Zoho CRM as the best free customer relationship management (CRM) software for small businesses. We chose Zoho CRM from dozens of CRM software options. To understand how we chose Zoho CRM, you can find our methodology and a list of CRM software vendors on our best picks page.
This software is best for very small businesses that require a simple CRM solution, specifically, those with no more than 10 employees. Because it's a free software, Zoho CRM is also a budget-friendly way for businesses that aren't sure about CRM software to test- drive one and figure out if it's worth the investment.
This means the free version of Zoho CRM is not a suitable software for quickly growing businesses or those that aim to expand, as it has many limitations and does not offer advanced capabilities or complex processes that a growing business typically needs. Instead, a more customizable and scalable solution would be the better choice. To learn more about paid CRM software and to determine if investing in one may be a better choice for your business, see our comparison at the bottom of this review or check out our roundup of the best CRM software.
While many free CRM software have limited features, the free version of Zoho CRM is packed with the necessary capabilities to help small businesses start, build and grow relationships with customers.
Here are some of the features the free version of Zoho CRM has to offer:
Multi-user Whereas other free CRM software products allow only a few users before requiring you to pay, Zoho CRM lets you onboard up to 10 members of your team absolutely free.
360-view Like its paid version, the free Zoho CRM stores and displays all the critical information you need to make wise business decisions. It delivers a 360-degree view of contacts, sales cycles and pipelines to help you drive sales, take care of customers, discover trends, identify opportunities and more.
Automation From lead generation to managing contacts, opportunities and workflow, the software lets you manage and automate tasks so you can spend more time selling and less time performing mundane, repetitive tasks. Calendars and call logs can also be automated to help you save time and be more productive.
Collaboration Zoho CRM can also function as a social media platform to help your staff collaborate and be better at their jobs. It includes a newsfeed where team members can post status updates and share files, as well as a direct messaging feature.
Social CRM Zoho CRM integrates with Twitter and Facebook to automatically link contacts to their social media accounts. Doing so lets you connect with contacts and see their updates, as well as access the latest interactions they have had with you on social media, right from your dashboard.
Mobile CRM Access customer data wherever you are with the Zoho CRM mobile app. You can view everything from leads and opportunities to accounts, contacts, tasks, events, messages, calls and more. An offline mode is also available if you find yourself without an Internet connection. The app is available for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones.
Third-party integration Zoho CRM connects with a wide range of third-party apps and services to help you integrate your CRM data with the rest of your operations. For example, if you use Google Apps, Zoho CRM works seamlessly with Gmail, Google Calendar and Google tasks — the Zoho CRM gadget lets you save Gmail messages right into your software, as well as export events and tasks into their respective apps.
Analytics Track sales and measure your business's and employees' performance with a wide range of reporting capabilities.
Security Zoho CRM gives you control over who can do what with your software. In addition to creating individual profiles for users, you can also assign roles, control access and impose restrictions.