Business News Daily receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure
BND Hamburger Icon

MENU

Close
BND Logo
Search Icon
OfficeMax Logo
Get a FREE $25 Office Depot Card with $125 or more qualifying purchase.

Online only.

Updated Jan 30, 2024

Pipedrive vs. Salesforce: Which CRM Is Right for Your Business?

Tom Anziano headshot
Tom Anziano, Business Ownership Insider and Senior Writer

Table of Contents

Open row
  • Pipedrive and Salesforce are leading CRM platforms with different feature sets and audiences.
  • Pipedrive’s sales-focused features are designed to help businesses effectively convert leads.
  • Salesforce is a comprehensive CRM platform with expansive features and powerful AI tools.
  • This comparison is for business owners who are deciding between Pipedrive and Salesforce CRM solutions.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is designed to help businesses capture leads, communicate with customers and grow revenue. While some CRM platforms offer comprehensive solutions for team collaboration across all business departments, others focus on a specific area, like sales or marketing. Choosing the best CRM software for your company means finding a product that matches your business’s needs.

Pipedrive and Salesforce are top CRMs with very different audiences and feature sets. We’ve researched details from our comprehensive Pipedrive review and Salesforce review to help businesses compare these platforms and determine which is best for their growth. 

Pipedrive vs. Salesforce

Pipedrive vs. Salesforce Compared

Criteria

Pipedrive

Salesforce

Price and plans

  • Essential: $21.90 per user per month
  • Advanced: $37.90 per user per month
  • Professional: $59.90 per user per month
  • Power: $74.90 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $119 per user per month

Note the following:

  • You’ll save up to 32 percent when billed annually.
  • A 14-day free trial is available. 
  • Starter: $25 per user per month (10-seat limit)
  • Professional: $80 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $165 per user per month
  • Unlimited: $330 per user per month

Note the following: 

  • Prices reflect monthly charges with annual billing. You’ll pay more for monthly billing.
  • A 30-day free trial is available for all plans.
  • Annual contracts are required.

Artificial intelligence

  • The Sales Assistant provides insights and recommendations based on your sales data.
  • You get sales notifications and performance reports, but features aren’t focused on communications. 
  • Email and calendar data sync are the only standard AI features.
  • Einstein Conversation Insights, which turns any communication into data, and Einstein GPT, which generates content and recommendations, are premium features.

Sales features

  • Most sales features come standard but have limits.
  • The color-coded visual pipeline and deal rotting feature help you stay on top of deals.
  • Automations are limited.
  • Basic tools to capture and manage leads come standard. 
  • The best features — like workflow automations, AI-powered lead scoring and accurate forecasts — are only in premium plans.

Contact management 

  • All plans get unlimited contacts and essential email features, like two-way email syncing. 
  • Some features, like the visual Contacts Timeline, require upgraded plans.
  • Powerful contact management tools, like email tracking and campaign management, come standard.
  • Features such as feeds and cadences help you communicate better.
  • AI-powered assistance comes with premium plans.

Ease of use

  • There are 400-plus external integrations. 
  • The platform’s visual interface and drag-and-drop menus are easy to use.
  • There are thousands of external integrations.
  • You get a ton of advanced features, but there is a learning curve.

Customer service

  • All plans get 24/7 chat support and online resources.
  • Phone support is reserved for premium users.
  • There are three plans, including a free option with callback requests and online resources.
  • Phone support, personal onboarding and coaching cost 30 percent of your subscription fee.

Who Do We Recommend Pipedrive For?

Pipedrive is our choice for businesses that need a cost-effective, sales-focused CRM. With five plans to choose from, you’re sure to find the features and functionality you need at the right price to manage customer relationships and improve sales. We love that you can create unlimited visual sales pipelines and get excellent standard features to understand every deal and optimize the entire sales process. 

However, while we appreciate Pipedrive’s sales tools, scalable plans and cost-effective add-ons, businesses that need a comprehensive CRM solution with features geared toward multiple departments will find Pipedrive’s platform limited.

Pipedrive empowers your sales team with the following features:

  • Pipedrive’s visual sales pipeline will help you see the status of every deal.
  • Pipedrive provides excellent sales features across all five service plans.
  • The platform offers email tools and add-ons to help reach customers effectively.

