12 Best CRM for Startups & Small Businesses

Customers are the most important to the success of any startup 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 solid customer relationships should be a priority for startups and small businesses. However, this can take significant time and effort if not managed efficiently. Thankfully, we now have the technology that makes this much more comfortable.

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 faster.

An integrated CRM software can generate excellent ROI that starts from $2.50 for every dollar invested in the solution. In addition, they can increase sales by 29%, forecast accuracy by 44%, and salesforce productivity by 32% – according to a study conducted by Salesforce, a leading CRM solutions provider.

What Makes a Great CRM Software? 

This article will check out some of the top CRM for startups and small businesses. But first, how did we narrow our choices to those recommendations?

In other words: What makes CRM software suitable for Startups or small businesses?

Okay, five things should be considered when choosing CRM software:

1- Cost 

Of course! Most startups can’t afford to spend much on their customer relationship management solutions or IT infrastructure, which is why the cost is critical.

2- Simplicity 

Startups are created by passionate engineers, visionaries, and businesspeople who don’t necessarily have the experience to get the best out of complicated solutions. They don’t also have the luxury of time to spend 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.

3- Stability 

It needs to be stable and consistent. Startups can’t afford to deal with issues with their IT infrastructure while so much else is happening elsewhere.

4- Insights 

The CRM solution must be able to provide actionable insights. This means you get an actual functional analysis that deepens your understanding of your customers and potential customers. You could then use this analysis to grow your customer base and become more successful, naturally.

5- Key Features 

The solution must, of course, have all the essential vital features you need. However, 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 switching solutions – which could be a real pain.

With that in mind, let’s dive into our list of the best CRM for startups.

Best CRM Software for Startups & Small Businesses:

  • Freshsales
  • HubSpot CRM 
  • Salesforce CRM 
  • Zoho CRM 
  • SugarCRM 
  • Nimble 
  • Pipedrive 
  • Insightly 
  • Bitrix24
  • Apptivo
  • Agile CRM
  • BIGContacts



According to finances online, Freshsales has become one of the most widely-used CRM systems. It is mainly focused on boosting sales and enhancing the sales dept. Using AI-based technology, they have a built-in phone and email tracker for customers. Other features include a leads filter, sales management, workflow management, and third-party integration.

Freshsales offers easy navigation and many advanced features, specifically for tracking leads through communication channels, and the best part, it’s free! Their free plan is suitable for small businesses, offering unlimited users and adding unlimited contacts. So enjoy their free trial now and get all the advantages of a CRM solution.


  • Custom Sales Activities
  • Contact Lifecycle Stages
  • Custom Fields
  • Multi-currency and Multi-language
  • Custom Modules
  • Custom Roles
  • Web Forms
  • Territory Management
  • Email Templates
  • Chat Campaigns
  • Workflows

HubSpot CRM


HubSpot is undoubtedly one of the best CRM for startups, and it seems like it’s here to stay. HubSpot CRM is a platform that enables sales teams to get started quickly without changing their already-existing workflow.

CRM software enables you to create company and contact profiles, and the solution will organize every detail of the customers’ communication with you neatly. It will effectively assign and track all your deals and control the performance of your agents. In addition, the single, detailed dashboard will allow all your employees to follow the company’s activities.

Thanks to its intuitive interface, it is straightforward to use and offers many features – even with its free plan – making 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 various integrations with many applications and services, including Google Chrome, Google Dynamics, SugarCRM, Pipedrive CRM, Base CRM, Microsoft Office Excel, and many others.

The free CRM plan includes all the essential features. However, upgrading to the paid plans will get you some advanced features such as Blog & Content Creation tool, innovative content, and the ability to remove HubSpot Branding. In addition, customer support is available via phone.


  • Drag and Drop Communicator
  • Deal Management
  • Profiles
  • Website Integration
  • Email Connections
  • Templates
  • Tracking
  • Scheduling
  • Social Media Integration
  • Website Visitors
  • CRM Details
  • Deal and Task Board
  • Marketing Automation
  • HubSpot Marketing Synchronization
  • Customizable
  • Company Database

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce CRM

Salesforce CRM is a top-rated CRM software thanks to its extensive features and integration with other Salesforce products. This solution will track all customer interactions and store them and customer data in one location to 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.

Salesforce can increase the productivity of your sales team with its features, which are available to your team, whether 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 glance to 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 further your business and increase sales.

SEE ALSO: Salesforce Editions You Can Choose From


  • Lead Generation
  • Email integration
  • Marketing and Sales Leads
  • Dashboards
  • Workflow Automation
  • Approvals
  • Social Accounts and Contacts
  • Real-Time Data
  • Opportunities and Quotes
  • Forecasting
  • Chatter
  • iOS and Android Applications with real-time visibility and Fee First

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is an excellent web-based sales CRM software that can help you attract, retain, and satisfy your customers to grow your business. The core of the solution’s functionality lies in its lead and contact management and sales pipeline management. These features and more like them, combined with the intuitive interface, can help your business reach new productivity, efficiency, and profitability levels.

