How to find the perfect Zoho alternative (and tools to consider)

Zoho Alternative Pipedrive
7 non-negotiables for choosing the perfect Zoho alternative
7Flexible pricing options
Transitioning from Zoho to your ideal CRM
Final thoughts

Zoho positions itself as an all-in-one tool suite for enterprise companies, but it isn’t for everyone.

Every business has different needs, UI preferences and required integrations, meaning some businesses may find that one of the Zoho alternatives below fits their needs.

In this article, we’ve shortlisted the best Zoho alternatives to consider. We’ve chosen sales-focused CRMs that are ideal for managing your leads and building strong relationships with your customers.

4 popular Zoho alternatives to consider

It’s tough knowing where to start with choosing a Zoho alternative, especially when you don’t have much time to find the right solution.

We’ve picked out four of the most popular solutions to help you navigate a busy and confusing CRM software market in minimal time.

1. Best overall Zoho alternative: Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a cloud-based CRM designed by sales teams for sales teams. It has all the features a business needs to organize sales efforts and grow.

Pipedrive CRM Insights dashboard

Among Pipedrive’s key CRM features are:

  • Contact management. Centralize customer data to create a single reference point for salespeople and marketers.

  • Workflow automation. Automate sales and marketing processes to reduce workloads and increase efficiency.

  • Sales reporting. Generate insightful reports to analyze sales performance and monitor key metrics.

  • Pipeline view. Map your sales pipeline and visualize deal progress to spot weaknesses and improve forecasting.

  • Mobile CRM. Access and manage sales activities on the move with user-friendly iOS and Android apps.

  • Customization. Tailor your tool to specific processes and needs with customizable CRM data fields, templates, reports and dashboards.

Pipedrive’s ease of use and broad functionality make it an appealing tool for a range of businesses.

Software Reviews recently awarded Pipedrive a gold medal, ranking it as a top lead management solution based on product features, buyer satisfaction and vendor experience.

Pipedrive SoftwareReviews image

Pipedrive is ideal for building, filling and maintaining healthy pipelines.

What’s more, the ability to add native and third-party apps makes for a highly scalable CRM solution that’s perfect for small businesses and startups.

For example, LeadBooster is a four-in-one lead-gen toolkit that includes:

These features eliminate the need to invest in separate lead-management tools.

Pipedrive user and MediaVision managing partner Adam Freeman described his experience:

LeadBooster and Web Visitors cover most of the things we were thinking of at the time, in the sense that we needed a flexible tool to allow us to do different campaigns and collect data. “If we see a web visitor that looks interesting, we’ll add that as a lead, or if we’re pro-actively targeting an organization ourselves our admin will go in and create the lead and assign it to someone, and the sales team will go in and look at that company and try and connect with them properly.

Learn more about how Pipedrive’s LeadBooster add-on helped MediaVision grow lead creation by 30%.

Pipedrive’s integration credentials

Pipedrive minimizes app-switching and automates repetitive tasks through a library of more than 400 third-party integrations and apps.

Zoho’s CRM relies on Zapier (a separate automation app) to communicate with a number of other tools. Pipedrive offers apps for project management software, social media, messaging and more.

For example, Pipedrive’s Microsoft Teams integration allows you to receive deal and contact updates in the Teams interface. You can schedule and join video meetings from Pipedrive, too.

There’s also a Gmail integration that lets you see the context of your deals and contacts without leaving your inbox and the Marketplace continues to grow.

How much does Pipedrive cost?

Pipedrive’s five pricing plans (Essential up to Enterprise) range from $14 to $129 per user, per month, with discounts of up to 42% for annual payments.

New users can get a free 14-day trial on any Pipedrive plan. Expert implementation is free for users signing up to a pricing plan that’s over $400 a year.

Learn more about how Pipedrive’s pricing and functionality stack up in our dedicated Pipedrive vs. Zoho CRM comparison.

