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Compare leaders and pioneers in CRM systems – Zendesk vs Salesforce and assess the core functionality, scalability, and user-friendliness of these two market leaders. Pick the best option at once or learn how to migrate from Zendesk to Salesforce or maximize potential by integrating Zendesk with Salesforce in the post.
Take a quick look at this Zendesk vs Salesforce comparison chart:
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Now, read a brief introduction to these two platforms.
Salesforce is the US-based SaaS (Software as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) providing company that was founded by Halsey Minor, Parker Harris, and Marc Benioff in 1999, headquartered in San Francisco.
Currently, the top Salesforce clients are Spotify, Toyota, American Express, Canon, and Loreal together with other 150, 000+ small to enterprise-level businesses worldwide.
Salesforce finished 2021 with $21.25 billion annual revenue. That makes the company a global leader in building customer relationship management systems to improve sales, service, and marketing activities for numerous industries like financial services, healthcare, or manufacturing.
Number of Employees: 35,000
Flagship Salesforce products & platforms include Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Experience (Community Cloud), Einstein Analytics, and AppExchange.
Zendesk is another cloud customer support software provider that was founded in Denmark by Alexander Aghassipour, Mikkel Asger Svane, and Morten Primdahl in 2007 and then relocated to San Francisco.
Zendesk reported a $1.2 billion revenue in 2021, proving it to be one of the leading cloud software companies.
Number of Employees: 2,740
The top Zendesk clients are Netflix, Dropbox, Etsy, Accent Group, Uber, MTV Artists, and Tesco.
Its featured software products include Zendesk Service, Zendesk Sell, Zendesk Sunshine, and Zendesk Marketplace.
Companies have data spread across multiple sources such as databases and SaaS applications. This makes it challenging for users within these companies to access all the data for analytics.
When searching for new software, most people struggle to choose between Salesforce and Zendesk. These two providers offer lots of products to power up your business.
Zendesk is a great software for managing customer issues. With Zendesk, you can bring all interactions with customers in one place and build seamless, personal, and efficient support.
Zendesk Support is designed to improve and personalize customer service operations and customer support via different channels, collaborating and communicating effectively, and leveraging AI technology.
Zendesk Sell was created to increase sales teams’ productivity and pipeline visibility. It helps automate sales activities and collect, analyze, and manage critical data via customizable dashboards.
Zendesk Sunshine is another CRM platform built on AWS (Amazon Web Services) to link various data sources and enrich customer data.
Zendesk Marketplace is an app store where you can get ready-to-install solutions for improving email marketing, social media, and document management operations.
We will help you to implement Salesforce in your organization, train your team, and ensure they adopt it. Request a consultation.
The Sales Cloud is a CRM platform that was Salesforce’s first and most popular product. It is designed for the management of your organization’s sales. Initially, this Cloud was created for B2B (Business-to-Business) companies to guide potential customers through a defined sales cycle.
However, now B2C (Business-to-Consumer) companies can also leverage the Sales Cloud.
Salesforce Service Cloud, on the other hand, is a client-service solution. That provides a 365-degree view of your customers’ inquiries and enables smart, fast, and personalized communication.
The Marketing Cloud is a powerful digital marketing platform for B2C marketers where you can:
AppExchange is Salesforce’s online application marketplace for third-party applications from independent software vendors hosted on the Force.com platform. Its concept is identical to AppStore and Google Play: you can simply download and install apps to improve the functionality of the Salesforce CRM platform.
For example, we created our own AppExchange apps, Ascendix Search, and AscendixRE CRM, specifically to tailor Salesforce functionality for commercial real estate brokers’ needs.
Now, we’ll answer the main question of this post “How does Zendesk compare to Salesforce?” from many sides for you to make an informed decision.
Our comparison between Zendesk and Salesforce reviews platform rating, plans and pricing options, system reliability, features, customer service level, and many more.
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Right from the start, there is a big difference between these two. All of the pricing tiers are very dependent on the offered set of features.
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While for Salesforce Service Cloud’s cheapest plan you have to pay as much as $25 per user, Zendesk will cost you much less — $19.
However, features offered in the Service Cloud starting plan, allow building your own help center and access to all the needed channels.
However, the prices offered by Zendesk and Salesforce are shown in annual subscriptions by default. While there is no free version available, both solutions offer a free trial to test out the tool.
Both Salesforce Zendesk and Salesforce pricing pages can be a bit overwhelming. The available editions in Salesforce Service Cloud and Sales Cloud range from $25 to $300 per user a month.
Salesforce pricing starts with Essentials plan $25/user/month (billed annually) and offers four plans: Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited.
