Having been in the market since 2005 has helped Zoho CRM maintain its presence as a major player in the SaaS CRM marketplace. Still, in an industry as competitive as this one, the patient customer is bound to find a lot of alternatives. Here is a look at two popular Zoho alternatives.
SugarCRM started out as an open-source project a decade ago and has since become one of the most popular CRMs in the world. Its open-source architecture has allowed many users to make modifications to its source code — including, for a time, Zoho CRM’s parent company Zoho Corporation, who started independent development on vtiger CRM by basing it on SugarCRM’s source code in late 2004.1
Currently, SugarCRM follows a kind of “freemium” model similar to the one used by Zoho CRM. There’s a free open-source version called the Community Edition which is still being offered to this day, although further development was discontinued by SugarCRM in February 2014.2
The Community Edition, similar to Zoho CRM’s free version, comes with basic CRM tools such as basic dashboards, simple query functions, and packaged reports. It doesn’t, however, have precise role-based permissions settings, cloud storage, automated workflows, and a customer portal Neither does it allow access via a mobile app.
For those features, you have to turn to SugarCRM’s paid editions — Sugar Professional, Sugar Enterprise, and Sugar Ultimate. When it comes to pure price, SugarCRM is more expensive than Zoho CRM, although not to the same level as Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud. The lowest-priced paid edition of SugarCRM has the exact same price as ZohoCRM’s top-tier edition.3,4
The Sage Group entered the customer management market in 2001, making it a precursor of sorts to both Zoho CRM and SugarCRM.5 The company makes deciding which edition to buy very easy for customers, seeing as how it only offers one price point for its cloud-based CRM offering, Sage CRM Professional.
Sage CRM Professional comes with all the bells and whistles packaged in most of today’s cloud-based CRMs. It allows for management of contacts, opportunities, leads, and marketing campaigns. Users can also use the system to generate reports on market performance and sales forecasting. Similar to Zoho CRM, Sage CRM Professional also has its own mobile edition.6
Sage CRM Professional is moderately more expensive than Zoho CRM, but it does come with most of the features in Zoho CRM’s Enterprise edition. One area where Zoho CRM noticeably beats Sage CRM Professional, however, is in G Suite integration, specifically for Gmail. Getting Gmail to work with Sage CRM can be a convoluted process,7 although there are a number of third-party solutions available. All Zoho CRM editions, meanwhile, come with a contextual Gmail gadget.
Aside from its cloud-based CRM offering, Sage also has an on-premise solution.
Thanks to their relatively affordable price points and CRM-specific feature sets, Zoho CRM, SugarCRM, and Sage CRM Professional all make compelling arguments for startups as well small and medium businesses. CRMs are all they basically are, however, and therein lies the problem.
A business can soldier on with one CRM solution bolstered by additional applications built to handle other critical areas like project management, but in reality the costs tacked on by these additional applications can have an adverse effect on revenues.
Not only that, having to continuously switch between applications can negatively impact productivity and information sharing and may even lead to the loss of important data. Onboarding and implementation will also take longer as users will have to learn the ins and outs of multiple systems before they are able to take full advantage of them.
WORK[etc] takes all of those issues out of the picture by offering an alternative that can handle every step of the business management process. From lead, contact, and project management all the way through to sales, billing, and support, WORK[etc] ensures that users have full control over the entire customer management lifecycle through a single, cloud-based system.
1. “Zoho Corporation”. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
2. “SugarCRM in the Next 10 Years”. SugarCRM.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
3. “CRM Software packages and Pricing”. SugarCRM.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
4. “Zoho CRM – Editions & Pricing”. Zoho.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
5. “Sage Group”. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
6. “Sage CRM Professional Datasheet (NA) by Ciaran Regan”. ISSUU.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
7. “Setting up Gmail for Sage CRM”. SageCRM.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
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