Zoho CRM Review: Determine Whether It’s a Fit for You

Read our in-depth Zoho CRM review to learn if this popular sales and marketing CRM is right for your business.

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Zoho CRM is a leading CRM with robust multichannel marketing management, intelligent sales tools, and a multitude of customizable assets. For as many features as it offers, Zoho CRM is still affordably priced, which will appeal to startups and small businesses. However, if you specifically want a turnkey CRM that’s simple to use, there are better options available. Keep scrolling for our complete Zoho CRM review and find out if it’s right for your business.

Zoho CRM at a Glance

Zoho CRM is a flexible platform with advanced sales and marketing tools at an affordable cost. Despite an unintuitive UI and middling user support, mastery of this versatile CRM can yield big rewards for your business.

Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15- to 30-day trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Core Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Support star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full


  • Reasonably priced advanced sales tools
  • Tight social media integration
  • High level of customization
  • Facilitates collaboration across teams


  • Customer support is inconsistent
  • UI isn’t user-friendly
  • Free platform is too barebones
  • Zoho product add-ons can be costly

When evaluating Zoho CRM for your business, consider not only its ratings but also specific scenarios where it excels plus use cases where it may not be the best fit:

When to Use Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a great option for businesses that use social media to generate and nurture leads. Teams that collaborate often, especially those with remote workers, will also find it useful. Zoho CRM offers AI-powered tools and customization at a reasonable cost, but to fully leverage its robust suite of features, prior experience with CRM software is recommended.

Click below for a list of reasons to consider Zoho CRM:

  • You Use Social Media to Generate and Nurture Leads: Native Facebook and Twitter integration means you can publish posts and respond to customer comments from within the CRM. It’s the best social CRM for businesses with a strong social media presence.
  • Your Sales and Marketing Teams Collaborate Often: Zoho CRM has a broad suite of sales and marketing tools, but it also sports collaborative CRM features like company feeds and one-on-one chats to help keep everyone on the same page.
  • A Lot of Your Team Members Work Remotely: With an excellent mobile app, 360-degree customer views, and integrations with top conferencing software, Zoho is one of the best CRMs for remote-forward companies.
  • You Want an AI-Powered CRM for Less: Artificial intelligence often comes at a substantial cost. Zoho’s Zia AI assistant may only be limited to its two highest plans, but at up to $52 per user, per month, it’s a relative bargain.
  • You Want to Customize Your CRM to Fit Your Needs: Opting for an industry-specific CRM can be costly for some. Zoho CRM is an affordable alternative with a high level of customization so you can mold it to suit your company’s processes and goals.
  • You’re Already Familiar With CRM Software: At best, Zoho CRM has a moderate learning curve. Its user interface isn’t terribly complex, but it could be daunting for anyone who's brand new to CRM software.
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Agree with the above points? Head over to Zoho CRM and compare individual plans. You can try a full version of the platform risk-free for 15 to 30 days before making a decision to buy.

When Not to Use Zoho CRM

On the other hand, Zoho CRM may not be the best choice if it’ll be used exclusively by a sales team since it also includes marketing tools. Meanwhile, companies requiring ready-to-use software and outstanding customer support should consider other options. Small businesses seeking a more functional free CRM will also want to look elsewhere.

Click below for a list of reasons not to consider Zoho CRM:

  • Your CRM Will Only Be Used By Your Sales Team: Zoho marketing tools will be extraneous if the CRM will be exclusively used by salespeople. In that case, find a sales-centric CRM with superb pipeline management instead.
  • You Want a CRM You Can Use Out of the Box: Businesses looking for a turnkey solution won’t find it with Zoho CRM. This platform takes some time to set up and become acquainted with if you want to use it to its full potential.
  • Excellent Customer Support Is a Must: Whether you’re new to CRMs or lack a dedicated IT team, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of accessible, quality customer support. Unfortunately, Zoho CRM falls short in this area.
  • You’re a Small Business Seeking a Free CRM: The free version of Zoho CRM has limited functionality and supports only three seats, so you’ll outgrow it quickly. However, Zoho’s paid plans are affordable enough to justify buying a subscription.
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If Zoho CRM isn’t the right fit for your needs, explore our guide to the best CRM software for a comprehensive look at other top platforms based on budget, accessibility, and use cases. You can also jump down to our list of Zoho CRM alternatives.

