8 Best Free Salesforce Alternatives: Choosing The Optimum CRM Tool

Sibbir

See if you find this scenario relatable. You own a small or medium enterprise. So, you don’t want a feature-packed expensive CRM software such as Salesforce. Rather you are looking for free Salesforce alternatives or just a free CRM tool. You just want a low-price decent software that does the trick.

You further have trouble understanding the benefits of CRM software. With AI, fancy technology, and tons of pricing plans integrated into one software, Salesforce feels like an extra hassle to you. Moreover, it does not make sense for SMBs to spend such a hefty amount for CRM Software.

Well, worry not! You have come to the right place. We are here to help you with a list of free Salesforce alternatives. These platforms do not sacrifice features to make up for the free tag. They just do what you need them to do. They are best-suited to drive your SMBs.

Quick Introduction to Salesforce

Salesforce CRM software
Image Credit: Salesforce

Before we dive into the free Salesforce alternatives, we must understand what Salesforce is. Salesforce was founded in 1999. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was still a novel concept. However, Salesforce went beyond the traditional concept of CRM. It developed cloud-based CRM software.

This software could be integrated into businesses regardless of their size and operations. Therefore, businesses were no longer wasting money on developing in-house hardware and software. Salesforce became the new normal.

A 360-view of Salesforce CRM products and services

This is just a glimpse of the innumerable solutions offered by Salesforce. Now you know why you need someone to break down this list to help you find a simpler solution.

  • Sales cloud
  • Service cloud
  • Marketing cloud
  • SMB solutions
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Commerce Cloud
  • Customer Engagement
  • Community management
  • Platform building
  • Integration platform

What Makes Salesforce Superior

In our quest to finding the best free Salesforce alternatives, we do not deny the superiority of Salesforce by any means. Salesforce is the pioneer and market leader in cloud-based CRM solutions. The greatest USP of Salesforce is its continuous innovation.

They leverage their years of expertise in driving innovation in the CRM field. The company does not aim to stay relevant. Rather, it creates relevance factors in the industry. It also provides solutions to businesses of all sizes. Nevertheless, in terms of value for money, other CRM software may be the best fit for you.

List of Free Salesforce Alternatives

Free Salesforce alternatives list

Don’t just jump on the bandwagon. Do you want to automate your sales process? If yes, then does automation provide significant ROI? Maybe yes. Now, do you have enough budget to buy a full-fledged software package? No? then suggest you proceed with this article.

Here are some wonderful free CRM tools for managing your next customers. Just click to jump right into it.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot Free CRM

If you are just starting out, HubSpot free CRM might be the most suitable software for you. HubSpot is more focused on driving smaller businesses. So, the free version may work as your entry tool for the future. It also offers scalable add-on products as part of its freemium business models. Therefore, it grows with you.

Pros of HubSpot Free CRM

  • Yes, it’s free. Forever. That’s what HubSpot claims.
  • You can also add unlimited users!
  • It also comes in a mobile app.
  • The interface is extremely simple and functional, hence more user-friendly.
  • It offers Live Chat Tool to even free users. Obviously, the paid version is way more robust, but hey! The basic chatbot works pretty well too.
  • HubSpot does not limit your creativity. It lets you customize to your heart’s content.
  • You can align your CRM data with those of Marketing and Sales. Moreover, you don’t lose data if you upgrade later on.

Cons of HubSpot Free CRM

  • HubSpot CRM is a newbie compared to Salesforce.
  • Features are limited.
  • The platform is extremely lightweight. Therefore, it is not at all suitable for large enterprises.

S0, if you/your company is just starting out, or never used CRM software before, HubSpot CRM is one the best free Salesforce alternatives. If we are being honest, HubSpot wasn't meant to compete with Salesforce. Salesforce is more of the one-stop CRM solution for medium and large enterprises.

The bottom line is that HubSpot CRM is a lightweight tool. It will help you grow your business, but not sustain it. Once you have grown, you might need Salesforce or similar tools after all.

FreshSales Sprout

Freshsales Sprout Plan

Freshsales Sprout is a basic CRM package for small businesses. This plan is not displayed on the official pricing page. Rather, users have to downgrade their accounts to access the free plan. Freshsales Sprout plan is also for businesses that are just ‘sprouting’.

How to Activate the Sprout Plan

  • Login your Freshsales account as an administrator.
  • Go to Admin Settings, then to Account Settings
  • See your Current Plan
  • Click Modify Plan
  • Choose Sprout and hit that Yes button. Voila!

