A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a software that helps businesses of all sizes significantly increase their productivity and stay up to date with their customer data. CRM systems are used to improve management, sales processes, and give insights on customer relationships to improve Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
Over the past few years, overall CRM usage has increased from 56% to 74%. And, today, 87% of businesses use cloud-based CRMs compared to a mere 12% in 2008! (source: SuperOffice)
In our increasingly modern world, most businesses are moving towards using cloud-based CRMs. If you are not one of them, now is the time to get on board. With new cloud-based systems, it is now possible to sync any device, as well as mobile phones (most CRMs now have an App available). Employees now have everything they need (quite literally at their fingertips) and can work from any location!
Salesforce Sales Cloud, the world’s #1 CRM
Salesforce Sales Cloud is the world’s #1 CRM application that has come to exemplify SaaS (Software as a Service). With automatic updates, community inputs, customer relationship efforts and online training support and assistance means that no additional software and hardware systems need to be purchased.
However, the oversimplified user interface can be a hindrance to more experienced users, and the customization toolkit cumbersome to use. If business intelligence, like predictive analytics, is what you need, we suggest looking elsewhere.
Our biggest qualms are the lack of a Service Level Agreement in the standard contract and the fact that it doesn’t support public Clouds. This limits hosting options and portability as well as greatly increasing exit costs.
Top 7 alternatives to Salesforce CRM
After comparing dozens of CRM software, we have determined the best seven alternatives to Salesforce CRM for small businesses. Here is a list of the software we recommend using along with the benefits of each one.
|Software||Main benefit||Designed for|
|Teamleader||Customizable and accessible through various platforms||Small to medium-sized businesses|
|Zoho||Useful tools to track progress||Small businesses|
|noCRM||straightforward and easy to use||sales teams and salespeople|
|Sellsy||Drag-and-drop functions||Team projects|
|Pipedrive||Simple and intuitive interface||Small businesses|
|Zendesk Sell||Mobile working, thanks to the App||Small to medium-sized businesses|
|SocialJsCRM||Monitor sales and secure better deals||Sales teams|
Teamleader offers standalone sales automation, a help desk, an online self-service tool, and live chat. It is customisable to suit various business types and accessible via both desktops and mobile devices through a mobile app. Organise your sales contacts, analyse pipelines and store documents through a unified database.
A calendar lets you set appointments and follow-up reminders. Make use of project management, ticketing, and employee performance-reporting features. Teamleader integrates with Google and Office 365, amongst others. This CRM is perfect for coordinating your team and making your business thrive.
- Easy to implement and use
- Free support
- Accessible via various platforms
- Unified database
- Perhaps not appropriate for freelancers (starting price is for 2 users)
Price: €25/month for 2 users, $10/month for each additional user
- Visual reports
- Inventory management tools
- Strong social media functions
- Available fully-featured free version
- Limited third-party integration
Price: $0 - 20/month per user
noCRM offers a simple user interface perfect for small business owners. It is straight-forward and affordable without business jargon or too much data. This tool is all about prospects, follow-ups, to-do lists and calendars – forget complex business reports. It is refreshingly hassle-free and focused on selling.
- Straightforward perspective
- A simple and intuitive user interface
- Admin panel easy to set up and control
- Various creation tools, e.g. a business card system
- Affordable and adaptable pricing
- Weak in terms of business reports
- Lack of security layers
- Indirect contact upload from spreadsheet
Price: $19/month + $7 for each additional user.
A pipeline view allows users to easily see the status of business opportunities. Simple visual indicators and drag-and-drop functions make tracking developments easy. The task manager and email reminders keep everyone on the same page.
Sellsy is great for fostering communication and teamwork; shared agendas, file management, discussion walls, and live chat are all included. With an interface that is easy to master, you may begin using it immediately.
- CRM pipeline views
- Free 15-day trial
- Intuitive interface
- Mobile apps: use it anytime, anywhere
- Task management and time tracking
- Inventory and purchases management
- Connected cash register system and invoicing
- Only available in English and French
- Not always appropriate for freelancers (starting price is for up to 5 users)
- Additional tools require separate payment
Price: $50/month for up to 5 users.
Pipedrive is great if you are looking for a minimalist interface. As the name suggests, its primary function is to offer a visual pipeline for deals. You can use the standard sales pipeline, easily customize it or create a new one. Customizable Web Forms facilitate getting web-based leads into the CRM. An icon next to each deal in your pipeline signals whether any of them require attention.
Emails are synced with Pipedrive for added simplicity, and a Statistics tab gives you an overview of your deals. Pipedrive integrates with third-party productivity tools such as Google apps and MailChimp, which you will probably need to use.
- Simple, intuitive interface
- Easy pipeline management
- Useful guidance
- Simple setup
- Reliable mobile apps
- Somewhat limited functionality for the price
Price: $15/month per user
This software will help you with your marketing automation. It boasts powerful, real-time sales analytics with attractive graphs. Sell (which has recently undergone a name change, previously ‘Base’) can also track phone conversations and save them to client contact cards for future reference. Tool-tips pop up when you mouse over icons, and instruction videos are available as a guide. Its design is simple and to the point. Sell offers many add-on functions but is limited in regards to third-party integration.
- Great for mobile working, with the App that is available
- Easy to set up and use
- Great sales analytics
- Helpful instructions
- Multiple security layers
- Simple user interface
- Limited third-party integration
- Limited customisability
Prices start at $49/month per user
Increase your sales force productivity, improve your customer support, and close deals faster with SocialJsCRM. All the information you need about your clients and leads are centralized in a single tool online. Your lead management and scoring are significantly enhanced, as you perform a better customer follow-up.
- The collaborative tool helps reduce the sales cycle
- Automated tasks and agile management integrated with the software
- User-friendly interface - see the information straight away
- Monitor your sales on a daily basis.
$25/month per user
Have you decided which one is best for you?
While Salesforce is still the dominant CRM, there are multiple other options to choose from - one size does not fit all in a diversifying market. If you’re a freelancer, you might want to keep costs down and focus primarily on selling.
Or, you might be an SME and want a software with CRM features geared towards improving teamwork or your marketing campaign. Perhaps what you really value is mobility and flexibility, or a CRM which is highly customizable to suit your needs to a T.
And if these 7 alternatives to Salesforce are not enough, check out our full list of the best CRM software.