Zoho CRM will automate daily sales tasks, import leads and prospects from external sources, and convert website visitors into leads. Then, it will 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 track your customer as he goes through the sales cycle. Zoho CRM will store all this data regarding the customer’s information, communication history with the company, and more in one easily accessible location.

You will also be able to stay in total control while out of the 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 integrates with many 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, giving you all the essential features and functionalities. If you are already familiar with other Zoho products or are currently using them, we highly recommend giving them a go.


  • Salesforce Automation
  • Lead Generation
  • Lead Management
  • Account Management
  • Customer Management
  • Pipeline Analysis
  • Workflow Automation
  • Sales Forecasting
  • MailMagnet
  • Follow-up
  • Website integration with Forms
  • Document Library
  • CRM Workflow Management
  • Social CRM
  • Sales Tracking
  • Mobile CRM
  • Integrations


Sugar CRM

SugarCRM is a popular CRM for startups 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 due to its high customizability, as you can transform the solution to fit right into the structure and workflow of any organization.

Besides the usual features you can expect from CRM software, SugarCRM tries to differentiate itself by offering eight personas in its system that start with the main administrator and go down to support representatives. These personas work in the same 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 can create, execute, and track your marketing campaigns on several different channels. In addition, you can 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, you should note that SugarCRM doesn’t offer a free plan. They offer a free trial on their plans, but it’s not the same. Their paid plans are not cheap either, and they start at $40 per month.

So, why have we included it on the list? Besides the excellent range of functionalities and features SugarCRM offers, the dev resources and outstanding customer service are also available. So, startups considering this solution should know what they are buying and how to make their best.


  • Sales Automation
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Support Automation
  • Sugar Exchange
  • Cloud or on-premise deployment
  • Unlimited Studio Customization
  • Advanced Workflow
  • Reporting
  • Dashboard
  • Marketing Lead Management
  • Product Level Quotes
  • Integrations
  • Unlimited Online Support
  • Role-based reviews
  • Opportunity Tracking
  • Call Center Automation
  • SugarCRM Mobile
  • Revenue Line Item Level


Nimble CRM

Nimble is a popular CRM solution that provides businesses with simple relationship management to satisfy their current customers and build a more extensive customer base. The solution offers a smart way to monitor, engage, and nurture your contacts and 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 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.

Like 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
  • Record Contacts in Rich Details
  • Import Contacts
  • Social Listening and Engagement
  • Collaboration
  • Social Media Search
  • Event Scheduling
  • +100 Nimble Integrated Worktools
  • Reminders
  • A Unified Inbox (With all Social Communications in one place)
  • Sales Pipeline Tracking
  • Task Assignment
  • Integrations



Pipedrive is a leading CRM and sales automation system that helps small and mid-size businesses with its robust feature suite. The solution can organize your business leads to give you an overview of your sales without skimping on the details, allowing you to pay more attention to the most important deals.

Pipedrive is user-friendly, easy to use, and mobile-optimized so you can stay on top of things even while out of the office. In addition, Pipedrive smoothly integrates with third-party apps and services, including Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and others.

Pipedrive is a solution that can efficiently manage your company’s sales pipeline. The software can help you prioritize your deals and leads and develop a personalized approach for each. 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 decide to pay annually, and their plans start at $12 per user per month, which goes up to $15/user/month if you paid monthly.


  • Excellent Sales pipeline overview and management
  • Contact Management
  • Contact History
  • Goal Settings & Reporting
  • Email Integration
  • Email Marketing Tools
  • Roles & Organizational Hierarchy
  • Customizable
  • Mobile Applications
  • Powerful API
  • Multi-Languages Support
  • Timeline Review
  • Email Tracking
  • Google Maps integrations
  • Multi-currency Support
  • Data Import & Export
  • Google Apps Integration
  • Opportunity Management


Insightly CRM software

Insightly is one of the most popular CRM software among small businesses worldwide, with over 500,000 users. The software is cloud-based and offers excellent features for its price.

Insightly offers all the CRM features, including Contact Management, Pipeline Management, and Task Management. In addition, the solution can track deliverables, gives you an overview of your business and clear sales visibility, and improve collaboration and customer communication.

Insightly has Android, iOS, and Kindle mobile applications 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 popularity among small businesses. The free plan includes up to 2 users, 2,500 record limits, and 10 Mass Emails per day and offers all the essential features and functionalities a small business might need.


  • Automatic Backups
  • Tasks
  • Milestones
  • Unlimited Customer Support
  • Fast Search
  • File Sharing
  • User Permissions
  • Mass Emails
  • Dashboard
  • Set up teams
  • Integrations and Insightly API
  • Linking
  • Application programming interface
  • Training Material
  • Automatic Email Reminders



Bitrix24 is one of the best project management tools that offer project management, time management, document management, and tasking in a single solution. Furthermore, these tools and more are provided in a social-style environment that includes valuable features such as instant messaging, content sharing, liking, commenting, and more.

