Robert Urban

Posted on November 7, 2018 in Live Chat Software

Steve Jobs, the technical visionary, who launched Apple once stated ““Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.” BirdSeed was designed to be a free way way to make your business’ website convert more web visitors into customers by offering a communication tool that took into account that people are at different stages in their buying cycle and have different communication preferences. And we believe that we built an incredible tool that does just that. Our users are often amazed at what our product does and they ask if there is a FREE or low cost CRM that we could also recommend. BirdSeed doesn’t offer our own custom built CRM, since our tool can integrate with almost ANY CRM through our Zapier integration. (Zapier is the industry standard tool that allows you to connect apps you use). However, given our experience with using various CRM tools in the past and our expertise in technology we feel qualified to give our perspective on this topic.

3 Free CRMs You May Want to Consider

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools help a business by tracking everything related to your customers: contacts, previous emails, calls, interactions, brick and mortar visits, calls, the progress of individual sales, promotions, and more. Having all this data helps you understand what your customers need and allows you to make better business decisions based on data. When people are looking for free CRM there are three that stand out. These are ZOHO, Agile, & Bitrix 24. Some of these are so well built that even large companies use the free version of them. Most of these also have additional features or add-ons that have a paid upgraded version. For each we will give a quick overview, the pros and cons and comment on anything else we think might be important to know.

Zoho

ZOHO CRMIf your business also does social media marketing, this is the CRM for you. Zoho is built around leads and deals. Zoho also has a built in scorecard to forecast future sales as well as offering the ability for you to look back on detailed reports of your previous months’ sales and other activity. Zoho also provides strong social media integration tool (to include LinkedIn and Gmail contacts) as well as powerful order management, detailed reporting and powerful analytics.  While it is feature rich and has built in applications and add-ons that let you scale there has been poor reviews about the mobile responsiveness being too slow and the UI not as intuitive as other platforms.   There are add-ons and scalability as you do more and want more out of your CRM.

Overview – Some areas that need improvement, but a great CRM with strong social media integrations. Learn more at the ZOHO website.

Price: Free edition for 3 users. The next higher up is the standard plan which starts at $12 per user per month. Learn more about the difference in tiers here.

Agile CRM

agile crmAgile CRM is a cloud-based with tons of free features as well as email support. One of the things I like about  agile comparisonthe AgileCRM is that it allows a user a lot of space even at their free level to include: 50,000 contacts, unlimited deals, and tasks. It also offers 10 users at the free level.

I believe this is the most users I have seen for CRMs I would trust.  It was designed with startups and SMBs in mind, although there are some well known large companies that utilize them. The desktop version offers a simple, clean and modern interface. However, There have been complaints about the mobile experience, but Agile has given acknowledgement of these issues and promises from the company to improve this.

Overview  This cloud-based CRM is perfect for companies that want a single platform to manage sales, support, project milestones and other marketing activities. Overall, a great tool. Learn more at the AgileCRM website.

Price Agile CRM—Free Edition for up to 10 users. The “upgrade” is $8 per user.

 

Bitrix24

Bitrix was designed for small to mid-sized businesses. Bitrix24 interprets the CRM slightly differently than the others as it aligns itself more as a project management tool with a strong CRM component, but don’t let that fool you- the CRM is feature rich and powerful in its own right. In addition to the CRM, the free tools you can incorporate include: quotes and invoices, activity stream, calendars integration, workgroups, internal forums and blogs, and other collaboration tools at your disposal. If you are a visual dashboard kind of person, this is the CRM for you.

It offers many different diagrams, zenn charts and other graphical dashboards to see your data about sales, customers, pipelines, and workflow. One of the areas that people have thought could be improved is that phone support is not offered and integration with other apps is not as user-friendly as other CRMs. The only two practical limitations of this free CRM is 12 users and 5GB of online storage.

Overview Bitrix24 is a powerful CRM with great dashboard visualization and project management tools included. Another great tool. Learn more at the Bitrix24 website.

Price Free Forever for up to 12 users. The next higher plan is $35 dollars a user/per month.

So which one is best?

It all depends on your specific challenges, goals and unique needs. I think all the above reviewed all have different pros and cons which someone could argue for or against as being “the best”. There are dozens of other CRMs out there that we did not review and new technologies coming to market often. If none of the above fit your exact need, I suggest doing a little more research to find one that does. I suggest listing out the things that you want a CRM to accomplish and then find the CRM to match.

Thanks for reading. Was there any CRM that you love that you think people should know about?

Until Next Time,

Robert Urban – CMO of BirdSeed 

robert urbanCurrent CMO of BirdSeed and best-selling author, Marine veteran and PhD.  Offers expert-level strategy and execution for SAAS and technology business through relationship driven marketing, content and sales while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. BirdSeed is headquartered in Orlando, Florida. 

 

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