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In Business Operations Last updated: August 7, 2023
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Are you looking for a CRM to help you manage your sales and customer relationships? If so, you’ve probably come across Salesforce and Zoho.

Most users are looking for a CRM that is easy to use, affordable, and has the features they need to manage their sales and customer relationships. 

Zoho and Salesforce are two of the most trusted and popular CRMs in the market. But which one you need depends on your requirements, business, organizational structure, employee strength, etc.

Salesforce is known for its multiple capabilities, marketing automation, and a long list of integrations. However, it is a little too technical for beginners, costs more than Zoho, and its functionalities are more suited for large enterprises.

On the other hand, Zoho offers a simple but capable solution for managing customer relationships. It seamlessly integrates with popular tools and is available at more affordable prices.

This Zoho vs. Salesforce comparison guide will discuss their features, pricing, ease of use, and scalability. We will also provide some recommendations on which CRM is right for different types of businesses.

By the end of this blog post, you will clearly understand the differences between Zoho and Salesforce. You can also decide which CRM is right for your business. 

Read on to learn more!

Benefits of a CRM


The popularity of CRM has made it the fastest-growing software market globally. Apart from our main contenders, Zoho and Salesforce, various other popular CRMs exist, such as Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and more.

But why are CRMs so popular? Here are a few reasons why businesses love them:

#1. Simplifies Contact and Lead Management 

CRM software has replaced cumbersome manual processes like address books and spreadsheets with a unified contact management system. CRMs help organizations build and maintain customer relationships. 

In recent years, the surge in popularity of cloud software has made CRM a critical business enabler across teams in marketing, sales, support, and accounting.

#2. Boosts Customer Retention and Sales Forecasting

According to Big Contacts, the companies that used CRMs saw an increase in revenue by 41% per salesperson. Another report claims that CRMs improve customer retention by as much as 27%

One of the biggest benefits of using a CRM in business is its ability to forecast sales and revenue. According to Gartner’s report, less than 50% of sales leaders and sellers are confident about their sales forecasts.

A CRM collects deep data about the business’s past and present performances and combines it with AI models and algorithms to provide deep insights and accurate sales forecasts.

#3. Availability on Mobile

Most CRMs nowadays offer a mobile app to let businesses have access to their customer information on the go. This lets them effectively meet their client’s needs and expectations.

According to Future Market Insights, the mobile CRM market size in 2022 was estimated at US$ 26.2 Billion. The global market of mobile CRM is predicted to grow at 10.4% CAGR from 2022 to 2029. The mobile CRM market size is estimated to be worth around US$ 52.4 Billion in 2029.

The healthcare and finance industries have actively contributed to the growth of CRM adoption, while the rise of flexible pricing models over traditional subscriptions has fueled the expansion of mobile CRM. 

These newer models empower companies to have more control over how they benefit from the money spent on mobile CRM.

Businesses using Mobile CRM saw numerous benefits, such as real-time access to customer data, improved communication with peers and customers, and enhanced team collaboration.

Also read: Mobile CRM Tools to Help Your Business on Go

Zoho vs. Salesforce Detailed Comparison

Both Salesforce and Zoho are powerful CRMs and have wide functionalities. They can be your ultimate solution for contact or lead management, sales reporting and data forecasting, enablement, and even team collaboration.

While Salesforce is the unanimous most popular CRM in the industry, Zoho is known for its low pricing and wide range of integration possibilities with other business tools and processes.

Let’s see a detailed comparison of these two CRM heavyweights.

User Interface and User Experience


When you start with Zoho, you get basic modules such as Contacts, Leads, Accounts, Deals, and more – right on the home screen. You can add other modules like SalesInbox, Invoices, Purchase Orders, Campaigns, Vendors, and more.


You can use the search bar to search for anything in your Zoho database. The Deals module is organized in a Kanban view, and you can move records from one stage to another by simply dragging and dropping.


As per user experience is concerned, Zoho offers a comprehensive knowledge base and an active community of users to learn and engage with. Also, in terms of customer support:

  • Email support is available for all customers, including free users
  • Phone and chat support is available for all paying users (limited to working hours)
  • 24/7 support and faster response times for top-tier customers 


Salesforce’s initial home dashboard shows you some basic information but can be customized to show other advanced widgets. The search bar is up top, always visible.


