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The best Alternatives to Zoho CRM: For businesses looking to switch CRM system

April, 23 2024
The best Alternatives to Zoho CRM: For businesses looking to switch CRM system

There are many reasons why businesses choose to switch their CRM system. Business leaders report that the primary motivation for changing CRM is to get a better return on investment.

While it might make sense to opt for the most affordable option when you are starting out, it often becomes apparent that the cheapest option may not be most effective at generating a return. It is often much more beneficial to invest in a system that is able to generate a return on investment that outweighs the cost.

Business leaders have shared that they selected Zoho based on the promise that everything can be done in one place, only to discover that this isn’t 100% true.

While Zoho provides many applications that can perform CRM, Marketing Automation and Financial Operations, these applications are not truly connected, despite what their sales teams may claim. To move data from the marketing email tool to the CRM, you’ll need to set up custom integrations, which defeats the point of having a single platform. These integrations require management and are nowhere near as intelligent as the integration between Hubspot and Salesforce.

Alongside the siloed applications, Zoho isn’t the most user-friendly. Load speeds often lag, and the interface isn’t intuitive. Building automations isn’t easy like it is on some more modern applications. Because it doesn’t feel like it helps sales teams, they often fail to adopt it and as a result, the CRM lacks the data completeness and accuracy required for building a predictable, repeatable, scalable go-to-market motion.

On top of the siloed applications and dated user experience is a lack of product innovation. Unlike other tools, Zoho doesn’t have built in automatic data-enrichment, nor does it leverage artificial intelligence like its competitors have. There is little documentation related to any future roadmap. This should concern businesses who are looking to stay ahead of their competition.

If you are thinking about moving away from Zoho, you are not alone. But the question is - what are the other options? Typically we see businesses migrate from Zoho onto one of three systems, with varying success.

Hubspot CRM : Marketing, Sales, Service, Operations Hubs

If the dream is to have everything in one place then HubSpot is the best option for businesses who have marketing, sales and customer success teams who need to operate seamlessly together. All of HubSpot’s “Hubs” are built on a single fully-integrated data structure that ensures every team is able to see the same truth about a customer, without the need to build or manage integrations. There is also a website builder on HubSpot, which helps keep everything together.

HubSpot has its own application marketplace that provides you with access to apps built by HubSpot and from leaders across multiple industries. Thanks to HubSpot’s open APIs and UI editing capabilities, external products can be fully integrated into HubSpot so that you can edit information on another platform without having to leave HubSpot.

Typically, a migration from Zoho to HubSpot takes 8-24 weeks, depending on the level of complexity of your data. To gain a better understanding of the time your migration might take, contact one of our strategists.

Salesforce: Sales Cloud

Businesses with strong HIPAA compliance requirements, or a commercial leader who is most comfortable with Salesforce, may prefer to invest in Salesforce Cloud. This CRM is known for its ability to be highly customisable, providing you have the right Salesforce admin, architects and developers on the payroll.

Sadly, Salesforce hasn’t developed anything that works seamlessly with Salesforce Cloud. Both Pardot (renamed to Salesfore Engaget) and Marketing Cloud (a tool Salesforce acquired recently) require extensive configuration and lack real-time reporting on the health of the integration. For this reason, the most common and effective marketing technology for Salesforce is the Hubspot Marketing Hub.

While this may seem counterintuitive, the HubSpot to Salesforce integration is built with an integration health system that allows your team to manage the flow of information between the two systems far better than Pardot or Marketing Cloud. Both Pardot and Marketing Cloud, like Zoho Apps, require extensive configuration to integrate with Salesforce Sales Cloud.

Salesforce has its own application market, which is the most extensive of all CRM app marketplaces. If adding paid plugins to provide the ultimate customised experience is feasible for your budget, then it is well worth evaluating as an option.

Typically, a migration from Zoho to Salesforce takes 6-12 months, depending on the level of complexity of your data and processes. There is more customisation required on the configuration of Salesforce when compared to HubSpot. Speak to one of our strategists to gain a more accurate timescale for your migration to Salesforce.

Microsoft Dynamics

Businesses may choose Microsoft Dynamics if Hubspot or Salesforce CRM does not suit their requirements. If you have a team with strong experience in Dynamics, and a budget to configure the platform to your requirements, then it is certainly an option worth investigating.

Microsoft Dynamics is most popular with businesses who have the highest level of security requirements, and who have an IT infrastructure to support the platform.

There are no marketing functions built into Microsoft Dynamics. Sales teams who migrate to Microsoft Dynamics often select HubSpot as the marketing automation solution provider for their marketing operations, as HubSpot has a built-in integration for Microsoft Dynamics. This allows a connection to be set up easily between the two systems. Data can flow both ways between HubSpot to Microsoft Dynamics without the need to pay for a developer.

Typically, a migration from Zoho to Microsoft Dynamics can take 6 to12 months depending on the level of complexity of your data and processes. Book in a call with one of our strategists to find out how long your migration could take.

Keys to a success migration from Zoho

The success of a migration from Zoho to any of the CRMs listed here is based on the following factions:

Having a clear measurement of success

If you want your CRM to generate a return, you need to define what that return should look like. Should it be a tool to generate more deals in your sales pipeline? Should it help accelerate deals to close? How much more revenue should it generate per year once it is fully adopted?

Build the CRM to fit your processes

You can purchase any tool you like, but that will never guarantee success. If your CRM is not designed to enable your teams to sell better, it will just become another expensive database gathering dust. Be sure to migrate with a trusted partner who has expertise in that specific platform plus revenue operations.You might decide to invest in consulting to optimise your processes before embarking on a migration, so that you do not migrate your operational inefficiencies into your new CRM.

Enable your team with training

It doesn’t matter how intuitive a CRM is, training is required to build good habits of system usage within your team. Invest in training from day 1, so there isn’t the opportunity for your team to build bad habits that can negatively affect data accuracy and completion.

Change management alongside project management

Alongside the day-to-day management of the migration project, it’s key to keep all stakeholders informed and updated on changes as they are rolled out across the business. When you engage stakeholders throughout the migration process, you’ll see a greater overall adoption of the new processes and systems.

If you are unsure on which platform is best for you - schedule some time to speak to one of our consultants. We’ll review your goals, budget and timelines, and make a recommendation on which would be best for you to evaluate further.

Make your CRM migration a success