After last year's announcement made by Salesforce.com that SalesforceIQ wouldn’t support GDPR, it became clear that sooner or later they will discontinue product they have acquired a couple of years ago. In its early days, SalesforceIQ was called RelateIQ, and it introduced probably the most flexible approach to CRM. The fundamental idea behind SalesforceIQ was that every CRM object could be presented as an adjustable table with hard-linked relation to Contact or a Company. It was simple yet effective solution for small to medium Sales and Marketing teams. Setting up new entity (or list/relation) was easy compared to Sales cloud or similar solutions - it is much like adding new columns to MS Excel and adjusting cell format.
As now Salesforce.com discontinued the product (new customers can't sign up for it anymore) and they push everyone to Sales Cloud, there are some downsides of such a migration which were not clearly disclosed by the migration guides and YouTube videos.
The most important issue for the customers that we see is the rise of the costs. Most of the SalesforceIQ users were on the $900/year (or less if you signed up before RelateIQ was rebranded to SalesforceIQ) plan and they receive similarly priced plan but not all the functions previously available will be there when they migrate... First of all, I'm talking about APIs.
The key major feature of the SalesforceIQ/RelateIQ was its open APIs.
To get full advantage of Salesforce Sales Cloud API you need to upgrade to $150/month = $1800/year plan. For the team of 5 it will make it $9000/year. I can recommend upgrading to those who can afford to pay twice they paid for SalesforceIQ unless you have a small team (less than five people). For 2-4 Marketing/Sales people teams, I would recommend considering other SalesforceIQ alternatives that are cheaper yet provide similar features.
5 SalesforceIQ Alternatives
Hubspot FREE CRM
Even though Hubspot CRM is free, it has all the features needed by small to medium sales teams.
With the integration with Gmail and Outlook, Hubspot CRM is similar to SaleforceIQ - you can see all the history of the customer communication and notes inside customer card.
Tracking emails and dashboards are even superior.
Opportunities functionality will bring your sales productivity to the next level.
Plus if you sign up for Marketing Free package - you get Forms and Popups (Lead Flows) that integrate with your website and Email responder (if you need one).
Add $50/month (contact us to learn about discounts) to it, and you get Messages - webchat for your website that is integrated into your CRM.
Despite its free price, it offers a lot of functionality out-of-the-box. And more importantly, Hubspot is quickly becoming "must have" integration for any marketing or sales-related cloud service - much like Salesforce did a few years back.
For those was using SalesforceIQ for its Gmail integration, Hubspot offers similar features: you can send emails from the CRM, you can track emails, you can use snippets and templates and so on...
The only downside is that comparing to SalesforceIQ it doesn't offer activities integration via Zapier. To see third-party information at the customer activity feed you need to make sure service has direct integration with Hubspot.
I know that might sound a bit unexpected and probably you’ve never heard that name yet… but AmoCRM is the rising star of cloud CRM systems.
It is a user-friendly solution with excellent design, it integrates with all major email providers (inc. Gmail and Office 365), and it has Open APIs as well as advanced Zapier integration.
Much like Hubspot CRM, AmoCRM is very easy to learn and easy to use.
With click-to-call, business card-to-lead, Facebook ads integration (it syncs custom audiences and allows to show specific ads only to the customers on the specific pipeline stage) and new features added every few months, AmoCRM is a great choice for small and medium sales teams.
Pipedrive is inexpensive (comparing to Salesforce) easy to use solution with good API.
It’s key feature is Kanban representation of the pipeline which a few years ago was a differentiator. But these days every major CRM supports Kanban representation and it is primary view of opportunities in Hubspot CRM and AmoCRM.
It has excellent integration with major email services and integrates well with other Google Apps services: Google Calendar and Google Contacts.
Though User Interface is pretty simple, some users complain that “is not for everyone.” Another downside is that you need to adjust your methodology to the CRM mainly if you are a B2B business.
Airtable is not CRM in a traditional way - it doesn’t offer lead and opportunity management the way you do in other systems. But compared to all other systems - Airtable is the closest Alternative to SalesforceIQ when it comes to flexibility and custom entities/relationships management.
One of the major differentiators of SalesforceIQ/RelateIQ was flexible tables that you can set up for any kind of client-relation operations. For example, we were using a separate table to track pending payments, customer orders, PR lists, Webinar attendees etc.
What is Airtable?
Airtable is a Spreadsheet-based relational database.
Users work with Tables (much like Relations in SalesforceIQ) and can customize anything. It is much more flexible comparing to SalesforceIQ - it may have file and image fields, multiple links to other tables etc.
But unlike SalesforceIQ, Airtable it is not CRM so if you want custom tables you should start with creating custom tables for Contacts and Companies, import there your records from SalesforceIQ (be aware that Salesforce IQ might have multiple emails/names for each of the contacts) and then start creating custom tables that you have in SalesforceIQ.
So with Airtable you can get back the functionality of your custom tables but it doesn’t support CRM features of SalesforceIQ: contact activity (Gmail/outlook emails, and others), pipeline and user activity reporting.
Salesforce Sales Cloud (Professional or Enterprise)
Being the leading CRM Salesforce offers excellent platform to manage sales teams of any size. After migrating all their interfaces to Lightning technology, it looks slick and modern.
Comparing to other CRM systems mentioned in this article, Salesforce Sales Cloud is a bit harder to learn, and it is not as easy to use as Hubspot, AmoCRM or Pipedrive. But on the other side, it brings much more functionality than any other cloud CRM.
The primary complaint of Salesforce users is the price. I've seen businesses switching away from Salesforce when growing their sales teams because license costs were way too high compared to other systems.
If you have capabilities of doubling your CRM budget and sign up for Salesforce Enterprise - go for it. Sales Cloud Enterprise edition is an amazing solution that will grow with your business. We have experience of managing Salesforce Sales Cloud and SalesforceIQ and we will be happy to help you with your migration.
If you don’t have a budget or don’t want to migrate to Sales Cloud then one of this three options will play well for you:
#1 Hubspot Free CRM (add Marketing Free package to get extra features) + AirTable for any custom tables
#2 AmoCRM - that’s a newcomer yet pretty matured system to cover all your CRM needs + AirTable for any custom tables
#3 Pipedrive - another great solution to cover pipeline management + Airtable for custom tables
And last but not least, check what CRM fits your methodology better - take a trial and talk to the professional agency before you make your final decision.