CRMs don’t necessarily provide ROI right out of the box. A successful CRM setup for your startup requires a strategy with goals and planning.

Every startup should consider adding a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to its tech stack. A CRM gives startups a considerable edge in the market, offering access to data-driven business insights, process automation, and more.

91% of companies with over ten employees use a CRM. 

Until recently, the functionality CRM's offer — like customizable automation and real-time analytics — was only available to companies with enterprise-level resources. Today, startups of all sizes can reap the benefits of automation and data collection that CRMs offer.

Quick takeaways:

  • Startups can benefit enormously from integrating a CRM into their tech stacks.  CRMs provide access to powerful automation and insights about buyers. 
  • CRMs are versatile and help startups accomplish more with less resources. 
  • Every startup has unique needs and goals which you must consider as you set up your CRM. Even a competitor’s CRM might look completely distinct from yours.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Broadly, a CRM is a tool for tracking data on anyone associated with your startup such as leads, prospects, and partners.

The type of data you track, who you track, and what you do with the data depend on your distinct brand, goals, and customers. A B2B SaaS startup, for example, might track things like on-site clicks, software and app downloads, operating systems, touchpoints along the journey, off-site browsing behavior, social media mentions, and interactions with their brand. 

The idea is to build a comprehensive understanding of who your audience is and what’s best for them at any moment.

Why Do Startups Need a CRM?

A CRM empowers you to make proactive data-driven decisions and harness automation, where appropriate. 

It’s Completely Customizable

Your CRM’s tracking architecture and integrations depend on your startup’s size and goals.

A CRM Provides Access to Untapped Data and Insights

Custom synced data from landing pages, email, and other touchpoints help you draw deeper insights from otherwise convoluted data.

It Helps You Automate Processes

Seamless integrations put your data to work automating tedious tasks like personalized email marketing or forecasting. 

A CRM Helps You Do More with Less

With a successful CRM setup for your startup, a five-member team can accomplish the work of 20 people or more. Productivity skyrockets.

4 Steps to a Successful CRM Setup for Startups

There’s no universal configuration for CRM setup for startups. Consider how your team interacts with customers and how technology can improve productivity. 

1. Assemble a CRM Team

As a startup, you probably won't have in-house staff with CRM setup and management experience so you'll want to initially outsource the setup and management of your CRM. 

Your CRM team should include members from your sales and marketing staff because they’ll be the ones using the CRM system. Your team knows which data they need and how technology can improve their workflow.

2. Consider Your Startup’s Size and Needs

An early stage startup has extremely different CRM needs than a startup halfway through its second round of funding and is scaling growth.

Don’t build your CRM for the company you want. Build your CRM for the company you currently have. By nature, CRM's offer some breathing room to scale as needed so set yours up based on your immediate goals and needs.

3. Create Your Startup’s Own Best Practices

Once you assemble your CRM team, have them compile a list of goals. 

  • What pain points should your CRM solve?
  • How will sales and marketing cooperate to ensure success?
  • What should you automate?
  • What should you leave up to human interaction?
  • What pieces of data do you need and why?

4. Make Sure You Have Automation in Place to Sync Data

CRM's don’t deliver ROI straight out of the box. You must tell the CRM what data to sync, where to pull from, who to pull from, and what to do with the data. Custom APIs are vital for pulling data from various touchpoints and putting it into action. 

Just dumping your contacts into the system isn’t enough because data changes constantly. Without a custom CRM setup for your startup, your data configuration won’t meet your distinct goals.

A Successful CRM Setup is Vital for Your Startup

After you’ve developed a comprehensive sales strategy, setting up an appropriate CRM should be your startup’s next step. A sales CRM is vital for collecting data and using it effectively in one seamless location. 

Need help setting up a CRM that can scale along with your startup? Sellerant can guide the way.