Salesforce is probably THE tool that comes to mind when people think of CRM software.
In 2020, it dominated the CRM market with a whopping 19.8% in market share. It’s no wonder that it’s the go-to CRM solution for many businesses.
That said, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Not every business will be inclined to use Salesforce.
Perhaps it’s too expensive, or perhaps it has too many advanced features that smaller and new companies don’t need.
If you’re looking for Salesforce alternatives, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we list some CRM software and its features that could be suited for your business size and functions.
Data security is a must-have for many businesses today. With so much of our data being put on the internet, it’s important to have security measures in place to put both customers and businesses at ease.
Luckily for you, Salesforce prioritizes data security and has pre-installed security features such as user authentication, limiting access to certain users, and data encryption.
For a big name like Salesforce, it’s a given that it should have been integrated with other software solutions.
Aside from the usual integrations to communication solutions like Slack and MailChimp, Salesforce integrates with other third-party platforms like WordPress, Microsoft Dynamics, and even Novocall and TimeSync!
Just take a look at Salesforce AppExchange, an app marketplace where Salesforce showcases all the solutions that are customized for it and has integrated Salesforce with their systems.
Salesforce cloud offerings serve as a platform for particular business functions and collectively make up the Salesforce Cloud. Some cloud apps include the Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Sales Cloud.
From customer service to sales pipeline monitoring, all your business activities are managed from a common platform. This helps to streamline processes and enhance communication between your departments.
In other words, you can run your entire business just by using a Salesforce offshore development team!
Don’t get us wrong here, Salesforce does a good job at reporting and analytics. However, the data could seem too complex for many businesses.
For smaller companies, they would probably appreciate simpler reporting that is easier to understand and handle.
Salesforce has rich customization capabilities that make for a smooth and effective sales and data management process. On the downside, the complexities of its customization options prove to be too much for some businesses as it can be challenging to use.
Reviews have stated that the customization function was too time-consuming, which led to users abandoning the software entirely.
Unfortunately, a unanimous complaint about Salesforce is the lack of customer support. Additional customer support is charged, and for other queries, their team will simply direct you to a FAQ bank where you have to find solutions to problems on your own.
Long wait times also seem to be an issue many customers faced.
Agile CRM is a cloud-based CRM software with sales, marketing, and service automation all on one platform.
The software has a customizable and highly-intuitive user interface that is easy to use, making for a smooth onboarding. It is also one of the more affordable options that give you access to many of its important features and integrations.
Its free version allows up to 10 users, 50,000 contacts and companies, custom data fields, appointment scheduling, and email tracking, just to name a few.
Some other Agile CRM features:
💡 Best known for: Affordable yet full-featured plans
💡 Standout feature: Agile CRM’s automated lead scoring feature helps you assign a numerical value to each lead for actions that you have set. The system will automatically send a notification to your reps when a certain lead score is achieved.
💡 Pricing: Free plan, Starter Plan – $8.99/month, Regular plan – $29.99/month, Enterprise plan – $47.99/month
Apptivo is a cloud-based solution that offers CRM, project management, invoicing capabilities, and more.
Although its free plan is limited to only three users, this is a good choice if you have a small team as you still get all the important features you need. Their paid plans begin at $8 per user, which is extremely affordable if you’re just starting out.
Some other Apptivo features:
💡 Best known for: Financials and cash management capabilities
💡 Standout feature: Apptivo has call center capabilities to manage inbound and outbound calls.
💡 Pricing: Starter plan – Free, up to three users, Lite plan – $8/user/ month, Premium plan – $12/user/month, Ultimate plan – $20/user/month
EngageBay is an all-in-one CRM and marketing software with sales, live chat, help desk, and customer service tools.
The software is easy to implement and offers excellent user support. EngageBay is possibly the most affordable all-in-one marketing and CRM software, with its free plan available to a maximum of 15 users.
Their free and basic plans allow for drip email campaigns, customer journey tracking, landing page builder and templates, web pop-ups, AI-based predictive lead scoring, and many more.
Some other EngageBay features:
💡 Best for: Comprehensive set of features at an affordable price
💡 Standout feature: The product offers automation for every step of the marketing, sales, and customer service journey, from lead capturing to canned responses.
