As time tracking is now mandatory in EU countries, it’s important to have a handy tool to record working hours digitally. By recording and visualizing working hours in Salesforce, you can simplify payroll and billing processes.
As a professional, you are probably faced with the temptation to switch out various workflow functions and Software as a Service (SaaS) that your company has been using for a long time.
Change is never a bad thing, however, so long as your replacement is competent and serves your entire team's needs well.
When it comes to your customer relationship management (CRM) needs, you will need a platform with key features that serve all your sales process functions, sales forecasting insights, marketing campaigns, all while facilitating a satisfactory customer experience with a subscription that allows unlimited users.
However, a CRM, or a platform like it, should do more than just help you with your marketing and sales tasks. It should also help you manage and support your employees, meaning that your HR needs are taken care of, too.
Certainly, this professional checklist is extensive, and Salesforce might not be the perfect solution to your sales pipelines' and general professional needs.
Thankfully, there is a wide range of well-regarded CRMs and human resource management software (HRMS) available with excellent sales automation services, advanced features, a variety of HR solutions, and healthy and sustainable customer interactions.
Of course, you don’t necessarily need to part ways with Salesforce if much of your business still effectively flows through the platform. You might just require an HRMS to close the HR-related gap in your operations.
Many sales agents, sales reps, and HR professionals cannot imagine using a cloud-based platform other than Salesforce.
But we're going to explore a wide range of leading CRMs currently available on the market that have affordable user per month subscriptions and make the entire sales and employee management processes manageable and profitable.
You don’t need to be reminded that your employees are vital to your organization. Sadly, many CRMs miss out on the proper management and fulfillment of their employees’ needs in their features and services.
While your CRM of choice might adequately handle all the aspects of your customer and clients’ interactions and greater relationships, how well does it cater to your salespeople and marketers’ needs outside of profit-driven processes?
Of course, many companies and their HR managers rely on CRM services to manage their human capital. This strategy is known as Employee Resource Management (ERM), which is a business process that closes the gaps between employees and their companies to foster lasting professional and emotional relationships.
Then there are human resource management systems (HRMS), like flair, which provide a suite of HR-focused services and features that help HR professionals and managers comprehensively connect with their workforce.
An HRMS’s usage isn’t limited to HR professionals and managers, however, as salespeople and marketers can make full use of features like employee self-service and goal management. These features allow employees to stay in line with their company objectives more autonomously.
New additions to your company can be onboarded more quickly and efficiently with an HRMS to become profitable sales and marketing teams members as soon as possible.
Finally, an HRMS can also provide valuable insights into which of your employees’ efforts and focuses are the most successful and how to improve them further.
Please keep these HR-related points in mind as we go through the best CRMs and HRMS available today!
Before we get into our list of leading Salesforce alternatives, we would like to summarize and list some of the essential features and services that you should look out for in a potential CRM.
1. Contact Syncing
No one likes entering data manually, and this process can rob sales teams of an indefinite number of hours. A competent CRM should automate as many manual processes as possible and allow for the speedy syncing of your calendar and email accounts.
Basically, your CRM of choice should provide you with a single source of truth for all your account data.
2. Full Team Communication
If your CRM does not permit you to communicate effectively with your entire team and across teams, you might be missing out on some crucial communication features.
Being able to notify or tag the relevant team members across channels instantly is essential for receiving as much assistance as needed to complete tasks as quickly as possible.
This kind of efficient communication gives salespeople and marketers an incredible advantage over those that work in isolation.
3. Value For Money
Most CRMs’ subscriptions generally operate with a per user, per month model, meaning that you must pay individually for each of your users’ subscriptions monthly.
As you can imagine (or already know), this type of subscription can lead to serious budgetary concerns. Small- and medium-sized businesses might not see the worth in this costly process, especially if they have to factor in the cost of an HRMS subscription, too. Consider pricing plans when making the final decision on your Salesforce alternative.
