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CRM for startups

Best CRM for startups in 2024

Key Takeaways
  • CRMs are pivotal for startups, enhancing customer management, team collaboration, and providing data insights.
  • Understand startup-specific needs, set a budget, seek ease of use, and assess sales-marketing alignment before choosing.
  • Prioritize user-friendliness, contact management, email automation, task management, and scalability.
  • The right CRM is a transformative ally for startups, building relationships, and driving growth.

Embarking on your startup journey is thrilling, and having the best CRM for startups is crucial to navigate through the entrepreneurial waters. 🚀 

The hundreds of thousands of CRM software options available in the market can overwhelm you. However, I’ve handpicked the top CRM for startups, ensuring you find the best CRM software for your startup with ease. 

Wondering why this list is special? 

I’ve chosen CRMs based on these three aspects: 

  • User-friendliness 
  • Affordability 
  • Feature richness 

My goal is to aid you in establishing lasting customer relationships and optimizing customer interactions from the onset, offering insights into CRM systems that can truly fuel your startup’s growth. 🌟 

Whether it’s about managing customer data, sales pipeline, marketing campaigns, or sales and marketing teams, the CRMs listed here offer a spectrum of features.

This includes project management tools, workflow automation, contact management, and more, making them the best CRM tools for startups. 

Intrigued to know what makes them the best startup CRM options out there? 

Let’s explore together, shall we? 

Why use CRM for startups?

Why use CRM for startups

91% of small companies with 11 employees or more now use CRM software for their work. 

So, you’re curious about CRM but not sure if it will match your startup’s needs? 

Let us help you solve your confusions: 

Better customer management from day one 

Do you agree that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression! 

First impressions matter, and in the startup world, they’re often a make-or-break. Having a CRM from the get-go ensures that you manage every lead, every customer interaction, and every opportunity meticulously. 

Improves team collaboration 

The beauty of a startup is often in its small, agile team. A CRM system helps you keep that agility intact by centralizing customer information. Think of it as your team’s single source of truth when it comes to customer data and interactions. 

Data-driven insights 

The term ‘data-driven‘ gets thrown around a lot, but in a startup, it’s not a buzzword—it’s a survival tactic. A CRM doesn’t just store data; it translates it into actionable insights. 


Your startup won’t be a startup forever. As you grow, your operations will get more complex. A CRM system is designed to grow with you, providing the tools you need as your customer base expands and diversifies. 

Enhances customer experience 

Customers today expect a lot more than just a product or service; they’re after an experience. A CRM allows you to craft this experience to perfection by understanding and anticipating customer needs, ultimately increasing both loyalty and retention. 

Automates mundane tasks 

You started a venture to solve a problem or fulfill a need, not to get buried in spreadsheets and emails. A CRM takes repetitive, time-consuming tasks off your plate, so you can focus on what you do best: innovating and growing your business. 

Cost and time efficiency 

Funds are often tight in a startup, so efficiency is the name of the game. While there’s a cost to implementing a CRM, the time and resources it saves more than compensate. Think of it as an investment in streamlining your startup and accelerating growth. 

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How to choose the best CRM for startups? 

Wondering how to choose the best one for your startup? Here’s a guide that takes you through the essentials. 

Understand your needs 

Before diving into the pool of best CRMs for startups, first define your unique needs. 

  • Are you mainly concerned with sales processes or marketing campaigns? 
  • Are you looking for a simple CRM tool for startups that your sales reps can quickly adapt to? 
  • Or are you looking for something more comprehensive for customer relationship management? 

Find answers to the questions above to understand your exact needs. 

Budget and pricing plans 

Startups often operate on tight budgets. Look for CRM software for startups that offer flexible pricing plans. While free CRM options are available, they may lack advanced features.  

Consider your budget realistically but remember that this is an investment that should offer a return. 

Ease of use 

Your CRM software should have an intuitive interface so that your team can navigate without much hassle. Time spent learning complex systems is time away from selling and engaging customers. 

