13 Best Marketing and Sales Tools for Startups (August 2022)

The best sales tools for startups

Too many businesses own dozens, sometimes hundreds, of tools across their go-to-market teams. A complete waste of money and time. How do you decide on the best marketing and sales tools for startups like yours?

Most people ask peers, some ask us, and others go to analysts and other sites to read reviews.

The problem with most feedback is that it only answers one question: which tool are you using, and why do you like it?

It rarely answers the broader question of the best tools for your needs, company size, or industry.

This article will break out the major categories of sales and marketing tools and share our feedback on which is best for you to check.

Our working assumptions

For these recommendations, we are working under the following assumptions:

  • Your annual revenue is less than $20 million.
  • You have not yet received a C-round of financing.
  • You have done fantastic work but have limited or no repeatable processes. You need to scale.

We will begin by looking at the foundational tools to create your scalable business.

Best Go-To-Market Tools – Summary

Here are the top marketing and sales tools, broken out below in more detail.

  1. Trainual for employee onboarding, ongoing training, and process standardization
  2. Pipedrive for CRM
  3. monday.com for Project Management
  4. ChurnZero for Customer Success
  5. Saleshood for Sales Content Management
  6. e4enable for overall Sales Performance
  7. Wiza for Sales Prospecting
  8. PandaDoc for Sales Proposals and e-Signatures
  9. Klenty for Sales Outreach (cadences)
  10. ActiveCampaign for Email Outreach and Overall Marketing Automation
  11. ConvertKit for email drip campaigns
  12. Surfer SEO for SEO Optimization and Analysis
  13. Frase for AI Writer and Paraphrasing Tool

 

Best Standard Go-to-Market Core Tools for Startups

As a startup, you must cover these core go-to-market capabilities, create standard processes, leverage frameworks, and plan for scale.

The most important tools for every startup at this stage include:

  • Process Support
  • CRM
  • Project Management
  • Customer Success
Employee Onboarding, Ongoing Training, and Process Standardization

Hard work, passion, and a lot of caffeine can help you grow to a certain point.

But you will see it all fall apart if you begin standardizing processes and the ongoing training of your teams and individuals.

There are too many options to choose from, and many will charge you more than the value you will receive.

That’s why we chose Trainual as the best option.

Why buy Trainual through Trust Enablement?

There are many excellent solutions on the market, but we strongly recommend Trainual for this need.

And, if you buy Trainual using our link and you email [email protected], we will:

  • Provide up to 4 hours helping you plan out how to best approach documentation and training based on your specific business needs ($1000 value).
  • Based on the above, assist in the initial system configuration, training the person in your business who will own process/operations ($2000 value)
  • Add you to our private community where we can help your team with monthly assistance (1 hour/month) ($150 value)
That’s $3150 in free services when you buy through our link.  
CRM Solutions

Each of the following CRM solutions works excellent for your startup — consider our recommendations closely as they help you position the right solution for you right now.

CapabilitiesPipedriveHubspotSalesforce
Ideal for…An early-stage startup that will not be adding more than 5 additional sellers in the next couple of years. An early-stage startup that is adding more than 5-20 reps in the next couple of years and depends on inbound marketing to drive leads.An early-stage startup that is hiring more than 20 reps in the next two years and must scale now.
Key DIfferentiatorSolid Contact and Deal Flow to manage the sales processes you are building out.Top of the line Marketing Automation for Inbound Marketing Including a Capable CRMThe top-of-the-line CRM for most businesses, certainly for any early-stage startup that will be growing quickly.
IntegrationsMore than 250 integrations. More than 1000 integrations. Too Many to List, here is the list of all integrations
Top Verticals SupportedTechnology, Financial Services, ConstructionTechnology, Retail, Health CareTechnology, Financial Services, Health Care
ConsFewest Integrations — Use solutions like Zapier to close the gap.Free CRM is solid but the least robust of the three. Adding in paid features becomes expensive.Most complex solution to learn.
PricingFree Trial available.

