Our Verdict…

We like Zoho CRM’s cost-effective but versatile CRM platform for small to medium organizations. With free and low-cost pricing plans, SMBs can get set up and deployed relatively quickly. Its 30-day free trial gives users access to all of its CRM modules, allowing them to test out what features are needed for their business.

Zoho earned an 8.6 rating, with players like Salesforce offering more advanced capabilities and enterprise integrations. Zoho stands out for its user-friendly interface, in-app guided videos, and affordable pricing, making it a great CRM for the real estate, IT and software, non-profits, and automotive industries.

Our Rating
based on our expert editorial analysis
User Rating
based on 3 user reviews
Best for: Zoho CRM is best for small to medium-sized businesses with 50 to 100 employees. It can be used across most industries that manage customer interactions. Real estate, non-profits, IT, and software professionals can all benefit greatly. Higher-tiered plans include advanced reporting, sales automation, and limited integrations to support larger organizations.
  • Near-total customizability
  • Integrated gamification features
  • Video guides help understand complex features
  • Most advanced features only accessible at the higher-priced tiers
  • Long customer service wait times
  • Limited custom fields
Starting Price
$14 /user/month
Price Range Learn More
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  • Developer Zoho Corporation
  • Client OS iOS, Android, Web
  • Deployment Cloud Hosted

What Is Zoho CRM?

This web-based CRM helps manage sales, marketing, and customer support in its centralized platform. It includes additional capabilities for improving customer interactions, automating redundant sales tasks, and making data-driven decisions.

Zoho offers a cost-effective CRM that rivals leading platforms like SalesForce or HubSpot. While it is not the most powerful CRM on the market, it can picked up by the more novice individual and pushed to its full potential by experienced sales and marketing professionals.

Who is Zoho CRM Best for?

Zoho CRM is best for small to medium-sized businesses under 50 to 100 employees. It is the obvious next step for organizations managing customers using spreadsheets or, let’s face it, outdated methods like paper records and sticky notes. However, Zoho CRM has features to optimize the most experienced sales force and can support larger organizations that require advanced reporting, sales automation, and integrations.

Our Ratings

Usability - 8.5 User interface and in-app guides are designed for ease of use, including industry-specific templates and a design studio to fully customize the CRM layout; setting up workflows and automation can take time, but the video guides help make it digestible.
Support - 7.5 Basic plan has an 8 hour response time with phone and live chat from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. local time; users must upgrade to the premium or enterprise support for 1-on-1 training and dedicated onboarding assistance; included video guides and walkthroughs are helpful for new users.
Scalability - 8 Offers modules that can be purchased separately or as packages; supports up to 5 million records in its high-tier plans; organizations can purchase more if required; some users with large amounts of records have run into slow load times; ability to create custom apps or purchase add-ons made by the community.
Security - 9.5 Provides role-based identification and log in; includes SSO log-ins and 2-factor authentication; paid plans include GDPR and HIPAA compliance settings; audit logs to track usage; IP restriction to limit unorganized users.
Value - 9 Has multiple free plans with limited feature sets; paid plans start at $14/user/month and are cost-effective compared to Salesforce; lower tier plans have pretty limited features; purchasing bundles or paying annually can save a lot.
Performance - 8.5 Load times were minimal; encountered an endless loading loop was fixed quickly with a browser refresh; mobile app worked well without issues; most performance issues can be solved by optimizing internal workflows and automations.
Key Features - 9 All plans include lead, deal, and contract management; paid plans introduce lead scoring, more customization to the platform, and social messaging; higher-priced plans include email automation, macros, unlimited dashboards, and advanced AI reporting.

Who Uses Zoho CRM?

Zoho CRM customers include Bosch, Fossil Watches, and L’Oreal to manage their sales, marketing, and customer support. It has customers ranging from small start-ups to large enterprises. The industries that utilize Zoho the most are real estate companies, professional services, and IT or software companies that need to manage customer inquiries, automate the sales pipeline, and close more deals.

