The best CRM platforms for startups

05 Jun 2020
Kate, copywriter
With CRM most of the processes become automatic, allowing your team to focus on enhancing the communication strategies and implementing creative solutions.
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Agile CRM

Why companies need CRM?

Managing relationships and interactions with customers is a topical task for any scale of business – both large- and medium-sized companies, local small ventures, and even startups. Customer service and support, discount campaigns, personalized offers – all of it is backed up by CRM systems that are created specifically for optimization of business interactions with their clients. In terms of organizing, it embraces such processes as direct clients’ problem-solving, sales monitoring and accelerating, client’s behavior forecast, and analysis of all the data gathered. The info is gathered from companies’ websites, apps, social media pages, and other sources where the clients voluntarily share their info (like phone number, e-mail, name, and surname). Without CRM, you would have to keep manual notes about the clients. That is a thing of the past, although many businesses of small scale choose to use Excel tables to keep track of emails, numbers, and personalized data. The inconveniences are:

  • you have to enter all info manually;
  • it’s harder to find proper info with the growth in client’s numbers, also it takes more time;
  • you will have to implement an additional communication tool;
  • you will be able to implement only the visible data (voluntarily revealed by client), while CRM can also sense the behavioral patterns (time spent on pages, clicks – all of that forecasts interests)

CRM system will automatically gather this info and arrange it the moment your customers’ press SUBMIT after filling up the forms or writing in your chatbots. It doesn’t mean there won’t be the need to manually fill in at all – there will be after some offline meetings and seminars where the guests were given paper questionnaires. However, with CRM most of the processes are automatic, allowing your team to focus on enhancing the communication strategies and creative solutions.

There are three types of CRM:

  • Operational CRM – helps to keep track of all processes your customers go through to make a purchase or agree to service – from registering on the website to end feedback;
  • Analytical CRM – analyses the gathered data and outlines the patterns of behavior;
  • Collaborative CRM – organizes the information about clients and shares it with your stakeholders.

The best CRM platforms for startups

AgileCRM

About: This is a CRM system that went from a small multi-channel engagement app to multitasking and universal CRM suitable for any scale of business. Its initial version was created so that you could install it on your app or website to chat with customers. Hence, it fulfilled only one CRM requirement – communication. However, just as your startup, it grew, adding more features necessary for effective customer base management. Now, it assist businesses in basically everything one may need from CRM: sales, marketing, and customer service. What’s distinguishing is that the AgileCRM team is so confident in what they do, that they even included to their website the comparison with other alternatives in CRM-universe.

Features:

  • Sales Essentials: agenda, contacts, documents, deals, PC CRM and Mobile CRM;
  • Reporting, E-mailing, Virtual Documents Signing and others;
  • Telephony: audio calls, voicemails, scripts;
  • Marketing and web ads control:
  • Social Media CRM and marketing;
  • Messaging in the smartphone and ads;
  • Automation of service offering and support.
Capsule

Plans:

  • FREE – available for 10 users only. You can add 1000 contacts to the clients’ base. There are available most basic CRM features.such as appointment scheduling, emailing, marketing campaigns, service helpdesk, reports, activities, and others.
  • STARTER – all basic features + 10 thousand contacts, 2-way email integration, marketing automation, and social media monitoring, email reports.
  • REGULAR – all STARTER features + 50 thousand contacts, 2-way telephony, mobile marketing, 50+ plugins.
  • ENTERPRISE – all REGULAR features + unlimited contacts, call recording, automated voicemails, additional integrations.

What makes it good for startups?

Its free plan and the availability of most basic functions there. When you only promote your product, every dollar counts. With AgileCRM you will be able to add up to 10 admins, which is just enough for the venture that only enters the software world. With the growth in business scale, you will be able to update your plan, as the transition from plan to plan is smooth in price. It is convenient, as choosing AgileCRM once, you will reduce the number of integrations, having all types of CRM in one app.

Capsule

About: It’s a cloud-based CRM for small- and medium-sized companies. It was founded in 2009, because of the dissatisfaction with the CRM that existed at that time. The main aim of this company is to help businesses bring all of their client’s base in one place and organize it in a logical way. With automated organizational processes, it will be easier to build strong relationships with customers, making the random page guests regular clients. Capsule works with more than 170 clients from all over the world. It is suitable for accounting, hotels, travel agencies, contractors, real estate agencies, and, of course, startups.

