30 Must-Have Sales Tools for Startups to Build and Grow Your Business

30 Must-Have Sales Tools for Startups to Build and Grow Your Business

Launching a startup is a mix of excitement and motivation, challenged by numerous obstacles and uncertainty. Unfortunately, 90% of all startups fail within their first 5 years due to today’s hyper-competitive business environment. 

Equipping your startup and its members with the right tools early on can help you find your place under the sun and be competitive in your market. For the vast majority of startups, sales and marketing tools should be a priority. Sales tools, in particular, can help new businesses target and engage potential customers, creating a solid pipeline right from the get-go. 

Yet, startup companies are unique by nature – their business needs and goals will often differ from those of established firms, meaning so will the tools they require to start growing.

What makes the best startup tools?

Realistically, startup sales teams will have a more limited budget for their software stack, less demand for large-scale functionality, and fewer users working with them. 

But with thousands of options available, how can you ensure you get the best bang for the buck? After all, you want to equip your team with the best sales tools for startups out there, but at the same time – you might not need any of the extra ‘heavy’ features designed for larger businesses just yet. 

Here are the top 3 criteria that all startups should prioritize when choosing their sales tools: 

  • free/freemium or special pricing plans/offers for startups
  • all-in-one tools to work with multiple sales processes
  • tools tailored for smaller (or one-person) teams

Additionally, startups should focus their search on sales tools that provide maximum automation for peak productivity, scalability to accommodate their growth, and accessible integrations for when they decide to grow their stack. 

We did the heavy lifting for you and, with our own criteria in mind, found the best sales tools for startups – both up-and-coming products designed for smaller teams and household names with special plans or offers.

Top 30 best sales tools for startups

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best sales tools for startups to generate more quality leads, maximize productivity, close more deals, and grow their revenue toward long-term profits.

Reply – to automate and scale your sales communications 

A solid sales engagement tool like Reply is an absolute must for each startup to build a reliable pipeline from scratch and start generating customers.  

It’s a true all-in-one platform with a free contact database and email finder for prospecting, AI sales assistant to generate personalized emails and multichannel sequences based on your requirements, plus diverse analytics to track and improve your campaign performance. 

Reply helps you automate and scale business communication of all kinds, which means you can also use it for hiring, marketing/PR, and fundraising.  

You can also apply for the special “Reply for Startups offer to get up to a 100% discount for your first 3 months (+ a 15% discount afterward) with everything you need to generate leads, connect with investors, build marketing connections, or attract the best talent. 

Alternatives:

  • Hunter is a dedicated email outreach platform designed for finding and verifying contact emails and managing your email campaigns
  • LeadIQ is an all-in-one sales prospecting tool that focuses on finding prospect data and using it to personalize cold outreach.

Enjoy up to 100% discount for 3 months of sales engagement with Reply & get a 15% discount afterwards

Apply now

Close – for customer relationship management and automation

Once all the sales processes are set in stone, many startups will eventually need a centralized system to keep track of all their customers, interactions, and operations, in other words – a CRM.  

Close is a sales-centered CRM and data hub for small sales teams. With its promising automation capabilities and intuitive UI, this is definitely the tool for startups looking for a CRM. 

Close also has a special startup offer for all the newly-launched companies that meet certain criteria.

The product also has a free 14-day trial and comes with several perks, including data migration and swift onboarding, to help startups start growing their sales right away.

Alternatives

  • NetHunt is the ideal CRM tool for sales and marketing teams working with Google Workspace (which also offers a special startup plan). 
  • ClickUp is a must-have in your stack for streamlining, managing, and collaborating on numerous sales (and other) projects. 
  • Folk is a lightweight CRM system that’s easy to customize with AI. It can even accommodate your fundraising campaigns and keep track of grants and investments.

