Alternative to Salesforce - Meet Zendesk Sell

Posted by David Chism | Sun, Feb 18, 2018

 Alternative to Salesforce - Meet Zendesk Sell
Updat­ed Nov 2018: Base changed their name to Zen­desk Sell Sales­force con­tin­ues to be a strong leader in Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment (CRM) for many medi­um and large com­pa­nies. I still hear a lot of chat­ter from com­pa­nies look­ing to switch for many rea­sons. Some­times it has to do with sav­ing mon­ey or that they just need some­thing that is eas­i­er to use. I have used many CRMs over the years to see how they work and rec­om­mend the ones I feel are the bet­ter choice for my clients and busi­ness­es I meet in per­son or online. I still log in to quite a few plat­forms to run mar­ket­ing and sales reports and keep tabs on how CRM pro­grams look and feel. In this arti­cle, I’ll point those of you inter­est­ed in the one I use and rec­om­mend the most: Zen­desk Sell CRM (refer­ral link).Zen­desk Sell has been around since 2009, and I believe I first start­ed test­ing it around 2010. Zen­desk Sell was an ear­ly adapter to build­ing one of the best mobile apps, start­ing with the iPhone. It was then I became hooked and start­ed using it myself. It also helped to be a con­sul­tant, because Zen­desk Sell made me a refer­ral part­ner. They have kept me up to date on their prod­uct and allowed me to use their prod­uct for my com­pa­ny. I get to test and use Zen­desk Sell with all of its fea­tures, which gives me a strong work­ing knowl­edge of this CRM. I have ties to oth­er CRMs too, not just Zen­desk Sell. For the sake of this arti­cle, I’m giv­ing folks a strong push to switch to Zen­desk if they are look­ing for a Sales­force alter­na­tive.

Built for the Small, Medi­um & Large Companies 

Zen­desk Sell built their prod­uct for all sizes com­pa­nies, though in recent years have tar­get­ed larg­er com­pa­nies to use their prod­uct. Zen­desk Sell Cor­po­rate is mak­ing updates and new fea­tures to go head to head against Sales­force. I work with small to medi­um size busi­ness­es, and I think it works great for any size busi­ness.


The pric­ing starts at $19 per user. So if you are a start­up com­pa­ny, that would be your month­ly expense to use the desk­top and mobile app. It is a great way to get start­ed using a CRM. As your com­pa­ny and staff grow, you will need more and more fea­tures to help run the sales cycle. Zen­desk Sell pric­ing for more fea­tures is $49 – 99 (Pro­fes­sion­al & Enter­prise) range a month per user. Most of my clients will stay at that lev­el with maybe 2 – 5 users. Final­ly, if your busi­ness needs all the fea­tures and you have many sales reps, you will need their top of the line prod­uct which is $199 a month per user. What they call the Elite ver­sion geared for call cen­ters, door to door sales, soft­ware com­pa­nies, and so forth. If you are a small busi­ness and love ana­lyt­ics and track­ing, then you will also enjoy the ben­e­fits of the Enter­prise ver­sion too. 

Key Fea­tures of Zen­desk Sell CRM

  • Inte­grates well with Out­look, G Suites or Exchange (You can send/​receive emails with­in Zen­desk Sell too. All your com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a prospect or cus­tomer are tracked with­in the CRM)
  • The mobile app for Android and iPhone are the best in the busi­ness: I just have not seen a bet­ter mobile app on the mar­ket. I could get by run­ning most of my sales with­out a desk­top or lap­top com­put­er. So if I am a mobile sales guy, I have no excuse to plu­g­in my data. Sell makes the entire process a no-brain­er. The mobile fea­ture is per­haps the #1 rea­son I’ve become a big fan of Sell over Salesforce.
  • Inte­grates with many oth­er well-known cloud pro­grams and Zapi­er: Some of the inte­gra­tions you’ll find in Zen­desk Sell are Drop­box, Hub­spot, Mailchimp, Xero, Google Dri­ve, Pan­daDocs, Face­book and so forth. You can also use Zapi­er to con­nect many oth­er apps to talk to Sell.
  • Easy to Read Sales and Oth­er Help­ful Reports: Review sales, goals, sources, fore­cast sales, com­par­i­son and much more with easy to view and inter­ac­tive reports.
Com­plete CRM: Zen­desk Sell does an excel­lent job from the begin­ning of a con­tact (Lead), through the entire sales process. It is easy to see where you are at, at a giv­en time in the process. The inter­face with­in Zen­desk Sell is so much clear­er and more sim­pli­fied than Sales­force. I always found it was hard­er to run reports and more com­fort­able” to get lost with­in Sales­force. [cap­tion id=“attachment_3795” align=“alignleft” width=“400”] Sam­ple of my auto­mat­ed task[/caption]
  • Make, Receive and Record Sales Calls on the Desk­top and Mobile Apps 
  • Auto­mate Task, Emails and Sales Process: This is anoth­er one of my favorite tools. The process is easy to set­up and use. There are a few fea­tures that still need some work, but over­all it works well. 
    • Basi­cal­ly, you can cre­ate your ide­al sales process from start to fin­ish. When you move a deal from a dis­cov­ery stage, for exam­ple, you can cre­ate a series of tasks asso­ci­at­ed with that stage. You can also cre­ate email tem­plates for stages of your sales pipeline. Why rein­vent the wheel. If some­thing works, make a sys­tem for it. You can cus­tom the emails to make them more per­son­al too.
  • Cre­ate a Prod­uct Pric­ing Cat­a­log for your Sales Staff — sort of a cheat sheet for your team.
  • See an Inter­ac­tive Map of your Prospects and Cus­tomers: Anoth­er favorite fea­ture of mine. Inter­ac­tive map­ping works amaz­ing. It is a Google map that is always updat­ed. If your team is on the go a lot, this is a pow­er­ful tool. I am a big fan of sales­peo­ple tak­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty to prospect on their own, giv­ing them no excuse won­der­ing what they can be work­ing on at a giv­en time.
  • Let­ting You Know if a Sale is in Dan­ger of Being Lost: You’ll get a noti­fi­ca­tion if you get an email from a prospect that does not sound pos­i­tive. You can then make that a pri­or­i­ty to see if you can find a way to close the deal.
There are many more fea­tures that can I could share. If you have a spe­cif­ic ques­tion, mes­sage me about it. If I do not know, I can get one of the guys at Zen­desk Sell to answer it. I am not a firm believ­er that there is just one CRM that works for every com­pa­ny. There are many fan­tas­tic prod­ucts on the mar­ket. I am just impressed with some of the fea­tures in Sell that I shared above and how easy it is for me to use in my own busi­ness. Zen­desk Sell has a lot more up their sleeve that I did not dis­cuss. If you are a medi­um to large size com­pa­ny, check out their oth­er prod­ucts that can help your com­pa­ny grow and be more profitable.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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