CRM choices – Zoho vs. Highrise


I have had so many conversations with people about how to choose a CRM and which are the best.  The two that people keep asking about are Zoho and Highrise.  So here is my personal opinion on these two CRMs.

Zoho CRM

Zoho is more of a typical enterprise level solution to your CRM needs.
  • Pros:  You can customize fields, move projects from Leads, to live opptys, to won business.  You can move companies from prospects to customers.  You can pretty much run any sort of funnel through Zoho.
  • Cons:  It takes a long time to learn where all of the buttons are, what happens when you change status on something, customizing the fields for labeling etc.
  • Conclusion:  This is like a mini Salesforce.  Not quite as powerful, but a whole lot going on.  It is great for larger companies where you need to control users capabilities within a system and make sure to standardize responses.

Highrise CRM (a 37 Signals Product)

Highrise is a different way of looking at things and what I use for my current venture.
  • Pros:  It is simple, quick to setup and will allow you to customize it very easily using Keywords/Tags.  You can organize your contacts based on this.  You can run deals through it, but costs ramp up quickly.
  • Cons:  Every user has so much freedom in how they use the system, that duplicates happen, people can duplicate efforts, and other little nuances can occur.
  • Conclusion:  This is a much better solution for smaller sized businesses.  What my company did was to have me set it up and try it out for a couple weeks.  The learning curve was practically non-existent.  We then got together as a company, discussed the workflows for possible scenarios and cam up with a best practices guidelines.  This best practice guidelines document is constantly evolving as other people see better ways to do things.


I have tried over 10 CRMs and for my internet company, which has 6 people, Highrise is the best solution imaginable.  The ability to organize tasks for individuals and export them on a calendar feed to Google Calendar is a huge bonus.  I now keep track of almost all of my daily activities through Highrise CRM.

What other CRMs have you tried and what has been the best for your company?  Why?

*** Please include demographic information about your company (number of people using CRM and industry).

Category: Industrial B2B Sales, Online Resources

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