The complexity of business operations nowadays has made customer relationship management (CRM) software an absolute necessity. Not only are these CRMs software used to effectively manage interaction with customers, but they also help enhance sales processes and pave the way for the long-term growth of the business.
Despite becoming the leading light in the CRM sector, Salesforce’s capacity to power all types of businesses is virtually impossible. Small businesses usually find Salesforce out of reach due to its hefty price tags and enterprise-level solutions which are usually suitable for big brands.
Fortunately, there are streams of platforms offering CRM assistance tailored to the needs of small businesses. In this article, we’ll have a look at eight equally good Salesforce CRM alternatives that offer effective features, intuitive interfaces, and most importantly low price options to empower small businesses in their quest to build long-term success.
Whether you’re just starting or you are already an established small business, these CRM alternatives will help you reach the height of customer engagement with a limited war chest.
Reason you should consider a CRM for your small business
The question that might be popping up in your mind is why do I need to engage the service of a CRM software for my small business?
While your small business may do well without the help of a CRM, its presence in your business accelerates your progress. Even though your sales might not be as voluminous as the big enterprise, you still need CRM to help you automate tasks, organize your data, increase your sales turnover and analytically enable data-driven sales and marketing decisions.
Not using CRM may hamper your progress. Take for example, if you’ve always used spreadsheets to track customers’ inventory, input data manually, and struggle to turn leads to customers, you might be unknowingly slowing down your progress. A little help from any of the CRM software will help you automate all these tasks and ensure rapid progress of your business
Why Salesforce may not be ideal for small business
Salesforce has over the years been the go-to CRM for many businesses. It has a plethora of appealing features that help you track your sales pipeline, streamline your workflow and enhance business productivity. However, Salesforce’s focus on big enterprises makes it cumbersome for small businesses. A look at its pricing plan gives a premonition that it is made for the giants.
Although its customization feature allows businesses to manage sales effectively, it lacks the plethora of customization options available in other software. This means small businesses may find it hard to customize the templates to their specific needs.
The pricing option is also another downside, Salesforce professional, enterprise, and unlimited editions are pegged at $80, $165, and $330 respectively. These pricing plans may be too heavy for small businesses with limited customer base.
Its analytics reporting is also a little complex making it difficult for small businesses with limited knowledge to comprehend. With plenty of platforms offering visionary features with lower complexity, small businesses may find them attractive for their growth and development.
Alternatives to Salesforce
Below are some of the Salesforce alternatives to turn the fortune of your small business around.
When you are thinking of Salesforce alternatives, one of the alternatives you should consider is Hubspot. Aside from its intuitive interface which is beginner-friendly, Hubspot CRM contains a free plan that could be enough for you as a small business. This free plan has no time limits, has unlimited users, and can store up to one million contacts. As your business grows, you can opt for the premium plan which starts at $45 monthly.
Hubspot offers a range of features including lead management, email automation, and live website activity tracking. The Hubspot CRM can also be used with other Hubspot tools to create a seamless integration for your sales and marketing team and ensure maximum productivity
More often than not, small and medium businesses don’t need a CRM with complex interface navigation. Instead, they desire a CRM with an effective and seemingly interactive and user-friendly interface.
If you are in the pool of businesses that desire this, then Pipedrive can be a top Salesforce alternative for you. Pipedrive is a CRM platform that blends sales management with an intuitive user interface. Its sales pipeline mechanism enables businesses to manage leads, monitor contacts and automate repetitive tasks.
Notably, Pipedrive can also integrate with varieties of third-party platforms, enabling small businesses to carry out their tasks effectively and streamline their sales processes.
Agile is a popular CRM software that is best for small businesses. It is a comprehensive platform that can help in project management, task automation, lead scoring, and social media integration.
