Pros and Cons of Free CRM App

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We get it.

You're a small business. Or maybe you're a solo entrepreneur — a solopreneur, if you will.

You're trying to save money whenever and wherever you can while firmly planting your feet. So you're looking for free software.

We've got you covered in this article — at least when it comes to free CRM apps.

Besides, the “humble beginnings” story makes a great PR talking point when you finally make it big. Think about it, Amazon is one of the largest, most successful companies globally, and it started in Jeff Bezos' garage.


And we're completely speculating here, but Jeff Bezos probably used free software in the beginning, too. And if he didn't? Well, then maybe he should have, and he'd be even richer than he is today with all the savings (if that's even possible).

But ok, we get you might still have some hesitation. After all, as the old saying goes, “free is never free,” right?

In other words, using a free CRM app may save you money, but is it a better idea to just fork over the cash for a paid solution?

That'll be something you'll have to figure out on your own, but don't worry — that's what this article is about. We'll go through the different free CRM apps available and discuss their differences. Then, we'll outline the pros and cons of free CRM apps and close with some recommendations (if you decide that a free CRM app can work for you).

Let's get started!

Types of Free CRM App

Types of Free CRM App

When it comes to free CRM apps, thankfully, there are quite a few options that specialize in different things — from project management to marketing. This means that you can choose a free CRM app that's more specialized in giving you the solution you want.

You see, free software is often more bare-bones than paid — in that it typically offers one focused solution rather than many.

When you're looking for a free CRM, you'll want to make sure you have a specific thought of what you want it to do for you and then choose a solution that matches that.

For instance, let's say you realize you need a CRM to handle your incoming leads and place them in specific positions in your sales funnel. But that's all you need right now, no other bells and whistles. In this situation, a free sales CRM would be the best choice rather than a more general free CRM app that maybe could organize your incoming leads with some messing around in the system. Still, because it doesn't specialize in that, you're not likely to get as good an experience as if you chose the sales CRM.

That being said, it's important to remember that this is just a generalization when it comes to whether it's better to choose more general or specialized software. But because we're talking about a free CRM app that isn't likely to be as robust as a paid CRM app, then it seems like a good common sense rule to follow.

Got it?


Now let's get into the different types of free CRM apps:

Free CRM and Project Management

If you're looking for a free CRM app for project management, you'll want a solution that can handle typical tasks that go with managing customers from end-to-end.

This means different things for different businesses, but in general, features that you should look for include:

  • Calendar synchronization — so you can match up meetings, events, deadlines, and other time-sensitive tasks with a calendar you already use, like Google or Outlook
  • A bird's eye view dashboard — so you can see what's going on with your customers at a glance
  • Tracking — so you can keep tabs on how a project is progressing
  • Reporting and analytics — so you can see the finer details of a project and make changes as needed to make work more efficient in the future

Free CRM for Network Marketing

Network marketing is all about building relationships, so you'll want a CRM that can support all your schmoozing. This means great organization features surrounding contact management, efficiency with managing leads, and lead nurturing.

Features to consider for the best free CRM for network marketing include:

  • Contact importing — so you can aggregate your contacts from multiple sources in one place
  • Communication recording — so you can go back and review conversations for context and information, showing your clients that you're always on the ball
  • Reminders and notifications — so you never miss an important meeting
  • Task organization — so you always know what tasks to take on every single day

Free Sales CRM

With sales, there's probably nothing more important than being able to manage your leads effectively. Having a clear understanding of where prospects are in your company's buying process is paramount to sales success.

Features to consider for a free sales CRM include:

  • Lead management — so you can track and manage leads at every stage in your company's buying process with ease
  • Sales pipeline — so you can see where your prospects fit within your sales process at a glance
  • Communication recording — so you can have context behind every conversation, and keep every prospect's situation straight
  • Calendar synchronization — so you can easily schedule meetings, stay on top of important events and more

Open Source Free CRM App

An open-source, free CRM app is a bit of different consideration when compared to the other types of apps on this list, simply because open source CRMs are often positioned as a free base CRM that you build off of yourself.

