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Free CRM system: Pros and cons

We are always short of money. Especially if we need to develop our business from scratch. Read this article about how to save a little on enterprise management with free CRM systems and whether it makes sense.

We are always short of money. Especially if you need to grow your business from scratch. Read this article about how to save a little money on running your business with free CRM systems and whether it makes sense.

Naturally, we all love free solutions to our problems. Especially considering that in today’s world, and even more so in the online entrepreneur segment, there are far fewer such solutions than we’d like.

Speaking of CRM systems, you can find paid, free and conditionally free plans. The latter option is the most common version of the free, which is logical, because no company would spend years free of charge to develop a quality product that does not bring profit. Using fully free versions is simply dangerous, as such systems are updated less frequently than their paid counterparts, and tech support treats them as a henchman to his poor relatives. We are in business and we do not want the hard-won database to be lost or (even worse) stolen at any moment due to a failure or hacker attack.

Conditionally free CRM

This subset of analytical systems is the magic wand for the small and sometimes medium-sized business segment. Sravnibank, for example, uses just such a CRM. Free CRM does not require you to make a financial investment, but it does provide limitations on some of the functionality, which can be removed at any time by purchasing a paid licence.

Free CRM systems of this order have good technical support and acceptable, and sometimes even extensive capabilities (search for new customers, Internet marketing). They serve as a kind of test and demonstration of the capabilities of the manufacturer. Therefore, developers ensure the safety of the system and, in a timely manner update it. Moreover, sooner or later (if things go well), you will switch to a paid version.

Free CRM have only one very obvious advantage: they are free. Otherwise, these systems are significantly inferior to their paid counterparts. But the disadvantages of using this software product are somewhat greater.

Disadvantages of free CRM systems

It is worth saying that most of the disadvantages of free CRM systems are problematic for medium and large businesses. If you are one of them, pay attention to the rating of paid CRMs whereas small entrepreneurs can ignore them.

They are there anyway, but their quantity and quality depends individually on the publishers’ policies. The most common option is a time limit on usage. Typically, this free CRM system works for only two weeks, and should only be used if you buy a full version after that period.

In second place in popularity – reducing the maximum number of users and the size of the customer base. Not fatal for small and partly medium-sized businesses, but if you own a large company you’ll be very uncomfortable with the CRM.

Another pitfall faced by owners of free CRM systems is the lack of developer support during implementation. This usually requires bespoke solutions, which are difficult to implement without third-party help.

Rating of free and conventionally free CRMs

The global market offers a variety of solutions to systemise workflows. However, the American and European system of business building respects the fact that good and quality software has to be paid for. Some well-known CRM creators offer only trial periods – a few days of using the functionality, after which they offer to pay for a package of services. But there are also conditionally free products with which you can get a modest, but quite effective set of tools for managing tasks, planning your workday, and the formation of a customer base. Here is a closer look at some of them.

Sugar CRM

The creators of this programme set out to give marketing, sales and service professionals tools that could improve the relationship between a company and its customers, increase the lifecycle and obtain a brighter and more memorable customer experience.

As part of a CRM system, it is possible to implement individual products that would help automate processes within the company, improve the work of sales managers and get acquainted with revenue analytics. If this is not enough, you can always buy a complete solution for a particular business, of course at additional cost.

The real features of Sugar CRM:

  • issuing a complete customer history;
  • monitoring of correspondence per addressee;
  • integration of the account with social networks;
  • generation of a clear lifecycle of each client;
  • access to analytical information relating to a particular customer.

Trello

A handy and accessible program that allows you to manage your project tasks. The creators advise you to use Trello not only for work purposes, but also for personal use, because it helps you not only to systematize your work activities, but also to plan your leisure time, to organize yourself, to create individual schedules.

What a Trello user gets:

  1. It is possible to create a team by inviting users. It is now possible to manage the work within the team, set tasks and monitor their implementation.
  2. Tools for visualising the progress of work and any issues related to the process. These include comments, attachments, deadlines, additional information.
  3. Workflow optimisation, because some of the work could be delegated to robots, who could set rule triggers, create card and board buttons, execute commands from the calendar.

Zoho

The ideal solution for small or medium-sized businesses. With one software, you can get information from your marketing, sales, record keeping and customer support at all levels. Zoho has a wide range of functionality, some of which becomes available after you pay a fee. However, even the free version can help solve some business issues.

The main purpose of using this CRM is to correctly organise the relationship between the company and the client. Lifecycle building, marketing, accounting and even inventory management processes are integrated into a single system.

What Zoho can help with:

  1. Track sales per employee, analyse them, and automate the transaction process. The data the programme pulls up will be the backbone of the follow-up contact.
  2. Plan promotions, control cost items and expenses.
  3. Combine the sales and customer support process so that the operator always knows the pains of the person on the other end of the phone.

Are there any good free CRM systems? Conclusion

If you’re still not sure whether to use free versions of CRM systems, we’ll give you a little hint. Be guided by the number of users who will be working with it. For owners of relatively large enterprises, it is not rational to install such options. And if the firm employs only a few professionals, such a system will play a good service, thanks to the optimization and automation of many routine processes. It is also important to pay attention to the company’s goals and choose a CRM system based on them.

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