CRM · B2B sales

CRM Suggestions: Simple/scalable/effective Salesforce alternatives?

Jesse Guglielmo

December 9th, 2014

Salesforce tends to be too complex for my liking and I am aware of cheaper alternatives.  Wondering if anyone has had great experiences with any platforms in particular that lends well to early stage "sales funnel"/contact organization while producing business analytics as the operation scales?  Thanks for the help in advance, much appreciated!


Kerry Finsand CEO at Taplister, INC.

December 9th, 2014

Jesse, I would recommend Zoho CRM. I have been using it for several years for lead generation and management. It only starts at $12 a month and connects to other Zoho tools. Currently I'm testing their CRM PLUS option. It combines multiple tools to create a cheap enterprise package. Some of the other features include email marketing and visitor tracking. They also have a free mobile app that I find handy when I'm out in the field. Cheers Kerry Finsand Taplister- Founder

Mike Moyer

December 9th, 2014

There are lots and lots of CRM providers, but I keep coming back to Zoho CRM. It's the most like, but much less expensive and not as complicated. The key to a good CRM program, in my opinion, is the core framework. Zoho and Salesforce use the same basic philosophical framework which is Lead that convert to Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. This "1 to 3" process is what keeps it working. Many programs try to skip this step and try to "simplify". For instance, they might try to have everything attached to a central contact file. This makes the program less effective in the long run. Lot's of CRM providers, in fact, try to differentiate themselves by pitching a simpler approach. The 1 to 3 philosophy is the most simple framework that actually works. I'm a Zoho re-seller. (I make *dozens *of dollars per year in commissions). CRM is not my core business, but I often point people to Zoho with the promise that if it does not suit their needs they can always move to Salesforce. I've never had a client move. Here is a link to Zoho: -Mike

Alex Littlewood

December 9th, 2014

Have been doing a bit of research on this myself. I found two very nice looking platforms:
- Base (
- Highrise ( from 37 signals, the makers of basecamp)

I'm leaning towards base, it has integrations with platforms like Mailchimp, and the user interface looks nice. Pricing is also very fair. 

Winston Kotzan

December 9th, 2014

Check out Base CRM ( I saw the founder present at StartupGrind Chicago and it sounds like they want to have a much nimbler platform for smaller business that's readily integrated into mobile.

Mark Silva Finance & Operations at KITE

December 9th, 2014

We're big fans of Pipedrive. Use it for sales, investor, a/r, event and product (startup) funnels at KITE. Integrates really well with YesMail, gmail and other solutions. Right price with actionable presentation layer.

Brian McConnell

November 11th, 2015

Sorry for the off topic reply, but who else is being prompted to grant Founder Dating the ability to receive and post LinkedIn messages as you? I absolutely have a problem with them doing this, especially as I have heard from other users who have had problems with FD spamming their network. This message will probably get censored, if so, I can be reached at bsmcconnell at gmail. I want to think this is a useful resource, but it seems to be getting more and more shady.

Ahmed Sorour Agile/DevOps Coach @ Target, Cofounder @ RevampCRM

April 17th, 2016

Disclaimer: I am Co-founder and CTO @RevampCRM. 

I'd highly encourage you to check RevampCRM. It's an intuitive contact management, segmentation and sales and marketing automation built for SMBs, entrepreneurs, IC, and freelancers. 

Revamp CRM allows you to automate segmentation, sales, and marketing under one roof. This enables you to notify or create tasks for your staff according to your lead/customer response to your marketing emails. Workflows also can update lead scores and send other emails. This kind of intertwined automation enables you to set lead nurturing on cruise control. It basically let you send relevant messages on a timely manner. There are few CRM systems in the market that provide sales and marketing automation in one system. RevampCRM and AgileCRM are good examples.

If you are a B2B, B2C, or both and sell online, RevampCRM is you best option in the market hands down. It comes with a powerful recommendation engine that you can use to automate cross-selling, up-selling, and re-selling your products. It allows you to segment your customers based on their purchase behavior as well as their demographics. Among other things it:

- automate order and shipping follow-up emails

- comes with intuitive very elegant eCommerce store dashboard to stay on top of your eCommerce operations.

Please check our eComerce Plan at

If you use Shopify, use our Shopify App and it will take you less than 2 minutes to connect and sync your store into your RevampCRM account.

For B2B, Our Sales and Deals pipelines and dashboards are your team's best friends. We had customers migrating from Salesforce to RevampCRM and received very good feedback on how easy and yet powerful it is to operate.

In addition to the above, it comes integrated with 25+ business tools (Invoicing, helpdesk, chat, web forms, ...). It has open APIs so you can customize and extend based on your business needs. It also comes with:

- A well-integrated Gmail app that brings you contact info and notes from the CRM into your Gmail inbox and allows you to include gmail communications into the contact profile in your CRM account.

- A Lead Clipper Chrome extension that lets you extract contact info from many web pages (LinkedIn etc...) into your CRM account.

All our plans come with UNLIMITED Contacts. The B2B plan is $10/user/month ($12 if billed monthly). The eCommerce Plan is $16/user ($19 if billed monthly). It comes with 5000 emails per user. Separate email quota is available to purchase (you do not have to add more users to increase your email quota). We believe that you should not pay based on how big your contact list is but rather when you use it to send emails.

Hope this helps. wish you the best in your CRM hunt :)

Brent Laminack Principal at OpenFace Systems, Inc.

December 9th, 2014

Nobody I've ever seen is terribly excited about their CRM solution. I've used the open source flavor or SugarCRM. It's ok but nothing to write home about. Its main advantage is it's way cheaper than Salesforce.

Tatjana Schuster Director at Sears Holdings Corporation

December 9th, 2014

SugarCRM, Netsuite, Pipedrive and Act are some worth checking out..

Joshua Scott Product Manager at CyberSponse, Inc.

December 9th, 2014

We're on Dynamics, which is also pricey, but has some key features that are useful for running our operations in conjunction with marketing. I think Zoho is a good suggestion for a lightweight CRM that has a number of other integrations. Another option you might want to consider is Agile CRM (

Simplicity is great, but the real key I haven't seen mentioned here yet is what else does your CRM work with. You'll likely need some campaign management it sounds like or email management at least, so I recommend looking for options with a plugin that have close ties to those tools. Other marketing automation tools may also be useful, so I'd look for optional integration there as well.