Every day, more and more startups are popping up all over the world. It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur because there is so much opportunity for growth in this industry.
But with so many new companies being created each year, it can be tough to find the best CRM software for startups to suit your needs.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five CRM platforms that we think are perfect for any startup: Hubspot, EngageBay, ActiveCampaign, Pipedrive, and Keap.
In this blog post, we’ll go into detail about what makes these ones stand out from the crowd of CRM software out there.
We’ll talk about the key features these CRM software offer entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. Of course, we’ll also share details of pricing plans too, so you know how much you’ll have to shell out for these CRM tools.
CRM for Startups: The Need
CRM basically means customer relationship management and it often refers to a software solution that can help you win at customer satisfaction.
CRM software are designed to help businesses grow, by providing them with the tools and data they need to better understand who their customers are.
This can help your startup tremendously because it means you’ll be able to know more about your customers and what they want.
This knowledge is great for improving customer service, retention rates, and building a brand image around your startup.
It can help with word-of-mouth, which is super important for young entrepreneurs and companies just starting out.
Overview of the 5 Best CRM for Startups
Finding the best CRM for startups can be a little daunting because there are so many options out there.
We’d say the best CRM for startups in 2021 include Hubspot, EngageBay, and ActiveCampaign.
Hubspot is an all-inclusive solution designed to help entrepreneurs build their business from scratch. It offers a strong suite of sales automation tools, marketing automation software, and integrations with third-party apps like WordPress.
Plus, it has tons of features like chatbot integration for Twitter or Facebook Messenger, and personalized customer experiences through surveys, live chats and web forms.
That said, HubSpot can cost you thousands of dollars a month!
EngageBay starts at just $7.79 per month and offers super valuable features such as conversion tracking analytics (complete sales funnel), email marketing automation, deals pipeline, Live Chat, social media monitoring, and more.
This new but smart software can help your startup or small business grow to new heights in 2021 itself.
ActiveCampaign is one of the most popular email marketing platforms, especially for startups and entrepreneurs. Active Campaign offers a variety of plans at different price points that can work well for companies of any size – from $11 per user per month to over $500 per user per month.
It comes packed with features such as customer interaction (CRM) tools that help your team collaborate more efficiently, goals segmentation and tracking, unlimited CRM data storage capacity, and detailed analytics so you can measure the effectiveness of all your campaigns.
Top 6 Features to Look for in the Best CRM for Startups
Here are the top six features you should look for in a CRM for startups:
- Accessibility – Accessible CRM software make it easy to update your records anywhere, anytime. You should be able to get into the system from a laptop, desktop, or mobile device with ease.
- Intuitive Interface – It’s about more than just aesthetics when it comes to an intuitive interface. A good CRM for startups should have features that are designed in such a way that they’re easy for you and your team members to understand without any training.
- Data Storage Capacity – CRM tools must be flexible with the storage they allow, and have enough room for your startup to grow its database over time.
- Customization – As your startup grows and you have thousands of customers, your team will struggle with personalized marketing or sales pitches. Look for a CRM software that’s big on customization.
- Mobile-Friendly – Your team should be able to work remotely, so it’s important for your CRM system to be mobile-friendly.
- Lead Scoring – The better you know your leads before they become customers, the more opportunities to upsell and increase customer lifetime value. Look for a CRM software that comes with lead scoring at no or little cost.
Five of the Best CRM For Startups In 2021
We’ve listed here the top CRM software for startups, and that’s considering the kind of features and pricing any startup would need from a CRM solution.
There are many more CRM options out there, but not many offer the value for money and flexibility in CRM tools that these five do.
Please note that the list has no order or ranking.
The software comes with all the features your startup would need to grow in business.
We’re talking automation tools for marketing and sales, easy-to-use drag-and-drop builder for email templates and landing pages, a visual deals and sales pipeline for revenue tracking and predictions, and integrated Live Chat.
EngageBay can help you grow your revenues by up to five times by marketing the right product to the right customer at the right time.
More than 30,000 companies around the world trust our product, and we just got started!
Among the top CRM features of EngageBay are analytics for sales data and customer data, and dozens of nodes for marketing automation. Analytics help entrepreneurs understand their sales funnel performance, customer engagement levels, etc., allowing them to make more informed business decisions.
