Zoho vs Salesforce | Top CRM Comparison

Comparing Zoho vs Salesforce? Discover the differences between these two popular CRM solutions and find out which one is right for your business.

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Zoho CRM and Salesforce are industry-leading CRMs, although for different reasons. Zoho CRM is an affordable and easier-to-use platform for small and medium-sized businesses. Salesforce, on the other hand, provides large or fast-growing businesses with countless customizable, high-tech features. Honing in on the nuanced differences between Zoho and Salesforce will help you decide if either is a smart choice for your business.

Here are the situations when you want to use either Zoho CRM or Salesforce:

  • Zoho CRM: Best for small-to-medium businesses needing a marketing-forward CRM that’s affordable yet still rich in crucial sales features (free to $52 per user, per month)
  • Salesforce: Best for quickly-scaling or large businesses seeking a state-of-the-art CRM with advanced analytics, automation, and customization ($25 to $330 per user, per month)

While Zoho CRM and Salesforce are both industry heavyweights, they might not be the best fit for your needs. If you'd like to consider other solutions, see our articles on the best overall CRMs and the best industry-specific CRM solutions. Otherwise, keep reading for an at-a-glance comparison between the two platforms.

Zoho vs Salesforce at a Glance

zoho logosalesforce logo
Price Range (Annual)Free to $52 per user, per month$25 to $330 per user, per month
Core FeaturesEssential CRM features across marketing and salesAdvanced tools for deep insights into the customer journey
Ease of UseAccessible to new users, but wealth of features can be overwhelmingLarge time investment to become proficient with it
Customer ServiceAll plans include email, phone, and chat supportAll plans come with support during local business hours
ReportingOver 40 standard reports and ability for custom onesAble to build any type of CRM report
Workflow AutomationAutomates repetitive sales processes and tasksAutomates tasks across various functions
Mobile AppCapable of capturing voice notes and filesCustom navigation and offline access to key data
App Integrations1,000+ apps, with over 400 free via Zoho MarketplaceOver 7,000 apps, but only 1,200+ are free via AppExchange
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Zoho CRM and Salesforce are both great options, especially for companies looking for robust sales tools, customization, and AI-powered workflows. However, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading to learn how we scored each option across six essential criteria. Otherwise, skip ahead to see how we evaluated each platform.

Best for Pricing: Zoho CRM

zoho logosalesforce logo
Free-for-Life OptionYes (3-user maximum)No
Free Trial15-30 days30 days 
Starting Price (Annual)$14 per user, per month$25 per user, per month 
Enterprise Price (Annual)$52 per user, per month$330 per user, per month
Add-OnsFrom $2 per monthFrom $5 per month
Monthly BillingYesNo
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Zoho CRM is the more cost-effective choice by virtue of its free-for-life edition and low-cost enterprise edition.

Zoho CRM is a more affordable option than Salesforce. Zoho CRM’s free-for-life edition is a great option for small business owners who want the basic features of a CRM, such as contact management and standard reporting. Upgrade to paid tiers for tools such as sales forecasting, marketing automations, and social tabs, or to enterprise-level plans for advanced features like territory management, AI-backed suggestions, and deeper customization options.

zoho vs salesforce pricing zoho crm

Salesforce is a more expensive choice than Zoho CRM, especially if you factor in the potential outside costs of hiring a Salesforce administrator, which is typical for medium to large businesses attempting to get the most out of the software’s Enterprise or Unlimited editions. However, Salesforce Sales Cloud’s Starter plan is $25 per user, per month — only $11 more than Zoho’s Standard plan. Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial for those looking to test it out.

zoho vs salesforce pricing salesforce

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Best for Core Features: Salesforce

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Contact Management360-degree view of contacts; access to social media dataRich profiles of contacts; data from Gmail and Outlook
Lead ManagementLead analysis and nurturing; omnichannel communicationTracks lead sources; automated lead routing
Pipeline ManagementDeal stage view; notifications when deals require actionOpportunity view; pipeline filtering and inspection
Advanced FeaturesWorkflow rules; customer journey command centerCustom field forecasts; Einstein Analytics
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce has the most comprehensive CRM feature set out there and offers great functionality for sales, marketing, and support departments.

Zoho CRM has a large feature set to help businesses effectively track leads, contacts, and deals. It even ties in social media data regarding contacts, and allows you to communicate with contacts in-platform through live chat, email, and other channels. Zoho also offers marketing capabilities, like its ability to run email nurturing campaigns. Users can opt for Enterprise and Ultimate plans to personalize customer journeys and leverage business intelligence tools.

