Alternative to Salesforce – Meet Zendesk Sell

Posted by | February 18, 2018 | Marketing Advice | No Comments

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.

Sample of my automated task

  • 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.

Schedule your free 30 minute marketing call. Contact David Today!