Pipedrive vs Salesforce: Choose the Best One for You

Read our comparison of Pipedrive vs Salesforce to decide which CRM is right for your business based on their price, usability, features, and more.

Pipedrive and Salesforce are high-quality CRMs, each with unique advantages for different buyers. Pipedrive is affordable and easy to use, and its features are focused on the sales aspects of contact management. Meanwhile, Salesforce is pricier and more complex but has a breadth of robust features, including functionality for sales as well as marketing and support. Learning about the differences between these CRMs will help you select the right one for you. 

Here are the situations when businesses use Pipedrive or Salesforce:

  • Pipedrive: Best for small-to-medium businesses in need of a highly visual, sales-focused CRM that they can easily roll out ($12.50 to $99 per user, per month)
  • Salesforce: Best for larger businesses that want an all-in-one CRM with in-depth reporting and countless customization opportunities ($25 to $300 per user, per month)

Although Pipedrive and Salesforce are both great choices in general, it could be that neither is right for your business. If you’re looking for other options, read our articles on the best overall CRM solutions and the best industry-specific CRMs. Otherwise, read on to learn more about Pipedrive, Salesforce, and how they differ.

Pipedrive vs Salesforce at a Glance

PipedriveSalesforce
Price Range (Annual)$12.50 to $99 per user, per month$25 to $300 per user, per month
Core FeaturesEssential CRM features, but a focus on the sales toolsDeep functionality spanning sales, marketing, support
Ease of UseEasy to set up and use, even for those new to CRMsSteep learning curve, even for experienced CRM users
ReportingFocused on revealing insights about sales performanceCustom and template reports for all CRM activities
Sales AutomationCan automate various sales and communication actionsBuild custom workflows to automate any CRM task
Mobile AppCRM app with great task management featuresFind information and get AI-backed analytics on the go
App IntegrationsIntegrate with 500+ apps through ZapierAccess over 3,000 apps to further customize platform
Customer Service24/7 email and chat support for all plansBusiness hours phone, email, and chat support for all plans
Visit PipedriveVisit Salesforce

How We Evaluated Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Pipedrive and Salesforce are similar in many ways; they both offer essential contact management features, app integrations, and customer service. But, they contrast in various dimensions as well. We've revealed those differences by measuring each platform on five categories that businesses often stress when evaluating CRMs — affordability, core features, usability, integrations and customization, and customer support.

Evaluation Criteria

First, we picked the five main factors when considering a CRM and weighted them based on significance to salespeople and teams. We then split the five categories into key subcriteria, using them to score both CRMs and determine the winner of each category.

Pricing:
25%
Features:
25%
Ease of Use:
20%
App Integrations & Customization:
15%
User Support:
15%

Besides these five main criteria, we also put Pipedrive and Salesforce head to head for three crucial CRM features — sales automation, reporting, and a mobile app — because most businesses evaluating these two platforms are interested in tools that help them manage leads, contacts, and deals, and improve performance with actionable insights and analytics.

Best for Pricing: Pipedrive

PipedriveSalesforce
Free-for-Life OptionNoNo
Free Trial14 days30 days 
(14 days with Essentials)
Starting Price (Annual)$12.50 per user, per month$25 per user, per month  (10-user maximum)
Enterprise Price (Annual)$99 per user, per month$300 per user, per month
Add-OnsFrom $49 per monthFrom $5 per month
Monthly BillingYesEssentials only

Winner: Pipedrive is the thriftier choice because of its low-priced plans, especially its Advanced plan, which gives affordable access to CRM automation.

Pipedrive is an economical option for businesses in that its plans start at $12.50 per user, per month, offering basic contact management features, and end at $99 per user, per month, giving users access to advanced customization, reporting, and support. Notably, its entry point to workflow automation functionality is lower than that of most other CRMs, clocking in at $24.90 per user, per month with the Advanced plan. Pipedrive also has a 14-day free trial.

