Salesforce vs Zoho: Choosing the Best

salesforce vs zoho choosing the best

When it comes to the CRM world, Salesforce and Zoho are two of the top choices. Both provide high-end systems perfect for small businesses in need of a customizable CRM. Putting these two head-to-head will help to ensure you can make the right decision. Here’s a good look at Salesforce vs Zoho.

The Basics of Salesforce vs Zoho

While Salesforce is known as the top Customer Relationship Management software out there, Zoho isn’t far behind. Salesforce was founded in 1999 and has more than 150,000 subscribers today with more than $6 billion in revenue. They are known as one of the original Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors.

Zoho, on the other hand, was actually started in 1996 before Salesforce. However, the brand story is quite a bit more humble and the company was actually started at AdventNet Inc. The original focus was enterprise customers and the Zoho website wasn’t launched until 2005 when the SaaS boom began.

Zoho is based out of Pleasanton, California and they are a privately-held company. Most of the customers using Zoho are small businesses in the real estate, technology and consulting industries. However, they do offer solutions for all different sizes of businesses.

Pricing of Salesforce vs Zoho

Both Salesforce and Zoho have a subscription model for pricing, which requires a monthly fee to be paid for each user login. Salesforce requires an annual contract for cloud deployment, while Zoho doesn’t require a contract at all. Some services from both companies will require upfront cost including data migration and special integrations. These costs can vary.

There are four editions of the Sales Cloud from Salesforce: SalesforceIQ CRM Starter, Lightning Professional, Lightning Enterprise and Lightning Unlimited. When priced per users, these choices can become rather expensive.

Zoho divides their products into three tiers: Standard, Professional and Enterprise. Prices are based on the number of users and are billed on a per month basis. When comparing the enterprise tier to the Salesforce Lightning Unlimited tier, Zoho is about 90% cheaper. Salesforce also requires an annual contract, while Zoho provides month-to-month billing.

Features for Salesforce vs Zoho

The features are very important as they will show you the value you will get from Salesforce vs Zoho. It doesn’t do much good to pay less or more for something if you’re not getting what you need.


As one of the most important features of any CRM software, reporting for both Salesforce and Zoho is rather strong. Both provide easy ways to view revenue, marketing programs, customer acquisition, along with many other details.

With Salesforce, you get built-in dashboards to make creating and reading reports easy. You can track all types of metrics including sales forecasts, lead volume and conversion rates. Dozens of pre-built reports are available or you can use the Report Builder tool to create the right custom report for your needs. You can also purchase Wave Analytics as an add on to provide even more reporting options.

Zoho, on the other hand, provides similar reporting tools with an Opportunity Tracking Tool, which gives easy access to sales activity, competitor information and lead source. All of the reports from Zoho can be customized and more than 40 standard reports can be created with just one click. Plenty of advanced reports can be created through Zoho Reports, as well. It’s an add-on, but all paid versions of Zoho CRM include Zoho Reports in the base price.

Contact Management

Another very important component of any CRM is the contact management feature. This feature allows you to store prospects, clients and accounts, along with all the necessary information. Both platforms offer easy ways to add and manage contacts, leads and other business opportunities.

Salesforce stores customer information in a database including the communication history, related activities and all kinds of social data. You can even track activity of leads imported from marketing campaigns in real time.

Zoho also provides a great database for contact management. It will hold all the necessary contact information, to-do lists, meeting notes, documents and plenty more. Zoho will also integrate with many of the top office applications. You can use tools, such as the Zoho Import Wizard, CRP API and Web Forms to import contacts from third-party applications. The built-in social CRM will even pull data from Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Other Features

Both Zoho and Salesforce also provide excellent mobile capabilities with apps for iOS and Android. Zoho provides calendars, scheduling, meeting check-ins, newsfeeds and more. Salesforce gives you similar features with task management, file sharing, calendars and more.

Integrating both CRM options with other apps is rather easy. Zoho works well with many other business apps and pre-built integrations for programs, such as Outlook and Google for Work. Salesforce, on the other hand, boasts more than 2,900 apps using the platform in the AppExchange. Its integration is far better than Zoho when it comes to other business apps.

The Final Verdict for Salesforce vs Zoho

Both Salesforce and Zoho provide great CRM choices. They are advanced systems with plenty of upside. If you want the most advanced system, Salesforce is the right choice. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more basic and lower in price, Zoho is probably the right choice.

It’s hard to say one is better than the other when looking at Salesforce vs Zoho. Part of the answer depends on your own budget and what you need for your business. Salesforce is often more expensive, but it may be the right solution for your CRM needs.

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