Best Free CRMs: Free CRM Review cover

Best Free CRMs: Free CRM Review

Best Free CRMs: Free CRM Review

This review of Free CRM’s abilities was done using CRM Testing Methodology v2. is much, much more than a tool for customer relationship management. In fact the tagline on their LinkedIn company page is “The Work OS that gives everyone the power to build and improve the way their organization runs.”

First, that’s quite a mouthful and more importantly it reflects their ambition to be something for everyone. That’s super ambitious and often a promise, which it turns out to be impossible to deliver on.

In this review we’ll strictly be looking at the FREE version of and equally strictly be evaluating if it delivers to solve the problems sales leaders expect CRMs to solve – for free.

Before potentially judging too harshly, it’s important to note that on their free version they state clearly in the pricing that it’s for individuals looking to keep track of their work. A CRM IS available in the free version, though, so we’ll have to assume the intention is to make’s CRM available for tiny teams; independent sales reps; sales reps in organisations, which don’t offer a CRM; and sales reps in organisations, which DO offer a CRM, but where the reps use an shadow CRM to keep track of their own work. For the purpose of this review, we’ll disregard that last group of sales reps and explore how works for the rest.

You should have a look at the testing methodology to see what the items we’ll test for are and why. Here’s what you’ll find in this review about’s free version – and to some extent their paid versions as well:

Now, let’s get dive into and see how it works! free CRM for Storing and Organizing Customer Data

On Free CRM Forever tin it says it’ll hold 1000 items. We tried to bump up against this to see what happens. When we tested the same limitations on Agile CRM, it turned out the feature wasn’t all that robust. Plenty of reason to keep testing it.

With’s free CRM, every time we’ve come back to log in outside our 7-day trial, we’ve been greeted with “reset your 7-day trial”. As for contacts import, we stopped our imports at around 1300 contacts.

Nice to get yet another opportunity to test the software fully, yet we’re here to test the free features. Not knowing when you bump against the 1000 items barrier, and what happens when you do, creates some uncertainty with regards to the ability to store and organize customer data.

No company data type in free CRM
Wait? No companies in the free CRM???

The data types, which can be stored are:

  • Contacts: the people you’re selling to.
  • Deals: the deals you’re working on.

In the getting started document for the basic CRM, which you have access to on the free CRM it says:

“This Basic CRM template is a lean version of the robust and powerful monday sales CRM product, best for individuals or business owners of smaller businesses who have very basic CRM needs.”

This is a good time to kindly reiterate that “basic CRM needs” should mean that it solves the basic problems in sales – the ones sales leaders are most vocal about.

When it comes to storing and organizing customer data, is able to store both contact and organizational data. Unfortunately it only stores company data as a data field in a contact record.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to create a company record type. That means that if you want to include company-specific data, you’ll have to create extra data fields in the contact data type.
Unfortunately, this would require a seller to update every contact from the same company with redundant information. This is because standard company data such as company address, website, linkedin page link, etc., etc. have nowhere else to live in the free version of

This makes it very difficult to work with as a free CRM.

As for managing contacts, didn’t appear to have a deduplication feature in its free CRM product. Needless to say, this makes working with contacts and specifically organizing them more difficult than we’d like.

A deduplication feature would have been handy in free CRM
A deduplication tool would have been nice in the free crm

Contact data records aren’t held to a certain standard either. It’s no problem to have two identical contact records saved in

There’s no data enrichment baked into, but it’s refreshingly easy to just ad an additional column for new data fields, such as LinkedIn or Whatsapp URL.

Finding a record – be it a deal or a contact – is very easy with a search feature that looks across all kinds of records for the search phrase you pick.’s free CRM gets a score of 2 out of 10 (poor) for its (lack of) ability to store and organize customer data.


  • ability to easily add custom data fields.


  • The 1000 record limit is too low to be useful for most companies.
  • As you approach and exceed that limit it’s unclear what to expect when you do exceed it.
  • No company data type.