You can make your own help center with the basic plan. You need to buy a more expensive plan to be able to assign roles to software users.
For Sales & Service Cloud, you can be charged from $25 to $325 per user/month.
Zendesk Support plans pricing ranges from $19 to $99. There are three available suites: Support Team, Support Professional, and Support Enterprise.
The Support Plan is pretty limited even for smaller businesses: no live chat, text messages (SMS), voice messages, WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter Direct, and Facebook Messenger support.
With a Support Suite, you can provide your customers with self-service portals such as a help center. There is a big difference between Professional and Enterprise. Enterprise plan includes 24/7 support, the ability to brand the chat widget, enabling different user roles and permissions.
There are three available Zendesk plans for sales agents: Sell Team, Sell Professional, and Sell Enterprise. They also can cost you from $19 to $99 per user/month.
Zendesk Suite Plans are offered in 5 options: Suite Team, Suite Growth, Suite Professional, Suite Enterprise, and Custom Plan.
The pricing ranges from $49 per user/month to $215 a user/month.
When it comes to interface, Zendesk definitely wins the race. The design is modern, easy to set up, intuitive, and requires minimum customization on your side. You can easily browse through the tabs and will require little effort for new support team members to master it.
This is not what can be said about Salesforce Service Cloud. Once you log in, the software feels like it’s too much to handle for a newbie. However, you are offered a series of tasks to complete and to get to know the system.
The number of different options can be overwhelming, and it may take your agents time to get a proper hold of the solution. But once we do all the needed tweakings and customization, the software will work wonders for you.
That’s why it’s better to hire a full-time developer and engage with a Salesforce consultant to turn it into a fully functioning tool.
Both Salesforce and Zendesk are Cloud-based SaaS solutions that can be securely accessed from any internet-capable device from any site in the world.
Among overall Salesforce enterprise-level security features, users like Salesforce for the ability to set security measures so that only trusted IP ranges may access the system at certain times.
At the same time, Zendesk customers praise its very minimal downtime.
Let’s go through the functionality to find out what you are going to pay for.
Zendesk ticket management system is advanced and feature-packed. You can easily manage ticket workflow, leverage different email templates, scheduling features, and automatic customer ticket assignments.
Managing tickets is quite simple with Zendesk. When the user contacts the company by phone, via email, chat, social networks, the software converts the inquiry into a unified ticket form.
Zendesk issue tracking system, along with comprehensive reports, and automated ticket sharing, can make life so much easier.
Overall, Zendesk provides a lighter approach towards providing features for sales and service operations, however, doesn’t offer solutions for marketing activities.
In Salesforce Service Cloud, there are no tickets by case. The AI-powered routing enables you to assign cases that are best qualified to resolve them.
A chronological timeline will show you the whole customer interaction history providing necessary contacts for support engineers.
Additionally, Salesforce Service Cloud offers a dashboard and reporting features to track lead volume, conversion rates, sales forecast, and other metrics within the system. It makes the management of leads, opportunities, and deals in Salesforce straightforward.
Besides that, you can also use a report builder to make custom reports.
For the Salesforce vs Zendesk comparison, Salesforce provides a broader customer overview to enhance customer interaction and sales. Zendesk has more limited capabilities yet is more user-friendly.
Salesforce is a platform for more experienced CRM users. If you are completely new to CRM world, you need to seek external help to guide on proper Salesforce implementation.
Also, it’s good practice to look for an outside opinion on how to organize and standardize data prior to moving it to Salesforce.
On the contrary, Zendesk is much easier to get started with. However, it can be technically difficult to enable a single sign-on and integrate it with other systems.
Salesforce is famous for its great scalability and functional expandability to the needs of the larger organization. It can be adjusted to any industry, company size, and business purpose.
On the other hand, Zendesk has rather limited scaling capabilities.
Salesforce has almost limitless capabilities in terms of functionality. But to leverage its full power, you may need to hire a consulting agency or in-house expert that will unlock the potential of all the newly released features
Besides that, companies need to follow a custom plan tailored to their specific needs when implementing Salesforce. Otherwise, ROI will not be as high as expected.
Zendesk, on the other hand, has less functionality. You can get Zendesk up and running in about a day with key functionality and see quick results.
Both Salesforce and Zendesk support their customers well. Zendesk users emphasize the positive upbeat attitude of support agents and their fast responsiveness.
Salesforce users like 24/7 access to support teams to deal with issues in Salesforce products.
Moreover, they can get immediate help from other platform users on the Trailblazer Community portal.
Their people can ask and answer questions about Salesforce functionality and seek advice for issues troubleshooting.
