In the best-run businesses, team members work from the same database. They understand their goals and receive ample support from management to help them succeed. Without this centralized structure, companies tend to be less efficient and organized, causing them to miss out on opportunities. CRM software is a crucial element of efficient organizations. It helps team members get – and stay – on the same page with enhanced communication and collaboration. However, choosing the right CRM is challenging. Many platforms exist with varying features, pricing, services and specialties.
We’ll take an in-depth look at two of the best CRM software solutions, Salesforce and Zendesk, to help you determine if either platform is a fit for your business.
Salesforce and Zendesk are higher-end CRM platforms. Here’s an overview of how they compare.
$25 per user per month
$19 per user per month
Free trial for paid plans
Yes (30 days)
Yes (14 days)
Marketing and sales
Workflows and automations
Reporting and analytics
Apps and integrations
Salesforce is an ideal CRM solution for businesses that want to generate more sales leads and enjoy more successful lead conversions. Salesforce gives companies genuine control over how their marketing and sales teams operate. The platform combines a competent and intuitive marketing suite, an omnichannel communications tool, a companywide database, and first-class analytics tools and reporting capabilities. It’s highly flexible, with customizable workflows that improve staff efficiency and effectiveness. There’s also a massive selection of apps and plug-ins that can ensure Salesforce fits your precise business needs. Visit our complete review of Salesforce CRM for a more detailed overview of the platform’s features.
Zendesk is a great option for companies that need better sales, marketing and customer service performance through team collaboration. The platform addresses the challenges of communicating in hybrid and remote work environments by providing a suite of excellent collaboration tools to help teams share information. This highly capable and user-friendly CRM also features a powerful multichannel marketing suite, an omnichannel marketing platform, advanced data analytics and flexible workflow automation possibilities. Our in-depth review of Zendesk CRM explains how its features can help organizations unlock higher revenues through improved collaboration.
Salesforce and Zendesk provide essential CRM features businesses need to improve sales, collaboration and overall efficiency. Here’s how they compare.
Salesforce and Zendesk excel at helping companies generate more leads from their marketing campaigns and close more deals. Here are some highlights.
The Einstein AI customer segmentation tool makes it easy to send targeted email campaigns. Source: Salesforce
Zendesk has some great features, particularly its data enrichment tools and smart lists. However, Salesforce gives businesses greater reach over more channels. Additionally, Zendesk’s standout features are also available on Salesforce with the right plug-ins.
Contact customers by phone, email and more via your CRM; it will log all interactions to help you provide better service.
The Zendesk email client makes email tracking effortless. Source: Zendesk
Salesforce is less reliant on third-party apps for omnichannel communications, so it wins this category. Built-in features are often easier to handle and less prone to breakdowns than third-party integrations.
Automate repetitive tasks to boost productivity and save staff time.
Salesforce’s Flow tool helps you organize and create custom workflows. Source: Salesforce
This Zendesk healthcare referral workflow diagram shows how straightforward the workflow-building process is. Source: Zendesk
Salesforce wins this round. Its Flow tool and Einstein AI integration help businesses create advanced automations easily. However, Zendesk’s workflow automations tools are also impressive – the platform is catching up.
CRM data analysis and reporting tools help identify top-performing marketing channels, sales reps, clients and more.
Salesforce and Zendesk can both analyze performance data and produce easy-to-digest reports across all areas of sales and marketing. However, Salesforce’s reporting and analytics functions are more comprehensive, so it wins this round. Still, we love Zendesk’s team management and information-sharing features.
Get your CRM to do more by downloading plug-ins or connecting directly to its API.
Salesforce wins this round because of the sheer quality and quantity of apps and other plug-ins it offers; the Flow Builder is particularly impressive. Still, Zendesk’s store is notable – it’s one of the biggest CRM plug-in stores in the world.
Salesforce and Zendesk are market-leading CRMs at the higher end of the price scale. Here’s how they compare.
$25 per user per month (up to 10 users)
$75 per user per month
All Essentials features, plus:
$150 per user per month
All Professional features, plus:
$300 per user per month
All Enterprise features, plus:
Salesforce is one of the most expensive CRMs around. Still, its flexibility and customizability make it a market leader. You can opt for the Essentials plan on a month-by-month basis, but all other plans require an annual contract.
Note that the costs listed above can go significantly higher as you add plug-ins and additional features. It may take some research and calls to determine your actual costs. We like that Salesforce offers a free 30-day trial so you can put the system through its paces.
Zendesk Sell is for sales and marketing teams, while Zendesk Suite is for support teams. Zendesk’s two products integrate perfectly, and many customers opt for both. Costs are as follows:
$19 per user per month
2GB per user
$55 per user per month
All Sell Team features, plus:
5GB per user
$115 per user per month
All Sell Growth features, plus:
10GB per user
Call for quote
All Sell Professional features, plus:
All Suite Team features, plus:
All Suite Growth features, plus:
Call for quote
All Suite Enterprise features, plus:
Zendesk is mid-tier in terms of pricing; when bundled at the higher tiers, it’s similar in cost to Salesforce. Zendesk offers a 14-day free trial to test the product. You can pay annually and monthly at all subscription levels, but you’ll pay around 20 percent more than the rates listed here if you opt for monthly payments.
Zendesk wins for its flexible billing options across all tiers. However, there’s not that much difference in price between the top Salesforce plans and higher combined Sell and Suite levels.
While Salesforce can be adapted to just about any business use, Zendesk’s features are perfect for better internal collaboration.
Salesforce boasts a unified and extendable multichannel marketing suite, omnichannel communications hub, and superior reporting and analytics. If you want more, its flexible workflow automations will save your sales and marketing staff time they can spend on more productive and creative tasks. You can adapt the platform to your business even further with apps, Flows and API integrations. Salesforce gives you a clear view of your sales process and marketing performance and provides the tools to boost performance further.
When sales, marketing and customer service teams collaborate, productivity soars and results improve. Improving collaboration and communication is even more critical as hybrid and remote teams increase. Zendesk’s collaboration tools are excellent and integral to this highly capable, user-friendly powerhouse CRM. Your teams can create, launch and monitor campaigns; track performance; and use Zendesk to set and achieve goals.
Zendesk makes it easy for sales, marketing and customer service teams to work more effectively together. You can adapt Salesforce to do the same with its wide range of apps and plug-ins.
Salesforce is the market-leading CRM; it offers maximum flexibility to clients thanks to its built-in features and wide range of plug-ins. Zendesk is also a very capable platform but has less functionality than Salesforce. However, many businesses don’t need a CRM as powerful as Salesforce.
Choose Salesforce over Zendesk if you want the highest level of control possible over your sales and marketing teams. Choose Zendesk if you don’t need Salesforce’s power and prefer to focus on excellence across your sales, marketing and customer service teams.
Salesforce does not use Zendesk, but you can link your Zendesk platform to Salesforce. This could be a great solution for companies running on Salesforce products that want to access Zendesk’s excellent sales, marketing and customer service functionality.