goes a long way.
In the free version, you get unlimited pipelines, which you can adapt to all your processes: customer support, sales, pre-sales, etc. The tool also features a number of cold mailing functions.
The (big) limit is that you can’t share anything as a team before the pro plan, which starts at $49/month. Basically, if you’re going to manage CRM on your own, this is a superb tool, and the free version will take you quite far.
On the other hand, if you’re planning to recruit in the short to medium term, it’s rather more expensive & not as good as market leaders like Pipedrive or Hubspot.
- Excellent interface & superb vision
- Excellent gmail integration and working modes
- Very efficient for simple processes and for prospecting
- Free plan prevents sharing of information
- Pricing on pay-as-you-go plans is quite complicated to justify, except in very special cases…
- No support on the free plan, and no French support
Please note that you will need a gmail or gsuite account to use Streak CRM.
#8 Google Spreadsheets
The indestructible 100% free CRM excel template
The most advanced relational CRM software includes a set of tables:
- Organizations (accounts)
Google Spreadsheet is lightweight, highly efficient and features a reporting dashboard (see photo above). You can format and analyze data with standard spreadsheet tools, extract data from the Web, and automatically run complex workflows.
- Very easy to set up, but you have to do everything yourself.
- Effective reporting system.
- Resists team evolution rather poorly. We’ve tried adding an “owner” column, or consolidating several individual spreadsheets into one, but this requires a bit of tinkering and frankly doesn’t work very well.
Try the free google sheets template
If you’re on your own and just looking to get a little more organized and structured, this is perfect. If not, move on, you need a more collaborative solution.
#9 Agile CRM
All-in-one CRM software, with one of the best free plans on the market
Agile CRM is SaaS software, and not open source. But it’s probably the CRM software that offers the most generous free plan.
In addition to a wide range of sales CRM functions, the software also offers a number of features more akin to those of amarketing automation software package. However, these marketing features are only available from the first paid plan. The software even goes so far as to offer customer support functionalities, and is also a true live chat software.
But back to the free plan: you can use the free plan with 10 users, up to 50,000 contacts & companies created. You’ll benefit from advanced features such as lead scoring, appointment setting, tracking of your prospecting emails, and solid integrations for telephony (both ways) and emails (read & write).l
In our opinion, it’s the most complete free solution on the market, but it’s considerably more complex to set up than Hubspot.
- Solid software, and excellent reputation
- Unmatched functional depth for a free version
- Expandable to pay-as-you-go plans with excellent value for money
- A truly modern vision of enterprise software, far removed from the dusty ERP.
- A little more complex than Hubspot or lighter tools
- No support in French, and no support on the free plan
You can try Agile CRM for free without having to provide any payment information.
#10 Bitrix 24
A free CRM (really, and entirely), but not a simple one
Bitrix24 is a little-known piece of software that actually goes a long way. The big drawback of the tool is that all the functionalities (of which there are many, many) are rather poorly arranged.
It’s hard to know where to start and, in most cases, you end up with a very partial use, on a much less clear and easy interface than much lighter solutions. On the other hand, if the management of your customer data is at the heart of your activity, and you know the subject well enough, Bitrix24 will please you a lot.
- Lots of features available.
- Quite complex and difficult to access.
Learn more about Bitrix24
A stronger, open-source CRM|#11 Dolibarr
We hesitated for a long time to include Dolibarr in this list, but since everyone else is doing it, we thought it best to address the subject & explain why it’s not a very good choice.
It’s all in the title of their home page: ERP & CRM.
In the real world, a solution like Dolibarr may be free in terms of licensing costs, but it will quickly become very expensive in terms of installation, maintenance, training and other costs associated with CRM software.
So the choice is far from being between free or not, and you really need to look at the full cost of the installation over the first 2 years to make the right decision. The price of CRM licenses for such complete solutions is usually marginal compared to the rest.
- Free software
- Great functional depth, and good reputation in the market
- Old solution with a real network of partners
- Much too heavy, has aged rather badly
- The hosted solution of Dolibarr has very little success
You can try the software online for free on their website, or download it directly
Free open source CRM software, but for how long?
Opinions on the evolution of vTiger are somewhat mixed. We’ll explain.
Version 7 of the software is available for free download, like all open source software. So far so good.
It’s a hyper-complete software package, with a real “all-in-one” ambition: Marketing, Sales, and customer relations (helpdesk, etc.).
Where it gets complicated is that they’ve released a version 9 that’s just as complete, and with a free plan, along the same lines as Agile CRM: 10 users, but only 3000 “records”. So there’s a very serious programmed obsolescence of the free plan…
A bit of a pity, because version 9 is very promising, see for yourself, it’s a real all-in-one software
In short, in the open-source version, vTiger is a solid & robust piece of software, but it’s not clear to what extent the company’s efforts will be turned towards this deprecated version…
And in the new version, it’s clearly ambitious, but you can hardly call it freeware. A bit of an unclassifiable in this comparison, but the software is clearly worth a look!
- Accessible and highly regarded open source version
- Large community and strong network
- Version 9 is very promising, but it’s a pity it’s only available as SaaS.
- The v9 free plan is more like a free trial.
- The future of the open-source version is rather uncertain, given the distribution strategy for v9.
We recommend that you learn about the two versions of vTiger