Are you struggling to manage your freelance business? Do you wish you had a tool that could help you save time, money, and hassle? If so, you need a CRM for freelancers. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a platform that helps you organize and optimize your sales and marketing processes.
75% of small businesses say they rely on their CRM software to help them improve customer satisfaction. This is huge for freelancers because we often rely on repeat business from a few core customers. Keeping them engaged and happy is a key part of sustaining our work and income.
In this blog post, you will discover how CRM software can help you grow your freelance business through better lead management and achieve your goals. You will also learn how to choose the best CRM software for your needs from the top options in the market. Read on to find out more about these customer relationship management platforms and how they compare in terms of features, pricing, pros and cons, and use cases. By the end of this post, you will have a clear idea of which CRM software is right for you.
What is CRM Software?
As a freelancer, you may have heard of CRM systems, but what are they exactly and how can they help you grow your business? CRM stands for customer relationship management, and it refers to a software or platform that helps you manage your interactions with your clients and prospects. A CRM system can help you organize your contacts, track your communication history, schedule follow-ups, send invoices and proposals, generate reports and insights, and more.
A CRM system can benefit you as a freelancer (or your freelance sales team) in many ways. It can help you save time and money by automating repetitive tasks and streamlining workflows. It can help you improve your customer satisfaction and retention by providing personalized and timely service. It can help you increase your sales and revenue by identifying new opportunities and closing more deals. It can also help you collaborate with other freelancers or team members by sharing information and feedback. In short, a CRM system can help you take your freelance business to the next level.
Common CRM Features
A CRM system can offer a variety of features to help you manage your freelance small business more. Some of the most common CRM features are:
- Contact management: This feature allows you to store and organize your contact information, such as names, emails, phone numbers, addresses, etc. You can also add notes, tags, attachments, and custom fields to your contacts for easy reference and segmentation.
- Communication management: This feature allows you to communicate with your contacts via email, phone, chat, or social media. You can also track your communication history and schedule reminders for follow-ups. Some CRM systems also offer email templates and campaigns to help you create and send professional messages.
- Deal management: This feature allows you to manage your sales pipeline and track the progress of your deals from lead to customer. You can also create quotes and proposals, send invoices and receipts, collect payments online or offline, and generate sales reports and forecasts.
- Project management: This feature allows you to manage your projects and tasks from start to finish. You can create project plans and timelines, assign tasks and deadlines, monitor the status and performance of your projects, collaborate with other freelancers or team members, share files and documents, etc.
- Reporting and analytics: This feature allows you to measure and improve your freelance business performance by providing data-driven insights. You can create custom reports and dashboards to visualize your key metrics, such as revenue growth rate (RGR), customer lifetime value (CLV), customer acquisition cost (CAC), etc. You can also use analytics tools to identify trends and patterns in customer behavior.
10 Top CRM Solutions for Freelancers
Freelancers seeking a powerful and affordable CRM system should consider Indy. This platform is an excellent choice for three main reasons: its user-friendly interface, the comprehensive toolkit it offers, and the budget-friendly pricing plans. Let's delve into how Indy can enhance the freelance experience.
Key features of Indy
- Centralized Communication Hub: Effortlessly exchange messages, share files, or initiate group conversations with clients in one convenient location.
- Direct Client Feedback: Clients can provide feedback and comments directly on your files, documents, and projects.
- Streamlined Workflow: Compared to traditional email, Indy simplifies the communication process, making it more enjoyable and efficient for freelancers.
Disadvantages of Indy
- Indy is designed for freelancers, so there isn’t a lot of support for teams working together.
- Indy’s invoicing tools don’t feature a live bank feed, so tracking payments is more manual.
In conclusion, Indy stands out as a top CRM provider of choice for freelancers due to its intuitive design, all-encompassing toolkit, and cost-effective pricing options. By streamlining communication and offering a suite of complementary tools, Indy is a valuable asset for freelancers looking to grow their businesses and manage their workflow with ease.
Indy has a free plan, and the Pro plan starts at $9/month with an annual purchase.
2. HubSpot CRM
HubSpot's free Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools make it easier for sales teams to manage their leads and pipeline efficiently. It offers users a range of features for better tracking customer interactions and activities, such as the ability to track conversations in emails, across social media, or on a call. Additionally, users can customize the view of their entire sales funnel, including deals won and lost, appointments scheduled, contracts sent over, and track performance against quotas with custom filters. It also provides users with an up-to-date timeline of customer interactions, including calls, emails, appointments, and notes, allowing them to manage their leads and pipeline with total visibility.
Best of all, HubSpot offers these features with no time limit and with unlimited users and data, up to 1,000,000 contacts - all free of charge. Their powerful CRM is easy to use and has been recommended by 1,000s of transformed sales teams. With HubSpot, you can make sure your sales process is always a state of the art, revenue-generating machine.