Think about it like building a house. You start with a foundation, and then you build each layer at a time based on your specifications. It's the same with most open source CRMs; you get a free base CRM as a foundation, and you're responsible for building upon it to create a solution that works for you.

Keeping that in mind, features to consider when choosing an open-source free CRM app include:

  • A robust online community — so you can easily find support and answers to common questions when you need them
  • Follows coding best practices — so you can easily build off the system without hassle
  • Offers robust features out of the box — to reduce the additions and features you have to build from scratch yourself
  • Has a good reputation — you can be rest assured that the solution you chose is well received by others, and has longevity benefits like continued development and support

Free Mobile CRM

These days, it's not unusual for people to work from anywhere other than the office. In addition to that, smartphones have become a staple for many workers, from emergency service personnel to salespeople. So it's no surprise that mobile CRMs are an attractive option for many different types of businesses.

When you're choosing a free mobile CRM, features to consider include:

  • Whether it's only accessible on mobile or not — so you can potentially switch between using the system on mobile or a computer
  • Whether it has to be used online or can be used offline — so you know if you need to have a steady internet connection to use the system
  • If it rivals a non-mobile-based CRM — so you can compare the features and benefits to a desktop equivalent, and know you're not missing out on any features you may want

Pros and Cons of Free CRM Apps

Pros and Cons of Free CRM Apps



No contracts or monthly fees

Limited features when compared to paid versions

Can try out the system in advance before committing to the paid version (applies to CRMs with a free trial)

Can have time limits on free usage of the entire system or specific features

Offers basic CRM features for no cost

Advanced features are often inaccessible or nonexistent

Good for small businesses or solo entrepreneurs

May not have the scalability to support a business as they grow

Analyzing the pros and cons of free CRM apps mainly results in asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I need robust features for my CRM, or am I fine with the basics — contact management, interaction tracking, and lead management?
  2. How scalable will this solution be for my business over time?
  3. Is the software easy to use? Will my employees be able to adapt easily?

First, whatever CRM app you choose — whether free or paid — should at least have the three features mentioned above. Contact management means storing and organizing client information in a logical way, including name, email, phone number, address, and more. It should be easily searchable from the main dashboard of the CRM.

Interaction tracking is also essential because it gives context to client interactions that you can refer to later. It can be challenging to remember exactly what you spoke about with specific client days or even weeks later, especially if you have multiple clients regularly interacting. With interaction tracking, you can reread emails, text messages, and text transcripts of voice conversations in advance of speaking with a client.

Lead management is another essential feature. All types of businesses need a way to track potential clients wherever they are in the sales funnel. CRM lead management makes this easy with features like lead scoring, placing leads into categories (typically different areas of a company's specific sales funnel, and more.

Scalability is another important consideration. You don't want to choose a free CRM with limited features. Take the time to input and organize all your data within the system, only to find out that it can no longer handle your business's needs in a few months. That's why it's important to look ahead and anticipate what CRM features your business may need in the future.

Last but certainly not least, usability. You might not have the same level of support from a vendor if you choose a free CRM app over the paid version, so ease of use is even more important to consider. Plus, you want to ensure that the CRM is easy to use to increase employee buy-in. If it's too complicated, you might receive pushback from your employees. Testing the system with small amounts of data is likely the best way forward to determine if the features, scalability, and usability are right for your business.

Free CRM App Selection Considerations:

There are many free CRM apps out there. Choosing the right one with so many options can be challenging. Especially since these apps are often competing to gain your business, the features and benefits that they bring can often be very similar.

When selecting the free CRM apps in this list, we carefully considered each solution's features in their free version since many CRMs limit the features that their free version gives you. This way, the unique benefits of each app are highlighted, so it's easy to see the differences between them at a glance.

