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The Best Zoho CRM Alternatives for Small Businesses
Zoho CRM alternatives
September 17, 2021
CRM Advisor

Today’s small businesses run on real-time data. The more data you can generate and store, the more you can optimize your processes and take advantage of the latest technologies to improve your customer service and reduce costs.

Zoho CRM is one of the most effective and robust software products for managing customer relationships, growing your business, and reducing the time spent on administrative tasks.

But it’s not the only CRM in town, and many businesses are finding great success with other CRM software products.

If you’re looking for Zoho CRM alternatives for your small business, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the best CRM software alternatives that you can start using today.

Why Is Zoho CRM so Popular?

Zoho CRM is a feature-rich solution for small, medium, and large businesses. Its flexible free trial and standard edition make it attractive to small businesses with a low number of users.

Zoho’s customizable features and long list of third-party integrations make it one of the biggest competitors of Salesforce, a CRM that’s widely accepted as the industry-leading business CRM software.

Zoho’s 45 software products can be added to the CRM platform to make it even more productive. Users can bulk out their platform with business mail, omnichannel customer service, project tracking, and serverless app creation and deployment. Zoho also promotes a total business solution called Zoho One, which offers bundles of its 45 other apps. 

Zoho Pricing

After the initial free trial, users can choose the standard edition, which starts at $19/user/month. There is also a free edition, which isn’t overtly advertised. The free version is good for up to three users and comes with basic features.

Bigin by Zoho

Small business owners might want to check out Bigin by Zoho, its free or lost-cost platform for small organizations. The 0$/user/month edition is only good for one user, however, it offers a low-cost tier at just 9$/month. Small businesses can save money with Bigin and pay for the add-ons they need, like additional storage and records.

Bigin is by no means as powerful as Zoho’s full platform, but it might just be what your small business needs to get started.

Zoho CRM Pros 

  • Flexible free trial
  • Plenty of third-party integrations
  • Interface is relatively easy to learn
  • High-powered email marketing tools

Zoho CRM Cons

  • Support is limited for customers on lower tiers
  • Add-ons can get expensive
  • Storage capacity is limited

Why Do Small Businesses Need a CRM?

All businesses, no matter what their size, can benefit from using customer relationship management software. Not only does it improve your communication with your leads and customers, CRM software also improves operational efficiency and sales pipelines.

If your business goals include expanding your customer base, a CRM is a useful tool for the future. 

What to Look for in a CRM for Small Businesses

If you run or own a small business, your CRM needs won’t be the same as that of a large enterprise. We recommend finding a CRM product that understands your current needs and has a flexible platform that can adapt and expand as your company grows. 

Want more advice? We’ve already covered this topic in our post, How to Choose a CRM for Your Small Business.

Looking for a CRM that isn’t Zoho? Check out these alternatives:

Veloxity CRM

We may be biased, but we aren’t wrong when we say that Veloxity CRM is a great Zoho CRM alternative. Our cloud-based platform has two very affordable editions, plus users can try any edition for free.

While Veloxity CRM comes with a long list of features and third-party integrations, these applications are flexible and easy to use and expand, so that the platform is always growing with you. While some people might find Zoho’s apps and integrations overwhelming, Veloxity’s platform is focused on giving you only what you need when you need it.

Your small business will never outgrow Veloxity’s intelligent, AI-powered platform. Veloxity CRM is suitable for various business types, such as emerging tech, clinical diagnostic labs, B2B, and B2C.

Key Features:

  • Visual sales pipeline at different levels
  • Separate sales quotas for every account manager
  • Self-defined sales stages and requirements
  • Native CRM app with offline functionality
  • Multi-level sales division management
  • Fully customizable reports, charting, and records
  • Automated lead-assignment rules
  • Industry-leading out-of-the-box features

Cost:

$0/user/month (Free edition) to $94/user/month (Enterprise edition)

Benefits of Veloxity CRM

  • Intuitive platform designed by machine-learning and sales veterans 
  • AI learns and adjusts sales stage probability-to-close over time
  • Unlimited webhooks
  • Future-proofed platform that never outgrows your business
  • Third-party integrations

Why Choose Veloxity CRM Instead of Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a solid platform for small and large businesses alike, however, many of its features—such as workflow automation—are only available on the more expensive platforms. Veloxity’s Basic Edition comes with a long list of robust features, including rules automation and forecast automation.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a popular Zoho CRM alternative for any team that’s already using (and comfortable/satisfied with) other Microsoft products. The number of apps, features, and add-ons makes some of the other CRMs on this list seem like small potatoes. You can customize the platform to be a whole lot more than just a CRM by adding other platforms to manage your supply chain, customer service, marketing, etc. 

Perhaps the most enticing feature for small businesses is that integrating other Microsoft products like Outlook and Office is a breeze.

Key Features:

  • Various business platforms for finance, recruitment, marketing, etc.
  • Mix-and-match add-ons
  • LinkedIn integration
  • Product and sales visualizations

Cost

Business Central Essentials for small and medium businesses start at $70/user/month

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pros

  • Seamless integration with other Microsoft products
  • Strong customer support
  • Plenty of features
  • Enhanced data collection 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Cons

  • Gets expensive really quickly
  • No free plan
  • Not as intuitive for those who don’t use Microsoft products

Why Choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 Instead of Zoho CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 isn’t short on features, and for those already using Outlook and Office, choosing this CRM over Zoho might make more sense. If you want all the bells and whistles and your budget can afford it, Dynamics is probably the right solution for you. 