Sales and marketing alignment 

Your sales and marketing teams need to work in a sync. Choose a CRM solution that has tools beneficial for both, like marketing automation tools that align with your sales funnel, ensuring that both teams can collaborate effectively. 

Test it out 

Most CRM platforms offer a free trial. Use this period to check if the CRM aligns with your sales cycle, project management needs, and other specific criteria. Does it integrate well with Google Calendar, your email marketing features, or other software you’re using? 

Test every possible connection that you might require ahead. 

Customer support 

Customer service might be a game-changer, especially if you run into issues. Ensure that the CRM platform you choose offers robust customer service tools, such as phone support and an extensive knowledge base. 


As your business grows, your CRM should grow with it. Ensure the CRM software for startups you choose can scale in terms of features, user limits, and data handling capabilities. 

Reviews and peer recommendations 

Check out user reviews and ask for recommendations to find out which are considered the best CRM systems for startups. This can give you a more unfiltered view than just reading product descriptions or sales pitches. 

By following these guidelines, you can select the best CRM system for your startup, ensuring that it meets your specific needs, can grow with you, and offers the features that are most important for your business. 

Essential features to look while choosing CRM for startups 

Understanding what to look for in CRM software for startups can be crucial for the growth of your business. 

Here’s a guide to help you select the best CRM software for startups: 

1. User-friendly interface 

Look for an intuitive interface that makes it easier for your sales and marketing teams to adapt to the CRM system. 

It’s important to find a CRM tool for startups with an easy-to-use interface so you don’t spend weeks learning how to navigate the platform. 

2. Contact management 

This is the bread and butter of any CRM system for startups. Contact management allows you to efficiently store and manage customer data. This is essential for building strong customer relationships. 

3. Sales pipeline management 

A robust sales pipeline management feature helps you understand where each deal stands in your sales process. This visual representation enables sales reps to manage and track sales, enhancing your startup CRM tools. 

4. Email integration & automation 

For most startups, email is a vital channel for customer interactions. CRM tools for startups should offer email marketing tools and marketing automation features to help you streamline marketing campaigns. 

5. Task and project management 

While not traditionally a part of CRM solutions, project management tools are increasingly common in best CRM systems for startups. These task management features help you manage projects and tasks related to your customer relationships. 

6. Customization and scalability 

As a startup CRM, you need something that scales with your business. Look for CRM software for startup companies that offer customization options to grow with your business needs. 

7. Analytics and reporting 

Your chosen CRM platform for startups should offer custom reports and analytics dashboards. This makes it easy to evaluate the effectiveness of your sales and marketing tools. 

8. Mobility 

In today’s world, a CRM for startup needs to be mobile-friendly. Make sure the CRM offers a mobile app or a mobile-responsive design to accommodate your sales teams on the go. 

9. Social media integration 

Social media tracking is becoming essential for CRM for startups. Being able to track social interactions can provide valuable insights into customer behavior. 

10. Budget and pricing 

Finally, make sure to look for CRM systems that align with your budget. Some of the best CRM tools for startups offer free plans, but it’s important to consider any hidden costs and the flexibility of pricing plans. 

By keeping these features in mind, you’ll be better equipped to select the best CRM system for startups that aligns with your burgeoning enterprise’s unique needs and challenges. 

Best CRM for startups 

We analyzed CRMs that are suitable for startups like yours. 

1. Salesmate 

Salesmate - CRM for startups

When it comes to comparing and choosing the best CRM for startups, what comes to my mind first is Salesmate! Designed specifically for startup environments, this CRM platform hits the nail on the head. 

It provides a customer relationship management software that’s tailored to the unique needs of startup businesses like mine. 

With features designed to assist sales and marketing teams, Salesmate goes far beyond your basic contact management system to offer a comprehensive CRM solution that fits perfectly with the dynamics of a growing startup. 


Intuitive interface: What I love about Salesmate is its user-friendly interface. For startups without a dedicated IT team, this is a game-changer. 

Flexible pricing plans: Salesmate offers pricing that’s super startup-friendly. They even have a free plan that’s quite robust, making it an excellent choice for startups on a tight budget. 

