Salesforce alternatives: Top 6 ‘other’ CRM options for SMBs

Today’s customers prefer personalization in everything. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools make personalization a breeze even for businesses with bigger customer bases. These tools collect data from sources such as website traffic, emails, call logs, social media, and every possible resource to help you tailor your services to every customer. Be it a sales pitch, a service delivery, or even a customer loyalty program, everything you create is better with CRM insights. CRM tools are really helpful for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as they automate certain time-consuming marketing tasks. This is why Salesforce CRM has over 150,000 happy customers across the world. Despite Salesforce’s massive reception, there are also other tools that SMBs love. CRM tools like Hubspot have generous free trial versions that come packed with features. It is always a good idea to compare a few tools before you invest in one and here is a list of six such Salesforce CRM alternatives worth considering.

1. Hubspot CRM

HubSpot contains all the features of an ideal CRM. It allows you to create detailed contact profiles, assign tasks to employees, monitor employee performance, track deals, add reminders, send emails, and organize all the sales activity in a single dashboard. HubSpot integrates with Gmail and Outlook allowing you to import your email leads in just a click. It also comes with an incredibly simple UI. Businesses don’t have to spend much time training their employees to use the CRM.

Hubspot CRM is cloud-based and is compatible with almost all the devices, browsers and operating systems, allowing you to access data from anywhere. This kind of mobility makes HubSpot the perfect fit for collaborative environments with remote team members. The CRM also comes with live chat, web forms, lead qualification bots and supports an unlimited number of users.

Subscription plans

The fully featured HubSpot CRM kit is free and this makes it ideal for SMBs. In addition to CRM, HubSpot also offers other packages like the Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, Services Hub, and more. Hubspot CRM can be used in synergy with these useful business tools. For example, when integrated with Marketing Hub, the CRM automatically updates your contacts with their social media handles. But unlike HubSpot CRM, these programs do not come for free. They cost about $50-$400 per month.

The CRM can also integrate with hundreds of third-party products like MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, Zapier, UberConference, and Slack. Also, HubSpot recently became a recommended (and certified) Google partner.

Salesforce
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Limitations

One disadvantage of Hubspot is that the workflow management and customer support are available only to the customers who have subscribed to their paid packages. Additionally, being a relatively new CRM solution, it does not include all the customization options that large sales teams need, which are already served well by Salesforce.

2. Pipedrive

Pipedrive offers a free trial but it does not have a forever free plan. Pipedrive is customizable and it allows you to customize processes even in its entry-level plans. It also allows unlimited pipelines and storage. The user interface is simple. It can also be easily integrated with third-party applications. It is well-integrated and fully mobile optimized.

Subscription plans

It comes with three plans: silver, gold, and platinum. The silver plan ($12.50 per user per month) comes with features like contact management, visual pipeline homepage, and configurable report. The gold plan ($24.20) features email tracking, task scheduler, account insights, additional analytics, etc. The platinum plan ($49.17) includes all the features of the gold plan in addition to features like role-based access control and support.

Limitations

Pipedrive lacks lead assignment, lead scoring, mass marketing email features, and lead-based routing. Pipedrive is not feature-rich, but whatever it does, it does well. According to Inc magazine, Pipedrive is one of America’s fastest-growing CRM providers, serving over 50,000 small businesses worldwide.

3. Freshsales

Freshsales

Freshsales is a customizable CRM for businesses with long sales cycles and remote users. You can send emails and make calls without leaving the tool. The offerings include a free basic plan and three paid plans. The free plan (a.k.a. the Sprout plan) comes with a built-in phone system, rules-based scoring and, basic contact management. The mobile version comes with a calendar that can give you a glimpse of your appointments and can even help you book an Uber. It can accommodate unlimited users and it is free forever.

Subscription Plans

The $12 Blossom plan comes with features like bulk emailing, opportunity management, email templates, and email tracking. The $25 Garden plan is the best option for teams with many members. It comes with automated lead management, lead assignment rules, configurable dashboards, and multiple sale pipelines. These features help you manage multiple leads and make data-driven decisions. The $49 Estate plan is a good fit for businesses that prioritize website traffic based lead generation as it comes with great website tracking analysis features.

Limitations

Freshsales lacks the ability to manage orders and issue quotes and invoices. It also lacks pricing books and product statistics. So this might not be the best option for businesses that manage inventories.

4. Zoho

Zoho CRM is a perfect fit for businesses that prospect on social media. Zoho allows you to track social media interactions using Facebook and Twitter hooks. In addition to social media integration, the free plan also comes with activity tracking features, contact management, and opportunity management.

Subscription plans

The free plan is limited to three users and lacks certain abilities such as routing leads to specific users, managing orders, and customizing interfaces. However, you can upgrade your plan and add functionalities. The $12 standard plan allows you to create custom fields and generate custom reports. It allows you to track website visitors, send bulk emails and even forecast sales. It also gives you insights about email deliveries, opens, and bounces. The $20 professional plan offers product management solutions like Pipedrive. It also comes with order management, and access to Zoho SaleSignal functionality that automates lead scoring.

Salesforce

Limitations

Unlimited storage is something that Zoho CRM lacks. The storage capacity is 1GB per user. However, it is possible to buy additional storage.

5. Dubsado

Dubsado is the CRM for soloprenurs and freelancers. Users can share project status via a customer portal, send automated email responses, track billable hours, and manage recurring billing. The tool allows you to collaborate with clients, sign legally binding contracts online, and digital proof documents. Features like payment processing and one-off jobs management make the tool stand out. Dubsado’s ability to integrate with various point-of-sale payment tools, make it ideal for B2C. It provides you with recurring revenue statistics along with client insights.

Subscription plans

The tool is a good fit for small teams because it is free for up to three users. Paid plans start at $35 per month and, occasionally, the company offers discounts. Though Dubsado is comparatively expensive, its features are totally worth the price.

Limitations

Dubsado lacks some important marketing features like bulk emailing and built-in phone dialing. So, it is not a good option for businesses with long sales cycles.

6. Insightly

Insightly’s basic features include project management, custom CRM fields, pipeline tracking, and contact management. Project management is a feature that is not found in the majority of other CRMs. The basic plan is free for up to two users. You can add features like tracking, lead assignment routing, and customizable sales processes by upgrading your subscription plan.

Subscription plans

The $29 Plus plan comes with customizable project pipelines. It allows users to manage up to 100,000 records and send 2,500 emails a month. The $49 Professional plan increases the number of records to 250,000 and doubles the number of emails. Also, it enables you to customize your dashboard, assign role-based access permissions, and automate workflows.

Limitations

Insightly doesn’t include features like lead scoring and product statistics. For this reason, the tool might not be the best fit for retail and inventory-related businesses.

Salesforce alternatives: Choose wisely

Customer intelligence is the new buzzword among the enterprise software makers. Today, it is almost impossible to push your leads down the sales funnel if you don’t understand their needs and preferences. Hunches don’t work anymore as marketing mistakes are becoming expensive. Fortunately, the data-driven decision-making capabilities of CRM tools are making customer management a breeze. For this reason, CRM and Salesforce have become an inevitable tool for businesses of all sizes. About 91 percent of businesses with a minimum of 11 employees use a CRM and this number will only continue to grow. No wonder that CRM software, led by Salesforce, has become the world’s biggest software market. These six Salesforce alternatives are finding their niche in this huge sector.

Featured image: Pixabay

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