Sales are all about building business relationships and striking meaningful conversations with a potential client to effectively turn him into a business customer.
Salesforce is a technology that brought an enhanced version of a customer relationship management tool for the industry to make the most of. The technology has been built for sales professionals to help them analyze their target market, customer interactions and gauge their needs before pitching a business product to them.
Salesforce is an industry leader in the field of CRM. Salesforce has approximately three times the market share as compared to the vendors vying for the number 2 position. (Source)
A smart blend of following technologies has made Salesforce crm software more efficient and best amongst the rest.
- Cloud based
- Networking and Community Building
Although Salesforce is a great tool there is always an urge to find something more compelling and new, businesses have naturally started looking for effective alternatives to Salesforce.
The relatively new CRM software in the industry bank upon two factors that the consumers are constantly looking for:
- Simplicity: Many Salesforce users have often commented that they haven’t been able to use the full product or unlock its full potential, owing to the complexity of its apps.
- Better Pricing: Now that Salesforce has been around for a while and has captured a significant chunk of the CRM market, they tend to go a bit bold with their pricing.
These are also the top two reasons for businesses to look around for alternatives to Salesforce CRM.
Now let us checkout the other Salesforce alternatives in the market:
SendinBlue has come out as a fierce competitor in the field of salesforce alternatives. Their CRM software is helpful to keep track of employees and manage customer relationships.
Let us check out some of their stunning features in the field of CRM:
a.) Easy setup: SendinBlue is super easy to set up. Just upload your contact information and manage your customer relationships without any hassle.
b.) Centralize your contact information: You can record all the information related to your customers at one place that includes notes during calls, relevant documents and any other updates that are related to them.
c.) Organize similar featured contacts: Based on similar characteristics you can group your contacts and put them in the respective conversion sales funnel.
Manage your team: With SendinBlue CRM software, you can assign specific tasks with a deadline to your team members and keep track of their actions. The marketing automation system of the SendinBlue is quite reliable that can help you plan and send out follow-up emails depending on the type of customers you have.
e.) Fulfill your marketing automation needs: You can connect with your customers through all the communication mediums that include email marketing, SMS marketing, and instant chat.
In the business of sales, it is all about striking the right relationship with your customer that matters the most. Nimble is well equipped to not only manage your sales, marketing and leads but also to connect with your customer and engage with them in real and relevant conversations for better business.
(a) Staying Social With Scheduled Posts
You can integrate your CRM with your social media channels to share instant or scheduled updates/ posts, without having to shuffle through ten different windows!
Also, for times when you know, you wouldn’t have access to your computer or your phone, you simply have to schedule a post. The post will be shared automatically at the designated time as well as on the chosen platform.
(b) Staying Relevant with Personalized Conversations
The tool’s personalized messaging feature lets you reach out to as many as 300 people a day, with customized messaging. You can save a lot of your time by just creating a message template, and the feature would update the receiver’s name and their company name before it is sent out.
(c) Updating with Advanced Search
The tool lets you filter and find contacts that match your exact criteria. You fill in the search area criteria in various \fields. Once you have filled in the search criteria, hit the search button and all relevant results would appear before you.
(d) Staying Connected with ‘Stay in Touch’
The feature helps you remain in contact with the clients you feel can be most crucial to your business. All you need to do is, on your contact list, select a contact and look for the ‘Clock’ button. On choosing the Stay in Touch feature, you may decide how often you need a reminder to send the concerned contact a message.
(e) Emailing with Outlook Importer
It’s a bummer that Nimble, a platform winning at the integration game so far, has no integration with Outlook. But with a majority of the corporate sales professionals using Outlook for emailing, maintaining all the contacts on Nimble seemed like quite a task.
However, Nimble provides a feature where you can export an Outlook CSV File and then import the same on your Nimble’s Outlook Importer.
Settings >> Networks & Imports >> Outlook Importer!
Nimble is an all- round CRM platform. While it does have the regular CRM features crucial for the platform to be called a CRM in the first place, it also has many other highlights that make Nimble stand out in this cluttered space. Focusing on Social Listening, Social Integration, and Social Contacts, Nimble has tried to make sales not just about business, but about building relationships with clients.
Update: Nimble is GDPR and CCPA compliant and is also privacy shield certified. You can continue using Nimble without any GDPR and CCPA concerns. Also, all the data storage processes of Nimble are GDPR and CCPA complied.