Forecasting sales with Free CRM

Since forecasting is essential to sales teams, any CRM – free or not – will have to provide tools to make forecasting as easy and as accurate as possible.

To recap, sales forecasting is required to:

  1. See if you’re delivering on expectations
  2. Enhance Revenue Predictability
  3. Improve Inventory and Supply Chain Management
  4. Create Effective Sales and Marketing Strategies
  5. Improve Cash Flow Management
  6. Improve Project Management and Delivery Times

The easy adding of extra data fields in the free version of CRM makes it possible to place a deal win probability percentage on each individual deal. The percentage doesn’t update automatically as the deal progresses through the sales funnel. There’s really no way to have values in one data field change as a result of changes in other fields. It is as if they all live lives of their own. Creating and inserting a formula like win chance % * deal value was so painful, we had to give up on it AND formula column types seem not to be included in the free version anyway.

In other words, if a deal changes to a new sales stage that MUST be accompanied by a deal forecast value update, since you want deal win probability to be reflected in an overall forecast.
Additionally, you can progress deals through deal stages, but there’s no automatic update of how much weight a deal in a late deal stage has in your forecast vs a deal in a very early stage – they seem to carry equal weight.

The Deals view in free CRM

This isn’t ideal, as the more manual actions sales have to undertake in their work with deals, the higher the risk of error.

What you really want, is to understand your own deal stages to the extent where you know that a deal at stage ABC has X% change of closing. As deals progress through the sales stages that percentage should update automatically OR you should be able to include your win chance percentage (which you can in) and have the forecast reflect deal value * deal win probability.

Finally, the forecasting timelines aren’t quite expansive enough. You can create a forecast for days, weeks, and months – not for quarters. Especially in complex sales you’ll want that view of how the business looks in future quarters, and it just isn’t possible.

Alternatively, one might be looking in free CRM for a report with more options and showing more detail. The Dashboard section doesn’t have these capabilities. Instead it let’s you create a nice dash of values you can filter yourself to in the deals and contacts boards. That’s OK, but useless for forecasting.

Do note that companies with a recurring revenue business model will have challenges with’s free CRM. There’s no standard way to report on recurring revenue. Potentially you could do this using custom fields and using the somewhat aggravating formula field type, but frankly you’re better off just selecting a CRM that has what you need.

Remember the 6 points sales forecasting listed above? Go ahead, check them out again, we’ll wait…

…Done? OK, so for a company with a recurring revenue business model, the top 5 of those 6 points can’t be achieved using An increasing amount of companies are exploring recurring revenue models at the time of writing. All those companies will not be happy users of the free version of free CRM’s sales forecasting capabilities.

For everyone else, you could imagine creating additional deal fields, which let you select the products and services that are part of a deal as well as lead attribution. That would help with both supply chain management and improved understanding of sales & marketing effort that lead to deals. Yet the path to that understanding is long and full of stones. gets a score of 4 out of 10 (unsatisfactory) for its ability to forecast sales. It DOES give simple forecasting to non-recurring revenue companies. However, it’s error-prone in its way to update deal probability and wouldn’t work at all for companies with requirement for recurring revenue forecasting.


  • ability to create a very simple forecast.


  • No obvious recurring revenue reporting options.
  • Error-prone manual handling of deal probability and deal value.
  • No quarterly forecast options.

Capturing client and prospect communication

Very little testing was required for this chapter. It seems like’s free CRM won’t connect Google Workspace. Again, though, it’s hard to tell since every time you enter, you’re forced back into pro trial mode. If the trial stays on you should be good to send emails. We have to assume it won’t and so…’s free CRM gets a score of 1 out of 10 (Very Poor) for its (lack of) ability to capture client and prospect communication.


  • none.


  • On the trial, you can connect with several email platforms, but we just can’t assume that trial will be on forever.

Building and growing existing accounts with free CRM

As we’ve explained in the past, the building and growing of existing accounts is far easier and cheaper than winning new accounts. Therefore it’s essential for any business.

