Why do startups need a sales CRM?

Post-its, spreadsheets, email clients, and a phone system: this makes up the bunch of tools that startups use to run their day-to-day sales. Juggling all these tools on a hectic day—which is daily —can wear out your sales reps and eat into your team’s productivity. For a startup to stay nimble and move fast, sales reps need a single tool, rather than multiple, that fundamentally gives them more time to sell. A sales CRM is that definitive tool. It stores your contacts, lets you make calls, helps you send and track emails, generates reports, and brings a clear view into your sales pipeline. This means while your reps focus on winning the next deal, you can focus on stabilizing and scaling your startup to greater heights.

CRM for startups — What you need to look for

 

The CRM requirements of a startup are different from those of an enterprise. And it is important to understand what they need to specifically look for in a CRM, as there are a lot of downsides to choosing the wrong CRM:

Ease of use

Look for a clean interface and an intuitive user experience. If your reps can hit the ground running in hours (rather than weeks), that’s a clinching indicator of “simple.” For best results, pick three to four of the best CRM for startups and sign up for a trial. Understand your salespeople’s opinion of all these solutions and go with the one they like most. 

Affordability

Read up on the pricing plans of the CRM for startups you’ve singled out, and see how they stack up against your budget. Keenly lookout for hidden charges. Some common ones are add-ons, implementation, integrations, or support. What you see on the pricing page should be exactly what you pay for (and get).

Right functionalities

Start with studying exactly what different CRM solutions offer in their “startup” plan. Does it seriously lack features? Cross it out and move on. Does the CRM for startups seem like the right fit for your company after you match them with your use-cases? Great, so this is the right fit.

Automation

In the fast-paced environment of a startup, your salespeople may not always be able to handle a lot of manual tasks such as daily activities, sales prospecting, call logging, and more. So, look for the CRM for startups that can take care of these and more routine tasks through automation so that your salespeople can be more productive and focus solely on selling.

Scalability

Your business may be small right now, but it won’t remain the same forever. When your business grows, you’ll have more salespeople, leads, and contacts, and you will need more features to accommodate this. It’ll work if your CRM’s next best plan is wallet-friendly as well. If it’s not, you’ll have to switch to another solution. So, look for the CRM for startups that scales with you as you grow.

Support

Imagine choosing a CRM for startups only to find out that the company offers support to higher paying customers. It’s exhausting and a waste of time and resources if you have to wait for hours to connect with somebody who can help you out. It’s crucial that you choose a vendor that provides you with quality and free support regardless of the plan you choose. 

Some of the best CRM for startups — A snapshot

 

CRITERIA
G2 Rating
4.7
4.7
4.2
4.2
4.3
4.3
Free forever
Startup plan cost

$12/user/month

$25/user/month

$40/user/month

Trial period

21 days

30 days

14 days

Payback period

7 months

17 months

12 months

Implementation

0.6 months

2.4 months

1.1 months

NPS Score

85

43

50

Leads, contacts, accounts, and deal management
Email management
Custom sales activities
Built-in phone
Workflows
Reports and dashboards
Free 24/5 support over phone, email & chat

Why Freshsales is the best CRM for startups

Freshsales comes with just the right kind of features you need to embark upon your sales journey. Unlike the other CRM for startups in the market, what you see is what you get with Freshsales. Here’s a glimpse of Freshsales’ features versus the rest. 

Lead management

In Freshsales, you get a 360-degree view of leads in one screen—complete with their professional details, activity on your website (and in-app), the meetings you’ve had with them, and even their social media information. You can also sort leads by various filters, including lead score, a score assigned to leads based on their engagement with your company. And if you’ve stored your leads in Excel, don’t worry—start importing your leads into Freshsales with a single click.

Email management

Freshsales starts you off by integrating your email with the CRM. And then there’s a bunch of things to explore. Create email templates for quick communication, learn how to manage your sales campaigns by sending bulk emails, and understand recipients’ behavior by tracking email opens and link clicks. Plus, there’s Team Inbox, a single inbox for multiple email addresses in your company. With Team Inbox, any member of your team can step into an important conversation with the customer, get instant context, and take the dialog forward.

Pipeline management

Freshsales helps you visualize your sales process with a pipeline view that’s easy on the eye and easier to use. A drag-and-drop is all you need to do to move deals from one stage of the sales funnel to another. You can also list your deals if you feel like it, and then sort them using factors like expected close date, deal value, and date when the deal was created. If one pipeline doesn’t capture your sales process(es), feel free to create multiple sales pipelines.

Automate sales activities

Repetitive and mundane tasks are error-prone. We are humans, after all. It could happen that sales reps forget to follow up with a customer or to update a record—activities that are crucial for your business. And there’s no better way to stay on top of them than letting the system do the work for you. With Freshsales, your salespeople can wave goodbye to mundane tasks that take up a lot of their time such as follow-ups, call logging, task management, changing deal status, updating a record, or even using webhooks to trigger instant notifications via connected applications.

CRM for startups | Freshsales | Workflows

Integrations

If your CRM is a wheel, the apps you integrate into it are the spokes that support it. Integrations make a CRM more functional (also prevent you from having to juggle multiple tools) and Freshsales supports a wide range of apps, from customer support software to document signing tools. So, you can go ahead and seamlessly integrate native apps (like Freshdesk, Freshcaller, Freshchat) and a host of third-party ones (like Calendly, DocuSign, QuickBooks, and Klenty).

A happy customer speaks