Pricing: Nimble offers a 14 day free trial with all its features ready to be used. Post the free trial period, and it costs $25 per license per month.
3. Zoho CRM
Zoho has emerged as one of the most popular CRM platforms for small businesses across the world. A company with its origins in India is known for robustness and cost-effective pricing plans.
Here’s a quick round-up of all the things that Zoho CRM’s features can do for your business:
(a) Avoid Duplicity
Many times, CRM users end up creating a long list of duplicate contacts in their list. The discrepancy majorly takes place while converting a ‘lead’ into a ‘potential’ or while updating the contact status in the database.
However, on Zoho, while changing contact statuses, the user is asked if the modification has to be made to an existing contact or a new contact. By placing this one filter in the process, the complete duplication challenge is overcome in a few seconds.
(b) Process Automation
Automation can be a huge booster in the way tasks are carried out on your CRM, increasing the speed as well as accuracy levels at the same time. With this feature on Zoho CRM, you can assure the seamless completion of tasks and a smooth running of the process machinery at all times.
(c) Reports and Dashboards
Reports and charts help you get a good look at your sales performance, basis which, appropriate steps can be taken to improve. Zoho CRM wins at creating rich reports that are customizable, allowing you to include bar, funnel, pie and line charts as you please.
(d) Integration with Zoho Apps and Telephony
Zoho has an extensive list of applications built to create a robust sales and marketing management eco-system. Apart from the CRM, the platform comes with a host of other applications for sales professionals to make the most of. For example:
- Zoho Projects lets you plan and follow all your projects without making you go through tedious processes.
- Zoho Support for you to monitor all your customer tickets from within the CRM account.
- Telephony – Zoho PhoneBridge is an excellent tool integration for you to make and receive business calls inside your CRM. It helps you log your calls according to your leads and contacts, again reducing one more task to be done.
(e) Zoho Surveys
In the add-ons section of the Zoho CRM, you will find another application by the name of Surveys. The tool is robust enough to let you create your own Surveys and get responses from across your contacts on the CRM platform. It further assesses and analyses these responses for you to make sense of and then eventually take appropriate steps.
(f) Going Social
Since the social media has become such a crucial part of the customer relationship management, on the whole, Zoho has not forgotten about it either. Apart from all the other integrations and add-ons that the platform offers, they also have high integrations with social media channels.
Through this integration, you can not only stay connected with your existing contacts but also get a chance to look for prospects and discover new leads across the platforms.
Update: Zoho CRM is fully equipped to adhere to the GDPR and CCPA guidelines. They have introduced a new option compliance settings in their setup panel. It can be used to manage everything ranging from updation of the lawful bases for the records to drafting consent forms.
Pricing: Plans start from $12 per month and go up to $100 per month for an ultimate plan.
Firstly, the set up process for InfusionSoft is a bit on the difficult side of things. You need to go through a couple of phone calls before you can make the payment, which means the company is trying to push for human interaction more than anything else.
However, for most people, this bit comes across as an inconvenience as almost every platform now allows payments in one go! But, at the same time, the people at InfusionSoft would make sure you understand the product thoroughly before you go through the payments at all, which is great because you get rid of the wrong expectations in the first step itself.
(a) Kickstarter Sessions
The kickstarting sessions are a paid feature, but they are an excellent way to figure your way around almost instantly instead of having to go through hit and trial methods which lead you basically, nowhere. Saving time and efforts is the first objective of getting the software to do things for you anyway, why make it complicated in the first place!
(b) Automated Marketing
A marketing campaign being the first step to targeting your audience with relevant communication, this is where you begin with your sales. You may start with email campaigns, landing pages, and emails designed on HTML/CSS or in a WYSIWYG. Further, you may schedule these posts as per the required date and time or even by directly feeding in an approximate period when you’d like to send out the campaign your list of recipients.
Not just this, the user can test these campaigns to gauge their success and impact altogether. Basis the results, these campaigns can be tweaked, & have them modified for optimum results.
(c) Sending Quick Mails
Emailing is an important aspect of sales pitches and also the first step of contacting a potential customer is much more simplified on this platform. The Quick Mail feature available on your InfusionSoft dashboard will let you send emails directly from your Gmail account if you prefer so.
(d) Tracking Customer Activity
After sending out emails and targeted campaigns with the InfusionSoft’s analytics you get to know who has made the efforts to open your emails, how many of them have responded and the exact number of those who chose not to.
