Best CRM Software for Startups in 2023
Do you want to find the best CRM software for your startup? Here’s a list of several powerful CRM that can help with sales, marketing, customer service, and more.
Top 8 CRM software options
HubSpot is a multipurpose CRM for various departments like sales, marketing, customer service, and operations. It makes it easy for different departments to collaborate.
Price: $45 to $4,200 per month. Free trial available.
- Has a good feature-studded free plan.
- Has all the necessary CRM features like prospect tracking, meeting scheduling, deal tracking, and pipeline management.
- Marketing CRM features like automation, smart content, and SEO are a bonus. Data from multiple sources makes it easy to serve customers better.
- The full plan is expensive.
- Many cheaper pricing options are available. But it’s time-consuming to get through them.
- Requires a big learning curve.
Pipedrive is a flexible and easy-to-use CRM for sales teams that’s used by 95,000 companies in 179 countries.
Price: $15, $29, $59 and $99 per month. Add-ons cost extra. 14-day free trial available.
- Customizable and intuitive software.
- Includes important sales-centric features like deal management, contact management, email templates, and meeting scheduler.
- Scores of integrations available.
- Starting price is low, but add-ons can make it expensive.
- Smaller plans limited to chat support.
Copper is the ideal CRM for Google Workspace users. It integrates with Google and several other tools like Slack.
Price: $25, $59, and $119 per month; billed annually. 14-day free trial available.
- Integrates with all Google Workspace apps like Google Contacts, Calendar, Docs, Hangouts, and Studio.
- Organize contacts, track deals, manage projects and automate tasks with one tool.
- Chrome extension makes it convenient to use.
- Option to pay monthly is only available with the lowest plan. You’re billed annually for the larger plans.
- No free plan.
Salesforce is a popular CRM with over 150,000 customers. Many businesses prefer it as it covers most departments and industries from higher education to ecommerce stores.
Price: Starts at $25. 30-day free trial available.
- Has a CRM for everything from sales to service to marketing.
- Suits business of all sizes from small to enterprise.
- Pricing is very flexible, depending on what you want.
- Starting price is low, but it gets expensive as you upgrade and add more services.
- The Essentials plan is the only one you can pay monthly. You have to pay annually and in advance for the rest.
- No 24/7 support and configuration services for Essentials, Professional, and Enterprise plans.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing software that doubles as a sales CRM.
Price: $70, $159 and $279 per month. 14-day free trial available.
- Leads scoring helps track interactions and filter the best leads.
- Gmail extension for Chrome improves workflow.
- Mobile app available to work on the go.
- Sales automation features save time.
- User interface isn’t the best. It can get confusing.
- Not the best CRM software. It’s more of a marketing automation software.
6. Freshworks CRM
Freshworks is a popular and affordable customer support software with a CRM for sales and marketing.
Price: $35, $85 and $149 per user/month. Add-ons cost extra. 21-day free trial available.
- Combine CRM with customer support insights to serve customers better.
- Lead scoring helps you quickly find the warmest leads.
- Automate emails, calls, and SMS with a touch of personalization to close deals while saving time.
- Detailed insights to track performance.
- Integrations are limited; more need to be added.
- Basic plans aren’t too expensive. But purchasing add-ons significantly hikes up the price.
7. Monday.com CRM
Monday.com has a visual and intuitive interface with pronounced project management and CRM features.
Price: $30, $36 and $60 per month. Free and enterprise plans are also available.
- Visual interface helps envisage the sales pipeline.
- Has all the necessary features for a robust CRM
- Integrates with dozens of apps and software like Trello, Slack, and Typeform.
- Works on both mobile and desktop. It even works offline.
- Takes a while to get the hang of all features.
- Paid plans for individuals aren’t available. You must subscribe to a minimum of three seats.
Stackby brings spreadsheets and databases, together in a single flexible, collaboration platform. It is a freemium tool for agencies & businesses of all sizes, with affordable paid plans.
Price: $199/year for six users on Economy and $399/year for six users on Business plan. Free plan available.
