The 7 Best Cheap CRM Software Systems in 2024

cheap crm systems

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Choosing a CRM system is no easy task, and it's even harder if you don't have much of a budget to work with. Luckily, there are cheap CRM software plans that can provide you with all the essential tools you'll need to engage with customers and clients, which means you can avoid paying over the odds for features you don't necessarily need.

According to our research, The best cheap CRM software package is HubSpot's Free plan. It's completely free and comes with sales, customer service, and marketing features, which means you can manage a complex sales pipeline, resolve customer issues, and run marketing campaigns without spending a cent.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to upscale your team, Freshsale's Growth plan has unlimited user capacity and some of the best marketing tools on the market. Plus, it's still a low-cost option at $9 to $11 per user, per month. In this article, we've got the lowdown on HubSpot, Freshsales, and the strengths and weaknesses of 5 other cheap CRM solutions worth considering.

Here's Our Top Cheap CRM Software Picks:

These are the providers we recommend based on our independent research. Clicking on the buttons will take you to the provider's website.

HubSpot vector
HubSpot Free is our researchers' top cheap CRM software for value for money.

Try it from $0

freshsales logo
Our researchers found Freshsales' Growth plan to offer the best marketing features.

Try its 21-day free trial

Zendesk logo
Our researchers were impressed by Zendesk's easy data visualization options.

Try its 30-day free trial

The 7 Best Cheap CRM Software: Reviews

The three providers listed above are the best of the bunch, and we'll go into a bit more detail about why they performed the best shortly. However, they're not the only CRM platforms worth considering for your business in 2024.

So, make sure you scroll on down to our in-depth reviews if you'd like to find out more. However, if you don't have time for that, here's a whistlestop tour of the top, cheap CRM solutions we've tested:

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Easy Data Visualizations

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Best for

Email Communication

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Free Plan
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Test Summary: Why HubSpot Came Out on Top

After testing these CRM providers, I think HubSpot's free plan will be the best option for small businesses and startups that want a comprehensive, user-friendly platform that won't take them ages to set up.

HubSpot's user interface is highly intuitive and everything is set out incredibly clearly – in fact, there are loads of instructions are provided during setup. This means you'll get used to it quickly, even if you've never used CRM software before – initially, it's a much easier ride than a platform like Salesforce.

Of course, it's not without its downsides – there are minimal support options, and storage is limited. But a lot of small businesses won't need all that much storage or room for tens of thousands of marketing contacts. Besides, if you already have an established client base and you want to get organized, engage more regularly with your clients, or run a marketing campaign, there's really no downside to doing it for free with a platform like HubSpot.

James Macey CRM Research Lead, Expert Market

1. HubSpot's Free Plan: Best Value for Money

Price: Free

HubSpot's Free Plan
Pricing Free
Strengths

Free CRM platform

Impressive email capabilities

Abundant marketing tools

Weaknesses

5 document storage limit per person

Limited customizability

No phone, chat, and email support

Pricing
Free
No monthly fees

Why is HubSpot's Free plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

HubSpot's Free plan is the first on our list because you get a wide variety of practical functionalities without paying anything at all. Along with what's mentioned just above, you'll also get fantastic contact management tools, such as static and dynamic contact lists. You’ll also get organizational features, such as reminders and meeting scheduling, to help you manage your appointments.

When we tested HubSpot, we found the email scheduling and tracking tool really easy to use – it didn't take long to create professional-looking emails and schedule them to be sent to those in our contact base.

In fact, HubSpot scored a perfect (5/5) for its email features, thanks to the fact you can send emails straight from the software and generate auto-responses, which saves a lot of time. However, it's worth noting that social media marketing features options are largely restricted to HubSpot's paid plans.

We found HubSpot's email editor really easy to use, thanks to the templates.

HubSpot's free plan also has a sales pipeline that can be used as a central location for ay client updates, while the detailed activity logs will ensure you don't miss a beat, whatever stage of a deal you're at. The “service” area, on the other hand, will let you manage a basic support ticket queue so you can resolve incoming issues quickly and efficiently.

However, as HubSpot is free, there are certain limitations. For example, file storage is limited to five documents per person. HubSpot also doesn't offer email, chat, or phone line support, which makes troubleshooting issues a little tricky.

You won't have as much freedom to customize your database as you would with a free plan, as there are only 10 custom fields and no custom task types and objects. If you want better customizability, we'd recommend monday.com, which provides a slew of easy-to-use and customizable columns and rows on its boards. This means you get a little bit more artistic (and organizational) liberty when you're setting up your contact database or sales pipeline.