Zoho CRM Pricing

Zoho CRM offers a free-for-life version, but it’s capped at three users and lacks a lot of key features, including social media integration. Thus, it’s better to opt for a paid subscription to Zoho CRM, which costs as little as $14 per user, per month and comes with a 15-day free trial (30 days with Ultimate). A full breakdown of Zoho CRM’s pricing structure is below:

Annual Plan Monthly Rate$0 for up to 3 users$14 per user, per month$23 per user, per month $40 per user, per month$52 per user, per month
Monthly Plan Monthly RateN/A$20 per user, per month$35 per user, per month$50 per user, per month$65 per user, per month
Key FeaturesBasic contact management, standard reporting, limited UI customizationSocial media integration, sales forecasting, 100 custom reportsUnlimited custom reports and dashboards, inventory management tools Zia AI assistant, data encryption, developer sandboxZoho Analytics plug-in (BI and data analytics)
Workflow Rules10 rules per module30 rules per module80 rules per module125 rules per module150 rules per module
Custom ReportsN/A100UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Multiple Sales PipelinesN/A (single pipeline only)102050
Mass Email LimitsN/A250 per day, per org500 per day, per org1,000 per day, per org2,000 per day, per org
Custom FieldsN/A10 per module155 per module300 per module500 per module

Two more versions of Zoho CRM are available. Bigin by Zoho CRM is geared toward small businesses with an emphasis on pipeline management. A free version exists, along with a couple of paid tiers ranging between $7 and $12 per user, per month. Zoho CRM Plus is billed as a customer experience platform designed for enterprises wanting to unify their sales, marketing, and support teams. It starts at $57 per user, per month with a 30-day trial. 

Zoho CRM Add-Ons

Zoho has a large library of apps, many of which can be incorporated into Zoho CRM. Some are free to integrate, but with limited capabilities — you can pay an additional fee for wider functionality. Prices span between $3 and $455 per month, with select products priced via quote only. Below are some of Zoho’s most popular CRM add-ons, or browse the entire Zoho product library.

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Webinar

Zoho Backstage

Zoho Projects

Zoho Desk

Zoho Analytics imbues Zoho CRM with advanced business intelligence and data visualization tools, along with access to 250+ data sources. It starts from $24 per month for two users and goes up to $455 per month for 50 users. However, it’s a free plug-in with Zoho CRM Ultimate.

Zoho CRM review Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics

Zoho Webinar enables you to host and record online meetings, moderate participants, and share reports from within Zoho CRM. A free version is available, and paid tiers range between $8 and $16 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM review Zoho Webinar

Zoho Webinar

Zoho Backstage is event planning software that syncs information collected from your online and onsite seminars with your CRM data. It’s one of the priciest add-ons — it costs between $99 and $406 per month. However, there’s also a free version.

Zoho CRM review Zoho Backstage

Zoho Backstage

Zoho Projects adds project management tools like time tracking, Gantt charts, and team-wide discussion forums. The free version supports up to three users, or subscribe for $5 to $10 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM review Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects

Zoho Desk helps sales, marketing, and support teams improve customer satisfaction and retention rates by adding ticket management and instant messaging integration to Zoho CRM. Pricing starts at $7 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM review Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk

Beyond plug-ins, you can pay monthly for extra file storage. Zoho CRM’s paid plans come with 1GB to 5GB of storage, but you can add another 5GB for $4 per month. Meanwhile, increase your data storage by 100MB for $2 per month with Zoho CRM Professional and up.