Pros of Freshsales Sprout CRM

  • Like HubSpot, Freshsales Sprout is plan is also free forever
  • You can add unlimited users
  • Sprout has all the basic facilities you expect in a decent CRM i.e. leads, contact information, basic lead data, etc
  • The plan can be accessed in a mobile app too
  • You can align your plan with Google Calendar and Freshdesk
  • Freshchat is integrated into the Sprout Plan
  • The interface is customizable

Cons of Freshsales Sprout CRM

  • You lose your data after you downgrade to Sprout

Freshsales Sprout is basically a cost-cutting plan for small businesses and startups. For people who are always on run, the mobile app can come in handy at times. Moreover, Freshsales also comes in affordable paid plans.

So, if you are looking to upgrade in the future, Freshsales might be a good option. It’s easier to use, has an intuitive interface, and offers impressive communication tools. Most importantly, its plans are way cheaper than those of Salesforce.

Yetiforce

Yetiforce #1 open-source CRM

Yetiforce is ranked #1 on the list of free CRM software options on Capterra. Known best for its unprecedented flexibility, Yetiforce is one open source CRM software that truly belongs to you. It allows you to customize the interface as per your requirements.

Features of Yetiforce

  • Customizable Dashboard
  • Lead & Account management
  • Partner & Vendor management
  • Email marketing & communication tools
  • Gantt charts and interactive graphs
  • Sales automation
  • Budget & Resource management

Pros of Yetiforce

  • As said before, in terms of customization, Yetiforce is the gold standard.
  • Yetiforce allows you to switch users. So, someone you trust can take over your responsibility.
  • It even maintains a GitHub repository for developers.

Cons of Yetiforce

  • If you and your team have less technical expertise, Yetforce is not the right CRM tool for you.
  • It doesn't have a mobile app.

Here is a hack. Since Yetiforce complies with GDPR, it is the best fit for businesses in Europe. So, if you have a business in Europe, you know what to do.

Flowlu CRM

Flowlu Business Management Software

Flowlu CRM is one of the top-rated free CRM on Capterra. The most unique feature of Flowlu is that it does not only offer CRM functions. Rather, it provides businesses with many basic management functions as well i.e. Finance, Accounting, Project management, etc.

Free Features of Flowlu CRM

  • Tasks & project management
  • Agile project management
  • Lead & contact management
  • Accounting functions i.e. invoicing and payment
  • Financial management
  • Online messenger for team communication

Pros of Flowlu Free CRM

  • Since the CRM also offer different management functions at one place, it is ideal for people in cross-departmental roles
  • Users have highly recommended the customer service of Flowlu. To make customer service easier, Flowlu also has features such as Knowledge Base & Discussion Forums.
  • Flowlu is a cloud-based CRM. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about storage management. You can access the software anywhere on any device.

Cons of Flowlu Free CRM

  • Maximum 2 users can avail of the service.
  • The interface takes time to get used to.

So, Flowlu is best for small businesses who do not only want a basic CRM but also want to manage certain business functions in one platform. If you want seamless communication and better overall management, then Flowlu is your best bet among other discussed free Salesforce alternatives.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM landing page

Like other CRMs discussed till now, Zoho CRM also offers a freemium CRM software. It offers a free version with limited features. For small teams with big dreams, Zoho CRM offers the necessary tools to drive sales and marketing. Moreover, it also offers powerful integration tools and cloud storage.

Features of Zoho Free CRM

  • Lead and contact management
  • Deal and account management
  • Lead generation
  • Sales automation
  • Customizable interface

Pros of Zoho Free CRM

  • Email marketing tools in Zoho CRM are extremely powerful.
  • The Zoho ecosystem is extremely immersive. It feels like Zoho has every software you might need to scale your business.
  • Zoho stands out in its performance management tools. It even offers gamification to drive and measure sales.

Cons of Zoho Free CRM

  • You can add only 3 users.
  • The maximum data storage limit is 5000.
  • The cloud storage is limited to 1 GB.

We will not bore you with further specifications. Let’s cut to the chase. Zoho CRM is actually not one of your free Salesforce alternatives. Rather it is the software that lets you decide whether you need Salesforce or not.

If you want to test the waters before investing in heavy CRM tools, then Zoho CRM is the right choice. Because its plans are extremely affordable. In half the price of Salesforce, Zoho can offer you advanced analytics tools and sophisticated customization features that are ‘just enough’ for you.

