The wrong choice of CRM could lead to rock bottom as you overspend on expensive software.
You need a CRM solution that fits your small business or startup budget yet includes a full roster of features designed to scale and improve your company.
Does Zoho fulfill these criteria?
It could be, but it very likely is not.
Zoho — though an excellent CRM software — has quite a few drawbacks.
Actually, that’s not fair.
It would be a fairer thing to say every CRM software out there has quite a few cons. What do you do, then?
Well, in this blog post, we’ll discuss in detail six of the best alternatives to Zoho:
But more importantly, we’ll show you which Zoho alternative could be the best fit for your business, and why.
What is Zoho CRM?
Before we dive into our list of Zoho CRM competitors, let’s get on the same page about Zoho, including its features and pricing structure.
Zoho is a CRM software for sales experts.
Their CRM software is part of the Zoho Office Suite, which includes solutions such as invoicing, project management, web conferencing, databases, presentations, spreadsheets, and word-processing.
One great feature of Zoho is that it integrates well with other in-house products. For example, you can integrate Zoho CRM with Zoho Mail, Zoho Projects, Zoho Invoice, and more.
According to Zoho’s website, their CRM is a favorite among business owners in more than 180 countries.
Here is an overview of the features available throughout Zoho’s various plans.
Mobile and Remote
Now your sales team can do more work on the go with Zoho’s mobile app for both Android and iOS devices.
Use the app to scan business cards, open and close deals, track deals in progress, and review analytics.
Zoho’s CRM is also adept for remote work as it features cloud collaboration capabilities.
From telephony to presentations, meetings, and analytics, your company can keep going even if everyone works remotely.
Here’s what Zoho offers in its marketing automation toolkit:
- Lead and customer segmenting
- Card scanning
- Lead nurturing
- Survey and email campaigns
- Event management
- Google Ad campaigns
- Marketing attribution
- Webform creation
- Campaign analysis
Zoho’s CRM offers Zia, their predictive sales “conversational assistant” that lets you issue voice or text commands with instant responses.
You can call or chat with Zia to use the following predictive sales features:
- Best time to contact suggestions
- Workflow recommendations
- Assignment suggestions
- Data enrichment advice
- Sales predictions
You can automate all parts of your small business sales through Zoho, using features such as:
- Assignment rules
- Workflow rules
- Contact management
- Deal management
- Lead management
- Sales analytics
Before you make up your mind on Zoho, you definitely want to check out the CRM’s pricing plans.
You can select from four plans: Standard for $20 per month, Professional for $35 per month, Enterprise for $50 per month, and Ultimate for $65 per month.
You might also wish to try a free trial before committing.
The Standard plan includes the following features:
- Basic support
- Google contact and Google Calendar syncing
- One webform module for Google sites
- CRM contextual gadget for Gmail
- Website visitor tracking
- Marketing campaigns, email authentication, and 100 email templates
- 10 custom analytics dashboards
- 100 custom reports
- Automation workflow rules
- Sales forecasting
- Sales deals
- 10 lead scoring fields per module
In the Professional plan, you have everything above as well as:
- 10 webform modules for Google sites
- Zoho CRM for Google Ads
- Unlimited email templates
- Unlimited custom dashboards
- Unlimited custom reports
- 20 lead scoring fields per module
The costly Enterprise plan adds these features:
- Paid premium or enterprise support
- 20 modules for Google sites
- Marketing attribution
- Workflow reports
- Two prediction models per company
- 30 lead scoring fields per module
If you can afford $65 per month, here’s what the Ultimate plan at $65 gets you:
- 100 webform modules for Google sites
- 20 prediction models per company
- 50 lead scoring rules per module
Disadvantages of Zoho
Undoubtedly, Zoho is one of the best CRM software in the market today. It offers an integrated suite of tools with thousands of features — workflow automation, tracking, lead management, invoicing, sales management, customer support…
That said, the sheer number of tools may be the exact reason the software is not the best choice for small businesses.
