Industry Insights

Salesforce Alternatives in the CRM Software Market

Not too long ago a Rolodex would sit on your desk next to the phone. There was no laptop, only a stack of business cards, a pen, and a notepad. This was how businesses related to customers. While that meant more time on the phone, it also meant more time spent meeting face-to-face.

Much has changed since those times. The Rolodex is gone, and many customers are too far away to meet face-to-face regularly. Instead, businesses rely on technology to connect them and also keep their customer information organized and readily accessible. CRM has shouldered much of this responsibility for the past couple of decades, and the next five years will see CRM transform more as businesses adapt to significant changes in the way customers use technology.

Since Salesforce CRM has been dominating this industry, I wanted to explore 5 CRM alternatives. In this article I will look closely at the key features and benefits of the selected CRM below:

  1. HubSpot

  2. Freshsales CRM

  3. Insightly

  4. Zoho CRM

  5. Pipedrive


HubSpot’s free CRM is designed to enable your sales teams to get started quickly without making too many changes to their existing workflow. This solution is ideal for companies that wish to maximize the potential of their CRM. HubSpot CRM automates the tasks and connects you with the tools that you already use, so staying organized is effortless. That means doing more deals and less data entry. Interactions are tracked automatically and deals are displayed on one dashboard for total visibility without added work. With an easy and smart system that offers the essential basic features without complex functionalities, this system us a perfect fit for startups and mid-sized, companies who will benefit from the fact that they are also a certified, premier Google partner. For this reason, this platform is a suitable fit for businesses in any niche and industry.

Business Size: Small, Medium, Large: Ideal for companies of any size that require a solution with deep marketing integration
Additional Features:

  • Drag-and-drop communicator
  • Social media integration
  • Email templates, tracking and scheduling
  • Personalizable views and filtering

Freshsales CRM

Image result for freshsales dashboard

Freshsales CRM is a simple but powerful CRM platform, a great entry point for small and growing businesses. Setup is easy, you can store all operations in the cloud, and you can make use of multiple integrations. Its main advantage is you can easily depict where leads are coming from which is a great for small and midmarket businesses. Apart from lead capturing, Freshsales CRM can distribute, score, and nurture leads via multiple communication channels. Its offers advanced features such as affiliate management, call routing, call recording, and auto-dialers. It also provides useful revenue analytics tools, where all pertinent source and rep metrics are collected into reports. You can apply a range of filters when summarizing your data to organize results in the way you want, create charts and tables, make summaries, and master the art of matrix reporting.

Business Size: Small, Medium, Large: Ideal for companies of any size that provides lead and case management functions.

Additional Features:

  • Built-in Phone, Email, & Chat Integration
  • Lead Enrichment w/Social Profiles & Photo
  • Intelligent Workflows for Any Sales/Marketing Team
  • Head Scoring by Characteristics & Behavior

InsightlyImage result for insightly

Insightly is a solid customer relationship and lead tracking tool, it's aimed specifically at small and midsized businesses. An intuitive user interface is complete with data gathering and even project management tools. With Insightly, all your critical sales and business info - leads, contacts, emails, events, projects, tasks, sales opportunities and biz reports, are organized and available on all your devices. The result is that all your teammates have the most current customer info at their fingertips which results in improved organization, improved customer service and improved sales. Since integrations are key to CRM user adoption, Insightly offers a variety of featured integrations across email, document management, accounting, and messaging platforms.

Other features include task management, pipeline management, and contact management, which allows you to get clear sales visibility, overview of your operations, track deliverables to clients, boost customer communication, improve collaboration among team members, and enhance efficiency and productivity. The CRM is compatible with Android, iOS, and Kindle mobile platforms, and integrates seamlessly with popular solutions such as Outlook, Office, MailChimp, Evernotes, Gmail, and Google Apps.  Easily access key customer info - lead, contact, organization, opportunity data - to stay up to date and scan business cards or add audio notes while away from the office.

Business Size: Small, Medium, Large: Ideal for companies of any size that wants a platform with API capability along with social CRM functionality.

Additional Features:

  • Task and calendar management Contact management
  • Opportunity reports to manage key sales metrics
  • Project management

Zoho CRM

Image result for zoho crm image
Zoho CRM is a widely used web-based CRM platform designed to attract, retain, and satisfy customers to grow your business. The app’s top features are lead and contact management, sales pipeline management, and purchase control. You can combine these features to make effective use of the software. The interface has been updated making is easier to use. Zoho's CRM expanded multichannel support for phone, email, live chat, social media, and in-person meetings makes Zoho CRM the most tightly integrated system on the market. Zoho CRM is enterprise ready with advanced features like page layouts, sandbox, and advanced customization options including conditional fields, lead scoring and business process mapping. Zoho's CRM includes an AI-powered sales assistant, Zia, which provides interpretations, solutions and predictions for salespeople. With seamless website integration it allows you to automate your lead generation, qualification and conversion.

Business Size: Small, Medium, Large: Ideal for companies of any size that require a solution with permission-based security

Additional Features:

  • Custom web forms and the ability to auto-assign leads with custom rules
  • Centralize accounts, related contacts, opportunities, etc. into one convenient platform
  • Email integration and Google Apps integration allow for effective execution of email marketing
  • Auto-Assign leads with custom rules


Image result for pipedrive dashboard
Pipedrive is a sales management tool for small to medium buinesses. Since this product was designed by two experienced sales professionals, it's known for its high-quality sales pipeline management features and robust suite of tools. As it's very easy to use and intiutive, it organizes your business leads efficiently to give you a good view of your sales, and enables you to focus on priority deals. It also has built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and a powerful API for those that like a more customized solutions. Pipedrive is also fully mobile optimized which means your sales teams can use it to be productive in the field. Plus, it integrates smoothly with Google apps such as Google Contacts and Google Calendar as well as with other leading third-party business solutions.

Business Size: Small, Medium: Ideal for small sized in need of a software solution with email integration.

Additional Features:

  • Intuitive pipeline view
  • Reporting filters
  • Automatic follow-up functionality
  • Track reasons for winning/losing a sale
  • Role-based permission

Ending Notes

This is just the tip of the CRM iceberg, there are so many to select from and selecting a CRM provider doesn't have to be difficult. Researching different programs and performing a CRM system comparison makes the decision easier. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions as we would be more than happy to help guide you in the selection process. Remember you can't run a modern sales operation without one.

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans

Natalie Evans has over 16-years in the tech industry and currently works as the event coordinator and tech reporter for CMS-Connected, keeping up-to-date on what's happening in and around the Content Management industry.

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