Pipedrive pricing - Selling Signals

Salesforce is the more expensive choice, especially for businesses that want complete access to platform customization and automation. Its Ultimate plan is $300 per user, per month. While you can get Salesforce’s Essential plan for the low cost of $25 per user, per month, this is best for users who just want basic CRM features like contact and deal management. But, because of Salesforce’s complexity, these buyers might be better off purchasing a more user-friendly CRM.

Salesforce pricing - Selling Signals

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Best for Core Features: Salesforce

PipedriveSalesforce
Contact ManagementOverview of lead’s activity, communications, and historyHolds all crucial data about each of your contacts
Lead ManagementLead pool filtering, integrated chatbots, lead prioritizationAutomatic lead scoring and routing, lead tracking
Pipeline ManagementVisual pipeline view, custom pipelines reflecting processSales opportunity tracking, activity-needed notifications
Advanced FeaturesAI Sales Assistant, sales goal setting, custom fieldsEinstein AI, marketing campaign tracking

Winner: Salesforce’s cross-departmental feature set beats out Pipedrive when it comes to its depth and flexibility.

Built by salespeople for salespeople, Pipedrive has all the CRM tools a sales team needs. Its features focus on helping sellers perform the right actions at the right time to move deals forward while also providing them with basic reporting to measure performance and standard automation to eliminate repetitive CRM tasks. Where Pipedrive’s functionality falls short is in other aspects of customer management, primarily marketing and business analytics.

Pipedrive pipeline management - Selling Signals

Salesforce, on the other hand, has features for marketing and customer support as well, making it a more holistic CRM. And when it comes to sales, Salesforce still outshines Pipedrive, providing its users with top-notch lead and opportunity management tools for tracking deals and deeper analytics to uncover ways to close more sales and get more out of the software. Its Enterprise and Ultimate plans offer incredibly powerful reporting and automation functionality.

Salesforce opportunity management - Selling Signals

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Best for Ease of Use: Pipedrive

PipedriveSalesforce
Ease of SetupFairly quick and simpleLabor-intensive
Learning CurveGentleSteep
Common Positive ReviewsClean interface, visual pipelines, simple navigationCustomizable, easy to use features once learned
Common Negative ReviewsLimited AI, analytics, and email marketing capabilitiesSetup can be confusing, hard to get team-wide adoption

Winner: Pipedrive is one of the easiest CRMs to use because of its clean user interface, simple setup process, and visual pipelines.

Pipedrive was built from a salesperson’s perspective. It’s remarkably easy to learn and use, courtesy of its organized user interface and intuitive navigation. It also offers easily customizable, Kanban-style pipelines. That means salespeople can easily visualize and track a deal’s progress from start to finish and drag and drop contacts into different stages. All this makes Pipedrive a great choice for companies wanting complete buy-in from their sales team.

Pipedrive dashboard - Selling Signals

Salesforce is notoriously difficult to learn in full, but once you’ve mastered it, the platform is pretty simple to navigate. Of course, its sprawling feature set makes this education quite the undertaking, inspiring many users to join Salesforce’s Trailhead Academy or, unfortunately, just give up on some of its advanced functionality. Managers might run into adoption problems where their team isn’t using the platform to its fullest, which can reduce the ROI in the CRM.

Salesforce dashboard - Selling Signals

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Best for Reporting: Salesforce

PipedriveSalesforce
Basic Report TemplatesAll plansAll plans
Custom ReportingProfessional: max 150 reports per user
Enterprise: unlimited
All plans
Advanced ReportingProfessional and EnterpriseEnterprise and Unlimited
Reporting DashboardEssential and Advanced: 1 dashboard per user
Professional and Enterprise: unlimited dashboards
Limit of 20 reports per dashboard

Winner: Salesforce gives you reporting functionality to extract insights about your opportunities, customers, and performance to make data-driven choices.

Pipedrive offers basic deal, activity, and goal reporting templates across all plans, allowing users to find insights like the likelihood of a deal closing and why, the average number of cold calls it takes to generate a lead, or how close they are to their revenue quota. Pipedrive only starts to offer advanced reporting like custom fields and reports or revenue forecast reports at the Professional tier. Ultimately though, its reports are easy to build but lack sophistication.