For example, Zoho requires a lot of customization and dedicated representatives to get started. In addition, you need to pay for each tool, and the final bill may run into hundreds of dollars a month.
But wait, there’s more!
User Reviews of Zoho
Here’s what real users had to say about Zoho:
If you’ve added Zoho to your shopping cart, now is the right time to go hunting for alternatives.
The Top Six Zoho CRM Alternatives
Let’s get into our list of the top five Zoho alternatives: EngageBay, TeamWave, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Insightly, and Freshworks.
At the top of our list is EngageBay, an all-in-one marketing, sales, and CRM solution.
Here’s why we think EngageBay could be the perfect alternative to Zoho: it’s tailor-made for small businesses and startups like yours.
EngageBay offers a wealth of CRM features made to take your small business further.
Founded in 2017, EngageBay has 40,000 trusted customers and counting!
Let’s take a closer look at EngageBay’s features:
- CRM Telephony: EngageBay’s CRM Telephony lets you call leads and customers without leaving the software. A pop-up window allows you to take notes, and EngageBay even offers call analytics to help you understand how your team is performing. Calls also get automatically recorded and stored in the CRM.
- Lead scoring: Find more MQLs and SQLs with EngageBay’s lead scoring system. You choose the parameters for scoring leads and EngageBay will do the rest, curating a targeted list for your small business to pursue.
- CRM email integration: This EngageBay CRM feature syncs your email inbox to unlock more context-rich data about your email campaigns. You can also use EngageBay’s CRM email integration to track all your outgoing emails.
- Gamification and leaderboards: Inspire every member of your sales team to work their best with leaderboards that show your superstar sellers. Gamification makes sales fun, improving productivity and revenue.
- Contact management: EngageBay’s CRM offers an awesome 360-degree view of your contacts, including social media analysis. Once you have a deeper, more holistic understanding of your leads and customers, engaging with them becomes easier.
- Automation: Earn more small business hours back with EngageBay’s CRM automation. You get a host of features including call and email reminders, call logging, assignment scheduling, meeting scheduling, and more.
- Analytics: EngageBay’s sales reporting tools offer new insights into your small business operations. You can automate report delivery and even customize them as per your needs.
Here’s a sneak peek of EngageBay’s CRM:
EngageBay offers four plans:
The Free plan is free forever and provides features like a 360-degree contact view, appointment scheduling, tasks, deals, and more.
The Basic plan starts at $14.99 a month per user. You get 1,000 contacts and features such as predictive lead scoring, calling, and advanced deal tracking.
The Growth plan for $24.99 a month per user adds 10,000 contacts, leaderboards, email scheduling, proposals, and sales automation.
The most encompassing plan is the Pro plan for $49.99 a month per user. With this plan, you get unlimited contacts, custom reporting, goals, call scripts and records, an auto-dialer, and proposal analytics.
You also get a 10% discount on annual plans and a 40% on biennial plans.
TeamWave is an all-in-one, small business productivity platform. It allows businesses to manage sales, projects, teams, clients, and marketing – on a single platform.
The highlights of TeamWave are its easy-to-use interface and powerful features available at affordable pricing, making it one of the best choices for small businesses.
Also, integrations with platforms like Mailchimp, Quickbooks, and Google Workspace help increase team efficiency and productivity.
This is how your business can work smarter with TeamWave:
- Visual Sales Pipeline: This gives you complete visibility of your deals across different stages. Quickly see how many deals are in each stage, sort and filter by their expected close date, make smart decisions, and stay in control of a complex sales process.
- Customize your CRM: Customize your sales pipeline, filters, contacts, and deals with ease.
- Time Tracking: Keep track of hours worked, improve your team’s productivity, and maximize revenue.
- Work Anywhere, Anytime: Mobile apps let you access deals, tasks, projects, and contacts even when you’re on the road.
- Team Calendar: Schedule and track meetings, tasks, milestones, and events for you or other team members.
- Collaborate: Work with clients, partners, and your team. With the option to keep things private, you control what the client (and team members) can see.
