The use of open source CRM platforms is usually a bit of a dilemma for most businesses. On one hand, you have the flexibility that comes with open source software, but on the other, you have a steep learning curve that some businesses could do without.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best open source CRM software on the market right now and hopefully allow you to choose which is best for your business. As part of our work, we’ve included information on how the platforms work, the advantages of open source and how your business is going to benefit from using this platform.
Open Source CRM Software – Top 10 for 2022
The number of programs that offer open source CRM options is vast. We’ve tested dozens of programs and narrowed this down to what we believe are the top 10.
It’s worth noting that our list and our reasons for why each program is included in the list will keep changing. To stay up to date with these changes, we recommend that you bookmark this page.
- ZohoCRM – Overall, the best open source CRM software
- Freshsales – Best open source CRM software for sales
- SuiteCRM– One of the most easy-to-use software
- Odoo – Over 10,000 apps to choose from
- OroCRM – Best open source CRM software for e-Commerce
- X2CRM – Best open source CRM tool for small and medium sized businesses
- Vtiger – Most downloaded open source CRM software on SourceForge
- EspoCRM – Best open source CRM software for finance
- CiviCRM – Best open source CRM software for reporting
- HubSpot CRM – One of the most well known CRM platforms on the market
Best Open Source CRM Software Compared
In this section, we’ve looked at the best open source CRM software on the market. In each of the reviews, we’ve created an unbiased look to see what’s on offer and how much it costs.
It’s worth noting that all the products on this page are going to be viable options. We’ve obviously rated them from one through to ten, but to be honest, it’s more about what’s the best fit for your business as much as how we’ve ranked them.
Take your time to read through each to see how they perform and use the pros and cons section to get a quick overview of why they’ve been rated where they have.
1. Zoho CRM – Best Overall Open Source CRM Software
Zoho CRM’s superior automation features make it the perfect tool for small teams. With repetitive tasks being done automatically, you save a lot of time and your team gets to focus on subjects that require manual input and creativity.
One of our favorite Zoho CRM automation features is lead routing. This feature assesses factors like lead score, product type, zip code, and other important criteria to connect your leads with the right sales rep.
For example, if you’re trying to close a deal with a local client and their lead score suggests that they’re a little stubborn, you can send in an experienced employee from the same location to close the deal.
Zoho CRM also provides a dedicated partner portal to help your associates close their deals faster. These portals contain all the information about the customers they’re handling and help them create new tasks and share information across the organization. An integrated CRM platform also accelerates the whole process, making it easier for you to win repeat customers.
Its robust inbuilt analytics and reporting tool saves you the trouble of crunching numbers. In fact, it clearly highlights your performance and helps you solve your challenges better.
For example, you can get a view of all your past unsuccessful deals and see what was the common denominator in each of those. If it’s an employee, you can give them additional training or take a better look into your own approach.
- Analytics are AI-generated, making them more accurate
- Provides various third-party integration options
- Chat modules can be customized as per needs
- Comes with a conversational assistant
- You can create customizable layouts through its Canvas Builder
- Takes time to learn
The Zoho CRM Standard plan is suitable for small to mid-size businesses and includes features such as predefined reports and dashboards, email templates, and custom fields. It is priced at $14 per user per month.
To access advanced features like assignment rules, email parsers, data entry wizards, segmentation, premium security, marketing automation, and product customization features, you can upgrade to the Enterprise or Ultimate plan. These plans are priced at $40 per user per month and $52 per user per month, respectively.
You can try Zoho CRM for free with a 15-day trial to determine if it is a good fit for your needs before committing to a purchase.
2. Freshsales – Best Open Source CRM Software for Sales
Freshsales helps you create personalized experiences which helps you not only win over more leads but also garner more permanent, loyal customers.
It lets you add an AI-powered chatbot to your website that interacts with potential leads in real time. After all, customers these days are low on patience, and if they don’t hear from you soon, they’ll find someone else. Since your team can’t cater to every lead simultaneously, the chatbot will keep them engaged and answer their initial, simple queries.
