A Full Zoho CRM Review for 2024

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Our Verdict

Zoho CRM offers insane value for money, great customization, and a free forever plan

Zoho CRM is a highly-rated solution and one of few to offer a free plan for 3 users. Beyond this, it offers several competitively priced paid plans to accommodate various needs and budgets. Overall, the feature-to-price value is high, and you get over 800 integrations.

We’d highly recommend it to anyone after a budget CRM loaded with functionality, including mass email and automation — that said, depending on your technical knowledge, some do find the software has a learning curve. Some users also have trouble integrating with third-party apps, and there are mixed reviews on Zoho’s customer support.

Pros

  • Competitively priced
  • Offers a free forever plan
  • Boasts a wide range of features
  • Great customization
  • Strong overall reputation

Cons

  • Has a learning curve
  • Mixed customer support reviews
  • Integration can be challenging

In this Zoho CRM review, we explore its pros and cons, pricing, and key features, along with its reputation and how it compares to other leading CRM solutions because despite it being a popular tool, it’s not the best choice for every business.

Zoho CRM Pricing

Zoho CRM is one of the few to offer a free plan, and you have ample paid plans to choose from, in addition to CRM Plus and Flex, which can be used to unify sales, service, and marketing.

Here’s a quick overview of the 4 core paid plans on offer, all of which offer a 15-day free trial:

Standard Professional Enterprise Ultimate
Starting Price (Annual) $14/user/month $23/user/month $40/user/month $52/user/month
Basic modules
Free Trial Period
Multiple Currencies 5 10 25 50
Macros
Multiple Scoring Rules
Custom Sales Signals
Data Entry Wizards
Advanced Automation
Advanced Product Customization
Translations
AI
Customer Support Priority Support
Free Plan - $0

Free Plan – $0

Besides being rare in the CRM realm, the Zoho CRM free plan boasts some really handy features spanning sales, client, and even product management.

This plan also supports integrations and provides cloud storage at no cost. That said, while Zoho CRM Free is a powerful tool, it only meets basic operational needs due to these limitations:

  • Limited to 3 users
  • Standard reporting
  • 1GB storage
  • Capped at 2 profiles and roles

That said, we were impressed to see that automation is included. You can automate 5 daily tasks at no cost. This is rare, even on some paid starter plans.

Standard Plan - $14/user/month

Standard Plan – $14/user/month

This plan is great for small businesses that don’t have advanced CRM demands. It’s cost-efficient and boasts some impressive automation capabilities alongside unlimited users.

Here are other standouts for this plan:

  • Standard lead management tools, including lead scoring
  • Basic contact and account management
  • Mass email, 100+ templates, + email notification automation
  • Sales forecasting + custom dashboards and reports
  • 2,500 workflow rules + 5 scheduled actions for automation

That said, the storage is the same as the free plan. So, if you’re a large business, you’ll want to consider a higher-end plan.

Pro Plan - $23/user/month

Pro Plan – $23/user/month

Medium and large enterprises will appreciate this plan. It includes all the features of the free and Standard plan and also supports unlimited users. Here are some of the key features of this plan:

  • Sales activity notifications
  • Blueprint process editor for sales reps
  • Webhooks to connect third-party apps
  • Automated validation rules to keep data clean
  • Unlimited custom reports and dashboards
  • Schedule mass emails (500/day)
  • Inventory management

While more capable than the predecessors, this plan still lacks features like lead segmentation, email scheduling, multiple scoring rules, and email autoresponders, for example.

A real standout of this plan is the Blueprint process management feature — a tool that helps you track the lifecycle of your entire sales process, a must-have for sales reps.

Enterprise Plan - $40/user/month

Enterprise Plan – $40/user/month

This plan is the most popular. Besides offering everything from the previous plans, it also boasts advanced AI tools for automation, making it a top choice for streamlining your processes.

The key standout is the Zia AI assistant, an intelligent AI tool that’ll help you navigate a wide array of CRM tasks, including automating mundane tasks and even predicting sales outcomes.

