5 Popular Free and Open Source CRMs

By: on August 19, 2019

Deciding which customer relationship management (CRM) system is right for your business takes time and can be complicated, especially if it’s the first time your business is choosing software to manage customers. You may not be sure how much you need to spend or how to choose the one that fits your business’s needs best.


We’re here to save you time by going over some of the most popular free and open source CRM solutions and when you should consider paid systems (find out how we chose the featured products here).

Free CRM software

Free CRM software companies earn revenue primarily by enticing businesses to purchase premium expansions which unlock better features or support structures.

As such, the following free systems, while coming without any restrictions, should be considered “freemium” systems, in that they come with a limited set of features and offer more with more expensive plans.

Freshsales CRM

400+ Reviews

Client messaging template within Freshsales CRM

Freshsales is a cloud-based CRM solution that helps businesses across a variety of segments and verticals manage contacts, leads, and develop customer success strategies.

The software was the third most popular free CRM according to our methodology and functions with macOS, Windows 10, and any web browser (OS agnostic).

Its free version comes with several features, but it has three separate upgrade paths based on any other needs your business might have as you grow.

Some features include:

✔ 360-degree view of leads ✔ Email
✔ Contacts ✔ Built-in phone
✔ Lead scoring ✔ Integrations
✔ Accounts ✔ Mobile apps
✔ Support

HubSpot CRM

2100+ Reviews

Sales pipeline dashboard within Hubspot CRM

HubSpot is a cloud-based CRM system that helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. It’s the most popular free CRM based on our methodology and works with Solaris, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 8, Windows 10.

HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including accounting, construction, retail, real estate, and more.

HubSpot’s base CRM has all the core functionality a starting business might need and is 100% free with unlimited users and up to 1,000,000 contacts.

It also has some free versions of its marketing and sales software, if you find you need some extra features.

When you need to upgrade from the free version, HubSpot has a variety of different plans for your business’s unique needs starting at $50 per month per user.

Some features include:

✔ Contact management ✔ Email tracking and notifications
✔ Contact website activity ✔ Meeting scheduling
✔ Gmail and Outlook integration ✔ Company insights
✔ Ticketing

Really Simple Systems

240+ Reviews

Sales funnel drill down view within Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based CRM system designed for small and midsize organizations that deal with customers in any capacity.

Really Simple Systems CRM is suitable for a variety of segments: accounting, construction, retail, real estate, and more.

The software was the second most popular free CRM according to our methodology and is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

Its free version comes with a variety of features for up to two users. If you require more features, it has several paid versions that unlock more functionality.

Some features include:

✔ Unlimited contacts ✔ Custom reports
✔ 100MB document storage ✔ API integration
✔ Contact management ✔ Sales automation

Open-source CRM software

Open source CRMs are like blueprints that let you build your own fully customized system for your business’s needs. Businesses can download the software source code and edit it to their exact specifications.

Unlike freemium CRMs, you’re likely going to need a person or team familiar enough with the source code to configure the CRM, so, while open source systems are extremely customizable, they might not be the best fit for your business.

That said, if you have someone on your team who is capable, open-source CRMs are a great option to consider.

Odoo Software

310+ Reviews

Sales pipeline view within Odoo Software

Odoo CRM is designed to meet the needs of any company, regardless of size or budget. Along with its CRM, Odoo offers a variety of other business applications ranging from sales to manufacturing, all of which integrate with each other.

If you have a need for deep integration and also have the technical expertise required to implement integrations, Odoo is a great option to consider because of just how interconnected each module is to the others.

Odoo is the most popular open source CRM according to our methodology. It is compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

Its upgraded paid CRM application starts at $24 per user per month but comes with its complete suite of features.

Some features include:

✔ Forecasting ✔ Detailed reporting
✔ Contact management ✔ Email templates
✔ Interaction tracking ✔ Pipeline management
✔ Scheduling automation ✔ Lead scoring
✔ Pipeline management ✔ Live chat
✔ Contact management ✔ Integrations with every other Odoo app


30+ Reviews

Contact information display within SuiteCRM

SuiteCRM is suitable for businesses of all sizes and can be installed locally or operated via the cloud. Like any open source system, it’s incredibly customizable to fit the needs of your specific business whether you’re in sales, marketing, services, or IT.

This software was the second most popular open source CRM according to our methodology. It works with Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, macOS, Linux, HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Unix, IBM OS/400, most web browsers (OS agnostic), Windows 2000, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

As long as you have someone on your team to set it up, SuiteCRM’s features are all available from the get-go.

Some features include:

✔ Lead management, generation, and scoring ✔ Pipeline management
✔ Contact management ✔ Pricing strategy control
✔ Self-service portals ✔ Detailed reporting
✔ Sales automation ✔ Integrations

Why you must also consider paid systems

Before fully committing to a free or open source CRM, you should pause to consider if it’s actually the right choice for your business.

You might encounter these two main issues when using free or open source systems: lack of functionality and/or usability problems.

If you’re a very small business without expecting to grow much, a free CRM may work fine for you, but many businesses find the benefits of paid software are worth every penny, and you’d be closing the door on hundreds of great vendors if you disregarded paid solutions right off the bat.

Get all the functionality you need

With these freemium systems, you’re losing out on a lot of functionality that you might need to scale and grow your business.

Things like customization, storage and management, and support are lacking in the free plans from a lot of free CRM systems. You may also run into a cap on the number of users able to use the free system.

Usability matters. A lot.

Free systems might not be the most usable either, with more functions and features unlocked behind a paywall.

On the other hand, the technical know-how required to set up and maintain open-source systems can be intimidating for the average business.

When it comes to usability, you generally get what you pay for or have to unlock the more usable versions of software at a higher tier.

To help ensure your software search is sufficiently thorough, download this list of top-rated paid software systems and their offerings:

3 Best CRM Systems Backed by User Reviews

Download this guide to see top CRM systems based on real user reviews.


How we chose featured products

Our approach was to include the most popular products that both:

  1. Offered a free, stand-alone version of the software (not a trial version of the software that requires you to purchase the product after a limited amount of time), and
  2. Met our CRM market definition:
    CRM software helps automate and manage the customer life cycle for sales and marketing departments. CRM software consolidates customer information into one repository so that users can better organize and manage relationships, automates common processes, and provides tools for monitoring performance and productivity.

We determined the most popular products to feature by choosing those highest ranked in Google search results during the week of July 29, 2019.

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