This will benefit you in two ways — it’ll boost customer satisfaction, and your team can better handle quality leads.
To create more leads, you can also add integrated web forms to your website. Once a prospect enters their information there, it’ll automatically be transferred to your Freshsales account, and a new lead profile will be created. This’ll save you the trouble of manually updating lead information.
Just like Zoho CRM, you can also predict which lead is more likely to close the deal with Freshsales AI insights based on lead interaction, engagement level, and intent.
The best part is Freshsales doesn’t limit your communication to any particular channel. Whether you’re handling the lead over SMS, email, chat, or call, you can manage all these conversations directly from Freshsales.
|Free Trial/Plan||A free plan|
- Comes with a built-in phone dialer
- Integrates with apps like HubSpot, QuickBooks, Trello, and others
- Offers automatic contact profile enrichment
- Boasts of impeccable social media integrations
- Has a forever-free plan
- Offers various built-in and customizable records
- Few integration options
Freshsales offers a forever free plan, similar to HubSpot, that includes contact and account management, 24/5 support, and a mobile app for on-the-go usage.
However, to access Freshsales’s bot, Freddy, and other powerful tools like a visual sales pipeline, AI-powered contact scoring, and sales sequences, you can upgrade to Freshsales’s Growth plan. This plan costs $15 per user per month and includes features not available in the free plan.
You can try Freshsales CRM for free with a 21-day trial to see if it is a good fit for you without any risk. No credit card information is required, so there is no risk of losing any money.
3. SuiteCRM – One of the Most Easy-to-Use Software
SuiteCRM is one of the best client management software with an open source platform. The software is one of the easiest to use and allows users to access custom modules to design and create custom CRM features.
It comes with a range of base features that you can easily add or remove, but with the addition of the open source means that companies can tweak these to better work with their business.
SuiteCRM is accessible on Windows, iOS and Linux platforms. It allows access to things like cash flow, project status, customer support, sales, marketing, and tons of data streams.
SuiteCRM comes as a free version, but you’re going to need to almost start from scratch with this. If you need additional customer support then you’re going to have to pay and packages start from around $1,500 per year, which gets just 15 hours of support.
It’s worth noting that the software is very popular on GitHub meaning you can access a huge community there for any troubleshooting issues.
- Hugely flexible CRM software
- Comes with a lot of features out of the box
- Massive GitHub following, with over 125,000 users
- Loads of integrations including Outlook, Xero, Facebook, Twitter, DocuSign, WhatsApp, and Gmail
- Easy to integrate with existing platforms
- Can be a steep learning curve if totally new to open source platforms
- Support isn’t as responsive as we would like considering the costs
4. Odoo – Over 10,000 CRM Apps to Choose From
Odoo is one of the biggest open source CRM platforms with over 7 million downloads. Its ability to link almost anything and everything business-related is one of the main reasons for its continued success.
The ability to cover things like finance, sales, HR, marketing, web design, timesheets, projects, planning, productivity and much, much more is why Odoo is as popular as it is. Now, we will admit, that it’s not the best in show for each of these business sectors, but it’s not far off and it allows businesses to use a single CRM to cover so many roles.
One of the most impressive features is that of the point of sale app. This is handy for brick-and-mortar businesses and not necessarily something we see all that often within these types of apps.
The standard cloud hosting for the CRM is free with Odoo. This works as a “self-service” product, and you don’t get any customer support with this. Costs start to rise as you introduce apps and these start from as little as $8/month up to $64/month for some of the more complex programs.
You’re also going to have additional costs per the number of users you have. This is set to $18/month per user. Like most, it’s cheaper if you pay annually rather than monthly.