Freshsales (Freshworks CRM)

Freshsales (formerly known as Freshworks CRM) is perhaps more powerful than Zoho CRM and its platform is often compared to Salesforce. It gives users a 360° view of each customer—from communications and contact details to activity history and deals—and a thorough list of customer communication channels.

Freshsales’s list of features is huge, but despite this, it’s relatively easy to set up and start using. All plans come with built-in cloud telephony to better monitor and manage sales calls.

Key Features of Freshsales:

  • Auto-generated customer quotes
  • AI-powered assistant
  • Mobile app
  • Robust contact management
  • Email integration
  • AI-driven sales insights

Pricing:

$0 /user/month to $69/user/month

Freshsales Pros

  • Easy to use
  • All plans include built-in cloud telephony
  • Customizable workflows
  • Free trial and free version
  • Powerful AI
  • Many third-party integrations

Freshsales Cons

  • Costly upgrades
  • No AI insights with free plan
  • Very limited AI insights on basic plan

Why Choose Freshsales Instead of Zoho CRM

Both Freshsales and Zoho offer a long list of customizable features, apps, and integrations suitable for small businesses. The balance is probably tipped in Freshsales’s favour, simply because it offers more in terms of customer engagement and communication. Small businesses who want call management features should stick with Freshsales. Alternatively, if you’re looking for an inexpensive CRM to help with your email campaigns, Zoho may be the better option (unless you’re willing to pay for the more expensive Freshsales versions).

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a great CRM for large companies, but that doesn’t mean that small businesses can’t benefit from its huge platform. That’s because HubSpot’s free edition might be all your staff needs to run your small business. 

Similar to Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Zoho CRM, HubSpot offers multiple platforms under one dashboard. These “hubs” supercharge your CRM by adding marketing, sales, operations, and customer service management. But, just like Dynamics, adding more to your platform adds significantly more to your monthly bill.

Key Features:

  • Social media tools
  • Email marketing software
  • Sales and lead management tools
  • Live chat builder
  • Meeting scheduler app

Pricing:

$0 to $4,000/month 

HubSpot CRM Pros

  • Free version has plenty of usable features for small business
  • Easy email integration
  • Platform is easy to learn and use

HubSpot CRM Cons

  • Not as many features as other CRMs on this list
  • Training only available online
  • Adding features gets expensive

Why Choose HubSpot Instead of Zoho CRM

HubSpot and Zoho CRM are very similar in that they both offer plenty of add-ons to boost your CRM. While HubSpot’s paid editions are more expensive than Zoho, its free version is often enough for small business needs.

Pipedrive

If your team is focused on sales, Pipedrive is a great Zoho CRM alternative. Its intuitive pipeline visualization and sales assistant AI tools are really useful, and it offers a lot of value for the price. Pipedrive’s platform is generally considered simple to learn and use.

Small business owners who want to add more functionality to their CRM might want to consider adding the LeadBooster feature (at $33 extra per month), which unlocks customer service tools, like live chat, custom chat boxes, and features that make it easy to engage with inbound and outbound leads.

Key Features:

  • Custom chatbox and webforms
  • Workflow automation
  • Visual pipelines
  • Contact timeline
  • Activity scheduler
  • Over 100 third-party integrations

Pricing:

$12.50 to $99/user/month

Pipedrive Pros

  • 27/7 customer service
  • Easy third-party integrations
  • Simple setup
  • Email synchronization is a breeze
  • Helpful app

Pipedrive Cons

  • Not as much functionality as other CRMs
  • Good email synchronization features are only available on higher tiers
  • No free version

Why Choose Pipedrive Instead of Zoho CRM

One of Pipedrive’s best features is its 24/7 customer support. This can come in handy for small business owners who are probably used to working at odd hours of the day. Strictly speaking, Pipedrive is probably a better fit for startups or small businesses because of the simplicity of its dashboard.

Monday

Monday.com is a modern, attractive project management software with a robust CRM platform and various other business solutions to manage marketing, social media, content, and more. It allows for easy collaboration on projects and helps employees organize their workflows and responsibilities. 

Key Features:

  • Ready-to-go templates
  • Campaign management
  • Collaboration tools
  • Pipeline and lead management
  • HR features

Pricing:

0$ to $22/user/month (price for enterprise edition not listed)

Monday Pros

  • Free edition for up to two users
  • Helpful templates are easy to add to the dashboard
  • Easy to integrate third-party apps
  • Refreshing colour-coded platform

Monday Cons

  • Not as many third-party integrations as other CRMs on this list
  • Some basic features only available on most expensive versions
  • Limited project management features

Is Monday a Good Zoho CRM Alternative?

There’s a lot to be said about Monday’s attractive platform. We can see this being particularly enticing to creative startups or young companies. That being said, it offers plenty of functionality and helpful features that make it a solid competitor against Zoho.

Try Veloxity CRM as Flexible and Future-Proofed Zoho CRM Alternative

There are many more worthy CRM products out there, like Zendesk, Apptivo, Bitrix24, and ActiveCampaign. We highly recommend shopping around and exploring the key features of each CRM before making your final decision. 

If you run a small business, take a close look at each platform’s basic edition to find out which product gives you the most value.

Our verdict? Try Veloxity CRM. Its affordable pricing and scalable platform are designed to grow with your business. We’ve searched high and low and we haven’t seen another CRM with as much flexibility as Veloxity’s expandable features. No matter what industry you’re in, you can adapt Veloxity’s platform to meet your needs. 

Try Veloxity today! Check out our free edition or read our FAQ page.