Key features of HubSpot:
- Track conversations across email, social media, and calls
- Customize view of sales funnel to quickly gain actionable intel
- Up-to-date timeline of customer interactions
- Unlimited users, data, and up to 1,000,000 contacts
- Free of charge with no time limit or expiration date
Disadvantages of HubSpot
- No available customer service or technical support for the free version
- Free plan may be too simplistic to handle more complex CRM needs
- Manual data entry is required for some aspects of customer relationships
HubSpot CRM is free of charge with no time limit or expiration date. Paid plans with more features start at $20/month, but there is a big step up to the Professional plan at $500/month.
Freshsales is a powerful CRM software that gives businesses a holistic view of leads and customers by managing the sales process from click to close. It features automated lead capturing, automatic lead enrichment, predictive contact scoring, lead nurturing, and rich profile analytics.
Some of the best features of FreshSales include its scalability, omnichannel communication, and modules. Price scalability is a big deal because this makes it easier to find a plan.
Key Features of Freshsales:
- Automated lead capturing for easier lead generation
- 360-degree view of leads for improved customer engagement
- Auto-assign leads to the right team and territory
- Auto-enrich lead profiles with publicly listed information
- AI-based predictive contact scoring
- Lead nurturing to help build deeper relationships
Disadvantages of Freshsales:
- Limited customization for Enterprise plan
- Feature-specific pricing for additional functions
- No free plan
FreshSales plans start from $15/user/month (billed annually) and go up to $83/user/month (billed monthly) for the Enterprise plan.
4. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is the perfect choice for freelancers looking for a CRM platform to maximize productivity and relationship-building efforts. This fast and powerful CRM software provides freelancers with extensive automation, analytics, and personalized solutions. With Zoho CRM, freelancers can segment customers, create custom reports and dashboards, and leverage an intelligent AI system to provide an omnichannel presence and predictive insights. Other unique features include a no-code canvas builder, an extensive developer platform, automated workflows and processes, and integrations with over 800+ apps.
Key features of Zoho CRM
- Automated workflows and processes
- Powerful AI system with omnichannel presence and predictive insights
- No-code canvas builder
- Extensive developer platform
- Integrations with over 800+ apps.
Disadvantages of Zoho CRM
- Limited self-service options
- No social media tracking
- Service fees for additional features
Zoho CRM provides a 15-day free trial with no credit card required, along with a range of subscription plans starting from $12/month per user.
Want to win more clients?
Win more clients with Indy’s Proposals tool. Easy-to-use proposal templates help you make the right pitch every time so you turn leads into customers.
Monday.com is a powerful CRM platform built for freelancers and businesses that are looking for easy-to-use yet powerful software to help them manage their clients effectively. It is super simple to set up and customize, giving you the flexibility to tailor it to your own needs. Whether it's for sales, contact management, or the post-sales process, Monday.com has got you covered. Plus, with hundreds of integrations available, it connects to all the tools you're already using so that you can gain real-time insights. Best of all, it's free to use with unlimited time on the Free plan, and no credit card required.
Overall, Monday.com is an ideal CRM tool for freelancers because of its intuitive design, automation capabilities, and email and activity centralization. It's trusted by over 180,000 customers worldwide, including Uber, Hulu, Genpact, and Frontier Developments. With its simple setup, customization options, and integration capabilities, Monday.com is an essential tool for freelancers who want a powerful and easy-to-use CRM.
Top Features of Monday Sales CRM
- Intuitive UX
- Customizable Templates
- Pre-defined Templates
- Easy Access to Team Progress
- Comprehensive Storage of Clients' Details
Disadvantages of Monday Sales CRM
- Expensive when more features and users are added
- Can become Unstable and Buggy
- Some Tags won't Work on Mobile
Monday.com offers a free plan plus three subscription plans that range from $8 to $32 per user per month.
6. Streak CRM
Streak CRM is the perfect choice for freelancers to manage complex workflows from their inboxes. With a powerful set of tools for any workflow imaginable, from sales and leads to project management and hiring, Streak helps freelancers organize their data in one streamlined tool. Highlights of this software include custom views of pipelines, understanding who your contacts are, easily accessing data and tasks, customizing your workflow, and always having an up-to-date timeline. With unlimited email tracking, automation, visual insights reporting, and more, Streak CRM has everything a freelancer needs to organize their projects, contacts, and tasks in one place.
Top Features of Streak
- Mass email campaigns
- Easily keep track of leads
- Scheduling emails to be sent
- Customizing each email for each recipient with its mail merge feature
- Integration with Gmail
Disadvantages of Streak
- Customer support could be more responsive and better
- Price could be lower
- Doesn't integrate with other CRMs like Salesforce and Boostr
Streak comes with fair subscription plans with discounted annual plans, a free-forever solo plan, and a 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $15/user per month.
