Zoho is still one of the most recognizable CRM platforms out there, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best option for customer relations management. While it’s considered one of the best and most affordable options by many, there are still plenty of reasons you might want or need a good Zoho alternative, especially as your business continues to grow and you need more refined features when it comes to contract templates or invoice templates.
These alternatives are all designed to be easy to use, accessible, and work for a wide range of different business and entrepreneurial styles.
So, whether you’re looking for a replacement for your existing account or are looking for a Zoho alternative to get you started, these are some of the best options.
Let’s dive in.
Bonsai is the best overall Zoho alternative if you’re looking for something to replace an existing account or have evaluated Zoho and decided it’s not for you. The 14-day free trial is more than long enough to get a sense of whether the platform fits your style, and whether the tools are worth the spending of $19/mo to have.
Bonsai has the advantage of offering unlimited clients and projects, which lets it scale with your business for more effective management.
It also gives you access to a contracts and proposals management tool that makes it simple to create clear expectations for every project you decide to take on.
Time tracking and management make it simple to stay on top of what you're doing through the day and to find new ways to optimize your workflow.
Bonsai is a fantastic all in one tool for managing CRM, invoices, and more, with the end result being a significantly more productive day for you and your team. Sign up for a free trial today!
Proofhub offers two different subscription levels, but the most affordable version of this program comes to $45 a month, billed annually.
This is a great collaborative platform for your team, whether you’re all working in the same office or are spread across the country. It includes invaluable software like time tracking and proof and approval systems that help make it clear where your attention is needed, and when.
Task management tools combine with a calendar and easy chat features to make it simple to touch base and make cure critical project goals are met on time.
ProofHub also provides project templates and more advanced B2B features on higher subscription levels.
Though Proofub can seem an expensive Zoho alternative at first glance, it’s a good option for larger teams that need great coordination tools.
It also comes with the advantage of offering significant discounts for non-profit organizations that might not otherwise be able to afford this kind of comprehensive program.
Scoro is a good option for mid-sized teams who need a collaborative environment that helps to streamline task management and project planning.
The system does scale in price, so the more features and advanced software you need, the pricier it can become. The 5 team member minimum also means that Scoro isn’t a good option for soloprenuers and small team businesses, and the price can bloat at the other end of the spectrum as well.
It's also worth noting that some features have their own cost, also calculated per-user, which can increase the overall price of the platform. That subscription-style also makes it simpler to add additional tools and access only to the team members who need it, though, which can cut costs.
That said, features like the task board, planner, and calendar invites make collaboration simple, especially if you’re working with a time or distance barrier between team members.
Scoro also helps with managing bills and finances, with even the lowest subscription levels providing valuable financial trackers and insights to make business planning easier.
Basecamp is great for managing a larger team and a lot of clientele, with unlimited collaborators, projects, and clients.
The 30-day free trial is also helpful, since this platform is significantly larger than other CRM, team management, and financial planning tools, and designed to support more users, that longer trial run gives you time to really see if this platform is a good fit for your business needs.
This price is for the business class subscription, which comes with significantly more perks than the smaller personal package, including unlimited users instead of the base of 20 users and 3 projects available in the personal package.
You also get 500GB of free storage to help with managing that kind of volume, and priority support access when you need help with a feature or tool. The advanced client access feature also makes it simple to see what your clients see, making customer relations that much easier.
Like several of the programs on this list, Insightly comes at several different subscription levels, allowing to scale the features and functionality of the program to make the need of your business as it grows and expands.
It's cross-platform compatible, even at the lowest subscription level, which means that you can access your Insightly tools on a wider range of devices, making it easier to check on things when you're on the go.
High subscription levels take Insightly beyond a basic CRM, giving you access to additional tools to help drive and track sales, as well as insights into what is driving conversions for your business.
If you’re looking for enterprise-class project management tools, Clarizen is one of the better options out there. The 30 day trial on this tool, like the other platforms that offer a longer trial run, really helps you get to know the advantages of this tool.
The centralized system makes it easier to access and organize several different projects at once, all within one collaborative team environment. You can also designate separate areas for different teams and projects.
Add to that the ability to prioritize and organize critical tasks, and even whole projects and portfolios, and this makes managing larger organizations much simpler.