By taking a look at data as comprehensive as this, you know who needs to be engaged in a relevant conversation and who is already sold on your ideas and products.
(e) Community Building and Networking
InfusionSoft is one of those companies that believe in building a loyal community for them. And the approach has ended up creating a robust network that will help you out whenever you’re stuck.
InfusionSoft is known for organizing regular events and conferences where people get a chance to interact with the industry and build a community relevant to their business.
You can look out for their annual event that goes by the name of ‘Icon.’
(f) Going Mobile
Now, other platforms too have their mobile version up and running. After all, mobile is THE screen to capture currently. But, InfusionSoft has managed to get the simplicity factor implemented right. While other platforms have dumped their entire product onto the mobile, InfusionSoft has kept it pretty simple.
With only the basic levels of sales and marketing features and a simple payments integration, the mobile version of this tool is pretty efficient in itself. It further offers the convenience of accessing your sales and marketing data on the go.
To add to the simplicity, the UI of the application appears to be neat, leaving the clutter of hordes of features out of the way.
Pricing: The basic plan starts at $200 per month and goes up to $600 per month for ten users.
Update: Infusionsoft (now Keap) has introduced several features to help users to comply with most of the GDPR and CCPA guidelines. These features will make it easy to anonymize the personal data and make consent management easier.
The days are gone when a customer was expected to be patient for his queries and problems to be resolved. We live in a time where everything is supposed to be sorted out within minutes, sometimes even seconds!
Considering the time boundaries, it is a wise idea to automate processes and to have all of them huddled together onto one single platform. Shuffling between application can delay your response time, and platforms like GetBase have been built to combat exactly that.
Let’s check out the features for a closer look at the CRM that is about to transform your business:
(a) Automatic Built-in dialer
A major part of a sales professional’s life goes into making calls and keeping records of these calls somewhere in the database. While this is a huge manual task, it is equally important for a good sales performance.
GetBase has introduced a brilliant feature that makes it easier for your sales team to make phone calls with the ‘Click-to-call’ feature. It further goes on to maintain call logs, sending alerts when there’s a new call or a follow- up required.
It also generated a quick report for you to see the calls scenario in a single glance!
(b) Email Intelligence
Under this feature on GetBase, you get to know if your email was even opened by the recipient, you also get to customize the email templates and even receive real-time notifications for all actions taken basis your email! Email Intelligence such as this will help your sales team enhance their sales and mailing techniques, delivering better email campaigns for improved results.
(c) Lead Line-ups
GetBase offers another interesting feature by the name of ‘Lead Prioritization’ which helps you focus better on the Hot Leads that are more likely to bring you business, over the ones that may or may not convert.
These features are merely the highlights of the product. The platform is well equipped with the otherwise ‘must-have’ features essential for any CRM. GetBase efficiently takes care of your sales, marketing, and lead management for smarter sales.
Pricing: The platform is offered on a free trial for 14 days. The basic pack is available at a price of $25 per user per month, which covers sales tracking and customer management for up to five users.
Inspired the company’s experience with sales and customer service, FreshSales has some brilliantly built features, designed for the success of any business. Let’s look at the features to understand how the platform can improve your sales results:
(a) Event Tracking
Event Tracking system logs the entire journey of your customer onto the system in chronological order. This systematic approach gives a storyline to each who need not be repeated in case the customer gets transferred to a different sales professional.
(b) Behaviour Based Segmentation
Once the activities and the query storyline has been logged, each activity of the customer get analyzed to determine how engaged the user is. The feature tracks everything from the sales interaction to engagement pattern on the website for a clear timeline view. It further tracks email and the responses to them to know how interested the user is- for further segmentation and quick actions to be taken by the sales teams.
(c) Third Party Integrations
FreshSales has some brilliant third party integrations that will take care of all your business needs.
The integration with FreshDesk supports the entire ticketing system, for you to plan your sales conversations better. There is also integration with FreshChat which automatically picks up conversations from the website chat and categorizes these people as Leads on to your CRM. Not to mention Google Calendar that takes care of all your events and important dates for you to never miss another appointment.
Pricing: There’s a free trial offered for 30 days, which is longer than any other CRm’s free trial period.
Another CRM built in the modern times to tackle sales challenges with advanced solutions, PipelineDeals has a host of features that can successfully boost your sales.