The Opportunities module is organized in a Kanban view, and you can easily move records either by dragging and dropping them or opening the record and changing the stage.


Coming to user experience, Salesforce has its own Salesforce University that offers training modules and troubleshooting material. However, if it were that easy, there wouldn’t be so many Salesforce consultants and admins making a living out of it!

Also, customer support is very much geared toward enterprise users:

  • Phone support is available only for Professional and Enterprise plan users, and that too at a price
  • Chat tickets and email support can take two working days

In this Zoho vs. Salesforce debate about UX and UI, Zoho has a clear upper hand due to its beginner-friendly, out-of-the-box initial setup. 

Ease of Use


Zoho CRM’s user interface has been praised by users for being user-friendly, intuitive, and customizable. In fact, G2 Crowd noted that 84% of Zoho CRM users rated the user interface as “excellent” or “good.”

The software’s import and sync feature lets you populate the dashboard with all your contact information in minutes. You get all the preset records, pipelines, and dashboards. No configuration is needed; they are applied to your data retrospectively.


And it’s in the ease of use field where we encounter Zoho’s first distinctive feature: Canvas – a no-code, drag-and-drop interface to create your custom CRM layout. 

This is a valuable feature for Zoho users, as they noted that such visual customization is not as easy in Salesforce. 


Salesforce is known for its powerful and feature-rich user interface. However, many users have noted that setting it up right out of the box is difficult. You might need a Salesforce consultant for the initial setup and a trained admin to maintain the system. 


The software offers a wide range of customization options, which is essential for businesses needing an established and well-support CRM solution with powerful features.

However, the learning curve is steeper, and hiring a dedicated Salesforce team can be expensive for some businesses.

Key Features and Functionalities


Zoho’s CRM is known for its affordable packages and simple out-of-the-box interface. Its core features, i.e., tracking contacts, deals, events, activities, pipelines, KPIs, etc., will satisfy the core needs of most sales operations.

In addition, it possesses unique features that set it apart from the competition in each of its product tiers.


For example, you get Canvas – the graphical drag-and-drop designer – with all the paid plans. Canvas helps you customize your dashboard to your business requirements and boost collaboration and productivity. 

Professional users also get SalesSignals. It sends real-time notifications into the CRM when leads interact with your brand. This works with even third-party apps. 

Enterprise and Ultimate users get predictive AI insights for data enrichment. It includes forecasting, lead assignment, workflow design, etc. These users even get advanced analytics and reporting.

The most surprising part is how little Zoho charges for data enrichment and AI support compared to other CRMs.


Salesforce offers a number of features but one of its key features is opportunity management. It lets you easily track leads and funnel them through your sales pipeline. It also gives you data and analytics to improve your close rate.

Another key feature is task management. It lets you manage tasks, assign dates, and create schedules to boost team collaboration.


Break down sales performance figures with Salesforce’s analytics tools.

Salesforce’s account management system improves your team’s efficiency by sharing customer information and organizing a contact list. You can team it up with product management tools to keep all contracts, documents, and product information well-organized.

With case management, you can manage cases through in-person contact, phone, and even via social media. 

Salesforce case management will improve your customer service by managing cases not just through phone or in-person contact but via social media as well.

Automation and Workflow Management


Workflow automation and management are the biggest benefits of professional CRM software, arguably the main reason behind CRM’s popularity. 

Both Zoho and Salesforce can automate several routine workflows by combining visual data-driven insights and rule-based lead scoring.

Zoho’s free plan lets you automate key processes with leads, contacts, accounts, deals, and tasks. However, sales forecasting is available for paid plans only. If you want the advanced “SalesSignals”, you have to go with the Professional plan.



Most of Salesforce’s automation capabilities are reserved for higher plans. The CRM software offers lead registration, collaborative forecasting, and rules-based lead scoring for Professional plan users. Enterprise plan users get all of this, plus workflow and approval automation.

Zoho and Salesforce offer in-built marketing automation capabilities, but with Salesforce, you can add Pardot – their very own B2B marketing automation solution. 

However, it’s not for everyone. Pardot will cost you $1,250/month for up to 10,000 contacts.


Salesforce, although more versatile than Zoho, requires higher plans or costly add-ons for third-party connectors for seamless integrations and automation.

With Salesforce, you can automate just about anything – if you’re ready to pay. However, if budget is your concern and your automation requirements are not too advanced, stick with Zoho.