Marketing automation helps automate lead nurturing and allows the company to follow up with leads through email or text messages using triggers, like when a potential customer views certain products or completes an action on your website. In the advanced packages, you can even set your own custom nodes for marketing automation.
EngageBay CRM Features
- The Marketing and Sales Bays offer a wide range of powerful features that can help you automate your marketing campaigns, and streamline customer engagement, and even automate your lead management.
- You can set up drip campaigns to send relevant emails to a segmented contacts base.
- EngageBay offers predictive lead scoring so you can engage with marketing-qualified leads easily.
- There’s Live Chat to interact in real-time with your web visitors.
- You can A/B test each key element of your emails, web forms, and landing pages.
- EngageBay’s marketing automation tools are affordable, scalable, and super easy for beginners to use!
For entrepreneurs completely new to CRM or marketing automation, EngageBay can help with end-to-end customer lifecycle management — that means everything from the first step in generating leads to the post-sales emails and SMS you’d send to your customers.
EngageBay is used by solopreneurs, agencies, and small business owners looking to manage their customer relationships better. This includes using plenty of tools like popup forms to generate leads, sending out automated follow-up emails or drip emails and SMS to keep customers engaged, and managing all social engagement with customers from one integrated dashboard.
EngageBay offers a free CRM platform that has the highest number of free CRM features, period! You can make the most of EngageBay’s free-forever plan, and upgrading to paid plans can be as affordable as $8 a month!
HubSpot is the inspiration for many of the CRM software that are popular today. It is among the oldest and most trusted tools, with several global corporate giants using HubSpot to automate their marketing and customer service tasks.
HubSpot offers a plethora of features, including marketing automation, sales workflow automation, and CRM analytics.
This CRM software is easy to integrate with other marketing and customer service tools, so you can share data between apps (Google Sheets, Slack) and boost your company’s growing operations.
Essentially, this marketing automation software helps you find the right audience. It can help you convert more visitors into customers and run complete inbound marketing campaigns from one platform.
HubSpot CRM is free, so you can get started without much cost. However, when you scale, say, for 10,000 contacts, it’ll cost a bomb (at least $3,200 a month).
For no or little cost, HubSpot can help you keep track of what works and doesn’t work for your business. However, HubSpot’s basic package lacks some key CRM features that are necessary for managing a full-fledged business – reporting dashboards with charts to track data in real-time, or AI capabilities to make sense of large amounts of customer data.
HubSpot CRM Features
- Lead management tools
- Lead scoring system
- Email campaigns & automation
- Social media integration
- Sales pipeline management
- Contact relationship management
- Collaboration tools for teams
- Reporting & Analytics dashboards
For the automation features, HubSpot plans start at $800/month.
You can upgrade to Enterprise plans and access advanced features such as lead scoring, marketing analysis, revenue management, customer journey analytics, and more.
ActiveCampaign is one of the best all-in-one marketing solutions around today because it’s affordable and powerful.
There’s plenty of marketing features for startups, like drip email campaigns, webinars and web forms, and easy integrations across popular business platforms such as Mailgun, Zapier, LinkedIn, and Gmail.
ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial. Plans start at just $15/month but can go all the way up to $499/month for 10,000 contacts.
This CRM platform offers marketing analytics, automation of your marketing workflows, project management tools, and marketing analytics reports, among many other features.
ActiveCampaign’s dashboard is easy to navigate through and they have an excellent tutorial of what each feature does when you log in for the first time.
ActiveCampaign CRM Features
- Unlimited emails
- Marketing automation
- Automation of workflows
- WordPress integration
- Customer data with customer behavior tracking
- Contacts segmentation with AI
- Marketing campaign manager
- Integrations with 850 apps
- Social media management
- Support for marketing KPIs
ActiveCampaign is certainly among the best CRM software for startups, with a whole lot to offer in marketing and sales automation, but it can also get pricey as you scale.
Pipedrive is a CRM software for startups that offers incredible customer service features like contact records, task management, notes, and support tickets.
It integrates seamlessly with other marketing automation tools to keep your workflow streamlined. The CRM has an easy-to-use interface and a free 14-day trial.
Pipedrive is super flexible and is a great option for startups that need many marketing automation capabilities in one place.
You can make multiple sales pipelines with customizable, unique stages relevant to a specific product or service. This can help with accurate sales forecasting.
Essentially, Pipedrive lets you stay on top of things without needing an army of highly skilled workers.