Pipedrive's visual pipeline

Pipedrive’s visual pipeline helps you easily manage deals as they progress. Source: Pipedrive

Who Do We Recommend Salesforce For?

Salesforce is ideal for businesses of varying sizes that need a comprehensive, versatile CRM platform. This popular CRM vendor has a vast ecosystem of offerings; we’re focusing on its Sales Cloud CRM packages, which are popular small business solutions. 

While the entry-level Starter plan is an excellent, all-in-one solution for small businesses, Salesforce’s premium plans provide extensive, customizable CRM features geared toward sales, marketing, service and IT departments. These tiers are excellent options for established businesses with complex needs. Salesforce’s advanced automations and generative AI tools will help companies with big budgets collaborate across departments to drive sales efficiently.

Salesforce is a powerful, all-in-one solution because of the following features:

  • Salesforce offers more plans and features than competitors do.
  • Salesforce’s powerful generative AI tools stand out in the industry.
  • Salesforce’s CRM provides excellent contact management features.
Did You Know?Did you know

Top Salesforce competitors include Keap, Zoho CRM and Zendesk. Check out our Keap review, our review of Zoho CRM and our Zendesk review to research these Salesforce alternatives.

Salesforce dashboard

Salesforce’s easy-to-use dashboard includes visual reports and Einstein AI insights. Source: Salesforce

Pipedrive vs. Salesforce Comparison

Price and Plans

Pipedrive

  • Pipedrive offers five reasonably priced service plans. 
  • Unlimited seats, contacts and sales pipelines are standard in all tiers.
  • Many Pipedrive features are available across plans but have limitations.

Pipedrive has five reasonably priced plans that include essential tools to boost sales. Most plans include Pipedrive’s best features, although some are limited. We love that the slight price difference between plans means you can scale with Pipedrive as your business grows. Plus, you can save up to 32 percent when paying annually.

We like that all plans have unlimited seats, contacts and sales pipelines and that you can try any plan with a 14-day free trial. We also appreciate that Pipedrive offers cost-effective add-ons, like Lead Booster and Campaigns, to expand your CRM capabilities affordably. However, we would have preferred to see less-restrictive automation limits. 

Plan

Price (per user per month)

Included features

Essential

$21.90 (billed monthly)

$14.90 (billed annually)

  • Lead, deal, contact and pipeline management
  • Leads inbox
  • Deal rotting
  • 24/7 live-chat support
  • 400-plus integrations
  • Sales assistant
  • API access
  • 3,000 open deals and 30 custom fields per company
  • 15 reports 
  • One dashboard per user 

Advanced

$37.90 (billed monthly)

$27.90 (billed annually)

Everything in Essential, plus the following:

  • Customizable email templates
  • Group email
  • Email and call scheduling 
  • Web-to-mobile calls
  • 10,000 open deals and 100 custom fields per company
  • 30 active automations per user
  • 30 reports per user

Professional

$59.90 (billed monthly)

$49.90 (billed annually)

Everything in Advanced, plus the following:

  • Automatic lead assignment
  • Visual contacts timeline
  • Team management and goals
  • Smart Docs add-on
  • Revenue forecasts 
  • 100,000 open deals and 300 custom fields per company
  • 60 active automations per user
  • 50 reports per user 
  • Unlimited dashboards per user

Power

$74.90 (billed monthly)

$64.90 (billed annually)

Everything in Professional, plus the following:

  • Phone support
  • Projects add-on 
  • Custom onboarding 
  • 200,000 open deals 
  • 500 custom fields per company
  • 90 active automations per user
  • 250 reports per user
  • Unlimited dashboards per user

Enterprise

$119 (billed monthly)

$99 (billed annually)

Everything in Power, plus the following:

  • Security rules and alerts 
  • Unlimited open deals and custom fields per company
  • 180 active automations per user
  • Unlimited reports and dashboards per user

Salesforce

  • Four primary Sales Cloud CRM plans aim to meet the needs of various businesses.
  • The Starter plan includes essential features and has a 10-seat limit.
  • The most valuable features require an expensive premium plan.
  • All plans require an annual contract.