Pipedrive: The bottom line

Pipedrive is an easy-to-use, versatile sales CRM with plenty of features to help small to large businesses grow productivity and revenue.

2. Salesforce

Salesforce is another well-known customer relationship management platform.

Catering to various business needs in sales, marketing and customer service, it’s a popular choice among enterprise users.

Salesforce Pipedrive Zoho Alternative

Salesforce’s product portfolio has tools for business intelligence (BI), commerce and more on top of the usual sales, marketing and service functions.

Such an array of products and features can feel overwhelming, although there are demos and a dedicated Solution Finder tool to help.

Salesforce’s Sales Cloud has capabilities for lead engagement, productivity management, sales analytics, AI and more.

Salesforce’s modular approach means users with time and technical expertise can tailor the platform to their needs. For example, you can pair Sales Cloud with any combination of other tools from the broader Salesforce suite, known as Customer 360.

How much does Salesforce cost?

Putting a definitive cost on Salesforce is difficult as so many products are available.

You can tailor the software to meet specific needs, but its per-user pricing model starts higher than other options on this list. Its top package is also more expensive.

For a general idea, Salesforce’s Sales Cloud CRM suite offers five tiers ranging from $25 to $500 per user, per month.

Workflow automation and sales pipeline management come with the Enterprise package and higher, meaning they start from $165 per user per month.

Like Zoho and Pipedrive, Salesforce offers a free trial to new users.

See the differences between Pipedrive and Salesforce on our Pipedrive vs. Salesforce comparison page.

Salesforce: The bottom line

Salesforce is an enterprise-focused productivity tool with a range of CRM features to support sales and buyer engagement, sales analytics, team collaboration and more.

3. HubSpot

HubSpot is a popular CRM and marketing automation platform with a free plan and a wide selection of tools.

Its suite comprises six modules catering to various business areas:

  • Marketing Hub

  • Sales Hub

  • Service Hub

  • CMS Hub (content management system)

  • Operations Hub

  • Commerce Hub

You can choose individual Hubs to fill gaps in your tech stack or combine all six to create an integrated “customer platform”.

Note: Adopting lots of features at once can give your team a steeper learning curve.

If you only need an alternative to Zoho CRM, Sales Hub is HubSpot’s closest option. It has tools for managing leads, tracking sales and streamlining business processes.

However, to access marketing automation and some other lead-gen and lead-management features, you would need to pay for Marketing Hub or a third-party tool in addition to Sales Hub.

How much does HubSpot cost?

HubSpot offers a free plan with limited CRM features or you can pay for more advanced functionality, such as multiple shared inboxes and customizable analytics dashboards (both part of the “Professional” plan).

The “Starter” version of the CRM Suite, designed for individuals and small teams, starts at $30 monthly. The “Professional” plan starts at $1,781. There are discounts for paying annually.

We explore more key differences in our dedicated Pipedrive vs HubSpot CRM comparison page.

HubSpot: The bottom line

The more you put into HubSpot’s wide selection of business tools, including its CRM functions, the more you get out.

4. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 markets itself as a “free online workspace for your business”.

Rather than focus on a single function, it aims to replace many business management tools, including CRM software.

Bitrix24 Pipedrive Zoho alternative

Biitrix24’s CRM software has features for managing leads, deals, contacts, quotes and invoices. There are also tools for sales automation, online payments and basic marketing campaigns.

As well as CRM, Bitrix24 has features for:

  • Team collaboration (e.g., instant messaging and meetings)

  • Online forms

  • Task management

  • Customer support and help desk

  • Telephony

  • Human resources (HR)

  • Intranet

  • Document management

Having all this functionality in one tool can be helpful if you start from scratch. The company’s homepage even includes the line “The Only Business Software You’ll Need”.

However, it may be too many features if you already use and are happy with the rest of your tech stack and just want a great CRM alternative.

How much does Bitrix24 cost?

Bitrix24’s “Free” plan gives unlimited users basic CRM, collaboration, document management, and project management tools. It has a cloud storage limit of 5 GB, which a growing business could fill quickly. There’s also no customer support.

