What are the differences between Salesforce and Zoho CRM?

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difference between zoho and salesforce

At Valenta we perform a considerable amount of consulting around CRM. Two CRM platforms that we are consistently recommending to clients, and implementing, include Salesforce and Zoho. We make our recommendations after mapping what a client is doing currently regarding sales, marketing, and support processes, and what they would want to do given a blank slate. Both Salesforce and Zoho are good choices for all-in-one CRM platforms – however, we are getting ahead of ourselves.

In this blog we will provide a brief overview of Zoho and Salesforce and highlight the difference between Zoho and Salesforce. We will examine the main or basic features, advanced features, support, and pricing. Finally, we will provide some key takeaways for Zoho vs Salesforce.

Overview of Salesforce and Zoho

There is more alike than is different when it comes to Zoho vs Salesforce. Both are large and well-established CRM providers. That said, Salesforce is the giant in the space and a pioneer in the areas of CRM and cloud-based SaaS services. Salesforce was founded in San Francisco in 1999 and has a market cap of 209 billion USD and a CRM share of market of 19%. Zoho was founded in 1996 in Chennai India, is private, and recently surpassed fifty million customers. Both companies are seen as established players, and reliable vendors. Both companies are viewed as providing excellent support and both have large and active user communities. One of the main calling cards for both companies is that they are billed as excellent all in one platforms. Both have expanded their service portfolio to look more like an ERP platform than only CRM, and to provide other relevant business SaaS solutions as well.

Differences Between Zoho and Salesforce

Now that we have provided an overview lets take a look at a few areas like customer focus, main features, advance features, support, and pricing to find the difference with Zoho vs Salesforce.

Customer Focus

If there is one primary difference between Zoho and Salesforce it is their focus and target markets. Salesforce is focused on large enterprise and Fortune 1,000 type companies. The company also serves mid-sized business and has many customers in this area as well. There is nothing about Salesforce that makes it a poor choice for any sized business. However, it is larger companies that new features and functions are primarily designed for. Zoho on the other hand is squarely focused on SMB (small and mid-sized business) clients. They have customers of all sizes and in all market segments, but the platform is built with an SMB in mind first. Similarly, there is nothing that makes Zoho a poor choice for any sized business.

Main features

The difference between Zoho and Salesforce on main features is pretty much nonexistent. Both provide the expected, task management, account management, contact record management, and lead management. Both also provide email integrations for Microsoft and Google inboxes. Potential sales are tracked as “Opportunities” in Salesforce and “Deals” in Zoho. Both forecasting and sales funnel tools are effective and not difficult to use. Reports on the sales funnel are a little easier to create in Zoho but usually require some training to create in Salesforce. Details and what can be reported on from a sales funnel is slightly more comprehensive in Salesforce. Standard dashboards are available in both and a little easier to set up for inexperienced users in Zoho. Both Salesforce CRM and Zoho CRM provide the capability to attach documents to leads, contacts and deals. Examples of documents include quotes, proposals, invoices, RFPs, emails, and more. Also read more about the highlights of Zoho CRM and highlights of Salesforce CRM .

Advanced features

Both companies provide a centralized database that everyone in a company or organization can work off of in real time and both provide ERP style add on modules. Salesforce provides AI thru its Einstein solutions, Zoho provides AI thru its Zia offer. Both companies offer top notch and out of the box reporting and analytics. Salesforce can offer advanced functionality in this area for a fee with Tableau. For advanced functionality in this area Zoho will integrate with third party suppliers. Both companies provide a rich community of third-party vendors. Although partners available for third party integration are rich for both Zoho and Salesforce – they do differ. If there is a specific vendor in mind that you may need or want to work with, checking this out ahead of time makes sense. Both companies offer B2B and B2C commerce platforms. Zoho offers native omnichannel customer communication tracking.


Both support for Salesforce and Zoho is online and features and promotes community forums. Both Zoho and Salesforce rely primarily on live chat support. Live chat plus email and phone support is available from Zoho 24/5 for all paid plans. Support during working hours is available from Salesforce, 24/7 support is available on its highest-priced platform.


Pricing for both Zoho and Salesforce is reasonable and fair. There are less expensive options available on the market – but like everything in life and business, you get what you pay for. Zoho tends to include more standard features in their packages. A close examination of what a business wants to do with their CRM will guide how to weigh these criteria. A well-versed consultant like Valenta can provide guidance in this area, lay all the facts on the table, and help a business make the correct choice. Prices for Zoho vs Salesforce are virtually the same for entry level and in mid tiers. Pricing starts to diverge when you add advanced features and functionality to Salesforce.

Zoho CRM pricing at the time we write this blog is as follows:
Free for up to one user for basic CRM
$49 per month per user for their Basic Plan
$99 per month per user for the Standard Plan
$249 per month per user for the Professional Plan
Custom Price per month per user for the Enterprise Plans
For more details check out the Zoho Subscription Pricing

The pricing for Salesforce CRM at the time we write this blog is as follows:
$25 per user per month for Essentials
$75 per user per month for Professional platform for any sized team
$150 a month per user for Enterprise customizable version
$300 a month per user for what is termed Unlimited platform
Please check out Salesforce Pricing

Key Takeaways Zoho vs Salesforce

Our key takeaways when it comes to the differences between Zoho and Salesforce come down to two main things, 1) who the software is targeted at and 2) the UI (user interface). Salesforce is a best-in-class CRM when it comes to supporting larger enterprises. If a business wants access to all the same tools that the Fortune 1,000 uses, then Salesforce is a smart choice. Zoho (like Salesforce) is an excellent all in one CRM choice. If a business wants to select an all-in-one CRM that is easy to get going with, and has a simple UI, Zoho is a wonderful choice. Zoho’s UI is customizable and simple. There is beauty in simplicity. Both companies offer free trials and that is an excellent way to check out the UI and give the software a test drive.

Want to Learn More?

We trust this blog helps the reader better understand some of the differences between Zoho and Salesforce. At Valenta we have tons of respect for both companies and CRM solutions. We have many of our staff trained on both platforms, and frequently our staff is certified on both. Valenta is a business consulting and business software integration services provider. We focus on serving small and midsized businesses. We provide the same services large consulting firms offer to the Fortune 1,000. Valenta provides offshore or near shore virtual staff in addition to consulting and software integration services and can provide virtual CRM Administrators for SMB CRM implementations. Our local in country or region managing partners can work with you to define your needs and your current status. Additional onshore or nearshore consultants will also assist in this process and help a business make the right choices. Our onshore and nearshore partners and consultants will work with our offshore team of developers and team managers to implement any project.

Please check out our pages on What is CRM? and What makes a successful CRM implementation? and also the differences between CRM & ERP?

Please contact Valenta to choose the best CRM for your business solutions.

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