Top Free CRM Software – Our Review and Analysis

We will take a look at Zoho and the reasons it’s considered as one of the top free CRM software on the market today. 

As you know, the word free rarely means 100% free. There’s always a catch. It’s therefore understandable that many people question whether Zoho is free. Well, there is no catch here, but Zoho is only free for less than three users.

Zoho offers four types of CRM packages – Free, Standard, Professional, and Enterprise. If you sign up for the Free edition, you don’t have to pay anything. However, the Standard, Professional, and Enterprise editions require a monthly payment of $12, $20, and $35, respectively.

Core Features of Zoho CRM, Free Edition

Naturally, there are differences in the features depending on what package you choose. Among the packages mentioned above, the Free edition has the most basic ones. However, these features can generate enough data to help you increase your sales and better understand what CRM software can do for your business.

The core features of Zoho’s Free version include the following:

  • Leads (create or import leads);
  • Accounts (create or import accounts);
  • Contacts (create or import contacts);
  • Potentials (create or import potentials);
  • Reports (view or edit lead, potential, sales metrics, and account reports), and;
  • Activities (create or manage tasks).

Pros – Strong Points of Zoho Free Edition

1. Multi-Award Winning

InfoWorld named Zoho Product of the Year in 2009. A year before that, it was a recipient of PC World’s 25 Most Innovative Products Award. And a year before that, it was awarded the Best Enterprise Start-up by TechCrunch! If awards are a good indicator of quality and exceptional performance, then Zoho is one of the best – if not the best – CRM applications out there.

2. Free for up to 3 Users

As noted above, users who sign up for Zoho’s free version are either of the following – entrepreneurs who run a small business with less than three employees; or business owners who want to test Zoho’s capabilities before upgrading to any of the paid services. Either way, Zoho’s “trial” policy is an advantage.

3. No Lock-in Policy

Unlike other companies that offer their services for free only at a certain period before they start charging you, you can continue to enjoy Zoho’s functionalities for as long as you want. If you subscribe to the Professional edition, Zoho does not bind you to a contract that lasts for, say, 12 months. You can cancel your subscription anytime.

4. No-Fuss Registration

You don’t have to fill out fields after fields of the required information to start using this service. All you have to do is type in a valid e-mail address and your desired password, and then click on the confirmation link sent to your inbox.

5. User-friendly Interface and Customizable Layout

Zoho is a CRM software that has a straightforward and easy-to-use interface. The navigation bar on your dashboard is visible, and the tabs represent what you want to do. If you’re going to import your leads, click on the “Leads” tab.
Aside from that, you can customise the layouts of your pages. For instance, to customise your leads page, you can choose from the available modules by clicking on the box beside them.

6. Website Integration Tools – Free

If you own a website, you can use it to generate leads by publishing web forms. Aside from creating and publishing web forms, you can also integrate other tools such as auto-response rules and an unsubscribe form.

7. Reliable Support

Zoho has a systematic way of handling help tickets, complaints, and inquiries from its customers. Aside from having a help forum, Zoho encourages customers to submit their ideas, questions, and problems through their Support page.

Cons – Limitations of Zoho

One of the obvious limitations of the Free edition of Zoho is its limited functionalities. Compared with the Professional version, the latter has added features such as email integration, role-based security, and workflow automation.

Final Thoughts

If you are own a start-up or a small business, Zoho is a good option for a cloud-based CRM. Not only will you not have to worry about paying expensive monthly rates, but you will get access to features that can help your business grow. 

We have several articles on CRM and the options available. You may find our article CRM choices for the solo business owner helpful. Or perhaps you are looking for open-source possibilities; we have that covered too. And finally, if you are looking to see what applications are cloud-based, we have a review for that too.

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