Check out our independent editorial review of the best crm software for sales professionals, including use cases for each option.
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 eight that provide robust but affordable functionality for startups.
Here are the eight best CRMs for startups:
Startups are typically budget-conscious but want their CRM software to provide a rich set of easy-to-use features. For this reason, we first evaluated cost, core features, and ease of use. Next, we looked at integrations and customization so startups that choose one of these CRMs can modify it to meet their unique needs. Finally, we measured the level of support provided, as most startups have a small, busy team that must be able to rely on the CRM’s customer service.
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 Zoho CRM, which also tied for the top spot in core features, ease of use, integrations, and customization. Read on to see how each CRM performed in each category.
Zoho CRM is a cloud-based tool for small to midsize businesses that offers a range of channels and features to reach leads.
Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15-day free 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.
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 free live chat software that startups can use to connect with their online visitors in real time. Through this engagement, users can nurture leads, increasing the chances of converting those leads to customers. This makes HubSpot CRM great for startups focused on building trust and new relationships.
Pipedrive is an accessible CRM that shows the sales process in a visual pipeline that’s minimalistic and easy to understand.
Price Range: $12.50 to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)
Pipedrive is a deal-driven, easy-to-use CRM. Its visual pipeline helps startups see pipeline stages and keep close tabs on leads and potential deals. As sales reps nurture leads, they can drag and drop them along various pipeline stages. That way, your entire team can see a full view of all contacts and their engagement with your brand as you grow. Pipedrive is right for startups that want a minimalistic, visual layout to monitor all leads and their activity.
Agile CRM is an all-in-one SaaS solution with sales, marketing, and customer service modules within an integrated hub.
Price Range: Free to $64.99 per user, per month
Agile CRM is a streamlined CRM with an integrated customer service and sales system. This integration gives startups a complete view of their sales pipeline and customer lifecycle on a single page, showing employees how best to support their leads and customers according to their role. Because internal communication is vital to a new company’s success, Agile works for startups wanting to establish strong sales and service via a transparent, centralized hub.
Insightly is a SaaS-based CRM that effectively combines lead generation with project management tools.
Price Range: $25 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.
Bitrix24 is a free, cloud-based CRM that supports unlimited users and offers advanced features.
Price Range: Free to $159 per user, per month (30-day free trial)
Bitrix24 is a free contact manager that can be deployed on-premise or used as a cloud-based SaaS. Its free plan offers advanced features like expense tracking, mind mapping, group video calls, and the ability to convert emails into tasks so small startup teams can be as productive as possible. Bitrix24 also allows for unlimited tasks, documents, and deals, so it’s a great choice for startups looking for a CRM that offers plenty of robust tools at no cost.
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.
SugarCRM’s APIs and developer-centric focus makes it easily customizable for personalization and new opportunities.
Price Range: $52 to $1,000 per user, per month (7-day free trial)
SugarCRM is software that grew out of an open-source project and is built for developers who can go “under the hood” to tweak the CRM to suit their needs. Its API gives tech-savvy startups a customizable platform, allowing them to customize layouts, fields, and relationships between different modules. As such, SugarCRM is best for startups that want a CRM they can make their own using its programmable framework.
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 eight CRMs we featured here are great options for startups, so choose the one that feels right for your new business’s focus.