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Free CRM & Lead Management Software for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses


laptopIf you are a small business, entrepreneur or freelancer, chances are you don’t have a lot of money to sink into fancy customer relationship management (CRM) software.  Did you know that you don’t have to make a significant investment in order to benefit from some pretty nifty CRM tools available today?  Here’s my short list of favorites that I’ve experimented with over the years:

Highrise:  I currently use Highrise.  The free plan allows you to have up to 250 contacts and three active deals.  This works for my small business since the types of deals I am trying to close are complex, B2B deals.  I can elevate leads to “deal” status when they look like they are going to close.  Highrise is very flexible, allows me to use it in the way that makes most sense to me.  You can tweak fields easily, add follow-up activities, notes, and more.

Pros:  Easy to use, flexible, integrates with various other programs like Mail Chimp, Wufoo, and more.  Cons:  if you need to track a lot of deals or >250 contacts, the free plan won’t work for you.  You only get two users in the free plan, and you cannot upload files.  No reporting.

Zoho CRM:  The Zoho CRM Free Edition Customer Relationship Management Software by Zoho is a good option for people who may need a slightly more sophisticated system for managing leads and lead-related data.  With the free edition, you have access to various analytics, collaboration, market and sales automation, channel management features and more.

Pros:  Reporting availability, 3 free users, ability to add files, email templates.  Cons:  my opinion is that there aren’t really a lot of Cons — it’s just a step more complex than I need for my business.

What’s your favorite free CRM tool?  What have I missed?


Stacy Jackson is a digital marketer and enjoys helping manage

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  • Hi Stacy, I think this is a good start.

    To add to the list, I would say Nimble always begs to be called out, especially when you need a focus on social. That’s where Nimble is and where it excels: in the social realm. It’s a very modern CRM and I think CEO Jon Ferrara really has a good grasp on where to take it to be the most benefit to users.

    We use the free version of Nimble to collect and manage social media interactions for our company and it has worked out great for us. For the rest of our lead followup and CRM needs, we use the CRM we built: JobNimbus.

  • Lead management is just as important for small businesses as it is for large. Developing a strong reputation with clients will help your business grow and this is a good way to start. Thanks for sharing!

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