If we’re talking about automation capabilities in this Zoho vs. Salesforce battle, Salesforce does provide you unlimited automation functionality – but at a price. However, Zoho lets you automate your key processes at a lower price point.

Scalability and Enterprise-level Capabilities


As I mentioned above, Zoho offers a lot of automation and customization possibilities. Additionally, its affordable pricing makes it an ideal CRM for scaling businesses.

While Salesforce has a massive overall feature set, when it comes to value for money, Zoho maintains its position as one of the best affordable CRMs in the market.

Additionally, Zoho has a vast library of complementary products to improve your organization’s efficiency. All the products feature common UX and seamlessly integrate with each other. This facilitates easy adoption and a convincing “operating system” for businesses. 

But is it adequate for enterprise?

Zoho CRM does not provide the nuances and customizations that a sophisticated product like Salesforce would provide. For example, even in the Ultimate plan, there are limitations on the number of custom fields, scoring rules, validation rules, etc.

Thus, if you are a big and complex business that requires unlimited flexibility, Zoho might not be for you.


Salesforce launched its CRM with a top-down ideology, which means it intentionally built its products for large enterprises from the beginning. However, they recently have started providing CRM solutions that are aligned more with the SMEs.

As a result, the user experience for the end user is often disjointed. For example, the user has to constantly switch between the old interface and the new Lightning interface to do their job.

As I mentioned, you can only get the most out of Salesforce if you have a dedicated implementation team. Thus, Salesforce CRM is more suited for large enterprises as they can absorb the high costs and steep learning curves associated with Salesforce’s products. 

Salesforce offers four core “Clouds”:

  • Sales Cloud
  • Marketing Cloud
  • Service Cloud
  • Commerce Cloud

CRM is at the heart of each of them but has distinct features and configurations depending on the primary use case, just like Zoho. The Sales Cloud is mainly beneficial for sales teams, but it is super-efficient to integrate these platforms to minimize risks of data loss or siloing between business functions. 

The cost and complexity of Salesforce are just too much for SMEs, so it’s hard to agree that it is a suitable tool for scaling businesses. However, it delivers the best results for companies that are already large enterprises. 

Reporting and Analytics

For better decisions, you need data-driven analytics. These analytics serve as insights into how your business is performing, which department is underperforming, where a change is needed, and more.


Zoho and Salesforce offer extensive reporting features, deep data analytics, and customizable dashboards.

For example, with Zoho’s Standard plan, you get up to 100 customized reports with up to 10 custom fields per module. In addition, Zoho boasts an impressive built-in artificial intelligence (AI) capability that empowers users to extract valuable data-driven insights from their customer information.



Despite being more costly, Salesforce’s Professional and higher tiers unlock advanced reporting functionalities, such as lead scoring and sales forecasting. 

Users can conveniently access reports and dashboards on the go through the included mobile CRM app. This allows your business executives to stay informed even while away from their desks. 

Moreover, you can create custom reports with Salesforce without even relying on the IT department for assistance.


In this Zoho vs. Salesforce debate – regarding reporting and analytics – Zoho provides a wide range of reports and analytics at an affordable price. However, if you want advanced analytics, Salesforce can give you that – if you can pay for it.

Integration with Other Software or Tools

For some businesses, shifting to a new software entirely can be troublesome. Hence, a CRM’s integration capabilities come in handy. 


Zoho offers a wide range of integrations; it seamlessly integrates with Google, Slack, Shopify, Microsoft, and more. You can also integrate your Zoho CRM with other Zoho apps.  One of Zoho’s big selling points is how smoothly it integrates with social media.


Other third-party integrations are available with tools like ActiveCampaign, DocuSign, Google Ads, Quickbooks, and more. You also get Microsoft Outlook plugins for Mac and Windows users to sync all your info in Outlook.


Salesforce offers one of the widest ecosystems of add-ons, apps, data tools, complementary products, and services in the entire CRM space.

It’s not surprising, as Salesforce has been one of the longest-established players in the SaaS domain and boasts its customization capabilities. With its integrations, it aspires to own virtually every business function of its customers.

Salesforce AppExchange is probably the most mature and extensive marketplace, not just in the CRM domain but the entire SaaS industry. It contains more than 4,600 software add-ons and pre-built Lightning tools.

