Customers are the most important to the success of any business. A company with a growing base of satisfied customers is a company that’s going to achieve massive success.
That's especially true in the case of startups. Building strong relationships with customers should be, and often is, a priority for startups and small businesses. This can take significant time and effort if not managed efficiently. Thankfully, we now have the technology that makes this much more comfortable than ever before.
Customer Relationship Management software can help businesses organize essential data from different sources into one convenient location. It allows companies to track and analyze all interactions with customers and potential customers to increase customer engagement and satisfaction, which means more deals can be closed at a faster rate.
An integrated CRM solution can generate excellent ROI that starts from $2.50 for every dollar invested in the solution. They can increase sales by 29%, forecast accuracy of 44%, and salesforce productivity by 32% – according to a study conducted by Salesforce, a leading CRM solutions provider.
What Makes a Great CRM Software for Startups?
In this article, we are going to check out some of the best CRM solutions suitable for Startups. But first, how did we narrow our choices to those recommendations?
In other words: What makes a CRM software suitable for Startups?
Okay, five things should be considered when choosing a CRM software for a startup:
Of course! Most startups can’t afford to spend much on their CRM solutions or their IT infrastructure in general, which is why the cost is a critical factor.
Startups are created by passionate engineers, visionaries, and businesspeople who don’t necessarily have the experience needed to get the best out of complicated solutions. They don’t also have the luxury of time to spend on training and learning the ins and outs of the new software. So it must be essential that whatever software you use, you can learn quickly.
It needs to be stable and consistent. Startups can’t afford to deal with issues with their IT infrastructure while so much else is going on elsewhere.
The solution must be able to provide actionable insights. Meaning, you get an actual useful analysis that deepens your understanding of your customers and potential customers, which then you could use this analysis to grow your customer base and become more successful, naturally.
The solution must, of course, have all the essential features you need. It is also excellent for the software to be customizable and scalable, so it can grow as your business grows and you won’t have to deal with the annoyance of having to switch solutions – which could be a real pain.
Let’s check the most suitable CRM software for startups:
- HubSpot CRM
- Salesforce CRM
- Zoho CRM
HubSpot is, without a doubt, a leading force in the CRM field right now, and it seems like it’s here to stay. HubSpot CRM is a platform that enables sales teams to get started quickly without having to make changes to their already-existing workflow.
With HubSpot, you can create company and contact profiles, and the solution will organize every single detail from the customers’ communication with you neatly. It will effectively assign and track all your deals and control the performance of your agents. The single, detailed dashboard will allow all your employees to track the company’s activities.
HubSpot is very easy to use thanks to its intuitive interface, and it offers a large number of features – even with their free plan – which makes it an excellent option for startups and small businesses. HubSpot also provides powerful automation capabilities to help you close deals faster and cut the time you’d have otherwise spent on tedious tasks such as documentation.
HubSpot is a certified Google Partner, too, and offers a wide variety of integrations with a large number of applications and services, including Google Chrome, Google Dynamics, SugarCRM, Pipedrive CRM, Base CRM, and many others.
The free plan includes all the essential features. Upgrading to the paid plans will get you some advanced features such as Blog & Content Creation tool, smart content, and the ability to remove HubSpot Branding. Customer Support is available via phone.
- Drag and Drop Communicator
- Website Integration
- Email Connections
- Social Media Integration
- Website Visitors
- CRM Details
- Deal and Task Board
- HubSpot Marketing Synchronization
- Company Database
Salesforce CRM is a top-rated CRM solution thanks to its extensive set of features and integration with other Salesforce products. This solution will track all customer interaction and store them, along with customer data, in one location where they can be easily managed.
Activity History, discussions, communications, and social mentions call be tracked and viewed thanks to Salesforce CRM’s contact management. Also following deals and researching competitive information is quickly done with the Sales Collaboration module.
Salesforce can increase the productivity of your sales team with its features, which are available to your team whether they are in the office or not thanks to the Android and iOS mobile applications that allow access to real-time data from the dashboards and custom reports. The apps also include a Feed First feature that gives users all the critical information in a quick glance, so they can always be up to date with the latest changes.
The adaptive weekly forecasts, reports, and analysis mean that you can always get actionable insights to take your business a step further and increase sales.
- Contact Management
- Lead Generation
- Email integration
- Marketing and Sales Leads
- Workflow Automation
- Social Accounts and Contacts
- Real-Time data
- Opportunities and Quotes
- iOS and Android Applications with real-time visibility and Fee First
Zoho CRM is an excellent web-based CRM solution that can help you attract, retain, and satisfy your customers so you can grow your business. The core of the solution’s functionality lies in its lead and contact management, and its sales pipeline management. These features and more like them, combined with the intuitive interface can help your business reach new levels of productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
Zoho CRM will automate daily sales tasks, import leads, and prospects from external sources, and convert website visitors into leads. It will them match those leads with the sales agents most appropriate for the task, to help your business close more deals in less time and with less effort.
You will be able to track your customer as he goes through the sales cycle, and the solution will store all this data regarding the customer’s information, communication history with the company, and more, in one single location that’s easily accessible.
You will also be able to stay in total control while out of office thanks to the dedicated iOS and Android Mobile Applications that allow you to keep things going smoothly regardless of where you are. Zoho CRM also integrates with a large number of applications and services, including Google Apps such as Gmail, Contacts, Tasks, and more. Of course, it also integrates natively with other Zoho products.
Zoho’s free edition is available for up to 3 users, and it gives you all the essential features and functionalities. If you are already familiar with other Zoho products or you are currently using them, we highly recommend giving it a go.