- Over 10,000 apps to choose from
- Very easy to add and remove apps as needed
- Open source is easily accessible and relatively easy to edit
- Free if you decide that you don’t want to add any apps
- Point of sale feature is great for brick and mortar businesses
- Can be a steep learning curve if you choose not to include the apps
- Customer support is basically the community member
5. OroCRM – Best Open Source CRM Software for e-Commerce
OroCRM has grown exponentially over the last few years and is very worth as one of the top spots in our best open source CRM software guide. It’s best used for customer data and more specifically, seeing how customers interact with a business via e-commerce outlets.
They use a 360-degree view of what customers do before then giving options to choose ways to best target them. Things like which products they have viewed, email response, tracking across B2B and B2C stores, past purchases and much more.
The framework is based on the Symfony2 PHP platform, which is often used for web development. Most developers will be very familiar with this which saves a lot of time in having to either find someone to do the coding for you or to teach someone in your existing team.
OroCRM is free to use. However, if you want additional support from the company you will need to pay around $116/month. It’s worth noting that each pricing plan will be tailored to the needs of the business and you will have to contact OroCRM directly for more info on this.
- Great for an e-commerce business to track customer engagement
- Free platform that is relatively easy to use
- Located on the Symfony2 PHP framework
- Great for businesses that might want to scale in the future
- Smaller community than some CRM software
- Missing some marketing features, such as campaign management
6. X2CRM – Best Open Source CRM Software for Marketing
X2CRM is one of the most flexible CRM platforms on the market right now. It works with a simple to use modular system which means the learning curve is much shorter than most of its competitors.
Features on the platform include campaign management, email campaigns, website visitor tracking, landing pages, lead capture, workflow, customer services, email clients and much more. They are very easy to add, even via the open source profile, but do offer the ability to add them as apps, which again creates a much simpler process.
X2CRM is free to use and can be downloaded to a range of platforms. Costs will incur as you add on features as part of the ready-made package, but it’s possible to use the massive GitHub community linked to X2CRM to create these from scratch without too much difficulty.
- Code shared via GitHub, SourceForge and Bitnami
- Software easily downloaded on a range of platforms
- Tons of features that can be added/removed as needed
- Great scalability potential
- Relatively new to the market
7. Vtiger – Most Downloaded Open Source CRM on SourceForge
Vtiger is best used for customer services and marketing campaigns. It gives you the ability to track a wide range of campaigns, but also then take that information and create actionable data from each campaign. You’re then able to track this into sales to see what is working and what is not.
One of the biggest benefits that Vtiger has are the add-ons. These come with an additional cost, but you only pay for what you use. You can then use the add-ons as they are or adapt them to work best with your business.
It’s worth noting that Vtiger has over 4.5 million downloads and is the most downloaded open source CRM on SourceForge, which is impressive, to say the least! The sheer size of the community is one of the main reasons why it’s been as successful as it has.
Vtiger starts with a free plan that is designed for businesses that are just getting started in the world of CRM. As they progress, they offer a range of packages that start from just $20 per month for a single user. On-site you get access to a handy tool that allows you to input the type of business and user to see how much it’s going to cost.
- Biggest open source CRM on SourceForge with over 4.5 million downloads
- Huge community
- Best for customer services and marketing campaigns
- Free to use and very easy to get started with
- Lots of scalability options
- Not the best looking open source section
What Does an Open Source CRM Software Do?
A basic CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software has been designed to allow businesses to better track how they interact with their customers. Most of them will also allow them to work with customers throughout the product lifecycle.
It’s not just about tracking things like email, contact details and things like that, but it also allows a business to best understand how these processes can be used to better effect.
One of the key areas is reporting and the CRM software will not only allow the business to see how customers are interacting with the business but also how they can improve these interactions. This could be things like open rates for emails, ROI from cold calls or products sold on the back of social media adverts.
Another key role for CRM software comes in the form of customer service. Most businesses will keep databases of their customers so that if there is an issue, customer support is able to pull up data to help answer any queries or resolve any issues.
This is the basic premise of how CRM software works.
When we talk about open source CRM software, we start to look at a more customizable approach to basic CRM software. The term “open source” means that the code linked to the software can be edited or modified by anyone that needs it.
