Customer relations are the lifeblood of any successful business. And as a business grows in scale, it can become increasingly difficult to manage company-client relationships. That’s why more and more businesses have been adopting customer relationship management (CRM) technologies like Salesforce to facilitate the process. The results are staggering — in one survey, 74% of CRM system users report seeing “improved access to customer data.”
But while Salesforce dominates the market, it’s far from the only CRM system around. Let’s explore the best Salesforce alternatives on the market today, so you can choose the right CRM software for your business.
- What is Salesforce?
- Best Salesforce alternatives and competitors
- Key features to look for in Salesforce competitors
- Choosing the right CRM software
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is the world’s most popular CRM platform, with an annual revenue of over $25 billion. Using a suite of interconnected apps, the company aims to centralize marketing, e-commerce, sales, service, and IT in a single CRM platform. Salesforce’s platform allows users to automate customer service processes and track deals from start to finish, all while making use of customer analytics and sales tools. It’s also entirely cloud-based, making it easy for dispersed teams to handle customer relations worldwide.
Best Salesforce alternatives and competitors
While Salesforce is certainly the top dog in the world of CRM services, there is some stiff competition barking at its heels. Some Salesforce competitors have set out to differentiate themselves by offering expanded features and other enticing user options. Here are a few of the top companies like Salesforce:
If your organization is seeking extensive analytical tools for an affordable price, Zoho could be the CRM that meets your business needs. It’s easy for team members to get up to speed on the system, and the free version of Zoho even covers most small business functionalities, like contact management, workflow automation, robust analytics, and lead-conversion tools. When it’s time to scale your business, however, Zoho might not make the cut. With minimal storage capacity and fewer customization options than other Salesforce competitors, Zoho is great for beginners but stops short of offering the full functionality of other high-end CRM systems.
Holding between 3-4% of the CRM vendor market, Microsoft Dynamics CRM comes in short compared to Salesforce’s decisive 19% market share. However, Microsoft Dynamics still finishes in a respectable fifth place for its emphasis on improved marketing campaigns and seamless integration with Microsoft products. An attractive user interface and highly effective reporting tools are also key features of Microsoft Dynamics. For smaller organizations with simpler CRM needs, though, the platform may be too complex and present too steep of a learning curve.
Centered around addressing the CRM needs of small businesses, Keap (formerly known as Infusionsoft) is designed to cater to small teams. While reporting is not as detailed as other CRMs, Keap more than makes up for this through its user-friendly design, offline access, and in-depth automation features. Billing, marketing, and project management are also a breeze with Keap. But users do report the platform works best for service-based business owners and companies under 25 users, and prices do tend to be on the higher end of the spectrum, so it may not be the best option for businesses on a budget.
One of the top Salesforce competitors is Freshsales, formerly known under the name Freshworks. Companies like Croatia’s Top Digital Agency have used Freshsales to increase revenue by 88% and achieve a five times return on inbound email campaigns. Customers repeatedly praise Freshsales for its stellar customer communication and start-to-finish overview of the sales process. Compared to Salesforce, Freshsales offers more detailed lead management features and a free plan that supports unlimited users, but its drawbacks include a lack of offline data access and limited file storage.
For a smorgasbord of unique features, you’ll want to go with HubSpot. With one of the best free CRM versions on the market, HubSpot focuses primarily on sales and marketing, although marketing automation is only available on higher-level paid plans. What sets HubSpot apart from the rest is its detailed dashboards and ability to scale alongside your business — from sole proprietor companies to small businesses to large enterprises, HubSpot is the perfect option for companies looking to avoid CRMs that require users to be tech-savvy. Although its massive list of features can be intimidating and its pricing tiers confusing, HubSpot is an excellent option for growing businesses.
Key features to look for in Salesforce competitors
There are several important factors to consider when it comes to selecting the best Salesforce alternative for your business. Any CRM should come fully equipped with a wide variety of user features, in addition to a user-friendly interface, good customer support, and mobile accessibility.
Beyond these features, you’ll need to assess your business’s individual needs. How many users do you anticipate having on your plan? What kind of data analytics do you need to succeed in business? Listing out your CRM must-haves can help you narrow down the list of best Salesforce alternatives.
Then, it will come down to how you can best serve your customers. Your CRM can help you in developing brand loyalty and simplifying the sales process, and that’s not to mention the rapid rise in customer satisfaction that most companies experience when first adopting a CRM. Learn what it is your customers want, so that you can use the most efficient CRM to deliver on client needs and wishes.
Choosing the right CRM software
Identifying the perfect CRM software for your business needs is essential. HubSpot research shows that CRM software has the power to boost sales by up to 29% and even increase conversion rates by 300%. Taking the time to consider your business needs and customer desires can help you find the right CRM system to help meet your organizational goals and spread your company mission.
But analytics aren’t everything when it comes to customer satisfaction. Executive speech coach and sales trainer Patricia Fripp sums this principle up nicely when she says, “To build a long-term, successful enterprise, when you don’t close a sale, open a relationship.” Company-client trust is key to the long-term success of your business, and you can get off on the right foot by channeling customer interactions through the right CRM Salesforce alternative for your business.