- Contact Management: Manage all contacts from one place, get a clear overview, and build better relationships.
- Reports and Dashboards: Gain instant visibility and insights you need to make informed decisions in real-time. Spot issues before things go off-track.
The reason we call TeamWave one of the most affordable work management software is because their plans start at just $39 per month.
These plans offer integrations with 1,000+ apps, visual sales pipelines, sales forecasting, email integration, automatic check-ins, and much more.
The Starter plan offers 15,000 contacts, 25 GB storage, and 1 company domain.
The Pro plan offers 30,000 contacts, 100 GB storage, and 2 company domains.
The Business plan offers 150,000 contacts, 500 GB storage, and 4 company domains.
The best part about Teamweave? It doesn’t matter whether your company has one, ten, or even a hundred users — you only pay a flat rate (for example, $39/month for the Starter plan).
HubSpot is one of the go-to CRM software for many businesses — they are often called the market disrupters (and for good reason).
Many business owners at different levels trust HubSpot for their sales and marketing needs since HubSpot’s founding in 2006.
Here is an overview of the features HubSpot’s CRM offers:
- Deals: Which deals are open and in progress versus those on the verge of closing? What about the deals your sales team has recently closed? With HubSpot CRM, tracking deals has never been easier.
- Email marketing: Send free bulk emails, create custom email templates, add personalization, and track the success of your email campaigns with HubSpot’s email marketing CRM features.
- Contact management: HubSpot offers excellent contact management tools including lead scoring, advanced filters, segmentation, and integrated CRM.
- Pipeline management: You need to know when and where your leads enter the sales pipeline so your sales team can respond promptly.
- Meeting scheduler: Keep up with your meetings like a pro using HubSpot’s meeting scheduler. Even if you have a full schedule, tracking which meetings are on the horizon will be easier with this feature.
- Reporting dashboard: HubSpot’s reporting dashboard reveals the insights that matter to your small business. You’ll glean lots of useful information about your company, including what you’re doing right and what you can improve.
Like EngageBay, HubSpot’s CRM is free.
That’s a good thing too, as you’ll quickly find that their prices are outside of the budget of most startups.
The Starter plan begins at $50 a month and includes meeting scheduling, calling, basic automation, quotes, and a deal pipeline.
The Professional plan starts at $1,780/month for features such as calculated properties, forecasting, custom reporting, sales analytics, and lead rotation automation.
HubSpot’s costliest plan is the Enterprise plan at $5,000 per month.
This plan boasts features like call transcripts, sales analytics, playbooks, advanced permissions, and hierarchal teams.
Declaring itself “the original pipeline CRM,” Pipedrive is next on our list of Zoho alternatives.
In the sales and marketing game for more than a decade, Pipedrive focuses on pipeline management and sales CRM.
Pipedrive says its software is favored in nearly 180 countries by more than 95,000 companies.
Let’s delve into Pipedrive’s features:
- Deal probability: Don’t waste your time on what will be fruitless deals when you can use deal probability in Pipedrive — which predicts where the money is.
- Leads inbox: A dedicated leads inbox with filters and labels keeps your lead information separate from your sales dealings. You can import other lead lists and even use chat integration in this inbox.
- Visual sales pipelines: Pipedrive, considering its name, specializes in sales pipelines. A visual representation of your timeline with custom fields helps your sales team close more deals.
- Contact management: Import your contacts list and manage them with Pipedrive’s contact management feature. The contact timeline lets you glimpse all communications with each contact, including activities, emails, and calls.
- Email inbox: Use your email inbox for mass emails or tailored content using one of Pipedrive’s email templates. You can even track email open rates and click-through rates here.
- Automation: Pipedrive’s automation features are led by their sales mentor with AI capabilities. You’ll get performance tips, report graphs, and automation suggestions.
- Reporting and insights: Pipedrive’s reports are customizable with CRM fields to help you guide your small business decision-making. Combined with Pipedrive’s interactive dashboards, you can get a good internal view of your company.
