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Freshworks CRM Review

Nadia Reckmann
Nadia Reckmann

Freshworks' customer relationship management (CRM) software, Freshsales, is our best pick for businesses that want to empower their sales managers to effectively monitor sales activity and their team's performance through a robust set of analytics tools. Freshsales helps companies build and guide the customer journey – from the first contact with a lead to the close of the sale – with tools to conduct email marketing campaigns, manage leads and deals, automate workflows, and effortlessly track quotes and invoices – all while keeping an eye on the big strategic picture. 

Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM

The Verdict

Freshworks' extensive business analytics toolkit and sales enablement features make its Freshsales CRM our pick for the best CRM for sales managers.

Freshworks Editor's Score: 9.3/10

Pricing/value 9/10
Features 9.6/10
Customizations, add-ons and integrations 9.1/10
Ease of use 9.3/10
Customer support 9.5/10

Why We Chose Freshworks' Freshsales as the Best CRM Software for Sales Managers

On top of core CRM features like contact and deal management, lead generation, and client communication, Freshsales enables sales managers to balance their team's workload, forecast sales and gain detailed insights into their team's latest activity, performance and goals. While some of the rival CRMs we reviewed offer territory and team management, Freshsales goes a step further and allows managers to create team-specific sales workflows, reports, tasks and appointments, and it can automatically redirect calls and chats to certain teams, ensuring smooth and relevant client conversations. These valuable tools are why we chose the Freshworks product as the best CRM software for sales managers.

Freshsales dashboard
Freshsales' customer dashboard provides detailed information about each client.

Freshsales is a stand-alone CRM that is part of the Freshworks company, which also offers marketing, customer success, IT management and HR platforms. Businesses looking for a more holistic sales solution should consider getting the company's Freshsales Suite, which encompasses the CRM, marketing services, an integrated business phone system and a live chat function. However, if you prefer separate products, view our roundup of highly rated business phone systems and our recommendations for the top live chat software.   

Did you know?Did you know? Freshsales is available in 32 languages and supports 165 currencies.

What We Like About Freshworks' Freshsales

  • Sales managers can get a granular overview of their sales teams' activities through dashboards and reports; set up permission levels on a role, team or territory basis; and determine auto-assignment rules so newly added leads and chats are automatically directed to the most relevant sales representative or team. 
  • All Freshsales plans, including its free plan, have a built-in phone dialer and a chat widget, smartly bringing all client communication together in one hub.  
  • An integration with Shopify and a CPQ module make Freshsales a great CRM option for e-commerce businesses. 

What We Don't Like About Freshworks' Freshsales

  • A newly setup account comes with limited dummy data that can slow down the onboarding process for teams unfamiliar with CRM tools. 
  • When you customize elements of the software, most configuration windows open in new tabs, potentially interrupting workflow. 
  • Some features – like social data contact enrichment, advanced customization options and territories – are available only on top-tier plans even though they are often standard on competitors' platforms.

Usability

CRM software with complex functionality like AI-powered sales tools, advanced sales management features, a cloud-based phone system and a chat solution may seem daunting, but Freshsales' user-friendly interface is easy to understand without extensive training or voluminous instruction manuals. Setup is quick and easy, thanks to detailed instructions in the vendor's online resource library, and all plans include 24/5 phone, email and chat support for additional assistance. Freshsales is a great choice for first-time CRM users, but experienced teams will also appreciate how simple it is to import data from other popular CRMs or CSV and XLSX data files.

We loved that the dynamic Activities dashboard displays your appointments, pending tasks, quick links for easy navigation and other important information on a single screen, so it's easy to plan your workday without overlooking critical details. Sidebar navigation buttons let you drill down to communication records, current deals, contact databases, important documents, automation tools and in-depth sales reports in just a couple of clicks.

TipTip: Set up teamwide custom lead score rules by going to Admin Settings > Predictive Contact Scoring. The score will then display on the Contacts dashboard, allowing you to quickly filter and prioritize leads who are more likely to close.

Freshworks' Freshsales Features

There are standard CRM features a business can't function without. Fortunately, Freshworks' Freshsales product offers all those components and more.

Reporting and Analytics

To ensure a company moves in the right direction, managers and business owners need to keep a close eye on sales performance. Freshsales' robust reporting functionality allows sales leaders to create visual dashboards and get insights on the most effective sales activities, their team's workload and top performers, sales trends and forecasts, and much more. Unlike many other CRMs that focus on the performance of individual team members, Freshsales also offers team- and territory-based reports, providing managers with essential information to make informed business decisions. 