Reply Data – for building targeted prospect lists

One more handy tool for startups from Reply is our free B2B database. First and most importantly, our data is not purchased but sourced internally. We have over 100 million contacts, mostly from the US and Europe. You can easily refine your search using 10+ filters and get contact info like names, emails, phone numbers, and LinkedIn profiles.

We regularly verify the data and label the contacts, so you know if an email is safe to use. You can also double-check the data using our validation feature (at an extra cost).

It’s also integrated into our sales platform, so you can do everything in one place, from building lists to scheduling meetings, without leaving your Reply account.

The best part? Reply Data is 100% free to use, with 200 monthly email search credits for trial or Free plan users and 1,000 included in every paid Engagement plan. It’s perfect for small-medium teams with specific target lists.

Alternative

  • Clearbit is a fantastic lead generation and email finder tool with real-time sales and marketing intelligence capabilities to help startups instantly act on buyer signals, plus it has numerous free features. 

Try hassle-free data sourcing for sales pros with Reply Data

Learn more

Airtable – for data management and process automation

Sales operations involve a ton of data that has to be accurately stored and easily accessible.  

Airtable is spreadsheets on steroids – besides simply organizing data, sales teams can build and customize their own processes within this tool for a unique knowledge-sharing experience. 

Startups can use Airtable to make their data actionable by structuring, storing, and connecting it the way that works best for them, without the need of any IT knowledge. 

While Airtable doesn’t have a special startup offer, it does have a pretty decent free plan that could be more than enough for smaller teams just starting out their sales journey.  

Alternative

  • Rows is another great data management tool that seamlessly integrates with other software and social media accounts for an automated data-organizing experience.  

Sendspark – for video sharing and video prospecting

Let’s face it – we are living in a video-centric world. As a result, videos have also become one of the best ways to get your prospect’s attention and stand out from the crowd. Sendspark makes including professional videos in your sales outreach seamless and swift. 

This tool focuses on personalization, allowing you to create hundreds of personalized outreach videos in minutes, using names, company information, value propositions, etc. as variables

Ultimately, this tool will help your startup drive engagement and conversions with your email campaigns in Reply thanks to a seamless integration

The tool has a free plan (limited to just 30 videos in the library), but new businesses can also apply for the Sendspark for Startups offer to get 50% off the first year.

Alternatives

  • Vidyard is another prime choice for sales video software that makes it easy to add personalized videos throughout the entire sales cycle – from prospecting to proposals. 
  • Loom can also be used for sales outreach with video, but it’s also the go-to tool for creating, sharing, and interacting with videos for internal team and company use.

Video Prospecting Cheatsheet [+ scripts]

It doesn’t matter how great your offer is, if your email fails to grab the prospect’s attention it will end up in trash.
Want to make sure your emails stand out? Spice things up with personalized video.

Calendly – for appointment booking and calendar management

Sales teams thrive on booking meetings with potential customers. It’s one of the last steps of the buyer journey and an excellent opportunity to showcase their product to its fullest. 

Calendly eliminates the back-and-forth emails that booking a sales meeting often involves. 

With Calendly, sales teams can utilize this tool to create and send out scheduling links to their prospects, allowing them to book an appointment with a few clicks.

On top of that, startups will have a designated cloud-based calendar that keeps track of all internal and external meetings, driving collaboration and productivity. 

Calendly’s “Basic” pricing plan is designed for smaller teams and their simpler scheduling needs, allowing startups to create a team-wide calendar and schedule internal meetings for free.   

Alternative

  • Google Calendar is a fine alternative for teams closely working with other Google tools (docs, sheets, etc.) and is included in most Google Workplace plans. 

tl;dv – for recording calls/meetings and note-taking 

While on the topic of meetings, it’s worth mentioning recording software like tl;dv that ensures all internal and external meetings are effective and nothing important is lost or forgotten. 

With tl;dv, startup sales teams can make the most of their meetings through its recording, transcribing, and summarizing features, while attendees can easily take notes.