4. Custom Reports
The majority of CRMs provide snapshots of your current and past pipeline and sales statistics, but what makes for a truly beneficial analysis is an in-depth and tailored reporting capacity that the relevant parameters can filter. You might want to consider reporting tools and analytics tools such as sales forecasting or hourly planning.
With flair you can centralize these essential documents in a single source and enjoy detailed cross-referencing analysis within a CRM like Salesforce.
5. Team Friendly
Many otherwise well-regarded CRMs have an unfortunate flaw in their design in that they are modeled with only managers in mind. While CRMs are becoming increasingly popular in today’s working world, too many companies have decided to part ways with their platforms as they did not take sales reps’ needs into account. Finding a platform without a steep learning curve can save your team time and money.
A positive CRM implementation allows managers to guide and instruct their employees and support sales and marketing team members with the most arduous or time-consuming tasks.
6. Integratable With an HRMS
We’ve acknowledged that your team members’ needs are vital. Any business-related product must consider your employees’ needs, so it is vital that you integrate your CRM with an HRMS.
Your HR professionals are among the most important members of your company, and they need to be firmly included in your daily business operations so that they can best support your sales reps and marketers.
A leading CRM has an intuitive user interface, powerful features, automation features, and affordable pricing models. Said CRM should also allow for native integration with your other third-party apps and HRMS for maximum sales productivity and employee satisfaction for your marketing and sales teams.
Without further ado, let's explore the leaders in the CRM market that will fill the gaps in your sales cycle left by Salesforce.
Image source: flair.hr
Our first alternative isn’t necessarily a CRM but was built through Salesforce with many professional HR solutions in mind.
flair is a cloud-based human resource management service (HRMS) that is ideal for those that use Salesforce for HR-related processes like timekeeping, recruitment, document management, performance and goals, and document management.
For example, flair’s employee database allows you to store and update your employees’ data in a consolidated and single source for advanced automation and actionable insights.
flair does many things that you wish you could use in a traditional CRM, like planning your salespeople’s shifts, managing crucial documents and data, and onboarding candidates to your marketing and sales teams.
flair allows your entire workforce to sync and collaborate to deliver full support to the areas and team members that need it most. Managers can easily keep track of their employees so that blind spots are a thing of the past.
You can book a demo with flair today to discuss its services and any of the needs you might have.
Image source: ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign is a sales-focused CRM optimized for companies searching for workflow automation solutions, particularly those that take much time to complete, like email marketing, lead prioritization, and contact management.
Speaking of contact management, ActiveCampaign will automatically update your contact data, and you can view your full contacts conversation and interaction history within ActiveCampaign's records.
ActiveCampaign is also a great service for establishing which of your leads deserve the highest level of marketing strategy, thanks to its automatic lead scoring. The CRM makes use of segmentation and win probability to outline your most potentially profitable leads.
You'll also find more than 350 tools within ActiveCampaign's essential features, which will natively integrate into your existing sales data and services.
Image Source: Pipedrive
Pipedrive's core features enhance your sales pipeline management with straightforward visualizations. Your deals can be efficiently organized and customized within your sales pipelines so that your sales funnel is tailored to your needs.
You can also use Pipedrive's more complex tools like reporting features, shareable pipeline goals, and easy-to-make for maximum deal pipeline collaboration.
Pipedrive also works with your email campaigns as you can sync email tracking services like Outlook and Gmail for precise and quick email communication. You can find a single source for your email communications with Pipedrive, along with the rest of your contact data.
Pipeline's additional features include a wide variety of integrations, with more than 200 third-party apps.
Image source: HubSpot
HubSpot's CRM services are geared toward aligning your internal teams, gaining indicative insights, and growth opportunity tracking with a collaboration of the Hubspot Sales Hub, CMS, Service Hub, Marketing Hub, and a sizeable host of integrations.
This marketing tool combination works for sales and marketing teams, customer engagement and service teams, and service processes. You'll also find that HubSpot is a good fit for your business growth, regardless of its size.
HubSpot was designed with accessibility in mind and automates many admin processes like data updates, data entry, and data sync with a customer-centered approach. HubSpot will pleasingly facilitate your customers and their overall experience of your company.
