The best things in life are free, but not when it comes to technology.
Logically, it makes sense that if something really has value, it will require an investment, as much as is reasonable, of course. However, companies are often attracted to the promise of saving money with a free CRM program. What they do not think is that, although they can save money from the beginning, everything has a price.
Example: Free HubSpot CRM offers only 15 minutes of calls per user per month.
Restrictions on a Free CRM
Storage and data management
Although “data” may seem like an etheric substance floating in the cloud in weightlessness, storing and securing this information requires resources. That’s why most free cloud CRMs limit the number of prospects, documents, etc. that can be accommodated.
Although this does not seem to be a problem for a small growing company, it is guaranteed that it will become a big problem as the business expands (and we hope so!). For example, the free HubSpot CRM limits the number of email templates and documents that can be stored at only 5 per profile.
When it comes to sending communications and transmitting data between your free CRM and other business platforms, many paid CRMs limit the number of API calls that can be made daily.
Let’s face it: it’s rare that a ready-to-use solution fits perfectly into your business. It is possible that you can approach what you need, but most of the time, you will be forced to settle for what you have. Unless you customize it to suit your specific needs and sales requirements.
Many payment CRM providers offer support in the form of professional services teams to adapt their platform to the specific needs of the clients. However, this is not the case when it comes to a free CRM . Although personalization is even possible, it requires programming that must be managed internally by the development teams or employees of the client. Of course, the staff and resources of these development teams are not free.
As indicated in the previous point, support in free CRM is practically non-existent. If something goes wrong or if customers have any questions, they are directed to an online support community or to a collection of articles where they should search and find answers for themselves.
Or, as HubSpot says, “HubSpot CRM users have access to the HubSpot community at community.hubspot.com for support. The mission of this community is to provide users with a dynamic channel to ask questions, find answers and exchange views with professionals around the world on the best practices of HubSpot software. “
In contrast, with dedicated account managers and live support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from many paid CRM providers, it’s easy to see the time and additional resources that free CRM users must spend in the maintenance of the chosen solution.
Unfortunately, many companies do not realize the restrictions imposed by these free CRM providers until they suffer, even though they have already invested a lot of time and energy in the solution. If you are currently evaluating a free CRM, be sure to ask these questions in advance to avoid problems in the future:
- Are there limits to data storage?
- Is there an API available? Pre-installed integrations? Are calls to the API restricted?
- What are the customization options?
- Is there a team of professional services?
- What types of support resources are available?
Do not put yourself in danger. Choosing the right CRM for your company is fundamental and should not be based solely on cost.