7 free (ish) CRM systems to help keep your business at the forefront of customers’ minds

A lot of small businesses I coach weren’t using CRM software…until I told them the only way to grow your business is by getting to grips with CRM.

CRM is the only way to operate, unless you want to end up chasing your tail the whole time.Having your sales leads and customer data sorted into one shared profile that all your team can update is essential to reducing long term stress.

With the help of Capterra and g2crowd, two software review sites, and the Google App marketplace, I’ve made a short list of CRM systems are useful for small businesses. They are all free, or nearly free. They’re all web based too, so take very little setting up. You can automate communications and create a process for keeping in touch. It might take a little learning curve of setting it up. But after that, it’s all benefit, no downside.

Regular contact is needed because we buy when we perceive a need – and not before. When someone has a problem, they automatically think, who do I know who can solve it? It’s perfectly natural. When that need arises in a customers’ mind, they race through their memory banks for ways for known solutions…if you’re in touch on a regular basis, you’ll be high up on the list of people to call.

I can’t claim to have used them all – but I’ve chosen ones that appear to stand out from the crowd. So in no particular order, we have….


Pipedrive is super simple and scores 4.2/5 from 38 reviews. It’s praised for being easy to use, and costs just $12 a month with no hidden fees and oodles of sales pipeline and reporting functionality.


Another CRM with copious glowing reviews is Capsule. It’s got 4/5 from 67 verified reviews in the Google App marketplace. Capsule a small business that caters for small business, so they know exactly where they’re at. It integrates easily with a whopping 33 other online platforms such as Mailchimp and Google Analytics.


Not all of these systems integrate social media – one that prides itself on that side of things is Nimble – as well as all the usual CRM functions, it connects to your social media accounts including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to help you monitor what people say about your brand when they think you’re not listening. Gets a hearty 4.6/10 on g2crowd.com, from around 400 reviews


Insightly is widely touted as one of the best-supported free CRMs out there. Also famous for being really simple and easy to use – 839 people have reviewed it on Google Marketplace, and a keeps up a steady 4/5. Great product


Quick, efficient multi-award winning CRM set up with 9/10 from 183 reviews It was #1 for customer satisfaction at G2 Crowd 2 years running and several other cloud based tech awards. £19 a month. Well worth a look. British, too!

Really Simple Systems

Gives a free system for two users that keeps control your interactions with 100 different businesses.   Allows unlimited contacts from each company. If you want more users, or your customer base is bigger than 100 companies, you’ll need to upgrade… but that costs just $15 per month. It’s got ten 10/10 reviews on G2Crowd, out of 11 votes.


Apptivo stand out is that it’s a suite of 40+ apps that are integrated and seamlessly work with each other. It handles everything from CRM contacts and lead tracking to estimates, time sheets, online payments and even human resources functionality.

Amazingly it does it all for $10 a month – from 86 reviews on Google market place it’s a got a full house 5/5 . A strong choice for the progressive small business.

CRM is well worth investing time into researching the best one for your business – and then learn it inside out. In a day or two, you’ll have cracked it. Then you’ll be on top of every opportunity, and business will bloom!


If you want to get big results, save time and make more money by more effective use of CRM,  drop me a line at bkench@thebusinessbooster.co.uk

Now read: To grow your business, sell the sizzle, not the sausage 

Image Credit, with Big Thanks!

“Webcrm screen1” by Lyuben88 – Own work. Licenced under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Webcrm_screen1.png#/media/File:Webcrm_screen1.png

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One response to “7 free (ish) CRM systems to help keep your business at the forefront of customers’ minds”

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