(a) Pipeline Overview
The pipeline of deals in your sales funnel is something that can point towards relevant projections for the future sales revenues. By analyzing data in the CRM, PipelineDeals gives life to a summarized report for you to take a quick glance through it.
Through this report, you can easily keep track of your pipeline volume, sales velocity as well as wins and losses.
Since automation is an integral part of any CRM system, a particular focus has been made on this feature by PipelineDeals. Managing leads and sales can become quite a task, sometimes losing track of the next step that needs to be taken for better conversions.
Combating this challenge, automation on PipelineDeals creates workflows to close your deals with an improved turnaround time. This feature takes care of an entire host of tasks- from prompting the next action to be taken and notifying the team managers of a closing deal with alerts, to viewing your sales pipeline from start to finish as well as creating a new deal when a recurring deal closes.
(c) Account Customization
This brilliant offering lets the user customize his account to change the look and feel of the application as per his suitability.
Not only this, but you also get an option to rename the different deal stages by just updating the default names. You can also add logos of your brand to build the likability factor and even define custom fields as well as control user access and roles.
Pricing: The different packages offered by PipelineDeals start at $19 per month for a user. They also provide custom integrations if required by your business. There are also free trials available for each of the packages, for 14 days.
While Copper (formerly ProsperWorks) is not so widely known in the CRM industry yet, the product does have a few key features that could give some real competition to the top contenders. It has all essential features of a CRM but what makes it stand out is its tight integration with Google apps.
The following functions are the highlights of the entire Copper platform, that aim towards delivering a better sales performance for increased revenue numbers:
(a) Integration with GSuite
For businesses that closely follow and use Google Suite (Google Sheets, Docs, Slides, Calendar, Inbox and Gmail), this CRM is a boon that you just can’t avoid using. Its seamless integration with Google Apps makes your life much easier as it eliminates manual data entry and even sends alerts when sales processes aren’t followed.
It also keeps your CRM database updated, by automatically making relevant changes whenever they’re any update in contacts, etc.
(b) Automated Tasks
The app automates steps so that the sales team can focus on selling more than anything else. Everything is taken care of- from sending calendar invites and setting follow-up tasks to updating statuses and even sending out proposals.
(c) Sales Goals
This feature allows you to set up goals for your teams or even individuals by marketing revenues, opportunities, emails sent and calls to be made, among others. You can view their progress report to keep track of their activities and even see the overall performance before you decide to coach your reps.
Pricing: Copper is available in 3 plans basic, professional and business. The basic plan starts at $19/user/mo billed annually. All of the plans offer a 14-day free trial plan.
How to Choose
To help you reach a decision we have curated a small list to take into account when finding your ideal CRM tool:
- Objective/Goal of using a CRM: What exactly you want your CRM software for? Chart out the list of goals that you want to achieve through your CRM tool.
- Pricing: All businesses are different and so is their budget. Find a tool that suits your requirements and fits your pocket in the long run.
- User Adoption period: How long will the CRM take to be implemented in your business? What is the learning curve of the software?
- Ability to customize the CRM: Go through all the features that the CRM has to offer and analyze it to see if it is will adapt as per your needs.
Questions related to Salesforce alternatives:
What are some good alternatives to Salesforce?
Some good alternatives to Salesforce are Aritic, SendinBlue, Nimble, InfusionSoft and Zoho CRM.
Is Salesforce helpful for startups?
Yes, Salesforce is a great tool for startups as it can help them to manage and store their customer details cleanly.
Which is the best competitor to Salesforce?
The best competitor to SalesForce is SAP CRM, Oracle and Microsoft dynamics 365.
Does Salesforce offer a free plan?
Yes, Salesforce offers a free plan with all the features.
How much does Salesforce cost?
SalesForce is available in 4 pricing plans that are:
Is SendinBlue better than Salesforce?
No, Sendinblue is not better than Salesforce when it comes to complex CRM features. If you have complicated CRM needs you will like to consider Salesforce.
How much Does Nimble cost?
Nimble is a CRM available at a flat rate of $25/user/mo. The price changes if you go for an annual plan.
Which is best amongst Sendinblue, Nimble , Zoho CRM and salesforce?
SalesForce is one of the best options available in the market. Some reasons why it is the best:
Salesforce is a scalable software so you can easily make changes to it depending on your business growth.
Data security of this software is pretty good.
The salesforce cloud apps ensure that it remains less expensive.
It is a helpful tool for both the salespersons and marketers.