Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Freshsales CRM review

Freshsales is a sales customer relationship management (CRM) software from Freshworks that helps sales teams streamline their processes, close deals faster, and gain greater insight into their customers. In this Freshsales review, we'll evaluate the pros and cons of Freshsales, and see how it compares to the best CRM software out there.

Before we start, it’s worth noting that Freshsales is designed specifically for the needs of sales teams, and is one of a series of Freshworks CRMs for different focuses. If you're looking for an all-in-one CRM that combines both sales and marketing, we recommend Freshsales Suite instead. 

Freshsales review: Snapshot

Freshsales is a capable CRM that offers advanced contact management, workflow automation, and AI insights. It’s ideal for ambitious sales teams in small and medium-sized businesses looking to reach their prospects more strategically. Freshsales’ intuitive, customizable interface makes it a good choice for those new to CRM software, and means that it doesn’t require extensive team training to set up. 

Built-in phone and email capabilities enable you to communicate directly with contacts from the CRM, while the mobile app allows you to capture data on the go. Freshsales does require an upgrade to access its lead generation tools, and the range of third-party integrations is limited. If you’re looking for a CRM with more integrations available, Insightly may be a better choice. 

Overall, Freshsales is an affordable and comprehensive CRM that offers all of the standard functionality you need to drive your sales team forwards.

Score: 4.5/5

Read on for the full review. 

Freshsales’ competitors

How does Freshsales compare to its main competitors?
Freshsales Insightly HubSpot
Score 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5
Pros Intuitive, customizable interface - Mobile app with voice note features - Advanced AI forecasting and insights Automated lead assignment - Activity sets to keep sales reps on task - Integration with Microsoft Power BI for reporting Over 300 app integrations - Free version available - Powerful sales and marketing tools
Cons Free plan does not include reports - Lead generation tools only available with Enterprise plan - Fewer third party integrations than competitors Not many tools for lead generation - Phone support costs extra - Interface isn’t easy to get started with Expensive premium plans - Can be overwhelming for beginners
Verdict Freshsales CRM offers advanced contact management, data insights and workflow automations to empower sales teams to nurture and close deals more efficiently. Insightly is a leader in the CRM software space, with advanced automation tools and integrations that can help you manage your sales team and deal pipeline. Premium HubSpot subscriptions come with powerful CRM tools, but even the free version of the platform could make a difference to your business.
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Freshsales: Key features

Freshsales is an affordable CRM that makes contact management simple. With its beginner-friendly interface and powerful AI system, it makes for a great starter CRM for small businesses, though it also boasts enough advanced features to appeal to small- and mid-sized enterprises.

When we tested it, we were impressed by the capability to customize every aspect of the interface, including the main navigation menu. It gives you the option to choose from hundreds of different currencies and over 10 languages, as well as create custom fields, modules, sales activities, and more. So, the software can be molded to suit the needs of virtually any business. 

Freshsales offers comprehensive contact and account management tools. You can view an activity timeline of a contact's engagement with your brand, enabling you to target them more strategically with sales calls and follow-ups. The AI-powered contact scoring system prioritizes top leads based on a prospect's engagement, helping you close deals faster. 

Freshsales also offers you the tools you need to communicate with contacts, with in-built phone and email functionality and a mobile app. You can even set up live chat on your website schedule, and join Zoom meetings from the CRM software.

In addition, Freshsales enables you to automatically assign leads to sales reps based on specific criteria, as well as customize appointments, alerts, reminders, and activities to keep your team organized. Automated workflows help cut down on the manual work involved in nurturing leads, and streamline sales processes so that you can focus on closing deals. 

Additional integrations with third-party project management apps are also available, though the range of integrations offered is quite limited.