Streamlined sales processes: One of the system’s standout features is how it streamlines the entire sales process. It’s designed to help sales teams like mine operate at peak performance. 

Strong customer support: If you ever run into any issues, their phone support and customer service teams are superb and always ready to assist. 

Collaboration tools: As someone who values teamwork, the collaboration tools on this platform have significantly helped to boost our productivity. 


Learning curve: Some of the features took a little time to get used to. However, the learning curve is minor, especially when weighed against the user-friendly interface. 

Key features 

Lead management: I’ve found Salesmate to be excellent when it comes to lead management and lead scoring. It helps my team and me make the most out of our customer interactions. 

Sales pipeline: One thing that sets Salesmate apart is its robust pipeline management. It’s never been easier to keep an eye on our sales progress. 

Marketing automation: This platform includes key marketing automation tools that can be quite helpful in automating repetitive tasks, which has the potential to boost productivity. 


The pricing options are very reasonable: 

Basic Plan: Starts at $23/user/month

Pro Plan: Starts at $39/user/month

Business Plan: Starts at $63/user/month

Enterprise Plan: Custom 

They also offer custom plans tailored to specific needs. 

So, if you’re looking for a CRM tool that’s startup-friendly and comprehensive, Salesmate is a top contender in my books. It has been an indispensable asset for my startup, and I highly recommend giving it a try. 

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2. HubSpot CRM 

HubSpot CRM

During my search for the ideal CRM for startups, HubSpot CRM was among the platforms that caught my attention. 

While it’s not the best CRM for startups, in my opinion, it still has features that can suit certain startup environments. 

HubSpot’s customer relationship management system is fairly comprehensive, with functionalities aimed at sales and marketing teams. It’s worth looking into if you’re a startup searching for a decent all-in-one CRM platform. 


Free plan available: HubSpot offers a free plan, which is good for startups that are tight on budget. 

Email marketing features: HubSpot’s email marketing tools can help startups with small marketing teams to execute effective campaigns. 

Task management: Beyond its CRM functionalities, Salesmate is also packed with project management features that are a godsend for managing repetitive tasks. 

User-friendly interface: The intuitive interface makes it simple to manage customer data, but it’s not as robust as some other CRM tools for startups that I’ve explored. 


Limited customization: I found HubSpot lacking in customization options, especially when compared to other CRM software for startups. 

Pricey upgrades: The free plan is good, but moving up to a paid plan can be quite expensive for a startup company. 

Sales process focus: While it offers a variety of tools, it is more geared toward sales rather than an entire sales and marketing ecosystem. 

Key features 

Marketing automation: The platform includes standard marketing automation features, though not as comprehensive as some other top CRM systems for startups. 

Email marketing features: The email marketing tools are basic but functional, allowing you to manage simple marketing campaigns. 


Starter Plan: Starts at $45 per month 

Professional Plan: Starts at $800 per month 

Enterprise Plan: Starts at $3,200 per month 

3.  Salesforce 


When I began examining the vast landscape of CRM solutions tailored for startups, Salesforce Essentials stood out as one of the renowned platforms.

Stemming from the Salesforce brand, which is a heavyweight in the CRM space, Salesforce Essentials is tailored specifically for small businesses and startups.  


Robust contact management: Salesforce Essentials excels at contact management. It allows startups to meticulously track and manage all customer interactions in a comprehensive manner. 

Integrated project management tools: I appreciated the inclusion of project management tools right within the CRM, making it easier for teams to manage projects without needing separate tools. 

Trustworthy brand: As a product from Salesforce, it has a reputation for reliability and robustness. 

Extensive integration options: Salesforce Essentials integrates seamlessly with a multitude of third-party applications, which is a boon for startups looking for versatility. 


Complexity: Salesforce Essentials can sometimes feel overwhelming for absolute beginners due to its array of features. 

Price point: Compared to some other CRM software for startups, Salesforce Essentials is on the pricier side. 

Key features 

Contact management: One of its standout features, Salesforce Essentials offers advanced options to manage contact data and maintain optimal customer relationships. 

