7 Best Zoho CRM Competitors & Alternatives 2021

Learn about the top Zoho CRM alternatives and competitors with our independent editorial review of the best options and primary use cases.

Zoho CRM is great for lead nurturing and marketing and has a free-for-life version. But the downside is that the most useful features are in the paid tiers, and it’s not the best for uploading data. So it’s worth a look at what other CRMs are available that offer calendar and email syncing, mobile apps, and other integrations. We examined similar CRMs to determine the seven best alternatives, including an overall winner, if Zoho isn’t your team’s best fit.

Here are the best Zoho CRM alternatives for salespeople:

  • HubSpot CRM (Overall Winner): Best free plan with upgrades available (free starting price)
  • Pipedrive: Best for a highly visual pipeline ($12.50 starting price)
  • Freshsales: Best for AI-automated sales assistant ($29 starting price)
  • Insightly: Best for project management ($29 starting price)
  • Less Annoying CRM: Best for simplicity and ease of use ($15 starting price)
  • Salesforce Essentials: Most advanced features for small teams ($25 starting price)
  • Copper: Best for G Suite users ($25 starting price)

How We Evaluated Zoho CRM Alternatives & Competitors

Zoho is a good CRM option with its large catalog of tools and customization options. But for some companies, all of Zoho’s functionalities aren’t needed — especially across departments — and are often difficult to configure. Add a big learning curve, and now you’re wondering what else is available. To help, we scored alternatives based on integrations, affordability, advanced features offered, and customer support.

Evaluation Criteria

In our evaluation, we gave scores on six weighted criteria. The CRM that scored the highest across the board was designated our overall winner and best value.

Pricing:
25%
General Features:
25%
Ease of Use:
20%
Advanced Features:
15%
Customization:
10%
Customer Service:
5%

Per-user pricing is based on an annual commitment unless otherwise noted.

As we tallied the results, a clear winner emerged across all criteria, scoring the best in several categories. That CRM was HubSpot, which scored the highest for general features and tied with several others in advanced features and ease of use. Read on for how all the evaluated CRMs fared as alternatives to Zoho CRM.

HubSpot CRM: Best Free Plan With Upgrades

HubSpot is the best free sales tool to manage pipeline activity, store data, and log tasks, with options to unlock capabilities.

Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month (Sales Hub)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Pricing star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Robust free plan available
  • Easy to implement and use
  • Excellent email management

Cons:

  • Upgrades can become pricey
  • Lead scoring only available as add-on
  • Free does not include live support

Budget-friendly HubSpot CRM offers powerful ways to track a prospect from first touch to paying customer. The free plan helps sales reps with its ease of use and clean interface. Add-on features like custom reports and sales forecasting are available with Sales Hub, which integrates with other hubs (e.g., Marketing, Service) for additional fees. HubSpot works well for small businesses that need a free option with the opportunity to upgrade in the future.

HubSpot Cost

  • Price Range: Unlimited free plan can be upgraded to below paid plans
  • Sales Hub Starter: Starts at $45 for 2 paid users
  • Sales Hub Professional: Starts at $450 for 5 paid users
  • Sales Hub Enterprise: Starts at $1,200 for 10 paid users

HubSpot Key Features

  • Custom Reports: Generate detailed reports with targeted data.
  • Free Plan: Unlimited free plan supports unlimited users, with no credit card necessary.
  • Email Integrations: Sync emails and manage campaigns from inside your inbox.
  • Automated Workflows: Many functions, such as logging sales activity, are automated.
  • Deal Management: Allows you to see where a deal sits in the pipeline.

hubspot dashboard example

Visit Hubspot CRM

Pipedrive: Best for a Highly Visual Pipeline

Pipedrive allows sales reps to see exactly where their prospects are in the pipeline for better targeted outreach.