- Salesforce Automation
- Lead Generation
- Lead Management
- Account Management
- Pipeline Analysis
- Workflow Automation
- Sales Forecasting
- Website integration with Forms
- Document Library
- CRM Workflow Management
- Social CRM
- Sales Tracking
- Mobile CRM
SugarCRM is a popular CRM solution used by over 5,000 businesses to handle their sales needs. The app has been downloaded over 7 million times and is available in 9 languages.
SugarCRM’s rise to popularity came as a result of its high customizability, as the solution can be transformed to fit right into the structure and workflow of any organization.
Other than the usual features you can expect from a CRM solution, SugarCRM tries to differentiate itself by offering eight personas in its system that start with the main administrator and goes all the way down to support representatives. All these personas work in the same single platform, where they can communicate, collaborate, have discussions, and pull data from the centralized repository where customer behavior and communications are stored.
With the Campaign Wizard, you will be able to create, execute, and track your marketing campaigns on several different channels. You will be able to capture leads in the system using the same tool and distribute your personalized engagement programs such as Web-to-load forms.
With that being Said, it should be noted that SugarCRM doesn’t offer a free plan. They do offer a free trial on their plans, but it’s not the same thing. Their paid plans are not cheap either, and they start at $40 per month.
So, why have we included it on the list? Other than the excellent range of functionalities and features SugarCRM offers, there is also the dev resources and the outstanding customer service. So, startups who are seriously considering this solution should know what they are buying and how they are going to make the best of it.
- Sales Automation
- Sales Forecasting
- Support Automation
- Sugar Exchange
- Cloud or on-premise deployment
- Unlimited Studio Customization
- Advanced Workflow
- Marketing Lead Management
- Product Level Quotes
- Unlimited Online Support
- Role-based reviews
- Opportunity Tracking
- Call Center Automation
- SugarCRM Mobile
- Revenue Line Item Level
Nimble is a popular CRM solution that provides businesses with simple relationship management to satisfy their current customers and build a larger customer base. The solution offers a smart way to monitor, engage, and nurture your contacts, and can bring together all your contacts, communications, collaborations, and calendar in a simple and easy-to-use platform.
This platform will also have all the information from the most popular social media channels (including Facebook and Twitter) and will automatically link the data to your contacts. Nimble does that, and more, to help you boost your social media relationships b providing you with more profound insights about your business contacts.
Similar to SugarCRM, Nimble doesn’t offer a free plan, but its paid plans start at $9/user/month if billed annually and give you all the essential features you might need.
- Contact Management
- Contact Record in Rich Details
- Contact Import
- Social Listening and Engagement
- Social Media Search
- Event Scheduling
- +100 Nimble Integrated Worktools
- A Unified Inbox (With all Social Communications in one place)
- Sales Pipeline Tracking
- Sales Pipeline Reporting
- Task Assignment
Pipedrive is a leading CRM and sales management system that helps small and midsize businesses with the robust feature suite it offers. The solution can organize your business leads to give you an overview of your sales without skimping on the details, and by doing so, it allows you to pay more attention to the most significant deals.
Pipedrive is user-friendly and easy to use, and it's also mobile optimized so you can stay on top of things even while out of office. Pipedrive smoothly integrates with third-party apps and services including Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and others.
Pipedrive is a solution that can manage your company’s sales pipeline with high efficiency. The software can help you prioritize your deals and leads, and develop a personalized approach for each of them. It’s also customizable, so you can easily integrate it into your already-existing workflow.
Pipedrive doesn’t offer a free plan, but you can get two free months on any plan if you decided to pay annually, and their plans start at $12 per user per month, and this goes up to $15/user/month if you paid monthly.
- Great Sales pipeline overview and management
- Contact Management
- Contact History
- Goal Settings & Reporting
- Email Integration
- Roles & Organizational Hierarchy
- Mobile Applications
- Powerful API
- Multi-Languages Support
- Timeline Review
- Email Tracking
- Google Maps integrations
- Multi-currency Support
- Data Import & Export
- Google Apps Integration
Insightly is one of the most popular CRM solutions among small businesses all over the world, with over 500,000 users. The software is cloud-based and offers excellent features for its price.
Insightly offers all the CRM features you expect, including Contact Management, Pipeline Management, and Task Management. The solution can track deliverables, gives you an overview of your business and clear sales visibility, and improve collaboration and customer communication.
Insightly has mobile applications for Android, iOS, and Kindle, and integrates smoothly with third-party applications, including Google and Microsoft Applications such as Gmail, Evernote, Office, Outlook, and MailChimp.
Insightly’s ease of use and its free plan have been the main reasons behind its rise to popularity among small businesses, and the free plan includes up to 2 users, 2,500 record Limit, 10 Mass Emails per day, and offers all the essential features and functionalities a small business might need.
- Contact Management
- Automatic Backups
- Unlimited Customer Support
- Fast Search
- File Sharing
- User Permissions
- Mass Emails
- Set up teams
- Integrations and Insightly API
- Application programming interface
- Training Material
- Automatic Email Reminders
One thing that I should mention before you go is that there’s a big difference between CRM and Marketing Automation, and yet many of us don’t seem to be fully knowledgeable about that. If you think you may not know what are the differences or want to brush up on what you already know, we recommend taking a moment to check The Difference Between CRM and Marketing Automation here.
If none of the options discussed here seems to be the best fit for you, don’t worry, we still got your back. Why not take a couple of minutes to check out these top CRM Software for Small Businesses. You can also learn How to Save Time and Money Using Marketing Automation here.
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