Best CRM Software for Startups

In today’s competitive business landscape, startups face numerous challenges when it comes to managing their customer relationships effectively. That’s where CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software comes into play. CRM software helps startups streamline their sales, marketing, and customer service processes, allowing them to build stronger relationships with their customers and ultimately drive growth. However, with so many options available in the market, finding the best CRM software for startups can be a daunting task. In this article, we will explore some of the top CRM software options specifically tailored for startups, highlighting their key features and benefits to help you make an informed decision for your business.

Our research shows that the best CRM for startups is Freshsales Suite, offering low prices and plenty of features in an easy-to-use yet customizable platform that covers both sales and marketing functionality.

As a startup, getting set up with business software is a double-edged sword. Yes, platforms like CRM can streamline operations and organize data, but they still cost money, which can cut into your budget, and your small team of employees might not be entirely up for the task of learning a new software.

That’s why we’ve collected some affordable, intuitive CRM for startups that can get you started at a low cost with a platform that your team will actually use. Plus, you can always check out our CRM comparison page to learn more about your options. Here are our top picks for CRMs for startups:

Top CRM Software for Startups Compared

Now that you’re getting started with CRM, it’s time to learn as much as possible about your options. For more information about the best CRM for startups, click the links below to be taken to full, in-depth reviews of each provider.

  1. Freshsales Suite – Best CRM for startups
  2. Hubspot Free – Best free option for startups
  3. Zoho Bigin – Best value CRM for startups
  4. Zoho CRM – Best CRM for small businesses
  5. – Best for customization

Freshsales Suite – Best CRM for startups

We’ve done the research and found that Freshsales Suite is definitely the best CRM for startups for a number of reasons. For starters, it offers low cost pricing plans, starting at only $15 per user, per month, that can get you started without a big financial commitment. Even better, you get access to that plan completely free, as long as you have three users or fewer, a very attainable limit for the average startup.

On top of that, Freshsales Suite is the easiest CRM to use, offering a simple, intuitive interface that will get even the most novice of users started in just a few minutes. All that, combined with a solid customizability score and plenty of sales and marketing features, like contact management, automated lead scoring, and marketing drip campaigns,

Freshsales Suite contacts

Freshsales Suite pricing

Freshsales offers three different pricing plans: Growth, Pro, and Enterprise. The Growth plan will cost you $15 per user, per month, the Pro plan will cost you $39 per user, per month, and the Enterprise plan will cost you $69 per user, per month.

As we mentioned, Freshsales Suite doesn’t have an actual free plan, but instead, you can use the Growth plan features and functionality at no charge, as long as you have three or fewer users. This is a great way for startups to give the platform a try and get started before branching out to other users.

See Also:  Zendesk vs Freshdesk – Price and Features Comparison 2023

HubSpot Free – Best free CRM for startups

While Freshsales does offer a great free option, HubSpot’s free plan is hard to beat for startups, particularly if they’re in need of marketing features more than sales or customer service. You get an unprecedented number of features for a free plan, including robust contact management options, marketing drip campaigns, website visitor tracking, and customizable analytics.

Perhaps the only downside of HubSpot is that it isn’t nearly as easy to use as Freshsales Suite. Because the platform is built for enterprise-level organizations at the paid level, the interface can be a bit complicated. Still, the free plan is easily the best on this list, beating out other free plans from Zoho CRM, Freshsales Suite, and monday CRM in features and functionality, so if you have no budget for CRM software right now, we can’t recommend any provider on this list more than HubSpot.

HubSpot Free Contacts

HubSpot pricing

As we mentioned, HubSpot offers a robust free plan that can get you started on marketing, sales, and customer service at no cost to your business. It’s the best free plan on this list, and our research found it to be the best CRM for marketing.

If you do want to go with paid plans, you’ll likely have to pay quite a bit. The Starter plans are quite affordable at $9 per user, per month for Sales and Service Hubs, and $18 per month for the Marketing Hub. Beyond that, though, you’ll have to pay either $90 per user, per month or $120 per user, per month, which is likely outside of your budget range as a startup.

Check out our HubSpot pricing guide for more information

Zoho Bigin – Best value CRM for startups

Zoho CRM is an excellent tool for small businesses, but if you don’t need all those bells and whistles and want to save a bit of money, Zoho Bigin is the company’s dedicated smaller business platform that keeps the price down while still providing customizability across all pricing plans.

Admittedly, features are a bit light, particularly advanced options for sales, marketing, and customer service like you’ll find in Zoho CRM. However, you’ll get a lot of contact management features, like list segmentation and automated workflows, and the analytics are quite robust, offering tools like custom dashboards and customer reports. All in all, Zoho Bigin is a great value choice if you can do without all the additional features.

Bigin Contracts

Zoho Bigin pricing

Zoho Bigin offers two different pricing plans: Express and Premier. The Express plan costs only $7 per user, per month — making it the most affordable paid plan on the list — and the Premier plan costs $12 per user, per month, which is still much more affordable than most paid plans available for startups.

Like many CRM on this list, Zoho Bigin does offer a free plan, but it’s quite bare bones, even compared to the already-light paid plans available. Suffice to say, we’d treat the Zoho Bigin paid plan as an extended free trial more than a viable free option for your business.

