Freshsales Alternatives: 6 Apps to Elevate Your Sales Process
Saying, "Every sales team needs CRM software," is kind of like saying, "The sky is blue."
It's totally obvious, barely even worth mentioning. Sales reps must have access to reliable customer relationship management tools. How else will they track, nurture, and close leads?
But here's the thing: not every CRM solution is created equal. Some, like HubSpot, can get wildly expensive. Others, like Pipedrive, are fairly priced and easy to use, but don't scale as well as you'd want them to, making it difficult to grow a sales team.
Then there's Freshsales, a popular CRM system that, in my opinion, does a pretty good job of balancing affordability and top-level features. But it's definitely not a perfect solution.
If you're reading this article, you probably agree. In fact, I bet you signed up for the app, put it through its paces, and thought, "Nope, not for me." Now you're looking for viable Freshsales alternatives to supercharge your startup or small business. Tell me I'm wrong.
Well, friend, you've come to the right place. In this article, we'll examine the pros and cons of Freshsales. Then I'll share six alternatives you can use to crush sales management. Let's go!
Freshsales Pros and Cons
How about a little backstory?
In 2016, Freshworks released Freshsales, a cloud-based CRM that gives users a wealth of tools they can use to improve their sales pipelines. Need access to contact management? How about lead scoring, email marketing, and sales forecasting? Freshsales has your back.
Of course, Freshsales isn't the end-all, be-all when it comes to CRM software. (If it was, you wouldn't be reading this, would you?) It definitely has a few drawbacks to be aware of.
So, in this section, we'll take a look at the pros and cons of the Freshsales CRM platform.
As mentioned above, Freshsales has a lot to offer. In my mind, these are the top features you'll have access to if your company becomes a Freshsales customer:
- Ease of use: You don't have to be a mathematician to operate Freshsales. I'm not a huge fan of the interface, but it doesn't harm the app's usability.
- Communication tools: Want to close more deals? Then you have to talk to more prospects, which Freshsales will help you do. The tool is equipped with a built-in dialer, email and SMS marketing capabilities, and a website chat feature. Basically, Freshsales will make your initial contact and follow-up messages more effective.
- AI and automation features: This is one of Freshsales' best features. Use its built-in AI, named Freddy, to score leads, schedule meetings, and more—on autopilot. Freshsales includes marketing automation tools, too, which can be used to streamline data entry tasks, send emails and text messages, and even manage territories.
- Analytics and sales reports: I'm also a fan of the real-time analytics and reporting features inside Freshsales. You can use this CRM to score leads, generate standard and custom reports, and forecast future deals with reliable accuracy.
- Affordability: I have to give Freshsales credit for its affordable pricing structure as well. The "Growth" plan costs $15 a month per user, billed annually. The "Pro" plan costs $39 a month per user, billed annually. And the "Enterprise" plan costs $69 a month per user, billed annually. That's cheaper than many other CRM solutions.
Learn about the advantages of using CRM systems designed for contractors to improve client relationships.
Every software has weaknesses, and Freshsales is no exception. Here are four downsides you should know about before you spend your hard-earned money on this sales CRM:
- Speed: In my experience, Freshsales is a bit slow. Not tear-my-hair-out-in-frustration slow, but it lags enough that I notice and think, "Giddy up, little buddy!"
- Marketing functionality: This con won't affect every company. But if you want to manage marketing campaigns with your CRM, Freshsales isn't the right app for you. It doesn't have the necessary features to succeed at most marketing tasks.
- Customer support: The Freshsales support team doesn't get high marks, which means Freshsales customers are usually left to fend for themselves. To make matters worse, the support team is only available on weekdays, not weekends.
- Integrations: You can integrate Freshsales with a bunch of other apps—Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Asana, Zoom, and, critically, Zapier. That said, Freshsales doesn't offer as many third-party integrations as other CRMs on the market.
6 Freshsales Alternatives for Your Sales Team
The moment of truth is here—it's time to discuss the best Freshsales alternatives!