Salesforce offers four plans in its Sales Cloud CRM packages. In general, we found Salesforce to be on the expensive side. We appreciate the 30-day free trial for all plans but were disappointed that most features that make the platform so potent require a premium plan or add-ons.

The entry-level plan includes essential sales features such as lead management tools. However, the 10-seat limit means you must upgrade to a significantly more expensive plan as your business grows. The expansive tools in Salesforce’s premium plans are excellent for large businesses and enterprises. Still, the limited features and relatively high costs of lower-tier plans, as well as the required annual commitment, could be barriers for many small businesses.  

Plan

Price (per user per month, billed annually)

Included features

Starter

$25 (10-seat user limit)

  • Lead management
  • Automatic lead routing
  • Web-to-lead capture
  • Mass email
  • Contact management
  • Customizable reports and dashboards
  • Mobile app 
  • Email integrations 

Sales Professional

$80 

Everything in Starter, plus the following:

  • Forecasting
  • Quotes 
  • Order tracking
  • Developer sandbox 
  • Five workflows

Sales Enterprise

$165 

Everything in Sales Professional, plus the following:

  • AI opportunity scoring and deal insights
  • Advanced reporting
  • Advanced pipeline management 
  • Unlimited automated workflows

Sales

Unlimited 

$330 

Everything in Sales Enterprise, plus the following:

  • Advanced AI functions and insights
  • Lead scoring
  • Full sandbox
  • Advanced automations 
  • Premium support

Winner: Pipedrive

Pipedrive is our choice for an affordable CRM. We like that its plans are reasonably priced and include essential features so you can find a solution that fits your organization. As your business grows, you can upgrade or purchase add-ons without the painful price jump of Salesforce’s options. However, large businesses with complex needs might find Pipedrive’s features limiting and see better value in Salesforce’s comprehensive software. 

Artificial Intelligence

Pipedrive

We love that Pipedrive’s Sales Assistant, powered by AI and preprogrammed algorithms, is available with all plans. Using your sales data, the Sales Assistant can do the following: 

  • Provide insights and advice to optimize your workflows and drive sales
  • Tell you which CRM metrics you should track
  • Determine which leads to engage 
  • Advise on which activities to prioritize
  • Send timely notifications and visual performance graphs

However, while the Sales Assistant can help your employees convert leads more efficiently, we would have liked to see Pipedrive’s AI functions extend to communications.

Did You Know?Did you know

AI-powered automations are a popular CRM feature, but new machine learning developments are taking CRM capabilities to the next level.

Salesforce

Salesforce offers multiple AI-powered tools, but Einstein GPT and Einstein Conversation Insights stand out.

  • Einstein GPT: Einstein GPT can respond to customers via email or chat and summarize communications between contacts and your team. It can study your sales and customers to provide recommendations, like telling you the right time to reach out to close the deal. It can also study your teams and offer tips and automation suggestions to improve efficiency.
  • Einstein Conversation Insights: Einstein Conversation Insights can record and analyze customer interactions and provide key insights in a searchable and shareable transcript. It can also track your business mentions across the internet and create visual trend reports so you can see where and how people are talking about your business.

Salesforce’s AI capabilities are state-of-the-art. However, we were disappointed that most functions are restricted to premium plans. In fact, the only standard feature is Einstein Activity Capture, which syncs data from your email and calendar accounts.

Winner: Salesforce

Salesforce’s powerful AI tools far outpace Pipedrive’s. Pipedrive’s AI assistant provides helpful tips, CRM analytics and recommendations, but Salesforce’s Einstein is a more robust machine-learning tool. It offers insights and helps you communicate effectively with contacts to stay on top of the best leads and close more deals quickly.     

Sales Features

Pipedrive

Lead generation is a breeze thanks to Pipedrive’s visual pipeline and robust sales features. We like that all plans include most tools but with varying limits, so you get access to everything you need but only pay for the functionality that’s appropriate for your business size. 

  • Visual sales pipeline: You get unlimited customizable pipelines, templates and helpful visual reports with all plans. We love the color-coded Kanban pipeline that shows the status of every deal at a glance.
  • Deal rotting: The deal rotting feature, which highlights inactive deals in red so your team can take action, is especially useful. 
  • Filters: Filters make the platform even better for managing deals and monitoring employees. 
  • Add-ons: We appreciate that you can take your sales capabilities even further with cost-effective premium plans and add-ons such as Lead Booster. However, we were disappointed with the automation limits in all plans.

