When you are trying to choose a CRM software package for your business it can be complicated as there are so many providers to choose between and so many plans on offer. To help businesses to choose we have compiled a range of comparison pieces where we compare two CRM software providers so that you can see what each provider can offer. In this comparison piece, we have compared Zoho and Salesforce to demonstrate what plans and features they provide so it might help you to work out whether either of these providers meets your needs.
Comparing two CRM software products and the range of plans available from them can be time-consuming and a difficult task so we have started by comparing some of the key features to help you distinguish some of the key attributes. Please note that not all of the providers’ plans may include all of these features as often the plans are tiered and therefore you should check the plan you want before you purchase it to see what is included.
|Insights and analytics
|Third party integrations
|Offers tiered levels of support
|2 day response unless purchase additional support plans
Zoho offers a complete CRM platform that is customisable and combines many different functionalities that are designed for marketing, sales, customer service and communications. They also offer specialist software designed to support small businesses with a range of tiered plans. They also offer software that is designed to support specific functions, such as marketing and sales, or perform specific tasks, such as bookings, forms and campaigns, these products can be combined or purchased as standalone software. Many of their software packages are offered as tiered plans with increasing features and some packages include a free plan for a restricted number of users.
Salesforce has created their products based on the teams or functions that will be using the software and have tailored the features in these plans to meet these needs. They offer a choice of plan levels for most of their function plans with increasing amounts of features, as well as a combined plan that brings together all aspects of their software into an ultimate plan and some specialist marketing plans that enable key marketing functionality.
Below are the categories of plans that are available from the two providers.
Zoho offers a complete CRM software solution that incorporates Canvas so that you can redesign your interface and personalise it to meet your needs. Their software incorporates a powerful suite of tools and customer channels which includes telephone, email, live chat and social media. The software features include real-time notifications, automation of processes, team collaborations, tracking communication and channel effectiveness, mobile app on iOS and Android, can integrate with tools and apps.
Salesforce offers a complete CRM package that they call Customer 360 which combines marketing, sales, service, commerce, IT and analytics into an ultimate package to support all functions. The combined plan brings together all the benefits of the individual plans listed below and combines them to support the wider business and teams through greater alignment, collaboration and efficiencies.
Zoho offers a unified marketing platform called Marketing Plus that brings together all marketing activities on one platform. It allows you to engage your audience across multiple channels, optimises activity and productivity, and increase ROI on marketing spending. The software can align your team, assist collaboration, support emails, SMS, webinars, events, surveys, social media and more. It can also assign tasks, track progress, store collateral, automate processes and provide power analytics.
Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud is software that assists businesses in planning marketing activities and gaining insights into these activities to track success and inform future decisions. The software can manage a wide range of marketing activities including email marketing, digital marketing, B2B demand generation, digital advertising and marketing analytics.
Zoho offers sales-based tools that can be utilised as standalone or be combined in the complete CRM solution above. Individual tools that they offer are SalesIQ, Desk for online form builder and data collection, Bookings for making appointments and Voice for cloud phone systems. SalesIQ allows you to communicate with your customers at every stage of the lifecycle and combines live chat, tailored messaging, integration with apps and analytics.
Salesforce’s Sales Cloud is software that combines contract management, opportunity management, sales forecasting, process automation, mobile CRM and revenue intelligence. It combines Salesforce and Slack in providing a single place for all apps, data, alerts and conversations to take place allowing teams to work more closely together in closing sales and increasing repeat sales.
Zoho offers service software that can be used as standalone software or combined, these are Desk for managing customers, Assist to support remote customers instantly and Lens solves problems with interactive remote assistance. Desk helps improve agent productivity and improve customer service through managing conversations across channels, automating workflows, embedded knowledge base, mobile app and integrations with other apps.
Salesforce’s Service Cloud is a customer service tool that allows businesses to automate their processes and create intelligent workflows. It is designed to support call centres and helps to make them operate more smartly with the use of productivity tools and cross channel support. Some of the features include case management, telephony integration, web services, knowledge base, track service contracts and entitlements, and 24/7 support.
Website support software
Salesforce offers the Commerce Cloud plan that is designed to support businesses that are selling online to connect and unify their sales channels and customer journeys. It allows businesses to collaborate, connect different shopping experiences, run personalised campaigns and boost sales conversions.
