Zoho vs Salesforce: an objective comparison

By market share and revenue, Salesforce is the number one player in the CRM market. They were the original SaaS vendors, they have a huge brand name in the industry and $6bn in sales. Zoho are privately held with a less powerful brand.

Below is an at-a-glance comparison so you can get a feel for which system may suit your needs.

What do they offer?

Salesforce offers service and marketing but Sales Cloud is their main product so we’ll use this as the comparison. Their enterprise sales platforms are priced at a premium level with yearly billing cycles. Zoho has a considerably cheaper price point (80% to 90%) and has monthly billing terms.

Compare Zoho and Salesforce with other CRM solutions with this free online comparison tool

How do they stack up?

We’ll take a look now at the most important element which is the feature sets, by key area:

  Salesforce Zoho
Ease of use Can be intimidating. Lots of options and is harder to navigate. Proper training and hiring a consultant can ease this problem. Very easy to get started on. It looks simple and is easier to get started on.
Features Offers considerable customization and a richer feature set. Web to lead, customizable and tracked emails, email sync, mobile app, chat functionality, customizable dashboard, ‘lightning dialer’ for tracking calls, pre-record outbound voicemails, lead scoring to improve efficiency, feed to track what customers are saying about you on social media, separate marketing tool to optimize outbound email and social media. Each of these areas is generally a little richer than Zoho in functionality, the outbound marketing and lead scoring is more efficient Web to lead, email templates and tracking, email sync, mobile app, chat and collaboration, ‘Sales Signals’ helps keep reps updated on social media from their clients, ‘Telephony’ allows for call tracking, trend analysis leading to suggestions of best time to contact clients or leads. Most of the features are similar to Salesforce but can lack Salesforce's depth.
Customization Salesforce customization isn’t easy but it is very flexible. With the ability to customize, add third party extensions and integrate your own apps Salesforce has exceptional flexibility. There is some customization and the ability to add additional modules but this isn’t at the scale of Salesforce.
Pricing Salesforce’s Sales Cloud also has four Editions – SalesforceIQ Starter, Lightning Professional, Lightning Enterprise and Lightning Unlimited – starting from $25 to $300, billed annually for per user/month. Their Enterprise Edition priced at $150/user/month (billed annually) has the maximum number of subscribers. Zoho CRM has four Editions – Standard, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate – starting from $12 to $100, charged per user/month billed annually. The Enterprise Plan, priced at $35/user/month billed annually, is their most popular.
Contract term Yearly Monthly
Support and training Support portal, post queries to a support network of experts, phone support between 8 and 8 (24/7 is payable). Salesforce University offers training. Support portal, post queries to a support network of experts, phone support between 8 and 8 (24/7 is payable). Salesforce University offers training.
Trial 30 days 15 days
Customers 150,000 300,000
Marketplace and integration Salesforce App Exchange has 2800 free and paid apps, Other salesforce products have integrations, There is also Lightning Exchange for parts of an application or page that customers and partners want to build/ customize using the Lightning App Builder. Zoho marketplace for integrations with 3rd party apps, Zoho developer allows customizable extensions and apps, Zoho business unit offers more features, Google App integration.
Web APIs Available, need to be purchased for the lesser plans. Available, depending on plan.
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Doug Haines

About the author…

Doug Haines has worked on a variety of CRM implementation projects and now writes on a wide range of topics. He is a regular contributor to Discover CRM

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Doug Haines

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