The days are not far when your sci-fi movie or novels will become reality, especially the pace at which the technological revolution is going. In the last decade, we have witnessed rapid growth in startups and small businesses, yet they still struggle with streamlining their business operations.
With technological advancements, businesses are trying to stay ahead of their competitors. Initially, CRM software was considered to be tools only for big businesses for managing large client databases.
Today, even small businesses and startups easily benefit from choosing the best CRM software.
Choosing a CRM for startups offers a lot to entrepreneurs with useful features that can help you build a better business.
Modern startup owners rely on Excel sheets or other data management systems. That might work initially, however, as the leads start flowing in, the harder your data gets to manage.
Delays start occurring, calls are missed, emails are not sent out on time, and all this chaos leads to higher bounce rates.
In this article, I will guide you in choosing the best CRM for startups to stay at the top of the competition.
What is CRM software and why startups need it?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) assists in tracking every interaction that takes place between you and your customer’s and even with the visitors (prospects).
You can record detailed conversations that happen with the leads and existing customers in an orderly fashion, from your email to every other mode of communication.
By choosing the right startup CRM, you can
- save important documents
- send invoices
- write emails
- manage your sales process
- set up follow-up reminders
Modern CRM tools can manage and automate menial yet daily essential tasks, be it about tracking the last sent email or a birthday card or seeing where the customer is in the sales cycle, you can do it all using a CRM.
65% of businesses adopt CRM within their first 5 years.
The CRM industry is expected to grow to a $40 billion market worldwide by 2023 as per Statista.
What are the major benefits of having a startup CRM?
As a startup, you might not be worried about managing a small group of employees, but even if the workforce is less, the workload is never to be underestimated.
CRM software brings in a certain type of management of workforce and alignment between your employees, even if there are just 2 or 3 of them.
The best part about a modern CRM system is that they are cloud-based, which means 24*7 accessibility to critical business data.
So, choose a CRM software for your startup that helps you in seamlessly managing all your leads and clientele while helping you discover better sales opportunities.
These are a few crucial benefits of choosing the best CRM for startups.
1. CRM software strengthens relationships
Modern CRM software has proved its worth in the market while dealing with customers and prospects.
The software smartly groups all your communications with prospects and customers while sending timely follow-up reminders.
When you are communicating with a prospect or a customer for a longer time, it is possible to forget about certain things. CRM software stores the history of all your conversations in a timeline so that you can see a complete history of your communication.
Synchronization of information in a centralized library is another huge benefit that entrepreneurs and startup owners can use for fostering a lasting relationship with their customers.
Every detail of your prospect and customer is fed and stored inside the CRM. This makes it easier for your sales or marketing teams to draft more personalized emails.
2. Helps in organizing all your data
Having a startup CRM is a boon for organizing and storing your customer data and important notes about their needs in their individual records.
You can get the most out of your startup CRM by evaluating the existing sales process outcomes and compare it against the desired objectives.
Being a startup owner you are always running behind one objective, turning your expectations into a reality. This can be easily fulfilled by choosing the best CRM for startups.
You just finished a product demo with a prospect. With a CRM for startups, you can easily schedule a follow-up or automate a follow-up email with the prospect.
Or you just closed a client. We all know closing is not the end of the path for any business. Using CRM software and going into the past communication, you can look for cross-selling opportunities.
You can also use your CRM software for automating your email campaigns and for educating and nurturing the prospects about your company and product/services.
Easily guide your prospects through your marketing funnel while explaining the benefits of your product/service. The best part is that you can personalize all these communications as per their preferences.
3. CRM accelerates startup growth
After choosing the right CRM for your startup, you can easily track lead sources delivering value and playing a major part in enriching your sales pipeline.
CRM can boost sales productivity and boost your sales pipeline even up to 100%.
CRM software influences your sales revenue in a positive manner by automating the upselling process based on the customer’s preferences.
American consumers will pay 17% more to purchase from a company with a reputation for great service.
Retaining your old customers is the key to success for startups. Yes, you can always try to find new customers, but not at the expense of old ones churning out; the marketing cost is too much.
Features that entrepreneurs must consider while choosing a CRM for their startups
Investing in CRM technology became a top priority for organizations.
The current market is brimming with CRM vendors and with so many things to keep in mind before selecting the best one for your startup, it is easy to miss out on some crucial brownie points. That is why I am listing out the pillar features that startup owners must take into consideration.