Free CRM App

Features included in a free plan

Completely free or free trial?


  • Hosted payment pages
  • Multi-currency support
  • Stripe integration
  • Offline payments
  • Client self-service portal
  • Subscription metrics
  • 24/5 email support


  • Reporting dashboard, company insights, deal tracking, and pipeline management
  • For sales, email tracking, prospect tracking, meeting scheduler, and live chat


  • Contact and account management
  • Contact lifecycle stages (e.g. sales pipeline)
  • Chat, email, and phone
  • Mobile app
  • 24x5 customer support

Bitrix 24

  • 5GB of storage
  • Chat, video calls, calendar, company workspace, feed, knowledge base
  • Task, and project management
  • Website builder


  • Allows you to convert a lead into a project
  • Track and manage project milestones
  • Task and workflow management
  • Free for 1-2 users with limited access to CRM features
  • Free trial is available for pro plan


  • You get all the CRM features relevant to the plan you choose


  • Up to 50,00 contacts
  • Lead scoring
  • Custom data fields
  • Unlimited deals, tasks, and documents
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Custom deal milestones (you set them yourself)
  • Email tracking
  • 2-way email integration
  • 2-way telephony


Free CRM

What is a good free CRM for accountants?

Accountants need to be able to effectively manage their client data and relationships simultaneously, making them perfect candidates for CRM software. For an accountant CRM, you'll want an application that can automate some administrative tasks, help you manage documents, and keep track of client communications.

Recommendations for a free CRM for accountants include:

  • EspoCRM
  • Ringy
  • Base CRM
  • HubSpot
  • MethodCRM

Can you build your own CRM free?

There are a few options for making your own CRM for free. First, and probably the most obvious, is that you can code the entire thing from scratch if you're a proficient developer and have the time. The second way is to choose an open-source CRM with the foundation built out already and build the system into what you want it to be. The third option is to subscribe to a highly customizable CRM — it's not building it out like an open-source system. Still, many options like kintone have drag and drop functionality that makes it easy to build out a more customized solution.

Why is it important to have a CRM?

Managing and organizing your clients, leads, and sales data are three very important reasons to have a CRM. In addition, the automation that many CRMs offer helps to reduce tedious administrative tasks and increase your productivity in general. For example, Ringy's automated marketing emails allow you to schedule emails to be sent out to new leads the second they connect with you. This means you don't have to worry about your speed to lead and can shift your focus to more demanding daily tasks.

Do free CRM apps include automation?

While some free CRM app offerings might consist of light automation, chances are the more valuable and robust automation, such as email, is saved for the paid version. Free CRM app software will focus on the basics — contact management, lead management, and interaction tracking, with perhaps some project management features like task management and calendar synchronization.


Let's summarize the information we went through in this article:

  1. There are a variety of different types of free CRM apps. Every free CRM app is built differently, with different features and benefits. This makes some solutions better tailored to specific business needs, like project management, network marketing, etc. It's best to understand what you want your CRM to do for your business before you jump on a solution.
  2. When deciding whether to go with a free CRM app or paid solution, you'll likely land on three primary considerations: whether you're fine with just basic features, whether you need scalability, and whether the software is easy to use or not. When you can answer each of these three questions confidently, it'll be much easier for you to choose a free CRM app that fits your needs (or opt for a paid solution instead)
  3. Our free CRM app recommendations include a mix of completely free options and those with robust free trials. Ultimately free offerings include Zoho, HubSpot, Bitrix24, Agile CRM, and Insightly CRM, while free trial versions include Capsule CRM, Freshsales, and Insightly (referring to their pro plan).

At this point, you're hopefully much more confident and comfortable with choosing a CRM that meets your business needs.

We know this article focuses on free CRM apps, but if you decide to spring for a low-cost CRM solution that'll give you way more features and flexibility than any free option out there, consider checking out Ringy.

Request a demo today, and we'll walk you through our solution.