This then allows developers to tweak and change the CRM to work exclusively with a certain business. It may be a case that developers work in-house for said business or that the business outsources this process, which is more common in smaller setups.
One of the best things about open source CRM software is that there are tons of communities that are linked to work with the code and help troubleshoot. Developers can post the code that they might be struggling with to get help and often there will be a solution.
This process is not for everyone and to be honest, most businesses are able to work with CRM software that is straight out of the box. You’re going to find that most of these platforms run on Linux, which is a lot less common than the likes of Windows or Mac. Again, this makes them a lot less accessible as a result.
A key thing to note here is the difference between open source code and proprietary software. One of the easiest ways to define them is that propriety software are packages that are ready-made out of the box and can’t be easily changed.
These programs will come with tons of features that are usually all up and running from the off. The business will be unable to remove or even switch off features that aren’t in use, meaning that many of them will go unused.
Open source products have been created to allow a huge range of customization within a standard package. This package will range depending on where the developer wants to start, but it can be as little as bare-bones right through to products that are almost ready to go.
When we link this basic concept back to CRM software, we generally look at features such as email marketing, customer support, sales, e-commerce, and customer databases. It’s almost a case of the open source platform being able to switch and change these features to better suit the business.
What are the Advantages of Using an Open Source CRM Software?
The advantages of open source CRM are very much going to be based on the type of business that is going to use it. We’re going to list a range of advantages here but realize that they could all be flipped to be disadvantages based on the company’s needs.
For the most part here we’re talking about the general strengths of open source platforms and how that link to CRM software.
The ability to create a product that is 100% fitted to the needs of your business can save huge amounts of time and money. One of the key areas that a lot of CRM software for small businesses address every year is waste and often you find that products they use out of the box include features they pay for, but don’t access.
With the best open source CRM software, you’re able to pick and choose the features that you need for your business to run more efficiently.
For example, if you’ve already a great email service that ticks all the boxes, this is not something that you’re then going to need from CRM software. If you were to take a proprietary package, then this would be something you pay for and don’t use.
Most open source programs will all come with some sort of pre-loaded options that you can take and then work with. You’re then able to edit and create a platform from this that works much more efficiently than it previously did.
For example, let’s assume that one of the ways your business contacted people was via SMS. If the software didn’t already come with this, then an open source program would allow you to add it quickly and efficiently.
It also gives the possibility of making what’s already there much more robust. A good coder will be able to create a platform that is not only more streamlined but also much more reliable in how it works.
One of the major pluses of open source CRM software is the ability to scale it. By allowing the user to add (and remove) segments of the software as and when needed, it means that it can move with the business as it grows.
For example, let’s assume starting out a business had very little social media presence, meaning that a CRM software to track or link to this was not needed. Over time as the business grows, so does the need for social media. Open source CRM means this can be easily coded in and means that the business does not need to overhaul the process just to accommodate one extra feature.
Open source software is usually a lot cheaper than taking on proprietary software. In fact, in many cases, the source code can be accessed for free, which means the only cost then comes from hiring a coder or getting someone in-house to create the platform. The best free CRM software allows you to save a huge amount of money, but it may mean you’re limited when it comes to features.
Existing CRM software can be very expensive and as businesses increase in size, as do costs for CRM. We’re talking hundreds or thousands per month to have these platforms up and running.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that, most of these offers are based on 12-month contracts. If the businesses decided that it had outgrown or no longer needed the CRM software, then there would be additional costs to get out of these contracts.
Conclusion – What is the Best Open Source CRM Software?
Our top pick for the best open source CRM software is ZohoCRM. The product has scored well in all areas that we’ve tested, but it’s particularly strong when it comes to sales, marketing, and custom module layouts.
The customizability of ZohoCRM is almost unrivalled and we loved that it can be accessed on both Windows and iOS, as well as Linux of course. It’s very easy to get started with, comes with a low learning curve and given that the platform is free to start out with, will make a huge amount of sense for a lot of businesses.