Hubspot provides software products for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. With regard to the CRM functionality, Hubspot gives details on their website the the core is free, and you have to pay for advanced CRM features. However, we sometimes forget that when we speak about “free”. We’re more often than not speaking in terms of software “freedom” and getting CRM software free of charge!

I’ll explain software freedom below in more detail, because in a world where business processes and data have become critical advantages, the idea that your CRM suite is not actually yours should be a concern. Ownership and control of data is one feature where the Corteza CRM Suite beats all others, Hubspot included.

What is a truly free CRM?

To be able to call a “free” CRM a truly free CRM it needs to:

  • Be fully featured
  • Give you control over your own data
  • Provide you with the source code
  • Be easy to customise

A free CRM is fully featured

The reality is that Hubspot offers a CRM for sale under a freemium subscription model. Any claim to be the best free CRM falls apart. Even under simple scrutiny, the CRM tools that are free of charge amount to no more than a basic CRM. Sure, there’s some customer tracking software, but it’s all designed to encourage or oblige you to move to their paid-for version.

Corteza CRM Suite, the open source Salesforce alternative, is completely free of charge and will always be – all modules and all features, functionality and extensions.

A truly free CRM gives you all control over your own data

Corteza CRM Suite ensures data sovereignty and data portability. Firstly, there are no tricky contracts. Secondly, it is cloud-ready and you can deploy it wherever you wish, in-house or with a service provider of your choice. A truly free CRM app should not be a compromise between your data ownership and a provider’s desire to lock you in. So, Hubspot is perhaps a good CRM for marketing, but at what cost if critical information about how your business trades is being used for other purposes?

You should have access to the Source Code

Your organisation should know exactly how your data is processed. This is not 100% possible without having complete access to the underlying software of your free CRM app. All source for the Corteza CRM Suite is available in the public domain. No tricks and no lock-ins. This means, you can even take the code, customize it and deliver your own product if you wish.

A truly free CRM is easy to customise

This last item is important, because there are several open-source CRM solutions that check the three points above, but fail here. So, if it’s difficult to adjust the CRM to your needs, then that can become an expenive situation. You would need to pay for support from the software vendor.

The Corteza CRM Suite solves this. To start, it is build on the Corteza Open-source Low-Code platform, an advanced rapid application development environment. Additionally, there is extensive documentation that explains how to make small modifications or complete new modules or workflows.


If you want a free CRM, make sure to check the 4 points above. Corteza CRM ticks them all! Want to try it out? Visit the free Corteza Community Server.

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