Paid plans with extra storage, support and more advanced tools cost between $61 and $249 per organization (with user limits), per month. There are discounts for paying annually.

Bitrix24: The bottom line

Bitrix24 takes a one-size-fits-all approach that may suit some start-ups or those building their tech stacks from scratch.

7 non-negotiables for choosing the perfect Zoho alternative

There are some qualities that all companies should insist on when choosing a Zoho alternative.

The following priorities will help you avoid disruption and maximize your return on investment (ROI).

1. Integrations for your favorite sales and marketing tools

The best CRMs work with other sales, marketing and collaboration tools to improve efficiency and data quality.

Third-party integrations streamline workflows and keep customer data consistent across lots of apps.

They also reduce the need for team members to switch between systems, speeding up your operations.

For example, Pipedrive’s Microsoft Teams integration lets users receive deal notifications from Pipedrive in the Teams interface. Reps can stay informed on sales activities without repeatedly checking their CRM and make well-informed decisions in meetings.

Other integration types to consider include:

Before comparing Zoho alternatives, make a list of software your company relies on. You can then make sure any potential tools will connect.

Note: Pipedrive Marketplace data shows that small businesses using software integrations to automate tasks across the revenue cycle win around 1.5 times more deals than companies without third-party tools.

2. Out-of-the-box user-friendliness

An intuitive user interface will keep your business agile in two ways.

Existing staff can transition to it with little or no training. They can keep working on deals and striving to hit their targets instead of learning new settings and processes.

Employee onboarding also becomes a breeze. New team members can find important insights quickly. As a result, they reach new starter milestones (e.g., closing their first deal or hitting their first quota) sooner.

Search industry media and SaaS awards, user reviews and testimonials for terms like “easy to use” and “clear interface”. The Motley Fool named Pipedrive its “Easiest to Use” CRM for 2023.

Better still, prioritize tools that offer free trials so you can test the interface. If a piece of software still doesn’t make sense after a few hours of playing around, it’s probably not user-friendly enough.

3. Simple customization options

Your CRM must support your unique sales cycle. Some systems may meet your needs out of the box, others need lots of customization. It’s vital you can make those changes without technical skills.

You can customize Zoho but some reviews highlight the platform’s limitations in this area. In a post on, one mid-market user writes:

Although Zoho One [Zoho’s all-in-one package] provides a range of customization options, I found the level of customization to be relatively restricted compared to other software solutions. While it caters to a wide range of industries and business sizes, there might be specific instances where businesses require highly specialized customization or integration capabilities that Zoho One’s existing features may not fully support

Keeping this in mind, dig deeper to see exactly what you can tailor in your new CRM. Features that you may want to customize in your Zoho alternative include:

  • Data fields. You may need to add or rename fields to keep your contact data clear, accurate and relevant to your business.

  • Performance reports and dashboards. Ensure you can add your key performance indicators (KPIs) to reports and dashboards, as your preferred metrics may not show as standard.

  • Sales pipeline view. Mapping your sales process will help you fix weaknesses, so ensure you can add, remove and edit stages easily. More on this below.

Simple customizability lets you refine your system as your business grows, meaning it’ll help efficiency for longer.

4. Full sales pipeline visibility

A sales pipeline is a neat, visual way to track prospects and leads as they move through various stages of the buying journey.

Here’s what a sales pipeline looks like in Pipedrive:

Pipedrive Pipeline Management

A pipeline view helps sales leaders and reps stay on top of deals, organize their work and spot inefficiencies.

Sales reps can see which leads need attention and when so that no opportunities fall through the cracks. Sales managers see the bigger picture when they collate and analyze data on how well their sales process works – and then fix weaknesses.

For example, lots of leads dropping off during the “contact” stage of the sales pipeline suggests the team may need new cold-calling scripts.

