Best CRM for Small Business: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Gabriel Nwatarali

Feb 06 2019

Technology is always changing and it’s picked up the pace in recent years. Advanced communication tools have emerged to match the buying behavior of consumers in the 21st century. As markets evolve, the one thing that’s never going to change is the need for small businesses to grow. That’s why your salespeople need reliable help to keep up with consumers in this fast-paced environment. CRM systems were created to maintain or develop relationships, manage, and improve sales. Today we’re going to identify the best CRM for small business. The battle is on between Pipedrive vs Salesforce.

The growth of CRM software is largely due to how easy they help companies collect useful data about their prospects or existing customers in real-time. Especially, as consumers continue to shift their medium of communication preference to mobile devices and email.

Consider this. Almost every enterprise/large business now uses CRM solutions to manage their sales activities. Also, a study by Nucleus Research found that for every dollar invested in CRM, companies get $8.71 back in sales! No wonder the race was on to develop the best CRM for small business and it came down to Pipedrive vs Salesforce.

But, there are several things to consider when shopping for the best CRM for small business, such as features and price point.

Features: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Hands down, two of the best CRM for small business on the market are Pipedrive and Salesforce. Worth noting is how much simpler the Pipedrive features are to implement but more on this later. We’re going to compare them side-by-side. Let’s get started.

They both offer sales automation, which means that you can automate your workflow. For instance, you can automatically send personalized emails to certain prospects once you’ve moved them up or down a level in your pipeline based on set triggers.

best crm for small business_pipedrive vs salesforce
Pipedrive allows you to simply automate your workflow.

Bi-directional CRM syncing is also a feature shared by both software. This means that you can sync with other applications such as Slack or Asana to pull data that can be used in your sales activities through an API (applications programming interface). Salesforce and Pipedrive integrations are great! Overall, email integration, reporting, and statistical tools are excellent for both CRM.

Pipedrive and Salesforce both reside or are hosted in the cloud. That means you won’t have to worry about losing your data because redundancy measures such as data backup are taken care of by the CRM provider. Furthermore, salespeople can log in to your CRM from anywhere in the world with Internet access.

Contact management: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Contact management is one of those requirements for CRM that is non-negotiable. While both Pipedrive and Salesforce have this, Pipedrive features are a lot better because of their timeline view. It simplifies the way you manage the relationships you’ve earned with your customers and teammates. In addition, custom tagging lets you easily filter people later (i.e. by job title). Not only that, you can schedule and make phone calls with a simple click from the timeline view. However, small businesses can switch between a simple list and the timeline view when looking at contacts.

best crm for small business_pipedrive vs salesforce
Pipedrive allows you to make and record calls in a few simple clicks.

Both organizations allow lead scoring and segmentation. Meaning that you can score prospects based on how likely they are to become paying customers and segment/separate leads accordingly. This is especially useful for filtering your leads so that you can prioritize areas of focus (i.e. emailing hot prospects vs cold ones).

We found Pipedrive’s interface was more useful in terms of being able to keep in touch with past and present customers, including employees. Compared to Salesforce, which we found less efficient when it came to looking through and managing contacts.

However, features aren’t the only things to consider when looking for the best CRM for small business. You may have other software that you’re already using on a daily basis and may be integral to your operations. This is where Salesforce and Pipedrive integrations become crucial.

Pros & Cons: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of using Pipedrive vs Salesforce and perhaps, come to a conclusion on the best CRM for small business.