Before you jump the bandwagon and decide to purchase a CRM for startups, it is necessary for you to know the business requirements. As an owner, you must decide what are the crucial features and which are the points that your team members have notified you.
Once you have the paperwork of the requirements match it against the below-mentioned features and choose the best CRM for startups.
1. Is the CRM scalable?
You are not going to keep changing your CRM software if some or the other issue arises. The budget will get too constrained and you will definitely lose a lot of contacts and details and other important stuff. Plus your team members might get disrupted with the constant change of tools.
So, before investing your valuable resources, your workforce, your time and money, make sure that your choice of CRM software is capable of evolving with your growth.
If you fail to check this point you might lose productivity. Startups make a small mistake; they go for CRM software “packed-with-features”. Many times, they end up paying extra for features their business might not need at the moment.
Planning ahead is great, but not by costing you the budget. What I mean to say is why overpay for a CRM whose features you won’t even use for the time being? Isn’t that what this point is about, scalability!
Choose a startup CRM that will adapt to your businesses’ growth and complement your overall productivity as time goes by.
2. Can you track your sales pipeline?
A startup CRM will be used for storing contacts, creating and sending out proposals, collaborating with multiple co-workers from different departments, increasing your work efficiency, managing your customer relations and finding better sales opportunities.
The startup team can grow rapidly, and staying on the same page about the customer or prospect interaction is vital to their productivity.
With a smart CRM for startups in place, you can avoid data duplication, repetition of the same sales tasks, and ownership of deals, clients and leads.
With everything getting stored in a centralized location and the history getting saved under timelines dependency gets removed from the chain of command and dealing with clients and prospects becomes easier.
3. Are you able to manage your clients?
Your contacts are worth more than anything and as a startup, it is important to store them carefully. You can use your startup CRM for storing and accessing contact information from any place, on any device and at any time.
CRM software is also able to limit the access of information to your employees. So as a startup owner, you don’t have to worry about corporate espionage. Simply limit the access to view only for your VIP contacts.
4. Is the CRM software getting regular updates
CRM software must stay updated for providing the best support to your startup business. You can simply look for the product updates a CRM software gets and also notice the frequency of the same.
Features and other necessary improvements done by the product developer based on feedback is also the sign of a good CRM software.
With evolving technology and the dynamics of the market, your CRM software must be active and updated to be part of your success story.
5. Does the CRM software include reporting functionality?
Reports are a crucial tool for gauging your success. How else will you know if the sales pipeline is healthy or not? Or that your marketing strategies are bringing the desired results or not? Or that your sales reps are actually doing what they are saying?
Your chosen sales CRM software must be able to create easy-to-understand and customizable reports.
Being a startup owner, you must be able to create a personalized dashboard that helps you see every stage of your marketing/sales funnel clearly.
Every business has its own set of metrics that defines success or failure. I am listing out some general metrics that you as a startup owner can consider.
- Sales stages
- Lead types
- Lead source
- Calls made
- Emails sent
- Leads/Prospects lost
- Deals won/lost
The ability to dive deeper into your analytics may cost a penny in some CRMs, so be aware when evaluating one.
6. Is their pipeline visualization?
The pipeline gives you a breakdown of individual stages in your customer acquisition steps. It displays the number of leads in each stage.
The best CRM for startups provides the freedom of creating custom stages to the owners that suits their sales cycles. They must have the free hand of moving the deals or leads through the stages of their pipeline, leading to the final purchase.
7. Does the CRM software provide useful integrations?
Startups might be accustomed to using various third-party apps. Choosing a CRM for their next business plan, they might consider the fact that their various productivity apps are allowed to be integrated into the CRM.
Modern CRM for startups comes with built-in apps, but also allows integration to email platforms, form building platforms, and even video conferencing platforms.
My suggestion is that you always look for the integrations of your choice and if the said CRM software is giving you integrations with your favorite productivity apps, just go for it.
8. Is my startup CRM secure?
Security is a major concern for every business owner. CRM software help business owners to audit every action that their team members take, and also keep track of unauthorized changes to critical data.
Turning a dream into reality, meeting everyone’s expectations in delivering a promise, I know it is a tough journey for startup business owners.
Starting from scratch, doing everything on your own, well, not anymore. Choosing a perfect CRM for startups will not just allow you to automate your repetitive tasks. It will help you make the best of underlying opportunities and the selling time.
Salesmate is the perfect choice for any startup. It has the perfect blend of features and affordability. Check out every feature of the Salesmate with our 15-days free trial. You don’t have to feed any credit card details 🙂
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