Still, HubSpot scores a perfect 5/5 for pricing in our extensive research because it has a one million contact limit and no user limit, and you won't have to pay anything – including the hefty onboarding fees you'll incur with a HubSpot paid plan.

2.  Freshsales’ Growth Plan: Best for Marketing

Price: $9 per user, per month (billed annually), or $11 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Freshsales Logo
Freshsales's Growth Plan
Pricing $9 - $11
Strengths

A variety of marketing tools

Highest in our usability rating

Efficient contact management features

Multiple organization and email tools

Weaknesses

Zero customer service features

Tricky to customize

Pricing
$9$11
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is Freshsales’ Growth plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

Freshsales’ Growth plan came a close second to HubSpot. It offers plenty of useful marketing tools, such as an email design editor, an automated workflow designer and visitor tracking features, helping it to a commendable 3.2/5 score for marketing features. Likewise, it houses features that will help you customize your contact database and make it more usable, including 250 custom fields and a cap of 50 automated workflows.

Along with these features, Freshsales’ AI-powered sales assistant, Freddy AI, proves to be valuable in providing insight into your contact list. Our researchers also noted how easy tools like this were to get to grips with during testing, earning an outstanding 4.7/5 score for usability.

Other highlights include the AI-powered lead scoring, which ensures you're leveraging your customer data effectively, and sales sequencing, which will let you automate large parts of the sales process. You'll also be able to create “sales activitiesspecific to your business and/or industry, like business lunches or interactive presentations.

We found the deals pipeline easy to manage with Freshsales' Kanban view.
Looking to switch providers?

We recommend the Freshsales Growth plan to teams looking to upscale quickly, due to its unlimited user capacity.

The only handicap is that it lacks customer service features, so you have to use another system to track and manage your customer service cases – which is why we couldn't put it higher than HubSpot, which offers these features for free.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable CRM for your customer service team, we recommend Zoho’s Professional plan because it offers features like support tickets and customer service case management.

3.  Zendesk’s Team Plan: Best for Easy Data Visualization

Price: $19 per user, per month (billed annually), or $25 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Zendesk logo
Zendesk's Team Plan
Pricing $19-$25
Strengths

Intuitive and user-friendly interface

A variety pre-made reports to choose from

Good value for money

Weaknesses

Missing marketing features

No customer service tools

Pricing
$19$25
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is Zendesk’s Team plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

Zendesk's Team plan ties scores (4.5/5) with Freshsales' Growth plan for pricing. It only costs a few dollars more, yet it also offers a 2GB storage capacity and enforces no user limit.

What's more, Zendesk beats Freshsales when it comes to organization and customization. Zendesk allows you to modify fields, dashboards, task types, objects, and your sales pipeline to fit your business processes. In addition, you can fully edit contact fields or restrict fields and tag them “required only,” creating data uniformity.

Likewise, Zendesk's Team plan is our best cheap CRM for easy data visualization because it's equipped with plenty of data and reporting tools, including preset and custom dashboards, as well as deal, lead, and recurring revenue reports.

However, it misses out on a lot of functionalities, such as marketing features and no customer service tools. If they are a must, then look at Freshsales' Growth plan, which includes web forms, website visitor tracking, and marketing drip campaigns.

4. monday.com’s Pro Plan: Best for Customization

Price: $28 per user, per month (billed annually), or $33 per user, per month (billed monthly)

monday.com Logo
monday.com's Pro Plan
Pricing $28 - $33
Strengths

Best customization features

Outstanding email tools

Top-notch contact management features

Weaknesses

Subpar marketing features

Pricing
$28$33
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is monday.com’s Pro plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

The Pro plan may be one of monday.com’s premier plans, but it comes at such an affordable price that it's earned a place on this best cheap CRM software list. monday.com's Pro plan gives you fully customizable fields, dashboards, task types, objects, and sales pipelines, allowing you to easily customize your database according to your needs.

All it takes is a single click from your mouse, and you can edit all of the fields monday.com provides, making it the best cheap CRM for customization. On top of this, it's super easy to create custom fields in monday.com, so if there isn't a dedicated field for the type of data you're storing, you can just create it yourself.

monday.com shines when it comes to customization. Here's a glimpse at its Column Center.

monday.com scored a perfect 5/5 for contact management on our recent tests – the data import/export process is very smooth, and there are features like list segmentation and automated workflows that help you organize the information you're storing and streamline your team's workflows.

Additionally, monday.com has outstanding organization tools (5/5), such as reminders and a meeting scheduling feature to help you keep track of your commitments.

However, the Pro plan falls short when it comes to marketing capabilities. While it can generate web forms, it lacks a chatbot, website visitor tracking, and social media integrations. If you want a cheap CRM for your marketing campaigns, Freshsales Suite’s Growth plan offers a comprehensive list of marketing features at an affordable price.