Zoho CRM Features

Zoho CRM is a marketing CRM with a focus on social media, but it doesn’t skimp on essential sales tools. All plans include the core CRM features businesses need to parse and organize key data, while the highest tiers have advanced tools for automation, analytics, and customization. Take a closer look at Zoho CRM’s most notable features below:

Contact Management

Zoho CRM review contact management

Zoho CRM allows you to communicate with customers through email, telephony, live chat, and social media from a central location. All activities are automatically logged for easy reference by your team. Organize contacts using color-coded tags based on select criteria. With a paid account, you can schedule 2–4 complimentary data backups per month to avoid losing important contact info.

Zoho CRM sits atop our list of the best contact management software, beating out HubSpot CRM, Freshsales, Salesforce, and others.

Zia AI

Zoho CRM review Zia AI

Zia AI is available with Zoho CRM Enterprise and Ultimate. This AI assistant is interwoven within many of Zoho’s core features. It understands text and voice commands and can retrieve or update sales records in an instant. It’ll also analyze data to predict sales, recommend personalized pitches for leads, optimize automated workflow sequences, and suggest the best times to send follow-ups to customers.

Lead Management

Zoho CRM review lead management

Zoho CRM suits businesses with high lead volumes and diverse communication channels. Generate and nurture leads directly in-platform via email, phone, chat, web forms, or social media. You can also score leads and automatically route them to the most qualified person on your team. In Zoho’s most advanced plans, Zia AI will analyze CRM data to predict which leads are most likely to close and detect patterns to determine where leads should go.

Learn more about Zoho CRM’s lead management tools, and see where it lands in our ranking of the best lead management software.

Social Media Management

Zoho CRM review social media management

Zoho CRM is known for its social media integration — particularly Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Use the Social tab to publish posts from within the CRM, engage with followers, and track any social media buzz about your company. If you interact with a lead on social media, Zoho CRM can automatically create a new contact based on any data you collect.

Check out our editorial review of the best social media CRM for sales and marketing to find out why we rate Zoho CRM number one among its rivals.

CRM Reporting

Zoho CRM review CRM reporting

Zoho CRM is a top analytical CRM that comes with over 40 pre-built reports for various CRM metrics. Unlimited custom reporting is standard with most paid plans but if you require deep data dives, you’ll benefit from the Zoho Analytics plugin which adds AI insights, predictive analytics, and many visualization options. Zoho Ultimate includes Zoho Analytics free. It otherwise costs $24 to $455 per month, but a limited free version is also available.

Our in-depth guide to CRM reporting explains the five essential reports your sales team should be running, with step-by-step instructions on how to set them up in your CRM of choice.

CRM Dashboards

Zoho CRM review CRM dashboards

Zoho CRM includes unlimited custom dashboards with most of its paid plans. Each dashboard can host up to 20 components, including charts and key performance indicators (KPIs). The Enterprise and Ultimate tiers support advanced components such as cohort analysis (observes customer behavior), anomaly detector (detects discrepancies), and comparator (compares sales data over time).

Read our comprehensive article on CRM dashboards to discover how they can enhance your business — then learn how to build your own.

Workflow Automation

Zoho CRM review workflow automation

All Zoho CRM plans come with sales automation, including its free tier, which makes it one of the top operational CRMs for businesses of any size. You’ll be able to schedule email follow-ups and create contacts from new client interactions. More advanced functions include automated invoicing and billing upon closing deals, in-depth workflow insights so you can see what’s working, and AI-optimized workflows to make your processes as smooth as possible.

Take advantage of your CRM’s automation abilities so you can focus on revenue-generating activities; our complete guide to CRM automation explains how.


Zoho CRM review customization

Tailor Zoho CRM to meet your industry’s standards. This can be as simple as adding custom fields, reorganizing layouts for each stage of the sales process, or implementing support for various currencies and languages. However, you can overhaul the design of your sales pages with Zoho Canvas, a drag-and-drop editor with a library of over 80 templates.