Zoho contact management feature - Zoho vs Salesforce

Salesforce, however, reigns supreme when it comes to the range and depth of features it offers. All plans offer robust contact, account, lead, and opportunity management functions. Users will also get great 360-degree views of their contacts’ demographics, communication history, and past actions. Its Enterprise and Unlimited plans shine brightest, boasting workflow tools that allow you to easily automate almost any CRM task, including lead scoring and distribution to reps.

Salesforce contact management - Zoho vs Salesforce

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Best for Ease of Use: Zoho CRM

zoho logosalesforce logo
Ease of SetupFairly quick and simpleTime-consuming and involved
Learning CurveModerateSteep
Common Positive ReviewsIntuitive interface, easy to customize, simple contact managementVery customizable, seamless app integrations
Common Negative ReviewsUsers report unreliable support, only basic analyticsConfusing interface, missteps in setup lead to later issues
Knowledge Base
Community Forums
Certification ProgramsZoho SparkTrailhead Academy
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Zoho CRM is accessible to users of most experience levels thanks to its relatively simple setup and customization.

Zoho CRM is known as one of the more user-friendly CRMs with its no-frills and wizard-guided setup, which makes it easier to get the software up and running. Subscribers also enjoy how easy it is to customize compared to Salesforce Sales Cloud — albeit this is in part because the customization options are less complex. While its knowledge base isn’t as vast as Salesforce’s, Zoho’s interface is more straightforward, so users might need less guidance.

zoho vs salesforce ease of use zoho crm

Salesforce offers tremendous functionality and the highest level of customization, but it comes with quite the learning curve, which prompts many businesses to hire an in-house Salesforce administrator to manage the system. Setup is a cumbersome process due to the software’s flexibility, and mistakes can lead to issues later on. However, fans do often state that once you’ve learned the platform, it offers endless possibilities and easy navigation.

zoho vs salesforce ease of use salesforce

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Best for User Support: Salesforce

zoho logosalesforce logo
Standard Business HoursWeekdays during local business hoursWeekdays during local business hours
Support ChannelsLive chat, phonePhone, email, live chat for all plans
Premium Support PlansFrom 20% of subscription feeFrom 30% of the net cost of CRM plan
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce gets a slight win here because it’s the industry standard; many questions have been posed and answered online in forums.

All Zoho CRM users have access to live chat and phone support during local business hours. You can pay extra for Premium support, which bumps support access to 24/5, but costs 20% of your license fee. Businesses with 25+ users can pay 25% of their license fee to get a dedicated account manager and 24/7 support. Still, Zoho’s customer service staff is notorious for delays. If you need an answer in a pinch, you can turn to their community forums or self-service portals.

zoho vs salesforce user support zoho crm

All Salesforce plans come with email, live chat, and phone support dedicated to business-stopping issues. Thanks to the software’s ubiquity, even the most niche questions have likely been answered. Premium support plans can be purchased separately for additions like 24/7 assistance, one-on-one coaching, and advanced diagnostics. Although you need to pay extra, users can still opt to sign up to Trailhead for free CRM implementation resources.

zoho vs salesforce user support salesforce

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Best for Reporting: Salesforce

zoho logosalesforce logo
Basic Report TemplatesAll plansAll plans
Custom ReportingStandard plan (100 max); higher plans (unlimited)All plans
Advanced ReportingEnterprise and UnlimitedEnterprise and Unlimited
Reporting DashboardUnlimited custom dashboards starting at ProfessionalUp to 20 reports per dashboard
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce gives businesses the ability to create any type of CRM report they need to make data-driven decisions.

Zoho CRM includes 40+ standard pre-built report types that users can run, along with unlimited custom reports in the Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate plans. All paid plans allow you to schedule reports to automatically run on certain dates. Plus, reports can be easily represented visually in charts and graphs. While Zia AI offers real-time recommendation analytics, this feature is only available in the two highest tiers and requires a certain number of user licenses.

Dashboard in Zoho CRM - Zoho vs Salesforce

Salesforce offers pre-built and custom reports in every plan. Building your own reports is simple thanks to the drag-and-drop editor; just pick your filters, fields, and visualization type and you’re done. Higher tiers include advanced reporting tools like cross filters and bucketing that enable users to organize data in an easy-to-find manner. Salesforce gives you all the tools you need to track key CRM metrics and also investigate how to improve a team’s sales performance.

