Comparison of Zendesk and Salesforce

Zendesk vs. Salesforce: A Comprehensive Comparison of CRM Solutions [App Integration]

Garima Singh
By Garima Singh | Last Updated on February 23rd, 2024 11:40 am


When it comes to choosing a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, the decision often boils down to two major contenders: Zendesk and Salesforce. Both are well-established players in the CRM market, offering a wide range of features and functionalities. In this blog, we will compare and contrast these two platforms to help you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your business needs. We will delve into various aspects such as user experience, range of use cases, scalability, workflow automation, advanced AI capabilities, reporting, overall value, and app integrations. Let's dive in!

Points to consider when choosing between Zendesk and Salesforce

User Experience: Zendesk's Simplicity vs. Salesforce's Complexity

One of the key factors to consider when evaluating a CRM solution is the user experience. Zendesk stands out for its simplicity and intuitive design, making it quick to onboard and easy to use. The platform boasts a modern design, a simple dashboard, and a clean interface, providing a smooth and pleasant user experience. Navigating through Zendesk's dashboard is straightforward, with all the essential CRM building blocks clearly defined. The user-friendly interface allows users to access tasks, leads, appointments, reports, contacts and deals easily.

On the other hand, Salesforce can be perceived as more complex than Zendesk, particularly for users without prior CRM experience. While Salesforce offers a wealth of features and functionalities, finding specific features and implementing advanced functionalities can be a bit challenging. The platform's interface gives off a slightly outdated corporate vibe, which may not appeal to users seeking a modern and visually appealing workspace. However, it's worth mentioning that many Salesforce users have adapted to its interface and find it perfectly suitable for their needs.

Range of Use Cases: Zendesk's Adaptability vs. Salesforce's Versatility

Both Zendesk and Salesforce cater to a wide range of industries and use cases. Zendesk, with its streamlined offering, is suitable for use cases in virtually any industry. While it may not have pre-built products for specific use cases like sustainability management or return-to-work planning, it provides tailored utility for compliance-rich industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, finance, and government. Additionally, Zendesk offers several supplemental products such as support, guide, gather, chat, voice, and explore, enhancing its sales CRM with enhanced customer support, knowledge management, community forums, live chat, and reporting functionalities. It also offers Zendesk-Salesforce integration to boost communication and productivity of the team.

Salesforce, on the other hand, boasts a more extensive suite of cloud-based products, making it a versatile choice for scaling enterprises with diverse needs. In addition to its sales-centric CRM, Salesforce offers products for loyalty management and advertising, B2B sales and order management, premium forecasting and trend identification, custom app integration like Salesforce-Zendesk integration and building, and even sustainability management. This wide range of offerings allows businesses to leverage Salesforce's ecosystem to address multiple aspects of their operations.

Scalability: Zendesk's Advanced Features at Competitive Pricing vs. Salesforce's Extensive Cloud Solutions

Scalability is a crucial consideration when selecting a CRM solution, especially for growing enterprises. Zendesk offers a robust suite of tools and advanced features that can cater to the needs of large organizations. The platform provides enterprise adoption capabilities at competitive pricing, allowing businesses to scale their operations without breaking the bank. Zendesk's pricing tiers accommodate different business sizes, with the enterprise-level tier (Zendesk Suite) topping out at $99 per user per month. This tier unlocks features such as custom roles, advanced knowledge management, sandbox capabilities, custom integrations, advanced support, and access to advanced AI capabilities.

Salesforce, known for its extensive cloud solutions, offers unparalleled scalability options for enterprises. With its wide range of products, businesses can seamlessly integrate various Salesforce offerings as they grow and expand their operations. Salesforce's scalability comes at a higher price point of up to $300 per user, with its renowned software quality often commanding premium pricing. While Salesforce's advanced cloud products can be expensive, they provide enterprises with the comprehensive tools needed to support their growth and address complex operational requirements.

Automation: Zendesk's Simplicity vs. Salesforce's Extensive Automation Tools

Automation is a critical aspect of CRM solutions, enabling businesses to streamline workflows, reduce manual tasks, and increase productivity. Zendesk's automation tools are relatively straightforward and easy to implement. Within the Admin panel, users can set up automation conditions and trigger sequences based on ticket-related criteria such as form submissions, channel sources, time since assigned, tags, and ticket types. While Zendesk's automation tools are primarily geared toward issue management, they still offer valuable automation capabilities for service agents.

Salesforce, on the other hand, provides a more extensive suite of automation tools. With its Process Builder interface, even lower-tier account holders can access automation functionalities. Salesforce users can schedule automation, create automation sequence templates, and leverage AI-based automation tools. The platform's automation capabilities become more sophisticated as users upgrade to higher pricing tiers, unlocking features such as Flow Builder, which allows for the creation of more complex automation. While Salesforce's automation tools offer advanced functionalities, they may require more expertise and involvement from development teams. But through Salesforce-Zendesk integration users will get a chance to enhance the functionality and streamline your projects.

