The 5 Best CRM Systems For Startups


Written by Luke Glassford

5 Best CRM Systems For Startups

One thing all start-up businesses want to do is drive sales of their product or service, and one of the most effective ways of doing this is through a CRM system.

In this guide we will explain exactly what a CRM system is, what benefits they can bring and list the best ones for you to consider for your start-up.

What is a CRM system?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is an application or tool that businesses can use to interact with customers, build new relationships and streamline processes. In short, it is a system to increase sales, the quality of service you give to customers and profitability.

CRM systems help to organise all the information about your customers into a complete profile for each individual, including email address, telephone number, website address, social media profile etc. You can then update this profile over time with customer records – average order values, how often they buy from you and so on - allowing you to manage relationships, improve your services with customer feedback and ultimately retain your customers while focusing on growth.

Perhaps the best thing about this technology is its ease of use. You can see everything on a customisable dashboard through a CRM platform. At a click of a button, you can see all your customer's previous history, the status of their orders, their preferences, any issues they may have had, or any feedback they have provided.

Therefore, if you want your business to succeed, a CRM strategy is something you need to consider.

"Not all customers are created equal, so the value of a CRM is that it helps you keep the right customers and deploy your precious marketing dollars towards the customers that will return the highest value over their customer lifetime… It is challenging for small businesses to identify and acquire customers, so bucketing them into optimal and suboptimal segments through CRM is inordinately valuable."

Mike Catania, CEO & Co-Founder of Locaris

What other benefits can a CRM system offer?

The best CRM systems for new businesses offer more than just a database solution for holding customer details securely. These systems can become an all-encompassing tool for your business if used to their total capacity.

You could, for example, use a CRM to:

  • Understand pipeline sales to achieve sales targets and see how products and campaigns perform
  • Reduce sales paperwork and allow more time for selling and less time for inputting data
  • Help forecast future sales
  • Track conversations effectively over multiple channels to improve customer service
  • Track suppliers, schedule meetings and follow-ups, add notes, reorder, and create invoice reminders
  • Analyse resourcing needs to identify gaps and support recruiting new staff members

A CRM system can help you benefit from enhanced contact management, cross-sales, greater productivity, accurate sales forecasting, improved metrics, increased customer satisfaction, and greater customer retention.

With such a wide breadth of benefits, CRM systems are advantageous to all sizes of businesses, from solo freelancers to large corporations.

Best CRM systems for startups

With so many CRM systems available, choosing the right one for your business is vital and you should take the time to consider all elements before making a decision. Some of the best on the market include:



For start-ups and smaller companies, HubSpot is a popuar choice. The HubSpot CRM looks to merge marketing functions with sales data and other information your business provides. Because all the information is stored in one place, you can run more effective marketing campaigns. It is also a platform that can help create websites, send emails that appear personalised rather than part of a more significant mail drop, and streamline customer service processes.

They offer a free plan providing all the essential features that some businesses may need, so you get to try them before buying the more substantial system. Plus, you will receive access to the HubSpot Academy, which is home to a significant online learning zone.

Find out more:


Zoho CRM

Zoho is a fantastic option for those conscious of budget. The smaller price doesn't mean that they are not competitive in terms of their product and offer more than 45 different tools as part of their overall CRM package.

Zoho offers one of the best CRM platforms for small businesses, with a simplified user interface, modules that you can customise, and social media features that are incredibly intuitive. This platform can help with workflow, organise daily tasks and manage leads. You can communicate with potential and existing customers via email, telephone, social media, and live chat, or should you wish to educate customers via webinars.

Find out more:

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a CRM that can be tailored to your specific needs, so you can design a platform that works best for you. The platform contains 11 core modules and five CRM-based tools that can help with sales, customer services, service automation, and marketing. You can add other programmes to help with resource planning, Human Resourcing, finance, and marketing insights.

Suppose you are looking for a complete business package. In that case, this one could be a fantastic option, especially if you are already a Microsoft user, as you can integrate OneNote and OneDrive into this.

Find out more:


Pipedrive CRM

If your business is about sales, Pipedrive could be the best CRM for your start-up business. It is a platform that salespeople have designed for salespeople to push leads through the sales funnel. This uncomplicated system allows you to set up your pipeline, track progress, review analytics and automate routine tasks to drive growth.

This CRM helps manage new and old contacts, keeps their profiles up to date, and adds recent activity. You can see any communication history and a record of previous purchases. By using this data, new leads will be generated, reducing the research work required so that you can concentrate on other parts of the business.

Find out more:


Salesforce CRM

Slightly more expensive than other CRM systems, Salesforce is ideal for any size of business because it offers total sales pipeline management, advanced reporting, and customisable dashboards; plus, you can add several other elements to the integration of the platform. For this reason, it is seen as one of the best CRM tools available today.

You will be able to nurture your current and potential customers via a robust system that lets you see customer contact information, related opportunities, notes, files, and all activity relating to them. You can monitor the status of any lead and create prompts to continue further with the sales process and set tasks for others.

Salesforce also incorporates a lead scoring system that gathers data on your activity and deals. Once enough information has been inputted, it will assign predictive scores to your leads so that you can see where to spend your time best. You can also create report dashboards to provide customer data for a quick real-time overview of performance using the easy drag-and-drop elements offered.

Find out more:

How to decide what CRM is right for your business?

To find the right solution, consider what you really want from a CRM. You also need to consider how much you are willing to pay, how many people will use it, and what features are essential to your business. Are you looking for one that offers something specific, or would you prefer an all-in-one solution?

Once you have figured out the answers to each of these questions, you will then be able to narrow down which CRMs are better for your needs and which is suitable for you, not just now but when your business grows.

If you need help with setting up effective and scalable marketing and customer relationship processes for your start-up, arrange a free consultation call with Gambit Partners now:

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Written by

Luke Glassford

Marketing Director at Gambit Partners