Contact Us (833) 210-7333
Go back

Zendesk vs. Salesforce: Peaceful Zen Competition

zendesk vs salesforce

CRM software is second to none when it comes to collecting data and organizing contacts. While each CRM platform has its own unique features, they all have one goal — to improve customer data management.

Therefore, leading CRM vendors are unremittingly investing in groundbreaking technologies such as AI and robotic process automation. These innovations are upgrading marketing and sales while increasing team productivity and customer satisfaction.

In this article, we will test two effective CRM platforms on the market today. Salesforce and Zendesk have both been around for quite some time and are well-known within the business community. The positive reviews surrounding these products only confirm their quality. However, their differences can be decisive in the selection process. Let’s get to know both contestants better.

Vendors Preamble

The first thing that comes to mind when comparing vendors is that smaller contributors won't spend on artificial intelligence and other capabilities that significantly affect their CRM performance. In addition, multi-platform companies that manage the entire customer life-cycle have great opportunities to generate profits and further develop their competitive advantage. In the long run, choose from several companies with significant market share.

crm applications market share


About Salesforce

Salesforce is the undisputed leader in enterprise-grade software and considered the gold standard for CRM solutions.

Service Cloud has a reputation for being used by large companies, when in fact it works for businesses of all sizes. Salesforce offers cloud-based e-commerce, marketing, and analytics services. This enables 150,000 companies to streamline their operations, automate complex tasks, and reduce reliance on human employees.

Benefits of Salesforce Service Cloud

Service Cloud is a feature-rich customer service solution powered by Salesforce that proffers a 360-degree view of customers' inquiries and enables intelligent and personalized communication. The advantages of Service Cloud are:

  • Features to automate and streamline workflows and organize self-service content.
  • 360 overviews of customer profiles.
  • Integration with more apps and extensions than Zendesk can offer. The Salesforce advantage is an unrivaled AppExchange marketplace of 3,000 apps.

In 2011, Salesforce tried to buy Zendesk, but they canceled the deal. So it gained Assistly and renamed it, which seemed like a step toward Zendesk's sphere of influence. Particular attention should be paid to the difference between and Service Cloud. is a convenient option for small businesses, while Salesforce Service Cloud is a powerful application meant for large enterprises and corporations. is part of Salesforce Service Cloud, but you can use it as a standalone application.

About Zendesk

Founded in 2007, Zendesk has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of customer-problem management software for small companies. Besides moving into CRM with Zendesk Sell (previously Base CRM), the company announced the Sunshine platform: a flexible and open API platform on AWS that allows developers and customers to build whatever they want using customer data in and out of the application.

But can it keep up with a mastodon like Salesforce?

Benefits of Zendesk

Zendesk is a cloud-based helpdesk management solution that offers a wide range of customizable features, a dynamic front-end portal, real-time chat functionality, and integrations with Google Analytics and Salesforce. The pros of Zendesk are:

  • Simple user interface
  • Ready to go without complicated settings
  • Lots of features to make collaboration easier

Zendesk covers 60 percent of the SMB market, and the company believes Sunshine will make it more competitive with large customers by offering a holistic CRM solution.

Zendesk vs. Salesforce Comparison Chart

Salesforce vs Zendesk


A Comparison Between Zendesk and Salesforce Features

Public reviews reflect only a fraction of what using the platform will be like, and they usually have more complaints than praise. This is confusing and interferes with aim perception. Our goal is to inspect the two products and give you the opportunity to choose on your own.

Deployment and ease of use

Users must decide whether they want a solution that they can quickly implement or one that is more customizable.

Zendesk differs from Salesforce in its speed of deployment and ease of use. Basic functions launched in one day.

Deploying the Salesforce Service Cloud requires many customizations to meet your requirements. You will need a developer or third-party partner to turn the blank slate into a fully working solution.

Multi-Channel Support

Both solutions allow agents to provide support via digital channels, such as email, chat, phone, and social media. Both offer advanced mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. But Zendesk is inferior in scale to Salesforce, and as a result, suffers from unified communications across channels. Its social media support is described as “clumsy,” when its storage and retrieval options may be poor.

