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Start up tech stack infographic
Simon Bullmore30/5/2023 00:12 AM4 min read

What tools do you need for sales and marketing start ups?

Start-ups want to grow fast and flexibly. Using digital tools is an essential component of making that happen. You need tools to help you plan, create, and launch sales and marketing campaigns. And often you’ll be doing that without access to expert support. The exact mix of tools varies from company to company. But there’s a growth stack that we’ve come across time and again.

Here are the sales and marketing tools that we recommend for start ups 

Why this stack? Each of these tools are reliable, easy to use, free or low cost to start with, but flexible enough to support rapid growth. Together they provide an effective sales and marketing infrastructure suitable for most small businesses.

These tools also provides the basis for processing and managing data responsibly, in line with regulations such as the GDPR.

Other tools are available and we list the relevant ones. But these are the tools we believe work best for companies starting out.

Your recommended tech stack

For a team of five, your month one cost for this whole stack could be as little as £69.99. Which is pretty good, given that it gives you everything you need to find, convert, work with and invoice clients.

Email, office apps, storage: G:Suite 

Easy to set-up, familiar with most people, and with enough features to allow for growth, G:Suite powers a myriad od start-ups, providing an all-in-one platform for email, calendars, virtual meetings, documents, presentations, spreadsheets and more. Then there’s the killer app - file storage, collaboration and sharing. Plus, G:Suite’s admin tools allow you to easily manage team access to files and emails.

Pricing: Business starter is £5/user/month.

Alternatives: Office 365.

CRM and marketing: HubSpot

With a range of free and low cost options, HubSpot is easy to integrate with your website, easy to use and has masses of features – including lead capture, automated follow-ups, sales pipelines and reporting. It also provides the basis for the marketing and sales automations you’ll need when you grow, although that’ll cost more. Crucially even the free versions have all you need to make sure your sales and marketing efforts are GDPR compliant. And there’s a bundle that includes website creation and hosting.

Pricing: For £27/month HubSpot offers a start-up bundle that includes sales, marketing, operations, customer service, website creation and website hosting tools. 

Alternatives: Pipedrive, Capsule.

Website hosting: Wordpress

If you don’t want to commit to HubSpot for your website, Wordpress is the most popular option we’ve come across. It has drag and drop mobile responsive templates, and a big ecosystem of developers and tools to help you. Plus the relative ease of set-up makes Wordpress the perfect option for reliable, modern look websites. Important note: using Wordpress does require a degree of technical confidence - you’ll need at least a basic knowledge of design principles, HTML and CSS, even if you choose a pre-made template.
Pricing: The business plan costs £20/month.

Alternatives: HubSpot CMS, SquareSpace, Bluehost

Project management: Asana

Keeping track on development work or marketing campaigns can be a drag, Asana makes it easy. Use Asana to get a holistic view of all your projects, with granular lists to capture the details and the ability to divide up big jobs into smaller sets of tasks that can be assigned to different people. Oh, and unicorns zip across the screen when you get a bunch of things done. Wooooo!

Pricing: starts at £0 then £9.49/user/month for more features.

Alternatives: Trello, Monday.

Team chat and collaboration: Slack

The leader in chat, Slack cuts out tedious email to-ing and fro-ing, has a ton of fun features, and integrates with other tools like Asana. Create different channels for different projects, invite clients to dedicated spaces, and get automated updates from Asana when tasks are completed.

Pricing: starts at £0 for then £5.75/user/month for more features.

Alternative: Microsoft Teams.

Finance: Xero

Other tools exist but we reckon Xero does essential finance things like invoicing, accounting and payroll best. Even creating VAT returns and P&L statements for you. Believe me you’ll be grateful to have a decent finance system when it comes to things like preparing your company accounts. 

Pricing: £7 for first three months then £14/month for the starter package

Alternative: Quickbooks

Design: Canva

Let professional designers do the work for you. Upload your brand, choose a template, change the text and boom – you’ve got yourself some professional looking designs for social media, brochures, and more.  For that you’ll want the pro package, which allows you to access a wider range of templates and visual components.

Pricing: £10.99/month for the pro package.

Alternative: Adobe Express

Bring your vision to life

The key to this is to prioritize your goals and your audience when selecting your tech stack components. This is about building your business, not an end in itself.  Don't be afraid to experiment and try new things, with the right combination of technology and creativity, your start-up will achieve great things. 

Choosing the right tools and platforms means you can focus on human interactions, and ultimately drive more conversions and revenue. Remember, lots of people have this stack. What makes a difference is what you bring to the table - your vision, your people, your plans.

So go forth, and build your tech stack and your business with confidence!

Growing your business? Book a marketing strategy session with Mission Drive to get free advice on how to implement and use technology to generate sales.


Simon Bullmore

Simon helps our clients develop effective growth strategies and data literacy programmes. With a background in business psychology, Simon has worked in data, business development and training for over 17 years. This includes leading the learning programme at the Tim Berners-Lee founded Open Data Institute, and the launch of Harvard Business School's first European office.