Freshsales: Key features and highlights

Image 1 of 4

Freshsales' homepage

Freshsales offers comprehensive contact and account management tools (Image credit: Freshsales )
Image 2 of 4

Freshsales' settings menu

With Freshsales you can customize appointments, alerts, reminders, and activities to keep your team organized. (Image credit: Freshsales )
Image 3 of 4

Freshsales' sales pipeline

Sales pipelines can be viewed on a single dashboard, giving you an overview of your team’s success in closing deals. (Image credit: Freshsales )
Image 4 of 4

Freshsales' integrations with third-party apps

Freshsales offers a limited range of third-party integrations (Image credit: Freshsales )

Freshsales: What’s new?

Freshworks is continuously improving the features of the Freshsales software. Since 2019, the company has added the option to customise your main navigation sidebar, created custom fields, and improved workflow automation so that you can now automate an action based on a defined trigger. 

Freshworks has also added the capability to group users into ‘teams’ to improve collaboration, and introduced weighted sales pipelines. These display a sales forecast that’s weighted by the likelihood that deals will close. 

The company has also added new features to the Freshsales app, helping sales reps close deals on the go. You can now record voice notes on the app and attach them to a record, make calls directly from the app, and check in at your location on the app. 

Freshsales: Pricing

Freshsales offers four pricing plans, including an Enterprise plan that offers advanced AI features, more storage data, and a higher limit for the number of sales teams, workflows and sequences you can create. Plans are billed monthly or annually, with discounts for annual billing, and the cost scales with the number of end-user licenses you need.

Freshsales is notable for offering a free plan, which many of its competitors, such as Salesforce, do not. The free plan offers a basic level of contact management, but it doesn’t include access to reporting—an important feature for any CRM.

Freshsales’ pricing plans
Plan type/feature Free Growth Pro Enterprise Insightly - Plus
Cost per user per month $0 $18 $47 $83 $29
Cost per user per year $0 $180 $468 $828 $348
Contact & account management
Custom reports and dashboards X
Multiple sales pipelines X X
AI forecasting insights X X X X

Testing Freshsales

In order to better review Freshsales' CRM offering, we ran through a series of its features and tools, testing them out and establishing how each can be used.

How does Freshsales' contact management work?

Freshsales' user interface with contact information

Freshsales helps you gain greater visibility into your customers and build relationships in more strategic ways. (Image credit: Freshsales)

Contact and account management is a key area where Freshsales excels. The CRM enables you to see a comprehensive timeline of a prospect's engagements with your brand through website, email, and other channels, helping you gain greater visibility into your customers and build relationships in more strategic ways. 

The AI-driven contact scoring system ranks prospects based on their engagement, helping you prioritize the leads most likely to convert. Freshsales also offers a host of workflow management features, enabling you to set up tasks, appointments, activities, reminders, and alerts for your whole team to help you stay on track. This feature is particularly useful for sales teams collaborating across different geographies and time zones. 

In addition to contact management, Freshsales offers several methods for communicating with prospects. There’s a built-in phone with call recording as well as an email client integration that enables you to email contacts in bulk. Freshsales also includes email templates so you can launch basic campaigns without ever leaving the CRM.

While Freshsales does offer some lead generation tools, these are only available with costly upgrades. For example, a feature that populates records with publicly listed information about contacts is only available on the Enterprise plan, even though this is a standard feature on Insightly’s CRM software.

How does Freshsales' workflow automation work?

Freshsales' user interface with workflow settings

Freshsales enables you to create automated workflows to streamline sales processes (Image credit: Freshsales)

Freshsales improves the efficiency of sales reps by automating time-consuming tasks, freeing them up to close more deals. You can set up rules that will automatically assign leads to sales reps according to criteria like region, language, area of expertise, and more.

You can also design sales sequences that automate repetitive and manual tasks such as following up with leads, sending welcome emails, or sending contract renewal reminders. Once you've set the conditional actions and triggers, these sequences run in the background. As a result, it takes minimal ongoing effort to keep contacts engaged with your company.

To expand existing functionality, Freshsales also offers integrations with project management apps including Zapier, QuickBooks, and Xero, among others. Freshsales has announced plans to add more integrations in the future. However it currently falls short on integrations when compared to Insightly, which boasts a library of more than 500 business apps.

What is Freshsales' Freddy AI?