If you're using the Freshsales Suite, you also get access to an unbeatable combination of sales and marketing reports that demonstrate how well your teams work together and identify potential gaps in productivity. The sales reports shed light on your company's sales cycles and trends, while the marketing reports provide granular insight into key metrics like campaign performance, customer behavior and overall engagement rate. [Find out why CRM metrics are important.]

Freshsales chart
Charts help you analyze team sales activity in the Freshsales CRM.

Workflow Automation

Automating routine and repetitive tasks frees your sales agents to focus on closing the deal and ensures consistent workflows across teams and individuals. You can use Freshsales' automation function to send emails at just the right time in the customer journey, update customer records, create tasks, move deals through pipeline stages, and notify team members and managers of important changes in the contact or deal's status using their communication tool of choice. It can even surface warm and cold leads for follow-up before the opportunity is gone.

Freshsales custom workflows
You can create custom workflows in the Freshsales CRM for consistency across your sales team.

Built-in Phone Functionality and Automation

Sales teams spend a lot of time on the phone, so it makes sense to invest in a CRM with built-in calling capabilities. You can use your existing company phone number or purchase a new toll-free or easy-to-remember vanity number instead. The integrated call-recording function documents your inbound and outbound calls for future reference; you can also use these calls as examples when coaching and training your sales agents.

Freshsales' interactive voice response system automatically greets and routes callers based on their keypress input or voice commands. You can send incoming calls to a call queue, agent extension, voicemail or a phone tree with additional options, such as the retention department or an after-hours emergency hotline.

FYIFYI: There are additional charges for call recording, manager monitoring and voicemails.

Freshsales phone
Built-in phone functionality in the Freshsales CRM makes it ideal for companies without an established business phone system.

E-Commerce Integration

E-commerce businesses often have trouble finding a CRM system that can handle their particular processes and needs, as only a few of them offer dedicated e-commerce features, modules and integrations. Freshsales is one of those rare exceptions. You can easily communicate with your customers by sending SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp or Apple Business messages right from Freshworks' CRM so that no query remains unanswered. 

Similar to an add-on feature noted in our Salesforce review, Freshsales has a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) module that allows team members to add products and documents to easily generate and send quotes and contracts to customers, saving time on data entry and standardizing the process across the company. Freshsales Suite users can also benefit from a customizable Shopify integration and sync customer data across the two platforms, run targeted marketing campaigns, have live conversations, and set up chatbot flows. 

Freshsales CPQ module
The CPQ module and product catalog in Freshsales is a great tool for e-commerce businesses.

AI-Based Reports and Insights

Freddy AI, Freshsales' artificial intelligence tool, offers an objective analysis of sales efforts and strategies to help your sales team make better business decisions. It gathers data from sales activity and engagement, chatbots, customer tracking tools, sales pipelines, and more to generate reports and recommend the next best steps to increase your team's chances of closing a deal. Freddy also learns from the data stored in your CRM to forecast deal outcomes, and it uses predictive lead scoring to identify the best prospects and leads in your pipelines. What's more, it can flag stalled deals with an "at risk" tag so that no potential issues slip through the cracks. 

Freshworks' Freshsales Pricing

Freshworks offers various service levels for its Freshsales CRM, including a Free plan that includes contact, deal and task management; a mobile app; and built-in phone and chat solutions. A generous 21-day free trial provides access to all of the CRM's features.

The prices we've listed below are for annual billing; however, month-to-month billing is also available at a slightly higher monthly cost.

  • Growth: $15 per user per month. This plan includes everything in the Free plan, plus custom fields, automated workflows, product catalog, visual sales pipeline, custom reports and dashboards, two-way email sync and limited automation, messaging integrations, and file storage of 2GB per user. 
  • Pro: $39 per user per month. This plan includes everything in the Growth plan, plus custom sales activities; time-based workflows; auto-assignment for contacts, accounts and deals; territory management; multiple pipelines; sales forecasting; AI-powered deal insights; and file storage of 5GB per user. 
  • Enterprise: $69 per user per month. This plan includes everything in the Pro plan, plus automatic profile enrichment, a sales and marketing dashboard, deal teams, AI-powered deal forecasting insights, website tracking, advanced sales metrics, file storage of 100GB per user and a dedicated account manager.
  • Add-ons: Pricing varies. Optional features include additional workflows, bot sessions, phone credits, and a CPQ module starting at $19 per user per month.

Businesses that need both sales and marketing features in their CRM would benefit from choosing the Freshsales Suite. Its pricing ranges between $15 and $69 per user per month, with support for 1,000 marketing contacts and the opportunity to purchase more. Depending on the plan, Freshsales Suite comes with a number of email marketing campaigns, webhooks, live tracking and landing pages. There is also a limited free version.      

