Bitrix24 provides the most popular free CRM in the world. Since its launch in 2012, they’ve chalked up 6,000,000 company registrations.
The platform has won accolades for the way it diligently handles all your daily business processes, from internal infrastructure to external relationships.
Its features have resonated particularly well with small and medium-sized businesses. One feature being the Bitrix24 free CRM works for up to 12 users, however, there are many more desirable features.
HQ’d in Alexandria, VA, Bitrix24’s core team of founders, led by CEO Sergey Rizhikov and President Dmitry Valyanov, have actually been playing the CRM game since 1998. Their first product was ‘Bitrix Intranet,’ but as their platform moved from old school proprietary to cloud-based SaaS, it was rebranded Bitrix24.
The company’s PR line is: “Your company. United.” That makes sense because there are 5 big parts to their product platform, all designed to work in unison: communications, tasks and project management, contact center, sites and stores (website, landing page, and online store builder), and CRM (i.e. what they’re most known for).
Everything is hosted on 16 separate data centers, with 500+ servers spread out across 9 countries. Bitrix24 boasts 99.99% uptime, with multi-cloud hosting that ensures identical copies of your data are available for extra insurance. Bitrix24 is 100% GDPR compliant, and is available in 18 languages so far.
Their well-rounded, comprehensive CRM does everything you’d ever need to do with CRM: sales management and marketing campaigns, team collaboration via social intranet, and project management. It’s effectively split into the following five components:
CRM (classic CRM, as in a database of your customers)
The CRM can be toggled between two modes: Simple CRM (deals and contacts, but no leads) and Classic CRM (with leads). This ‘difficulty level’ switch is something many other vendors haven’t thought of, and it definitely offers a lot of help with full-team adoption.
The contact center allows you to pull information on individuals and organizations from social networks, mobile messenger apps, and landing pages, building a comprehensive contact list.
For sales, marketing, service, and support, you can make phone calls to any landline or mobile in-app (their API integrates with 108 telecoms). Bitrix allows for CRM to phone, but also phone to CRM, so others can reach out to you in-app too.
For collaborative and project management CRM features, you can set up unlimited work groups and user groups, set up an HR help desk, and make internal communication seamless with a private social intranet. You can centralize the storage of documents in-app as well.
Task management is simplified: you can take any email and turn it into a task, calendar event, or discussion topic. Bitrix24 also lets you build free websites, landing pages, and online stores that are automatically integrated with its CRM features.
Fall 2019 updates: Bitrix24 Boston
Last month, on November 14th, 2019, Bitrix24 rolled out its newest build: Bitrix24 Boston. Its big sell is “Automation 2.0,” and the update does indeed have some very useful, dare I say ‘cool’ advanced manual-task-ending features. It also has many welcome updates in general.
Here’s the lowdown on the key updates.
Smart CRM forms
Email and telephony still account for around 90% of CRM-mediated interactions between businesses and customers (according to statistics culled from Bitrix24 platform use), but the use of web forms sent to CRM and website chat is growing fast and threatening to erode that majority.
Bitrix24’s new build allows you to create and add smart forms to your landing page, website, mobile messages, and SMS. The form builder includes varied templates and backgrounds, with 20 form types and captcha for anti-spam.
Once it’s built, there’s a data processing component that works on the data that’s plugged into those forms.
Sales funnels and pipelines are standard CRM fare, but now there are tunnels too. Many businesses have diverse profit centers, and so the new sales tunnel feature allows you to take various sales funnels and connect them with automation, setting up rules and triggers that offer one service after another for upselling and cross-selling.
CRMs for Verticals Presets
The way a CRM is used varies hugely depending on what industry you're in (real estate, construction, travel, e-commerce, etc.). With that in mind, Bitrix24 has rolled out a feature that allows you to customize the platform for your specific needs, generate a preset template, then share it with others on Bitrix Marketplace.
This allows you to achieve uniform features and workflows for your whole team in one fell swoop; it’s true automatic deployment with no set-up.
Create a template from the project you’re currently working on, from tasks and subtasks to responsible parties, observers, and assistants, project drive for contracts, agreements, etc., as well as comments and automation.
Bitrix24 has long had a ‘knowledge base’ in the form of wikis for internal company FAQs, but they’ve overhauled this feature to create something altogether more robust and 2019-appropriate. The engine used to build Bitrix24 websites is now available to build your company’s knowledge base. Knowledge bases are easy to create and update, and there’s support for embeddable media content, responsive keyword search, mobile access, and control over access rights.
The features applications are highly flexible: it can be used to create a company or sales knowledge base, assist in project management, and streamline your onboarding process. Support for external user access is available, as well as collaborative content creation and discussion.
Perhaps the most interesting update: Bitrix24 has partnered with Welltory, a stress management app, to add stress level indicators for individual employees.
The feature allows you to keep your stress levels private or shareable (the calculations take place in Welltory, which then integrates the data within your Bitrix24 profile). The idea is to make sure everyone is in the ‘good stress’ zone, and make sure your team is working in a healthy, sustainable way.
Bitrix24 keeps working on its bits
Scoping these comprehensive updates, we can see just how serious Bitrix24 is about keeping its free CRM crown. The platform just keeps on getting new features.
Bitrix24 Boston is a welcome update that shows off some of the best aspects of contemporary CRM: holistic tools for managing business processes that do their job with dramatically improved visibility, easy collaboration in-app, minimal implementation time, and a reasonable learning curve.
Bitrix24’s starter business tool suite (the uber-popular, free for up to 12 users version) is a great way to start exploring the platform. As you scale up, you can look into the reasonably priced Start+, CRM+, Project+, and Standard plans, priced according to number of users.