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8 best Salesforce alternatives for SMBs

8 best Salesforce alternatives for SMBs

Without a doubt, Salesforce is one of the most robust customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions on the market today. It offers everything from basic CRM all the way to sales pipeline management and service support at an affordable cost.

But, for many small businesses, the Salesforce interface feels overwhelming or lacks the intuitive streamlining that other CRM solutions bring to the customer lifecycle.

Let’s take a look at a few Salesforce alternatives offering unique solutions for small businesses.

1. Pipedrive

Pipedrive_CRM

Cost: Starts at $12.50 per user per month for the Essential plan with plan options up to $99 per user/month for the Enterprise plan when billed annually.

Ease of Use: 4.6/5

Functionality: 4.5

Support Options: Chat, email, knowledgebase

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 14 days

Description

As a CRM tool, Pipedrive actually pushes most of the contact management to the back of its interface. Instead, it focuses on lead management and immediate access for sales teams who want to hit the ground running.

Pipedrive does this by capturing lead information from your contact sources and arranging them into a sales pipeline that presents itself upon login. This means that when your employees log in, they’ll have all the information they need to start their outbound process immediately.

On the backend, Pipedrive still offers everything you’d expect from a CRM. You can use it for sales forecasting and project management, as well as workflow automation. It’s all packaged into a visual, drag-and-drop interface so that team members can easily move leads through the sales pipeline.

This emphasis on streamlining makes it one of the best salesforce alternatives on the market today. Best of all, Pipedrive integrates with PandaDoc so that you can send your proposals and contracts without ever leaving the Pipedrive interface.

2. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot_CRM

Cost: Free

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.4/5

Support Options: Community forums, knowledgebase

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: No. The entire CRM is free

Description

As a Salesforce alternative, HubSpot takes CRM solutions to the next level. The software offers free contact management, prospecting, and lead generation tools — as well as a huge bundle of marketing automation and support tools — for free.

For small businesses that are trying out CRMs for the first time or want to lower their software budgets, HubSpot CRM is a great starting point. This CRM comes with everything you’ll need to manage your business, sales cycles and customer support at the basic level.

As you might have guessed, HubSpot CRM isn’t the main product that HubSpot offers. Instead, it’s the core that all other products are built upon. HubSpot users are able to upgrade their CRM solution by coupling it with different (paid) hubs. These cost money but give users access to a wider variety of tools than those available in the free version. This includes advanced sales and marketing features that your business might need in order to close deals more effectively.

However, even with the free version, HubSpot brings a lot of CRM features to the table. PandaDoc also integrates with HubSpot CRM, so you’ll be able to create, send, and track your sales documents from within the HubSpot interface.

3. Zoho CRM

Zoho_CRM

Cost: Starts at $12 per user per month and offers plans up to $100 per user/month when billed annually.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.5/5

Support Options: Email support, live chat, phone support

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 15 days

Description

One of the biggest Salesforce competitors on our list, Zoho CRM follows a kitchen-sink approach to contact relationship management in the sense that the software is part of the Zoho family of apps.

This CRM system can connect with a multitude of other systems and platforms on the Zoho network so that small business owners can build the type of sales and marketing solution that makes sense for their brand.

While Zoho offers so many other connected services, Zoho CRM is no slouch. The software offers sales force automation, process management, and performance management tools to create an omnichannel experience for customers. It also gives users the ability to generate reports and review analytic data so that you can create a more effective follow-up pipeline or build a better sales funnel.

The real power of Zoho CRM comes from its integrations and connectivity. Zoho doesn’t just connect with itself; it carries integrations for almost every software you can imagine — including PandaDoc!

4. Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft_Dynamics_365

Cost: Varies based on needs.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.3/5

Support Options: Live rep, online

Platform Availability: Online, Windows

Free Trial: None

Description

If you’re looking for a customizable, all-in-one CRM solution that integrates everything from field service management all the way to customer marketing and prospecting, Microsoft Dynamics may be a great fit for your small business.

A cross between a traditional ERP system and CRM platform, Dynamics isn’t just a single software. It’s an entire system of interconnected applications that can handle everything from basic customer relationship management up to more advanced business operations like supply chain management and finance.

Of all the solutions that we’ve touched on so far, Dynamics is the most customizable, the most comprehensive, and the most difficult to integrate into an existing business. Using Dynamics means that you’ll probably stop using other analytics or tracking software in favor of getting completely on board with the operational solutions that Dynamics has to offer.

For businesses that are looking for more than just a simple sales and marketing platform, though, Dynamics is a great opportunity. PandaDoc also integrates with Dynamics 365, so you can still send and sign documents while working inside your Dynamics setup.

