Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are those fun little tools that so many people use incorrectly. CRMs as a category have done an amazing job of positioning themselves as a sign of success. CRMs can help small businesses and freelancers get organized as they scale up their operations.
When small businesses are just beginning without a lot of clients, it is pretty easy to keep track of everything with a simple spreadsheet. But, once businesses start to grow, spreadsheet isn't enough to track things like customers, sales, progress, etc. Luckily, customer relationship management (CRM) tools exist to make business owners' lives easier. Even the smallest business can benefit from using CRM tools and it isn't expensive. In fact, there are some free plans.
If affordability is the major criteria when you go for a CRM; there is a common trend of CRM keeping their prices less than its competitors. But sometimes, you might be missing out on some important feature trying to save a dollar. You should always choose the CRM that fits your needs the best.
CRM should not be considered as a data entry system; rather it should be seen as an automated system which relieves a user from manual data entry, manual emails, and SMS. Your choice of CRM should be smart enough to capture your deal and create it for your workflow into your sales pipeline.
1. Insightly (14-Day Free Trial)
Insightly is a well-rounded CRM with marketing and project management tools as well as automation for lead and opportunity management. Freelancers with an abundances of clients could appreciate the leader profile layout. You can see your activity history with the lead, as well as email correspondence, internal notes, exchanged files, related tasks, and events. Build- in and custom email templates allow for personalized, scheduled emails to touch base with clients or build rapport, Customizable reports allow in-depth looks on data within the CRM for nearly any angle. Even after the free trial, there is a forever free option where you can use with less functions, but it is a really great tool!
2. Bitrix24 (30-Day Free Trial)
Bitrix24 is a platform that offers quite some features for free. There is even a built in telephone, the option to migrate your emails to a Bitrix24 webmail account, an internal activity feed, a calendar with sync to Google, Outlook, Mac and mobile, file storage, and more. Now onto their CRM aspects, Bitrix24's CRM functions include the normal lead, contact and deal management, as well as built-in invoicing and quptes, activity management and deal reports (not to mention summary reports for each section). There is a ton under the hood for Bitrix24- it provides a broad range of functionality for its users. Like Insightly, Bitrix24 offers free plans even after the free trial, but again, with minimal functions.
ThriveSolo targets the creative freelancers in the CRM space. Like all the other CRMs, it provides a 14 days free trial. Freelancers use ThriveSolo's software to give them a competitive edge while ensuring freelance projects run smoothly. It will have a transformative effect on a freelancer's workflow. Repetitive monthly or weekly tasks, such as invoicing, can be taken care of with the click of a button giving the freelancer the time to be creative and concentrate on clients. It also allows freelancers to keep track of expenses and time they spent on the clients' project. This is a powerful software for freelancers.
Of course there are other CRMs in the market for freelancers and small businesses, but these are 3 of our favorite CRMs for you to try out. Let us know what you think!
Related: How to Start Your Freelance Journey
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