Four pricing packages are available but we urge buying the Advanced Package at $24.90/user/month as you will want the email and workflow capabilities available at this level.
The Free version of Hubspot is not the solution you can build your startup on.

You will need to build your own bundle, consisting of CRM and Marketing Automation.

This will range from as low as $50/month through thousands per month depending on team size and the number of marketing contacts in your account.
Sales Cloud Pricing ranges from $25/user/month to $300/user/month depending on functional needs.

Most startups will be able to use Essentials at $25/user/month initially.

However, collaborative forecasting is powerful and a big reason to upgrade to Professional at $75/user/month.
Try NowTry NowTry Now

Project Management

monday.com Screenshot

We know the startup world. It is magical, energizing, chaotic, and exhausting every day.

Too many teams run around, getting stuff done without documenting their processes, prioritizing their efforts, or measuring their results.

A great project management solution can help you document and prioritize.

That’s why our team uses monday.com for our work, and we highly recommend it to every business we work with. monday.com supports:

  • The project management capabilities you need, of course.
  • Managing internal documentation and building processes to keep it updated as part of your projects.
  • And it comes with a free version that will work for the very early-stage startups, teams of 2, for example.

For teams larger than 2, the paid version will cost anywhere from $8/user/month upwards.

Why Buy Your Project Management Solution Through Trust Enablement?

If you buy a paid version of monday.com through our link:

  • Email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to our private Facebook group to support you with tips, and tricks, and to overcome any challenges.
  • Train your team on how to use the tools, if desired, in a private, Zoom-based training session.
  • Set up your first project board in collaboration with your team.
  • Load in your initial set of users.
Customer Success

If your business depends upon recurring revenue from existing customers, you need to hire customer success early and arm them with the tools necessary to win.

Initially, the most important tools for this person or team will include the CRM and your Project Management platform. No additional cost there.

However, as you grow your customer base grows you will want to evaluate tools like Totango, Gainsight, and ChurnZero. This is how we compare the platforms.

Note: that you will want licenses for your Customer Success Leader and Sales Leader, at a minimum.

CapabilitiesChurnZeroTotangoGainsight
IntegrationsChurnZero has many integrations, including Hubspot, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft Outlook, GmailMany integrations listed, including Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, SalesforceIntegrations: Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zoho, Zoom, Gong, Google, Outlook, Google Analytics, Einstein Analytics, Segment, Tableau, Zendesk, Salesforce Service Cloud, Freshdesk, Zapier, Software AG, Workato, Celigo
Top Verticals SupportedTechnology, Human Resources, Financial ServicesTechnology, Higher Education, HealthcareTechnology, Healthcare, Financial Services
PricingPricing is not listed on their website.Community Pricing: Teams of 3, 1 product, and a max of 100 customers can use FREE

Starter Pricing: Teams of 5, 1 product, and a max of 500 customers cost $499/month.

Growth Pricing: Team of 10 users, 1 product, $899/month.

Larger Plans, Enterprise Pricing, are custom quoted.
Pricing pages are listed on the Gainsight website but no prices are provided.
Try NowTry NowTry Now

Best Sales Tools for Startups

Content Management and Delivery Solutions

You need a platform for managing and measuring the effectiveness of your sales content.

The most important thing for these platforms is their ability to integrate with your CRM and your mail clients. You cannot afford the content or the data produced by its usage to not integrate with your broader tech stack.

CapabilityShowellSaleshoodPaperflite
Digital Sales RoomsSolid capabilities, dynamic content (optionally), security.Solid capabilities, dynamic content, but no security.Solid capabilities, dynamic content (optionally), security, chat/conversation capabilities.
Content PlaybackGood playback includes annotations and the ability to save notes.Basic, No Annotations or NotesBasic, No Annotations or Notes
SearchTitle, Description, File ContentsTitle, Description, File ContentsTitle, Description, File Contents
ReportingSellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, who to reach out to and what to discuss.Sellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, who to reach out to and what to discuss.Sellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, who to reach out to and what to discuss.
Email IntegrationsNoneNoneGmail, Microsoft Outlook
CRM IntegrationsSalesforceSalesforceHubspot, Pipedrive, Microsoft Dynamics
PricingFree
– Up to 25 documents
– Up to 5 users
– Basic theme
– Self-service onboarding
– Help Center and tutorial videos
– Virtual product training
– Community Slack support

