6 Best Zoho CRM Alternatives & Competitors 2022

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 thanks to its large catalog of tools and customization options, as well as its free-for-life version. But the downside is that the most useful features are in paid tiers, and it’s not the best for overall usability. So, it’s worth looking at available alternatives to Zoho CRM to determine if another option is right for you. To help, we examined the top Zoho alternatives and competitors to rank the best, including an overall winner.

Here are the best Zoho CRM alternatives for salespeople:

  • Freshsales: Best overall alternative for sales features & ease-of-use (free starting price)
  • HubSpot CRM: Best Zoho alternative with a more robust free option (free starting price)
  • Salesforce Essentials: Best alternative for more complex B2B pipelines (14-day free trial)
  • Pipedrive: Easier-to-use alternative offering add-on upgrades to choose (14-day free trial)
  • Insightly CRM: Best alternative with native project management features (free starting price)
  • EngageBay: Best Zoho CRM alternative with social media management (free starting price)

How We Evaluated Zoho CRM Alternatives & Competitors

Zoho is a good CRM option, but for some, all of Zoho’s functionalities aren’t needed or are difficult to use. Because Zoho CRM offers a wealth of sales and marketing tools, we assessed alternative options with some mix of sales and marketing features as well as an easier-to-use interface or a more inexpensive offering. Also considered were Zoho's operational features — like invoicing and billing — as well as user feedback that data syncing could improve.

If you're specifically looking for better data integrity, check out Salesflare, and for a billing alternative try Apptivo. While both scored out of our top six overall Zoho CRM alternatives, they may be the best alternatives for these two specific use cases.

Evaluation Criteria

In our evaluation, we gave each Zoho CRM alternative an overall score based on six weighted criteria. The CRM that scored the highest overall was named our winner, but each alternative has a valid alternative use case to Zoho.

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 Zoho CRM alternative emerged across all criteria, scoring the best in several categories. That CRM was Freshsales. Read on for how all the evaluated CRMs fared as alternatives to Zoho CRM, including primary use cases for each option:

Freshsales: Best Overall Zoho Alternative

Freshsales offers an intuitive pipeline with sales features like AI forecasting, live chat, and a built-in phone.

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-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customizations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Lots of customization available
  • AI-powered assistant
  • Easy-to-use interface

Cons:

  • Free tier limited
  • Priced higher than Zoho
  • Limited social media integration

Freshsales is a robust sales pipeline tool rated our top overall CRM. It offers an easy-to-use sales pipeline with features including live chat widgets, a built in dialer, lead capture forms, and AI-powered automations and insights. What's more, many features like the native phone or chat is offered in Freshsales' free tier. Zoho CRM only offers phone integrations and doesn't have live chat functionality, plus Freshsales' AI is at minimum comparable to Zoho's.

While Freshsales is the top Zoho CRM alternative, it's missing some social media functionality. If you need more social marketing features, check out EngageBay instead. It's also missing a free visual pipeline offered in alternatives like HubSpot CRM below.

Freshsales Pricing

  • 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
  • Integrates with entry tier of help desk platform for free

Freshsales Key Features

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

freshworks dashboard example

Visit Freshsales

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-fullstar-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full General Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease-of-Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Advanced Features star-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
  • Built-in dialer & chat

Cons:

  • Upgrades can become pricey
  • Free tier lacking premium features
  • Free does not include live support

HubSpot CRM is rated our top free CRM for salespeople and our best free Zoho CRM alternative thanks to its robust free-for-life option with a visual pipeline and basic marketing features. You can also integrate seamlessly with HubSpot's free marketing and service hubs for added features like help desk functionality. Advanced functionality like custom reports and sales forecasting are available with paid Sales Hub tiers.

However, while HubSpot is powerful, its paid tiers can be pricey for small teams or solo-users. For more cost-effective paid features, check out Freshsales.

HubSpot Pricing

  • Free Version: Supports unlimited users
  • Sales Hub Starter: $45 for up to 2 paid users
  • Sales Hub Professional: $450 for up to 5 paid users
  • Sales Hub Enterprise: Starts at $1,200 for up to 10 paid users

HubSpot Key Features

  • Free Plan: Free plan supports unlimited users with a visual pipeline.
  • Custom Reports: Generate detailed reports with targeted data.
  • Email Integrations: Sync emails and manage campaigns from inside your inbox.
  • Automated Workflows: Many functions, such as logging sales activity, are automated.
  • Communication Tools: Use the CRMs built-in dialer and live chat widgets.

hubspot dashboard example

For a deeper dive on HubSpot CRM and how it compares to Zoho, check out our HubSpot vs Zoho CRM comparison.

Visit Hubspot CRM

Salesforce Essentials: Best for Complex Sales

Salesforce Essentials is the small business solution that brings the power of Salesforce to smaller teams and users.