Check out our Zoho CRM vs Bigin guide for more information

Zoho CRM – Best CRM for small business

If you’re on the verge of graduating from startup to small business, Zoho CRM might be the best fit for you. Our research found Zoho CRM to be the best CRM for small businesses, as it offers robust functionality across marketing, sales, and customer service industries, while offering flexible, low-cost pricing plans that can fit virtually any team’s needs.

See Also:  Best CRM Software for Small Business

The only reason Zoho CRM isn’t higher on this list is because a lot of that functionality is locked in the more expensive paid plans, which obviously isn’t ideal for startups. For example, you don’t get access to any customer service plans until the $23 per user, per month Professional plan, and advanced sales features like creating quotes and invoices aren’t available until then either.

All that to say, Zoho CRM is excellent if you can afford it, but other options on this list are a bit more cost-friendly to startups.

Zoho CRM Social Tabs

Zoho CRM pricing

Zoho CRM offers five different pricing plans: Standard, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Plus. The Standard plan costs $14 per user, per month, the Professional plan costs $23 per user, per month, the Enterprise plan costs $40 per user, per month, the Ultimate plan costs $52 per user, per month, and the Plus plan costs $57 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM also has a free plan, but like Zoho Bigin, it’s a bit too limited to be a viable, long-term solution for your business. We’d recommend simply using it to test out the software before option for a paid plan that fits your needs.

Check out our Zoho CRM pricing guide for more information – Best for customization

It can be hard to find a business software that fits your particular needs as a startup, which is why customizability was considered a valuable feature in our research. That’s why monday CRM made the list, as it offers an unmatched level of customizability, including custom dashboards, objects, and task types across every single paid plan available.

The downside of monday CRM is that it only offers sales features, as its considered a full-on sales CRM. The only marketing feature you’ll get is web forms, and you’ll get access to no customer service features, no matter how much you pay. Still, if sales is all you need and customizability is important to you, monday CRM is the CRM for you.

monday CRM lead capture

monday CRM pricing

Like other options, monday CRM offers three pricing plans: Basic, Standard, and Pro. The Basic plan costs $10 per user, per month, the Standard plan costs $14 per user, per month, and the Pro plan costs $24 per user, per month.

It’s important to note that monday CRM requires a minimum of three users for each plan, so costs will be higher than the per user costs above. For example, the Basic plan is only $10 per user, per month, but you’ll be required to have at least three users, so the minimum cost would be $30 per month.

In addition to that, monday CRM offers a free forever plan, but it’s quite limited, although you still get all the sales features from the paid plans.

Check out our monday CRM review for more information

What Is the Best Free CRM for Startups?

The good news for startups in the market for CRM software is that there is a wide range of providers that offer free forever plans. These options, while quite limited, can get you started at absolutely no charge, so you can continue to keep costs low while building your base. In fact, Zoho CRM, Freshsales Suite, and monday CRM all offer some kind of free plan that offers enough functionality to manage some of your business needs.

However, our research has found that HubSpot offers the best free plan, as it offers by far the most features at no cost. You’ll get sales features like contact management and visual sales pipelines, marketing features like web forms and chatbots, and customer service features like case management and support tickets.

See Also:  Best Examples of Sales Dashboards for CRM

Obviously, the HubSpot free plan lags in some meaningful ways, like poor help and support options and limited customizability, but for a free plan, you could do a lot worse.

Key Considerations when Choosing a CRM for Startups

Now that you know what to expect when it comes to the providers of CRM software for startups, it’s time to narrow down your scope of comparison with an in-depth look at key considerations for choose a particular option. Here are a few metrics to weigh before making your decision:

  • Cost-Effectiveness – As a startup, price is more important than other businesses, which is why understanding how affordable a particular software can be is vital to your decision.
  • Customization – Startups in niche industries may need custom fields and objects for a CRM to be effective, which is why you’ll need to know how flexible the platform is before you buy.
  • Integrations – If your goal is to integrate your CRM with other business software, make sure your desired choice has plenty of third-party integrations to make it happen.
  • Ease of Use – Employees at startups are working hard enough, and adding a hard to use platform will only make it worse, so make sure usability is a top priority when picking a CRM for your team.
Monday CRM Integrations

Available third-party integrations from monday CRM

How We Rate CRM Software

Rating and ranking business software is something of a passion for us here at Duanetoops. We take pride in providing our readers with actionable insights gleaned from in-depth research that analyzes the important criteria for particular software providers. In fact, it’s our job!

For CRM software, we’ve spent a lot of time learning everything we can about the best options, so you can understand which ones a good fit for your business. As for specific criteria, we measure features, pricing, customizability, ease of use, and help and support options, all in service of making the decision easier for you and your team.

To learn more about our methodology, make sure to head on over to our research guide and gain a bit more insight into how we rate and rank these business software providers.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best CRM for startups is Freshsales Suite, as it offers a combination of low prices, excellent usability, and customization, all with plenty of features to manage your business needs for sales and marketing.

Lots of CRM providers offer free plans, but the best we’ve found in our research is HubSpot, offering a surprisingly robust set of features for sales, marketing, and customer service, all at no cost to your business.

The cost of CRM software can range dramatically, but for startups, you can expect to pay between $7 per user, per month and $25 per user, per month.

That’s a wrap on “ Best CRM Software for Startups ” We hope you’ve found a trove of useful insights and fresh perspectives. Your opinions and ideas matter to us—join the conversation below and share your take! Hungry for more tech insights? Dive into our diverse collection of articles where innovation meets practicality. Discover More CRM Softwares.

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