Advanced AI Capabilities: Zendesk's Customer Service AI vs. Salesforce's Generative AI

Both Zendesk and Salesforce have incorporated advanced AI capabilities into their CRM solutions. Zendesk has partnered with OpenAI to offer impressive customer service and generative AI tools. Leveraging years of accumulated interactions, Zendesk's AI-powered tools provide smart ticket sorting, contextual insights, suggestions for related articles and knowledge, and automation of common tasks. Zendesk's AI-driven chatbots are simple to deploy and effectively handle simple customer issues without agent intervention, thanks to machine learning capabilities.

Salesforce, with its own integration of OpenAI's generative AI, offers a range of AI-driven functionalities. Salesforce's Einstein AI can gain insights from user and customer behavior, suggest actions, automate scheduling, and generate original knowledge bases, web content, agent responses, and omnichannel messages. Additionally, Salesforce's best action module allows users to create smart assistants that leverage machine learning to provide predictive suggestions and action strategies. While both Zendesk and Salesforce offer advanced AI capabilities, Salesforce's generative AI tools have a slight edge in terms of sophistication.

Reporting: Zendesk's Focus on Issue Management vs. Salesforce's Expansive Reporting Options

Reporting is essential for tracking key metrics and gaining insights into business performance. Zendesk's reporting module, explore, provides a strong foundation for generating reports. The dedicated dashboard allows users to access report templates, related cloud data, and past reports. However, Zendesk's reporting capabilities tend to lean slightly towards issue management metrics, such as solved tickets, time in status, call activity, and chatbot performance. While users can create custom reports, Zendesk's native reporting datasets have a stronger focus on service-related metrics compared to sales-related metrics.

Conversely, Salesforce offers a more expansive range of reporting options. The platform's report-building module provides dozens of report types to choose from, allowing users to generate reports tailored to their specific needs. Salesforce's reporting capabilities cover a wide range of use cases, making it a more natural fit for businesses seeking rich and intuitive reporting on various datasets. While both Zendesk and Salesforce enable users to create custom reports, Salesforce's reporting functionalities offer greater flexibility and customization options.

Overall Value: Zendesk's Competitive Pricing vs. Salesforce's Extensive Features

When evaluating the overall value of a CRM solution, it's essential to consider both pricing and the features offered. Zendesk stands out in terms of pricing, offering many of its most interesting features at lower pricing tiers. Zendesk's pricing packages are significantly lower than Salesforce's comparable packages, making it an attractive choice for businesses looking for cost-effective CRM solutions. Despite its competitive pricing, Zendesk provides a user-friendly interface, essential CRM features, access to advanced and generative AI capabilities, and satisfactory automation functionalities.

Salesforce's renowned software quality comes at a higher cost, often blocking key features at lower pricing tiers. The platform's advanced cloud products can be quite expensive, especially for enterprise-level solutions. However, Salesforce's extensive feature set, including robust automation tools, a wide suite of cloud-based solutions, and sophisticated AI capabilities, justifies the higher price point for businesses with complex needs and a focus on scalability.

Integrations: Zendesk and Salesforce's Wide Range of Native and Integrations

Both Zendesk and Salesforce offer extensive integration capabilities, allowing businesses to connect their CRM solution with other essential tools and services. Zendesk boasts over 1,200 app integrations, providing seamless connectivity with a wide range of application integration. Additionally, Zendesk integrates with Appy Pie Connect, a popular automation platform, enabling users to connect their CRM solution with any apps that are not natively integrated with Zendesk. This Zendesk integration flexibility allows businesses to create complex automations and streamline their workflows.

Similarly, Salesforce integrations offer over 2,500 native integrations, providing users with a vast ecosystem of connected applications and services. Salesforce also integrates with Appy Pie Connect, further expanding its integration capabilities. The wide range of integrations available for both Zendesk and Salesforce allows businesses to leverage their CRM solution alongside their preferred tools and services, enhancing overall productivity and efficiency.


In conclusion, both Zendesk and Salesforce offer robust CRM solutions with unique strengths and features. Zendesk excels in user experience, simplicity, competitive pricing, and adaptability to various industries. With its intuitive design and streamlined offering, Zendesk provides a user-friendly interface that is quick to onboard and easy to use. Salesforce, on the other hand, offers extensive scalability, versatile use cases, sophisticated automation tools, and a wide range of cloud-based solutions. While Salesforce may require more involvement from dev teams and comes at a higher price point, it provides comprehensive functionalities for scaling enterprises with complex needs.

Ultimately, the choice between Zendesk and Salesforce depends on your specific business requirements, budget, and preferences. By evaluating the key factors discussed in this article, you can make an informed decision and select the CRM solution that best aligns with your organization's needs and goals. Whichever platform you choose, both Zendesk and Salesforce offer industry-leading CRM solutions that can drive productivity, improve customer relationships, and propel business growth.

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