Essential
$18/user/month
– Up to 50 documents
– Up to 20 users
– Basic theme
– 1-to-1 virtual onboarding session
– Help Center and tutorial videos
– Customer support
– Community Slack support

Professional
No pricing published
– Unlimited volume & storage
– Unlimited users & admins
– Custom themes
– Onboarding program
– Dedicated customer success manager
– Premium support
– Showell community
Try Free
$50/user/month
All Pricing
Try Free
$50/user/month
All Pricing
Evaluate NowEvaluate NowEvaluate Now

Sales Enablement Performance

e4enable is the MUST HAVE solution for businesses ranging from mid-sized through the Fortune 500.  

The e4enable team refers to its platform as a data-driven, competency-centered sales coaching platform — but that is too large of a mouthful, and frankly, fails to capture the depth of value they have created in their product.

This product is the brain, heart, and soul of effective employee growth and amplification solution, finally providing a way to tie training and coaching efforts to business outcomes.

It cuts across employees at all levels, providing more depth of insight than anything else on the market, while almost spoon-feeding the users with the formula for their individual, their teams, and their business overall growth.

It is not an LMS replacement — it is the glue that finally enables you to deliver on the promised value of your existing LMS and related solutions.

Try e4enable now.

Prospecting Tools

For startups, consider these two prospecting tools based on your expected growth rate.

CapabilitiesWiza
Key DIfferentiatorIf you are using LinkedIn for the majority of your sales outreach, Wiza is the best choice.
ConsIf you don’t prospect via LinkedIn, there is no need for Wiza.
Try Now

Sales Document (Proposals and E-Signatures)
CapabilityPandaDoc
G2 Ratings4.7/5.0
(1547 Reviews)
Paid Pricing$49/user/month
Templates400+
CRM IntegrationsSalesforce, Pipedrive, Hubspot, Zoho, Copper, Sugar, Nimble, Zendesk Sell, Insightly, Microsoft Dynamics, Nutshell, Nimble, monday.com
Usability8/10
CPQ SupportYes
Additional Add-onsYes
Set Signing OrderYes
Variables and Custom FieldsYes
Try Now

Sales Outreach Solutions

Once you’ve identified your leads using the abovementioned tools, you want to begin your outreach efforts.

Klenty and Reply.io are our two recommendations in this category as the best sales tools for startups.

Let’s compare a bit closer.

Note: As you compare pricing between Autoklose and Klenty below, note that the Startup pricing only provides email cadence support, not support for the broader capabilities.

CapabilityKlentyReply.io
G2 Reviews4.6/5.0 (161 Reviews)4.6/5.0 (816 Reviews)
Cadence SupportA complete sales cadence solution supporting defining and running cadences that are email, phone, and miscellaneous (e.g., social). Also integrates with popular CRM and email solutions.

Note: Startup pricing only provides email cadences.
A complete sales cadence solution supporting defining and running cadences that are email, phone, and miscellaneous (e.g., social).
Email IntegrationsGmail and Microsoft OutlookNone Listed
CRM IntegrationsSalesforce, Hubspot, and PipedriveSalesforce, Pipedrive, Zendesk Sell, Hubspot, Copper CRM, Freshsales, Salesflare, Zoho, Insightly, Nutshell, Bullhorn
PricingStartup
$35/user/month
– Email Cadences

Growth
$60/user/month
– Cadence Playbooks
– Multichannel Outreach
– CRM Integrations

Enterprise
$100/user/month
Reply.io is very transparent with its pricing and there are a ton of choices.

Summary for Businesses

$50/user/month for 10+ users

$60/user/month for 5-10 users

$70/user/month for fewer than 5 users.