You can also sync your interactions with contacts through HubSpot's contact timeline management system. These management features allow your marketing department and sales representatives to remain on the same page throughout the customizable platform.
Image source: Freshworks
Freshworks aids its user in managing their quotes, tasks, and pipelines. The CRM's collaboration tools and contract management features enable alignment between sales and marketing with clear and united communication.
Automate and streamline processes like lead scoring, activity capture, and email with Freshworks' AI-powered sales assistant. You can also conduct your communications with leads on a single platform, through both email, and phone.
Freshworks provides its users with lead insights that allow for more intelligent determinations of your various contacts' engagement levels. This kind of business intelligence provides individual client contexts so that you can edit your sales activities and pitches with tailored qualities.
Image source: Zoho
Zoho CRM is stocked with lead management features, AI reporting tools and assistance, and dashboard reporting, all to give you a better viewpoint on your most important sales metrics, whether on desktop or its mobile app.
Beyond Zoho's complex features are its webinar and video conference facilitating features that allow for complete virtual communication within the CRM.
On the topic of communication, Zoho's Common Feeds feature simplifies your teams' collaboration needs. With this feature, employees can trade sales dashboards and reports, ask each other questions, and keep everyone across teams updated on the status of deals.
Finally, Zoho lets you tailor your notifications so that you can speedily engage with high-value consumers whenever they engage with your company.
7. Zendesk Sell
Image source: Zendesk
You might be surprised to see Zendesk on this CRM-focused list, but the customer support software company also has Zendesk Sell for your consideration. This CRM improves productivity while automating many of your mundane tasks.
Zendesk Sell provides a clear view of your sales procedures with personalized pipelines and is ideal for companies that would like to streamline their customer service and sales teams.
A good example of a situation that Zendesk Sell is geared toward is when a customer service agent is helping a customer who begins asking about your business's new product. The customer service agent can then pass this conversation onto a sales rep, all through Zendesk.
Zendesk Sell doesn’t just streamline your team's operations, but it also enables a smoother customer experience with seamless sales cycles.
Image source: Thryv
Our next CRM, Thryv, is ideally suited for small businesses. Thryv blends marketing and sales automation with reputation management and centralizes your contacts with straightforward tracking, searching, and tagging.
Thryv will highlight where your leads came from so that you can engage with them in their natural settings. The CRM's secure customer portal allows clients to make payments, contact your team, and send files.
This clear communication and interaction channel will significantly reduce your company's reliance on other related tools.
9. NetHunt CRM
Image source: NetHunt
NetHunt CRM brings an original spin on the CRM business with its total integration with its users' Gmail accounts. To put it simply, the entirety of your CRM functions and data can be combined with your Gmail account.
This email and CRM fusion allows you to inspect and manage your email tracking, client details, deal opportunities, and email campaigns from the accessible comfort of your CRM.
NetHunt CRM's integrations extend beyond Gmail, and you can also combine your extended Google Workspace apps. Further, the CRM is stocked with various frequently used services like forecasting, reporting and analytics, and follow-up automation.
Image source: Less Annoying CRM
Going on this CRM's name alone, you can imagine that Less Annoying CRM aims to simplify this type of service's overall experience.
Less Annoying CRM is ideally suited for small businesses, allowing their employees to better manage their contacts and effectively track their leads and foster better relationships with customers.
Less Annoying CRM users will enjoy its basic plan and having their contact information consolidated in a singular dashboard where they can also include tasks, notes, events, files, and other marketing automation services.
This CRM will also provide its users with a calendar, through which they can integrate Google Calendar, and the tasks that they need to keep up to date with, as well as any pertinent communications and lead follow-ups.
Less Annoying CRM ensures that you effectively manage your leads and conversations by ranking these points of contact by priority, along with detailed individual contact information and the relevant history.
Image source: Microsoft Dynamics
Next up, we have Microsoft’s self-titled ERP and CRM software, Microsoft Dynamics, which provides campaign management through the cloud, social insights, and business intelligence (BI).
