6 Simple CRM Tools For Early Stage Startups & Why You Can’t Afford To Use A Spreadsheet
Greg Roth June 2, 2015

Congratulations, you took the plunge! You started your own business. For most entrepreneurs this means a slow build to profitability. At this stage you’re working from Starbucks. You have your laptop, a cup a joe, and an excel spreadsheet with your customers contact info. As you gaze at your customers and clients, who you know on a personal level, you dream of growing your business, scaling it online, and building it to profitability. As you scroll through your spreadsheet you realize when you start marketing beyond family and friends, you’ll need a CRM.

Even for early stage startups a spreadsheet doesn’t cut it. Spreadsheets only hold information. A CRM automates processes, tasks, follow-ups and tracks everything. It won’t be long before you start taking on new customers outside of your personal network. The smart move is to set a CRM up now, so you can grow and still nourish customer relationships. You need something simple, affordable and easy to set up. A CRM solution that will grow with your business.

Here’s our top six CRM picks that keep it simple without skimping on functionality:

 

lessannoyingcrm

1. Less Annoying CRM

What Is It?

Less Annoying CRM is a small team that is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. With a focus on customers, they focus on providing what users need and cutting out what they don’t. This cloud-hosted CRM offers everything small businesses need to make their sales process easy-to-manage and more successful.

How Much Does It Cost?

Offering a simple 30-day risk FREE trail and costing only $10 per month per user, this CRM is one of the most affordable options on the market.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Contact management
  • Calendar and task creation
  • Leads and pipeline management
  • Multiple-user teams
  • Easy customization options
  • Cloud-hosted

 

tactilecrm

2. Tactile CRM

What Is It?

This web-based CRM is designed to be easy-to-use for small businesses. Giving you everything you need to manage your small business contacts, sales, organization and more. This CRM allows you to manage your business from one place: contact and sales management, sales pipeline, notes, emails, activities and more.

How Much Does It Cost?

Offering a 30-day FREE trial on all accounts, Tactile CRM is on the affordable side with 3 plan options that range from FREE to $18 per user per month.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Reminders and calendar
  • Conversion and contact log
  • Seamless email integration
  • Shared address book
  • Sales pipeline and opportunities management
  • Seamless integration
  • Business organization

 

clevertim

3. CleverTim

What Is It?

This small software company is based in the UK and has provided a wide array of features and functionality that is designed to help businesses succeed. This CRM offers you everything that you need to manage contacts and company accounts, sales opportunities, individual cases, tasks, meetings, reminders, follow-ups, online files and email integration.

How Much Does It Cost?

While all plans come with a 30-day free trial, this CRM is pretty diverse, offering plans ranging from FREE to $99 per month.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Contact and company account management
  • Sales opportunity management
  • Case management
  • Tasks, meetings, reminders and follow-ups
  • Online file storage and organizer
  • Email integration

 

prosperworks

4. ProsperWorks (formerly Strideapp)

What Is It?

ProsperWorks is a customizable sales CRM that is designed to deliver faster deal-closing and easy management. Designed with simple-to-use functionality in mind, this CRM allows you to view your entire pipeline in seconds, customize it, gain contact insights, know important tasks ahead, use the powerful notification system, and view detailed reports.

How Much Does It Cost?

This CRM is slightly on the pricier side with a FREE trail and 3 different business plans that range from $19 per user per month at the lowest to $119 per month per user.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Pipeline view
  • Customization options
  • Contact information
  • Customer research
  • Insights
  • Notification system
  • Detailed reports
  • Mobile apps
  • Analytics
  • Pipeline management
  • Google integration
  • And more

 

batchbook

5. Batchbook

What Is It?

This social CRM for small businesses features easy start options, lead insights, address book, mobile options, to-do lists, deals and unlimited users. They have also integrated the best of MailChimp, Twitter, Quickbooks, Facebook, Xero, Disqus, Google Apps and more. They also feature easy-to-use tags for tags, activities, and custom fields.

How Much Does It Cost?

Batchbook is a bit pricey at $46 a month that is billed annually, however, some would consider it a small price for the features offered.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Easy set up options
  • Contact organization
  • To-do lists
  • Deals
  • Mobile options
  • Unlimited users
  • Create tag groups
  • Calendrer activities
  • Create custom fields

 

affinitylive

6. AffinityLive

What Is It?

AffinityLive CRM helps you keep track of all client interactions in real time, while offering a Gmail Gadget so you can keep on top of specific mail. The Calendar and address book are sync’d, so information stays current. A Task and Reminder tool allows you to keep appointments on time.

How Much Does It Cost?

AffinityLive offers a FREE 14 day trial period. After that, it’s $16 for basic or $34 for premium, per user, per month and billed annually.

Why It’s Awesome

  • Google Gadget keeps you up with emails.
  • Real time news feed provides instant access to client interactions.
  • Calendar and Address book are sync’d and current.

 

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Greg Roth Marketing Strategist

Greg is the marketing strategist at UniTel Voice, the virtual phone system designed for running your own business. Find out how UniTel Voice can help you stay connected and sound more professional by visiting unitelvoice.com.