You can customize data fields and workflows for your distinct business processes as they evolve over time. This CRM system has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, which means you’ll have access to all its features from anywhere.
This marketing automation system also features lead scoring, which takes into account the key information from social media profiles of customers when assigning points. This can help a lot in qualifying new leads.
Pipedrive is a CRM that’s specifically designed for the needs of startups and small businesses. It offers a minimalistic design, which makes it easier to use on mobile devices as well.
Pipedrive CRM Features
- Marketing and sales automation
- Lead management
- Reporting and analytics
- Integrated CRM for easy contact management across the entire customer journey
- Pipeline deals tracking with a clear workflow of stages from Lead to Closed (Won or Lost)
- Email marketing campaigns with click to call, direct mail tools
- Blog and website integration
- Social media marketing analytics
- Customizable sales pipeline reports with automated alerts
The best thing about this software is its affordability: you only pay per user as opposed to paying upfront for the entire team.
Pricing starts at $12.50/month when billed annually.
Keap is an excellent option for young entrepreneurs looking to spend their time running their business instead of managing customer data in a comprehensive but complex CRM system such as Salesforce or HubSpot.
If you want a simple solution to scale business operations with a CRM that offers a drag-and-drop interface and marketing automation, this can be a top choice.
You can trigger your email marketing campaigns based on customer behavior. You can set up any number of marketing campaigns for new and old customers, with tailored email marketing messages.
Keap allows you to import your contact lists from spreadsheets, business card scans, other CRMs or custom forms on your webpage.
It’s very easy then to build a centralized contact record that will soon reflect all the customers in your company.
Keap has an excellent customer support team, available 24/7.
Keap CRM Features
- Marketing and sales automation suite that is intuitive and easy to use
- Contact management system with powerful segmentation, tags, filters & custom views
- Lead generation tools including lead scoring, contact forms, and intelligent search
- Engagement tools to nurture leads through the sales funnel, including automated drip emails
- Customer data management with email integration and customizable notes
- Reporting tools including email reports with clickable links so you can see exactly who engages with your marketing messages
- API for developers to build integrations with other software products, like Slack
The pricing starts at $56/month, but increases after the first five months. For 10,000 contacts, the Lite plan costs $196/month.
Also, onboarding requires a paid coaching for an additional $499.
Why You Should Invest in the Best CRM for Startups
We hope that in this blog post, we have shared a bunch of really good options for you to choose your pick.
If you are an entrepreneur or a new business owner, you need to invest in the best CRM for startups. It will help you organize and grow your startup at a fast clip.
CRM implementation can also streamline your business operations and make remote or distributed work much more efficient.
Without a CRM tool, your sales and marketing teams will have a hard time meeting their targets.
CRM software saves your marketing team tons of hours every day by automating marketing tasks like lead generation, email marketing campaigns, social media marketing (integrating with Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and more.
Investing in a good CRM tool makes a lot of sense when you understand all the benefits your startup will get.
No CRM tool can do all the work for you, but any powerful CRM will help your startup boost its productivity and scale business operations.
Conclusion: Try HubSpot or EngageBay for Your Startup
CRM software can be great to help your startup keep track of all the details that come with customer relationship management.
To figure out if any CRM software has what it takes to benefit your team in their day-to-day work, consider these quick questions:
- Are you unhappy with your current methods of keeping customer and business information organized?
- Can your communication with customers improve in streamlining and speed?
- Does it seem like your work processes are not working smoothly and efficiently?
If your answer to these three questions is yes, a unified CRM software is just what you need!
When deciding what CRM software will work best for your startup, keep these six points in mind:
- The CRM tool should integrate all areas of marketing — social media marketing, lead generation campaigns, email marketing, etc.
- The CRM software should come with no hidden costs.
- It should be easy to use – must have an intuitive interface.
- There should be a free plan or trial for all features.
- You should get 24/7 support.
- The CRM should integrate well with other business tools.
What we’ve explored here are all great choices, but we think that HubSpot and EngageBay are the clear winners.
In terms of features, it’s hard to pick one over another; both fit the needs of a startup, but HubSpot can get super expensive for small businesses with not much of a marketing budget.
EngageBay offers one of the most affordable CRM systems for startups on the market today.
This can be your all-in-one CRM solution, with a lifetime free plan and unlimited scope to scale.