There might be other CRMs that fit your needs more closely—and won’t charge you $50/month just for reports.
Pipedrive CRM is a popular and well-rounded CRM used by over 90,000 companies in 179 countries. Their branding portrays them as a simple, well-rounded choice for businesses of any size, and an instrumental tool for making salespeople’s lives easy. Pipedrive is undoubtedly a good CRM, but it isn’t a good fit for everyone. Using this comparison guide can help you identify the alternatives and guarantee you’re really choosing a CRM that works for you.
Users and prospective buyers appreciate Pipedrive’s clutter-free user interface. Beneath the hood, there are advanced features like email sync, templated email automation, and one-click calling to propel any sales team towards their goals. Pipedrive strives to provide a simple and intuitive experience so that its users can focus on selling.
Pipedrive’s price starts at $12.50 per user per month, which is an attractive number when compared to other CRMs, but that entry-level price point lacks many of their marquee features. This “essentials” version leaves much to be desired, with emails only functioning on a BCC basis, no email or task automation, and no user/admin permissions. Bumping up to the $24 “advanced” version includes these features, but you still don’t get one-click calling, unlimited meeting scheduling, multiple dashboards, and revenue forecasting, which are reserved only for the $49.90 “professional” version. Lastly, the “enterprise” edition, at $100 per user per month, is the only version that includes unlimited support.
☝🤖 Worth mentioning: Nutshell’s support is always free for everyone, and is available via phone, email, chat.
When considering Pipedrive, be aware of the platform’s limitations. Countless users express frustration with their phone support, citing long wait times and responses that don’t actually address the users’ concerns. “One tech even went so far as to forge a past email response after I complained that they had gone dark on me.” Furthermore, even the expensive plans often don’t report on what users actually want, like viewing how many touches a prospect got, setting custom date ranges, or reporting on activities across users. Most importantly, Pipedrive only offers set-up support to their customers who pay for the $100/month version.
A Pipedrive customer would pay $1,000 a month for ten users, reports and email sync, and a dedicated customer success manager. Nutshell customers would pay $390.
If you’re considering Pipedrive, it’s likely that you’ve heard of these alternatives or seen them on software review sites. While the bulk of their features are similar, each has its own unique pros and cons which, depending on your needs, could make or break your CRM experience.
Full package: $35/mo
- Sales automation
- Flexible pipeline management
- Comprehensive “excel-style” filtering and sorting for leads and reporting
- Contact management
- Email suite: automation, templates, workflows
- Free onboarding
Summary: Nutshell is an award-winning, sneaky powerful CRM that helps sales teams close more deals faster. Powerful enough to support any element of your business and simple enough to implement in less than a day, Nutshell is favored among small to medium-sized companies who know better than to overpay for software they’ll never use. Furthermore, Nutshell’s features often outshine the competitors’ in terms of both usability and comprehensiveness, according to customer reviews.
Watch out for: Users indicate that the feel of the mobile application doesn’t match the PC interface with which they are familiar.
Full package: $300/mo
- Workflow customization tools
- Marketing leads management
- Sales team communication
Summary: Salesforce is a comprehensive and robust software solution platform centered around its lead management and CRM functionality. With Salesforce (and its associated cloud applications) it’s possible to do just about anything: Customer journey-related custom sales workflows, plugin application builders, and integrations with your existing systems, to name a few. Be warned that the basic setup fee starts around $5,000, but if you want the above-mentioned functionality, your setup will start at $50,000.
Watch out for: They charge double their enterprise price ($150/user) for the version with unlimited support. According to users, this is because the software is extremely difficult to use and requires constant interaction with Salesforce representatives. Furthermore, very few of the (costly) add-ons actually apply to small or medium-sized businesses.
Starter: Free starter version
Full package: $120/mo (Sales Hub)
- Website landing page builder
- Customer journey-based workflows
- Sales and marketing email template builder
- Sales and marketing management tools
Summary: HubSpot is a CRM, marketing automation tool, and customer service hub all built into one. With HubSpot, you can create custom web pages, forms, and emails, and tie them together into complicated, automated workflows. HubSpot is a great option for sales and marketing teams who can afford the big spend and don’t have the time or resources to integrate their CRM with other, similar features.
Watch out for: Don’t be fooled by the free version—it’s barely more functional than an excel workbook. If you want to use all of HubSpot’s features, it’s going to cost a small fortune. Furthermore, those who aren’t HTML pros will need HubSpot to design their marketing pages for them.
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Full package: $100/mo
- Integration with other Zoho apps
- In-CRM emailing (limited #/user)
- Dashboards and reporting
- Integrates with Microsoft and Outlook
- Workflow management
Summary: Zoho CRM is one application that exists in Zoho’s diverse ecosystem of bite-sized applications, which are typically sold in bundles. The CRM offers basic contact management tools, as well as automation, like converting website visitors into leads automatically. The reporting in Zoho is also top-notch, allowing users to report across products, locations, accounts, and statuses, as well as providing useful sales forecasting.
Watch out for: Zoho has lots of add-on applications that vary in price, making it difficult to get a quote without going through demos, trials, and hassle. For the complete package, you may need to buy additional applications a la carte.
Full package: $99/mo
- Integrates with Gsuite, Microsoft, Mailchimp, and more
- Custom dashboards
- Custom pipeline builder
- Opportunity reports
Summary: Insightly is a CRM favored by companies with straightforward sales processes. Their simple user interface allows for the creation of custom pipelines and provides all the tools and functionality needed to manage them. Insightly offers strong filtering that allows large lists to be sorted into manageable groups.
Watch out for: Insightly makes their money with their extremely pricy onboarding and support plans, without which many of their customers would be lost. Users also report crawling load times, dropped email attachments, and lackluster or unusable sales reports.
Full package: $119/mo
- Google-based CRM
- Hangouts-based chatbot
- Chrome extension, Gmail inbox, and other Gsuite app support
Summary: Copper CRM is an innovative approach to customer relationship management. Describing itself as a “relational CRM” as opposed to a “transactional CRM,” its focus is to exist solely in the Gsuite space to facilitate faster and more effective use of the Google app suite. Its Chrome extension comes in handy for scheduling meetings and creating follow-ups over email without going out of the way.
Watch out for: Copper is designed for Google users only, so it won’t play nicely with any of your non-Google software. Copper’s onboarding is expensive and is only included in their most expensive package.
🥉 Honorable mention 🥉
Price: $10,000/user/year (seriously)
- Optimized with AI
- Very little manual data entry
- Scans email correspondence to automate tasks
Summary: Spiro.ai is an AI-based CRM that uses algorithms to minimize the amount of busywork salespeople have to do, freeing them up to close more deals. For example, when you type someone’s email into Spiro, it finds all of their info on the web (so does Nutshell) and when you send an email with a line like “I’ll call you tomorrow,” the system actually reminds you to call them tomorrow. None of their positive reviews seem to be written by the ones paying for it.
Watch out for: Spiro has a tremendous price tag compared to their functionality; a salesperson who quickly creates tasks already won’t benefit much from having Spiro’s AI do it for them.
The bottom line
Shopping for a CRM is tough because you’re essentially choosing which software is going to run your sales operations for a while. There are many hidden factors at play that won’t show up on a typical CRM’s “features” page, like ramp-up time, implementation costs, additional services needed, quality of customer support, and more. In order to ensure you’re making the right choice, the best approach is to install a demo version and see if the CRM can really support all of your requirements without breaking the bank. Software review sites are also invaluable because customers will often tell the stories that CRM salespeople can’t.