Agile CRM offers a free plan that may be enough for small businesses particularly when they are at the beginning of their business adventure. Its pricing plans also provide affinity to smaller businesses that may be cash-strapped to pay heavily for CRM. With just $8.99/month, you can have a premium package that includes email templates, landing page builders, and analytics reporting.
If your business requires multiple customer engagement channels, Agile CRM is one of the best options that offer a versatile solution. It does this through the integration of built-in help desk capabilities that allows you to communicate with your customers, and provide solutions to their problems.
Another low-cost alternative to Salesforce is Insightly. Aside from being a customer relationship management platform, it doubles as a project management tool. It helps small businesses to organize leads, track opportunities, manage tasks, and streamline schedules.
Insightly has a plethora of marketing tools capable of enhancing your sales value, organizing your leads across one funnel, and offering insight into how you can perform better to generate more income. As a small business, you’ll most likely use Apps such as G Suite, and Microsoft Office 365, Insightly offers seamless integration with many of these Apps, fostering productivity and streamlining operations.
The good thing about Insightly is that you don’t have to break the bank to access the premium plan. With just $29 per month, you can start enjoying the premium features. In the premium features, Insightly allows your sales team to work hand-in-hand with their in-built lead routing system which allows them to quickly turn leads into paying customers.
If you like to get creative about your preferred CRM software, then Zoho CRM could be an ideal solution for you. Apart from the easy-to-navigate interface, Zoho CRM also allows you to customize the features to your desired taste.
It provides a wide range of features such as lead management, sales monitoring, email integration, and workflow automation. With Zoho CRM, you get an optimized workflow that reduces your reliance on manual data, eliminates redundancies, and helps fast-track every operation.
It boasts a free version which might just be enough for a small business particularly when starting. As your team grows and you expand your horizon, you can then invest in the premium plans to better enjoy the service of the platform.
Capsule is up there as one of the best CRM software specifically made for small businesses. Its straightforward and intuitive user interface helps you to navigate the features without breaking a sweat. It has a customization option that you can mould to your specific needs and desires.
Mostly focused on contact and pipeline management, Capsule CRM offers features such as email integration, sales monitoring, contact segmentation, ion, and task organization. Similarly, it also integrates with third-party applications such as MailChimp and Microsoft Office 365 to help organize your tasks and produce maximum efficiency.
Capsule CRM’s easy-to-use interface and lower pricing plan which start at $18 per month for one user made it a perfect choice for small businesses that cherish its ease of use and minimal setup.
Starting a business from scratch could be frustrating and herculean. That is why you need tools that can help mitigate the struggle. VTiger as a CRM helps you maximize your resources if you are running a tight budget. It streamlines your sales processes and helps to organize your workflow.
For a relatively low price, VTiger offers features such as sales and marketing automation tools, robust project and inventory management, and task organization to help provide more solidity to your business
VTiger also brings your team together at every stage of your customer’s journey. This helps your team to work together and efficiently close more sales.
While SugarCRM may seem like a complex adventure, you’ll likely need it if you are forward-focusing. Small businesses might find it a bit hard to navigate because of its steep learning curve, but its potential to take your business to the next level should assuage the feelings of complexity.
SugarCRM collates your contact data by ransacking multiple data sources such as social media, and news media. With this collated data, it provides insights that may help in growing your business sales.
The only downside for SugarCRM is the pricing plan which may not be friendly to small businesses especially those that are just starting. However, its amazing features make it a worthy investment if you want to boost your business performance.
While Salesforce may be the go-to CRM solution for many enterprises, small businesses often require more cost-effective and tailored options. The eight Salesforce alternatives for small businesses discussed in this article provide powerful features, intuitive interfaces, and affordable pricing plans that cater specifically to the needs of small businesses.
Whether you prioritize sales pipeline management, email integration, project management, or seamless Google Workspace integration, there is a CRM platform on this list that can help your small business thrive. By implementing the right CRM solution, you can efficiently manage your customer relationships, enhance sales processes, and drive overall business growth without straining your resources.