Sprint and Customer Retention
False Choices: The Challenges for the Product Manager

Alternatives to Salesforce.com

I used salesforce.com in my last company and liked it a lot.   Lots of community activity for help and some very nice features.   So of course when we needed a CRM for a new company I talked to them.   The version you want is about $50 / month per user ($600 per year).   With a sales force of 70 people, I gulped.  And don't forget, no matter what you have, you have to spend a lot of quality time setting it up and training.  Otherwise it's nothing more than a glorified contact manager.

I also remember using Sugarcrm in the past, so installed the free system on my hosted server.   It was pretty ill behaved during installation (especially figuring out chmod access rights) but I got it installed.   Took me a couple of days and some php tinkering.  But a pretty sophisticated system when done.  Problem was, when you run it, it's kind of a pig and pretty slow response time.

update:  There is a new version of Sugarcrm.  I hosted it on TMDhosting for $46 / year.  And it's fast.  They install it for you in an hour or two.

Aa Then I found a derivative of sugarcrm called vTiger.   Took me literally 5 minutes to install on a hosting site including setting up a MySql server instance.   And it's fast.  However you do lose even a little more functionality in some areas, but really nice modules for thunderbird, outlook, word and even a webform which automatically populates leads.  

To save time and performance, do a web search of "web hosting sugarcrm" and you will find companies which will run (and even setup) your entire system for $70 a year, for all your users.   And if then can run sugarcrm they can run vTiger. 

But like I said, the big thing is setting up your system.  No matter what your CRM, you have many business decisions to make.  More on that later.

Comments

German Gomez

You should take a look at http://www.myriadsuite.com . they have a decent range of applications that go well beyond your simple CRM. I heard good things about them and the membership fees are ridiculous.

brucefryer

Better, but that's still $240 / user a year. For 40 users that's $9,600 which is a lot more than $78.

German Gomez

True, but the pricing is role based (try the membership calculator (http://www.myriadsuite.com/portal/MyriadApp/Pricing/tabid/103/language/en-US/Default.aspx)) so it might be less than 9600$ depending on the modules the users really use... Anyway, I agree that your 78$ solution is appealing but hosting your own CRM can be a hassle when it comes to support and upgrades. Basically it all depends what your needs are, what technical knowledge you have and what risk you are willing to take. Bottom line, most of the time, you get what you pay for. :)

Btw, thanks for the tip on vTiger, I didn't know the product.

twitter.com/martyzigman

I suggest NetSuite as a viable alternative. If you only need CRM, it is competitively priced to Salesforce. More importantly, once the customer commits, you have full ERP capacities. It too is a PaaS (Platform as a Service), like SalesForce.

We have written a number of good articles on our blog about the challenges of CRM implementations especially as it comes to data cleanliness. http://blog.prolecto.com

Bahtishka

I am know using WorkforceTrack ERP tool which has CRM features in it. I found it very cost efficient which is about 5$ per user per month. The most surprising side is you do not have to pay separately for every section, but this 5$ is for hole system.
In addition,the system is fully integrated with Google and Microsoft applications. http://app.workforcetrack.com

Ray Stoeckicht

You may want to look at Intelecrm. It is very similar to Saleforce.com and SugarCRM. The application follows the same user interface construct and flows identically. It has some "back office" capabilities such as order management (quotes, products, sales orders, invoices, shipping/receiving). There is a flat fee pricing model that allows for unlimited users. It is extremely cost effective for larger implementations and especially for 25+ users.

There is a whitepaper that compares Intelecrm, SugarCRM, and Salesforce.com: http://www.intelestream.net/en/whitepapers/sugarcrm-versus-salesforce-com-and-intelecrm-applications.html

Ben Hudson

Merxcore llc has just gone live on their new CRM. Its a really simple Hosted Solution. It's mainly targeted toward smaller businesses but there are some cool features. You can demo it and even have a 1 month free trial.

http://www.merxcore.com/

Dave Spain

Hey Bruce,

I've bumped into this article a week ago when I was looking for a salesforce alternative and it stayed open in my browser.

First, I'm a long time fan of your writing.

Second, I wanted to introduce PipeJump which is another Salesforce alternative that a company called Future Simple built and that I chose to use.

As you mentioned - you've used Salesforce before so you'll be able to easily see how better it is:

www.futuresimple.com/salesforce-alternative

Thanks!

Dave Spain

Sorry - the link didn't work: http://www.futuresimple.com/salesforce-alternative

Nick Johnson

I`ve used Salesforce.com for almost a year. However, sue to some financial conditions, I had to switch to another software. I chose kpi.com

It has several business tools including inter=grations with Google Apps, Mobile devices and others. I`m able to use Project management tool, CRM, HR Management tool, Payroll, Accounting and other tools.

I hope you find it useful.

Thanks for the article!

Best Regards,

Nick Johnson

The comments to this entry are closed.