Selecting a CRM software package and deciding whether it is right for your business can be a time-consuming task as there are so many providers and plans to choose between. To help we have produced some comparison pieces comparing two leading CRM providers to help you to compare their products and help you decide, this piece compares Salesforce and Zendesk’s CRM software offerings. We hope that this comparison of Salesforce and Zendesk helps to demonstrate some of the differences between them so that you may discover which might best meet your needs.
Comparing all the software features between the different plans is a difficult task as there are many plans and features to explore. So we have selected a range of key features to compare, but note that these may not be part of every plan and you should check the plan before purchasing it.
|Insights and analytics
|Third party integrations
|2 day response unless purchase additional support plans
|Support support ticket or upgrade to Premium support
Salesforce and Zendesk offer plans that are function based and are tailored to the needs of the function with tiered pricing levels that provide greater features in line with the price increasing. These plans can be purchased as standalone software or combined to create a greater package that supports your wider business across several functions with shared data and collaboration tools at the heart of the software.
Below are the categories of plans that are available from the two providers.
Salesforce offers marketing software that is called Marketing Cloud which is designed to support the planning of marketing activities, to track activities, to gain insight into activities and customers, and to help inform future decisions. The software is capable of managing a variety of marketing activities including digital marketing, digital advertising, email marketing, B2B demand generation and marketing analytics.
Zendesk doesn’t offer a comparable product.
Salesforce offers sales based software that is called Sales Cloud which combines Salesforce software with Slack to create a single platform that delivers apps, data, conversations and alerts. This hybrid software makes it easier for sales teams to collaborate in generating, closing and gaining repeat sales. The software includes opportunity management, sales forecasting, contract management, process automation, mobile CRM and revenue intelligence.
Zendesk offers sales software that is called Zendesk Sell that is designed to boost sales team productivity and deliver better customer experiences through software that provides integrated tools and open APIs. The software allows you to make calls, send emails, schedule meetings, review customer history, provides an overview and management of sales pipelines, tracks activities, can streamline account management, forecast and analyse sales, access dashboards and customisable reports. They also offer a mobile app to enable you to access the software from anywhere.
Salesforce offers service based software that is called Service Cloud that has been created to support call centres and help desks by helping them to become smarter through the use of cross channel support and productivity tools. The software allows businesses to develop intelligent workflows, automate their processes, track service contracts and entitlements. The software also includes case management, knowledge base, telephony integration, web services and 24/7 support.
Zendesk offers service software that is called Zendesk Service which is a complete customer service solution that is scalable and can be accessed from any device from anywhere. The software enables messaging, live chat, social, email and voice as well as integrate with the help centre and community forum. It allows you to personalise the customer experience, track and prioritise customers, automate processes, integrate with other apps, collaborate, analyse and monitor customers.
Salesforce provides a complete CRM package that brings together several of their plans in one package called Customer 360. The plans included in Customer 360 are sales, marketing, service, commerce, IT and analytics which includes most of the features mentioned in each of the individual plans but it also provides the benefit of combining the features into a platform that is used much wider in the business and can facilitate greater collaboration and efficiencies.
Zendesk doesn’t offer a comparable product.
Website support software
Salesforce offers commerce software called Commerce Cloud that is designed to support businesses in unifying their sales channels and customer journeys in one platform. The software enables businesses to connect different shopping experiences, create personalised campaigns, boost sales conversions and increase collaboration.
Zendesk doesn’t offer a comparable product.
Small Business software
Salesforce offers tailored versions of their plans that are designed to cater specifically for small businesses. These plans include sales, marketing and service which are all Cloud plans that are offered as their basic plan level with low volumes of users. These plans although basic offer an opportunity for small businesses to reduce their administration and automate processes.
Zendesk doesn’t offer small business plans but does cater for small businesses. They have dedicated a page on their website to small businesses and they explain how their software can assist small businesses to develop better systems and processes and gain efficiencies from using the software. They also offer six months of free access to their software to eligible business startups to assist them in getting established and creating good systems and processes from the outset.
