Salesforce vs Zoho/Hubspot/Microsoft Dynamics 365: A CRM Software Comparison

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User experience is one of the critical factors that customers consider when deciding whether to buy from a business or not.

In fact, according to a PwC study, 73% of consumers judge customer experience to make their purchasing decisions, even more than the quality and price of the product.

Businesses, too, stand to gain a lot by using the right CRM system.

Using CRM software can increase their sales by 29%, boost productivity by 34%, and shorten the sales cycle by 8-14%, with an ROI of $8.71 per dollar invested.

CRM software can help organizations in identifying higher-value customers for preferential treatment.

It can thus help in increasing customer retention and growing revenue for companies, by 27% to be exact, and it is well-known that recurring revenue and returning customers are the largest sources of income for B2B businesses.

A Forrester Research Survey has gone further to show how multi-platform, especially mobile CRM software, is helping businesses increase revenue growth by increasing the overall performance of their companies in various departments.

Another growing trend is the shift from on-premise to cloud-based systems. Cloud-based CRM software products enable organizations to become more agile and immune to failures, which is clear from the fact that from 2008 to 2020, the percentage of companies using online CRM software has increased from 12% to 87%.

Due to these shifts like customer relationship management, CRM software vendors are also stepping up their game.

Major CRM software application providers include Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce.com.

But they are not the only popular CRM software providers around. Zoho, Hubspot, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are some of the top CRM software vendors that are giving tough competition in this sector, especially to Salesforce.

We will thus be comparing this list of CRM software applications to decide what the best CRM software is based on a variety of factors.

How to Decide What the Best CRM Software Is

To answer this question, we have first to ask: What does CRM software do? Or rather, what is CRM software designed to do? A CRM software application helps companies manage customer relationships, as the name already says.

But with the nature of customer and client interactions with a company changing nowadays, it can be hard to decide exactly at which points you might need CRM solutions. But, in general, CRM can be subdivided into three main branches.

So, what are the three public business functions that CRM software serves? They are sales, marketing, and customer service.

Thus, these should be the main factors in judging how well a CRM software application fares.

However, one must also consider how the CRM software application is helping the business itself, and how it makes the process of delivering business outcomes easier.

If the CRM software is not providing the business with the necessary data to help modify operational results in business to increase sales, customer engagement, and retention, it is not doing its job.

Factors like automation, integration, deployment, support, platform features, function management, omnichannel capabilities, analytics, etc.

Must be considered in the decision-making process for CRM software solutions.

We will be assessing all the relevant points for this CRM software comparison.

1) Salesforce

Salesforce CRM software is considered a top choice of many companies around the world. It holds 19% of the market and keeps growing every day. It is both robust and flexible, making it a trusted CRM management software.

Even though it is mainly targeted towards large corporations and multinational companies, it has an out-of-the-box small business CRM software solution for start-ups and new ventures.

It also has custom CRM software for various industries. Salesforce provides high customizability within the platform itself, and it is enhanced even more by its superior integration ability.

The AppExchange, which is its app marketplace, contains a large number of apps and APIs that can be added to the Salesforce system to make up for any shortcomings in the platform itself.

One of its most significant advantages is the massive user community for learning, exchange of ideas, and third-party add-ons. These communities provide tremendous support besides what Salesforce itself does.

Organizing its community forum was perhaps the best idea Salesforce ever had. For providing CRM facilities, it has individual Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce Clouds, all of which can be interconnected smoothly for building an optimum CRM ecosystem.

With the introduction of Einstein AI, Salesforce has taken its analytics capabilities a step further. It is highly customer-centric, made possible with the help of its Customer 360 features.

Specifications
  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Customer Support: Live chat, Consulting
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Training: In-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, Documentation
  • Free Trial: Yes

2) Zoho CRM

The primary marketing strategy employed by Zoho is that in the Zoho vs Salesforce comparison, Zoho is the more affordably priced version of Salesforce, with a similar feature set and segmented solutions.

In terms of automation and integration, it almost reaches up to the standards of Salesforce, which is, after all, the market leader, even though Zoho CRM pricing is much lower.

As a CRM, Zoho has quite a rich feature set. Zoho project management, personalized customer journeys, optimized process and performance management, analytics, sales management capabilities, collaboration and remote working functionalities, Zoho API integration, Widgets SDK, etc., are some features worth mentioning. It provides omnichannel capabilities too.

Zoho introduced Zia as an AI assistant to help users engage with the platform more efficiently and better harness the power of Zoho analytics for better sales.

Zoho SalesIQ is a platform that helps companies engage with customers better and provide enhanced Zoho customer service. Two other independent but powerful functions provided are Zoho Checkout and Zoho Subscriptions.

Zoho also has custom solutions for achieving the desired business outcomes of businesses by size and industry, and users by job roles. Its most vital features are in the CPQ and billing section.

Two advantages of salesforce over Zoho are that Zoho cannot provide the high level of scalability and customizability that Salesforce can and its features are rather scaled to serve smaller businesses better.

Also, many Zoho CRM reviews opine that the UI of Zoho is more complicated than others, but that is for individual users to decide.

Specifications
  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Customer Support: 24/7 Live chat, Consulting
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Training: In-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, Documentation
  • Free Trial: Yes

3) Hubspot CRM

Hubspot has a feature-rich free CRM offering, which is how it attracts customers the most. What it means for Hubspot vs Zoho since both seem to be taking advantage of the same USP.

The truth is, even though Zoho has a free version too, all Hubspot reviews suggest that it has a better roster of free features than Zoho does.

These include reporting dashboards, company insights, deal tracking, pipeline management, email tracking and notifications, prospect tracking, meeting scheduling, and live chat.