This is a slight problem in’s free CRM, since there’s no company data type. Remember? There are two types of data in’s free CRM: contacts and deals.

In order to build and grow existing accounts, knowing which are your existing accounts is handy. You could create a view of all contacts of a certain type – a type you would change when you win deals with them.

Centralizing Customer Data

A single source of truth is required for real frictionless, understanding of the world as it is. Without any integrations it becomes challenging to know who you called, emailed, or messaged – when, how many times, and about what.

Outside of basic contact data and information on deals doesn’t provide any of that. Let’s not forget that there’s a 1000 records cap on the amount of records on the free version. If you want to use your CRM for both existing and new customers (which you should want to), that ceiling will likely swiftly feel too low.

Can You Enhance Communication and Collaboration with free CRM

The lack of a single source of truth becomes a real problem when you try to enhance communication and collaboration. feels overall mostly like a work management tool, posing as a CRM. This leads to the idea that when a deal is won, it should be relatively easy to plan the work that gives the new customer excellent Customer Success treatment.

You’ll have to do without any automation or integrations, though. That means you’ll have to silo your data and that creates friction at best, errors at worst. It should be clear this isn’t ideal.

Internal collaboration is possible, but we shouldn’t forget that there’s a 2-user cap on the free version. All those 2 can collaborate on planning the work. For everything else they’ll need other software.

Tracking Sales and Customer Interactions

There’s pretty much no tracking customer interactions without integration to communication platforms. You might want to track tasks as an alternative, but that’s not possible. They’re not available for dashboarding.

Which leaves just tracking the deals that closed. Not much insight there, helping grow existing accounts.

Automation and Workflow Streamlining

Yep, nothing to watch here. There’s no automation no workflow streamlining in the free version. Not for client acquisition. Not for building existing accounts.

Data-Driven Insights and Reporting

It’s a similar story with data-driven insights. There just isn’t much to talk about. The data streams are very limited and as a result so is the reporting.

The free CRM gets a score of 2 out of 10 (poor) for its (lack of) ability to help grow existing accounts.


  • the theoretical ability to plan Customer Success work.


  • No automation.
  • No integration.
  • Too few contact contacts & companies credits to realistically make growing existing accounts work.
  • Very little data.
  • Almost no reporting.
Not much to show in free CRM, so we’re showing this Monday motivation instead.
Thanks to SJ 📸 for the artwork.

Provide Data & Insights to enable leaders and teams to know where they need to work

Creating guiding beacons in a sea of information. That’s what structuring data and creating insights is all about. Eliminating guesswork is the name of the game.

The insights we’re attempting to extract can be slotted into the following categories:

  • Customer behaviour
  • Market trends
  • Team performance
  • Individual performance

When it comes to customer behaviour, the free CRM presents us with challenges. The 1000 records we can enter into the system were already too little, as discussed here. It’s just contacts, though, which makes the exercise somewhat futile. Without any integrations to email or phone calls, we also don’t really have much data to analyze.

That’s not to say we don’t have anything. You can set up dashboards to track things like:

  • the average size of won deals.
  • percentage of deals by stage.

Since all data on customer behaviour lives somewhere else in your sales tech stack, you’ll have zero information in’s free CRM related to customer behaviour.

Because’s free CRM is such a data island there’s not much else to talk about in terms of insights. As for team and individual performance, there are a few ways you can slice it: we do have deal owners and deal stages, so we can create filters showing win rates and funnel sizes by individual. It’s not nothing. It’s also not much.

The free CRM gets a score of 2 out of 10 (Poor) for its near-zero ability to provide leaders with data & insights.


  • Minimal: You can create a dashboard that shows individual performance on deals, win rates, and deal stages.


  • There’s almost no valuable data available for any kind of hard-to-uncover- insights to materialize.
  • Even some of the data that should be available isn’t available for reporting.

