10 Best Marketing and Sales Tools for Startups (May 2022)

The best sales tools for startupsToo 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, your size of the company, or your 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 out.

Our working assumptions

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

  • You are selling B2B solutions.
  • Your annual revenue is less than $20 million.
  • You have not yet received a B-round of financing.
  • You have done fantastic work to date but you have limited or no repeatable processes in place. 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. Pipedrive for CRM
  2. monday.com for Project Management
  3. ChurnZero for Customer Success.
  4. Saleshood for Sales Content Management.
  5. Lusha for Sales Prospecting
  6. PandaDoc for Sales Proposals and e-Signatures
  7. Klenty for Sales Outreach (cadences)
  8. ActiveCampaign for Email Outreach and Overall Marketing Automation
  9. Surfer SEO for SEO Optimization and Analysis
  10. Jasper for AI Writer and Paraphrasing Tool

 

Best Go-to-Market Core Tools for Startups

As a startup, you need to cover these core go-to-market capabilities early on and plan for scale.

The three types are:

  • CRM
  • Project Management
  • Customer Success
CRM Solutions

Each of the following CRM solutions works great 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 ScreenshotWe 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.

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, identify who to reach out to and what to discuss.Sellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, identify who to reach out to and what to discuss.Sellers can use reporting to identify customer engagement, identify 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

Prospecting Tools

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

CapabilitiesLushaLeadiQ
Ideal for Business SizeSlow but Steady GrowthOn the Rocket Ship
Key DIfferentiatorCan handle LinkedIn as well as other data sources, with a robust Chrome extension to identify contact information on websites you are reviewing.Very easy to use for purpose of unmasking LinkedIn contacts.
IntegrationsLusha has many integrations, including Salesforce, Hubspot, Pipedrive, Microsoft Outlook, GMail, Outreach, and others.Salesforce, Hubspot, LinkedIn, Outreach, Salesloft, GSuite, Slack
ConsThe con is the opposite of Wiza’s. If you only use LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you’ll find Lusha to be more complex than required.Slightly more complex than Wiza and Lusha.
Try NowTry 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 tools covered above, you want to begin your outreach efforts.

Klenty and Reply.io are our two recommendations to consider 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 more 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 more 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

 

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

Best AI Writing Assistants
CategoryJasperQuillBot
TOP FOR OVERALL QUALITYTOP FOR PARAPHRASING
Overall Quality of AI-Generated Writing8/107/10
Ease of Use9/107/10
ProsVery easy to use to generate content of any length.Does an excellent job at rewrites —
ConsWould benefit from the outline capabilities offered by WriteSonic and the per-section SEO targeting from Ryte.Not a tool for writing from scratch.
G2 Reviews4.8/5.0
(605 Reviews)
4.3/5.0
(15 Reviews)
PricingFrom $29 to $59/month.$19.95 per month for Premium
Try NowTry Now


What would you recommend we add to our recommendations?

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