Zoho CRM has carved out its own piece of the pie in the small and medium business market that Salesforce.com seems to be outgrowing.1 As such, it has positioned itself as one of the top alternatives to Salesforce.com’s primary CRM solution, Sales Cloud.
Let’s take a closer look at how these two CRM solutions stack up against each other.
Zoho CRM’s feature set is in line with most common CRM offerings. It includes lead and contact management, reports and dashboards, and web forms. More features are also unlocked at the higher-priced editions.2
Although they do come with basic customer support functions, both Zoho CRM and Sales Cloud only offer much deeper functions as separate purchases. In Zoho CRM’s case, however, customer support features are only available in the Professional and Enterprise editions while all Sales Cloud editions have them.3
Both Zoho and Sales Cloud have social media integration, but the latter wins out in terms of in-team collaboration tools thanks to Chatter, Salesforce’s enterprise social network and collaboration tool.
App integration-wise, both Zoho and Salesforce give users access to their own respective app repositories. Salesforce.com’s App Exchange is much more extensive and open to community development, however.
Both CRMs also offer integrations with third-party apps like G Suite and Quickbooks, although in Zoho CRM’s case the latter is only available in the Enterprise and Professional Editions. G Suite support is also incomplete at the lower-tier editions, with both the Free and Standard editions lacking Google Calendar and Google Contact synchronization. Outlook integration comes free at all Sales Cloud levels while Zoho CRM only offers an Outlook plugin with its two most expensive editions.
Unless you get a separate app that supports Box.com and Dropbox integration, file storage is another area where the Zoho vs Salesforce comparison goes in the latter’s favor. Salesforce offers 612MB per user across all of its editions while Zoho caps out at 512MB per user at the highest tier. Both CRMs offer additional file storage per user for a small fee.
Searching in both apps is straightforward — you just type what you want and review the results. Zoho CRM doesn’t have a true global search feature, however. Searching through the sidebar, for example, doesn’t include attachments in the results. Sales Cloud, on the other hand, returns results for all fields but you’ll need a Sales Cloud or IT specialist to enable you to filter the results.4
Both support custom dashboards to a certain extent. Zoho CRM supports customizable dashboards for a number of its modules but these unfortunately can’t be filtered. Custom dashboards are only available in the more costly Sales Cloud editions.
Dashboards in Zoho CRM are limited to a two-column format while Sales Cloud’s dashboards are restricted to three-column affairs. The number of custom dashboards in Zoho CRM are also limited according to edition. The same thing applies to Sales Cloud.
Salesforce solutions are priced at the higher end of the market, so Zoho’s relatively lower price points definitely wins out over Sales Cloud in terms of cost. Not only does it offer a free edition, Zoho most expensive CRM edition costs just $5 more than Salesforce’s entry level offering. Zoho CRM also doesn’t lock users into a one-year contract, making it a good choice for companies in search of a quick starting solution.
As a simple, quick to deploy, and frankly much cheaper CRM solution, Zoho CRM is the better choice over Sales Cloud for startups and small businesses. That said, both do suffer from the same issue — neither Zoho CRM nor Sales Cloud are complete all-in-one business management packages. Yes, Zoho CRM is much cheaper than Sales Cloud, but deploying project management and in-depth reporting as separate purchases means extra overhead for users.
By integrating these critical business management tools into one cloud-based system, WORK[etc] gives users full control over the entire customer management lifecycle. You can turn emails into leads and contacts using the built-in Gmail and Outlook add-ons, create and deploy projects for your customers, bill them and track financials through Quickbooks or Xero Accounting, and provide complete customer support using knowledge bases, custom web forms, and the customizable customer portal.
Not only does that mean lower costs in the long run, it also cuts down on the time needed to train users how to get the most out of the system. Faster onboarding leads to faster deployment, which in turn can be key to business success.
1. “Is Salesforce.com Outgrowing SMBs?”. LaurieMcCabe.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
2. “Zoho CRM – Editions & Pricing”. Zoho.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
3. “Sales Cloud Full Edition Comparison Chart”. Salesforce.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
4. “Salesforce vs Zoho CRM – Review and Comparison for 2013 and 2012”. AccentGold.com. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
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