Salesforce reporting dashboard - Zoho vs Salesforce

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Best for Workflow Automation: Salesforce

zoho logosalesforce logo
Workflow Editor InterfaceVisual drag-and-dropVisual point-and-click
Workflow TypesFollow-up activities, contact creation, notificationsDeal management, approval requests, notifications
Workflow Rule LimitsDaily limits vary by plan and functionStarter: No workflows offered
Professional: Up to 5 flows
Enterprise: No limits
Unlimited: No limits
Workflow Templates
Workflows From Scratch
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce can automate a wide variety of business and CRM processes, which will help salespeople save time on repetitive tasks.

Zoho CRM’s sales automation features are primarily focused on communication and follow-ups with leads or clients. For example, it can automate email follow-ups to be sent after a certain number of days. It can also be configured to create new contacts when you’ve received an email from an unfamiliar email address. If you want to create workflows for other processes (like approval for requested discounts), you’ll have to purchase the Enterprise or Ultimate editions.

Zoho workflow editor - Zoho vs Salesforce

Salesforce’s automation extends beyond those found in Zoho, especially with its latest development combining the Lightning Flow automation tool with Einstein GPT’s generative AI feature and the Data Cloud platform. Users can standardize and automate their most common CRM routines, as well as recommend next steps to their reps based on changes in customer behavior. Plus, you can design self-service wizards for more efficient task management.

Salesforce automation - Zoho vs Salesforce

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Best Mobile App: Salesforce

zoho logosalesforce logo
Mobile App CostFreeFree
Mobile App PlatformsiOS and AndroidiOS and Android
Mobile Sync With CRM
Offline ModeContacts onlyVarious items
Average User Rating4.4/5 stars (Apple App Store)
3.6/5 stars (Google Play)
4.7/5 stars (Apple App Store)
3.8/5 stars (Google Play)
Standout FeaturesTask automation, voice note recordingsAI-powered analytics, customizable elements
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce has a mobile app that provides offline access to crucial sales data beyond contact information.

Zoho CRM's mobile app enables users to access data from their iOS or Android devices while on the move. It offers time management features like a daily planner, map, and alerts to help you stay on track. Plus, top plans offer task automation; simply text the actions you want taken to Zia, an AI assistant, who’ll perform them for you. When offline, you can check and amend contact info, and even leave voice notes that’ll be reflected in the CRM when you’re back online.

Zoho CRM Mobile App - Zoho vs Salesforce

Salesforce’s mobile app is essentially the entire Salesforce CRM in the palm of your hand. Its most notable feature is its offline mode, which, compared to Zoho, enables you to see and update more information, including dashboards and opportunities. Online, the mobile app gives AI-powered insights that foster smart decisions and the ability to customize your mobile experience by personalizing navigation and selecting favorites for even greater productivity.

Salesforce mobile app - Zoho vs Salesforce

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Best for App Integrations: Salesforce

zoho logosalesforce logo
App MarketplaceZoho App MarketplaceSalesforce AppExchange
Number of Total AppsOver 1,000Over 7,000
Notable IntegrationsSlack, Mailchimp, ShopifyDocuSign, QuickBooks, Dropbox
Visit Zoho CRMVisit Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce wins this one due to the sheer number of apps it supports and the simplicity of the integration processes.

Zoho CRM and Salesforce both support a large number of third-party applications. The Zoho App Marketplace currently has over 1,000 integrations spanning business applications, document storage, marketing tools, and more. Many of the most popular integrations are free (Google Workspace, PandaDoc, Microsoft 365, Mailchimp, Dropbox). While its app plugins cost extra, users can integrate free versions of some of the best apps in the Zoho ecosystem with Zoho CRM.

zoho vs salesforce app integrations zoho crm

Salesforce AppExchange, on the other hand, allows for the implementation of over 7,000 pre-integrated apps that can help you improve your performance in a variety of key areas, from document management to automation. The integration with these apps is seamless and enables you to customize your experience more than you would with Zoho. Although the majority of the apps cost money, users can access 1,200+ free integrations like Zoom, Trail Mail, and Yesware.

zoho vs salesforce app integrations salesforce

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Who Shouldn’t Use Zoho CRM & Salesforce?

Zoho CRM and Salesforce each have a base of raving fans that get everything they need from the software. However, there are some businesses with specific attributes that might want to avoid using Zoho or Salesforce. Ultimately, your specific sales needs are the priority when choosing a CRM, and it’s best not to become enamored with a system just for its reputation.