Zoho doesn’t offer a comparable plan.
Small Business software
Zoho offers small business software that is tailored to meet their needs and is called Bigin which is a pipeline centric CRM. It allows small businesses to manage their customer relationships more easily, it also stores emails, activities, tweets and more for prospects and customers. It enables you to send and receive emails, automate workflows, receive real-time notifications, collaborate across teams/business, mobile apps, run reports and view dashboards.
Salesforce offers Small Business plan options which are tailored versions of their plans for sales, service and marketing to help reduce administration and automate processes. Many of the features in the software for Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud are included in the basic level.
Both Zoho and Salesforce offer tiered plans that are based on an escalating pricing model. The price of plans increases as the number of users or records increases and the features included in the plans also increase.
They both offer plans specifically for smaller businesses with Zoho offering a free plan which provides basic functionality for a limited number of users.
Zoho offers a range of plans with tiered pricing with some packages including a free plan with a limited number of users which allows them to cater for businesses of all budget sizes. They also offer a tailored range of tiered plans for smaller businesses with lower pricing.
Zoho CRM plans
- Standard from £12 per user per month
- Professional from £18 per user per month
- Enterprise from £35 per user per month
- Ultimate from £42 per user per month
Zoho Marketing Plus
- Starts at £20 per month for one marketer, additional marketers at £8 per month
Zoho SalesIQ plans
- Free for up to three operators
- Basic from £5.60 per operator per month
- Professional from £10.20 per operator per month
- Enterprise from £16 per operator per month
Zoho Desk plans
- Free for up to three operators
- Standard from £12 per operator per month
- Professional from £18 per operator per month
- Enterprise from £35per operator per month
Zoho Bigin Small Business plans
- Free for a single user, 500 records and a single pipeline
- Express from £5 per user per month for 50,000 records and three pipelines
- Premier from £10 per user per month for 100,000 records and 10 pipelines
Salesforce like Zoho offer some tiered plans but the prices are not comparable across the different plans except for the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. Some of Salesforce’s other plans offer a more unique pricing structure that is feature-driven rather than tiered.
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.
One good way of checking out a product before buying it is seeing what other people using it think about it, especially how they have found customer support.
Zoho was only found on one of the leading customer review sites that we explored at the time of writing this comparison piece and this was Trustpilot. The reviews on Trustpilot were largely negative with them receiving an overall score of poor. 68% of reviewers gave them a rating of bad and only 17% a rating of excellent. There were many negative comments in the reviews which were largely about lack of support and poor communication as well as pricing problems and technical issues. There were also positive comments that counteracted some of these negative comments as they mentioned good experiences of customer service and issue resolution.
Salesforce at the time of writing this only featured on two of the leading customer review sites that we explored and these were Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk which only has two reviews, both of which were positive. Trustpilot had 251 reviews with an overall review score of bad as 79% of reviewers gave them a rating of bad. The reviewers’ comments were largely negative and the feedback was largely about the software being hard to implement and develop, and that resolving issues was difficult, you either need to buy into additional support or employ a consultant to set it up as the support required is not available or comes at a great cost.
Try before you buy
Zoho offers a 15-day free trial (30-days on their Ultimate plan) of their software to allow businesses to try their products before committing to purchase a plan. They also offer some free plans which provide basic access to some of their plans for a limited number of users.
Salesforce offers a longer than most free trial at 30-days on all plans with no obligation and no payment or credit card details are required. The trial allows businesses to get a feel for their software before purchasing it.
Zoho’s key advantages are:
- They offer a flexible range of plans and a comprehensive CRM plan
- You can build your own software selecting the modules you want
- Offers plans designed specifically for small businesses
- Offers free plans for a small number of users and free trials on their plans
Salesforce’s key advantages are:
- Offers tailored software that caters for specific functions
- Provides a combined plan
- Offers a 30-day free trial
- Their plans cater for a range of needs and budgets
Zoho’s key disadvantages are:
- Poorly rated in customer reviews
- Customers raised issues with support and service although there were positive reviews to counteract this
Salesforce’s key disadvantages are:
- Poorly rated in customer reviews
- Customers raised concerns over the software being hard to deploy and technical issues being hard to overcome without employing consultants or paying high support fees