With its integrated GDPR settings, Zoho CRM can also be used for customers who sell in Europe. In general, if a business needs to manage prospective customers, automate the sales pipeline, or streamline marketing, Zoho CRM can be used effectively.

How to Create a Custom Pipeline in Zoho?

A sales pipeline is a visual representation of how prospective customers move through your sales process. Learn how to create a sales pipeline that mirrors the way your business sells.

  1. Go to the Setup Page (the gear icon) and find the Pipelines Field under Customization.
Screenshot of Zoho CRM Dashboard
  1. On the Pipeline Page, Select New Pipeline
  2. Create a name and select the stages you will include in the new sales pipeline. These are the steps that a lead must go through in your sales funnel.
Screenshot of pipeline creator on Zoho CRM
  1. Then click Save. You can add or move the stages around by dragging and dropping them in place

How to Import a Contact List into Zoho CRM?

  1. Prepare your data. Ensure the contact list is in a supported format (CSV, XLS, or XLSX).
  2. Navigate to the Contacts module on the top of your Zoho CRM dashboard. Select the Create Contact drop-down and select Import Contacts.
Screenshot of Zoho CRM Contacts Dashboard
  1. Then, simply upload your contact list from your internal files or from an existing CRM software.
Screenshot of uploading contact list on Zoho CRM
  1. Next, you must select what you want to do with the contact list and how to resolve duplicate contacts.
  2. Make sure the import fields are mapped correctly and be sure to map any missing fields!
Screenshot mapping imported contact fields in Zoho CRM
  1. As a last step, Zoho will ask if you want to trigger any tasks automatically or assign sales reps to a specific contact.

What Features Are Missing?

  • Customer Service Wait Times: Zoho CRM has many add-ons and allows for a lot of customization, which can lead to confused customers looking for help. While its included video guides and walkthroughs are helpful for grasping the basic concepts, the basic support plan allows for an 8-hour response time. This leads to users reaching out to chat boxes or looking online for help until customer support responds.
  • Free and Budget Versions are Limited: While the Free and Standard plans for $14/month are attractive for budget-conscious users, their feature sets are limited. Many of the reporting and workflow automation features businesses need are only found on their higher-priced plans. The free plan does not include HIPAA compliance, integration with the G-Suite, lead scoring, and the ability to message from social media channels. We hoped integration with leading email services would be included in all plans.

Zoho CRM Pricing Plans

Zoho CRM operates on a per-user, per-month basis, with a discount for annual billing. The more users you include, the higher your price will be. It has a free plan with limited features and only three users and pricing plans starting at just $14/user/month.

Zoho CRM also includes the CRM Plus and CRM Flex bundles. The Plus bundle includes all eight Zoho CRM modules at just $57/user/month. The Flex bundle starts at $14/user/month and lets you pick and choose what modules and apps you need to build your perfect CRM.

Plan Pricing Features
Free Free for 3 users Free Plan Features include:
  • Lead, contact, and deal management
  • Task tracking
  • 50 emails/user/day
  • 10 automation rules
  • 5,000 records
Standard $14/user/month Includes all Free Plan features, plus:
  • Sales forecasting
  • 30 automation rules
  • 100,000 records
  • Lead scoring
Professional $23/user/month Includes all Standard Plan features, plus:
  • Google Ads integration
  • 80 automation rues
  • Products module
  • 5M records
  • Sales motivator module
Enterprise $40/user/month Includes all Professional Plan features, plus:
  • Email parsing
  • Sandbox mode
  • 125 automation rules
  • Access to Zoho Creator
  • Microsoft Outlook plug-in
Ultimate $52/user/month Includes all Enterprise Plan features, plus:
  • Advanced analytics
  • 150 automation rules
  • Unlimited API connections

What is Zia in Zoho CRM?

Zia is an AI-powered sales assistant that Zoho offers its CRM customers. It can help with sales predications, suggesting workflow optimization, detecting anomalies, and improving overall decision-making. A cool feature we found was the ability for Zia to help with lead scoring. Zia helped suggest scores to assign leads based on their likelihood to convert.

