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Article 6 min read

Can Zendesk be used as a CRM?

Choosing the right CRM is key to productivity, profitability, and success. Learn how and why you can use Zendesk CRM to wow customers and grow your business.

By Leighton Jacobs

Last updated September 13, 2023

Choosing the right software can be a nightmare. With so many acronyms, options, and features, making the right choice is no mean feat. You might even be left scratching your head as terms like CRM and SaaS are thrown around without any explanation.

But fear not. If you’re wondering whether you can use Zendesk as a CRM, then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive right into some big questions and hopefully clear up a few things to give you a better understanding of exactly what Zendesk CRM has to offer.

Is Zendesk like Salesforce?

That’s a good question. Zendesk is an industry-leading CRM trusted by more than 200,000 customers around the world. It’s a complete customer service solution for award-winning customer experiences that scales effortlessly with your business.

Salesforce, on the other hand, is a sophisticated CRM that boasts many of the same features—from contact management to customer tracking. However, Zendesk is the brightest star in this constellation, which we’ll now highlight by looking at each solution in a little more detail.


Zendesk makes life easy for both customers and teams. By leveraging the latest AI and automation technology, it gives customer service agents everything they need to track, prioritise, and solve customer requests with ease. Plus, it’s omnichannel, bringing all your customer interactions together in one easy-to-use interface so teams can work smarter–not harder.

But it doesn’t stop there because endless tools and support for third-party integrations make it easy to wow customers and build lasting loyalty. What’s more, features like dynamic workspaces, analytics, and custom dashboards help you understand your customers, spot trends, and make better decisions thanks to meaningful insights. In short, Zendesk has everything you need in one powerful package.

  • Zendesk streamlines support for award-winning customer experiences
  • Zendesk is powered by AI and intelligent automations
  • Zendesk is intuitive, easy to learn, and user friendly for happy teams
  • Zendesk works right out of the box with lots of built-in channels
  • Zendesk offers rich insights for informed data-driven decisions


Salesforce is a well-established CRM that is often viewed as part of the furniture at many companies. It’s geared towards streamlining complex business processes with all the features you would expect, including customisable sales pipelines, document storage, and automation tools.

However, Salesforce also includes some more advanced features, which can make it challenging to use. Nevertheless, when connected with other Salesforce software, it provides a 360-degree view of customers. What’s more, the solution is customisable and has good team management features.

  • Salesforce focuses on streamlining operations
  • Salesforce has a wide range of complex tools
  • Salesforce can offer important customer insight
  • Salesforce integrates with lots of apps and extensions
  • Salesforce has several pricing models

Although Zendesk and Salesforce both have great features, integrations, and benefits, they’re ultimately very different. Zendesk streaks ahead when it comes to AI, intelligent automations, and ease of use. But remember: it doesn’t always have to be Zendesk vs Salesforce because you can integrate the two systems and enjoy the best of both worlds.

Is Zendesk a CRM or a SaaS?

Before we can answer that question, we need to be clear on what CRM and SaaS mean. These terms are often bandied around without much explanation, which can leave them open to interpretation. So, let’s first set the record straight to avoid any possible confusion.

What is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. And put simply, CRM software helps businesses develop and nurture their customer relationships by tracking customer interactions and leveraging customer data. CRM platforms centralise data in one place, providing a single view of the customer journey and sales pipeline. If this sounds familiar, it’s probably because that’s exactly what Zendesk can do.

What is SaaS?

SaaS, on the other hand, stands for Software as a Service. In simple terms, this means that a vendor makes certain applications available over the internet. The software is typically hosted by a third-party cloud provider but maintained by the vendor. Customers can simply access the software via the internet, saving them the time, money, and hassle of managing it themselves. This is also exactly how Zendesk works, therefore making it a SaaS.

In summary, Zendesk is a unique tool that brings together CRM and SaaS capabilities in one intuitive and powerful platform. It offers all the advantages of traditional CRM solutions with all the best things about SaaS, including data portability, scalability, and customisation.

Can I use Zendesk as a CRM?

We’re all familiar with Zendesk as customer support software. It’s an amazing tool to help you keep track of your customer service requests and deliver amazing experiences. But customer support isn’t the end of the story with Zendesk because it’s also a powerful CRM.

Zendesk CRM can:

  • Track customer queries and interactions for the best possible service
  • Automate tasks to help you boost productivity and respond to customers faster
  • Streamline customer communication with omnichannel support
  • Centralise customer data for easy access to information
  • Ensure your business is running efficiently with customised workflows
  • Help you identify where to improve your customer experience
  • Produce analytics to help you make the right decisions

In short, Zendesk CRM helps you build meaningful relationships with your customers. It’s a user-friendly and highly customisable solution that provides fantastic insights into both customer behaviours and needs—all the info you need to deliver amazing customer experiences.

How can Zendesk help my business improve sales?

Zendesk CRM is a powerful yet easy-to-use tool that can help you save time, make better decisions, and wow customers to keep them coming back for more. Let’s find out how.

Efficiency drives earnings

Zendesk is all about making customer support and management as efficient as possible. That’s why it tracks customer interactions, manages customer information, and creates support tickets for you. When you don’t have to search through paperwork or enter data manually, you have the time you need to focus on other areas, e.g. generating new leads.

Data drives decisions

Zendesk CRM helps you identify trends and understand your customers using data visualisation and KPIs. Not only does this allow you to see where you’ve been losing customers, but sophisticated reporting and analytics help you make data-driven decisions—everything you need to increase your conversion rates and grow your business.

Service drives sales

Zendesk’s CX Trends Report 2023 found that 40 per cent of business leaders see customer support as a revenue driver. In other words, more and more businesses are recognising that quality customer service helps generate sales.

This makes perfect sense from a customer retention perspective, as the same report found that a staggering 73 per cent of customers will switch to a competitor after multiple bad experiences. But let’s not dwell on the negatives. Here are three great reasons to make sure your customer support is delivering on its potential:

  • 70 per cent of consumers purchase more from companies that offer seamless conversational experiences.
  • 64 per cent of customers spend more when issues get resolved where they already are.
  • 60 per cent of consumers have purchased something from one brand over another based on the service they expect to receive.

Trusted by more than 200,000 customers worldwide, Zendesk is a leading SaaS CRM that’s designed with customers in mind. It’s the perfect tool to help you boost your sales and manage your customer relationships.

With its easy-to-use interface and wide range of features, Zendesk CRM can take your customer service to the next level—just take care of your customers and Zendesk will take care of the rest.

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