Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has replaced cumbersome spreadsheets that in the past were used to store and track customer data, sales pipelines and forecast revenue.
Due to its popularity in making businesses more efficient, there are thousands of CRM platforms and tools in the market today offering a range of functionalities to manage your contacts database better.
In this article, we compare three CRM platforms – Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho. We look into the pros and cons of each platform and make recommendations based on that. Note that all these CRMs are highly customisable and have varying product tiers, so we refer to their standard out of the box options for this article.
Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform with sales, service, and marketing applications. Instead of being built in-house, Salesforce acquires other established tools and platforms, meaning your experience with the platform varies depending on the products you’re using. Due to this complex ecosystem of products, Salesforce may present a steeper learning curve and require a bigger budget and more staffing to get the products working cohesively.
- One of the most intelligent analytics features available on the market.
- Very powerful CRM features with advanced customisation.
- Ability to add or delete features according to your needs.
- Add-ons that help you get the most out of the software are costly.
- A cluttered interface makes navigation and simple tasks unnecessarily complex.
- Limited technical support. Long wait time for live customer support rep assistance.
When to choose Salesforce
Salesforce is a popular choice for large enterprise businesses with the budget to pay for software implementation, add-ons and deep customisation. Due to its popularity on the market, it’s easier to find human resources familiar with the tool, especially sales reps.
HubSpot is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform with marketing, sales, and service hubs that are easily customised to meet your business needs without adding unnecessary complexity. It’s free to get started and can be up and running without months of custom dev work.
- All in one platform is a unified and consistent user experience where data, reporting, and individual tools are all similar and work in concert.
- An open platform that easily Integrates with popular tools like Gmail, Outlook, Eventbrite, Slack, Zoom, Shopify, and SurveyMonkey.
- Superior user experience. Out of the box functionalities require minimal to zero implementation.
- It begins to get expensive once you add marketing and automation features.
- Not as easily configurable for deep customisation as compared to competitors like Salesforce or Microsoft
- Dynamics. Multiple hub platform, so CRM as a standalone doesn’t have robust features.
When to choose HubSpot
HubSpot is more suited for small to medium-sized companies that are growing and want to unify their sales and marketing teams around a single platform. HubSpot is also the preferred CRM for marketing teams because of its superior awareness, engagement, and lead generation capabilities.
Zoho is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution tailored to the needs of small and midsize businesses. Its interface includes CRM tools such as sales and marketing automation, customer support and help desk, product configuration and reporting, and customer analytics.
- Value for money for the features you get.
- Solid email marketing & automation features.
- Ai driven analytics that provides very comprehensive reporting on your database.
- While the product is developed in-house, additional connections and integrations are required to sync applications.
- Lack of global presence, therefore limiting the product line and access to customer support.
- It offers many features, but the depth of its capabilities is limited.
When to choose Zoho
Zoho CRM is an excellent choice for small businesses looking for an affordable all-in-one solution. The free-forever tier is ideal for small businesses that want to trial the CRM first before committing. Best used by teams that have a dedicated IT function as initial setup can be complex.
The choice of a CRM software will depend on your company size, budget and in-house technical knowledge. However, for quick start and ease of implementation, HubSpot would be the top contender.