For any business seeking a customer relationship management (CRM) solution today, Zendesk is inevitably one of the first options to arise. As one of the most popular CRM platforms currently in use, Zendesk now serves over 160,000 organizations worldwide. However, the widespread adoption of Zendesk CRM masks some key limitations in the platform’s capabilities. This article will examine the pros and cons of Zendesk’s CRM solution, while exploring top alternatives that may be better suited for your specific use case and requirements in 2023.
Why Do Zendesk Alternatives Warrant Consideration?
There are a few factors that prompt many organizations to look beyond Zendesk for their CRM needs:
- Limited customization and configuration options – Zendesk lacks robust low-code/no-code development capabilities. This makes it difficult to customize workflows, fields, and processes without substantial technical expertise.
- Underdeveloped analytics and reporting – While Zendesk provides basic reporting, its analytics capabilities lag behind CRM market leaders. Insights to guide sales and marketing decisions may be lacking.
- Integration and ecosystem limitations – Zendesk offers 250+ app integrations, but some complain of limitations connecting to niche tools or custom systems.
- Unclear roadmap and development – Some analysts critique Zendesk’s CRM roadmap as unfocused and unclear compared to competitors.
While a solid option, Zendesk fails to fully meet the needs of data-driven teams seeking deeper customization and actionable insights from their CRM. Next, we’ll explore leading alternatives that excel in these aspects.
Overview of Top Zendesk Alternatives for 2023
|Number of Ratings*
|Affordability, Ease of Use
|SMBs, Sales Teams
*Ratings from G2 and Capterra as of January 2023.
This analysis will focus on Zendesk’s top four alternatives to evaluate for small, medium, and enterprise organizations.
1. Creatio – Customization and AI Powerhouse
Creatio markets itself as an “idea-to-invoice” CRM platform, spanning marketing, sales, and customer service. Its key strengths include no-code configuration, AI-powered insights, and robust customization for industry-specific use cases.
Some of Creatio’s top features and tools include:
- Drag and drop process designer for no-code workflow automation
- 800+ prebuilt integrations with apps like Mailchimp, Twilio, AWS
- Real-time predictive lead scoring and pipeline analysis
- Intelligent document management with optical character recognition
- Voice/video engagement channels built in
Who it’s best for
Creatio shines for sales and marketing teams who want to:
- Build customized apps and workflows without extensive coding
- Leverage AI to prioritize high-impact sales activities
- View interactive insights across the customer lifecycle
- Tightly integrate industry-specific tools and data sources
- Support complex B2B sales processes
- Less intuitive interface than some CRMs
- Mobile app needs improvement
- Can be overkill for basic sales pipelines
Creatio starts at $25/user/month billed annually. Enterprise pricing is customized.
With excellent flexibility and AI-driven insights, Creatio stands atop the Zendesk alternatives for customization-focused teams.
2. Monday.com – Simple, Affordable CRM
Monday.com is a work OS and project management platform that offers an add-on CRM module. It focuses on excellent ease of use via a spreadsheet-like interface.
As a CRM, Monday.com offers:
- Contact management
- Lead scoring
- Sales pipeline views
- Some reporting and dashboards
- Calendar, email sync, basics
Who it’s best for
Monday.com suits sales teams who want:
- Extremely simple, intuitive interface to manage deals
- Affordable per user pricing tiers
- Integrated project management capabilities
- Easy rollout with little training needed
- Very limited customization and configuration
- Lacks complex sales features like opportunity splitting
- Basic overall CRM feature set
- Advanced reporting requires expensive add-ons
Monday.com starts at $27 per 3 users monthly billed annually.
Monday.com offers simplicity, great UX, and project management integration. But it lacks advanced CRM functionality found in more robust platforms.
3. Freshsales – Intuitive CRM for SMB Sales Teams
Freshsales is a sales-focused CRM tailored for small and midsize businesses. It balances power and simplicity with an intuitive interface.
Key Freshsales features include:
- Lead/contact management
- Visual sales pipeline management
- Built-in phone, email, SMS
- Sales automation workflows
- Advanced segmentation, scoring
- Sales analytics and reporting
Who it’s best for
Freshsales hits the sweet spot for SMB sales teams who need:
- Affordable but still powerful CRM
- Very user-friendly and quick to learn
- Mobile-friendly experience
- Easy to customize and integrate
- Less enterprise-scale capabilities
- Potential performance issues with large data sets
- Support not always timely for some customers
Freshsales starts at $15/user/month billed annually.
For SMBs who find Zendesk lacking but don’t need the complexity of enterprise CRMs, Freshsales balances usability and customization.
4. Salesforce Sales Cloud – The Enterprise CRM Leader
Salesforce Sales Cloud is the undisputed market leader in enterprise CRM, offering tremendous scale, customization, and ecosystem breadth.
Salesforce enables enterprises to:
- Manage every customer touchpoint and moment
- Build complex sales processes, objects, and apps
- Leverage Einstein AI recommendations and insights
- Integrate with thousands of apps on AppExchange
- Support massive data volumes and users
Who it’s best for
Salesforce shines for large teams needing:
- Robust enterprise-grade CRM with extensive features
- Highly customizable platform and ecosystem
- Scalability to support complex processes
- Advanced reporting and analytics
- Very expensive, especially with add-ons
- Not intuitive – long learning curve
- Potential overkill for many SMB/mid-market needs
Salesforce starts at $25/user/month, with enterprise pricing customized.
For large enterprises, Salesforce remains the gold standard CRM with unmatched customization – albeit at premium pricing.
Key Takeaways – Choosing the Best Zendesk Alternative
When evaluating Zendesk alternatives, first consider your team’s size, budget, needed features, and appetite for complexity:
- Creatio – For customization power and AI-driven insights
- Monday.com – If simplicity and ease of use are top priorities
- Freshsales – For intuitive, affordable CRM targeted at SMBs
- Salesforce – For enterprise-scale capabilities and ecosystem
Hopefully this analysis gives you a headstart on finding the right Zendesk alternative to meet your specific CRM requirements. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need additional guidance! Our team would be happy to provide platform evaluations and recommendations based on your use case.