In the past, companies used CRM software like Salesforce solely to manage customer data and relationships to keep customers for the long term. They used a separate project management system to organize teams, plan schedules, promote collaboration, and track work to deliver a product or service on a per-project basis.
But in today’s complex business landscape with rapidly evolving customer behavior, it’s critical for companies to implement solutions that consolidate business processes. Salesforce’s project management collaboration features can enhance employee productivity by quickly translating customer concerns into requests getting them directly into workflows. The company saves money by not investing in another system, and employees save time by not having to learn it.
Table of contents
- What is Salesforce?
- Advantages of Salesforce
- Drawbacks of Salesforce
- What to look for in Salesforce alternatives
- Top Salesforce Alternatives
- Ready to try a Salesforce alternative?
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud-native CRM software solution. It’s an integrated platform that provides departments across the organization a single, shared view of customers. Salesforce helps teams deliver personalized experiences to customers through connected products for marketing, sales, customer service, e-commerce, and IT. Salesforce allows for personalized marketing to attract more buyers and has tools for getting to know the needs and concerns of customers so they can win more deals. Salesforce also enables teams to deliver user-friendly online shopping experiences, respond to issues on multiple channels, and automate repetitive tasks through customizable apps.
Advantages of Salesforce
Salesforce is among the CRM leaders, with hundreds of thousands of organizations and millions of customers forming one of the largest communities. A new user gets access to experiences and expertise from a large community of experts, partners, and developers. The platform is also a leader in innovation, adding features like built-in AI, analytics, and mobile-first experience. The software offers thousands of pre-integrated apps on its app marketplace, allowing users to easily extend, upgrade, and customize features.
Read also: Best Salesforce Training & Tutorials for 2021
Drawbacks of Salesforce
As a customizable software with comprehensive features, setting up Salesforce can be overwhelming. It needs thoughtful design and configuration for users to gain value from using the software. Otherwise, teams can see it more of additional admin tasks rather than an enabling solution. Figuring out how to generate reports or perform a search can be puzzling. Permissions with too many details can be confusing and limitations to integrate with other platforms can be disappointing.
What to look for in Salesforce alternatives
Salesforce can be the best solution for many companies, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best for all companies. It can be too pricey for a small company, too complex for certain types of users, or too slow for a particular business need. When looking for Salesforce alternatives, consider the following features and functionality:
- Ease of use for all types of users
- Excellent support during setup, training, and implementation
- Analytics, AI, and automation at no extra cost
- Built-in team collaboration tools, notification, task management, and project tracking views
- Expandable core functionality through apps marketplace and integration
- Free plan or free trial for a certain period to test for business compatibility
- Specialized features like case management, custom reports, or industry-specific business process support
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Top Salesforce Alternatives
Salesforce provides products that help companies attract more customers, manage relationships better, and keep them for a long time. But there are other solutions that can do the same in different ways. For example, if you are looking for an on-premise CRM solution rather than cloud-based, consider Microsoft Dynamics 365. If your company uses the Oracle database, look into Oracle CRM for greater interoperability. If your main requirement is customer support but you want additional CRM features, explore Zendesk Sell. But for a more similar cloud-based CRM solution with project management tools for collaboration, check out our Salesforce competitors list.
Zoho CRM is a sales CRM software that lets you build lasting customer relationships with its set of tools and features. It works in various settings including remote work. You and your team can conduct sales meetings and presentations from within the CRM. Dedicated mobile apps and dashboards with AI lets you keep track of sales and performance data that provide valuable insight. Share these insights and collaborate with your team through common feeds. Zoho CRM lets you add notes, organize with tags, and create groups. It also integrates with chat and project management tools, so you can assign tasks and associated client records to individual sales reps.
HubSpot is a CRM software for inbound marketing, sales, and service. The platform has several hubs or modules for different business requirements like marketing, sales, service, CMS, and operations. HubSpot provides marketing tools, emails, and forms to grow traffic and leads. It has sales tools to help teams close more leads. Help desk tools allow users to provide impressive customer support, and content management features enables website building for customer conversion. The operations module enables systems to work together through data sync, automation, and workflow extensions.
SAP offers integrated CRM and customer experience solutions to acquire and retain customers while growing company revenues. It has sales, marketing, service, e-commerce, and customer data features that let you and your team deliver personalized experiences while giving customers the freedom to discover, engage, and buy. SAP is one of the many Salesforce competitors that offer a variety of cloud and on-premise products such as sales automation, CPQ, dynamic pricing, service solution, e-commerce, customer data platform, and customer identity and access management.
Pipedrive is a sales CRM and pipeline management software that helps teams sell more with its signature pipeline sales approach. It is easy to start with and use, includes tools to help users focus on activities, and provide analytics to get measurable results. Pipedrive supports the activity-based selling approach with features that manage leads and deals, track communications, automate repetitive tasks, and provide insight and reports. It also has visual sales pipelines, mobile apps and integrations, activity reminders, Google Calendar sync, and customizations.
Bitrix24 is a free Salesforce alternative that unifies CRM, tasks, projects, and document management in a single collaborative platform. It offers communication tools like activity stream and group chat. The software provides task and project management with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, workload planning, and time tracking. Its CRM has features for unlimited customer database, leads and demand generation, sales funnels and pipeline, sales data and analytics, automation, email marketing, social media integration, text messaging, and calendars. Bitrix24 also offers contact center and a free website and online store builder.
Close CRM is a sales CRM solution with calling and emailing features. It is a low-cost, all-in-one solution that is easy to adopt and built for sales teams. The simple and intuitive software provides the right tools for the user to accelerate the sales workflow and give the team total transparency. It has built-in one-click calling, two-way email syncing, built-in SMS, Zoom integration, and video call recordings. Additionally, Close has advanced search functionality, actionable reporting, and flexible API for integrations.
Freshworks CRM is an affordable online CRM solution. It has a sales module, a marketing module, and a combined module to create customers for life. It is a fully featured software for businesses of all sizes. Features include customization of fields, roles, and modules; automation of tasks, assignments, and workflows; and communication through chat, email, phone, and WhatsApp. Freshworks CRM also has built in pipeline management, AI, analytics, and governance with free mobile apps and integration through its marketplace, APIs, and Zapier.
Keap CRM, formerly Infusionsoft, is an all-in-one sales, marketing, and automation platform. Teams can collect more leads, convert more clients, and create loyal customers with its comprehensive set of tools. An easy to use client management tool lets users connect other tools like Gmail and Outlook to automatically update contact records. It also has sales and marketing automation that can capture leads, create reminders, send emails and promotions, and remind clients of purchases without manual intervention. Keap also has sales pipeline, payments, email marketing, appointments, and reporting and analytics included.
Ready to try a Salesforce alternative?
Salesforce is a CRM solution that lets users manage projects, tasks, and team collaboration through integrations or through available solutions in its AppExchange marketplace. If you are looking for a Salesforce alternative, explore our short list of CRM solutions that may fit better your business needs.
Featured Partners: Project Management Software
monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.
Wrike is the ultimate solution for managing projects.
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Smartsheet is an online work execution platform empowering organizations of all sizes to plan, manage, automate, and report on work. Over 80,000 brands rely on Smartsheet for project and work management.