Freshsales' webpage discussing its Freddy AI feature

Freddy AI learns from your data to deliver personalised insights and recommendations (Image credit: Freshsales)

Freddy AI is Freshsales' advanced AI system that operates behind the scenes, learning from historical data to deliver personalized insights, predictions, and recommendations. The AI ensures that sales reps are making educated decisions based on existing data and helps them decide how to move a lead further down the path to conversion. 

Freddy AI also helps forecast sales by predicting how likely deals are to go through and displaying a sales pipeline that’s weighted by deal likelihood. Deal likelihood and weighted forecasts are visible on a single dashboard, giving managers a better overview of how the whole sales team is performing and what kind of numbers they can expect to achieve. The full functionality of Freddy AI is only available with an Enterprise plan. 

How does Freshsales' mobile app work?

Freshsales' webpage discussing its mobile app

Freshsales offers a mobile app that enables you to stay connected to the CRM while on the go (Image credit: Freshsales)

Alongside the online software, Freshsales offers a mobile app that enables you to stay connected to the CRM while on the go. Whether you're traveling for work or meeting a prospect for lunch, the app enables you to access data about your contact from anywhere. You can even download and store information for offline access. 

The app offers an impressive level of functionality. You can record voice notes, send emails, make calls, book Ubers, and even scan documents using your phone’s camera. You can also attach tasks, notes, and activities to contact records, which makes it easy to keep your database up to date. Finally, the app enables you to check in to a location to let others in your team know where you are. 

Alternatives to Freshsales

Freshsales with a Basic plan is an affordable CRM solution with all of the features that a small business sales team might need. You get contact management tools, predictive contact scoring, 20 workflow automations, deal management tools, visual sales pipelines, and more. 

In comparison, its competitor Insightly offers fewer workflow automations with its basic plan. However, it does automatically import publicly available data about contacts, a feature that Freshsales only offers with its Enterprise plan.FInd out more about Insightly in our Insightly review.

Hubspot, another Freshsales competitor, is more limited with its basic plan than Freshsales. You’ll need to upgrade to access the same level of functionality that Freshsales offers, though the price quoted does cover two paid users rather than one. 

When comparing more advanced plans, it’s clear that Hubspot is better suited for large enterprises and the price reflects that. While Freshsales offers a maximum of 10 deal pipelines, 100 automated workflows, 25 sales sequences per user, and 100GB of storage per user with its Enterprise plan, Hubspot offers up to 100 deal pipelines and 1,000 workflows. 

To find out more about whether Hubspot could be right for your business, check out our full Hubspot review.

Freshsales' features compared to the competition
Freshsales Insightly Hubspot
Predictive contact scoring Yes No Yes (with upgrade)
Workflow automations 20 Yes (with upgrade) Yes (with upgrade)
Support 24/5 email and phone Email support and knowledge base Email and chat
Basic plan $18 a month (1 user) $29 a month (1 user) $54 a month (2 user)

Is Freshsales right for your business? 

Freshsales is well-suited for small- to medium-sized businesses looking for an affordable CRM that covers all the essentials that sales teams need, plus includes some advanced features like workflow automation and AI insights.

For those working collaboratively on the go, the Freshsales app offers live data-syncing and note-taking options. Freshsales’ phone and email integrations are also valuable tools that enable you to reach out to contacts without ever leaving the CRM, while also ensuring that all of your communication records are in one place.

While Freshsales offers a free plan with basic contact and account management functionality, the free plan does not include reports, which hampers its usefulness. Freshsales also does not offer lead generation tools on its Basic plan, requiring you to upgrade to access these features.

While Freshsales offers good native integrations with other Freshworks apps, its range of third-party integrations is limited. If the integrations you’re looking for aren’t available for Freshsales, it may not be the right CRM for your business. 

Further reading on CRMs

Looking to learn more about CRM software? Then try out these articles. Here, we list the best contact management software, and you can read our in-depth Salesforce review as well as our overall Freshworks review to get an insight into leading services in the CRM sector.


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