App Integrations

Zoho CRM review app integrations

The Zoho Marketplace has over 500 integrations for Zoho CRM. Notable third-party extensions include Zoom, Mailchimp, Quickbooks, and Slack. There’s also Zoho’s family of apps, consisting of over 50 plugins that’ll either add new features or enhance the CRM’s existing tools. (Note that Zoho’s plugins tend to cost extra.) Alternatively, you can develop custom extensions using Zoho API.

Our comprehensive article on CRM integration details which apps you should add to your CRM along with step-by-step instructions on how to install them.

Mobile CRM

Zoho CRM review mobile CRM

The Zoho CRM mobile app is free to download for iOS and Android. Access and alter your CRM data when you’re away from the computer — even if you’re offline. Any changes made within the mobile app will sync with the main CRM. Zia AI is built-in and can be used to create new records or retrieve information on the fly. Other notable features include a map for locating nearby prospects, an overview of daily tasks, call logging, and voice notes.

Away from your desk often? Check out our ranking of the best mobile CRM apps, which includes Zoho CRM among other platforms.

The free version of Zoho CRM has limited capabilities. For a wider selection of tools, including social media management, lead scoring, and AI, subscribe to any of its affordable paid plans.

Zoho CRM Ease of Use

Zoho CRM is easy to maneuver once you acquaint yourself with the software, but it doesn’t have the smoothest user experience. It suffers from an unintuitive UI that’s often sluggish and awkward — especially daunting given how features-heavy it is. Plus, this isn’t a platform with a quick CRM implementation process. Zoho CRM performs at its best when you take the time to customize even its most basic elements.

If you’re accustomed to a CRM with a steep learning curve, Zoho CRM may not present as many barriers to entry. However, it’ll be jarring for CRM newbies or those who are transitioning from a more user-friendly platform. Thus, we recommend Zoho CRM for professionals with intermediate to advanced levels of competency in using CRM software.

Zoho CRM review Zoho CRM social media integration
Zoho CRM social media integration

Zoho CRM Customer Service

Zoho CRM has three customer support tiers. All plans include multichannel support (email, phone, live chat) plus onboarding services, albeit at varying levels. Below is a breakdown of each support plan (note that Zoho’s free-for-life CRM doesn’t come with live support): 

Classic SupportPremium SupportEnterprise Support
CostFree with all paid plans20% of subscription fee25% of subscription fee; min. 25 users
Availability8 hours / 5 days24 hours / 5 days24 hours / 7 days
Min. Response time8 hours3 hours1 hour
Onboarding Period45 days from date of subscription75 days from date of subscription75 days from date of subscription
Onboarding Sessions45 minutes; 3 sessions per week60 minutes; 5 sessions per week60 minutes; 5 sessions per week

Zoho customer service has a reputation for being inconsistent and slow to respond. Granted, many of these complaints likely come from users with access to Classic Support, but that’s what most small-to-medium businesses will be inclined to use. If you’re in a pinch, you can reach out to the Zoho Community forums to ask a question, although it may not resolve your issue any faster, depending on the time zone in which you’re based.

Beyond that, all Zoho CRM users have access to an extensive library of free resources — ebooks, tutorials, blog posts, and how-to videos. There are also live training webinars every week, along with recordings of past sessions you can watch at your convenience.

Zoho CRM review Zoho CRM resource center
Zoho CRM resource center

What People Think of Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM has a favorable reputation among its users, with 67% of them saying they would recommend the platform to others, per Capterra. Below is a brief look at how sales and marketing professionals rate Zoho CRM across the three top software review aggregate sites:

Capterra LogoSoftware Advice LogoG2 logo
4.3 / 5 stars4.3 / 5 stars4 / 5 stars
6,100+ total reviews6,100+ total reviews2,200+ total reviews

Zoho CRM has an average rating of 4.2 stars (out of 5) from a combined 14,000-plus users — but let’s go beyond the numerical scores. Why do champions of Zoho CRM sing its praises, and what are the common themes among its detractors? We’ve combed through individual reviews to offer an analysis of the pros and cons of Zoho CRM according to those who use or have used it daily.