What Integration Does Zoho CRM Support?

Zoho CRM supports integrations with third-party applications such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Slac, Mailchimp, QuickBooks, Shopify, and Zapier. However, some integrations are only available at higher pricing tiers.

Can I Customize the User Interface in Zoho CRM?

Yes, Zoho CRM supports the ability to customize the UI extensively. You can customize the home dashboards by adding components like custom views, widgets, and different dashboards that can be toggled on for specific roles. You can also customize the layout of customer-facing forms to ensure smooth interactions with customers.


Sales Cloud from Salesforce
Sales Cloud from Salesforce Screenshot
Price Range
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Starting Price
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
Aggregates historical data for trend analysis
Customizable forecasting models
Integrates with a large number of tools
What We Don’t Like
Meeting matrix may need further refinement
Occasional issues with call reminder functionality
Complex setup
HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
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Starting Price
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Cloud Hosted
Copper Screenshot
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Cloud Hosted
What We Like
Strong reporting for sales performance, lost and abandoned sales and marketing effectiveness
Security features include data encryption, two-factor authentication and user access reviews
Automated contact profile enrichment and lead scoring for efficient contact management
What We Don’t Like
No click-to-call capabilities
Not well suited for businesses using other email hosting services outside of Gmail


In our assessment of Zoho CRM, we found it to be a versatile solution at a cost-effective price. CRM software is notably hard to set up effectively and can be costly to implement. Zoho sets itself apart by being competitively priced, easy to learn, and offers many of the features a sales force requires from a CRM. While it might not be the most powerful CRM out there, its strength comes from its easy-to-use UI, free plan, and affordable paid tiers.

We recommend potential users try out the 30-day free trial of Zoho CRM Plus to experience its many modules and sales automation. Users new to CRM software or switching from Excel or paper records can learn how basic CRMs work on Zoho’s Free plan. While the free version has limited features, it lets you grasp how the platform works; companies can always upgrade if more features are required.

In conclusion, we found Zoho a great fit for smaller to mid-sized businesses looking to manage their sales pipeline and customer relationships more effectively. The CRM can be used internationally with its GDPR compliance and is customizable enough to be used across any industry looking to manage its customers better.

Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is a customer relationship management software catering to most business sizes and types. Key features include lead tracking, business intelligence, AI-powered predictions and recommendations, and sales performance analytics. It offers flexibility in customization and integration capabilities, along with a mobile app.
Price Range
   $     $     $     $     $   
   $     $     $     $     $   
Starting Price
Client OS
iOS, Android, Web
Cloud Hosted

User Reviews of Zoho CRM

Submitted on April 13th, 2021 by Ignacio Galarraga

Anybody can use Zoho. The interface is straightforward, and the initial trial setup took very little effort. Zoho had all of the functionality that we could ever need, at a fraction of the cost of Salesforce. It felt much more intuitive, and I was sure we would be very happy moving forward with Zoho.

Submitted on November 19th, 2018 by Anonymous

The CRM functionality is great and it has the bare bones inventory I need. I do think it lacks in accounting a little bit. I wish the accounting was more complete so I wouldnt feel the need to search for an outside accounting solution to pair with it.

Submitted on August 8th, 2018 by Edward McCallister

I have been benefiting a lot from Zoho in business areas, which is why this platform has been helping me with my financial management and has given me a secure platform to show my sales and control marketing to the maximum that can attract customers.

The Good…

I like Zoho because this platform has absolutely everything a company needs to have total control of what goes in and out of the sales area, in such a way it offers Sales, Marketing and CRM services, services that have a long term Strong influence on what you can do. In summary, I consider that Zoho is positive because it completely helps the financial management of a company and helps control potential customers.

The Bad…

The negative point that I have noticed in Zoho is that this application does not develop in a good way on mobile devices, it is somewhat tedious the fact of not being able to control the sales or manage the sales reports of a company through the application of Zoho for phones mobile