- Completely customizable to your needs with over 25 unique column types
- Visualize data in pipeline, calendar, gallery views
- Create custom forms to bring data in tables directly
- Connect columns to Lead management & Enrichment APIs to build custom lead lists
- Create workflows to automate your end to end sales pipeline
- Industry agnostic CRM tool
- No direct email integration yet.
CRM software deals from AppSumo
Are you on a tight budget? Don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on CRM software? AppSumo has the deals to help you manage your client relationships, keep them chirpy, and grow your business.
An award-winning unified platform for your invoicing, accounting, payroll, HR, and CRM.
Deskera is an all-in-one business software for startups and small businesses, with more than 500,000 users.
- Sales and marketing automation and workflows save you time and money.
- Sales CRM features include contact management, deal management, and pipelines.
- Marketing CRM features include email campaigns, templates, segments, and scheduling.
- Also, has customer support CRM features.
- A good complete business tool, but CRM features are limited.
- Doesn’t have many integrations.
Unify your business processes with a comprehensive project and customer management platform.
Flowlu is a complete business management software with project management, invoicing, mind maps, and CRM.
- Create a visual funnel. Use it to track sales and measure the funnel’s effectiveness.
- Create to-do’s or follow-ups and delegate to team members.
- Automate repetitive tasks to save time and reduce errors.
- Organize and manage the sales process with kanban boards.
- Very few integrations.
- Pricing’s a bit high without the AppSumo deal.
An all-in-one CRM platform for sales, marketing, support, and billing.
ConvergeHub is an all-in-one CRM for managing sales, marketing, support, and billing.
- Sales CRM for managing contacts, leads, accounts, and deals.
- Marketing CRM for executing email, SMS, direct mail, and social media marketing campaigns.
- Keep customers happy with service CRM.
- Billing CRM makes accounting easy.
- No monthly plan. You have to pay quarterly or annually.
- User interface needs an upgrade.
Free CRM software options
When getting started, it’s okay to opt for free CRM software (we’re not judging). After your business grows and you gain more customers and hire more employees, you can switch to a premium option. Here are some good free CRM software alternatives.
Britrix24 is a popular freemium CRM software with over 8 million users.
Price: $24, $69, $99 and $199 per month. Free plan available.
- Add unlimited users, leads, deals, and contacts with the free plan.
- CRM, project management, contact center, and communication tools available for free.
- Ability to set up a website or ecommerce store with the free plan.
- No CRM marketing and sales intelligence available with the free plan.
- Limited support with the free plan.
2. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is a freemium tool for small businesses with very affordable paid plans.
Price: $18, $30, $45 and $55 per user/month. Free plan available.
- Feature studded CRM with contact management, email marketing, lead generation, and analytics.
- Customize the interface to suit you and your team.
- Create workflows to automate the sales process.
- Create beautiful charts and detailed reports to measure the effectiveness of your sales and marketing activities.
- Requires a deep learning curve.
3. Free CRM
Not only you can start using Free CRM for free, but it also has extremely affordable paid plans.
Price: $2 to $50 per month. Free plan available.
- Unlimited users and storage with the free plan.
- Works on desktop and mobile. Apps available for iOS and Android.
- Suits businesses in various industries.
- No customer support with the free plan.
- No marketing CRM with the free plan.
What is a CRM?
CRM makes it sound like a sophisticated convoluted tool, but it’s just an abbreviation for customer relationship management. As the name says it, it is a tool used to build a better relationship with your customers before or after the sale.
Before the purchase, you can use a CRM to warm up leads and convert them to sales. After they purchase, you can use it to upsell products (do it sparingly — don’t get greedy) and to offer customer support.
The benefits of using a CRM
There are dozens of benefits of using a CRM, depending on the software you choose. But here are a few top ones.
1. Automate tedious tasks
We’re a creature of habit, but we aren’t all as extreme as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory. Most repetitive tasks will bore us, and we’ll end up napping and drooling at the computer. But a CRM will help us avoid this as you can automate tasks like data entry and lead qualification.