Salesforce, too, integrates with popular business apps like G Suite, Quickbooks, and Mailchimp. Thus, businesses can quickly and seamlessly transition to Salesforce without disrupting their day-to-day operations.


Both Zoho and Salesforce offer a wide range of integration options, but in this round of our Zoho vs. Salesforce fight, Zoho wins it for me. Zoho offers integrations in almost all aspects of operations, and the simple integration process is really helpful for users.

Mobile Accessibility

Salesforce and Zoho offer equally robust mobile apps and comprehensive on-the-go accessibilities for iOS and Android users.

Salesforce’s mobile app is more competent and offers more customizations to suit your organization’s needs. You can access the entire Salesforce platform from the mobile app. You get personalized navigation, custom push notifications, and brand customization.

However, Zoho’s mobile app offers limited access to important information and the ability to connect with clients.

So, in this Zoho vs. Salesforce app debate, Salesforce has a clear upper hand.

Free Trial, Plans, and Pricing


Zoho offers 5 tiers of subscription plans. It includes a free plan that allows up to 3 free users in an organization. So, if you’re a small business with minimal CRM needs, go with the free Zoho plan.

The free version includes contact, deal, task, and calendar management. You also get standard reports, basic customizations, web forms, email automation, API access, team messaging, and document storage. 

The other 4 tiers are paid plans. Each plan unlocks advanced features and customization capabilities. If you do not want to commit to an annual plan, you can pay monthly subscriptions too.


The affordable plans make Zoho CRM popular among small and medium business enterprises.


Salesforce does not offer any free-forever version for limited users. However, you can get a 30-day free trial of any plans. You get to access all the features of that particular plan.

The difficult initial configuration, maintenance, and no free-forever plan might push away many small businesses. Additionally, you do not have the option to pay monthly; you have to commit to an annual plan. 


Salesforce’s Essential package is quite inexpensive if you are an enterprise-level business but is limited to 10 users. If you have 11 users, you will have to go for the Professional package. That means the cost of going from 10 to 11 users goes up drastically – from $250month to $825/month.

Even Zoho’s top-tier plan – Ultimate plan – is more affordable than Salesforce’s second-most affordable plan – Professional plan.

So, in the pricing round of this Zoho vs. Salesforce debate, Zoho takes the cake.

Customer Reviews

Let’s look at popular reviews about these CRM heavyweights and what users love about them.



Things that users liked:

  • Drag-and-drop customization and beginner-friendly user interface
  • Simple out-of-the-box setup
  • Affordable top-tier plans compared to competitors

Things that users thought could be improved:

  • Lack of documentation and tutorials
  • First-time CRM users might feel overwhelmed by the interface



Things that users liked:

  • Powerful analytics and reporting features
  • Comprehensive lead and contact management
  • Extensive customization options

Things that users thought could be improved:

  • The initial setup and configuration are complex
  • The plans are expensive compared to other CRMs
  • Steep learning curve and extra licenses

Zoho vs. Salesforce: Which CRM to Choose?

So, we have discussed anything and everything in this Zoho vs. Salesforce debate, but which CRM won?

Zoho CRM is a great choice for small or medium businesses with limited users. If you are looking for an affordable, all-in-one CRM, then Zoho is for you.

You can try Zoho’s free-forever plan if you just want to test things for your business. It’s easy to deploy and maintain and does not require a dedicated IT team – perfect for small businesses.

If you are a large enterprise or have a good budget, go for Salesforce. While the plans are more expensive, the customization and integration with other platforms make it one of the most versatile CRMs available in the market.

However, if you are a small company with a small team size that does not need advanced features and complex systems, Salesforce might be an overkill.

Are you new to CRM and just want to try some free ones to see if they fit your business or not? Try one of these free CRM tools to boost your business growth.

  • Rohit Mane
    Rohit is a freelance SEO content writer and a B2B SaaS marketing copywriter. He writes about topics such as WordPress plugins for WooCommerce and SaaS tools such as sales funnel builders, email marketing automation, and WordPress marketing…. read more
  • Rohit Mane
    Rohit is a freelance SEO content writer and a B2B SaaS marketing copywriter. He writes about topics such as WordPress plugins for WooCommerce and SaaS tools such as sales funnel builders, email marketing automation, and WordPress marketing…. read more
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