Salesforce

Salesforce combines the tools and information your sales team needs to manage leads, collaborate with other departments and close the deal.

  • Basic sales features: We appreciate that all plans include basic features to capture leads, route them to the right reps and manage their journey down tailored sales pipelines.
  • Customizable dashboards: Customizable CRM dashboards and performance reports come standard in all plans.
  • Premium sales features: Premium plans have many more excellent sales features — like AI-powered lead scoring, sophisticated insights and advanced pipeline management tools — but most small businesses will be priced out of these benefits. 

We were disappointed that Salesforce’s most powerful features are available only with premium plans. We think all users would benefit from Salesforce’s accurate sales forecasting tools and time-saving workflow automations.  

Salesforce visual reports

Salesforce provides visual reports and helpful filters that let you stay on top of deals and monitor employees. Source: Salesforce

Winner: Tie

The best CRM for sales features depends on your business’s size and characteristics. Small and midsize businesses will find a better value in Pipedrive’s easy-to-use platform and the second-tier plan’s essential features and automations. However, large businesses with complex sales cycles and processes will likely be constrained by Pipedrive’s limitations, thus making Salesforce’s premium plans a better choice.  

TipTip

The best CRM solutions can help you design and implement an efficient sales process while tracking customer data, handling leads and managing sales funnels.

Contact Management

Pipedrive

Pipedrive provides contact management and email marketing tools, including the following: 

  • Unlimited contact database: From the unlimited contact database, your reps can see customer information and interaction history with a click.
  • Centralized lead inbox: You get a centralized lead inbox for uniform communications and a tool to filter contacts by location. 
  • Email features: We appreciate that all plans include two-way email syncing with over 25 email providers, customizable templates, email open-and-click tracking, mass emails, automations and email scheduling.
  • Contacts Timeline: We especially like the Contacts Timeline, which shows a contact’s activities and interactions at a glance. However, this feature becomes available only with the Professional plan.

We were disappointed that some of the best features to reach customers and nurture leads aren’t available in Pipedrive’s Essentials plan. Still, you can augment your contact management with these value-priced add-ons: 

  • Smart Docs: Smart Docs helps create, send and track important documents. 
  • Campaigns: The Campaigns tool expands email functions and organizes marketing efforts. 
Did You Know?Did you know

Pipedrive allows you to automatically notify sales reps when prospects open emails and send triggered emails at various stages of the customer relationship.

Salesforce

Salesforce has everything you need to manage contacts successfully.

  • Contact management tools: Excellent contact management tools come with all plans. For example, you can get communication history at a glance, receive alerts, and reach out by email, chat or phone right from the customizable central platform. 
  • Email tools: We love that essential email tools — like mass email, templates, email engagement tracking and campaign management — are included in all plans.
  • Activity feed: The activity feed is a standout feature. It keeps you updated on customer interactions and alerts you when consumers want to engage.
  • Customizable cadences: We found the customizable cadences feature especially useful. Cadences allow your team to follow a set path when communicating with leads. 
  • Premium features: While most features come standard, upgrading to a premium plan enhances your contact management with AI-powered insights, recommendations, and communication transcripts and summaries. 
TipTip

Use Salesforce’s extensive audience segmentation tools to create more effective, personalized email marketing campaigns.

Salesforce cadences

Salesforce’s cadences allow you to create custom paths for communicating with contacts. Source: Salesforce

Winner: Salesforce

Salesforce edges out Pipedrive for contact management because most of its powerful tools to help you communicate with customers and leads come standard. We appreciate that Pipedrive offers competent email capabilities, but we would have liked to see them available across all plans. 

Ease of Use

Pipedrive

Pipedrive’s simple visual interface and straightforward, sales-focused features make it a highly user-friendly platform.

  • Visual features: Thanks to the handy templates and drag-and-drop menus, your sales pipelines will be up and running in no time. 
  • Mobile CRM app: We appreciate that the mobile CRM app lets you work from anywhere. 
  • Integrations: You can integrate with over 400 external apps so your teams can keep using the tools they love. 
  • Online resources: Some advanced functions and add-ons are complex, but Pipedrive offers articles, training videos and other online resources to help you navigate the platform. 