Price Range: $12.50 to $49.90 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-full star-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Clean, intuitive interface
  • Workflow driven by deal management
  • Syncs with email

Cons:

  • Pricey compared to Zoho
  • Free trial is only 14 days
  • Can't automatically segment leads

Pipedrive is an intuitive CRM offering a highly visual sales pipeline with drag-and-drop functionality. It also syncs calls, appointments, and emails across devices and allows reps to see where their prospects sit in the sales funnel from anywhere. This makes it a great option for teams needing a Zoho alternative with an easy-to-use sales pipeline tool.

Pipedrive Cost

  • Essential: $12.50 per user
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user
  • Professional: $49.90 per user
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Pipedrive Key Features

  • Sales Pipelines: Unlimited, customizable, and visual pipelines.
  • Lead Management: Keeps leads separate from contacts and allows reps to prioritize their position.
  • Chat Capabilities: Source leads from customer conversations with your chatbot or live chat.
  • Sales Activity Management: Schedule emails, calls, and more and see due dates at a glance.
  • Web Forms: Customizable forms available to embed on your website.

Pipedrive Zoho CRM Alternative

Visit Pipedrive

Freshsales: Best for AI Sales Assistant

Freshsales specializes in high engagement with customers through AI and customer service automations.

Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Lots of customization available
  • AI assistant
  • Existing software framework integration

Cons:

  • Pricing tiers are a bit convoluted
  • Priced higher than Zoho
  • Limited social media integration

Freshsales provides straightforward management software for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Its artificial intelligence sales assistant analyzes past sales data, activity, and engagement for forecasting and insight. The insights are helpful in decision-making and for closing deals. And when the pipeline is full of pending deals, this intel is invaluable for prioritizing. SMBs will like the visuals of deal statuses for more focused engagement.

Freshsales Cost

  • Free Version: Support for unlimited users
  • Growth: $15 per user, per month
  • Pro: $39 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 21 days

Freshsales Key Features

  • AI Assistant: Presents insights based on sales and engagement history.
  • Predictive Contact Scoring: AI automatically scores contacts based on behavior and demographics.
  • Live Chat and Facebook Messenger: Engage customers with chatbots or live rep chats.
  • Web Forms: Create customized forms to embed on your website.
  • Drag and Drop Pipeline Views: Control where your prospects appear in the pipeline.

freshworks dashboard example

Visit Freshsales

Insightly: Best for Project Management

Insightly CRM delivers visual customer management software to streamline complex sales and marketing projects.

Price Range: Free to $99 per user, per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-full star-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Attractive design
  • Built in project management
  • Good integrations with third-party apps

Cons:

  • Pricier than Zoho
  • Customer support is an add-on
  • Free plan is stripped down

Insightly specializes in increasing productivity with project management tools accessible through its popular interface. Project management allows salespeople to more easily guide the sales process through the most complex business deals. Everyone involved in the deal has at-a-glance information on tasks and collaboration so the deal stays on track. Having built-in project management tools also helps SMBs scale faster and more efficiently.

Insightly Cost

  • Free version available for two users
  • Plus: $29 per user
  • Professional: $49 per user
  • Enterprise: $99 per user

Insightly Key Features

  • Mobile App: Syncs across devices and is convenient for onsite networking.
  • Integrated Project Management: Track tasks, due dates, and processes.
  • Business Integration: Integrates with G Suite and other business apps.
  • Lead Management: Professional and Enterprise tiers include lead assignment.
  • Workflow Automations: Available on Professional and Enterprise tiers.

Insightly Zoho CRM Alternative

Visit Insightly

Less Annoying CRM: Best for Ease of Use

Less Annoying CRM aims for simplicity, offering an all-in-one app with single-tier pricing that includes all features needed.