Hubspot funnels are easy to manage due to the clean and user-friendly UI. Even in the free version, Hubspot workflows are easy to define and implement, and Hubspot customer service is provided with live chat, which possibly no other company offers in unpaid editions.

However, unlike its competitors, Hubspot partner relationship management, lead generation, and territory management are not present.

As an enterprise CRM, Hubspot provides different functions as hubs. These include the Hubspot Service Hub, Marketing Hub, CMS Hub, and Sales Hub.

Hubspot email templates, email and chat to the ticket, ticket creation bots, meeting scheduling, reporting, ticketing, team email, and live chat are the free Service features.

Hubspot email marketing, forms, contact management, landing pages, live chat, Facebook, Instagram, Google, and LinkedIn ads, and traffic and conversion analytics are free Marketing features.

Contact, deal & task management, email tracking and notifications, email templates & scheduling, document sharing, meeting scheduling, Gmail & Outlook integration, live chat, and quotes are the free Sales features.

CMS is strictly a premium feature. If we consider Salesforce vs Hubspot CRM pricing, Hubspot wins the round. However, feature-wise, Salesforce still keeps winning.

Specifications
  • Deployment: Cloud-based
  • Customer Support: 24/7 Live chat, Consulting
  • Mobile App: Yes
  • Training: In-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, Documentation
  • Free Trial: Yes

3) Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is not just a CRM software application. It contains a host of CRM as well as ERP solutions and tools.

Much of the performance power of Microsoft CRM software is based on the already established, vital infrastructure of Microsoft.

For companies that are already using other Microsoft products, Microsoft Dynamics software is the best idea. Integration becomes easy, and interoperability is not hampered.

Moreover, Microsoft 365 Dynamics is the only possible option on this list for those who are planning to migrate gradually from on-premise infrastructure to cloud-based.

It is because Microsoft Dynamics cloud solutions are not the only ones provided: it also has on-premise and hybrid solutions.

However, the steep Microsoft Dynamics CRM pricing even for the most basic plan makes it unsuitable for small and medium-sized businesses.

The entire range of Microsoft Dynamics CRM applications includes Customer Data Platform, Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce.

Each of these has a slew of features to make it possible to manage customer relationships smoothly. But that is not all.

As already mentioned before, Microsoft packs in both CRM and ERP functionality in its Dynamics 365 solution. So, what the major ERP  products are of Microsoft Dynamics are .

They are Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Supply Chain, and HR.

However, since we are discussing CRM solutions only here, we will not bring the ERP functions into consideration here. Thus, if we are keeping strictly to CRM functions only, one thing is obvious.

When making a Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce comparison, Dynamics does not even hold a candle to Salesforce. It seriously lacks in many essential areas.

There is no contract, product, pricing, performance, or campaign management facility, no powerful analytics, no social media integration, workflow capabilities, or product tracking. Thus, as a standalone, there is not much power in this CRM software.

 Specifications
  • Deployment: Cloud-based, On-premise, Hybrid
  • Customer Support: Consulting, Ticketing
  • Mobile App: No
  • Training: Documentation
  • Free Trial: No
A Tabular Comparison of Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot, and Microsoft Dynamics 365
CRM SoftwareSalesforceZohoHubspotMicrosoft Dynamics 365
Features
Best ForLarge and established or medium-sized businesses, especially those looking to move online.Start-ups and new ventures with less funds to invest in a fully developed CRM softwareSmall businesses looking for good features without spending too muchCompanies that already use Microsoft products and are willing to invest in an integrated system
Ease of UseHighLowHighMedium
DeploymentCloud-basedCloud-basedCloud-basedCloud-based, On-premise, Hybrid
Mobile AppYesYesYesNo
Starting Price$25 per month per user$0$0$115 per month per user
Free TrialYesYesYesNo
PlatformWeb-based, iOS, AndroidWeb-based, iOS, AndroidWeb-based, iOS, AndroidWeb-based
TrainingIn-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, DocumentationIn-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, Documentation

 

In-Person, Live, Online, Webinars, Documentation

 

Documentation
SupportLive chat, Consulting24/7 Live chat, Consulting24/7 Live chat, ConsultingConsulting, Ticketing

Which Is the Best CRM Software?

Going over all the CRM software reviews, it should be easy to decide which one takes the top spot here. Going by all the factors to be considered, the best CRM software of 2020 is Salesforce.

In fact, Business News Daily has even voted it the best CRM software of 2020 for Growing Businesses according to their November 9, 2020 report.

When compared with Zoho CRM, it is easy to see that the features of Salesforce are more powerful, robust, rich, and more significant in number. It justifies its higher cost over Zoho CRM.

When it comes to Hubspot CRM, even though there is a free option, it hardly has the features to sustain a full-fledged business. The paid option is not as powerful as Salesforce either.

Moving on to Microsoft Dynamics 365, while it has several useful features, not all of them are for CRM purposes. And the ones that are do not include every necessary component.

It has to be integrated with other supporting solutions to be a well-rounded, complete CRM software application. The pricing does not justify this either.

All in all, Salesforce comes out at the top as the most powerful and feature-loaded CRM solution. It is robust, flexible, easy-to-use, and the level of external support makes it easy to overcome any hurdles.

While the other names are not harmful and often more suitable for individual businesses, depending on their circumstances, from a strictly neutral standpoint based on performance and feature only, Salesforce is the most realistic option for a business looking to power its CRM operations and run it smoothly on the cloud.

If you want to serve your customer better and build better relationships with B2B CRM, you can count on Salesforce to get the job done.

And if you need an out-of-the-box solution to set up your CRM system, you can always choose Docmation’s Quickstart packages to get you going.

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