Zendesk guide enables agents to create a smart help center in multiple languages. With more expensive plans you can build a community and a branded self-service portal.
Salesforce Service Cloud offers to create a customizable and branded portal or a community with a knowledge base with a Lightning Community Builder.
When it comes to Salesforce, it definitely comes by number. It offers nearly 4, 000 apps and extensions on AppExchange. There are apps nearly for every need, for example, you can get an add-on built specifically for commercial real estate needs — AscendixRE. It combines the robustness of the Salesforce platform with commercial real estate tools.
Or, you need to improve report generation or search across multiple records within the Salesforce database, you can install Ascendix Search.
Besides that, Salesforce can be integrated with its other more specific products like Field Services, CPQ, and Billing, or Pardot.
While Zendesk has a bit of 700 available integrations including social media, live chat, and telephony integrations.
Speaking of Zendesk and Salesforce data analytics comparison, Salesforce is definitely a more advanced option. Besides a standard set of reports and dashboards, it offers:
Zendesk, in turn, has usable digital reports with general features. To conclude, Salesforce has more in-depth and granular data analytics compared to Zendesk.
Both solutions offer some export/import options. They are quite complicated to use and extract the needed data like certain tickets or reports. There are usually tons of coding and CSV involved.
However, in Salesforce this challenge you can overcome with a ready-to-install app, Ascendix Search, available on AppExchange.
See in action how you can export data from Salesforce to Excel with Ascendix Search
Both Salesforce and Zendesk provide various user training options:
Despite having so many training options and the availability of Salesforce Premium support offering unlimited access to instructors and online training for free, they have their downsides.
For example, Zendesk users claim that there are multiple materials for training – videos, webinars, articles for those who want to polish their skills. But it can be difficult to figure out how to navigate these resources.
Salesforce training materials, on the contrary, are more for the new users than for seasoned teams and may not be relevant to big businesses or any particular niche.
That’s why if you need to have a consultation on a more relevant to your particular niche like commercial real estate domain or advice on complex modifications it’s better to engage with a Salesforce consulting firm.
Let’s quickly compare two other popular Zendesk and Salesforce products: Zendesk Sell vs Salesforce Sales Cloud.
You can move dashboards around or switch them off in Zendesk Sell. It is made up of common data items in the CRM: Leads, Contacts, Deals, a Calender, Tasks, a Communication Center, and Reports.
Everything starts as a Lead and then can be converted into a Contact with an Account and the Deal is what is sold.
The interface is straightforward, and there is the possibility to add a note. You can also send an email and a text message.
Zendesk Sell has a marketing automation program called Reach in which you can send nurture emails out to leads and prospects, collaborators, and other people on a deal. You also can manage easily upcoming appointments or tasks or attach documents.
Zendesk Sell also shows the analytics if the email has been seen, what time and date, and how many times it was viewed. It can be tightly integrated into an email client. You can see the whole email history and use a template to fill in a message and merge tags like first and last name, company, and any field captured in the database.
Zendesk Sell can also be integrated with solutions like QuickBooks Online. And if you are going to send the message to a customer, you will be able to see their full invoice, quote, and sales order information.
In Zendesk Sell you can have multiple pipelines. You can set up several pipelines, and it’s a great feature for account executives and cross-sells reps. On a company page, you can see the full information about the company.
Zendesk Sell is well integrated with Zendesk Support. If the contact becomes a customer and submits a support case, the ticket will be adjusted to Zendesk support and will be shown on the company tab.
Zendesk Sell has a Client Space. You can gather data there and create a collaborative environment to share your progress and ideas 0n the opportunity or a deal. Zendesk Sell offers another built-in feature-phone integration. You can call via browser.
In the Salesforce Sales Cloud dashboard, you can see areas that can be customized or moved around. You can influence your navigation. Everything starts as a Lead and you can see a progress bar along the top.
It drives users to fill out certain fields and do certain tasks before the lead record is converted.
You can also log a call in Salesforce, but you need a third-party integration to sync up. You can create tasks, events and also link up your email in the same way.
In Salesforce, you can create an email or drag one in a form of a template and send it right from the CRM.
When you can convert a Lead, you’ll be asked to search for an existing account or create a new one. That is doing a great job of the duplicate checks. In Salesforce Sales Cloud you can see little pop-ups where you can see a short summary of the information just by hovering over the area in the sub-panel.
On the right-side panel, you can also create, track and manage new tasks, events, or an email.
If you are already using Salesforce and want to enhance it with features available in Zendesk out-of-the-box like ticket management, you may need to know the answers to questions like: “Does Zendesk integrate with Salesforce?”, “What are Zendesk Salesforce integration benefits?” and “How does Zendesk sync with Salesforce?”.