Project management tools: A unique feature that distinguishes Salesforce Essentials from other CRM tools for startups. These tools assist in streamlining tasks, scheduling, and overall project oversight. 


Starter – $25 

Professional – $80 

Enterprise – $165 

Unlimited – $330 

4. Agile CRM 

Agile CRM

Agile CRM appears as a multi-faceted platform in the startup CRM landscape, endeavoring to be a one-stop CRM software solution tailored for startups.  

It proposes a mix of essential CRM tools, aiming to cater to the multifaceted needs of startups.

However, when compared to the intuitive and high-standard services offered by platforms like Salesmate, Agile CRM seems to lack user-friendly experiences and service efficiency. 


Affordable solutions: Agile CRM comes with cost-effective pricing plans, which could be a relief for startups working on a tight budget, offering a practical CRM tool for startups. 

Diverse marketing automation tools: Agile CRM brings to the table various marketing automation features, vital for startups wishing to streamline and optimize their marketing endeavors. 


Complex user interface: In contrast with more user-centric platforms such as Salesmate, Agile CRM offers a less intuitive user interface, which can be a hindrance for startups looking for smooth and uncomplicated user experiences. 

Inadequate customer service: The customer support provided by Agile CRM is not as responsive or effective as one would hope, posing potential obstacles for startups in need of quick and reliable support. 

Key features

Marketing automation: Offers extensive tools for startups to optimize marketing efforts, though it may not be as user-friendly as platforms like Salesmate. 

Lead generation: Provides robust tools for efficient lead attraction and management, but user interaction may not be as seamless as with top-tier options like Salesmate. 

Email marketing: Agile CRM includes essential email marketing features that allow startups to conduct effective email campaigns, albeit with a less intuitive interface compared to the best in class, like Salesmate. 

Customer service: Agile facilitates customer service management, allowing startups to address customer issues and inquiries, though the overall experience might be more streamlined and enriched in other solutions like Salesmate. 


Basic plan- $14.99  

Growth plan- $49.99 

Pro plan- $99.99 

How does Salesmate stand out? 

Salesmate comparison

Salesmate stands out in every competitor’s comparison. Let us help you with more clarification. 

Compared to HubSpot CRM

Salesmate provides a clutter-free CRM experience, honing in on core functionalities. Unlike HubSpot’s broad toolset, Salesmate keeps it simple and direct, integrating standout features like built-in VoIP calling without the need for extra integrations. 

Compared to Salesforce CRM

While Salesforce caters to large enterprises with extensive features, Salesmate is tailored for small to medium businesses. It delivers essential CRM tools without the steep learning curve and cost often associated with Salesforce. 

Compared to Agile CRM

Agile CRM spreads its focus across sales, marketing, and service. In contrast, Salesmate emphasizes robust sales-centric tools. Its integrated calling capability offers an edge, consolidating CRM and call functions without relying on third-party tools like Agile might. 

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And there you have it! 🌟 

Navigating the entrepreneurial seas can be less daunting when you have a reliable CRM for startups as your compass. 

In our journey to break new ground and create impactful solutions, having the best CRM for startups is like having a trusted companion guiding us through uncharted customer engagement and business growth territories. 

A top-tier CRM for startup is not merely a platform for startups; it’s the backbone supporting us in building lasting customer relationships, managing customer interactions, and optimizing sales processes. 

It’s about harnessing the power of customer data, streamlining sales and marketing teams, and creating a harmonious symphony of marketing campaigns. 

It is more than just a tool; it’s a catalyst for transformation, a beacon of innovation, and a partner in our quest for entrepreneurial excellence. 

So, dear readers, as we step into the future, let’s embrace the best CRM software, let’s cultivate meaningful connections, let’s create, innovate, and elevate. 

Together, let’s traverse the path less traveled and paint the canvas of the business world with our unique hues of innovation and passion. 💡 

Dhara Thakkar

Dhara Thakkar is a seasoned marketer at Salesmate. She thrives on trying new organic strategies to improve traffic & conversions, and has in-depth knowledge on how search works. When she's not working, you will find her travelling or binge watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S

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