“Automate, Track, Manage!”
- CRM Software
- Product Author
- Reviewed by
Is FreeCRM suitable for your organization? Let this review help you decide. FreeCRM is a fully-loaded, powerful and versatile application, ideal for sales-driven small/startup businesses that want to manage a wide variety of activities concurrently. It’s packed with almost all the cutting-edge features you want to see in your CRM software: from contact management to task management, from lead management to sales management, from email and SMS marketing campaigns to document sharing, from voice calling to powerful reporting system… you name it!
The name of the CRM, however, is somewhat misleading – maybe it’s a marketing ploy or maybe it was chosen to satisfy the high volume of the search keyword “Free CRM”. In fact, there is a free version but it’s rather limited in functionality, and the premium versions do cost quite a few bucks.
- Our Rating: 76/100 (OR 7.6/10)
- Software Version: 2.0
- Free Trial: No (but there’s a free edition)
- Ideal for: small/startup businesses on the sales side
- User Limit: No
- Training required: Yes (Basic level)
- Mass import/export: Yes
- Email marketing campaigns: Yes
Getting started (3/5)
Getting started is simple, though it requires a little extra information as compared to the sign up process of most other CRM software.
Work Area (19/20)
Managing your business with Free CRM is a snap. Starting from your highly customizable homepage, you can do almost anything without ever having to click the Back button. If you start by hitting one of your to-dos, the next window will have each and every detail about this particular task along with the linked Contact or Company. Then, you can see the contact’s info, communicate with him (through the system via email, SMS or even voice call), update the status of your activity, add a new task/deal, and so on.
Adding new information and editing the existing records is a matter of a few clicks as everything is editable in place i.e. click the pencil icon, edit and click save. No matter you offer business-to-business or business-to-consumers services, the Free CRM has so many features that you can manage every task and activity from the same window.
User Interface (7/10)
With a plethora of options, the user interface is a bit cluttered and you might need some time to get acquainted with it. One thing we didn’t like much about the interface is its over-colored theme – almost every shade found in the spectrum is used, making it look a bit unrefined imo. Another minor nuisance is the position of the buttons: instead of the bottom of the page, the Save button at the end of different forms are found at the top, so once you’ve entered all the values, you’ve scroll up to save it.
The free edition of Free CRM comes with limited capabilities i.e. you can have up to 3 users only, 10MB storage space and 5000 records. Alternatively, you can also choose one of the four premium versions:
- Pro with no support: $14.95/mo/user
- Pro with basic support: $19.95/mo/user
- Pro with premium support: $24.95/mo/user
- VoiceCRM with premium support: $39.95/mo/user
Free CRM is affordable if you have a few employees, but becomes expensive as the number of users grows. If we compare the price with other high-end CRMs e.g. InfusionSoft (which costs $499 per 10 users, although, to be fair, this is not apples vs apples), Free CRM is still the cheaper option. On the other hand, CRMs like CleverTim and BlueCamroo are way more affordable but they don’t have as many features.
If you’re using the premium version, you can customize each and every menu. Even the free version allows quite a few options to tailor your homepage, add or remove modules, drag & drop to position them according to your likings. You can also set different preferences including profile settings, security settings, personal user settings, voice settings, data setup etc.
Integration with 3rd party apps (5/10)
The VoiceCRM can integrate with most VoIP and landlines as long as it has a 10-digit US number. You can also sync date between premium versions of the CRM and your Blackberry, MS Outlook, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Windows Smartphones and Pocket PCs. Though some CRMs like OnePage CRM, can integrate with countless other business apps, Free CRM has many built-in functionalities that you might never want to integrate it with any other system.
Mobile Support (2/5)
You can browse Free CRM on most smartphones, but there is no native mobile application or mobile-friendly version of the portal available.
No limit on the number of users means you can add as many users as you want, and the system expands as your team grows. In fact, with so many features, Free CRM can be useful for large businesses and even for corporations but it lacks the ability to work in multi-user environment i.e. two or more users can simultaneously update the same record which can result in loss of important information. Ideally, as long as one user is editing a record, it should be locked and not editable by other users.
Customer Support (7/10)
Free CRM offers a live support for quick solution of your issues from 9 am to 5 pm EST, Monday to Friday. When the live support is not available, you can drop an offline message right from your dashboard.
Back up & Security (8/10)
Normal users can see only their personal and assigned contacts/tasks, while the managers can keep the system private or open depending upon the preferences set in the administration setup. That means you don’t have to worry about your private info getting compromised.
For free users, there’s no encryption but the data is backed up every day. You can also manually download your data in the form of an MS Excel spreadsheet. For premium users, however, the data is protected by the powerful 128/-bit SSL encryption, and 99.9% uptime is guaranteed.
Let’s take a quick look at the some of the most useful features of FreeCRM:
It’s your customizable sales automation home page, where you can manage your customer relationships, interact with your sales force and perform any other activity.
There is the main menu bar at the top and quick links on the left side of the screen. In the center, there are small boxes which contain your calendar, call list, active email campaigns, upcoming birthdays etc. You can drag and drop these boxes to arrange them in any order. You can also add new boxes from the left menu bar by clicking Add Boxes.
To begin with, go to the SETUP menu and add users, and set up any POP email accounts you may have in order to utilize all of the email functions.
It’s a simple yet powerful calendar which shows the upcoming events and tasks for a particular user or the whole team in Day View, Week View, or Month View. Hover your mouse pointer over a Cell and it’ll show the event summary for that day, so you can quickly find and manage your most important tasks.
If you deal with other businesses, this menu lets you add more clients or manage all the associated activities quickly and efficiently. By default, all the Companies are listed here but you can perform an Advanced Search and also sort Companies alphabetically.
