Best Salesforce Alternative for Startups


Salesforce is the current leader in sales CRMs and has packages designed for small businesses. Features include contact management, lead generation, opportunity management, sales forecasting, workflow automation and collaboration tools. But what are some good alternatives for the the startup or small business. This article states 6 of the best.


Zoho - salesforce alternative

Zoho CRM has many of the same capabilities as Salesforce but with a price tag much more suited to small businesses. The paid service features reasonable storage and a fully featured and customizable interface. Zoho CRM integrates particularly well with Google Apps such as Email and Calendaring. Zoho offers a free package and four paid CRM packages. The free service lacks in-depth reporting and detailed leads management but it does allow up to 10 users, comes with basic sales leads, marketing, and customer-support automation with reporting and forecasting tools. The interface is simple and easy to use. A good choice for a startup.


insightly - salesforce alternative

Insightly offers CRM sales management for small businesses. The interface is easy to follow and there are plenty of customization options and integrations. Insightly offers a free service with limited functionality for just two users, yet offers flexibility in its pricing scale. The Insightly user interface is modeled on the Google UI and will feel familiar to Google users, it also has excellent integration with Google Apps as well as Microsoft One drive and other cloud based services.


Apptivo - salesforce alternative

Aptivo has wide variety of available apps and has good customization options. It is also one of the cheapest available hosted CRMs. The free version includes company branding, IMAP email, reports, message templates, 3GB storage per user, license and insurance tracking, invoicing, CRM and third-party integrations. Premium packages offer additional features.


capsule - salesforce alternative

Capsule is free for up to two users with 10 MB of storage, and 250 contacts. Upgrade pricing is very low at £8 per month per user but this can quickly get more expensive with increased users. With the upgrade comes two gigabytes of storage, 50,000 contacts Capsule’s best feature is its ability to integrate with other applications such as Mailchimp and Gmail. According to reviews the downside of Capsule is that it lacks good customer support and has no direct phone line, this is a big issue for business that may need immediate support.


Podio - salesforce alternative

Podio is designed to make tracking leads and sales as lightweight and easy as possible. Combined with real-time communication and task management in one place. Integrated webforms can be used to capture contact information from a company website. Podio is completely customizable to fit the sales process. The Podio website states that Information is user defined to record and track so that the sales team isn’t slowed down with irrelevant features and complications; however, user reviews for Podio often state that it can sometimes get overcomplicated and difficult to navigate. Price scales tend to be at the lower end making this an ideal choice for a startup CRM and the plans are scalable up to Enterprise level.


base - salesforce alternative

Base can be used to gain full visibility of the sales pipeline. Sales deals are tracked as they move through the various stages in the highly visual, customizable pipeline. Metrics can be used to forecasts specific information about team members, teams, regions, and line of business. Base also features advanced metrics such as the Pipeline Development Report. This funnel intelligence report gives a snapshot view of all pipeline activity over a certain time period.

At the core of Base are its contact management features, the data from which is used for all the advanced reporting. The CRM app provides visual contact cards containing all the information any rep needs about a contact, including current deals, associated documents, tasks, notes and all personal contact details and history.

The Best?

Insightly offers a clean and familiar interface with all the features of a high end product, the price starts low but increases in scale for additional storage. A startup needs to find a middle ground and Insightly could provide this. Insightly also offers a both a free service and a free trial. This will allow the team to test the product before making a purchase; making this my number 1 alternative CRM system to Salesforce.

Robert Morel is a Software Developer and Freelance WordPress Developer at Amarria and a blogger for B.I.S.S. Research. Contact me at