Price Range: $15 per user, per month (30-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full General Features star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Simple to launch and use
  • Highly-rated customer service
  • Mobile website

Cons:

  • Features are basic
  • Still pricier than Zoho
  • Customization is lacking

Less Annoying CRM is a straightforward software solution with simple pricing and essential tools like contact management, lead and pipeline management, calendar and task management, and mobile access. It’s affordable and flexible, and it offers high-value features. Contacts can easily be uploaded from spreadsheets or Google Sheets, so small teams and bootstrappers can get set up fast with zero hassle.

Less Annoying CRM Cost

  • Single-Tier Pricing: $15 per user
  • Free Trial: 30 days

Less Annoying CRM Key Features

  • Simple Interface: One screen shows you all the data, notes, tasks, and appointments for your contact.
  • Calendar: Sync with Google Calendar or use the built-in calendar.
  • Lead Management: See at a glance the status, priority, contact, and notes for each lead in your pipeline.
  • Email Management: Built-in email logger automatically attaches your email to the right contact.
  • Daily Agenda Emails: Automatically generates an email of your tasks and appointments.

Less Annoying CRM Zoho CRM Alternative

Visit Less Annoying CRM

Salesforce Essentials: Most Advanced Features

Salesforce Essentials is the small business solution that brings the power of Salesforce to smaller teams in an easy-to-use app.

Price Range: $25 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Intuitive dashboard
  • Calendar and email syncing
  • Robust mobile app

Cons:

  • Reporting is limited
  • Free trial is only 14 days
  • Pricey compared to Zoho

The same intuitive interface and technology stack that makes Salesforce a strong product is available in Salesforce Essentials. This scaled-down version also offers helpful mobile apps and effective contact management through calendar and email integrations. Salesforce Essentials provides smaller businesses, sales teams, or entrepreneurs access to powerful features once reserved for big players.

Salesforce Essentials Cost

  • Essentials: $25 per user
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Salesforce Essentials Key Features

  • Opportunity and Deal Management: See how your prospects move through your sales funnel.
  • Customer Support: Organized system to handle customer feedback and service issues.
  • Mobile App: Take the office on the road with a fully functional smartphone app.
  • Customizable Reporting: Preloaded reports can be customized to your specific metrics.
  • Business App Integrations: Works with DocuSign, Dropbox, ActiveCampaign, and more.

salesforce essentials dashboard example

Visit Salesforce Essential

Copper: Best for Google Workspace Users

Copper CRM is designed for companies that rely on Google Workspace (e.g., Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Calendar).

Price Range: $25 to $119 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Seamlessly works with Google apps
  • Automates and syncs data entry
  • Easy to use central dashboard

Cons:

  • Pricey compared to Zoho CRM
  • Basic plan is limited in features
  • Limited to G Suite users

Copper CRM is an easy-to-use solution good for SMBs to manage leads and relationships via Google. Copper seamlessly integrates with Google Workspace tools. In Gmail, it logs emails and creates reminders for follow-ups so you’ll never lose track of contacts or deals. It also prepopulates contact data, making adding new leads simple. Companies already working with Google apps will find Copper easy to launch and integrate into their sales efforts.

Copper Cost

  • Basic: $25 per user
  • Professional: $59 per user
  • Business: $119 per user
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Copper Key Features

  • G Suite Integration: Syncs with Google Calendar and Gmail, and has a Chrome extension.
  • Automation: Automatically enriches contact data and team collaborations.
  • Business App Integrations: Pro and Business plans integrate with popular apps.
  • Unlimited Users: Professional and Business plans have no limits on the number of users.
  • Contact Database: Plans start at 2,500 stored leads/people.

Copper CRM dashboard

Visit Copper

Bottom Line: Zoho Competitors & Alternatives

While many consider Zoho to be the best CRM software available, it won’t tick every box for every organization. Or, you may not want to pay for an upgraded tier to unlock only another feature or two. Zoho will also cost you in time to customize it the way you need it. Fortunately, there are many solid CRMs in the market, all offering an array of features at different price points. Our list of the best alternatives should help you find a solution to fit your exact needs.

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