Pipedrive Pros

  • Very simple to use – The simplicity of its design makes it super easy to learn. Also, the company provides a seamless tutorial that further simplifies the whole learning process. Simplicity is one of the main reasons Pipedrive is arguably the best CRM for small business.
best crm for small business_pipedrive vs salesforce
Pipedrive’s easy to use UI is made even better with helpful tips and videos.
  • Skip the team training – Since it’s very simple CRM software that visualizes your sales process, it eliminates the usual need for employee training or onboarding. Every small business knows how taxing it can be to train teams when adopting new technology.
  • Fantastic UI – The Pipedrive user interface keeps things fun, intuitive and interactive throughout the entire set up process and beyond.
  • Customizable sales stages – You can customize stages to match your product sales cycle.
best crm for small business_pipedrive vs salesforce
Pipedrive allows you to create custom stages to track all your sales.
  • Over 100 Apps & integrations – Simply increase the capabilities of Pipedrive by using applications to connect it with other services. Even the ones you’re currently using. You can access a filter-equipped catalog of apps to choose from.
  • CRM data import/export capabilities – Connect with other CRM services to import or export your data to different software in the future.
  • Email integration and tracking – Sync your email to Pipedrive and manage everything in one place. Tracking lets you know when a recipient opened your email messages. Plus you can reply to emails from within the platform.
  • 24/7 chat support – Pipedrive’s support team is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week over chat.
  • Summarized statistics and mixed reports – Pipedrive enables you to view individual or aggregated sales pipeline reports. You can select the date range for reporting and track the amount of deals team members close.
  • Sync with your calendar – Schedule activities such as phone calls, events or a specific task and sync everything to your Google Calendar.


  • No client-side application – You can’t install the software on your computer/desktop but can access it via a web browser or mobile app.

Salesforce Pros

  • Good features – Like Pipedrive, Salesforce has a lot of great features and even some advanced ones.
  • Custom reporting – The software lets you create custom reports that fit your business objectives.
  • Forecasting and predictive analytics – The AI, ‘Einstein’, offered by Salesforce is augmented intelligence that helps to improve customer experience and engagement with prospects. It’s able to predict and forecast outcomes based on collected data.
  • More than 20 integrations available – You can integrate it with Microsoft tools or other applications, just like Pipedrive.
  • Calendar Syncing – You can sync with Google and Outlook Calendar.

    best crm for small business_pipedrive vs salesforce
    Salesforce’s contact management overview.


  • Huge learning curve – Unlike Pipedrive, there’s a learning curve because Salesforce is much harder to use. It can become overwhelming very quickly.
  • Training requirement – You’ll certainly need to train your employees to properly use this CRM. You may even have to bring in an expert.
  • Higher expense – It’s way more costly than Pipedrive pricing and businesses have to upgrade in order to unlock full features.
  • Package restrictions – Way too many restrictions are placed right out the gate.
  • No explicit dashboard – You have to install all the other apps to unlock all of the features in Salesforce, unlike Pipedrive where everything is in one place. Additional apps to activate include the Sales General View, Sales Console, Relationship Manager, Lead Generator, Sales Operations, and Sales Leadership.

Pricing: Pipedrive vs Salesforce

Now let’s look at pricing for both CRM systems.

Pipedrive pricing

  • Pipedrive offers a 14-day trial with no credit card needed upon registration and to use it. You’ll have access to the entire feature of the CRM.
  • Prices range from $15 to $59 per user every month depending on the kind of plan you choose. It ranges from $90 to $354 per user when you get a team package bundle of 6 users.
  • Bills in USD, EUR, or GBP.


  • Salesforce offers a 30-day trial with no credit card requirement but they also ask for a lot more mandatory PII (personally identifiable information). You won’t have access to all the features of the CRM unless you specifically select their highest tier plan, Lighting Unlimited, which starts at $300 per user each month.
  • Prices range from $75 to $300 for the complete CRM solution. At a lower plan, you’ll be missing critical tools like automation or customization unless you upgrade. They do have a $25 out-of-the-box package but it has even more limitations, making it the least preferred choice for most businesses.
  • Bills in USD only.

So who’s the winner of Pipedrive vs Salesforce?

Salesforce is a heavy-duty CRM that comes with tremendous amounts of features. It incorporates AI technology, which is probably part of why it’s a tough CRM to use but also makes it effective.

Pipedrive features are very useful and have proven beneficial to many small businesses. It’s ultra simple to utilize, able to make your sales processes efficient, and employees more productive while maintaining a simplified UI. It’s way more affordable than Salesforce too. That’s why Pipedrive’s got our vote as the best CRM for small business.

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