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Salesforce vs. Zoho

If you’re considering Salesforce and Zoho but struggling to choose between them, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each tool. Then, we’ll explore how they compare on several key aspects of a good CRM. Keep reading to learn more about how Salesforce and Zoho stack up!

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Salesforce vs. Zoho comparison

There are a lot of tools out there that help you with your marketing and sales. One of the most important is a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, which gathers, stores, organizes, and analyzes data about your customers.

If you’ve been researching CRMs, you probably already know that two of the biggest names out there are Salesforce and Zoho. In fact, maybe you’re trying to decide which of these two tools to get. Which is better, Salesforce or Zoho? Well, that’s just the question we’ll answer on this page.

We’ll start by going over some of the pros and cons of each tool, and then we’ll compare the two based on several key qualities of a good CRM. Keep reading to learn more!

a blue cube and a yellow circle are on a scale

Salesforce pros

Let’s start off by looking at some of the benefits of using Salesforce as your CRM. Advantages of this platform include:

  • Plan variety: Sometimes CRMs don’t give you many different plans to choose from—but not Salesforce. It offers over 15 different plans that range wildly in price, so you have tons of options.
  • Integrations: Salesforce also provides a wide array of integration options—over 2500, to be precise, mostly through application programming interfaces (API).
  • Advanced features: Salesforce is an extremely advanced CRM, especially if you choose a higher plan. It offers a huge amount of complex and niche features.

Salesforce cons

As handy as it is, Salesforce also comes with some disadvantages. Those disadvantages include:

  • High costs: It’s probably not surprising to learn that given Salesforce’s vast array of features, it’s also extremely expensive. There are cheaper plans available, but the best ones cost quite a lot.
  • Data entry: Part of the setup process for a new CRM involves entering all of your existing customer data. Unfortunately, Salesforce doesn’t make that easy—you’ll have to do it all manually.
  • Hard to learn: One of the biggest problems with Salesforce is that it’s extraordinarily hard to learn. In fact, it’s so difficult that companies often hire Salesforce specialists just to use the tool.

Zoho pros

Zoho also has its share of advantages. Some of those advantages include:

  • Easy deal creation: Zoho makes it extremely easy to create, track, and follow up with new deals you create.
  • Affordable pricing: Zoho’s pricing is another perk, as it offers a few different affordable options and even a free plan for those who only want the basic features.
  • Great reporting: Zoho stands out for its reporting features, harnessing detailed analytics and dashboards to give you insights into the progress of your sales.

Zoho cons

Zoho is a good tool, but it has some downsides. Those downsides include:

  • Customer service: Sadly, Zoho isn’t known for its customer support capabilities. People often report that it has slow response times and a tendency to be unhelpful.
  • Learning curve: Zoho isn’t the hardest tool to use once you get used to it. Unfortunately, getting used to it takes quite a long time, as Zoho comes with a steep learning curve.
  • App integration: App integration is undoubtedly one of Zoho’s worst qualities. The free plan comes with no integration options at all, and even the paid plans are quite limited in this category.

 

Salesforce vs. Zoho comparison

Having gone over the pros and cons of each tool, we’ll now compare Zoho and Salesforce directly. We’ll do that by looking at how they stack up when it comes to five key qualities of a good CRM. This comparison is summarized in the chart below.

Pricing
Ease of use
Reporting
Integrations
Sales automation
$16-$79 per month
User-friendly, intuitive interface
Included, customizable
Extensive integrations, including native, third-party, and custom options
Yes, fully customizable
$25-$1000+ per month
Extremely hard to use
Included
2500+ integrations (native and API)
Yes, some customization options
Free plan available, $35+ per month
Steep learning curve
Included
Integrations can be difficult to set up; none offered with free plan
Yes, some customization options

Pricing

As we’ve already mentioned, Salesforce’s pricing is all over the place. That’s because it offers 15 different plans. And while some of those plans come in reasonably cheap at around $25 per user per month, the most expensive ones cost as much as $15,000 per month!

Zoho, meanwhile, offers far fewer—but also far more affordable—options. You can pay $35 per month for an annual plan or $45 per month for a monthly plan. Zoho even offers a free plan. For that reason, even though Salesforce has more options, Zoho wins when it comes to sheer affordability.

Ease of use

Another key consideration for any CRM is the user experience. Which tool is more user-friendly, Salesforce or Zoho?

The answer to this one is easy—Zoho. While it’s not exactly flawless in this category, as it does come with a steep learning curve, it’s at least simple enough to use once you do eventually become familiar with it.

Salesforce, on the other hand, is such a complicated tool that, as mentioned earlier, companies often hire Salesforce specialists just to work the platform. That makes it pretty clear that Salesforce scores incredibly low when it comes to ease of use, leaving Zoho the clear winner.

Reporting

CRMs are designed to track data, which means they’re not of much use if they don’t offer any kind of reporting on that data. So, how do Zoho and Salesforce stack up in this category?

The answer is that both tools perform well here. Given how advanced of a platform Salesforce is, it’s probably not surprising that its reporting features are equally advanced, offering plenty of different options for which metrics to focus on and which data to take into account.

But Zoho also does very well here, with its reporting allowing you to see vital information like who’s buying from you and what they’re interested in. Technically, Salesforce wins this category purely on the basis of being more advanced, but Zoho is no slouch when it comes to reporting.

Integrations

Integrations are another category where Zoho doesn’t do so well. It does offer some integrations with the paid plan, but those integrations are few and far between, which users have been known to express frustration with. Meanwhile, the free plan offers no integrations at all.

Contrast that with Salesforce, which offers more than 2500 integration options—one of the largest amounts of any CRM platform. Those integrations do require an API, but even so, there’s no contest—Salesforce is the obvious winner here.

Sales automation

Finally, we can assess Salesforce and Zoho based on their sales automation capabilities. Once again, we have a category where both tools perform admirably. Zoho offers all the standard automation features, as well as an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant called Zia that recommends specific automated workflows.

Salesforce, meanwhile, provides highly advanced automation features as well. It even offers a separate marketing automation platform called Pardot that you can integrate with the main CRM.

Overall, this category is a bit too close to call, so we can consider it a tie between the two tools.

Salesforce vs. Zoho: Which is better?

Now that we’ve gone over both tools, we can go back to the question at the beginning of this page: Which is better, Salesforce or Zoho?

The answer depends entirely on the unique needs of your business. If your priority is reporting and integrations, Salesforce is definitely the better option. But if you have a low budget or don’t want to hire an outside specialist, Zoho is the way to go.

Of course, it’s also entirely possible that neither of these tools seems ideal to you. If that’s the case, there are plenty of other crm options out there.

Nutshell is the perfect alternative to Salesforce and Zoho

If you don’t think that Salesforce or Zoho are for you, you might now be looking for other CRM options. If so, you’re already in the right place. Nutshell is an affordable, user-friendly CRM that also provides some of the best customer support around.

If you’re interested in seeing what Nutshell can do for your business, just start a 14-day free trial today!

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Don’t get sucked in by ‘featureitis.’ Buy what your staff will actually use. Nutshell beat out Insightly, Nimble, Zoho and Salesforce for our needs.

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Jennifer A. Eclectic Music

I’ve honestly had more problems than solutions when it comes to using Monday. It was very visually pleasing, but that’s as far as the benefits went.

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Great way to track management with clients. Love that I can BCC and the email from my google account goes right into the right account in Nutshell. Also love that I can set tasks to remind myself to follow up

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