Salesforce

Salesforce offers a more extensive list of features than most competitors, and you can complete almost any task right from the platform. The learning curve for such a complex solution can be steep, but we think that once you get the hang of things, Salesforce is easier than it seems.

  • Tools and integrations: Salesforce has tools for almost every business area and allows thousands of must-have CRM integrations, so you’re guaranteed to have the functionality you need to succeed. 
  • Mobile app: Salesforce’s excellent mobile app lets you connect from anywhere.
  • Einstein AI: We especially love the time-saving benefits of Einstein AI, including automations and content generation.

Still, we were disappointed that many helpful features, like integrations and AI, don’t come standard across all plans. 

Winner: Pipedrive

Pipedrive beats Salesforce because of its simple, easy-to-navigate visual platform. We think most teams will start selling better right off the bat, thanks to its foolproof features. For businesses that need the advanced functions of a more robust platform, Salesforce is a better option and is relatively easy to use despite its complex feature set. 

TipTip

To ensure a successful CRM implementation, ensure that you’ve researched your platform and that it aligns with your company’s vision. Train your team, test the system, and carefully migrate your data.

Customer Service

Pipedrive

  • Online resources: We like that Pipedrive provides extensive online resources, including its Knowledge Base articles; Pipedrive Academy tutorials, courses and webinars; and Pipedrive Community forum. Anyone can learn how to use the platform and solve problems on their own.
  • Live support: We were disappointed with Pipedrive’s live support. Most users only have access to 24/7 chat. 
  • Phone support: For phone support, you must subscribe to a premium plan.

Salesforce

Salesforce offers three support tiers: 

  • Standard Success: Standard Success is free with all plans and includes online learning tools, a help portal, community forums and online technical support through case submission. 
  • Premier Success: Premier Success is included free with Unlimited Plans or for 30 percent of your license fees. It has all the features of Standard Success, plus 24/7 phone support, developer support, coaching and onboarding. 
  • Signature Success: Signature Success includes expanded service, but you must speak to a sales rep for pricing.

We appreciate Salesforce’s online self-help resources and the ability to get a callback when you require additional support. Still, the wait time could be costly. We would have liked to see phone support included with all plans.

Winner: Tie

We appreciate that Salesforce and Pipedrive offer excellent online resources to help users navigate the platforms and troubleshoot problems. However, we were disappointed that neither plan includes phone support as a standard feature.

Key TakeawayKey takeaway

Choosing CRM software requires finding a solution that meets your needs. Pipedrive is focused on sales, with a visual interface and limited email and AI tools. Salesforce is an all-in-one solution with extensive tools, powerful AI and thousands of integrations.

Pipedrive vs. Salesforce Recap

Choose Pipedrive if …

  • You want a cost-effective CRM plan without sacrificing functionality.
  • You need a visual interface to get information quickly.
  • You’re looking for an easy-to-use, sales-focused CRM solution.

Choose Salesforce if …

  • You want state-of-the-art generative AI tools.
  • You need to integrate your CRM with the solutions you already use.
  • You’re looking for a customizable platform with advanced features.

FAQs

Pipedrive is a sales-focused CRM known for its visual pipeline and essential features to help businesses capture leads, manage contacts and make sales from one unified platform.

Pipedrive is an affordable CRM solution with five plans at reasonable prices compared with the competition. You can save more money with discounts for annual payments.

Salesforce is generally easy to use, although some of the complex features in premium plans require some effort. Salesforce offers online resources and onboarding support to help businesses learn how to navigate the platform.

Salesforce is an industry leader because of its extensive range of plans and features tailored to different business needs and its state-of-the-art Einstein AI technology.

Tom Anziano headshot
Tom Anziano, Business Ownership Insider and Senior Writer
Thomas Anziano is an advertising and marketing professional who has worked in the U.S. and Germany. He has also taught Business Writing in English to university students in Madrid, Spain. He holds a degree in Marketing and Spanish.
Back to top
Desktop background imageMobile background image
In partnership with BDCBND presents the b. newsletter:

Building Better Businesses

Insights on business strategy and culture, right to your inbox.
Part of the business.com network.