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6 best CRM tools for startups in 2023

Customers are the lifeblood of your startup—without them, there’s no business. Every company (startups included) needs a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to manage clients, store contacts, and streamline processes.

With the CRM software industry growing rapidly, there are more options than ever to choose from. However, not every CRM solution is going to be the right fit for your startup, and some might even be a detriment to your budget, workflows, and scalability.

Migrating to another CRM down the road can be a major headache. We want to help you avoid that problem by setting you up with aCRM solution that you can trust to grow with your startup. Below, we’ve highlighted the best CRM tools for startups in 2023 and what makes them unique. Browse through the list to find the right fit for your business.

What to look for in a CRM tool

Before we get into the list of startup CRM tools, here’s the key criteria you need to look for. It’s easy to get lost chasing certain features, but this list will narrow down your options and keep your search more focused:

  • Price: Some CRM solutions can break the bank. Decide on your budget from the get-go, before you start deep diving into options.
  • Features: Choose which features are nice-to-have and need-to-have. Focus on the latter.
  • Automation: Find a CRM tool that automates the minutiae and allows you and your team to focus on what really matters.
  • Scalability: Invest in a CRM tool that scales with your startup.
  • Integrations: Find a CRM tool that integrates with the other technologies and applications you use (or plan to use).

6 best CRM tools for startups

1. HubSpot

Hubspot CRM provides dozens of tools for managing marketing, sales, customer service, and operations. You can even use it to manage and publish your social media content or blog posts, send email campaigns, or live chat with customers. As a CRM, it empowers you with lead tracking, workflow automation, analytics, and team collaboration tools—all bundled under an easy-to-use interface.

Hubspot for Startups offers a significant discount to qualifying startups. Depending on your situation, you could earn anywhere from 30% to 90% off your first year using Hubspot and 15% to 25% off your subscription after that.

2. Salesforce

While Salesforce is best suited for medium-to-large-sized businesses, it provides startups with robust tools for closing deals, increasing customer retention, and monitoring business growth. The initial features might be overkill for your startup, but you’ll take advantage of new tools as you grow and expand your customer base. Salesforce is a great CRM if you plan to be around in 5 to 10 years—and what founder doesn’t?

3. Zoho CRM

Zoho is a full-featured CRM with contact management, lead generation, workflow automation, and reporting tools. It gives your business a unified inbox, allowing your teams to read and respond to customer messages from live chat, social media, email, and phone from a central location. Zoho’s Canvas design studio lets you build your own CRM interface with a simple drag-and-drop editor, allowing your business to prioritize the features it needs while cutting the clutter. Small teams of three or fewer can even use Zoho for free.

4. Insightly

Insightly provides businesses with a robust CRM paired with versatile project management tools. It turns your CRM data into actionable tasks. For example, when your CRM automation assigns a lead to one of your customer representatives, you can automatically send introduction emails and create tasks for following up with the prospect.

Insightly is a feature-heavy tool, and that can be a bit of a turn-off for lean startups who want simple functionality. However, once you get the hang of Insightly, it’s ready to scale with your startup.

5. Streak

Streak is a popular CRM option for startups who rely heavily on Google Workspace applications. If your team spends the majority of its time in Gmail, Google Calendars, Drive, Sheets, and Meet, Streak can centralize your data and automate tasks across your tools. Streak’s free plan gives you plenty of functionality to test the CRM and see if it’s the right fit for your startup.

6. Salesflare

Salesflare strives to take the confusion out of CRMs by providing the right tools without all the fluff. It uses intelligent automation to collect and store information so that your representatives can spend less time in the tool and more time connecting with potential customers. It’s simple and relatively cheap for small teams, making it the perfect startup solution.

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