Price Range: $25 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-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:

  • Multiple pipelines
  • Collaboration tools
  • Built-in dialer

Cons:

  • Learning curve required
  • Missing marketing featuress
  • Only one available tier

Salesforce Essentials is the small business version of the powerful Salesforce Sales Cloud offering solo-users or small teams a powerful pipeline tool for managing longer or more complex sales cycles. Essentials separates leads and opportunities into two separate and customizable pipelines for the best management. Also included are powerful reporting dashboards as well as communication and collaboration tools to stay on top of your pipeline.

While Salesforce Essentials is a good option for those like B2B businesses with longer or more complex sales processes, it lacks some advanced sales and lead generation features. If you're looking for a more feature-packed alternative, check out Freshsales.

Salesforce Essentials Pricing

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

Sales Cloud Upgrade Pricing

  • Professional: $75 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $150 per user, per month
  • Unlimited: $300 per user, per month

Salesforce Essentials Key Features

  • Opportunity & Lead Management: See how 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

For a deeper review, check out our comparison of Salesforce vs Zoho CRM.

Visit Salesforce Essentials

Pipedrive: Best for Add-On Upgrades

Pipedrive is an intuitive pipeline tool with add-on upgrades like document management, website tracking, and more.

Price Range: $14.90 to $99 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-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-full star-full

Pros:

  • Clean, intuitive interface
  • Add-on upgradess available
  • Syncs with email & calendar

Cons:

  • Missing native features
  • Add-ons can be pricey
  • 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 any device. One of its standout alternative features to Zoho CRM are its available add-on upgrades like Smart Docs and Lead Booster to help with operations and lead generation, though they can become pricey.

If you're instead looking for robust, prebuilt tiers rather than customizing via mix-and-match upgrades, check out Freshsales.

Pipedrive Pricing

  • Essential: $14.90 per user
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user
  • Professional: $49.90 per user
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Pipedrive Key Features

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

Pipedrive dashboard example

Visit Pipedrive

Insightly: Best for Project Management

Insightly CRM delivers visual project management pipelines and task management to streamline client projects.

Price Range: Free to $99 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-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:

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

Cons:

  • User experience could improve
  • Customer support is an add-on
  • Free plan is limited

Insightly CRM specializes in increased productivity with project management tools accessible through its simple interface. Included in these tools is a separate project management pipeline as well as ongoing project task management, things Zoho CRM doesn't offer. Insightly has a basic free tier with a visual pipeline as well as standard project features for up to two users. Upgrade for advanced sales and project management.

Even though Insightly is a good alternative for project management, there may be better options for sales features as well as a more robust free tier. For paid tiers with robust sales features check out Freshsales, and for an advanced free option check out HubSpot CRM.

Insightly Pricing

  • Free Version: Supports up to two users
  • Plus: $29 per user, per month
  • Professional: $49 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days for paid plans

Insightly Key Features

  • Basic Free Tier: Free visual sales and project management pipelines.
  • 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 CRM dashboard

Visit Insightly

Engagebay: Best for Social Media

Engagebay offers an affordable CRM and marketing suite with social media management, powerful automations, and more.

Price Range: Free to $79.99 per user, per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Pricing star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-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-full star-fullstar-full Customer Service star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Robust free tier
  • Live chat & web forms
  • Social media & email marketing

Cons:

  • Lowest price requires commitment
  • Newer product on market
  • Customization is lacking

Engagebay is a CRM and marketing platform offering a free tier with basic sales and marketing features or premium paid tiers with advanced functionalities. Its free option includes a visual pipeline as well as live chat, and its paid tiers offer social media management as well as advanced lead generation tools. You can even upgrade for product and proposal management. However, its lowest pricing requires a two-year commitment.

Even though Engagebay offers an attractive free option, if you're looking for the most robust free tier available, you might want to check out HubSpot CRM instead.

Engagebay Pricing

  • Free: Supports unlimited users
  • Basic: $11.99 per user, per month
  • Growth: $39.99 per user, per month
  • Pro: $79.99 per user, per month

Prices based on all-in-one package with a two-year commitment

Engagebay Key Features

  • Simple Interface: Easily track all your data, notes, tasks, and appointments.
  • Free Visual Pipeline: Robust free option a sales pipeline and lead gen tools.
  • Lead Management: See the status, priority, contact, and notes for leads in your pipeline.
  • Email Marketing: Send automated email sequences using email templates.
  • Social Media Management: Manage your online interactions on social media.

engagebay free crm dashboard example

Visit Engagebay

Bottom Line: Zoho CRM Alternatives & Competitors

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.

Selling Signals
Actionable advice for sales professionals
Address
355 Lexington Ave,
18th Floor,
New York, NY, 10017
COPYRIGHT SELLING SIGNALS, LLC – 2022