Bitrix24 was designed to help businesses by making communications simpler than before, and they are done with the help of both social features (as mentioned above). For example, automated processes such as notifications assisted reporting and subscriptions to groups or discussions. In addition, Bitrix24 offers practical solutions to help users manage their business online – flexible tools for each operation, such as reports, tasks, sales processing, and more.

A 30-day free trial is available, and a free plan for starter business tools. The upgrade fee for unlimited users and 50GB of storage is $99/month.


  • Free for up to 12 users
  • Task management
  • Virtual telephone calling is available
  • Time planning features such as calendars, event schedules, and meeting manager
  • Store, search, discuss and share files and documents
  • Coordinate tasks, projects, and schedules
  • Employee workload management



This cloud-based solution is well known for its affordability, great plan at only $8 per user/ month, and seamless integration with over 40 apps! Almost everything in Apptivo can be customized to your business, satisfying all user needs. In addition, it upgraded its features to involve workflow management, multiple sales tools, and even email marketing.

Apptivo set a goal to centralize all businesses around their app, and it’s working! In addition, they’re enhancing their customized options, allowing you to exchange info between different apps. This software is also scalable, and it starts with a free plan for three users and 500MB storage and reaches an enterprise package option.


  • Contact management
  • CRM
  • Campaign management
  • Customizable Reports
  • Email marketing
  • Project management
  • Lead management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Opportunity management
  • Invoicing
  • Sales Forecasting
  • Sales Reports
  • Supply chains and shipments
  • Workflow Management

Agile CRM

Agile CRM

Agile CRM combines both, a great set of features at an affordable price. It also has a free plan with up to 10 users, more than many CRM software, with 1GB per user and up to 25,000 contacts. So the free package is a great option to start with. It includes contact management, marketing automation tools, tracking of sales and deals, project management, and much more. 

Agile CRM is the best CRM for startups, freelancers, small businesses, mid-size businesses, and large enterprises. It supports web, Android, and iOS devices. Pricing plans start at $14.99/month ($.99/month paid annually or $8.99/month paid each 2 years).

This system also has many advanced features like mobile marketing, third-party integration, and more. With all these capabilities, it’s no wonder Agile is in our top picks!


  • Customer data management
  • Calendar management
  • Social media integration
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Email marketing



BIGContacts by ProProfs is the perfect CRM software for real estate agents who value simplicity. 

This CRM software is straightforward to use and can keep track of all your meetings, events, and pending activities. By automating many of your repetitive tasks, BIGContacts can free up more time for selling.

To increase sales, you can keep all the contact information organized and access it appropriately. Every customer interaction can become more personalized with the implementation of BIGContacts. It also allows you to access the social media profiles of your contacts to understand their likes and preferences. The cherry on top is its marketing integration, allowing you to reach new prospects and sell more properties. Several real estate agents trust BIGContacts for generating leads, managing listings, and making more sales. 


  • Contact management
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Marketing automation
  • Custom data fields
  • Email templates 
  • Automated reminders 
  • Customer segmentation
  • Lead nurturing 
  • Remote access
  • Tracking calendar, tasks, and communication  


  • BIG– $5/user/month (billed annually)
  • BIGGER– $15/user/month (billed annually)
  • BIGGEST– $25/user/month (billed annually)

Benefits of a CRM Solution for your business:

  • Manage all “people” interactions, not just customers. Even though CRM software enhances your customer relations, it can also improve all your business interactions. So whether it’s with other businesses, investors, or suppliers, you can store all the handy information and updates.
  • Complete tracking of all customer interactions. Every meeting, phone call, email sent, or presentation done is tracked.
  • Increases sales and provides sales forecasting. CRM systems target increasing sales because they quickly point out the strong customers for more interaction and better relations. And at the same time, nail the weak customers that can use work and improve. It also gives you sales forecasting, better-predicting openings for sales.
  • It is also integrated into Customer Service, Marketing, and Accounting. CRM Software gives overall productivity a boost in your business. Quick access to valuable customer info means issues can be handled faster and avoid repeating tasks, improving customer service. It can also help in marketing because you’d have insight into customer preferences and integrate that into your marketing strategy. As for Accounting, keeping track of all legal documents and contracts improves the dept. Workflow and will keep them up-to-date when following up with customers.
  • Strengthens Data Security. By centralizing all critical data into one CRM system, you’ll no longer have essential contracts on separate computers or sales notes in messy notebooks. In addition, you can control access to data by securing it to only specific employees on CRM software.

Final words

Looking for the price tag is essential when deciding on the perfect startup CRM software. Next, you should recognize two or three options that best fit the bill for what you need to advance in business processes. Next, you should give these CRM systems a test drive by using a free version or signing up for a trial. Finally, scale how each software fits within your sales process, and then make a decision.

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