While every company runs sales differently, most pipelines comprise at least five of the following stages:

Note: The “implementation” and “onboarding” sales pipeline stages are more relevant to business-to-business (B2B) software vendors than business-to-consumer (B2C) companies.

However, the best sales tools allow you to add, remove and edit pipeline stages to reflect your sales process.

Customizability frees you to work in the most efficient way for your company structure, product type and target audience.

For example, you may include a “follow-up” stage as part of your after-sales service or refer to prospecting as “lead generation”.

5. Cost-saving workflow automation

Workflow automation technology streamlines repetitive processes and eliminates time-consuming admin.

Automation increases your profitability in two ways:

  • It frees staff from low-value work to focus on more creative tasks, like building customer relationships and closing deals

  • It removes the risk of human error from customer information tasks, ensuring your database stays consistent and accurate, and you keep a clear view of your customer base

For example, you can automate sales document issuing, tracking and signing processes. New customers receive accurate documents at the right times and you get notifications of new views and signatures so you can follow up fast.

Other tasks you can automate with a suitable Zoho alternative include:

  • Sending follow-ups to “lost” deals

  • Scheduling meetings, calls and interviews

  • Adding deals to your sales pipeline

Many Zoho alternatives have workflow automation features but some need you to upgrade to a higher-level plan for access. Check your chosen software’s pricing information before committing.

6. Reliable and convenient expert support

Reliable, accessible customer support is crucial for promptly addressing user and account issues.

Most providers have support pages and email addresses. Look for further signs that you’ll receive fast, convenient help when needed. Otherwise, you risk causing productivity bottlenecks that hinder sales opportunities and impact customers.

The best sales tools offer around-the-clock access to a range of support channels. You should see options such as:

  • Telephone

  • Live chat

  • Email

  • A knowledge base

  • Video tutorials

  • An online community

Some also provide support in various languages, which is ideal for companies with multinational sales teams. For example, Pipedrive delivers support in English, Portuguese, German, French and Spanish.

When researching Zoho alternatives, ask vendors about their typical response times. Getting help in minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks, is vital to keep a smooth sales operation.a

Note: Pipedrive’s Knowledge Base is a vast resource of helpful advice for users at all levels. There’s text-based and video advice on everything from setting up and adding users to mapping pipelines and navigating the mobile app.

7. Flexible pricing options

Almost all Zoho alternatives have three or more pricing tiers to consider, all with their own features and limitations.

Ensure you choose a package that fits your current needs and circumstances and that you can upgrade as your business grows. Otherwise, you might need to switch to another vendor before you’re ready, which means more disruption for your team.

Cloud-based sales software – “software-as-a-service” or SaaS – tends to be the most flexible.

Unlike on-premise CRMs, cloud tools don’t need you to buy expensive hardware or software licenses, so it’s much easier to scale up or down as needed.

Third-party integrations help with scalability, too. They let you add new functionality to a CRM or other sales tool as and when your business needs it.

Let’s say you want to hire more freelancers but your CRM doesn’t offer time tracking. You could integrate a project management tool that handles this instead.

Transitioning from Zoho to your ideal CRM

If you already use Zoho, and you want to switch to a new app, you’ll need to transfer your sales and contact data to minimize disruption.

The best CRMs and productivity tools boast data import and export features to help you hit the ground running.

The exact process will be unique to your chosen software, but in Pipedrive you just need to go to “...” (More) > Import data > From another software, and follow the on-screen instructions.

Pipedrive import data from another software

Wherever you import data from, take time to map your old data fields to those in the destination tool as they may use different names. Pipedrive’s drag-and-drop mapping simplifies this process.

Final thoughts

If Zoho isn’t working out for you or doesn’t fit your criteria, a better-fitting tool can unlock more productivity and profit for your business.

Once you’ve built a shortlist of the best Zoho alternatives for your team, sign up for free trials to test their key features.

For the most informed investment, involve your team in the research process and collect their feedback as you go. After all, they’ll use your chosen tool more than anyone.

Driving business growth