💡 Pricing: Free plan, Basic plan – $8.99/month, Growth plan – $29.99/month, Pro plan – $47.99/month.
Most people are familiar with the name Hubspot. HubSpot’s CRM platform offers a full suite of tools for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service.
It acts as a central hub to all the places your sales take place – websites, social media platforms, and phone calls.
Hubspot is easy to use and makes onboarding a breeze for your team. However, its wide range of tools and complex data reporting makes it more suitable for enterprise teams.
Some other Hubspot features:
💡 Best known for: Managing web content
💡 Standout feature: Hubspot’s content strategy tool gives you recommendations on how to optimize your site for SEO, allows you to plan your content strategy, and shows you detailed reports on it.
💡 Pricing: Free plan, Started Plan – $63/month, Marketing Professional plan – $1,120/month, Sales Professional plan – $630/month, Customer Service Professional plan – $504/month, Marketing Enterprise plan – $4,480/month, Enterprise plan – $1,680/month
NetHunt is a CRM software for Gmail and other GSuite apps. This allows you to organize business processes and communications, and manage customer data without having to leave your Gmail account.
Known for its reliability and performance, this CRM has several powerful features such as workflow capabilities that automate mundane and tedious tasks. You can also collect customer data from various platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook messenger, and WhatsApp.
Some other NetHunt features:
💡 Best known for: GSuite capabilities
💡 Standout feature: It’s Gmail capabilities allow you to easily integrate the software into your Gmail and GSuite accounts.
💡 Pricing: Professional plan – $24/month, Professional Plus plan – $28/month; Enterprise plan – $48/month
Founded in 2010, Pipedrive has been gaining traction and is becoming one of the top CRMs in the market.
Unlike Salesforce, which has a steeper learning curve and is more suitable for enterprise companies, Pipedrive’s platform is easy to use.
Its clean and visual interface makes onboarding fairly simple. They also have several powerful features such as email marketing and goal tracking.
Some other Pipedrive features:
💡 Best known for: Ease of use
💡 Standout feature: Pipedrive offers 24/7 customer support which isn’t common in many CRM software (or usually comes at an additional cost).
💡 Pricing: Essential plan – $12.50/month, Advanced plan – $24.90/month, Professional plan – $49.90/month, Enterprise plan – request for quote
Salesflare uses artificial intelligence (AI) to trawl your company’s databases, email applications, social media accounts, and servers, to collect information about your customers.
In other words, Salesflare relies heavily on automation to ensure that you get the most accurate and updated information about prospects, leads, and customers. This helps to streamline your business processes so you can focus more on sales.
Some other Salesflare features:
💡 Best known for: AI technology for automation
💡 Standout feature: Salesflare allows you to scan business cards in real-time, so that you can capture a customers’ card information from within their mobile application.
💡 Pricing: Growth plan – $29/user/month, Pro plan – $49/user/month, Enterprise plan – $99/user/month
This platform is suitable for companies that house many tech talents because of its completely open API. This means that the software can be highly customized to suit your business needs.
Although the dashboard isn’t as visually appealing when compared to Salesforce, its user-friendly data makes for easy viewing and navigation.
Some other SugarCRM features:
💡 Best known for: Open-source
💡 Standout feature: SugarCRM’s advanced reporting capabilities allow businesses to create custom reports using a single or a combination of Structured Query Language (SQL) statements. This allows for a more flexible and extensible reporting process.
💡 Pricing: Sugar Professional – $52/user/month, Sugar Serve – $80/user/month, Sugar Sell – $80/user/month, Sugar Enterprise – $85/user/month, Sugar Market – $1000/user for 10K contacts
We hope that this has given you a better idea of what your options are.
So which CRM should you go for?
Well… It’s really up to you.
While Salesforce is able to support you with comprehensive reporting and powerful features, that might not be a priority to you. In such cases, you might lean towards Pipedrive or Apptivo.
If you’re all about that customization, we’d suggest looking into SugarCRM, though you’ll need a tech-savvy team to back you up there.
But here’s where our advice might come in handy: before jumping right into purchasing a software, take some time to familiarize yourself with its features to know if it’ll fit. If they have a free demo, take advantage of that to test out the software!
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