Who Shouldn’t Use Zoho CRM

The business types below tend not to be a great fit for Zoho CRM:

  • Enterprise Companies Needing Heavy Customization: Zoho offers relatively few customizable elements and shallow feature depth, which might hold back large teams.
  • Companies That Just Want a Sales CRM: Zoho CRM has a lot of great marketing capabilities; if you don’t use them, it might not be worth paying for the whole platform.
  • Companies That Need 24/7 Support: Zoho’s customer support is limited unless you pay for it, which can cost up to 25% of the licensing fee.

If you fall into any of these camps, don't simply default to Salesforce – you may wish to choose another CRM entirely. For a deeper understanding of which businesses would benefit from Zoho CRM and which wouldn't, read our independent Zoho CRM review.

Who Shouldn’t Use Salesforce

The following businesses and reps might not want to choose Salesforce:

  • Small Businesses and Startups: Salesforce’s massive feature and customization set will be too overwhelming, not to mention pricey, for most smaller companies.
  • Companies Without In-House Tech Support: Salesforce is prone to small bugs and crashes due to its complexity, so you'll want someone who understands your customized platform.
  • Salespeople New to CRMs: Salesforce takes time and effort to learn, even for people who have experience with CRMs, so it’s not recommended as a first-time CRM.

Before deciding against Salesforce, check out our full Salesforce CRM review, where you'll find an independent analysis of the platform and a roundup of user feedback.

3 Best Alternatives to Zoho CRM & Salesforce

Zoho CRM and Salesforce both have their advantages, but there’s a chance neither ticks the right boxes for your business. Whether you’re seeking a more sales-focused CRM or a free option with unlimited users, there's a bounty of great choices. We find the below three CRMs to be the best alternatives to Zoho CRM and Salesforce:



HubSpot CRM

Freshsales is a leading CRM for salespeople and offers a user-friendly platform for those seeking a powerful CRM for sales, collaboration, and workflows. Its free plan, available for up to three users, includes features like kanban views for contacts and built-in communication tools, while paid tiers provide multiple pipelines and deal insights powered by Freddy AI. However, its marketing tools aren’t as robust as other CRMs. If these are important to you, try HubSpot CRM.

zoho vs salesforce freshsales

Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM that’s easy to use and implement. Leverage Pipedrive’s visual, highly-customizable pipelines to track your opportunities for just $14 per month. Extend its functionality with add-ons like LeadBooster to capture high-quality leads and Campaigns to create personalized email communication. If you’re looking for a sales CRM that offers more built-in lead generation and nurturing tools, consider Freshsales.

Pipedrive - Zoho vs Salesforce

HubSpot CRM is rated as our best free CRM and offers a comprehensive suite of sales and marketing tools. Its free plan hosts unlimited users and provides basic tools for contact management, email marketing, and third-party app integrations. While upgrading into paid tiers gives you more robust sales and marketing features, it can be pricey, especially if you’re a small business. If you’re looking for a CRM with more affordable paid plans, try Pipedrive.

HubSpot - Zoho vs Salesforce

Check out our lists of the best Zoho CRM alternatives and the best Salesforce alternatives to learn about comparable solutions and find the right one for your business. In these articles, you’ll find detailed information about each platform’s pricing, core features, use cases, and more.

How We Evaluated Zoho vs Salesforce

We uncovered the distinctions between Zoho CRM and Salesforce by comparing the two platforms based on six key criteria that are most important to businesses when choosing any CRM software. From there, we divided each category into weighted subcriteria and assigned an overall score out of five to identify the winning platform across all categories.

Evaluation Criteria

We started by assessing the core features and pricing of each CRM, as these criteria are essential for businesses and teams seeking a robust yet affordable platform. We then looked into the customization capabilities and advanced features available, followed by ease of use. Finally, we factored in the various types of customer support solutions offered by each CRM.

Core Features:
Advanced Features:
Ease of Use:
User Support:

Bottom Line: Zoho vs Salesforce

While Salesforce takes the crown in features and customization, Zoho CRM isn't far behind, and stands out for being more user- and budget-friendly. In sum, the best CRM for you should fit your business and sales needs, be within your budget, and gain traction with your team. Before deciding which CRM is right for you, look into other comparison reviews like this one, consult experts, or read our in-depth guide on the top CRMs for salespeople.

This article was written by Sam Rinko and updated by Kezia Jungco.

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