The six apps in this section include essential features like lead management, email tracking, and workflow automation. But they're packaged differently than Freshsales, which means you might enjoy using them more. To find out, let's dive into the list…
Note: When it comes to CRM software, Salesforce is the king of the hill. So, when you think about Freshsales alternatives, you probably think, "Hey, maybe I should try Salesforce.” Unless you're employed by an enterprise organization, I suggest a different path. Salesforce is expensive and hard to use. The Freshsales alternatives below are neither of these things.
1. Close: A CRM for Startups and Small Businesses
Close is the ultimate web-based CRM for small to medium size sales teams. Why? Because we specifically built it for them. As such, our platform has all of the tools these kinds of sellers need to manage contacts, track pipelines, close deals, and forecast future sales.
- First, Close is super user-friendly. Unlike other CRMs, you can start using Close an hour after you sign up—it's that intuitive. Freshsales can't compete with that.
- Close has all of the communication tools your sales team needs to crush quota. I'm talking about power and predictive dialers, automated email marketing capabilities—complete with rock-solid templates, and SMS marketing functionality.
- Any sales managers out there? Then you'll love Close's pipeline management tools, which will help you track rep performance, score leads, and eliminate bottlenecks.
- You know the old saying, "You can't improve what you don't measure." Close makes the measurement process a piece of cake with custom sales reports. Easily track the metrics and KPIs that matter to your sales team, not someone else's.
- As mentioned earlier, Freshsales drops the ball when it comes to customer support. Close's support team, on the other hand, is ranked in the top 1 percent of all SaaS companies. Reach out, and an expert professional will get back to you ASAP.
- Additionally, with Close's new mobile iOS app, you can stay on top of your sales game wherever you go. The app provides seamless access to all of Close's features, allowing you to manage your leads, communication, and pipeline even while on the move. Whether you're attending meetings, traveling, or simply prefer the convenience of mobile, Close's iOS app ensures you never miss a beat and empowers you to make critical sales decisions right from the palm of your hand.
- Finally, can we talk about integrations? Close can connect to all of the apps you already use, including Gmail, Zoom, Calendly, UpLead, and Zapier—in just one click! Want more control? Simply build your own integrations with the powerful Close API.
Things to look out for:
- Just like Freshsales, Close wasn't really designed for marketing teams. If you're looking for a CRM to help with marketing tasks, I suggest a different app.
- As we'll talk about below, Close isn't quite as affordable as Freshsales. There isn't a huge difference in pricing—and the extra features Close gives you are more than worth it, in my opinion. But budget-conscious sales teams may disagree with me.
How much does Close cost? Close offers three different pricing plans. The Startup plan costs $99 a month, billed annually, and can be used by up to three people. The Professional plan costs $299 a month, billed annually, and can also be used by up to three people. And the Enterprise plan costs $699 a month, billed annually, and can be used by up to five people.
Want to see Close in action? Check out this demo to see all the deal-closing awesomeness!
2. Nutshell: A CRM for Small Sales Teams
I worked with the Nutshell marketing team for years, so I'm super familiar with this CRM. It's a great tool with quality features. But is it the right Freshsales alternative for you? Let's see…
The benefits of Nutshell:
- Like all good CRMs, Nutshell helps users manage contacts and track pipeline. Quickly find the prospect information you need, then see where said prospect is in your sales funnel. As an added bonus, sales pipelines can be viewed in a variety of ways—as kanban boards, lists, digital maps, etc.—and feature drag-and-drop functionality.
- Nutshell is also equipped with a few handy automation tools. Auto-assign inbound leads to specific sales reps, automatically advance leads through your sales funnel when specific criteria are met, and easily build automated email sequences.
- Struggling to generate quality leads? Nutshell's custom web form builder can help. Use this feature to create "perfectly customized forms" that you can add to your company's website. The prospect information you capture will automatically be uploaded to your CRM database. Just know these forms can't be added to social media sites, too.
Things to look out for:
- Want to access Nutshell's complete email marketing suite? Prepare to pay an additional monthly fee, as it isn't included in the CRM's base price. This makes Nutshell less affordable than it initially appears to be.
- If you sell to people/companies outside of the U.S. who speak different languages—or prefer to speak a different language yourself—you may have trouble with this CRM software. As far as I know, Nutshell lacks multilingual and multicurrency support.
- The Nutshell mobile app is also underwhelming. It doesn't offer the full functionality of the Nutshell desktop tool, and it can be difficult to navigate.
