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The importance of having quality customer digital data is essential to the success of sales and marketing. But some CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools can be too expensive for small businesses. Other options like using an Excel document is a great place to start, but can be cumbersome and not user-friendly.
We have put together our 5 favorite CRM tools that are completely free:
1. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM is a full-featured, high-quality online app without a price tag that you would normally associate with these kind of tools.
It's super easy to use and will let your whole team track your interactions with your contacts. It tracks all your email and for a little extra cost you can make and monitor phone calls. It even syncs up with Gmail and Outlook so you’ll have all your customer information on hand when talking to them.
2. Google Contacts
For businesses that are already using Gmail, you don’t need to actually use any new apps to start your CRM. Google Contacts has the basic CRM features that make it far more powerful than other address books and could be a great stepping stone option if this is the first time you are putting your contacts together in a digital format.
If you are already using Google Contacts, you’re probably entering names and contact details but with actually you can do so much more. With the custom fields you can add anything you want.
You can then add notes to each contact to track your interactions with them, and see any info they've added to their Google+ profiles.
When you are reading emails, via the view recent conversations link – you can bring up everything you’ve talked about with your contacts.
You can organize contacts into as many lists as you'd like — even adding contacts to multiple lists, if needed—and then share that list with anyone else on your team – great if you are putting out promotional emails.
Bitrix24 is a fully functional, powerful CRM tool, that lets you get started with full features for the first 12 users for free. For most small businesses, that’s more than likely enough.
You'll find a full-featured CRM that lets you manage your contacts, automatically email them and call them right from your dashboard. Then, you can use Bitrix24's social network features for managing your social activities and staying in touch with your customers. It's an app that'll let you run your whole company from one place.
As we said in point #2 , Google Contacts is a very good basic CRM, but as your business grows you may need a bit more power and capability. That’s why Streak is an awesome option as it’s a full CRM app that lives within your Gmail so you will never need to open a separate program or app.
Streak will track all your email conversations automatically and allows for collaboration with your teammates.
You can organize the emails into lists to follow up on, add notes and extra contact info, and assign email threads to another team member. There are also a few extra useful features, like an option to schedule emails to be sent later.
5. Agile CRM
Agile CRM by definition is a flexible CRM tool where 10 users can use the basic plan for free, however, the basic plan is pretty comprehensive. Contacts can be easily tracked and marketed to automatically. With its user-friendly visual automation flow chart you can create marketing plans for individual contacts depending on their interactions with you. There is also a built-in social suite to help you monitor your channels, schedule updates and monitor your contact's social activity.
While these are our favorites, there are many more CRM tools out there. Take the time to do your research and see what the best option that fits your business. It is important once you introduce the platform into your business, that you allow time for your team to learn and manage it efficiently to get the best out of the tool.