Beyond this, here are some of the other features that make this plan worth every penny:

  • Territory-based forecasts
  • Advanced workflow capabilities
  • Custom modules (for navigation)
  • Multiple lead-scoring rules
  • Lead segmentation capabilities
  • Advanced analytics

This plan also has an email autoresponder, meaning you’ll be able to send targeted campaigns, trigger follow-ups based on their interactions, and similar. It also offers priority customer support.

Ultimate Plan - $52/user/month

Ultimate Plan – $52/user/month

This plan is the epitome of an Enterprise CRM. Although most of the features are already in the Enterprise plan, there are a couple of factors, namely higher limits, that make this plan stand out.

For starters, you get a higher limit for mass email campaigns2,000 a day, up from the 1,000 on offer with the Enterprise plan. AI Zia also has added functionality, including data enrichment.

Instead of the 1,000 records/user that you can enrich on the Enterprise plan, this plan offers double that. This allows you to better segment your customers to boost campaign success.

With this plan, you’ll also get 100 blueprints (double what’s on offer with the Enterprise plan) for automating your sales process.

Zoho CRM’s Key Features

Zoho CRM has more on offer than what we can cover here. As such, we’ll be exploring the core ones we noted during our testing for this Zoho review.

Lead Management

Lead Management contact dashboard.

Zoho CRM´s lead management is a top highlight in Zoho reviews. Through a centralized dashboard, it offers everything you need to automate lead workflows, from email campaigns to drip sequences.

We found that the lead management capabilities seamlessly integrate with the deal management tools, account (and contact) management, and partner portals, too.

Teams can also capture leads from multiple sources, including websites, forms, emails, and social media. Plus, as you’d expect, you can also prioritize leads based on potential.

Sales Force Automation

While Zoho CRM´s advanced automation tools can only be accessed with the higher-end plans, with these features, you can automate routine sales, marketing, and any other repetitive task.

You can create optimized workflows that automatically eliminate double entries and errors, for example, or prevent the need for manual data entry and increase overall process speed.

Sales force automation also handles email, phone, social media, and customer portal communications. We found this all worked pretty smoothly. The sales pipeline visualization is also quite intuitive.

We could track deals throughout stages and use analytics for insight into challenges and opportunities. From here, you can forecast sales and get inventory predictions based on current activities.

Journey Builder

Zoho's order shipment journey

With this popular Zoho CRM feature, you can personalize, design, and visualize end-to-end customer journeys with simple drag-and-drop functions. Each stage of the journey can be automated, too.

This is key to creating meaningful customer experiences, but one other thing we noted is that you can also track customer journeys in real-time to know where each one is in your pipeline.

Beyond this, you can set trigger messages and actions for any platform, analyze performance, and adjust if needed.

Advanced CRM Central Dashboard

Zoho CRM not only stands out from the competition by offering a truly feature-rich platform. The company also strives to provide customers with a 360-degree view of all their data and operations.

From the dashboard, you can track interactions, emails, calls, notes, and meetings, amongst others, for a good overview of all client interactions with your business.

We were impressed to find that you can also personalize products to deliver targeted content and offers based on customer data or segment customer groups based on shared characteristics.

Canvas

Canvas template example

A truly unique Zoho CRM feature is Canvas. With this, you can truly personalize and customize your CRM dashboards. In fact, you can design your own CRM with the built-in CRM design studio.

We found that all this entails is dragging and dropping items and products that you want to feature without needing a line of code. This somewhat reminded us of our time reviewing Systeme.io.

You can modify fields, buttons, and lists or change colors and templates in just a few clicks. You can choose what data to include, control what others see, and find inspiration in the Canvas gallery.

Business Analytics and Reporting

Reports and Analytics dashboard with highlighted predictions.

Zoho’s business analytics offer impressive capabilities, though, as we found when reviewing Pipedrive, for example, mastering them requires slightly more effort than with some others.

Popular analytics and reporting Zoho CRM features include:

  • Forecasting reports used to predict future events
  • Territory Management to visualize and manage different regions
  • Multiple currencies support which unifies international sales

The company also offers AI prediction business reports to monitor, understand, and plan for the future based on real-time data. Beyond all this, you can also:

  • Generate customizable reports to metrics like sales performance
  • Visualize your pipeline or customer data in neat dashboards
  • Identify trends to make better decisions for your campaigns

Zoho CRM Integrations

When it comes to integrations, the list that Zoho CRM offers is extremely long (800+). That said, the most popular ones, including Outlook and Google Calendar, are easy to set up, configure, and use.