Cost-drivers – price required to sufficiently solve the 5 elements listed above

This is where we look at what happens IF you should start using the free version and then outgrow the free version and start feeling a requirement to upgrade. There are several scenarios that could cause an upgrade to any of the following plan types the basic plan, standard plan, or pro plan. The numbers we discuss below are monthly costs, which stem from the yearly plan. A monthly plan is available as well at each level, but you do pay extra annually if you choose to pay monthly. In addition to the paid plans mentioned below there’s an enterprise plan for those heavy users. All information can be viewed on the pricing page.’s free CRM has room for up to 2 users. That means user number 3 will require you to be bumped up to any of the paid versions. If you’re happy with the feature set in the free version, just moving to the €8 per user per month plan will be sufficient. That lands you at a minimum of €24/month.

Realistically you’ll reach that point way sooner, though. 1000 items just isn’t a lot if you both do acquisition of new customers and growth of existing customers. Also this scenario will land you in the €8 per month plan at €24/month because of the 3 license minimum.

That said, some of the criticism and low scores the free CRM has received here comes because of the lack of interoperability with other systems and data sources.

To solve that the €8 version won’t do. The €10 gets you 250 actions for integrations and automations per month. Not sure if that’s 250 for each of those or it’s just 250 actions in total for integrations and automations. Either way, as sales automation goes, 250 actions for a 22 days working month with a team of 3 is – wait for it – 3,8 automations per individual per day.

No, you’ll want the €16 per seat per month plan, which comes with 25.000 actions per month. That also gets you charts and graphs, which aren’t available in any of the lower plans. And so, there you are at €48 per month minimum.

Now, throughout our testing, the free CRM feels like a work management software forced into acting like a CRM. It feels unnatural and many of the features you see in just super basic CRMs aren’t available. That’s why we can’t talk about cost drivers without talking about the alternative upgrade path: The Sales CRM.

It’s felt odd this entire time that the free CRM is based on their work management offering, and have next to it an entirely different Sales CRM product with no free option. Almost feels like a couple of different internal initiatives were out of sync at

Anyway, they seem to be fixing that “soon”. Let’s have a look at the upgrade path towards Sales CRM.

First, it’s a few €€€ more expensive and still starts at a minimum of 3 licenses. If you need to upgrade because you’re suddenly 3 instead of 2, that’ll set you back about €30 per month for 3 licenses of Sales CRM. The contact database also at that point has no limitations. For that you also get customizable pipelines and a bunch of other sales specific features, more than 20 column types, unlimited documents, 200+ templates, and mobile apps to name a few.

To also get account and contact management you need to go for the €14 per seat per month version, which also comes with integrations to Aircall, PandaDoc, and Docusign. For some reason it doesn’t come with a feature called “Sales Collateral”. I guess that’ll be up to PandaDoc to deliver. It does still come with the ridiculously low number of actions in workflows and integrations, so swiftly and upgrade to “Pro” at €24 per month will be required.

Likely this product is way more sales focused and really is the right upgrade path to take. That could be good news for sales teams, and it falls outside the scope of this review. We still have no other possible conclusion about the current free CRM than to say…

The free CRM isn’t good enough, But Be Strong and Never Give Up. Looking forward to the free version of the Sales CRM.
Thanks to Photo by Alexas_Fotos for the artwork.


It sounds good: we have a total work management solution for you and it includes a CRM. For free. Except of course it doesn’t. at the time of writing offers a free CRM, which falls short of the most basic requirements of a CRM. After all, if the tools in the package don’t solve the problems sellers expect software to help solve, then what’s the point?’s free CRM gets an average score of 2.2 (poor). Given all the problems it’s exciting to see that they have a free version of the Sales CRM product “coming soon”. The current offering has nothing of interest and potentially simply suffers from being bundled in with a work management solution.

From here our strongest possible recommendation to not use free CRM. It basically doesn’t get much worse, so use something else.

Good luck – and happy selling !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *