Zoho CRM is one of the most established and best-known CRMs with long list of features. However, it’s not always the best solution for small businesses, given its sheer size and complexity. In this article we share the best Zoho alternatives for small business sales teams.
Zoho Alternatives Summary Table
|Best for||Full version from|
|Pipedrive||Small business sales teams (Overall)||$13/month per user|
|ProsperWorks||Businesses working with Google Apps||$19/month per user|
|Base||Sales call recording and management||$45/month per user|
|Insightly||Sales teams working with account managers||$12/month per user|
|Less Annoying CRM||Outstanding customer service and support||$10/month per user|
How Did We Decide Which Zoho Alternatives To Review?
Finding the best Zoho alternatives meant looking for systems that were easier set up and use, and provided strong sales tracking tools. In all, we considered the following factors:
- Affordability of Zoho alternatives to small business
- Suitability for sales team use
- Sales management and reporting
- Mobile app
- Customer support
Best (Overall) For Small Business Sales Teams: Pipedrive
While Zoho covers a very wide range of features, Pipedrive keeps things simple and sales-focused. Pipedrive uses its visual sales pipeline as the home page, and from here you can access everything else you need. It also integrates with a wide range of useful native apps, including call recording. Sales teams love Pipedrive because it works exactly how they would expect a CRM to work.
At $13/user/month Pipedrive is the best value for money of all the options we reviewed. However, if you want to integrate with call recording software like RingCentral or Aircall you will need to purchase the gold package at $24/user month. The cost of Aircall is $30/user/month bringing the total to $54/user/month. If cold calling and telephone based sales is an important part of your sales process, I highly recommend investing in a call recording solution.
What can you do in Pipedrive?
Sales team use: Pipedrive makes it really easy to setup and customise each stage of your sales pipeline. Your pipeline is visualised, which acts as a good real-time agenda for weekly sales meetings. Double clicking on any opportunity in your pipeline allows you to access contact details, interaction history and upcoming tasks.
Sales management and reporting: Pipedrive is also very easy, yet powerful, for sales managers. You can set the length of each pipeline stage and set up the reasons for why a deal may be lost via a dropdown menu. Once this is complete, you have access to a full range of sales reports available in real-time. What’s more, there are a number of useful visual alerts. For instance, if a deal spends too long in any given stage, it will automatically highlight in red to raise this up.
Integrations: Pipedrive has over 80 native integrations. Most of these are highly relevant to sales team use. For instance, calling recording (like Aircall), email (like MailChimp) and cost proposal generation (like Proposify).
Mobile app: Pipedrive has an excellent mobile app that provides full access to a prospective customer’s history when you are in the field. You can add notes and track customer calls straight from your mobile.
Customer support: Support is available 24/7 via live chat, which is very responsive. There is also email available if more in-depth communication is required via email@example.com.
Best Mobile CRM for Google Apps Users: ProsperWorks
While many CRMs, including Zoho, integrate with Gmail, ProsperWorks is recommended by Google and designed to fully integrate with the Google Apps suite. This makes ProsperWorks ideal for any Google-enabled business.
At $19/user/month ProsperWorks is slightly more expensive than Zoho or Pipedrive for a similar feature package, but still good value for the money. However, if you want to integrate with call recording software like RingCentral or Aircall, you will need to purchase the gold package at $119/user/month. The cost of Aircall is $35/user/month bringing the total to $154/user/month, which is a much more expensive solution than Pipedrive for pretty much the same features. However, if cold calling and phone-based sales is important to your sales process, I suggest purchasing a call recording solution.
What can you do in ProsperWorks?
Sales team use: In many ways, ProsperWorks has a similar range of sales features to Pipedrive. Where it differs is in the way it enhances these with G suite integration as standard. You can access ProsperWorks right from Gmail or Inbox by Google. ProsperWorks appears as a sidebar from which you can view companies, opportunities, tasks, and tracked emails. ProsperWorks also integrates with Google Drive and Google Calendar. In Google Calendar, tasks added in ProsperWorks show up in the reminder section.
Sales management and reporting: Like Pipedrive, ProsperWorks gives you access to the full range of sales reports that you would expect. You can easily setup and customize your pipeline stages, and all of the reports are highly visual. You can cut and dice data in the usual ways, like for instance, by salesperson or by pipeline stage.
Integrations: ProsperWorks is fully integrated with G suite. In addition, the “Professional” version ($49/month) includes integration with MailChimp within the price. To integrate with RingCentral, you have to sign-up to the “Business” version ($119/month). ProsperWorks also integrates with Zapier at the $19/month/user price point, which allows you to integrate a further 300+ popular third party native apps.
Mobile: ProsperWorks’ mobile app allows you to automatically log calls with its in-app tap and dial feature. Plus, you can set tasks and follow-up reminders, receive push notifications when new records are assigned to you and review your contacts and opportunities with one click.
Best for Sales Call Recording: Base
While Zoho is a very comprehensive CRM, it does not include call recording out-of-the-box, which is a key requirement if your sales process is partly or wholly telephone based. Base comes with built-in call recording, as well as comprehensive sales reporting across every aspect of the sales process.
Base is not a viable option for 1 or 2 users as there is a minimum requirement of 3 users for any of their packages. This means a minimum starting cost of $135/month. However, this includes call logging and recording. As a result, if you have a team of 3 or more salespeople and sales calls are an important part of your sales process, then Base becomes a very competitive solution at $45 per user when compared to Pipedrive and ProsperWorks.
What can you do in Base?
Sales team use: Base has all the core sales features that you find in Pipedrive and ProsperWorks. Like Pipedrive, it has a very intuitive pipeline with stages that are easy to customize. What’s more, it allows you to make and record all calls and include them in your prospective customer interaction timeline to keep a complete history of all contact.
Sales management and reporting: Base also has powerful sales reporting. its ability to track every detail in a salesman’s day is quite remarkable. For instance, you can monitor; calls made, emails sent, appointments held, tasks completed, notes taken and text messages sent. All of the reports are highly visible and can be cut and diced in all the usual ways, for instance by deal stage and by salesperson.
Integrations: Base allows you to integrate with Google Apps, Google contacts and Google calendar, but not to quite the extent that you can fully integrate with ProsperWorks. You can also integrate with 10 other native apps including; Dropbox, Xero, MailChimp and Quoteroller, a cost proposal generator.
Mobile app: Base, like all of the other options, has a great mobile app that allows you to access customer records and update interaction records following meetings when everything is still fresh in your mind.
Best for Sales & Account Teams: Insightly
Zoho provides its customers with tasks features, but Insightly takes this to the next level by providing more complete project management tools to allow sales to work seamlessly with account managers. You can create projects and manage them to deadlines or milestones.
Insightly is free for up to two users, but if want the power of sales and account managers working together, then you need the paid version, which starts at $12/user.
What can you do in Insightly?
Sales team use: Pipeline management is a bit more basic and less intuitive than what you will find in Pipedrive, ProsperWorks and Base. This is partly because there is no visual representation of your sales pipeline. However, to counter this, your salespeople can work with project managers to oversee sales through to completion with deadline or milestone-based workflows to help them stay on track.
Sales management and reporting: Like the other options, Insightly generates reports by user, organization, pipeline stage and more. Along with productivity reporting, Insightly can also track whether a prospect has opened an email. As is typical with email-tracking software, it will not work if the recipient has disabled images in their email.
Integrations: With 43 native app integrations Insightly covers many of the important bases. For instance, you can integrate with MailChimp, Proposify, Dropbox and Xero. However, it does not integrate with any of the call recording apps, which rules out Insightly if cold calling or telephone-based sales is an important part of your business.
Mobile app: Insightly has an intuitive mobile app that allows you to use all of the main CRM features when you are on the go.
Customer support: Insightly has email support available Mon to Fri from 10am – 6pm EST for all paid users. I received a response to my queries within 2 hours. Insightly also has a comprehensive Knowledge base and a user Community.
Best for Customer Service & Support: Less Annoying CRM
Zoho is a great product, but it doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service and support. I would recommend Less Annoying CRM if you are looking for a simpler CRM system with a reputation for customer service and support excellence. This team will go that extra mile to build a long-term relationship with you.
Less Annoying CRM Pricing
|One simple price|
|Price||$10/month per user|
It could not be any simpler, there is just one price per user. You can add users, remove users, or cancel at any time and there are no catches.
What can you do in Less Annoying CRM?
Sales team use: Less Annoying CRM is a bit different from the other options as they have developed an interface called a “workspace” where users can see the day’s events, task list, a pipeline report and activity feed that shows all information that is being entered into the system, in real time. This solution works well, though I’m not sure it’s what experienced salespeople would be hoping to find.
Sales management and reporting: The sales reports are more basic than you will find in all of the other options, there are also less easy to cut and dice. For example, if I want to look at the performance of Jeremy vs the rest of the NYC sales team, I would struggle to do this with Less Annoying CRM.
Integrations: Less Annoying CRM provides basic integrations with both MS Outlook and Google calendar. You can also sync with most common email accounts and like MS and Gmail and add email comms to your contact interaction timeline. However, unlike, Pipedrive, ProsperWorks and Base, you cannot integrate with call recording systems.
Mobile app: Less annoying CRM does not have a mobile app but is does have a very mobile-friendly web interface, which allows you to access most of your database when you are out in the field.
Customer support: The main rationale for using Less Annoying CRM is that it sticks to the basics, hence it’s very easy to setup and use. Beyond this, customer service is extensive. Less Annoying CRM provides a direct line to their customer service representatives both during the free trial and the paid monthly subscription. This is quite exceptional at this price range and a good reason in its own right to give Less Annoying CRM serious consideration.
The Bottom Line
Zoho has lead the way for CRM in the small to mid-sized business space for many years. However, newer Zoho alternatives are catching up. Three Zoho alternatives in particular stand out if you are looking for a pure sales CRM without getting bogged down with all the other things that a CRM system could do like marketing and project management:
- Base CRM
I recommend Pipedrive as the best of the Zoho alternatives for sales team use. It’s liked by sales teams, because it works exactly how they expect a CRM to work. You can try it for free for 14 days buy clicking the button below.
Though if you’re a small business using G suite to drive your business processes, then ProsperWorks may be the best of the Zoho alternatives for you. This is thanks to its full-scale Google integration.
Finally, it’s worth seriously considering Base as a Zoho alternative if you have 3 or more people in your sales team and phone-based sales are part of your sales process. Under these circumstances, it’s more cost effective than Pipedrive with call recording built-in.