Pipedrive sales reporting

Salesforce, by contrast, gives all users the fields, filters, groupings, and charts to build deeply insightful custom reports on almost anything they’d like to know regarding sales performance, deal management, or forecasting. Its advanced features, reserved for its Enterprise and Ultimate plans, include cross filters and bucketing that allow users to easily organize data. Plus, its Einstein AI assistant provides reps with advice on what actions to take or the score of a lead.

Salesforce reporting dashboard - Selling Signals

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Best for Sales Automation: Salesforce

PipedriveSalesforce
Workflow Editor InterfaceVisual drag-and-dropVisual point-and-click
Workflow TypesUpdating deals, sending emails, deal assignmentDeal management, task creation, approval requests
Workflow Rule LimitsEssential: 0 rules
Advanced: Up to 30 rules
Professional: Up to 60 rules 
Enterprise: Up to 100 rules
Essentials: Up to 5 rules
Professional: Up to 5 rules
Enterprise: No limits
Unlimited: No limits
Workflow Templates
Workflows From Scratch

Winner: Salesforce wins because it can automate numerous CRM and sales tasks, helping managers to enforce standard operating procedures and reps to save time.

Pipedrive offers simple automation features meant to increase the productivity of salespeople. Its Professional plan and above come with 18 pre-built, customizable workflow templates that can automate five types of tasks: creating and assigning activities, sending emails, creating opportunities, moving deals to new stages, and converting leads to deals. However, its automation is limited in relation to comparable CRMs.

Pipedrive workflow builder - Selling Signals

Salesforce, on the other hand, has more complex automation functionality. Its Process Builder provides a point-and-click interface where you can create processes to automate countless administrative and client communication tasks, from deal discount approval processes to email follow-up. You can also create workflows that guide salespeople through their deals, recommending the right action to take next, thereby enforcing your best practices.

Salesforce process builder - Selling Signals

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Best Mobile App: Salesforce

PipedriveSalesforce
Mobile App CostFreeFree
Mobile App PlatformsiOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Mobile Sync With CRM
Offline ModeMultiple itemsMultiple items
Standout FeaturesVoice notes, task management, email templatesAI-backed insights, customizable interface, marketing features

Winner: Salesforce wins this category thanks to its customizable user interface and access to AI-powered analytics while on the go.

Pipedrive offers a simple mobile app designed to help salespeople stay on schedule, track essential tasks, and find and update contact information in real time, even offline. The organized dashboard shows reps their upcoming calls or meetings, and the search function allows them to quickly find notes or information to prepare for those events. It also comes with convenient features like pre-written email templates to reschedule meetings as well as voice notes.

Pipedrive mobile app - Selling Signals

Salesforce offers an easy-to-navigate mobile app that makes it easy for salespeople to log emails and calls and access critical information about their prospects while on the move. Reps also are able to see reports on the app, along with dashboards displaying important metrics. Reps can also easily customize the layout to personalize it to their needs (no coding required). Coolest of all is the ability to talk to Einstein AI to make data-driven decisions.

Salesforce mobile app

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Best for App Integrations: Salesforce 

PipedriveSalesforce
App MarketplacePipedrive MarketplaceSalesforce AppExchange
Number of Total Apps290+4,000+
Number of Free Apps60+1,200+

Winner: Salesforce edges Pipedrive in app integrations because of the sheer number of apps users can add to customize their experience.

Pipedrive supports a healthy number of third-party integrations with many popular tools like PandaDoc, Slack, and Quickbooks. Users can also integrate with Zapier, which then opens them up to 500+ more integrations. Pipedrive also offers an API for users to build out their own apps.

Pipedrive marketplace - Selling Signals

Salesforce integrates with apps most reps are already using, like Google Cloud, Mailchimp, and LinkedIn. Moreover, the Salesforce AppExchange offers 4,000+ pre-integrated apps you can install to the CRM to further tailor the platform to your specific needs. 1,200+ of these apps are free, but the rest require payment, typically in the form of a subscription.