5.  Pipedrive's Advanced Plan: Best for Data Protection

Price: $29 per user, per month (billed annually), or $39 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Pipedrive's Advanced Plan
Pricing $29 -$39
Strengths

Strong security features

User-friendly features

Productive organization and contact management tools

Weaknesses

No file storage

Marketing tools are an add-on

Lacks customer service features

Pricing
$29$39
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is Pipedrive's Advanced plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

If your small business deals with sensitive information, we recommend Pipedrive's Advanced plan for affordable data protection. Your system will be equipped with solid security features, including user permissions, multi-factor authentication, and secure email, so you can worry less about hacking and phishing attacks.

The Advanced plan also offers tools for organization and contact management, such as automated workflows and unlimited custom fields for a hassle-free process of recording data.

Despite being a more complicated feature to set up, automations can make your CRM system easier to use in the long run.

The catch is, Pipedrive's Advanced plan has no file storage. Not to mention, you have to activate the lead booster add-on for $32.50 per month to access Pipedrive's marketing tools. Whereas, Freshsale's Growth plan offers each user 2GB of monthly storage and various marketing tools, including web forms and drip campaigns to collect lead information.

Additionally, Pipedrive doesn't have any customer service features, like support tickets, so you would have to use different software to manage your customer service cases.

6. Zoho CRM's Professional Plan: Best for Sales

Price: $23 per user, per month (billed annually), or $35 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Zoho logo
Zoho CRM's Professional Plan
Pricing $23 - $35
Strengths

Most comprehensive feature list

Perfect customer service score

Complete contact management features

Outstanding sales management tools

Weaknesses

Limited file storage

Pricing
$23$35
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is Zoho’s CRM Professional plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

Zoho CRM’s Professional plan is packed with valuable sales functionalities, such as a visual sales pipeline and automated lead scoring.

The system also allows you to create quotes and invoices as well as accept payments so that customers can easily purchase on your website, scoring a perfect 5/5 for sales features.

In addition to this, Zoho provides a wealth of features including activity and deal reports, a built-in email inbox, meeting scheduling, email insights, support tickets, workflow automation, a calendar, and custom dashboards for displaying insights and data. This helped it to full marks in several assessment areas, including contact management, email features, customer service, and organization.

During our research process, Zoho CRM’s Professional plan scored highly for usability (4.5/5) for tools like “Deals”, which lets you tailor your sales pipeline to your business's processes. You can also add custom fields during the data import, which helped Zoho to an impressive 4.1/5 for customizability.

We found Zoho's data importation process to be customizable, which gave a higher level of precision to the entire CRM.

The Professional plan received high scores across the board in our research, but like Pipedrive, what it lacks is file storage. The Professional plan only has 20MB of file storage per user and 10GB for the entire organization, which is in stark contrast to monday.com’s Pro plan, which offers 100GB of storage per user.

7. Salesforce’s Starter Plan: Best for Email Communication

Price: $25 per user, per month (billed annually), or $35 per user, per month (billed monthly)

Salesforce's Starter Plan
Pricing $25 - $35
Strengths

Best email features

Excellent scheduling system

Wealth of useful contact management tools

Weaknesses

Lacks sales features

Pricing
$25$35
Per user, per month, billed annually Per user, per month, billed monthly

Why is Salesforce’s Starter plan one of the best cheap CRM software systems?

Salesforce’s Starter plan has the best email communication tools on the market. With capabilities like sending emails from its system, email insights, and auto-responses, having correspondence with your long list of leads and customers will be a breeze – although it's not quite as easy to use as HubSpot, which is more straightforward to get to grips with initially.

We scored the Starter plan a perfect 5/5 for both organizational and contact management features. You’ll get access to meeting scheduling, reminders, and a calendar, helping you to keep track of your schedule. You can make use of its strong email functionalities, like auto responses and email insights to help manage your email marketing campaigns.

Last but not least, its contact management features include custom fields and list segmentation, allowing you to organize your contacts and their information.

A key benefit of implementing a CRM system is to save time when sending bulk emails accoriding to segmented contact lists.

However, the Starter plan doesn’t include sales features, earning a small 0.4/5 in this category in our research. If this is a deal breaker, then Zoho CRM’s Professional plan has superb tools to help you monitor and increase sales, including a visual sales pipeline and automated lead scoring.

The Difference Between Free, Cheap and Regular CRM Solutions

The free CRM systems on the market, such as HubSpot’s Free plan, can offer a robust contact management solution with features such as chatbots, social media integrations, and website visitor tracking. Free CRM systems may however come with limitations such as restricted users, storage capacity or industry-specific features.