However, that per-user price does mean that the cost can bloat over time, especially at higher subscription levels and with large teams.
Copper has three different subscription levels, and you can subscribe with monthly or annual billing. But, considering that even their base level subscription comes with unlimited users and unlimited projects, this is a surprisingly affordable Zoho alternative.
The biggest limitation of the base subscription is that you only get 10Gb free storage space.
The tool allows you to centralize all your project documents as well as proving a collaborative environment that makes it significantly easier to keep track of different people and teams within your organization.
The drag and drop calendar is relatively easy to use, while tasks and timer functions help to keep everyone on track and organized. It also makes it easier to hold your team accountable for their progress toward critical project goals.
Unfortunately, the base subscription rate does not give you access to Copper Project's phone support, but the mid-tier subscription does, along with several additional tools and added storage in the Cloud.
There are two different ways to subscribe to Celoxis, a Cloud version (quoted above) with monthly and annual subscription styles, and an on-premise version where the program is installed directly on your own servers.
The on-premise option is a one time $450 fee, but there are additional costs you may want to subscribe to, like ongoing support and troubleshooting from the company.
Celoxis' bright colors and simplistic design make it one of the more readable CRM and drastically lower the learning curve when you first adopt the program. It's flexible subscription style also makes it easy for different kinds of business to adopt the program quickly and relatively painlessly.
The inclusion of risk and resource management software within the program is a useful addition many CRM don’t include. Add to that the fully customizable desktop, and it’s simple to get a read on how your business is doing at any given time.
You also gain access to several dashboards, so that you can specialize the information you most need at any given time, further streamlining the interface.
ActiveCollab is an interesting platform in that it actually interfaces with Quickbooks, giving you some additional functionality if you choose to use it. ActiveCollab is also different in that instead of offering several truly distinct subscription levels, it has a base subscription with a $4 per month additional subscription you can add when you need it. You can’t get the additional subscription without the base package, but you also don’t have to worry about losing important features or functions in the process.
The platform is designed for both desktop and mobile use and offers customizable notifications to help you stay on top of the most important details in your business.
Even at the base subscription, you get unlimited projects and unlimited tasks and time records. The program also helps with time tracking, invoicing, and profitability management when you add the additional subscription package.
Even without that addition though, the CRM is useful for managing your budget and time to maximize the profits on each project.
Bitrix24 is a very scalable program that starts by offering a fully free version for small businesses and soloprenuers, but that can grow to support unlimited users and enterprise-sized teams.
Bitrix 24 offers a wide range of different features, including online store support, varying levels of free cloud-based storage, and CRM marketing solutions. The exact features you get, and how useful they can become, depends largely on which subscription level you choose.
Bitrix 24 has a whopping 6 subscription levels, with the highest subscription running $199 a month (but there are often discounted rates for this platform).
All versions offer unlimited contracts, unlimited invoices, client profiles, and an internal CRM chat.
In fact, Bitrix24 is so feature-rich that it can at times be a downside of this platform, simply because it has a steep learning curve and takes a good bit of experience to learn to utilize all the program's features effectively.
While we stand by every platform in this list as being a great option, and a great Zoho alternative, Bonsai stands out as a clear platform of choice. Easy to use tools, incredibly affordable pricing, and the advantages of a highly scalable platform make it our top pick Zoho alternative.
Sign up for the no-strings-attached free trial to see for yourself whether Bonsai is a good fit for your organization.
A verbal contract (formally called an oral contract) refers to an agreement between two parties that's made —you guessed it— verbally.
Formal contracts, like those between an employee and an employer, are typically written down. However, some professional transactions take place based on verbally agreed terms.
Freelancers are a good example of this. Often, freelancers will take on projects having agreed on the terms and payment via the phone, or an email. Unfortunately, sometimes clients don't pull through on their agreements, and hardworking freelancers can find themselves out of pocket and wondering whether a legal battle is worth all the hassle.
The main differences between written and oral contracts are that the former is signed and documented, whereas the latter is solely attributed to verbal communication.
Verbal contracts are a bit of a gray area for most people unfamiliar with contract law —which is most of us, right?— due to the fact that there's no physical evidence to support the claims made by the implemented parties.