Salesforce AppExchange - Selling Signals

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Best for User Support: Pipedrive 

Pipedrive Salesforce
Standard Business Hours24/7 supportWeekdays during local business hours
Support ChannelsPhone (Enterprise plan only), email, live chatPhone, email, live chat for all plans
Knowledge Base
Community Forums
Certification ProgramsPipedrive AcademyTrailhead Academy

Winner: Pipedrive gets the nod here because of the overall quality of its support staff based on customer reviews.

Pipedrive provides access to email and live chat support 24/7 regardless of your plan, and its Enterprise plan adds phone support to the mix. Notably, its average quality of support rating on the popular product review site G2 is 8.4/10, while Salesforce’s is 7.8. Customers commonly state that Pipedrive’s staff is quick to respond and comprehensive in their assistance. On top of live help, Pipedrive users can use video tutorials and the knowledge base to find answers.

Pipedrive help center - Selling Signals

All Salesforce plans come with email, phone, and live chat support during local business hours. Regardless of their current plan, users can pay extra for premium support that includes features like 24/7 support, one-on-one sessions, faster response time, and even discounts to Trailhead Academy courses. For larger businesses that can afford this premier option, Salesforce might be a good option. But companies that want to avoid extra costs might want to look elsewhere.

Salesforce help center - Selling Signals

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Who Shouldn’t Use Pipedrive & Salesforce?

Pipedrive and Salesforce are both excellent CRM options. But, some people still might be better off selecting a different CRM altogether. Below are some types of businesses and teams that may want to avoid buying either of the two platforms.

Who Shouldn’t Use Pipedrive

The following types of businesses and teams could be a poor fit for Pipedrive:

  • Large or Complex Businesses Needing Extensive Customization: Pipedrive’s feature set, flexibility, and app marketplace might be limiting for large enterprises. 
  • Businesses That Want In-Depth Analytics and Reporting: Pipedrive’s analytics and AI insights are superficial when compared to similar CRMs. 
  • Marketing and Customer Support Teams: While the CRM is great for salespeople, you'll have to buy other software platforms to aid in customer support and marketing. 

If Pipedrive seems like a poor fit, don’t immediately hop over to Salesforce’s website. First, take a look below to see the reasons you might want to avoid buying Salesforce.

Who Shouldn’t Use Salesforce

The businesses below may want to consider a CRM other than Salesforce:

  • Small Businesses and Startups: Salesforce’s extensive feature set and customization capabilities could prove too overwhelming and expensive for smaller companies. 
  • Businesses Wanting to Implement a CRM Quickly: The learning curve for Salesforce is steep, so sellers must spend time learning the system before they can use it effectively.  
  • Businesses That Want a Basic Sales-Focused CRM: Those who just want to manage and track leads and opportunities visually are better off choosing a less sprawling platform. 

If neither Pipedrive nor Salesforce strikes your fancy, there are other great CRMs out there that can satisfy your requirements.

3 Best Alternatives to Pipedrive & Salesforce

Pipedrive and Salesforce are both high-quality platforms with thousands of happy customers, but there’s a chance neither is right for you. Whether you want a free CRM or a more affordable CRM with marketing and project management features, you have options. The below software platforms are the top substitutes for Pipedrive and Salesforce:   

  • HubSpot CRM: Best for small businesses that need free access to essential features like deal tracking, contact management, and basic reporting (free starting price)
  • Zoho CRM: Best for businesses that want to improve omnichannel sales and marketing efforts and to track contacts’ social media activity (free starting price)
  • Insightly: Best for small to medium businesses needing an affordable CRM that manages sales, marketing, and project management ($29 starting price)

Check out our lists of the best Pipedrive alternatives and the best Salesforce alternatives to learn about the other options and pick which is best for your business. In the articles, you’ll learn their pricing, feature sets, use cases, and more.

Bottom Line: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Although Salesforce wins when it comes to core features and customization, Pipedrive is on top for usability and affordability. Ultimately, the ideal CRM software for your business will solve your current issues, fit into your budget, and offer features that align with your team’s goals. If you’d like to learn more about one of these CRMs, consider scheduling a live demo with one of their sales reps. They can show you the platform in action and answer all of your important questions.

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