As we’ll see in the section below, other integrations are a common complaint Zoho CRM receives. Before we dive into that, here are some of the many popular integration options available:

  • Google Workspace
  • Microsoft 365x
  • SMS-Magic
  • Zoho Meeting and Webinar
  • Intuit Quickbooks
  • Adobe sign
  • Google Ads

As far as options are concerned, Zoho stands strong among its top rivals. 800+ is more than enough than what we found in our Agile CRM review, for example, which only offers 40+.

Zoho CRM Customer Reviews

While Zoho CRM reviews are mixed, overall, they’re positive, similar to what we found in our Zendesk review. For example, on G2, it’s rated 4/5, with many loving how easy it is to use.

While we do agree that Zoho CRM’s basic features are easy to use, this isn’t the case for some of the advanced features on higher-end plans. Poor customer support is another common complaint on G2.

G2 Zoho CRM customer review screenshot.

As is the challenging integration of third-party apps. That said, it has a slightly higher rating on Gartner (4.3/5). With 83% saying they’d recommend the product.

The biggest focus in these reviews is how Zoho CRM helps streamline daily operations, improving lead management, marketing, and sales workflows.

Gartner Peer Insight customer review screenshot.

On the other hand, customers here, too, complain about the learning curve, saying that despite its powerful and abundant features it can be tricky to set up, configure, customize, and operate.

Overall, Zoho isn’t perfect — no solution is, but it is a reputable CRM provider that offers businesses ample functionality at a competitive price point.

What is Zoho CRM Good for?

Zoho CRM excels as an advanced CRM platform offering affordable solutions for any-sized business. Small companies on a budget can benefit from the Free and Standard plan, for example.

Larger companies usually get the Enterprise plan. Regardless of the plan, there’s a lot to love in terms of streamlining your processes for lead generation, automation, and pipeline management.

The analytics are also incredibly intuitive and valuable for businesses of all sizes, as are the vast integration options. However, it’s not as easy to use as other services.

We’ve learned in our Monday CRM review, for example, that Zoho has a similar learning curve to Salesforce. Nevertheless, it’s undoubtedly powerful, and it offers incredible value for money.

Zoho CRM vs Top Competitors

Zoho CRM is affordable and feature-rich, but it’s not the best solution for everyone. To help you decide, here’s how it compares to the best Zoho CRM alternatives:

Feature Zoho CRM Monday CRM Salesforce Pipedrive HubSpot Act! CRM
Best For All-in-one CRM Visual sales pipeline Large companies Deal-focused sales teams Marketing automation Small & mid-sized companies
Starting Price (Annual) $14/user/month $24/user/month $25/user/month $12.50/user/month $18/ month $30/user/month
Free Version Free (3 users) Free (2 users) 14-day trial Free tools 14-day trial
Top 3 Features Sales Force automation, process management, autoresponders Unlimited free viewers, 200+ templates, roadmap planning 3,000+ integrations, Einstein AI, lead activity tracking Performance monitoring, 350+ integrations, email scheduling Free tools, CMS, shared inbox (200) Automated workflows, industry-specific templates, lead segmentation

Zoho CRM vs HubSpot

Zoho CRM and HubSpot cater to distinct business needs. Zoho shines with affordability, extensive features, and flexible customization, making it ideal for sales-focused teams.

It offers tools like inventory management and project management, but its interface can be complex for some users. HubSpot, on the other hand, excels in marketing automation and lead nurturing.

Its collaboration tools make it perfect for teams blending sales CRM capabilities and marketing efforts. While its free plan is generous, HubSpot can be more expensive than Zoho, particularly for large teams.

Ultimately, choosing between Zoho and HubSpot depends on what your focus is on, the features you want, and the price you’re willing to pay for them.

Zoho CRM vs Salesforce

Both are big players in the CRM landscape. Zoho CRM shines with its cost-effectiveness, offering tiered pricing with a free plan and lower starting costs compared to Salesforce.