If your client company has business in several cities or even countries, Free CRM makes managing them a breeze. For any Company, the master entry is usually the headquarters location. On top of that, the location of your Contact will determine the region, department, and other details of the specific company.
This page has top-down all contacts, customer care cases, deals and any other tasks/events linked to the particular Company. So you can manage your corporate clients, assign tasks to your team members and track progress from the same page.
The Contacts menu is pretty similar to the Company menu as it features an Advanced Search option and then your contacts are listed at the bottom. Contacts and Companies are auto-linked i.e. if you add a contact, the name of the company you assign to it will be added to the Companies automatically, provided it’s not already there. The relationship can help you establish a number of options and features for converting contacts into valuable Sales or Support Issues.
For a speedy follow up, you can email your contacts right from the Contacts menu. Click on a contact name and a new page, with almost every imaginable feature, will open. You can merge different contacts, send them text, make a voice call, create a linked event or task… the options are endless. Another useful icon is Combined, it shows the details of the Contact as well as its Company on the same page.
Your communication history with the contact and linked tasks, documents, cases, emails, SMS, and other information is also present towards the bottom of the page. You can also view everything related to this contact by clicking All. You can also edit any information here, simply click the pencil icon, update and hit the Enter button.
With Free CRM, you can create and manage unlimited deals without much hassle. By tracking your deals you can ensure that your pipeline is traceable by your whole team and management. Converting contacts into Deals is also possible, and then you can track these Deals through the Pipeline, driving them into eventual Sale.
It’s an all-powerful to-do list where you can add, edit and assign tasks. Each task is given a unique number and you can sort the list depending on any criteria. All your tasks automatically appear in the calendar under the due date.
Since your sales depend on the amount of care and attention you (and your sales reps) show to your clients, the task list of Free CRM increases your sales by making your task management as simple as pie. Moreover, the task management, incorporated with call automation and tracking, becomes invaluable resource to increase your customer focus and enhance productivity.
This menu is a complete customer care system with a simple problem case tracker. You can create new cases, add tasks and assign them to your team while tracking the whole process until the case is resolved. What’s missing here is the ability (similar to the one found in InTouch CRM) for your clients to directly raise an Issue Ticket. Cases menu is highly customizable to meet requirements of a wide range of businesses.
Free CRM allows you to create call scripts, schedule calls and assign calls to your team members. Call scripts help your sales agents convey the exact message to your clients by reading the text in the script. They can also ask the customers certain interactive questions.
All the information regarding your scheduled calls, missed calls and dialed calls are found on one page. This feature opens doors to myriad opportunities for quickly creating special events and new promotions.
It’s a subscription based comprehensive built-in email marketing system where you can create and schedule emails to all your clients, or subgroups. With the premium versions, you can create and send unlimited text/HTML email campaigns quickly and easily, and then view and analyze the results of the campaign. POP3 email lets you record the inbound emails via your normal email service provider.
Have an extremely urgent message for you customers? Email campaigns, with all the hassles and wait time, simply won’t do – this is where the SMS campaign comes in handy. In a couple minutes, you can create and send your short message to up to 100 Contacts (as currently SMS Campaigns feature is in beta mode).
Free CRM also has the option to create and send direct mails by post. Just create formal letters or mailing labels personalized with your Free CRM data, print and dispatch.
It’s a shared document library with unlimited storage space on all premium versions. You can upload any type of documents and share them with your team. Putting all info in one place can increase productivity beyond measures. You can also attach your files to any other field of the system such as Deals, Contacts Companies etc.
The simple and efficient way to get feedback and suggestions from your Contacts, Leads and Customers is using the Survey forms. Free CRM gives you the power to do it from your dashboard with highly customizable and diversified forms. You can either send a form via built-in email campaign or publish on your website/blog, while the users’ input will be stored in the CRM.
In addition to your Pipeline Reports, there are more than 65 in-built standard reports and team matrices for thorough analysis. The premium versions also feature custom reporting.
This is a complex and multifaceted menu that helps the managers/administrators set up the preferences including profile settings, security settings, personal user settings, voice settings, data setup, and define any other business rules.
It’s a handy menu that comes to your rescue when you don’t understand the purpose of a particular menu; simply open that menu and hit Help, a small window with detailed description will pop up guiding you how to get the most out of that feature.
On the left, there are quick links to different menus. The most important one is your sales Pipeline that shows pipeline report by State, by Stage, by Probability, by Type, by Source, and by Commission Amount. On top of that, there are different graphs that give you a quick view of your current and recent sales.
Other notable menus are Timeline, Alerts, Messages, Custom Views, Products, Promotions, Team View, Import, Export, Sales Targets, Support and Devices. At the bottom there is a History widget with links to your recent activates i.e. newly added Tasks, Contacts, Deal etc.
Pros of Free CRM
- Powerful, robust and comprehensive
- Affordable as compared to most of its competitors
- Highly customizable
- In addition to email campaigns, it offers SMS and Print campaigns
- Powerful features allow you to automate your business process, easily track the progress and manage each and every activity from one window
- Premium versions offer top-quality email, chat and phone support
- Unlimited storage and unrivaled security
- Integrates with Vonage and Skype to allow voice calling
- Allows you to set your business on the autopilot, just use the API and XML on your website/blog to collect and distribute information directly into the CRM system
Cons of Free CRM
- Cluttered user interface
- Needs basic training
- Doesn’t integrate with too many 3rd party applications
- Set up requires considerable time, especially if you have a large sales team
- Doesn’t feature a native mobile application
September 8th, 2014