SuiteCRM

Suite CRM Services

The best way to describe Suite CRM is that it grows with you. It is an award-winning open-source CRM solution. Despite being free, Suite CRM is defined as an enterprise-grade solution. It is completely scalable and can be fit into businesses of any size.

Features of SuiteCRM

Let’s just say that SuiteCRM has the potential to compete and rank among the best CRM leaders. Considered objectively, SuiteCRM can equip any business with advanced CRM tools. Functions are extremely customizable as per your business size and requirements.

SuiteCRM also lets you manage other business functions besides Sales & Marketing. According to FinancesOnline, users were able to reduce their CRM costs by 80%.

Pros of SuiteCRM

  • SuiteCRM is a free and open-source product.
  • It is perfect for different cross-departmental needs.
  • The generated reports and graphs are easily comprehensible.
  • The CRM has a unique self-service option. It makes communication between business and customers super-fluid. Teams are notified when customers have any queries. Likewise, customers are notified as soon as their queries are met.
  • Moreover, there are other unique features such as designing sales pipeline and better regulating pricing strategies to name a few.

Cons of SuiteCRM

  • Like in Yetiforce, you need major technical expertise to best tweak your interface.
  • Users in Capterra complained that the free version does not come with agent-based support.
  • The cloud-based CRM is not free. Hence, you need to spend money in the long run for better storage facilities.

So, who are we suggesting SuiteCRM for? For everyone because the greatest USP of SuiteCRM is that it grows with your business.

Vtiger CRM

Vtiger CRM all-in-one CRM

Commonly known as the all-in-one CRM, Vtiger CRM combines marketing, sales, and customer support in one tool. It goes beyond the typical definition of CRM. Because of its functionality, it is also one of the most popular open-source CRMs.

Features of Vtiger CRM

Vtiger CRM comes with every expected feature of a basic CRM and more. However, the key features are as follows:

  • Designing web forms
  • Email and SMS marketing tools
  • Lead generation tools
  • Sales data and insights
  • Team mail and messaging options
  • Workflow automation
  • Project management
  • Inventory management
  • Case management

and many more!

Pros of Vtiger CRM

  • The most lucrative feature of Vtiger CRM is its one-stop feature. It provides features for businesses to maintain the entire customer journey.
  • Easily customizable interface to meet your business needs
  • The client management tool is said to be one of the best in the open-source CRM industry.
  • You can find all the customer data in one space. Therefore, it is easier for teams to collaborate.

Cons of Vtiger CRM

  • Users have complained about the communication tools in general. For example, the email templates have been said to be outdated. Moreover, there is no option for social media integration.

If you are a member of an agile and small business team, Vtiger CRM is worth considering. It will let your marketers generate, capture, and manage leads efficiently. Moreover, it will enable the sales department to score leads. Finally, your service team can also provide excellent support to your users.

The bottom line is agility and collaboration.

CiviCRM

CiviCRM for non-profit organizations

If you are in a non-profit business or manage a civic organization, then CiviCRM is what you are looking for. It is a cloud-based open-source CRM system. With the help of CiviCRM, mission-based organizations maintain their constituents and supporters. It is more of a contact management system if you will.

Features of CiviCRM

  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Fundraising channels.
  • Contact management
  • Communication tools
  • Event management
  • Case management
  • Membership maintenance
  • Community management

Pros of CiviCRM

  • Since CiviCRM is intended for non-profit, the multi-language and translation features are useful to the users.
  • It is open-source. Hence, you are not charged for user license fees.
  • You can record, store, and track past communication.

Cons of CiviCRM

  • Most users complain about its interface because the UI experience is outdated.
  • Users often run into technical difficulties.

We have included this section only because other blogs don’t. Our two cents on this software: If you belong to a non-profit sector, just go for CiviCRM. You will be better able to nurture relationships with your supporters and constituents.

Our Final Words

We have merely provided you a guideline. Ask yourself these questions before jumping on the bandwagon.

Why do you need a CRM software in the first place? Say you have a significant reason. So, calculate whether the CRM will provide a significant ROI? If yes, then is your budget enough to sustain a full-fledged CRM software? Feel free to review our list if your budget can’t.

All you have to do is further research. Jot down your business requirements. Compare the pricing plans. Weigh the pros and cons of each. However, deciding on a CRM solution is not enough. Decide if your team has enough technical expertise to sustain an open-source CRM.

Wait! We are not finished yet. Look further down the road. If you were to upgrade in the future, which CRM can provide you the ultimate value? Finally, have you been able to find the best of the free Salesforce alternatives we discussed? Let us know in the comment section.

We hope that you manage your customers more efficiently than ever.

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