Salesforce Competitors

Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) provider, allowing businesses to build meaningful and sustained relationships with their customers. With robust, customizable software that integrates with social media, Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook, the Salesforce CRM platform is rated highly among businesses of all shapes and sizes. Recent data has shown that the company has captured 19.5% of the global CRM market.

Looking at Salesforce for multiple perspectives

Nevertheless, the global reach of Salesforce means that it cannot serve the unique needs of every single client. Some may find the platform excessively complex or unwieldy, preferring a simple dashboard without the bells and whistles. Others may not have the budget to stick with Salesforce long term.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a similarly global system offered in 40 regions and 41 languages.

The Microsoft CRM is feature-rich but is relatively easy to use. Indeed, it can even run with an Outlook client to give the look and feel of a Microsoft Office environment. Users can maintain accounts, nurture sales leads, create sales collateral, and track contacts.

CRM software delivery can be achieved in several ways. It may be cloud-based, on-premise, or a combination of both and serves businesses of any size in any industry.


Keap is regarded by many as the best CRM system in terms of ease of use, and for good reason. It features fully automated sales, marketing, and eCommerce packages with the option for clients to pay invoices through their preferred bank via instant message alerts.

Keap offers three tiered monthly subscription options, with each additional user incurring an additional fee. The Basic plan starts at $79, increasing to $149 for the Pro plan and $199 for the Enterprise plan.

Sugar Sell

Sugar Sell is the name given to the sales automation software from Sugar CRM. It is a four-time winner of the PCMAG Business Choice Award for Customer Experience.

The platform gives employees the necessary data to optimize lead conversions and reach out to customers. It brings a plethora of features to the CRM space, including custom reporting, product cataloging, and custom quotes. There is also the option to make sales forecasts to improve predictability and visibility.

Sugar Sell is also available in app form for Android and iOS devices.


Pipedrive is particularly suited to businesses that find the onboarding process for new software daunting. It incorporates features such as email marketing, activities and goals management, and lead generation. It can also synthesize data into smaller, actionable reports.

Compared to Salesforce, Pipedrive is a much more affordable option with an intuitive design and importantly, 24/7 customer service.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is suited to self-employed individuals or sole traders. The company offers a feature-packed free version that is simple to use. Of course, individuals who wish to do so can upgrade to a more powerful paid system.

Regardless of which version is utilized, the HubSpot CRM can easily be synchronized to the rest of the HubSpot App Ecosystem.

Zoho CRM

Among CRM options for small businesses, Zoho CRM offers all of the most valuable CRM features at the best price. This makes it a significant force in the CRM market.

Importantly, Zoho has one of the largest integration fields of any provider. This makes it an ideal choice for smaller businesses that cannot afford fully customized software decks. The platform is also backed by extensive documentation to help customers navigate the sometimes difficult process of software upgrades.

Zoho CRM pricing is also versatile, offering five subscription plans. A free option is available for up to three users. Beyond that, businesses can select from a range of affordable plans offering a turn-key solution for tech novices.

Key takeaways:

  • Salesforce has cornered almost 20% of the CRM market, but it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 and HubSpot CRM are major Salesforce competitors because of their association with affiliated app ecosystems.
  • Platforms such as Zoho CRM and Pipedrive also offer cheap, more automated options for the less tech-savvy.

Connected to Salesforce

Salesforce main revenue generation strategy is based on a subscription-based cloud service. Over 92% of Salesforce revenues come from four categories of cloud CRM (Customer Relationship Management) services, that span from the sales cloud to marketing cloud. The remaining revenues are primarily driven by professional services. In 2017 the company generated $8.39 billion in revenues. 
The “as-a-service” models are typical of the second wave of the Web 2.0, built on top of cloud computing. Indeed, these models’ basic premise is to offer a solution to the final customer without having to host it on-premise, with complex implementations and large overhead. Yet while PaaS and IaaS are skewed toward development teams. SaaS has wider applications toward end-users, also in non-technical departments.
Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AlaaS) helps organizations incorporate artificial intelligence (AI) functionality without the associated expertise. Usually, AIaaS services are built upon cloud-based providers like Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IMB Cloud, used as IaaS. The AI service, framework, and workflows built upon these infrastructures are offered to final customers for various use cases (e.g., inventory management services, manufacturing optmizations, text generation).
C3 AI is a cloud-based Enterprise AI SaaS company. It built a set of proprietary applications (known as the C3 AI suite) that offer its clients the ability to integrate digital transformation applications with fast deployment and no overheads. C3 AI makes money primarily via its subscription services and professional fees.

Read Also: Salesforce Business Model, Slack Business Model, Business Model, SaaS Business Models, IaaS-PaaS-SaaS, AIaaS Business Model, Cloud Business Models.

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