Startups can enjoy tl;dv’s forever-free plan that includes a bunch of generous features, including unlimited meeting recordings, AI meeting summaries, unlimited free members, and more. 

Alternatives

  • Otter.ai is a solid alternative to elevate your meetings. It centers around collaboration by taking notes with AI and sharing vital information with attendees.  
  • Fellow is a great alternative for startup sales teams with work that’s data-heavy or those that simply wish to bring notes and visuals to their sales meetings. 

Pitch – for presentations (for sales or funding)

After finding and engaging potential customers, sales teams finally get to the stage where they can properly showcase their products in detail. 

As the name and catchy slogan suggest, Pitch is a tool designed for leveling up your sales presentations to create powerful pitches to drive conversions.

With numerous customizable presentation templates and intuitive design features, small startups can begin creating professional and personalized product demos with ease. 

Startups can add Pitch to their tool stack for free with their Starter plan, which should be sufficient as it allows them to create unlimited presentations with basic features. 

Alternative

  • Canva is the most popular tool for creating any type of visuals, from product banners to studio-quality presentations; it includes a special startup plan. 
  • Storylane is another prime tool used to create effective sales presentations with a stronger emphasis on recording and personalizing product tours and walk-throughs.

Notion – for productivity and knowledge sharing

All successful sales teams have one thing in common – they are masters of collaborating with other teams like marketing and customer success. 

To do that, there has to be a centralized, company-wide wiki that stores and organizes all documents and projects in one place – and that’s exactly what Notion does. 

From departmental updates and KPIs to company-wide processes and projects, Notion is the best way to ensure your startup team members have everything they need to excel in their tasks. 

Notion for Startups gives eligible companies 6 months of free usage with all its core features, including the brand-new AI features that take knowledge sharing to another level.  

Alternative

  • Slite is a very similar productivity and knowledge hub with a very similar UI. And while there’s no special startup program, there is a pretty sufficient, free pricing plan. 

Waalaxy – for social selling/automation

It’s no secret that LinkedIn is the most popular social platform for B2B professionals, making it also one of the best places to find and engage with potential customers and partners. 

Waalaxy focuses entirely on LinkedIn by helping sales teams extract profile lists from their LinkedIn search, find those contacts’ emails, and create personalized engagement journeys with automated invitations, messages, and emails. 

Startups can use Waalaxy’s free plan that gives access to all the automation LinkedIn features needed to up your social selling game, build meaningful connections, and grow your customer base through this platform. 

Alternatives

  • Supergrow is another effective social selling tool to have in your stack. It focuses less on outreach and more on engaging content with its AI writing features.
  • Inlytics is similar to Supergrow. But rather than helping you create content or engagement messages, it provides detailed analytics to help you tweak and perfect your social selling strategy. 

Enjoy up to 100% discount for 3 months of sales engagement with Reply & get a 15% discount afterwards

Apply now

More helpful extras

Before signing off, it’s worth mentioning the few necessary extras that every sales team will want in their arsenal, regardless of their team size and industry: 

  • MailToaster – an email warm-up tool that will help every startup boost their email deliverability and grow a positive email reputation from the ground up.
  • ChatGPT – no introduction needed – a must-have tool for writing (emails, messages, content), brainstorming, and research. 
  • Zapier – the glue for your tool stack and all your automations, an absolute necessity to tie them all together for a functional workflow. 

Over to you 

Now that you’ve gotten an idea of what to look for with some top-notch examples, it’s time to start building your very own sales tool stack for your startup. 

And, as you’ve discovered, numerous amazing sales tools for startups have dedicated startup offers or completely free plans, so take advantage of that! In the startup phase, it’s crucial to channel your resources in the right direction and handpick the most relevant sales tools from the get-go. 

It may very well be the difference between a startup thriving and becoming a unicorn, and becoming part of the gruesome statistic we mentioned at the start. 

Hopefully, this guide helped you get inspiration and ideas on how to best equip your sales team no matter how bumpy the road ahead may be.

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