In our independent editorial review of retail CRM solutions, learn about the top options along with their primary use cases.
CRMs for startups are CRM software that help early-stage companies attract and manage leads to grow their customer base and revenue. The best options typically provide workflow automation tools and third-party integrations to save time and reduce menial work so startup employees can focus on other crucial tasks to grow the business. To help you choose the right CRM, we’ve evaluated the top six that provide robust but affordable functionality for startups.
Here are the six best CRMs for startups:
Startups are typically budget-conscious but want their CRM software to provide a rich set of easy-to-use features. When determining the best startup CRM, We based our scoring criteria on six weighted categories, each of which contained subcriteria. After assigning scores for each subcriteria, we totaled the categories and gave each CRM a final score out of five to rank the top six and primary use cases for each.
Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless noted.
All of the startup CRMs we evaluated are worthy options, and most scored well in one category or another. However, we found that the best CRM for startups is Freshsales, which tied or earned the top spot for cost, core features, ease of use, and integrations. Read on to see how each CRM performed in each category.
Freshsales is powerful, lightweight, and affordable, appealing to both startups and enterprises that want to grow.
Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)
Freshsales is a contact management platform with plenty of cutting-edge solutions for startups to grow their operations quickly. It balances affordability with a rich set of lead-focused features like personalized lead engagement, lead scoring, and other free and paid tools to find new potential customers and scale the business. Growing startups wanting an affordable CRM that provides powerful features will enjoy using Freshsales.
HubSpot CRM offers a free tier with unlimited users that enables startups to easily engage with their audience through live chat.
Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month (Sales Hub)
HubSpot CRM is an industry leader and one of the most innovative CRMs with a comprehensive free plan and premium upgrades. It provides a robust free pipeline tool as well as free features like live chat software that startups can use to connect with their online visitors in real time. Also included are seamless integrations with HubSpot's marketing and service platforms, giving you the ability to create landing pages, support tickets, and more for free.
Pipedrive is an accessible CRM with a visual pipeline and add-on upgrades you can purchase a la carte.
Price Range: $14.90 to $99 per user, per month (14-day trial)
Pipedrive is a deal-driven, easy-to-use CRM with a visual pipeline that helps startups see pipeline stages and keep close tabs on leads and potential deals. In addition to the core sales CRM features you'd expect, Pipedrive also offers add-on upgrades you can purchase separately so you only pay for what you need. These a la carte features include prospecting tools as well as marketing tools like email marketing and website visitor tracking.
Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM for startus that offers marketing features like social media management.
Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15+ day trial)
Zoho CRM is a widely known, full-featured CRM that specializes in multichannel marketing. It integrates seamlessly with all social media channels, allowing startups to grow their following and collect leads through social campaigns. Zoho inputs these new contacts into the CRM so users can then market to them through automated or manual emails. Startups that want to generate online leads and build a sales pipeline will benefit from using Zoho CRM.
Insightly is a SaaS-based CRM that effectively combines lead generation with project management tools.
Price Range: Free to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
Insightly is a CRM that lets users manage post-sale project management processes. Once an opportunity is closed, it’s converted into a project without losing any data, notifying the appropriate sales reps regarding next steps and helping managers monitor all activity. Insightly is a great choice for startups that manage multiple ongoing projects for customers and want to ensure all steps are completed on time so they can build a great reputation.
Salesforce Essentials provides startups with the power of the Salesforce platform built for small businesses.
Price Range: $25 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
Salesforce Essentials is the small business CRM product offered by Salesforce. Included in the CRM are two separate pipelines for managing leads and opportunities as well as robust custom reporting dashboards to stay on top of your sales process. Also included is a built in phone dialer to make business calls as well as internal communication and collaboration tools that help multiple reps work on the same account.
Startups need to stay nimble and fast, so they need a cost-effective, industry-specific CRM that can adapt and change quickly in a competitive environment, always offering the features they need to grow. The top six CRMs we featured here are great options for startups, so choose the one that feels right for your new business’s focus.