How much does Nutshell cost? Nutshell is extremely affordable, assuming you don't need access to its full email marketing suite. The Foundation plan will cost you $16 a month per user, billed annually. The Pro plan will cost you $42 a month per user, billed annually.
I recommend the Pro plan because it includes sales automation and personal email sequence features, which are essential to most professional sellers' workflows.
If you do want to use Nutshell's email marketing suite, prepare to pay between $5 and $460+ per month, depending on the number of subscribers your company has.
3. Insightly: A CRM for Sales and Marketing Teams
It's easy to forget about Insightly. Sure, the CRM has been around for a while, offers a bunch of quality tools, and has a loyal customer base. But it's never been the toast of the town, like Salesforce, HubSpot, or even Zoho CRM. I wouldn't hold that against Insightly, though. It's a strong Freshsales alternative—especially if you need access to the following features:
The benefits of Insightly:
- Insightly has all of the standard features your sales team needs to close deals: lead, pipeline, and project management tools; a powerful email marketing platform, automation functionality, etc. As such, it can accommodate most sales workflows.
- In my opinion, the coolest thing about Insightly is its Relationship Linking feature, which will help you and/or your reps understand complex customer relationships. Quickly learn who knows who inside an organization to assist your sales process.
- Insightly nails its analytics dashboards, too. Easily create custom reports based on specific KPIs. Then visualize them with an assortment of charts and graphs. Nice!
- Are you a field sales rep? Maybe you just want to check your company's sales pipeline while you "watch" your little kid's soccer game. (It's okay, I'm sure they'd rather stare at a screen, too.) Either way, you'll appreciate the Insightly mobile app, which can be accessed on any iOS or Android device.
- Insightly offers a ton of integrations, too. Connect this CRM to 2,000+ other apps directly. Don't see the connection you need? Just integrate with Zapier.
Things to look out for:
- In my view, the biggest problem with Insightly—and why it might not be the best Freshsales alternative for you—is the CRM's buggy nature. You'll probably have to deal with slow load times, missed email attachments, and other inconveniences.
- Insightly isn't as cost-effective as Freshsales, either. Not because the monthly fees are so outrageous but because the platform's onboarding packages are a bit steep.
How much does Insightly cost? Speaking of costs, let's talk about Insightly's pricing structure. The Plus plan costs $29 a month per user, billed annually. The Professional plan costs $49 a month per user, billed annually. And the Enterprise plan costs $99 a month per user, billed annually. Of course, the more you pay, the better features you get.
(Note: these prices are for Insightly's CRM package. If you want access to the marketing, service, or all-in-one CRM packages, expect to pay a lot more every month.)
4. Keap: A CRM for Email Marketing Tasks
History lesson: Infusionsoft was a popular email marketing system. In 2019, Infusionsoft changed its name to Keap to better represent its CRM functionality. Since then, the tool has added numerous CRM-style features, transforming it into a viable Freshsales alternative.
The benefits of Keap:
- Want to make sales? Then you have to generate quality leads, which you can do with the custom form and landing page builders inside Keap. The platform's drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to craft eye-catching lead-generation assets in a flash.
- What do you do with all the leads that your forms and landing pages collect? Email and text 'em until they buy your stuff! This is where Keap really excels. Use the CRM system to craft winning messages, then automate them to send at ideal times.
- Keap has a built-in appointment scheduler, too—no integrations needed. Make it easy for prospects to book meetings with you. Then automate appointment reminders to send at predetermined times so that you minimize (dare I say, eliminate?) no shows.
- Just like Insightly, Keap includes native integrations to thousands of apps. But don't worry if your preferred solution didn't make the cut. Use Zapier to connect.
Things to look out for:
- Keap caters to sales and marketing teams. This is a problem if you only care about the platform's sales-oriented features because you'll still have to pay for all the other stuff.
- One more thing: Keap isn't as user-friendly as other tools. Want a CRM solution that you can master in a few days? Then I wouldn't recommend Keap.
How much does Keap cost? Choose between two different Keap plans. The Pro plan starts at $149 a month for 1,500 contacts, while the Max plan starts at $199 a month for 2,500 contacts. Have more contacts in your database? Prepare to pay more.