Features:

  • Contact Management – working with emails, contacts, and documents attached to each customer. Allows dividing all clients into personalized groups;
  • Tasks and calendar – create aims to your team and set the deadlines for each;
  • Sales pipeline – monitor customer’s activity that led to purchase and analyze it to make the next experience better;
  • Reports – find out how many clients each admin served and which interactions were the most efficient;
  • Teams and roles – successfully outline the responsibilities of each member and give different access rights;
  • Tracks – view the interactions globally and predict upcoming trends;
  • Mobile CRM – allow your workers to be more flexible.
insightly

Plans:

  • FREE – 250 free contacts, unlimited tracks, cases, and sales opportunities, calendar and tasks, sales, limited reporting, two-factor authentification, Google Suite, 10MB of storage
  • PROFESSIONAL – all basic features + 50 thousand users, 10GB /user, activity monitoring, premium Ad-ons;
  • TEAMS – all PROFESSIONAL features + 100 000 users, increased storage, advanced reporting.

What makes it good for startups?

The available free plan has restrictions in the number of people who can use it. However, there are more unlimited features available. Capsule positions itself as CRM for startups, and there is a separate landing page, explaining how this app can help the ventures that only enter the software business. All in all, they also provide different types of CRM in one system and make it user-friendly and easy to learn.

Insightly

About: Suitable for businesses of any scale, Insightly has been working with more than 25 thousand companies. It targets numerous industries – from traditional eCommerce and sale-driven businesses to media and advertising and even non-profit organizations. It is especially great for avid Microsoft users, as Insightly has updated, featuring the Microsoft Outlook integration. This app is a combination of powerful CRM and Marketing tools.

Features:

  • Customer Journey Optimization – track user experience from signing up to making purchases, send discounts and personalized offers, communicate;
  • Emailing tools – create beautiful and engaging e-mails with design and text templates;
  • Embedded forms for feedback gathering;
  • Marketing campaign results and its infographics;
  • Privacy-protecting tools;
  • Dataset management;
  • Mobile integration.
pipedrive

Plans:

  • CRM Plus – allows working from any device, delivering projects with management tools, and integrating office apps and.
  • CRM Professional – includes leads organizing, sales processes, voice mailing and dialing, and business intelligence platform.
  • CRM Enterprise – has advance relationship-building tools (customer behavior tracking and improved communication tools). It allows automatization of all processes and connection with any app.

Why is it good for startups?

Insightly fosters a professional approach to implementing CRM to its customer’s businesses. That’s why it does not have a plan – you have to already know your company’s aims and objectives in order to optimize all sales-driven processes to the fullest extend. That’s why it is not suitable for pre-seed and seed startups. However, it is perfect for post-launch ones, that need the advanced featured right away.

Pipedrive

Since 2010 this CRM system is working for the sake of all salespeople, as it was founded by those who perfectly understand all pitfalls that you need to take in this monetary world. “Made for salespeople, by salespeople”, their solution contains an activity-based selling approach in forming strong relationships with customers. Since its launch, it has been working with 90 thousand companies and raising more than 90 million dollars in funding.

Features:

  • Customer management stages visualization;
  • Deals, leads, and contracts;
  • Scheduled activities (due and overdue)
  • The team assigned roles;
  • Calls and emails tracker;
  • Dashboard templates;
  • Privacy and security tools;
  • Mobile app integration and notifications;
  • Insights and reports with visual data infographics;
  • 24/7 customer support for all plans.

Plans:

  • ESSENTIAL – pipeline and activities organization;
  • ADVANCED – allows automatization of all processes;
  • PROFESSIONAL – collaboration and communication tools included;
  • ENTERPRISE – custom onboarding.

Why is it good for startups?

It has a trial plan available, in which you can include as many workers as possible. During the trial, you can switch through different plans. It has 24/7 customer support available, making it highly convenient for startups from all over the world, as the problems may occur at any time. The quality of support does not depend on your plan.

What challenges do CRM systems solve?

1) Disorganization. That’s the main obstacle on the way to each company s productivity, as it will waste much time searching for info about the customers, which gives competitors the advantage

2) Not knowing your target audience. To sell more, you need to find out who your customers are and, most importantly, who aren’t. With CRM you will find out what stages restrict your clients from buying and which incentives work.

3) Users’ unawareness about products. The more your clients know about your company, the bigger the possibility they will choose your offers as their next purchase.

4) Ineffective customer support. To make the process of answering the concerns better and more personalized, your customer support managers must know all the info about the previous calls and issues, so that they do not repeat the same mistakes.

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Startup accelerators based in Europe
Kate, copywriter
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