Startup CRM systems can unlock your sales growth potential. Use this guide to help you choose a CRM system that best fits your startup’s stage and budget.

One of the most effective modern sales tools for startups is customer relationship management (CRM) software. All customer interactions, activities, and other data live in your CRM system. Companies use this technology to inform sales strategies and build better customer relationships.

With a good CRM system, even a young company can forge successful relationships that foster customer loyalty. Use this guide to help you choose a CRM system that best fits your startup’s stage and budget. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Customer relationship management software helps you leverage customer engagement data into building stronger relationships with your buyers.
  • A CRM system is essential for startups because it provides a holistic view of each customer and real-time insights.
  • Startups that leverage CRM software to build better sales strategies more often experience accelerated growth.

How CRM Software Drives Faster Sales

Tracking customer interactions with spreadsheets or other disconnected tools often impedes sales growth. Your CRM system, along with the rest of your technology stack, will streamline the sales process and drive faster growth.

A CRM system for startups:

  • Captures data on leads, prospects, and customers
  • Provides strategic data visualizations via a customizable dashboard
  • Tracks interactions, revealing the path each customer takes for a sale
  • Organizes and analyzes customer data for sales forecasting and improving sales strategies

According to Gartner, global spending on customer relationship management software grew 15.6 percent in 2018, making it the largest and fastest-growing enterprise application software category.

With a platform that offers real-time access to customer data and seamlessly integrates other sales technology, startups can quickly accelerate growth.

The Best CRM Software for Startups

If you want to build customer loyalty and implement strategies that will win buyers, use a dynamic tool that empowers sales.

Here’s a list of the leading CRM platforms on the market today.


HubSpot is a CRM powerhouse designed especially to grow sales and build brand recognition for startups and emerging enterprise businesses. With HubSpot, you can:

  • Integrate robust CRM functionality with marketing automation, making it easier to optimize customer experiences
  • Scale fast — as a SaaS solution, HubSpot grows with you
  • Act on opportunities — HubSpot offers real-time engagement updates
  • Manage multiple sales pipelines without sacrificing customer experience

HubSpot’s CRM component is free to use, and its sales and marketing tools follow a tiered pricing structure.


Designed for midsize businesses, NetSuite features customer data management, automation, and partner relationship management. With an eCommerce focus, it’s a practical solution for retail and wholesale distribution.

NetSuite uses customizable pricing.

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk is well-known for its customer service software. Zendesk Sell is the brand’s CRM offering, and it features:

  • A mobile CRM solution
  • Easy integration with MailChimp
  • Full visibility into the sales pipeline

HubSpot and NetSuite have more robust features, but for small businesses that want to focus especially on lead management, Zendesk Sell is a viable contender.

The starter price is $19 per month for each user after the free trial ends.


Does your startup use G Suite? Copper integrates directly into existing G Suite apps. It also comes with useful features like sales forecasting, marketing automation, and deal tracking. This isn’t a full-featured platform, but it is one of the more cost-effective CRM options. 

For a basic subscription, Copper costs $19 per month per user. It comes with a 14-day free trial.


SugarCRM is a versatile, feature-rich application built on an open-source platform. It offers:

  • Customizations to suit evolving business needs
  • A new-user “wizard” tool
  • Downloadable plug-ins
  • Third-party app integrations
  • Both cloud-based and on-premise solutions

Sugar is $40 per month per user after a seven-day free trial.

Zoho CRM

Zoho is an effective, affordable solution for growing businesses. As with HubSpot and other top CRM platforms, users can automate lead nurturing and view real-time analytics. Zoho comes with predictive, omnichannel sales enablement features.

For a standard subscription, Zoho is $12 per month per user after a 15-day free trial.


Base offers lead qualification and robust analytics. Users can input data, and the software will generate insights that can be used to refine the sales process.

This is a more expensive platform with a $45 a month per-user starting price. It comes with a 30-day free trial.


Insightly neatly maps customer interactions and links relationships among your stakeholders, an advantage for understanding clients’ organizational structures.

This mobile solution is a smart choice for businesses that want the freedom to customize their technology. Users can quickly build and deploy custom apps and design unique dashboards to track metrics.

Insightly starts at $29 per month per user after a 14-day free trial.

Choosing a Stage-Aligned, Budget-Aligned CRM System

A CRM system can fast-track growth. It has to be dynamic and agile enough for your team to make full use of its  features, and affordable enough to make sense with your budget. The right CRM system will help your startup develop effective sales strategies and cultivate lucrative customer relationships.

We find most startups get maximum value and growth acceleration from HubSpot.  If you want to get started with HubSpot, get in touch with us to review your CRM goals and discuss an initial configuration of your HubSpot instance.