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CRM for Startups


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Infusionsoft logo
 
Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that brings Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Automation, and E-Commerce together in one centralized system, so small businesses can deliver personalized sales... Read More
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Infusionsoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that brings Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing Automation, and E-Commerce together in one centralized system, so small businesses can deliver personalized sales... Read More
 
Salesforce.com logo
 
The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
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The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support. The Salesforce app has capabilities that... Read More
 
HubSpot CRM logo
 
With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
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With its cloud-based, customer relationship management platform, HubSpot helps companies of all sizes track and nurture leads and analyze business metrics. HubSpot is suitable for any B2B or B2C business in a variety of segments, including... Read More
 
ProsperWorks CRM logo
 
ProsperWorks is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The ProsperWorks... Read More
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ProsperWorks is a cloud-based customer relationship management tool that gives users complete views of their customers. The program is applicable to any industry, including advertising, distribution and real estate. The ProsperWorks... Read More
 
Chime logo
 
Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More
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Chime is a marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite designed for small and midsize real estate businesses. Chime provides team management features, lead and customer management and content management. Chime sends... Read More

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Less Annoying CRM logo
 
Less Annoying CRM is a customer relationship management solution that caters to the needs of small businesses. It offers cloud-based deployment, various configuration options and a dashboard that provides an overview of contact information,... Read More
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Less Annoying CRM is a customer relationship management solution that caters to the needs of small businesses. It offers cloud-based deployment, various configuration options and a dashboard that provides an overview of contact information,... Read More
 
Insightly logo
 
Insightly CRM provides small and midsized businesses with a way to manage projects and track contacts, communications, sales, projects, tasks and documents in a single platform. It is available via the Web and on mobile devices. Designed... Read More
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Insightly CRM provides small and midsized businesses with a way to manage projects and track contacts, communications, sales, projects, tasks and documents in a single platform. It is available via the Web and on mobile devices. Designed... Read More
 
amoCRM logo
 
amoCRM’s sales management service is a web based platform available anywhere with an Internet connection. Users of the system can manage their pipeline, sales team and receive analytic feedback and reports. In addition, users can... Read More
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amoCRM’s sales management service is a web based platform available anywhere with an Internet connection. Users of the system can manage their pipeline, sales team and receive analytic feedback and reports. In addition, users can... Read More
 
Claritysoft logo
 
Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
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Claritysoft is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within a single solution. Claritysoft... Read More
 
Results CRM logo
 
Results CRM is a software solution designed for small and midsize enterprise customers. It offers sales automation, project management, service orders and billing management within the suite. It is available for both Web-based and... Read More
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Results CRM is a software solution designed for small and midsize enterprise customers. It offers sales automation, project management, service orders and billing management within the suite. It is available for both Web-based and... Read More

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BoomTown logo
 
Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
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Boomtown provides marketing and sales automation solutions for the real estate industry. Through Boomtown, brokers can select and customize a lead generation website, track and nurture leads, and monitor team success and sales. The... Read More
 
Freshsales logo
 
Freshsales is a sales automation solution offering multi-platform capabilities including a native app for iPhone and iPad.  Included in the system is a one-click phone; no additional hardware or software is needed to use this feature.... Read More
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Freshsales is a sales automation solution offering multi-platform capabilities including a native app for iPhone and iPad.  Included in the system is a one-click phone; no additional hardware or software is needed to use this feature.... Read More
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM logo
 
BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
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BNTouch Mortgage CRM is a mortgage-specific CRM system that offers mortgage brokers and bankers alike a solution featuring marketing automation capabilities. The software offers features for each step of the mortgage process, from... Read More
 
CallProof logo
 
CallProof is a sophisticated CRM system with a host of features that effectively organizes all facets of the sales process, from lead tracking to reporting. This system is fully web-based, and is optimized for companies that utilize... Read More
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CallProof is a sophisticated CRM system with a host of features that effectively organizes all facets of the sales process, from lead tracking to reporting. This system is fully web-based, and is optimized for companies that utilize... Read More
 
Sales Rabbit logo
 
Sales Rabbit is Customer Relationship Management software for companies of all sizes and is fully customizable. The system’s primary functionalities are sales automation, call center, help desk, and live chat. Sales Rabbit offers... Read More
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Sales Rabbit is Customer Relationship Management software for companies of all sizes and is fully customizable. The system’s primary functionalities are sales automation, call center, help desk, and live chat. Sales Rabbit offers... Read More

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Hatchbuck logo
 
Hatchbuck is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. Hatchbuck is a good fit for a wide range... Read More
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Hatchbuck is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. Hatchbuck is a good fit for a wide range... Read More
 
SalesNOW logo
 
SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based CRM platform that can be used on laptops and desktops via web browser or any connected mobile device. The system offers applications designed specifically for Android, iPhone,... Read More
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SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based CRM platform that can be used on laptops and desktops via web browser or any connected mobile device. The system offers applications designed specifically for Android, iPhone,... Read More
 
MyCRMonCall.com logo
 
MyCRMonCall is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for small to midsize manufacturing businesses. Key features include sales force automation, social CRM, marketing automation, document management,... Read More
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MyCRMonCall is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for small to midsize manufacturing businesses. Key features include sales force automation, social CRM, marketing automation, document management,... Read More
 
SalesOutlook CRM logo
 
SalesOutlook CRM is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing system that embeds into Microsoft Outlook. SalesOutlook CRM automatically syncs all customer data at one place. All files and email correspondence... Read More
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SalesOutlook CRM is a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) and email marketing system that embeds into Microsoft Outlook. SalesOutlook CRM automatically syncs all customer data at one place. All files and email correspondence... Read More
 
OnContact CRM logo
 
OnContact CRM is a mid-market customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. OnContact includes complete sales automation, marketing automation, customer service and contact center... Read More
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OnContact CRM is a mid-market customer relationship management (CRM) solution that can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. OnContact includes complete sales automation, marketing automation, customer service and contact center... Read More

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Buyer's Guide

by Craig Borowski,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: August 25, 2017


Startups—they're not just the youngest members of the business world. Their new ideas and limitless potential draw a lot of attention. And while it's easy to poke fun at their button-down cultures, the truth is: startups regularly face some of the business world's toughest and most high-stakes decisions. Fortune 500 companies rarely encounter make-or-break decisions. For a startup, every decision can be make or break.