Choose from four plans as a Pipedrive user: Essential, Advanced, Professional, or Enterprise.
The Essential plan for $11.90 a month per user includes activities management, organization and contact management, and deal management, among other features.
For $24.90 a month per user, the Advanced plan has workflow automation and email syncing.
The Professional plan costs $49.90 a month per user for features such as custom fields, insights, and team goals.
Get it all with the Enterprise plan for $74.90 a month per user.
The fifth Zoho CRM alternative we want to explore is Insightly, a CRM with marketing automation capabilities.
Insightly is also intended for project teams and salespeople.
Let’s take a closer look at Insightly’s features:
- Custom forms: Make forms that work for your small business and further your company’s objectives through Insightly.
- Marketing campaigns: Improve brand awareness with marketing campaigns that are both customized and personalized using Insightly’s CRM. The journey builder lets you preview how your campaign will run before it goes live.
- Lead routing: Insightly informs you of your most viable leads with an activity timeline that reviews all lead-related tasks, meetings, calls, emails, and even sources.
- Workflow automation: Insightly lets you save time with multistep automation. Tasks you can automate include updating records, sending emails, and scheduling meetings.
- Email marketing: Browse through Insightly’s email templates, mail out bulk messages or to tailored audience segments, and review email success stats within Insightly’s CRM.
- Audience segmentation: Manage your customers from the beginning of their journey and beyond with audience segmentation.
- Advanced reporting: Delve deeper into your company’s stats and metrics using advanced automated reporting features in Insightly.
To access Insightly’s CRM features, you have to select from one of their three pricing plans:
The Plus plan for $29 a month per user has features like integrated project management and calendar synchronization.
The Professional plan for $49 a month per user adds features such as customized reports, business intelligence dashboards, and 25 mobile business card scans.
For $99 a month per user, the Enterprise plan is loaded with features, including lead management, integrated project management, standard support, and more.
The last CRM on our list of Zoho alternatives is Freshworks, a software solution for sales teams that’s powered by AI.
Since 2010, Freshworks has been the primary CRM choice for 40,000+ companies.
If you’re thinking of switching from Zoho to Freshworks, here are the CRM features you can use:
- Custom fields and modules: From formula fields to checklists, date pickers, and text, customize all aspects of your fields so your forms reflect your small business needs.
- Task management: In Freshworks, you can set up tasks and appointments as well as remind your sales team what’s due and when. Staying on top of work is easy now!
- Automation workflows: Use Freshworks’ automation workflows when sending personal holiday or birthday wishes to your audience, renewal or appointment reminders, following up, invoicing, and sending welcome emails.
- CRM calling: Use Freshworks’ CRM to make calls, track call logs, and add contextual information to your contacts’ records.
- Predictive contact scoring: Freddy AI, Freshworks’ AI assistant, can take care of lead scoring for you. The AI uses your company’s past data to determine which new leads might be most likely to become customers.
- Deal insights: Freddy AI can also present useful deal insights that can help your sales team close more deals — making Freshworks another excellent Zoho alternative.
Freshworks gives you the option of selecting from four pricing plans: Free, Growth, Pro, or Enterprise.
The Free plan is free-forever and offers contact management, contact lifecycle stages, built-in chat, and mobile applications.
The Growth plan starts at $15 a month per user with five sales sequences, 20 workflows, and five active marketing journeys.
The Pro plan starts at $39 a month per user with 50 custom roles, 10 sales sequences, and 50 workflows.
For $69 a month per user, the Enterprise plan offers 100 custom roles, 25 sales sequences, and 100 active marketing journeys.
Zoho’s CRM is not the friendliest solution for small businesses.
Your business is much better off with EngageBay CRM.
EngageBay offers all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer support software as a single package. This means your business does not require multiple standalone software — making it easy for your employees.
It’s full of the features your small business needs to excel, such as CRM Telephony, lead scoring, contact management, automation, and in-depth analytics. Try it today.