(Note: Keap offers a few add-ons, too. For example, users can purchase a business phone line through Keap. Just remember, doing so will raise your monthly fees.)
5. Leadsquared: A CRM for Field Sales Teams
Leadsquared serves customers in a variety of B2C industries, helping them work smarter and close more deals. How does it do this, you ask? Through a combination of quality lead capture, prospect management, automation, and sales reporting tools.
The benefits of Leadsquared:
- Leadsquared prides itself on its automation capabilities. Automatically qualify leads, so you know which ones to prioritize. Build flexible workflows that boost productivity. And communicate with prospects on a variety of channels from one dashboard.
- Leadsquared is a great option for field sales teams—thanks in no small part to the platform's mobile app. Reps can generate day plans to keep themselves on track, quickly identify nearby leads, and even pinpoint upsell opportunities from their phones.
- What about analytics and sales reports? Leadsquared has them in spades. Generate hundreds of standard reports or create your own to measure campaign performance, rep productivity, specific revenue metrics… whatever you want, really.
Things to look out for:
- My biggest issue with Leadsquared revolves around stability. The platform is definitely "buggier" than most other CRMs. Integrations occasionally fail, double hyperlinks are sometimes sent via email, and it gets bogged down more than I'd like.
- The Leadsquared interface isn't all that intuitive either—especially if you're new to CRM software. Expect a learning curve if you purchase this app.
- Let's talk about marketing. Leadsquared includes a bunch of tools that pro marketers can use to promote their businesses. Unfortunately, some of these tools are less than robust, which means you'll probably need to invest in other solutions as well.
How much does Leadsquared cost? The price you pay depends on the features you need access to. The Sales Execution CRM module ranges from $25 to $100 a month per user, billed annually. The Marketing Automation module ranges from $400 to $2,500 a month, billed annually. To use the Field Force Automation module, contact Leadsquared.
6. Salesmate: A CRM for Cash-Strapped Sellers
Last but not least, we have Salesmate, which was designed to help users "win more deals and create happy customers." That sounds good to me. The question is, can this CRM platform deliver on that promise? This review will help you decide that for yourself.
The benefits of Salesmate:
- First, Salesmate has lots of tools you can use to engage your prospects and customers. Built-in calling features? Check. A powerful email marketing suite? Check. What about text messaging and website chat? Check and check!
- Prospect engagement is great. Paying customers are better. Fortunately, Salesmate includes a bunch of features you can use to make sales—like contact management, activity tracking, custom pipeline, and appointment scheduling features.
- You need access to analytics to propel your sales career and/or sales team forward. Salesmate will let you set personal and team-wide sales goals, generate visual sales reports, track sales rep activity, create leaderboards, and forecast future sales.
- I can't talk about Salesmate without at least mentioning the automation capabilities. Streamline routine tasks, boost accuracy and productivity, and close more deals in less time. Emails, text messages, and reminder notifications can be automated, too.
Things to look out for:
- Salesmate's voice dialer is a great feature. Unfortunately, it doesn't work as well as I'd like. Expect the occasional connectivity issue when using this CRM to call leads.
- Salesmate isn't difficult to use. But it's not as intuitive as other CRMs, like Close. This is especially true when it comes to the platform's automation features. You'll need to experiment with them for a while before you really get the hang of it.
How much does Salesmate cost? Salesmate has the features to compete with Freshsales and an affordable pricing structure. The Starter plan costs $12 a month per user, billed annually. The Growth plan costs $24 a month per user, billed annually. And the Boost plan costs $40 a month per user, billed annually. Just know that Salesmate offers add-ons, which can boost the price. Said add-ons range from $10 to $1,000 a month.
Which Freshsales Alternative Is Right for Your Team?
Can I leave you with one last piece of advice?
Freshsales might not be the answer, but one of the six apps above almost certainly is. Reassess your business needs, then choose the CRM that meets them. It's that simple.
Scratch that, I'm going to make it even simpler for you: just choose Close.
I'm biased, but I really believe our app is a better alternative to Freshsales than every other option on the market. Why? Because it was specifically designed to help sales teams succeed, thanks to its pipeline management, communication, and sales reporting features.
Don't take my word for it, though. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Close to see for yourself!