The selection of a CRM system is one of the most important decisions a startup can make. It's also one of the most challenging. This Buyer's Guide helps startups meet these challenges by answering and explaining the following:

What Is CRM for Startups?
Common Features of CRM for Startups
Deployment and Purchasing Options for CRM for Startups

What Is CRM for Startups?

CRM software comes in more shapes and sizes than probably any other genre of enterprise software. Aside from all-purpose CRM, there's CRM for small businesses, CRM specifically for retail establishments, for banks, insurance agencies and even casinos. That's a lot to consider!

But what about startups? That's where things get complicated. It's easy to see how banks, insurance agencies and casinos would have different requirements for CRM. After all, their Cs (customers) are different, and their Rs (relationship with their customers) are different, so it's no surprise that they'd be managed differently as well.

Collage of CRM vendor logos

A handful of vendors representing the tip of the CRM iceberg

But "startup" is a stage of growth, not an industry vertical. So unlike with banking and insurance, there's no way to generalize about the typical startup customer or a startup's typical relationship with a customer. Those things don't exist.

Instead, CRM for startups is software that caters to the particular needs of companies in the early stages of growth. Those particular needs can be generalized, so let's do that! Startups generally do best with CRM software that:

  • Prioritizes usability with intuitive UIs and workflows, allowing staff to get up to speed with minimal training or interruption
  • Is highly scalable, working equally well with a dozen or a thousand customers
  • Is flexible enough (through customizations, modules or add-ons) to pivot when the startup pivots and support changes in company strategy and policy (rather than hinder them)

With those priorities in mind, let's look now at some specific functionality.

Common Features of CRM for Startups

Despite the great variation among CRM products, most will include some or all of the following core applications:

Customer database Central repository that stores customer information, such as contact details and any records (e.g., purchase orders, RFPs) associated with that customer's account.
Interaction tracking Tracks customer interactions (usually across multiple channels) providing records of past interactions and reminders (scheduled or triggered) for following up.
Workflow automation Reduces the number of steps required for specific and commonly repeated processes, saving employees time and reducing errors and omissions.
Reporting and analytics CRM platforms typically provide many basic data visualization tools, such as graphic reports (for example, of sales activity) and real-time dashboards to monitor KPIs and metrics.

Generally speaking, CRM software is used by any and all of a company's customer-facing departments, mainly sales, marketing and customer service. So, in addition to the core functions listed above, here are some other applications that can be included with CRM, organized by department:

  • Marketing: Including email marketing, event marketing, campaign management. Can also include tools for lead management, such as lead scoring and lead nurturing.
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  • Sales: Including contact and opportunity management, workflow automation, territory management, sales forecasting, pipeline analysis and reporting.
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  • Customer service: Including tools for trouble ticketing, knowledge management and knowledge base systems, self-service solutions, customer experience, live chat and opinion and feedback surveys.

Startups rely on CRM software to provide the customer experiences that improve metrics such as customer acquisition and churn rates. If those metrics don't turn heads, then the startup risks losing financial backing. A startup's success with a CRM implementation comes down to how well it can select and use the tools listed above to improve their key metrics.

Deployment and Purchasing Options for CRM for Startups

Software as a Service, or SaaS, is cloud-based software, meaning the software is hosted remotely. Compared to the traditional model of on-premise deployment—in which the software is installed on the business's own servers—SaaS is the more popular choice for most startups. It offers several benefits, including:

  • Much lower initial cost. SaaS CRM is typically priced on a per user basis. So if your startup is young and small and will only have two employees using the CRM, then the company only pays for two licenses, and more can be added as the company grows.
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  • Simpler IT infrastructure. On-premise CRM installations can require a company to purchase additional hardware (servers, networking equipment). With SaaS, the software can be used from any computer with internet access.
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  • Easier maintenance and security. On-premise software needs to be manually updated, while SaaS gets updated by the vendor behind the scenes. SaaS CRM platforms usually have cutting-edge IT security protocols built into the platform, but the IT security for on-premise software is the responsibility of the business itself.

Aside from those deployment options, CRM for startups usually offers several different purchasing choices. As mentioned above, SaaS is usually priced on a per user basis. There are also various freemium, free and open source and free trial options:

Freemium vs. open source vs. free trial software

A CRM purchase is one of the most important decisions a company can make—it affects many of the most important moving pieces of business in the modern world. It not only helps determine how customers perceive a particular company (i.e., the customer experience), it also determines how efficiently and effectively customer-facing employees carry out their roles.

With all this in mind, startups are encouraged to choose their CRM carefully. Take advantage of the online demonstrations vendors offer, talk to the employees who will use it and consider trying the free trials offered by the vendors on your shortlist.

Of course if you need any help starting your search, completing your shortlist or setting up demonstrations or free trials, give our advisors a call at: (844) 852-3639.

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