5. SugarCRM

SugarCRM

Cost: $800 per month ($80 per user per month with 10 user minimum).

Ease of Use: 3.6/5

Functionality: 4.4/5

Support Options: Email, phone, knowledgebase, community

Platform Availability: Online, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 7 days

Description

If your small business supports a robust sales or service team, SugarCRM could be the solution you need to build memorable and lasting customer relationships.

Compared to some of the other Salesforce alternatives on our list, SugarCRM requires a larger commitment in terms of users and monthly cost, but this CRM offers AI-driven, useful insights while focusing on no-touch information management. This means that Sugar automatically captures critical customer information from email, voice, text, and other applications, then augments the entry with third-party data and insights.

SugarCRM’s approach to data management means that your sales team, project managers, and service professionals can spend less time filling out customer profiles and more time building relationships. SugarCRM also integrates directly into Gmail and Outlook so that you can build effective email templates for rapid deployment and take control of your email marketing.

PandaDoc users can also integrate directly with SugarCRM and manage the entire proposal lifecycle without leaving the platform.

6. Insightly

Insightly

Cost: Free plan available for 2 users. $29 per user/month for Plus up to $99 per user/month for Enterprise.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.4/5

Support Options: Email, knowledgebase, forums, phone

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 14 days

Description

Insightly CRM is a great tool for small businesses that are looking to lean heavily on automation within their sales processes. This software combines sales pipelines along with lead intake and customer support modules to create a CRM that works to help small companies build a better customer experience.

As with many other Salesforce alternatives on our list, Insightly doesn’t take an all-in-one approach by throwing everything at you all at once. Instead, Insightly invites you to build a production pipeline that turns leads into sales and sales into opportunities that your team can deliver on without breaking customer trust. With Insightly, won opportunities become trackable service contracts or eCommerce product solutions that your team can monitor from creation to completion.

This CRM also comes equipped with a battery of reporting tools to help you manage your data and track metrics that are important to your business success. It’s also flexible enough to integrate with major email and productivity services, including PandaDoc, so that you can connect it to your existing workflow right out of the box.

7. Copper

Copper

Cost: $19 per user/month for Basic, $49 per user/month for Professional, and $119 per user/month for Business when billed annually.

Ease of Use: 4.5/5

Functionality: 4.2/5

Support Options: Online ticketing, self-service, account specialist

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 14 days

Description

Copper is unique among the alternatives to Salesforce CRM because it’s targeted exclusively toward Google G Suite users.

If you’re a small business already using G Suite to handle email and productivity, Copper integrates with those tools to help you manage your contacts, deals, emails, and files all from a platform that you’re already using.

Integrating with Google gives Copper an edge because it seamlessly compiles contact data. This prevents your sales team from spending hours trying to create profiles from preexisting customer contact information.

Copper also comes equipped with reporting tools to help you forecast sales, generate leads, and build repeatable processes to scale your business. It even integrates with other applications like Slack, PandaDoc, and Mailchimp so that your favorite tools are always at your fingertips.

8. Nutshell

Nutshell

Cost: $19 per user/month for Starter, $35 per user/month for Pro when billed annually.

Ease of Use: 4.2/5

Functionality: 4.3/5

Support Options: Chat, phone, email, knowledgebase

Platform Availability: Online, iOS, Android

Free Trial: 14 days

Description

Nutshell is a flexible, all-in-one platform designed to help sales teams build better processes based on their unique setup. With a variety of automation features and a slick user interface, Nutshell does its best to make the onboarding process easy and targeted specifically toward your sales model.

With Nutshell, you’ll gain access to powerful features that help keep your CRM in order, including a centralized customer database and a real-time, intelligent search function.

Like many other CRMs on the list, Nutshell offers great reporting tools and exceptional pipeline management (including a powerful drag-and-drop interface) while keeping costs ideal for small business owners with limited sales teams and small headcounts.

Nutshell also integrates with other services like Mailchimp, so that you can launch robust marketing campaigns, and PandaDoc so that you can sync data, send proposals, and eSign your contracts with speed.

Leading CRMs for small business success

And there you have it: Our list of the best Salesforce alternatives on the market today.

Almost every CRM solution on our list offers a mobile app, and most have hundreds of positive user reviews on the major review hubs if you want to see first-hand user experiences before you give them a try.

Whichever CRM you choose, don’t forget to integrate with PandaDoc for even better control over your contracting and sales management processes!

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Eugene Zaremba

Eugene Zaremba Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc

Eugene works at PandaDoc as the Director of Demand Generation. He is an avid fisherman, taking nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

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