Top 10 Inexpensive Alternatives to Salesforce for SMBs in 2021
Customer relationship management, or CRM, is an essential tool for businesses of all sizes, but not all businesses can afford technology as robust as Salesforce CRM. While budget isn’t the issue, many businesses, especially smaller ones, just don’t need all of the bells and whistles Salesforce has to offer.
This is why the first step in choosing the right solution for a small business is to understand the main purpose of CRM. From there, businesses can assess their additional needs and choose tools that promise to meet them.
What is CRM?
Basically, CRM systems allow businesses to organize their customer information in a centralized repository and to track and analyze every interaction with customers or prospects. But this is only the beginning.
When used to their full potential, CRM systems can take various interactions and data points to create actionable sales pipelines. They can even apply artificial intelligence to recommend certain types of engagements that could push prospects further down the pipeline. Additionally, they can keep records of after-sales interactions, such as support conversations. Beyond these essential functions, there are a few additional features that most basic CRM tools offer. They include the following:
- Marketing automation workflow;
- Segmentation and personalization;
- Contact management;
- Native integrations with third-party services;
- Social media integrations;
- Detailed and actionable analyzes;
- Opportunity notifications;
- Allocation of income; and
- Mobile access.
So what are the best tools to consider for a small business?
Below, we break down 10 alternatives to Salesforce.
HubSpot’s basic CRM tool is completely free, with no strings attached. Plus, it offers free plans forever to ensure that if anything changes, current users will be securely locked into their existing plans. But beware, this free version provides a basic dashboard to view the sales pipeline, including contact and sales activity, detailed reports, and performance on a user or team basis. For separate sales, marketing, and customer service centers with advanced capabilities, businesses will want to go with the paid version.
Our favorite feature: Users can receive real-time notifications about prospect behavior and, if the opportunity is right, they can place calls directly from the CRM system.
The price: Basic CRM software is free, but marketing, sales, and service centers start at $ 50 per month.
Zoho offers marketing and sales functionality with cloud-based applications and online productivity tools. It can organize contacts, automate marketing, manage sales transactions, and provide a platform to provide customer support through chat. It also integrates seamlessly with most other marketing tools and social media channels for lead capture.
Our favorite feature: For paid users, Zoho offers a voice assistant powered by artificial intelligence to create smart dashboards and forecast business trends. Think of it like Siri or Alexa for customer engagement needs.
The price: Free for up to three users. For more users, it’s $ 12 per month, billed annually.
Insightly is basically a project management tool with CRM functionality. It is a highly customizable platform that allows users to convert opportunities into projects. And, because Insightly integrates with calendar and tracking apps, sales teams can drive leads and monitor milestones along the way. There aren’t many automation tools in the base tier offering, which makes the free version of Insightly difficult to scale.
Our favorite feature: Google and Microsoft calendar integrations make it easy to set deadlines in Insightly.
The price: Free for up to two users. Professional plans start at $ 29 per month.
Salesflare’s platform excels at collecting leads from public sources including social media platforms, email signatures, published articles, and more. It also has extensive integrations with popular marketing tools, which extend its capabilities beyond the sales functions. Sales opportunities are organized into easy-to-use dashboards, and like the other platforms on this list, it generates a to-do list to drive sales forward.
Our favorite feature: File exchanges with customers are very simple and automatically sorted and tracked so that sales teams can refer to them as needed.
The price:Prices start at $ 29, billed annually.
The main strength of noCRM is its leadership management. The platform allows sales teams to extract data and create leads directly from a variety of sources including emails, business cards, social platforms like LinkedIn, and other locations. Then, sales teams can manage those leads through a dynamically updated interactive feed that provides deep insight into sales activity and prioritizes the tasks for sales teams to perform.
Our favorite feature: NoCRM.io’s sales script generator can help teams sell more effectively. It feeds the dialogue according to the activities so that the teams are always prepared.
The price: Plans start at $ 12 per month for multiple users.
vTiger is comprehensive enough for a small business CRM tool, offering email marketing automation, internal communications functionality, project and inventory management, forecasting, lead scoring, and segmentation. A warning sign, however, is that its user interface is not as intuitive as the others on this list, and users often need to have multiple windows open to perform certain functions. Still, it offers the best value for money in the small business CRM market.
Our favorite feature: A proactive alert system keeps sales teams informed of any lead activity, maximizing their ability to close deals.
The price: vTiger starts at $ 10 per user per month, billed annually.
Less boring CRM
Less Boring CRM has a great name but a solid offering for some of the smaller businesses, including startups. It provides basic lead management functionality to start businesses. It doesn’t offer as many integration opportunities or automation features as some other small business CRM vendors, but it’s good at compiling leads from spreadsheets and emails, organize and support the management of the pipeline for the users. There’s a built-in opportunity calendar, but the platform also integrates with other tools, such as Google Calendar, for users who prefer a more familiar interface.
Our favorite feature: Less annoying CRM allows assigning multiple pipelines to a single user, a feature that some of the more robust platforms on this list do not offer.
The price: $ 10 per user per month.
Freshworks leverages AI-powered lead scoring to help sales teams prioritize which leads are most likely to convert. It also allows users to configure workflow automation, gain insight into conversations, track events, and use the 360-degree customer view to gain a high-level overview of the entire customer relationship. on one screen. Its weakness, however, is that there are some integrations with third parties, but they are relatively limited compared to other players on this list.
Our favorite feature: The interface is unmatched in both web dashboard and mobile apps thanks to its ease of use. It’s more intuitive than what other providers offer.
The price: Plans start at $ 12 per month, billed annually.
Nimble isn’t specifically designed for small businesses, but it is flexible enough to meet the needs of businesses of any size. It performs all the major functions of a CRM system, but is especially powerful for companies looking to unify their data from disparate platforms. It automatically fills profiles and interaction histories based on contact lists, emails and social networks. Its integration with Twitter is particularly effective.
Our favorite feature: Nimble has a rules engine that learns from users’ past behaviors and patterns to predict and recommend relevant contacts and engagements.
The price: Plans start at $ 19 per month, billed annually.
SuiteCRM is an open source CRM tool, which makes it highly customizable in the hands of the right users. While the possibilities are endless with this tool, its open-source nature means that it requires savvy developers or IT teams to create and add the necessary features. For users who can take full advantage of the flexibility of SuiteCRM, this is the perfect CRM platform.
Our favorite feature: With SuiteAssured, SuiteCRM offers a comprehensive care package for its CRM tool, providing assistance as users customize the solution to their needs.
The price: Basic plans are free, but the price of add-ons like SuiteAssured is determined by the number of users.
There are plenty of choices for small businesses, regardless of their budget. Most providers offer free trials and basic plans, so very little commitment is needed to test the waters. Start with the one that best meets the specific needs and iterate from there.