Implementation and Onboarding

Setting up the Freshsales CRM is a straightforward process supported by extensive online walk-throughs and documentation. However, the time it takes to implement and deploy the software depends on the plan, customization level and add-ons you select. For instance, the Pro and Enterprise plans, which have advanced customization capabilities, will take longer to deploy than the Free or Growth plans, which have basic sales functionality.

We recommend first setting up the most basic features, such as phone numbers, email accounts, mission-critical business app integrations, and user roles and permissions. Next, migrate your data from your previous CRM if you have one, or import customer data spreadsheets to populate the contact database. Then you'll be ready to onboard users, configure additional settings, create workflows and fully use the CRM. 

Since all plans include 24/5 phone, email and chat support to troubleshoot implementation issues, the setup process shouldn't be daunting. The Enterprise plan gives you a dedicated account manager for personalized assistance, an investment that may be worth it for business owners concerned about whether their in-house tech team will be sufficient.

FYIFYI: We were impressed that Freshsales offers one complimentary product adoption session to get paid clients up and running with essential features quickly. You can pay to participate in multiweek onboarding programs as well.

Freshworks' Freshsales Customer Service

All of Freshworks' CRM service plans include access to an extensive knowledge base, with how-to guides on everything from general setup to creating multiple sales pipelines. You can submit an online ticket for additional help, email the customer support team or get 24-hour assistance on weekdays via live chat or a toll-free phone call.

When we contacted the vendor with questions, the sales team was eager to assist. However, we did notice that the availability of live chat was limited and didn't extend through the standard U.S. workday.

Limitations  

Freshsales' large CRM feature set is a clear selling point but may also be one of its drawbacks. Experienced users will likely find their way around the software quickly, thanks to the smart user interface design, but it may take sales teams with little to no CRM experience a bit longer to learn. Feature overload is always a potential challenge small businesses face using CRMs, and the Freshsales system is no different in that regard. For a simpler alternative, see our review of Keap CRM software.

While Freshsales provides extensive customization options when it comes to contact and deal management, the process is somewhat cumbersome and takes users to separate tabs, potentially interrupting the workflow. Companies looking for in-app customization functionality might be better off with a CRM with a focus on flexibility. In that case, we recommend checking out our monday.com CRM review.  

Freddy, Freshsales' AI tool, is a high-profile feature of this CRM, yet its availability is surprisingly limited on most service tiers. While that's understandable for the entry-level plan, the midlevel plan offers several AI functions, but the highest plan adds only one more.   

Methodology

This review is based on extensive comparative research of dozens of CRM software solutions on the market and an in-depth evaluation process that included a demo of the platform, correspondence with the customer support team, a trial to evaluate the product's functionality and a look at numerous tutorials and support materials. As part of the review, we closely examined Freshsales' features and available functionality – including contact and deal management, sales enablement, reporting and analytics, workflow automation, team management, the e-commerce module, and available integrations – in addition to pricing.

FAQs

Is Freshworks the same as Freshsales?

Freshworks is an umbrella brand that offers a number of specialized solutions for different business teams: Freshsales for sales, Freshdesk for customer support, Freshservice for IT service management, Freshteam for HR, Freshmarketer for marketing and Freshsales Suite for the powerful combination of sales and marketing. 

Is Freshsales free?

Both the regular Freshsales CRM and Freshsales Suite have a Free plan with limited contact, deal and account management features, as well as a built-in phone and a chat widget.  

Bottom Line

We recommend Freshworks' Freshsales CRM for …

  • Sales managers who want advanced AI-powered reporting and CRM customization options.
  • Sales teams that communicate with customers via phone, chat and social media platforms on a regular basis.
  • Businesses that need a basic solution to manage their sales efforts but may want to upgrade to a combined marketing and sales CRM in the future.

We don't recommend Freshworks' Freshsales CRM for …

  • Entrepreneurs or small business owners who don't need extensive team management and sales enablement features.
  • Companies that need a free CRM with some advanced features.

Lisa McGreevy contributed to the writing and research in this review.

Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM

The Verdict

Freshworks' extensive business analytics toolkit and sales enablement features make its Freshsales CRM our pick for the best CRM for sales managers.

Nadia Reckmann
Nadia Reckmann
business.com Contributing Writer
During her years as a professional business writer, Nadia Reckmann has written hundreds of articles with a focus on SMB strategy, operations, technology, and tools that are essential for business success. In addition to that, she creates content that helps small businesses and entrepreneurs improve their marketing techniques, sales performance, and communication strategy. She also writes about CRM and other essential business software, team and project management, and productivity.