Customer relationship management software helps businesses track and manage customer relationships so nothing falls through the cracks. In addition to contact management, email marketing, and reporting tools, CRMs for startups should also be affordable and scale with you as you grow. We evaluated dozens of CRMs to learn the top six and the best overall solution for startups and young companies.
6 Best CRM for Startups in 2020
CRM for Startups
(Best Overall) Startups needing an affordable and scalable all-in-one CRM
Companies wanting a CRM with powerful, built-in marketing capabilities
Emerging telesales teams wanting an intuitive, easy-to-use CRM with built-in calling
Growing businesses wanting a no-frills, forever-free CRM for unlimited users
Startups wanting a CRM with project management features to consolidate business workflows
Solopreneurs needing CRM features right in their Gmail inbox for convenient deal management
Last updated on 05/13/20
How We Evaluated the Best CRM for Startups
The best CRM software for startups must offer a diversity of features to fit the various needs of your growing business, now and in the future. It should be free or offer a variety of service plans to accommodate a range of budgets and be easy to use regardless of your level of technical expertise. Great CRMs for startups should also be backed by superior customer support so you have help available if you need it.
The criteria we used to assess the best CRMs for startups include:
- Contact, lead, and pipeline management
- Automated workflows
- Forecasting and analytics
- Ease of use
- Customer support
Based on these guidelines, we recommend Zoho CRM as the best customer relationship management solution for startups. It’s affordable and offers out-of-the-box features a startup needs to immediately sell more intelligently, including email insights, lead scoring, and social media integrations.
You can read on to learn more about the best CRMs for startups or take this quiz to find out which CRM is best for your business
Which CRM Software Is Right for You?
Zoho CRM: Best Overall Affordable, All-in-One CRM for Startups
Zoho CRM offers free and affordable paid plans that provide teams with sales insights and multiple customer communication channels, including email, phone, social, and live chat. With features like deal, lead, and account management available with every plan, Zoho CRM is the best choice for companies that need a comprehensive CRM that grows with you.
Zoho CRM Pros
Zoho CRM Cons
Marketing automation only available on paid plans
Advanced selling tools
Limited file storage
Features social integration
Free plan is limited to three users
Zoho CRM Pricing
- Free: Supports up to three users
- Standard: $18 per user, per month
- Professional: $30 per user, per month
- Enterprise: $45 per user, per month
Zoho CRM Features
- Free tier includes lead, contact, deal, and account management
- All paid plans include social integration tools, including Facebook and Twitter
- Offers lead scoring, forecasting, and email insights
- Provides a document library with folder sharing
- Custom dashboards and reporting available
To learn more about Zoho CRM features that can help your startup close more deals, visit our Zoho CRM reviews page.
Agile CRM: Best CRM for Startups With Powerful, Built-in Marketing Automation
Agile CRM offers robust contact management tools as well as lead management and nurturing features to help businesses close more deals. With social monitoring tools and contact-level analytics, Agile CRM is best for small businesses and startups that want multichannel marketing automation capabilities built into their CRM.
Agile CRM Pros
Agile CRM Cons
Free plan offers lead scoring and contact records
Lacks website visitor tracking capabilities
Automated email workflows
No live chat
Offers A/B testing
Cap on number of contacts and companies
Agile CRM Pricing
- Free: Supports up to 10 users
- Starter: $8.99 per user, per month
- Regular: $29.99 per user, per month
- Enterprise: $47.99 per user, per month
Agile CRM Features
- Includes email tracking, campaigns, and templates
- SMS and text-based marketing
- Lead capture forms offered on all plans
- Paid plans offer social monitoring
- Lead scoring with paid plans
Visit our Agile CRM reviews page for more information about Agile CRM’s marketing automation features.
Freshsales: Best CRM for Telesales Startups
Freshsales is ideal for sales teams needing an easy-to-use, flexible solution with a powerful integrated phone system. The built-in phone calls numbers in a single click directly from the CRM, creates call logs for future reference, and produces call metrics, making Freshsales the best choice for companies wanting a single solution for calling and customer tracking.
Feature-rich integrated phone system
Lacks integration with social media feeds
Customizable visual pipelines
Features like website visitor tracking require additional cost
Includes free mobile apps
Sales forecasting only available on paid plans
- Free: Supports unlimited users
- Blossom: $12 per user, per month
- Garden: $25 per user, per month
- Estate: $49 per user, per month
- Built-in phone service and visual pipelines available with all paid plans
- Upper-level plans offer advanced lead scoring by email, web, and application activity
- Territories and lead assignment available with some plans
- Two-way email sync integrates with any email provider
To read about Freshsales’ built-in phone and additional startup-friendly features, visit our Freshsales reviews page.
HubSpot: Best Free CRM for Startups
HubSpot’s free CRM supports an unlimited number of users and includes features like deal management, integration with popular email clients, and lead capture forms. HubSpot is the best choice for budget-conscious startup teams needing a no-frills solution that’s easy to use and free forever.
Free for unlimited users
Includes up to 1 million contact records
Costs to upgrade can be significant
Offers website lead capture
Free version lacks email marketing
HubSpot CRM Pricing
- Free: Supports unlimited users; feature upgrade modules start at $40 per month
HubSpot CRM Features
- Built-in live chat and support ticketing
- Email integration with Gmail, G Suite, Outlook, and Outlook 365
- Ability to add several lead capture forms to your website
- Built-in meeting scheduler
- Includes ad management tools
- Reusable email templates
For more details on how HubSpot’s free CRM can help you reach your sales goals, visit the HubSpot reviews page.
Insightly: Best CRM for Project Management Startups
Insightly CRM is packed with project management tools like custom dashboards, views, and workflows for you to design around your company’s unique needs. Insightly is a great choice for startups and sales professionals wanting a CRM that includes features to help manage customers after the deal is closed.
Lacks website visitor tracking
Easy to set up
No built-in email campaign feature
Missing marketing automation triggers
- Plus: $29 per user, per month
- Professional: $49 per user, per month
- Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
- Drag-and-drop task management
- Contact management included on all plans
- Events scheduler
- Customizable reporting
- Custom email templates and send scheduling
- Upper-level plans include workflow automation
Learn more about Insightly’s combination of CRM and project management tools on our Insightly reviews page.
Streak: Best CRM With Direct Gmail Integration
Streak CRM is built directly into Gmail and integrates with G Suite’s collection of productivity apps. Users can easily schedule and track messages, letting the auto-suggest feature pull in names and details automatically. Streak is ideal for solopreneurs and sales pros who want CRM tools right inside their inbox.
Less robust than other CRMs
Acts as a Gmail extension
No workflow automation tools
Customized reporting options
Reporting only available on paid plans
- Free: $0
- Pro: $49 per user, per month
- Enterprise: $129 per user, per month
- Unlimited pipelines on all plans
- Color-coded pipelines show stages at a glance
- Paid plans include integrations, reporting, and email support
- Leads categorized by source
- Paid plans are highly customizable
For more information on how Streak CRM integrates with Gmail, visit our Streak reviews page.
The best CRM for small businesses and startups should offer free and low-cost options with features that help sales reps immediately gather intelligence on leads and prospects. It should also provide ways for a fast-growing company to expand their business tool box, whether it’s for sales, service, or help desk.
For an affordable, all-in-one CRM with added selling tools such as sales insights, lead scoring, and social media integration, give Zoho CRM a try. Visit Zoho today to sign up for a forever-free account or a 15-day trial of its paid service.