This post is part five from my company blog detailing my history with CRM. You can start here if you can’t sleep and want to read the first four parts. This post specifically deals with how I found Zoho CRM and how it compared with some of the CRM industry leaders.
I did not want to make the same mistake twice. We looked in depth at all the viable CRM apps currently available. At one point I realized that we should have just bitten the bullet and stayed with NetSuite. The $200K we lost with Oasis CRM would have covered us for five years with NetSuite. I am fond of saying the two biggest mistakes I have made in business were going with NetSuite and leaving NetSuite. Kind of like buying a boat I guess.
The short list was narrowed down to Microsoft CRM, Salesforce.com, Entellium CRM and ZOHO CRM.
I looked at MS CRM a year ago and I could not get my head around it. It needed a lot of hardware and middleware and it really looked like more of a CRM platform than a CRM solution. Everything had to be customized to get any functionality out of it. We took another look at it this year and pretty much all agreed that it still was not right for our business.
I implemented Salesforce for a non-profit that I volunteer for. In general very good software but in order to get the full solution we were going to have to integrate with three other vendors for campaign integration, accounting integration and proposals. Not only was that getting very expensive it was going to be a very tippy boat trying to get all that implemented. As a straight CRM app it really stands at the top of the heap
Entellium seemed to be a solid middle ground product. The UI looked kind of weird but seemed to be very functional and they had some sort of early beta of a QuickBooks interface. It also seemed to be fairly priced for the functionality.
I first looked at ZOHO CRM to use for the non-profit I work with because of the price. At the time $12 per user/month after the third user. About two weeks into the ZOHO CRM implementation for the non-profit was approved for a free, one year 10 seat Enterprise Salesforce account that we had applied for a month ago. I abandoned ZOHO CRM because we were just handed 11K worth of enterprise class software from the industry’s leading vendor. ZOHO CRM was too cheap to be any good anyway.
As I was implementing Salesforce for the non-profit I realized that it was very similar to ZOHO CRM. At one point I started implementing a feature in Salesforce and then I would try and implement the same feature in ZOHO CRM. ZOHO CRM matched Salesforce feature for feature but for the most part the ZOHO implementation was easier and cleaner.
I will post a more in-depth comparison between all of the platforms but to the end the history lesson we decided to implement ZOHO CRM for D-Tools and I just abandoned the free Salesforce account for the non-profit and re-implimented ZOHO CRM for them.
Adam Stone is a Zoho CRM customer and CEO/Founder of D-Tools Software.