Salesforce and Zendesk offer a range of tiered plans that are based on an escalating pricing model where the price increases as the features increase. The price of plans may also increase as the number of users or contacts increases as well as the features included in the plans increasing. Some plans however have distinctive pricing as they are unique plans based on specific features and not tiered.
Salesforce offers a mixture of tiered pricing plans with some comparable pricing across the plans, such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, and other plans that have a more unique pricing structure that is based on the plan features, and these are not tiered products, such as the marketing plans.
Salesforce also offers tailored plans that target small businesses which are the basic level of some of their plans but are restricted by the number of users.
Small Business plans
- Sales Cloud is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Service Cloud is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Marketing Cloud details are not available and you would need to contact them for a quote.
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud plans
- Essential plan is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Professional plan is £60 per user per month.
- Enterprise plan is £120 per user per month
- Unlimited plan is £240 per user per month.
Marketing Cloud plans
- Pardot B2B Marketing Automation is from £1,000 per month for up to 10,000 contacts
- Email, Mobile and Web Marketing is from £320 per month
- Social Studio is from £800 per month
- Datarama is from £2,400 per month
- Google Marketing Platform is from £10,000 per month
Commerce Cloud plans
- The pricing for these plans is only available by requesting a quote.
Zendesk for Sales plans
- Sell Team is for up to three users at £19 per user per month
- Sell Professional is for an unlimited number of users at £45 per user per month
- Sell Enterprise is for an unlimited number of users at £79 per user per month
- Sell Elite has unlimited API access and hands-on support from £159 per user per month
Zendesk for Service plans
- Suite Team is £39 per agent per month
- Suite Growth is £65 per agent per month
- Suite Professional is £79 per agent per month
Startup businesses can benefit from six months of free software access if they meet their eligibility criteria.
If you want to find out more about a product or business it is useful to check out what their customers have to say about them by looking on customer review sites. They can be especially useful for seeing how well they support their customers.
Salesforce features on two of the leading review sites that we checked at the time of writing this comparison piece. These review sites are Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk, although there were only two reviews on Reviews.co.uk and these were both positive. The Trustpilot reviews however were mainly negative with an overall rating score of bad with 79% of reviewers giving them a bad rating. The comments made by reviewers are generally about the software being difficult to implement, develop and resolve issues without seeking external support either from specialist consultants or purchasing additional support from Salesforce, both of these come at considerable extra cost.
Zendesk was also featured on two of the leading review sites at the time of writing this comparison piece and these sites were Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk, although there were only two reviews on Reviews.co.uk which were both negative. Trustpilot reviews were also negative with 84% of the 272 reviews rating Zendesk as bad. Comments made by reviewers were predominantly about the lack of support received and the inability to contact them as well as not being able to cancel their subscriptions successfully despite several attempts.
Try before you buy
Salesforce offers a longer free trial than most providers as they give potential customers 30-days free access to their software so that they can sample the functionality before committing to a plan. The free trial is offered with to commitment as no payment or credit card details are required when you sign up.
Zendesk offers a free trial of their software which lasts for 14 days and they include all of their product features in the trial so you can discover which features you like and want in your plan. This can be useful as it can help you choose which plan is best for you based on the features as well as whether you found the software easy to use and what you were looking for.
Salesforce’s key advantages are:
- Offers plans that are tailored for specific functions
- Provides a combined plan
- Offers a longer free trial than most at 30-days
- They cater for a range of budgets and needs
Zendesk’s key advantages are:
- Offers a choice of functionality software for either sales or service
- Provides a free 14-day trial
- Offers six months free access to eligible business startups
- Caters to a wide range of businesses with plans that meet the needs of different budgets
Salesforce’s key disadvantages are:
- Customers rated them poorly in reviews
- Concerns were raised about the software being difficult to deploy and technical issues being hard to resolve without employing consultants or paying high support fees
Zendesk’s key disadvantages are:
- They are rated badly in customer reviews
- Customers’ main concerns were the lack of support and inability to contact them
- They don’t offer as full a range of packages that some other providers offer