EngageBay is a powerful and innovative CRM software designed to help freelancers improve their customer relationships and increase their productivity. It provides essential features such as targeted marketing, automatic data entry, workflow automation, visual deals pipeline, and much more. It has a simple and user-friendly interface that makes it very easy to use.
With EngageBay's all-in-one CRM solution, freelancers can access all of the marketing, sales, and customer service tools they need to succeed. The platform has also been highly praised by customers who have given it great reviews on G2. With EngageBay, freelancers have access to a robust and reliable CRM that is tailored to their needs, helping them stay organized, manage their customer relationships, do sales forecasting, and maximize their efficiency.
Top Features of EngageBay All-in-One Suite
- Easy to use
- Great customer service
- Automation and workflow features
- Optimal choice for startups
Disadvantages of EngageBay All-in-One Suite
- No email sync within certain plans
- Difficulty with creating multiple filter conditions
- Poor mobile app performance
Bitrix24 is a great CRM tool for freelancers who want a simple and effective way to manage their sales process. It offers 35+ business tools, including a powerful CRM system for capturing, managing, and converting leads, automating workflows, and closing more deals. You can use it to acquire leads through forms, run marketing campaigns and track results, monitor sales KPIs, and efficiently engage with your clients. Bitrix24 is also mobile-friendly, so you can manage clients and sales on the go. With Bitrix24, you can replace all your current SaaS solutions and have everything you need to grow your business under one roof.
Top Features of Bitrix24
- Activity Stream
- Employees Tab
- Tasks and Projects Tab
- Calendar Synchronization
Disadvantages of Bitrix24
- Slow Support Response
- Expensive for Small Businesses
- Limited Integration Options
Bitrix24 has a free forever plan. The premium plans feature a flat fee and no per-user pricing. Paid plans start at $49/month for up to five users.
9. Agile CRM
Agile CRM is a powerful CRM platform for freelancers who want to sell and market like the Fortune 500. It provides Sales Enablement, Marketing Automation, and Customer Service in a single suite. With features like contact management, deals tracking, telephony, appointment scheduling, various project management features, and gamification, Agile CRM is designed to supercharge freelancers' sales, marketing, and service. Highly rated by customers, Agile CRM is also easy to implement, cloud-based, mobile-ready, and comes with a wide range of integrations for a more comprehensive suite. What sets this platform apart is its affordability and support, making it a great choice for freelancers. If you are looking for an all-in-one CRM platform that is modern, effective, and affordable, Agile CRM could be the perfect fit.
Top Features of Agile CRM
- Great support
- Affordable for new users
- Automatically triggering tasks and updating CRM records
- Uninterrupted access to customer data
- Ability to develop tailored CRM solutions
Disadvantages of Agile CRM
- No additional Woocommerce integrations
- Can't provide quotes or invoices
- Unintuitive interface and no way to extract details from emails
Pricing starts at $8.99/month for the Starter package, $29.99/month for the Regular package, and $47.99/month for the Enterprise package, with all plans offering a free 10-user trial.
Pipedrive is a powerful CRM solution designed to help freelancers maximize sales and boost conversions. Its easy-to-use visual pipeline management system helps you keep track of every step in the sales process and get an overview of your activities at a glance. Automations and integrations join forces to save you time so you can focus on what matters most - closing deals. Sales reports and metrics are available to help evaluate the performance of those deals, helping you to stay on top of your business. And with mobile apps and robust security, you can work from anywhere with the confidence of knowing your data is safe. Pricing plans make it an attractive choice for freelancers as they are reasonably priced, with a free version available, while business plans are scalable to cover larger workloads. All in all, Pipedrive is an ideal CRM solution for freelancers looking for an easy-to-use and reliable platform to help them stay on top of their sales.
Top Features of Pipedrive
- Kanban-like sales pipeline
- Automatic prompt to schedule next action
- Customizable features
- Drag-and-drop feature
- Visual representation of the pipeline
Disadvantages of Pipedrive
- Steep learning curve for users not familiar with CRM systems
- Poor customer support
- Too many features added without much thought
There is a free trial to get started with Pipedrive. After that ends, paid plans start at around $15/user per month.
A CRM system is a vital tool for freelancers looking to optimize their own business processes and improve their client management. Among the top options in the market, Indy stands out due to its user-friendly interface, comprehensive toolkit, and budget-friendly pricing plans. By streamlining communication and providing an array of complementary tools, Indy enables freelancers to effectively manage their workflow and grow their business.
We highly recommend that freelancers try Indy as their go-to CRM system. Its combination of features and affordability make it an excellent choice for managing client relationships, projects, and various aspects of your freelance business. With a robust free plan and a modestly-priced Pro option, there's no reason not to give Indy a try and experience the benefits it offers firsthand. Elevate your freelance business today with the power of Indy.