Let’s start by asking why. Why would someone not signup for one of the various freemium CRM systems out there such as Zoho or Agile or up and coming FreshSales? If you’re a WordPress enthusiast, the answer is simple: Because you prefer all your systems to be in 1 place as much as possible.
Think about it; these other tools can offer you an immense number of functionality out-of-the-box and most have generous freemium plans (also known as “free forever” plans) but although your staff may be fine using these, the majority of your customers will always be coming in via your website. This is where the initial touch points happen – how and more importantly why would you need to connect your WordPress website with one of these tools and having to login to both instead of just your WordPress dashboard?
Well, there are legitimate instances where this approach makes sense. For example, there may not be any need for you to login to your WordPress login (eg. the website is managed by a freelancer / agency or by an internal person who is unlikely to need to also have access to the CRM system.
If that’s the case, an integration between the mainstream CRM tools listed above is just as easily achievable by installing a free plugin specifically to achieve this. Please look at the list below but bear in mind that these plugins may or may not transfer all the fields you need (please check on the plugin page details for more details):
Going back to the original point around using a single system:
There are many free plugins that allow you to easily and quickly convert your installation of WordPress into a CRM system. Here are some of the most popular ones for your reference:
But there’s a problem:
This article is about achieving a completely free CRM system and although the above options technically provide this option, their out-of-the-box unpaid solution was not convincing enough in our view. If, on the other hand, you’re just after a very basic CRM system they may do the job.
You can conveniently purchase additional paid add-ons sold by the same publishers to enhance the various tools – this may very well be a valid option for someone with very limited understanding of WordPress and who has a bit of spare cash to burn. In the end it is still likely to be significantly cheaper than going for a mainstream CRM solution.
Although a bit more complex to achieve, very interesting solution to this is to leverage the power of Contact Form 7:
Read part 2 of this article to find out how to set this up