Free vs. Paid CRM Software: Making the Right Choice


    The range of CRM software is quite large, so it is difficult for users to choose the appropriate option. The developers promise the best service, but on closer inspection it turns out that the functions are not enough for your business line or all the content is paid without trial testing. Of course, the best choice will be a universal free online CRM like Bitrix24, which is suitable for most companies and offers different formats — paid and free. 

    Key differences between paid and free CRMs

    As you know, CRM software is an automated complex system that improves communication between representatives of the business structure and the target audience. In general, the main function of CRM is to organize the interaction of customers and sellers to increase profits and meet the needs of both parties — financial and consumer. 

    When choosing CRM systems free, businessmen try to explore the functionality of the software as much as possible, the possibilities and expediency of using the chosen platform. Sometimes such actions are impossible in a free format and you have to believe the promises of the developers. 

    There are key differences between paid and free CRM:

    • Testing.
    • Selection of content in different formats.
    • A set of additional options.
    • The intended purpose.

    Let’s take a detailed look at each point and decide how the differences affect the choice of a suitable CRM and whether it is worth incurring additional costs. 


    Obviously, before implementing a system product, you will want to learn CRM tools in practice. A superficial study of the functions does not give the expected result, and I don’t really want to believe the description of CRM and the promises of developers. 

    Here lies the main advantage of free online CRM in comparison with paid analogues. That is, free software is an instant installation and an opportunity to explore the capabilities of basic tools. You don’t have to pay — the content is available for testing and use. At the same time, paid analogues can be installed only after the purchase of a certain package of services. 

    Content Selection 

    Paid CRM systems do not offer users tariff plans for free. While free system products are available in different formats. For example, Bitrix24 offers basic features for free, and to expand the possibilities, you can purchase one of the three available tariffs to choose from. 

    It is worth noting that in the free versions, the content is more diverse than in the paid ones. And CRM systems free can also be universal and suitable for use in small and medium-sized businesses. The only advantage of paid CRM is the development of separate software for large concerns and companies. But such CRMs are characterized by a narrow focus and high cost. 

    A set of additional options 

    Paid CRM offers a clearly limited set of business tools. For example, you purchase a suitable tariff plan and use a set of functions — mailing, cloud storage. If you want to supplement the set of available options and add detailed reporting, then you will have to buy another tariff or pay extra for additional features. That is, you incur expenses twice. 

    At the same time, free online CRM offers more flexible and diverse tools. Most of the options are available for free — you can use the basic settings, which are quite enough for many users. If you want to expand the functionality, you can buy a paid tariff. There is a noticeable difference in comparison with paid content, since the purchase of additional options is a one — time payment. 

    Intended purpose 

    The best choice is free online CRM with a universal basic set of tools. For example, such features are implemented in Bitrix24 CRM — the software is great for small and medium-sized businesses, adapts to different areas of work and has a rich selection of options in a free format. 

    Paid CRM systems are usually configured to work with certain business specifics. And quite often the functionality does not differ from free analogues. An important point is that some developers offer discounts or promise free versions. As a rule, preferential tariffs still imply payment and apply to a certain contingent. For example, the low price of the tariff package is available only for students and non-profit organizations. 

    Advantages and disadvantages 

    After comparing paid and free CRM, we suggest considering the advantages and disadvantages of both types of software. 

    Advantages of paid CRM:

    • Narrowly focused development of CRM tools for large businesses.
    • Initially, a large selection of functions.

    However, there are more disadvantages than advantages. The lack of free testing, the limited choice of a tariff plan without additional payment and the constant costs of introducing new options — these disadvantages are key and often do not like businessmen. 

    Advantages of free online CRM:

    • Lots of free features. 
    • There are free trial versions for testing. 
    • A large selection of additional low-cost tariffs.
    • Versatility. 
    • No complexity in the settings.

    Most users of free CRM claim that there are no flaws in the software. We can confirm this thesis regarding Bitrix24 — this CRM is really universal and relevant for many companies. 

    Features of CRM tools 

    You should understand that paid and free online CRM is just a tool that will improve the company’s work regarding customer interaction. Software is not a panacea for overcoming the crisis and does not make a profit without the right human involvement. 

    For example, you have installed a CRM that effectively processes customer requests. But if the manager is incompetent, distracted and starts ignoring the newsletter, then the buyer will refuse to cooperate. Accordingly, in this case, CRM will not help, because it will not force the employee to work for the benefit of the company.

    It is obvious that CRM will effectively complement a business in which the main processes work smoothly. You should skillfully use the software settings and understand how CRM system products work. 

    To implement Bitrix24 and similar programs, you do not need to purchase servers and hire system administrators. In addition, CRM tools work effectively on mobile devices, personal computers and do not require special equipment. 

    CRM Selection Criteria 

    The first criterion for choosing the right software is to determine whether it is appropriate to purchase paid content or install a free CRM. Carefully read the previous sections of this article and make a choice. We recommend Bitrix24 — it is a universal free online CRM with a large set of functions. 

    Other CRM Selection criteria:

    • Functionality.
    • Versatility.
    • The possibility of free testing.
    • Ease of use.
    • Extensibility of functionality if necessary.
    • Relevance for the future. 

    If you make the right choice, CRM will benefit now and in the future. High-quality software is constantly updated and adapts to changes in the global market. This aspect is relevant for all companies, including small businesses. 


    You can choose paid or free CRM software — there are quite a lot of offers, and we have presented the features in this article. We recommend paying attention to Bitrix24. This program is equipped with many necessary functions, provides free testing and additional inexpensive paid tariffs. Check out the CRM features and take advantage of the best offers.