Self Service Portal

Zendesk's guide suggests building an intelligent knowledge base in multiple languages. Inside the Professional and Enterprise plans, you create communities and branded customer support sites. Additional help is available in the form of online user guides and training resources.

Service Cloud Lightning Community Builder to create a custom portal, help forum, support site, HR centers, and more. Chatter integration is available for all kinds of social interactions. The Ignite Innovation Program, introducing Service Cloud Voice, and the Trailhead learning platform has further enhanced the value of Service Cloud.

Integrations and workflow management

Zendesk integrates well with several third-party apps and systems, including Google Apps, WordPress, and even Salesforce. Of course, Zendesk's level of integration with Salesforce doesn't quite match what Desk offers. Companies that have worked with Salesforce for others may find that Zendesk Sell doesn’t provide a complete overview of the customer.

Salesforce Cloud is part of the biggest software ecosystem that includes customer service solutions, business intelligence, and more. CRM is efficiently expandable by purchasing and managing additional services and functions using a centralized administration panel.

Team collaboration

Zendesk Sell is part of the broader cloud software structure that includes Zendesk's integrated customer service. Other tools in the Zendesk case include chat and messaging, business intelligence, call-center software, and community forums.

Salesforce's collaboration tools are more focused on communication with project management in mind. This helps the company achieve goals faster.


Zendesk Sell is competitive enough — the cheapest Sell plan starts at only $5 per agent. Zendesk Sunshine was not sold separately because it was associated with the Enterprise plan. The Enterprise Zendesk Suite with 24/7 support, guidance, chat, conversation, AI, and Zendesk Sunshine costs $149/month per user billed annually.

Salesforce has many standalone apps and price tiers. The Lightning platform starts at $25 per user/month and scales infinitely based on your needs. And the “sales and service” package includes a dozen unique features and ranges from $100 to $325 per user/month. Both vendors have free trials that you can test before purchasing.

Reporting and analytics

Salesforce takes a much deeper approach to analytics and reporting, especially for forecasting sales and measuring engagement. Its AI, Einstein, helps automate workflows and make informed forecasts based on data generated along the way to purchase. Get a rich profile of your customer through integration with Salesforce sales and marketing software. Therefore, it is ideal as a CRM system.

Zendesk Sell allows you to track interactions with each customer, transforming data into usable visual reports. You will see your performance, including predictions based on previous results in the sales dashboards. In addition, it is better suited to customer service and ticket support software. Zendesk Explore is a data analysis tool that works across all Zendesk apps.

Which is best for your business?

So what's the difference between Salesforce vs. Zendesk Sell? Zendesk is the right tool for startups and small companies. It is support-oriented, but you can integrate it with CRM systems, other platforms, and apps. Zendesk Sell may sound simple compared to Salesforce, but it suits many small businesses.

Service Cloud users, on the other hand, get a sales support and marketing tool all in one, but the package price is several times higher than that of Zendesk. And put in the time and effort customizing the software, especially if you have many individual needs and want a larger, more reliable platform. Here's a quick overview of the grounds to choose between Salesforce Service Cloud vs. Zendesk:

Reasons to choose Zendesk Sell

  • You have a small business and a budget.
  • You need a simpler CRM to get started.
  • You are already using Zendesk customer support.
  • Your top priority is to manage your sales funnel.

Reasons to choose Salesforce

  • You have an enterprise-level business or a fast-growing company.
  • You want advanced CRM features and aren't confused by the complexity of the setup.
  • You are already using some Salesforce solutions.


There will be no clear winner in the confrontation between Zendesk Sunshine vs. Salesforce since each CRM has its own capabilities and potential. According to analysts, there is little in common between Zendesk customer service CRM users and Salesforce users. In the short term, Sunshine may not so much challenge Salesforce to help Zendesk increase Enterprise sales for its current customers.

These two solutions are aimed at companies at very different stages of the corporate life cycle. And it's up to you to determine which one is best suited for your business.

Average rating / 5. Votes:

user photo

Written by

Dmitriy Sorokin

Dmitriy is developing the company’s financial expertise and helps clients to automate their business process with the help of Financial Services Cloud.

Need consultation?


    I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy

    No comments

    Don’t miss out on new business resources.

    Get the latest business resources on the market delivered to your inbox. Unsubscribe anytime