For any contract (written or verbal) to be binding, there are four major elements which need to be in place. The crucial elements of a contract are as follows:
Therefore, an oral agreement has legal validity if all of these elements are present. However, verbal contracts can be difficult to enforce in a court of law. In the next section, we take a look at how oral agreements hold up in court.
Most business professionals are wary of entering into contracts orally because they can difficult to enforce in the face of the law.
If an oral contract is brought in front of a court of law, there is increased risk of one party (or both!) lying about the initial terms of the agreement. This is problematic for the court, as there's no unbiased way to conclude the case; often, this will result in the case being disregarded. Moreover, it can be difficult to outline contract defects if it's not in writing.
That being said, there are plenty of situations where enforceable contracts do not need to be written or spoken, they're simply implied. For instance, when you buy milk from a store, you give something in exchange for something else and enter into an implied contract, in this case - money is exchanged for goods.
There are some types of contracts which must be in writing.
The Statute of Frauds is a legal statute which states that certain kinds of contracts must be executed in writing and signed by the parties involved. The Statute of Frauds has been adopted in almost all U.S states, and requires a written contract for the following purposes:
Typically, a court of law won't enforce an oral agreement in any of these circumstances under the statute. Instead, a written document is required to make the contract enforceable.
Contract law is generally doesn't favor contracts agreed upon verbally. A verbal agreement is difficult to prove, and can be used by those intent on committing fraud. For that reason, it's always best to put any agreements in writing and ensure all parties have fully understood and consented to signing.
Verbal agreements can be proven with actions in the absence of physical documentation. Any oral promise to provide the sale of goods or perform a service that you agreed to counts as a valid contract. So, when facing a court of law, what evidence can you provide to enforce a verbal agreement?
Unfortunately, without solid proof, it may be difficult to convince a court of the legality of an oral contract. Without witnesses to testify to the oral agreement taking place or other forms of evidence, oral contracts won't stand up in court. Instead, it becomes a matter of "he-said-she-said" - which legal professionals definitely don't have time for!
If you were to enter into a verbal contract, it's recommended to follow up with an email or a letter confirming the offer, the terms of the agreement , and payment conditions. The more you can document the elements of a contract, the better your chances of legally enforcing a oral contract.
Another option is to make a recording of the conversation where the agreement is verbalized. This can be used to support your claims in the absence of a written agreement. However, it's always best to gain the permission of the other involved parties before hitting record.
Fundamentally, most verbal agreements are legally valid as long as they meet all the requirements for a contract. However, if you were to go to court over one party not fulfilling the terms of the contract, proving that the interaction took place can be extremely taxing.
So, ultimately, the question is: written or verbal agreements?
Any good lawyer, contract law firm, or legal professional would advise you to make sure you formalize any professional agreement with a written agreement. Written contracts provide a secure testament to the conditions that were agreed and signed by the two parties involved. If it comes to it, a physical contract is much easier to eviden in legal circumstances.
Freelancers, in particular, should be aware of the extra security that digital contracts may provide. Many people choose to stick to executing contracts verbally because they're not sure how to write a contract, or they think writing out the contract terms is too complicated or requires expensive legal advice. However, this is no longer the case.
Today, we have a world of resources available at our fingertips. The internet is a treasure trove of invaluable information, platforms, and software that simplifies our lives. Creating, signing, and sending contracts has never been easier. What's more, you don't have to rely on a hiring a lawyer to explain all that legal jargon anymore.
There are plenty of tools available online for freelancers to use for guidance when drafting digital contracts. Tools like Bonsai provide a range of customizable, vetted contract templates for all kinds of freelance professionals. No matter what industry you're operating in, Bonsai has a professional template to offer.
A written contract makes the agreement much easier to prove the terms of the agreement in case something were to go awry. The two parties involved can rest assured that they're legal rights are protected, and the terms of the contract are sufficiently documented. Plus, it provides both parties with peace of mind to focus on the tasks at hand.
Bonsai's product suite for freelancers allows users to make contracts from scratch, or using professional templates, and sign them using an online signature maker.
With Bonsai, you can streamline and automate all of the boring back-office tasks that come with being a freelancer. From creating proposals that clients can't say no to, to sealing the deal with a professional contract - Bonsai will revolutionize the way you do business as a freelancer.
Why not secure your business today and sign up for a free trial?