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5 reasons to avoid using free CRM software

It can often be assumed that going cheap on a new system for your business can be the right move even in the short term, but this isn’t the case when it comes to CRMs. Granted, there are several CRM systems on the market that allow you to sign up for free versions and this may persuade you to think that this is the best way to enable your business to track and nurture leads without hindering your bottom line. 

However, you may not be aware of this but many of these free CRMs can prove to be quite costly. As well as this, some don’t have all the features you will need to effectively understand and manage your marketing efforts, workflows and analyse customer behaviour. 

This is why in our latest blog article; we provide you with 5 leading reasons as to why you should avoid free CRM software. 

1) Hidden costs associated with ‘free’ CRMs 

You will find that any free CRM software you use will be a scaled down version of the full version. Yes, you do gain access to the basic functionality such as contacts, leads and limited integrations. However, to be able to maximise your use of the system, you often must upgrade to the paid version or buy other products/services with that company which is often hidden from the outset. On the other hand, a paid CRM such as Dynamics 365/CRM can give you all the functionality that you need as well as the capabilities of customisation, integration and all the reporting you require without you ever having to upgrade the system. 

2) Limited CRM users 

In most cases, the number of users you can have on ‘free’ CRMs is very much limited to less than 10 and often even just 1. Again, the catch comes when you wish to add more users to the CRM as it will mean you will have to upgrade the system to the paid version. As well as this, you will also find that most businesses have marketing and sales teams, meaning that the ‘free’ versions won't be able to cope with the demand of these vital users in your business. 

This is where a paid CRM like Dynamics 365/CRM can help to allow businesses to add as many users as they wish for a monthly fee per user which can be scaled up or down as and when required. In addition to this, you won’t have to invest in training your employees to learn new features via an upgrade or a brand-new CRM. 

3) Full functionality is provided in paid CRMs 

If you have a business with an active marketing and sales team, then not having access to the features they need to do their jobs will mean that a ‘free’ CRM is out of the question. This is where paid CRMs like Dynamics 365/CRM stand out as they give you a full set of features from the start which will enable businesses to complete the actions necessary to generate, nurture and convert leads throughout the sales funnel. As mentioned above, you won’t need to upgrade, this is one of the primary reasons as to why businesses opt to go for paid CRMs as there are no limits on what can be achieved. 

4) Customisation can be completed in paid CRMs 

Not all businesses are the same, which means that a ‘free’ CRM with limited functionality is very unlikely to meet your business requirements. If you are using a ‘free’ CRM and request access to additional features, you will find that you can only get this if you upgrade your account. 

Again, this is where the best CRMs are paid ones such as Dynamics 365/CRM that enable businesses to select what features they require at the start of the process. By allowing your business to get all the features they need at the start without any hidden costs, you will be rest assured that you are getting every inch of value from this investment. 

5) Paid CRMs seamlessly integrate with everything 

As many of us know, businesses use many tools to generate, manage and nurture leads. This means everything from phone numbers, databases, and cloud hosting to keep the sales and marketing teams in business. 

You will therefore understand that you will need a CRM that has the capability to integrate with everything you need it to. This will mean that all your users will be able to gain access to the information they need about a lead straight away and can easily complete tasks in one place. 

‘Free’ CRMs hardly ever offer this type of integration. Again, this will mean that your business will need to either continue to use these tools separately or upgrade to the paid version of that platform. 

On the other hand, paid CRMs integrate with all the applications and tools that your business uses without any hidden costs or fees.  

Next Steps? 

On paper, ‘free’ CRMs look great! However, in practice most businesses will gain a great deal of value from going down the paid CRM route, so you need to view this investment as a long term one rather than a short term one. The flexibility provided on paid versions such as the ability to add/remove users, customisation and full integration will mean that you don’t need to trouble yourself with having to upgrade every 5 mins. 

Here at Advantage, we can get your business up & running quickly on a paid CRM through our Quick Start Microsoft CRM package or you can explore this in more detail by reviewing all of our CRM options that are available to your business. If you wish to discuss this in more detail in feel free to reach out to our team of CRM experts now

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