The Best Free or Cheap CRM for Startups

As an expert in the field of customer relationship management (CRM), I have seen firsthand the importance of having a reliable and efficient system in place to manage customer data. For startups, finding the right CRM can be a daunting task, especially when budget is a major consideration. In this article, I will share my insights on the best free or cheap CRM options for startups, based on my experience and research.

HubSpot: The All-in-One Solution

When it comes to startups looking for an easy-to-use CRM, HubSpot is often the top choice. This platform offers a variety of marketing, automation, and sales tools that can help businesses of all sizes.

What sets HubSpot apart is its free CRM, which is packed with features to help sales teams close more deals. From sales automation to email tracking and lead tracking, this CRM has everything a startup needs to manage their customer relationships effectively.

EngageBay: A Completely Free Option

For startups on a tight budget, EngageBay offers a completely free CRM option that includes appointment scheduling, tasks, contact management, and even a negotiation process. With this free plan, businesses can manage up to 250 contacts and companies, send up to 1000 branded emails per month, and create landing pages. What's more, EngageBay's free plan also includes a live chat feature, making it an excellent collaboration tool for sales teams.

Bitrix24: Unlimited Users and Contacts

Another great option for startups is Bitrix24's free CRM plan, which includes unlimited users and contacts.

This platform also offers inventory management and allows businesses to include their product catalog with an unlimited number of products. With its ability to connect all communication channels and manage interactions from a single panel, Bitrix24 is a great choice for startups looking for a customizable and collaborative CRM solution.

What is a CRM and Why Do Startups Need One?

Before we dive into the best free or cheap CRM options for startups, let's first define what a CRM is and why it's essential for businesses. A CRM, or customer relationship management system, is a software-based platform that helps companies organize and keep all of their customer data in one place. It allows businesses to effectively manage relationships with current and potential customers, automate tasks, and streamline communication. Moreover, CRMs can also help identify customer trends and behaviors, providing valuable insights that can inform future marketing or product decisions.

In today's competitive market, having a CRM is crucial for startups to stay organized, improve customer relationships, and make data-driven decisions.

Choosing the Right Free CRM for Your Startup

While choosing a free CRM may seem like the obvious choice for startups with limited resources, it's essential to understand that these free versions often come with limitations. It's crucial to find a CRM that can grow with your business and offer more advanced features as your needs evolve. Switching CRMs can be a hassle, so it's best to choose one that can meet your current and future needs. If your startup has limited resources and needs a simple CRM system to maintain customer relationships, then a free CRM may be the best option. However, if your business requires more advanced features such as extensive customization, reporting and analysis, or integration with other tools, it may be worth investing in a paid CRM solution.

The Methodology Behind Choosing the Best Free CRMs

To ensure that we have chosen the best free CRMs for startups, we used a thorough evaluation process that considered various factors, including features, customer support, ease of use, user experiences, and integrations.

Our goal was to provide unbiased ratings and information to guide startups in making the best decisions for their business journey.

Open Source CRMs: A Highly Customizable Option

In addition to free and paid CRMs, there is also the option of open source CRMs. These are systems that are not developed and controlled by a single company but rather consist of publicly published source code shared by users and developers worldwide. What makes open source CRMs beneficial is that they offer a high level of customization, allowing businesses to modify and update the software as needed. Open source CRMs are ideal for specialized companies that require specific functions not offered by traditional platforms. However, it's essential to have the necessary knowledge and resources to manage and customize these systems effectively.

The Best Free or Cheap CRM Options for Startups

Now that we have covered the basics of CRMs and the methodology behind choosing the best free options, let's dive into our top picks for startups:


As mentioned earlier, HubSpot's free CRM is packed with features to help sales teams close more deals.

From sales automation to email tracking and contact management, this CRM has everything a startup needs to manage their customer relationships effectively. What's more, HubSpot also offers upgradable plans and memberships for businesses looking for premium services.

2.Agile CRM

Designed specifically for independent entrepreneurs and small businesses, Agile CRM offers a cloud-based platform that is both scalable and agile. This CRM includes features such as email marketing processes, chatbots, unlimited users, unlimited support, calls from the CRM, and lead and contact management.


Copper is a user-friendly CRM tool that captures all your contact details and emails, making it easy to access and use them whenever needed. This platform also offers a variety of integrations, making it a great choice for startups looking to streamline their processes.


SugarCRM is a comprehensive CRM platform that offers marketing automation, email templates, and predictive analytics based on artificial intelligence.

While not every CRM on this list includes all of these features, many do offer enough value-added benefits to make up for any missing features.

5.Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM offers standard plans at a lower cost than most CRMs, making it an attractive option for startups. This platform also boasts robust features, including leading artificial intelligence technology and sales forecasting tools.


Salesflare is an intelligent CRM tool that helps businesses identify opportunities and take action based on the information provided. With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, Salesflare is a great option for startups looking to improve their sales processes.


BenchmarkONE offers a CRM platform designed specifically for small businesses, providing all the necessary features without the high price tag. With its user-friendly interface and robust features, this CRM is an excellent choice for startups looking to manage their customer relationships effectively.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right CRM for your startup is crucial for managing customer relationships and making data-driven decisions.

While free CRMs may seem like the obvious choice for startups with limited resources, it's essential to consider your current and future needs before making a decision. With our top picks for the best free or cheap CRMs for startups, we hope to guide you in making the best decision for your business journey.

Shana Doan
Shana Doan

Zombieaholic. Lifelong twitter junkie. Twitter nerd. Extreme travel scholar. General reader. Hipster-friendly web aficionado.