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Early Stage

What's the Best CRM for Startups in 2021?

Amanda Price
6 min read

Do you need a CRM?

Not every startup needs a CRM. For example, say you've just launched your company. In that case, you won’t have too much customer data, so laying out cash for a CRM probably won’t be necessary.

However, as you grow your customer base and scale your operations, there will come a day when you’ll need one. A CRM can help streamline your enterprise, freeing up valuable time you can then use to capture new leads. At this stage in your startup’s life, time is your most precious resource. So anything you can do to shear off seconds, minutes, and hours from your business processes will pay colossal dividends in the long run.

Start by assessing the needs of your enterprise and figure out exactly how a CRM can help you. Determine which product features are most beneficial to you, your business objectives, and your sales processes.

Here are the best CRMs for startups in 2021:


Close is the best CRM for startups because it's an indispensable addition to your startup toolkit when you're just starting to generate serious revenue. When this happens, you need to spend time managing leads and not doing menial data entry. As your sales team grows, functionality such as tracking the number of calls made, managing opportunities, and filtering by sales rep will become increasingly crucial to your startup's success. 

Close is so fantastic for startups because its founders went through the Y-Combinator startup accelerator, so they know the startup ecosystem inside and out.

Close is particularly good at helping you to prioritize what you need to do. This way, you spend more time on the activities that'll generate the most profit and less on those that only fritter away your precious time. In addition, by automating such tasks as contact field updating and data entry, Close can be a tremendous productivity booster.

This is a platform that's streamlined to the nth degree. For example, what would take seven clicks to do in a clunkier CRM (like Salesforce) only takes two clicks in Close.

If you want a CRM that emphasizes efficiency over having lots of features, you'll want to give Close a try. Its no-nonsense approach to automating tasks will help you supercharge your productivity, so you can concentrate on the tasks that truly matter.


Salesforce is trusted by over 250,000 enterprises worldwide to provide software solutions that boost productivity, support business objectives, and automate menial tasks.

Establishing meaningful relationships with customers is an essential component of startup success. Salesforce makes it easy to do this. The platform helps you maintain business relationships by sending out reminders, managing client journey workflows, and automating sales processes.

The platform is particularly well suited for startups with complex sales cycles that depend on intensive customer education. In addition, Salesforce integrates well with marketing automation tools, and by doing so, ensures your sales cycle will be successful.

Salesforce is user-friendly, which means team members won't have a steep learning curve when utilizing the software. In addition, it provides comprehensive user training for free via Trailhead, their online education portal.


Another bare-bones CRM that’s particularly good for startups is HubSpot. HubSpot will systematize data entry for you, taking care of such mundane tasks as automatically logging interactions, scraping data from the Internet to populate information about your clients, and centralizing your contact list.

There’s a free version if you want to take it out for a test spin before making a final decision.


When it comes to optimizing your sales processes, PipeDrive comes in just after Close. While it doesn't have many bells and whistles, it does an excellent job of helping you generate more sales by removing roadblocks from your deal pipeline. This way, you'll be better able to visualize your sales processes so that profits are more predictable.

It's also one of the most affordable CRMs out there and seamlessly integrates with other tools.


Agile is another “all-in-one" solution for early-stage startups. It will help you generate more sales, automate all your marketing, and help you provide exemplary customer service.

A CRM can either work by offering a super streamlined, stripped-down platform that provides a few core services or by seamlessly integrating with other tools. However, with the exceptional functionality of Agile’s core tools, you might not need to integrate it with other software. It excels at generating reports and offers up comprehensive statistics grouped by calls, deals, growth, and activities.


Base is one of the most data-focused CRMs on the market when it comes to generating more sales revenue. It helps you fine-tune your sales process by serving up keen insights about what needs to be improved. In fact, you’ll be able to extract so much usable data, it’ll be a cinch to ramp up revenue.

When you're waist-deep in getting your startup off the ground, it can be challenging to see what you'll need to accomplish to take your company to its next evolutionary stage. That won’t be a problem anymore with Base’s automatic pipeline view, a fantastic way to visualize every crucial sales metric all in one convenient place.

The company makes it easy to learn all the exceptional features of the platform by walking you through all of them during your free trial period.

Freshworks CRM

As far as managing your leads goes, there’s no better CRM than Freshworks.

Its leading-edge technology allows you to take care of a whole host of lead management tasks. These include ranking activities according to how important they are, assigning responsibilities to your sales force, and scheduling follow-ups.

This way, you’ll be able to keep an eye on them without letting any opportunities slip away.


Copper's best feature is its ability to flawlessly integrate into your existing G Suite, including Google Apps and Gmail. By doing that, you can continue to utilize a platform you're already comfortable using, but with beefed-up features such as reporting, deal tracking, task automation, and forecasting.

Using a series of Zapier integrations, you can link it up to other platforms, apps, and programs to supercharge its functionality.


GleanView is so much more than a CRM. It’s also a software stack that incorporates marketing, sales, prospecting, and web analytics functions. You can use them all together, or you can deploy them separately on an as-needed basis.

The marketing function automates your emails, and the prospecting feature brings in new leads. The sales outreach tool makes lead management a breeze. If you’re having trouble converting website viewers into loyal customers, use the WebID feature. You won’t have that problem anymore!

Salesmate CRM

Salesmate was specially created to boost the performance of sales teams. The platform boasts an exceptional ability to optimize your sales process, ensuring that your team focuses on carrying out the activities that boost revenues.

It’ll streamline your sales process by growing your customer relationships, the bedrock of any successful sales experience. Salesmate allows you to convert prospects into paying customers with targeted texts, emails, and follow-ups. All of this is personalized for maximum impact.

Here are the impressive features you get when you plunk down your hard-earned money for Salesmate:

  • Multiple pipeline management
  • Deal timeline
  • Activity management
  • Contact management
  • Built-in phone system
  •  Workflow automation
  • Power dialer
  • Shared team inbox

You’ll also be able to integrate Salesmate with the following applications:

  • Data Studio
  • QuickBooks Online
  • InvoiceBerry
  • Google Calendar
  • Microsoft Calendar
  • Harvest
  • RingCentral
  • Clearbit
  • MailChimp

The product is available as a web, Android, or iOS app or Chrome extension, making Salesmate one of the most versatile of all CRMs.

Benefits of using CRMs for startups


One of the features you should look for when purchasing a CRM is simplicity. This means CRMs that require minimal training, with an intuitive user experience, ease of use, and ease of information access. Also, if your user interface is well designed, your team will be more likely to use it.


CRMs take the chaotic mess of customer data you have strewn across dozens of spreadsheets and apps and organizes it all in one easy-to-access location.

Good CRMs seamlessly integrate with email clients like Microsoft Outlook and Gmail. You can also use them with other digital tools to allow data to flow unimpeded between these tools and the centralized platform. When your data stream flows into one unified source, everything is much more organized.

Better collaboration

Collaborative CRM features make it easier for teams to work together—even remotely. They give your employees real-time access to customer information, so everyone knows what everyone else is doing.

Increased productivity

CRM productivity tools make it easier to stay on task. For example, they'll notify you when to send a follow-up email, allow you to track deals through the sale pipeline, and provide detailed customer purchase histories.

They can also help you identify new sale opportunities. They can also track existing ones by month, amount, stage, and likelihood of success. Service costs fall because mistakes and redundancies are dramatically reduced.

Increased revenues

CRMs boost revenues because they streamline business processes and automate task management.

This allows you to stop doing menial tasks and start building robust customer relationships instead. Better quality relationships mean you can increase your conversion rate. In addition, analytical tools help you to fine-tune your sales process, bringing in more customers.

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