Yes, you can integrate Zendesk Support with Salesforce Sales, Service, and Marketing Clouds.
You can integrate Zendesk Support with Salesforce by installing a Salesforce for Zendesk Support app directly from Zendesk Marketplace or by installing an integration app like Zapier or Workauto on AppExchange.
It allows Zendesk tickets to be viewed in Salesforce from the Account, Opportunity, Lead, or Contact page.
The Zendesk Salesforce integration maintains all the customer data in a single place in Salesforce with real-time data synchronization. It also allows you to sync customer information from Salesforce to Zendesk Support and update data automatically.
Language is no barrier in Zendesk Salesforce integration. It enables you to customize its functionalities according to your business needs.
In Zendesk, you can pull any Sales Cloud data including any customer information, you’ve created, and display a full Salesforce customer profile right next to a live ticket.
Your sales team will be able to view, create, and edit Zendesk tickets without having to leave Salesforce. And your managers can bring their Zendesk ticket data right into their Salesforce reports.
Or, for example, you can create a new reporting dashboard in Salesforce that filters Zendesk ticket data through Sales Cloud lenses.
The integration creates a single shared customer database between sales and support that is always in the sink. Sales reps can see any customer data, like Requester wait time, Agent Wait time, and join in on the support process.
You can keep all customer data continuously in sync and work from a single set of customer records. You can compare your sales data against Zendesk support data.
Zendesk integration with Salesforce enables the collaboration between the sales team and support team by providing visibility to customers’ data and insights.
The integration allows your teams to view the Zendesk tickets easily in their Salesforce accounts. Also, you can look at average support ticket resolution times across key accounts in a given sales cycle.
With Zendesk Salesforce integration, you can get better communication and a more integrated workflow for your sales and support teams.
However, this integration comes not only with benefits but with limitations as well.
You need to understand that not all integrations can perform every task. If we talk about the limitation here, the integration does not support:
Zendesk Salesforce integration gives your support team complete access to sales data and vice versa, сreates a single customer database between sales and support that’s always in sync.
It allows you to build Salesforce reports which include Zendesk data.
Salesforce Zendesk integration gives real-time visibility into the support and sales teams, their activities, and priorities. By uniting these two great solutions, you can coordinate teams better, resolve customer issues faster, and improve customer communication.
The Zendesk integration for Salesforce is flexible. It allows you to choose the several functionalities which work specifically for your business.
By integrating these two solutions, you can:
You can also perform other more advanced activities like Salesforce Account to Zendesk organization sync or Salesforce Contact/Lead to Zendesk user sync. But you may need to engage with Zendesk to determine whether these features will work in your customized Salesforce organizations.
Here are the most frequently asked items to be connected:
Be sure that you meet all the requirements in Zendesk and Salesforce before you install Zendesk for Salesforce.
Your Salesforce organization must be on the Enterprise, Unlimited, or Developer edition (or have Salesforce API rights) to use Zendesk for Salesforce integration.
The package requires API rights that are available to customers on Salesforce Unlimited and Enterprise editions. Customers on other Salesforce editions need to acquire API rights separately.
We will help you to overcome sync issues in your organization and ensure you adopt Zendesk correctly. Request a consultation.
There is no clear winner in Zendesk vs Salesforce comparison because it is up to organizations how to prioritize their needs and select the better pick for them.
Zendesk is a great support software with good customer interaction and support tools. It is straightforward, intuitive, easy to set up and manage. Zendesk can be a good solution for small companies that need a simple solution.
Salesforce is perfect for customer interaction routing and building a more comprehensive view of the entire customer journey. However, it can be rather complicated for newbies and small businesses.
But, you can always connect these two solutions by installing an add-on and enhance the core features.
Salesforce Service Cloud’s functionality is more complex and multi-purposed to cover all customer needs. Zendesk is much simpler and more straightforward.
Zendesk to Salesforce Service Cloud migration can be self-managed, automated via a migration tool, or using CRM migration services.
Yes, you can integrate Zendesk with Salesforce by installing an app directly from Zendesk Marketplace or by installing an integration app like Zapier or Workauto on AppExchange.
Both Salesforce and Zendesk operate in the CRM market, however, they are different. Salesforce is PaaS, Zendesk is a SaaS. Salesforce is a multipurpose platform whereas Zendesk focuses more on service and sales automation.
Anzhelika specializes in B2B content marketing and has in-depth expertise in promoting the company's products and services through high-quality content. On the Ascendix Technologies blog, Anzhelika shares her insights of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM tips & tricks as well as overviews of new CRM tools and technology trends on the market.
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