You can decide whether you want to host Microsoft Dynamics, set it up physically in your company premises or on the cloud.
Microsoft’s CRM also provides various apps that can be integrated into the greater service while aiding you with customer relationships, through mobile if needed.
You can also make the most out of AI-delivered insights with Microsoft Dynamics while gathering more qualified leads and understanding your customer base better.
These insights are based on impressively thorough demographic, behavioral, transactional, engagement, and feedback data for the highest credibility and actionable accuracy possible.
12. Bitrix24 CRM
Image source: Bitrix24
Bitrix24 CRM is a good choice if you would like a CRM that tracks your dealings with customers, leads, contacts, and partners. This CRM will update and store your customer-related data in its database.
You can simply make and share contacts and reports while segmenting your target customers with Bitrix24 CRM.
You can distribute your incoming contacts across your sales reps to ensure that everyone enjoys a constant working relationship. Bitrix24 CRM’s Activity Steam feature allows you to make phone calls, write down notes, email important contacts, arrange meetings, and organize tasks, all within its platform.
You can also decide between a personal server or the cloud-based running of this CRM.
Image source: Salesflare
Last but not least, we have Salesflare, a straightforward CRM geared toward B2B-focused small businesses. This CRM presents a visual pipeline feature that updates salespeople regarding their incoming objectives to ensure their prospects don’t slip by unnoticed.
Salesflare provides its users with as much contact data as possible, including emails, previous communications, social media profiles, and email signatures, while automating your record updating process to ensure complete and instant access to this essential information.
You can also connect your smartphone to your calendar with Salesflare to log and manage your customer and lead arrangements like calls and meetings.
Now that we’ve explored some of the best Salesforce alternatives, we should establish which CRMs and HRMS integrate in the most natural and beneficial ways.
flair is a dynamic and customizable HRMS that centralizes employees’ processes while expediting the recruitment process built through Salesforce and can naturally integrate with the CRM.
The HRMS’s mobile app and web-based dashboard allow for an accessible and advanced way for employees to complete their admin tasks like keeping track of crucial documents, organizing their leave, and time tracking.
flair allows you to integrate as many of your HR procedures as needed with the Salesforce ecosystem and other Software as a Service (SaaS) that you might use. One good example of flair’s functionality within Salesforce is wielding data from the Sales Cloud to automatically calculate your employees’ bonuses before including them in payroll cycles.
2. Sage People And Sage CRM
Sage has come a long way in the three decades since its accounting software origins. The Sage system now provides various products to varyingly sized businesses throughout numerous functional areas.
You can install your own data center with Sage or host through a cloud network. Sage also provides the option of partnering with a service provider with 24/7 support.
3. Xero And Insightly
Xero and Insightly are individual businesses that are impressively aligned in their integration capacity. While Insightly works well as a traditional CRM, it also provides rarely enjoyed integrations with Microsoft Outlook, Quickbooks, and Google Docs.
Xero, on the other hand, is a capable accounting and payroll software with a solid working relationship with Insightly.
When it comes to historic ERPs, SAP is one of the oldest known to businesspeople, with over four decades of operation.
SAP’s CRM tools provide powerful analytics and flexible customer profiles. SuccessFactors was recently acquired by SAP, meaning that its cloud-based payroll processing now functions across more than 40 nations.
SAP and its HR functionalities are a decent choice for multinationals.
5. Salesforce And Workday
Salesforce and Workday enjoy an intimately strategic relationship with a high level of alignment.
Salesforce and Workday’s integration will allow you to enjoy seamless payroll functionality with an original kind of integration that handles many of your HR needs, even if Workday misses out on many of flair’s features.
Modern technology has made all our lives easier, and the advancements and integrations between today’s business software and services make our daily working lives more manageable, productive, and profitable.
It might seem tricky to land the most powerful and supportive relationship between your CRM, ERM, and HRMS of choice, but we hope that this comprehensive Salesforce alternatives and integrations guide helped.
Regardless of the services you land on, please ensure that your individual HR professionals’ and sales and marketing teams' needs will be satisfied.