This, coupled with its broad feature set, including inventory management, project management, and extensive customization options, makes Zoho attractive for budget-conscious businesses.

It’s also a solid small business CRM for startups seeking an all-in-one solution. On the other hand, Salesforce excels in catering to large enterprises with complex needs.

It boasts advanced analytics, reporting, and industry-specific solutions, alongside impressive scalability for growing businesses. Salesforce is also known for its powerful AI capabilities.

Compared to the 800+ integrations on offer with Zoho, Salesforce offers over 3,000, although, in terms of usability, both have reviews highlighting their high learning curves.

Zoho CRM vs Pipedrive

Zoho CRM offers an all-in-one approach at a cost-effective price point, with tiered plans including a free option for limited users. However, the interface can be complex to navigate for some users.

On the other hand, Pipedrive prioritizes simplicity and sales pipeline management. Its interface, with drag-and-drop functionality and clear deal stages, fosters intuitive pipeline management.

Pipedrive masters sales forecasting and automation, too, with robust tools for predicting outcomes and streamlining repetitive tasks, making it ideal for sales-focused teams who prioritize ease of use.

That said, Pipedrive’s feature set is narrower compared to Zoho, lacking built-in tools like inventory management or advanced marketing automation.

Is Zoho CRM Worth it?

Zoho CRM certainly deserves a spot on the shortlist of any business seeking a customer relationship management solution. Its vast feature set and flexibility stand out as key strengths.

With a free plan and ample scalable paid plans, it caters to budgets of all sizes, making it particularly attractive for startups and growing businesses.

Its functionality extends beyond sales pipeline management, too. It offers marketing automation, and even inventory and project management, offering an all-in-one solution for many needs.

However, this comes at the cost of complexity, as its interface may require a steeper learning curve compared to more streamlined options, like Monday CRM, for example.

How We Test CRM Services

At Techopedia, we understand that trust is fundamental when choosing the right tools for your business. For 13+ years, we’ve been your guiding voice in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

As such, for our reviews, we don’t simply skim the surface. Our rigorous testing process delves deep into the heart of each CRM, extracting its true potential and, of course, its pitfalls.

We test their ease of use and features, including lead management, pipeline management, forecasting, reporting, and integrations, to ensure we offer the insight you need to make an informed decision.

But our expertise doesn’t stop there. We value a holistic approach, incorporating insights from other users online to ensure we deliver a multi-layered perspective of each CRM.

How to Choose the Best CRM Solution

Before deciding on the best CRM for your business, it’s important to take a moment to assess your needs. Here are some key factors to consider before you make the decision:

Price and FeaturesScalabilityUser-FriendlinessIntegrationsCustomer Support

Don’t get swept away by feature overload. Determine your core CRM needs and find a plan that offers them within your budget. Be mindful of feature lock-in with higher tiers.

Consider your future growth. Opt for a platform that scales gracefully alongside your business. Analyze cost increases as you onboard more users and access additional features.

A steep learning curve can cripple adoption. Choose a CRM with an intuitive interface and user-friendly navigation, or make sure your team has the skills required by advanced platforms.

It’s essential to evaluate available integrations, particularly when your company is already using certain tools. Remember, some might be exclusive to specific plans, and not all of them are easy to set up.

Even the best CRM apps need occasional attention. Check the available support channels, hours of operation, and user reviews to gauge the quality and responsiveness of the provider’s assistance.

FAQs

What are the disadvantages of Zoho CRM?

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References

Ray Fernandez
Senior Technology Journalist
Ray Fernandez
Senior Technology Journalist

Ray is an independent journalist with 15 years of experience, focusing on the intersection of technology with various aspects of life and society. He joined Techopedia in 2023 after publishing in numerous media, including Microsoft, TechRepublic, Moonlock, Hackermoon, VentureBeat, Entrepreneur, and ServerWatch. He holds a degree in Journalism from Oxford Distance Learning and two specializations from FUNIBER in Environmental Science and Oceanography. When Ray is not working, you can find him making music, playing sports, and traveling with his wife and three kids.