Review here.
Buy Now to Support Lead GenerationBuy Now to Support Lead Generation

Best Marketing Tools for Startups

Let’s begin the marketing tool discussion with email marketing.

Email Marketing Solutions

ActiveCampaignMoosend
G2 Reviews
CRM IntegrationsMore than 870 integrations total – CRMs:
Dozens, including Pipedrive and Salesforce
Dozens of integrations total – CRM:
Many, including Hubspot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce
PricingActiveCampaign has four paid plans.
Full details for each package can be found here.

Lite
$9/month

Plus
$49/month

Professional
$149/month

Enterprise
Price not provided
Moosend’s Free 30-day trial provides prospects with an opportunity to get comfortable with the platform.
Beyond the Free trial, there are two pricing tiers:

Pro
$9/user/month for up to 500 subscribers.

Enterprise
Pricing not provided
Custom Reporting
Dedicated Account Manager
Priority Support
Single Sign-on (SSO)
Try NowTry Now

Drip Email Marketing Automation Solutions

ConvertKit is the most robust solution on the market for easily creating powerful email drip campaigns.

We use ConvertKit for all drip campaigns we run across Trust Enablement and our other properties.

Why Buy Through Trust Enablement?

If you buy ConvertKit through our link:

  • Email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to our private Facebook group to support you with tips, and tricks, and to overcome any challenges. ($1000 value)
  • Train your team on how to use the tools, if desired, in a private, Zoom-based training session. ($5000 value)
  • Load in your existing subscriber list. ($100 value)
  • Create your first landing page or popup.($500 value)
  • Configure and set up your initial email sequence to ensure you have a great starting point. ($500 value)
  • Configure your first automation sequence. ($1000 value)

That’s $8500 in additional value.

(Video) Using ConvertKit for Drip Email Marketing

Best Search Engine Optimization Tools

Content Marketing ToolsWhy do we use it?G2 RatingsProsConsPricingTry Now
ahrefsIn-depth SEO Research4.6/5.0
(386 Reviews)
Hands down the best overall SEO tool on the market.Pricing ranges from $99/month to $999/month.Try Now to Win the SEO Wars
Surfer SEOFor Content Planning and Web Page Analysis4.8/5.0
(263 Reviews)
Very easy to use and hands-down the best content planning and auditing tools on the market.Many tools are newer — not really a negative as much as an observation that some of their growth tools are evolving.Paid plans range from $49/month to $199/month.Try now to Put your Website SEO on Another Level

Why Buy Your Surfer SEO Through Trust Enablement?

If you buy Surfer through our link:

  • Email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to our private Facebook group to support you with tips, tricks, and to overcome any challenges.
  • Train, if desired, your team, on how to use it, in a private, Zoom-based training session.
Best AI Writing Assistants
CategoryFraseJasperQuillBot
TOP OVERALL – MOST ROBUSTEASIEST TO USETOP FOR PARAPHRASING AND PLAGIARISM CHECKS
Overall Quality of AI-Generated Writing9/108/107/10
Ease of Use8/109/107/10
ProsPowerful engine for writing SEO-rich content.

Rapid engineering team, evolving this product quickly.
Very easy to use to generate content of any length.

High-quality content.
Does an excellent job at rewrites —
ConsThe tool is powerful and it’s not always obvious to first-time users how to take full advantage.

It’s worth your effort.
SEO support requires the use of Surfer SEO, also a great product but an additional purchase.Not a tool for writing from scratch.
G2 Reviews4.8/5.0
(205 Reviews)
4.8/5.0
(605 Reviews)
4.3/5.0
(15 Reviews)
PricingFrom $44.99/monthFrom $29/month.Free version and paid plans start at $19.95 per month
Try NowTry NowTry Now

Why Buy Your AI Writer Through Trust Enablement?

If you buy Frase through our link:

  • Email us at [email protected] and we will provide you with access to our private Facebook group to support you with tips, tricks, and to overcome any challenges.
  • Train, if desired, your team, on how to use the tools, in a private, Zoom-based training session.

What would you recommend we add to our recommendations?

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