What People Like About Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM scores high marks for its flexibility, breadth of features, and overall value for money. Several reviewers say they switched from their previous software to Zoho CRM because it offers a high level of customization with a vast suite of sales and marketing tools at a relatively low cost. Fans of Zoho CRM also like how seamless it is to integrate third-party apps and other Zoho products to create a unified platform across multiple departments.

What People Wish Zoho CRM Did Better

Zoho’s inconsistent customer service is a pain point for the company. Some reviewers claim poor user support led them to seek out (and pay for) third-party help or switch to another platform altogether. Other grievances include a UI that’s clunky and slow as well as mounting costs through integrating other Zoho products into the CRM as many of those apps aren’t free.

Alternatives to Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM does a lot of things well, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be the right fit for your company. Whether you need a beginner-friendly CRM, a free platform that can grow with your business, or advanced reporting and analytics tools, there are several alternatives to consider. Below are the five best Zoho CRM alternatives:


HubSpot CRM



Insightly CRM

Freshsales, like Zoho CRM, features AI-powered insights and lots of room for customization. It’s also comparatively-priced, with plans ranging between free and $69 per user, per month. However, Freshsales is better than Zoho CRM for sales-focused teams that don’t need marketing tools. Plus, Freshsales sports a cleaner, more intuitive interface that’ll appeal to CRM newbies and veterans alike.

If you want to learn more about this Zoho CRM alternative, read our in-depth Freshsales review for details on features, pricing, and best use cases.

Zoho CRM review Freshsales interface

HubSpot CRM is ideal for small businesses seeking a free CRM with a robust suite of inbound tools. (Paid upgrades are available from $18 per month for two users.) It’s not as customizable as Zoho CRM, but it does boast over 1,200 app integrations along with a vast knowledge base, an active user community, and arguably the best customer support in the industry.

Our HubSpot vs Zoho CRM comparison features an in-depth look at the similarities and differences between these two popular platforms.

Zoho CRM review HubSpot CRM interface

Salesforce is the best Zoho CRM alternative for companies with complex sales needs. It has a deep feature set, rich analytics, and a level of customization Zoho CRM can’t match. Those advanced tools do come at a price — up to $330 per user, per month. However, the entry-level Salesforce Essentials is comparable to Zoho’s mid-tier Professional plan and costs $25 per user, per month with a 10-user limit.

Our breakdown of Zoho vs Salesforce offers a side-by-side look at what each of these CRMs can do for your business.

Zoho CRM review Salesforce interface

Pipedrive is a sales-centric CRM with a focus on pipeline management. It’s  more expensive than Zoho CRM — Pipedrive costs between $14.90 and $99 per user, per month with optional paid upgrades. However, all Pipedrive plans include AI sales tools, custom reports, and 24/7 customer support. Also, Pipedrive’s clean, visual interface makes it less intimidating for anyone new to CRMs.

Read our Pipedrive review to learn more about this popular CRM, from pricing and features to preferred use cases.

Zoho CRM review Pipedrive interface

Insightly CRM specializes in project and task management. Users can convert won opportunities into projects with a single click; from there, you can track ongoing tasks, due dates, and current status. Insightly CRM also stands out for its BI-powered dashboards with built-in data visualizations, features not native to Zoho CRM. Insightly CRM plans range from $29 to $99 per user, per month.

Zoho CRM review Insightly interface

Our list of the best Zoho CRM alternatives provides more details on the platforms above, along with other options that may be better for your business. 

Bottom Line: Zoho CRM Review

Zoho CRM is ideal for companies seeking an affordable CRM software with AI-powered sales automation, tight social media integration, and lots of room for customization. Definitely consider Zoho CRM if your sales and marketing teams often work together — but do your due diligence before deciding to buy. Read comprehensive reviews (such as this one), comb through feedback from regular Zoho CRM users, and try it hands-on via demo or free trial.

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