If you’re looking for a marketing-oriented CRM for example, you may want to choose Freshsales’ Growth plan as it has inbuilt features like an email editor and visitor tracking that are not included on free plans.

Looking at higher-priced plans, you may find that the provision of features doesn’t change too much but rather the data capacity, user and contact limits increase to accommodate larger teams.

Since free or cheaper plans may lack the necessary features, you may sometimes need to seek out extra software to make up for these shortcomings, incurring additional costs. Due to smaller data and user capacities, upscaling can become expensive if you need to switch providers. Therefore, it's best to choose a provider with the potential for growth right off the bat.

How Do Cheap CRM Providers Ensure Data Security and Privacy?

CRM systems keep your data under lock and key with features such as multi-factor authentication, email notifications of security concerns and specific user permissions. Pipedrive is a CRM system that provides all of the above to ensure your lead management is conducted with peace of mind. Zoho and Freshsales are also worthy contenders for a CRM system that takes security seriously but unfortunately does not provide email notifications.

Since CRM systems are home to highly sensitive customer data – contact information, purchase history and private communication – security features should not be skimped on when choosing a CRM provider. Nobody likes falling victim to a data breach, and risking your customer's personal information can hurt your business reputation and customer relationships.

Which Cheap CRM Provider Should I Switch To?

If you have an existing CRM plan but are looking to switch, Freshsales Growth plan could be an excellent choice as it has an unlimited user capacity. When transitioning to a new CRM provider, it's important to consider the associated costs.

  • Cancellation costs: Check your existing contract to determine whether you may incur extra costs for breaking the contract before its end date.
  • Data migration: You may need to pay for a service to help migrate your data from your old CRM to the new one. Costs vary widely based on the amount of data being transferred.
  • Implementation and configuration: Some CRM providers charge implementation and setup fees to get the system configured for your specific needs.
  • Training: Your team will need to be brought up to scratch on how to use the new CRM. Some plans offer complementary on-boarding assistance but for some, this may be an extra cost which will vary depending on the number of users.
  • Increased plan fees: If upscaling, the monthly fees of the new provider will likely be higher than your current fees.
  • Indirect costs: During the switching process, you may lose operational business hours to periods when your data is migrating, when your team is being trained on the new system and when the new software is integrating with your other programs. Keep this in mind as time is precious.

Ultimately, the provider you choose to switch to depends on your specific needs and what you may be lacking in your current plan. Use our free comparison tool to find your best-suited provider and receive personalized recommendations directly from them.

How Did We Compare the Best Cheap CRM Software Solutions?

At Expert Market, we thoroughly test and evaluate a broad range of CRM software tools using a unique research framework with over 50 different factors so we can help you find the perfect platform and plan for your business. These factors are group under look the following key umbrella criteria, which we use to score the CRM provider:

  • Usability – an assessment of how easy is the platform to set up and use, and how it performed when tried to complete a range of common tasks during our ease of use tests.
  • Price – an assessment of the features on offer at the price points set by the provider. CRM software with more features at lower price points was given higher scores.
  • Customization – An analysis of whether you can easily tailor the CRM system to suit the needs of sales, customer service, and marketing teams, and how flexible the platform is overall.
  • Features – an assessment of the range of features a CRM system has, and how well did they function when we tested them out.
  • Help & Support – Scores were awarded based on the number of support avenues users have available if they get stuck. CRM tools scored highly if they provided 24/7 support, as well as live chat and phone support.
Verdict

After thorough research, we confidently recommend HubSpot's Free plan as the top choice for an affordable CRM system. It boasts an impressive range of features and has received a perfect 5/5 rating for its value for money. In addition to its customer service tools such as case management and support tickets, what really sets it apart is the inclusion of numerous nifty tools that are typically only found in paid plans.

It has a web email design editor, social media integrations, and website visitor tracking to boost your marketing campaigns. Regardless, it is free of charge. So, it isn’t as comprehensive as Freshsales’ Growth Plan, which includes a visual sales pipeline, and automated lead scoring that will help you generate more sales.

Still don’t know which direction you should go in choosing a CRM system? Our free quote comparison tool will match you with the trusted CRM providers to help with your business. Just answer a few questions and we'll have the best CRM providers deliver you tailored and obligation-free quotes.

Written by:
If you want insights into the best phone systems for your business, Claude Quiba will give you the lowdown on the latest in the industry. She's also a dreamer, a writer, and an autism advocate. Talk to her about art, coffee, or anything under the sun. But mostly, she's your go-to person when it comes to finding the best solutions for your team. 
Reviewed by:
James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.