2. Gather information about potential customers
Your CRM will gather and store information about your customers based on their activities and conversation. You can use this information (in a non-stalky and non-creepy way) to create personalized marketing and sales campaigns that convert better. The data will also come in handy while developing products.
3. Segment leads
I am not referring to something gruesome like segmenting a grapefruit. By this, I mean that you can segment leads based on their activities. This helps you pitch them the right offers and increase conversions. It can also lower unsubscription rates.
4. Collaborate as a team
Teams can assign tasks and collaborate productively with a CRM, whether they are working on-site or remotely. Some even work offline.
5. Track the effectiveness of your sales process and measure customer satisfaction
A CRM tracks the activities of both customers and the sales teams. You’ll be able to analyze the effectiveness of your sales and marketing processes. Some even let you gather feedback to check customer satisfaction.
How to evaluate the best CRM software for your business
I know, choosing a CRM isn’t as easy as ordering a couple of tacos off Seamless. It’s probably a lot closer to having to hunt and forage for your own food.
But fear not, to make it easy for you, I’ve prepared a short guide. I’ll quickly explain CRM software and its benefits, and then I’ll detail how to pick the right one.
1. What challenges do you hope to solve with a CRM?
I’d love it if COVID disappears and the pandemic ends tonight. But unfortunately, we don’t live in a magical world where a CRM can do that yet (maybe we’ll have some AI in the future that can do that).
A CRM can tackle realistic challenges such as
- Scaling sales
- Implementing marketing automation to qualify leads and save time
- Offering personable customer support
- Improving productivity
- Boosting collaboration
- Tracking the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts
2. Based on those challenges, what features do you need?
Not all CRMs can help tackle the above-listed challenges. Most are laser-focused on improving your sales processes, while others offer a plethora of features that solve all your business problems.
Take HubSpot, for example. It offers a sales CRM for improving the sales process. But also a separate marketing CRM for developing your website, creating lead generation forms, and using email automation.
Most businesses won’t require HubSpot, as you might already have email automation software such as Mailchimp or ClickFunnels. An alternative, such as Pipedrive, that integrates directly with your email automation software will suit you better.
Make a list of all the challenges you have and the features that will sucker punch them to the grave. Then prepare a shortlist of CRMs with these features.
3. What team will use the CRM?
Consider the team that will use your CRM. If all teams are using the CRM, Salesforce or Freshworks will probably be the best option. While if it is only the sales team, Pipedrive will work better. And if it’s the marketing team, then ActiveCampaign or Monday.com might be best.
4. How big is your company?
Can all your employees fill up a stadium, or is it just you and your dog?
If you need a CRM for hundreds of employees, then a tool like Salesforce or Bitrix24 (if you’re on a budget) will be ideal. While if it’s you alone or a handful of employees, then something like Copper or Flowlu will work best.
While choosing software, also consider your future growth. If you plan to scale your business, your CRM should handle the addition of new employees. It’s better to choose the right one now instead of switching later.
5. What training resources are available?
You also want to look into what training resources are available to help you start.
Does the company give you a demo or an automated tour? Do they have a wiki where you can gather more information?
Or are there hardly any training resources, and it is akin to being lost in a desert without a map?
A good company that wants to keep its customers happy will take great care in onboarding new customers. It’ll offer guides, tours, demos, webinars, and a wiki to help you get started.
If there are hardly any resources, it’s a negative sign, and it’s time for you to get out of there before it steals your youth.
6. What support is available?
Also, check the support to see if a company offers 24/7 support and through what mediums. Is it just email or does it also offer phone and live chat? Be sure to check the details, as some will only offer complete support with paid plans or higher-cost plans, as with Salesforce.
I recommend you sign up for a free trial and test out the customer support response times if possible.
7. What is your budget?
Consider your budget while choosing the CRM. You should be able to afford it now and years from now when you scale your business. If budget isn’t an issue, Monday.com or Salesforce will be good options. Otherwise, you should check out the AppSumo store. We have lifetime deals for some powerful CRM software. You just pay once and use it for life.