Outreach vs Salesloft: Which sales engagement software is best for you?
In between prospecting and closing, sales teams have a lot of things going on in their lives. Given the complexity of their jobs, sales teams rely heavily on technologies that can automate their everyday tasks and help them get better outcomes.
But the problem in sales is that you have an overwhelming number of software to choose from—which can sometimes be a time-consuming endeavor. From prospecting tools that help you improve your sales development process to sales enablement solutions for speeding up the sales process, salespeople have the problem of plenty.
Finding the right sales engagement platform is one such complex task that needs you to navigate through myriad software options and pay attention to every small detail.
If you have narrowed down your search for the best sales engagement solution to Outreach and Salesloft, this blog is for you. Both the software have too much in common, which makes it one of the toughest software comparisons I have done so far.
But don’t worry—by the end of this blog, you will be able to tell the similarities and differences between Outreach’s and Salesloft’s market positioning, ease of use, product capabilities, pricing, and scalability. I will also go over their integration offering in detail to see how they fare against each other so that you can make an informed buying decision.
How are Outreach and Salesloft similar and different from each other?
Both Outreach and Salesloft are in the business of sales engagement and acceleration—which means they help sales teams automate a series of tasks in their sales processes to speed up the deal cycle.
Their core offerings include managing interactions with prospects: setting up email and voice outreach cadences, making voice calls, tracking engagement, and generating reports on sales performance.
Similarities in the journeys of Outreach and Salesloft
Outreach was founded in 2011 by Manuel Medina and two other co-founders—who originally set out to build a recruitment startup (GroupTalent) to help tech companies find talents.
In 2014, Medina rebranded the company and pivoted the product as a sales outreach platform when the company only had two months of runway left.
Outreach has acquired a total of three companies to bolster its growth:
So far, the company has raised over $489 million in funding and has a valuation of ~$4 billion.
Salesloft was also founded in 2011 by Kyle Porter and his two co-founders—who started the company as a sales development platform and later expanded to offer a wide range of functionalities for the entire sales organization. The company failed to make any revenue in its first year—and the founders contemplated shuttering the company for good.
Since then, the company has made significant turnarounds—raising over $100 million in funding and acquiring a valuation of $1.1 billion. Salesloft also has acquired three companies to deepen its platform’s strength:
Besides their similar background, Outreach and Salesloft also are strikingly close in the software category for sales engagement.
Salesloft eclipses Outreach by a slight margin in the ‘Market Presence’ axis, but they both tie on other scales like ‘Leaders,’ ‘Contenders,’ and ‘Satisfaction.’
Differences between Outreach and Salesloft
Having seen the similarities between Outreach and Salesloft, let’s now look at the differences between the two platforms.
Outreach: Great for creating prospecting cadences and generating pipelines
Outreach positions itself as a ‘sales execution platform’ and promises to help B2B sales teams close the “sales execution gap.” It offers five modules within its platform to help you fill that gap: Outreach Engage, Outreach Guide, and Outreach Commit—complemented by Sales Execution Intelligence and Shared Core Services.
In combination, these capabilities help sales orgs improve their prospecting, deal management, and forecasting processes. I will cover these offerings at length later in the blog. But for now, here’s a visual snapshot of everything Outreach offers in its sales execution platform.
Outreach has built a single platform that enables sales orgs to innovate faster and collect rich sales action data from all interactions across the buyers’ journey.
And although the product is targeted mostly at sales teams, its general benefits to help businesses create automated outreach and acquisition makes it a relevant platform for marketing (or even recruiting) teams.
Salesloft: Suitable for prospecting as well as advanced sales processes
At a high-level, Salesloft matches everything that Outreach offers, i.e. email automation, dialer capability, engagement tracking, analytics, reporting, etc. But the platform goes a step further than Outreach to give you granular visibility into each pipeline opportunity, at each stage of the sales cycle.
Its capability to offer advanced, post-sales account data is probably the reason why Salesloft extends some of its offerings also to customer success teams. According to the company, the platform allows customer success managers to nurture customer relationships, scale account coverage, and improve account renewal rates by up to 13%.
Here’s a visual representation of the Salesloft platform which it has trademarked as the Modern Revenue Workspace™:
Choosing between Outreach vs Salesloft
When you are comparing two or more SaaS products, it’s best to evaluate them from four critical lenses.
Key factors for evaluation:
1. Ease of use
The ease of using a sales engagement tool is an important factor to consider since it determines how well your sales and other teams can use the product and maximize its full range of functionalities.
Questions to ask:
How easy or hard is it to set up and implement the software?
Do you need a dedicated person to administer the tool?
Can you trial the tool by yourself?
How complex is the user interface for you to start using the tool?
2. Product capabilities
The next step in comparing Outreach and Salesloft is on the features front. To successfully evaluate a product, you should be able to understand what it can do for you.
Questions to ask:
How comprehensive is the software in terms of its feature offerings?
Are its functionalities out-of-the-box or customizable?
What integrations does it support?
Does it support native integrations or via some third-party API connectors?
Pricing is an important component for making a purchase decision since it directly maps to the ROI (return on investment). For growing teams, pricing also impacts product adoption and the scale at which it can solve their growing needs.
Questions to ask:
Does the app offer a free trial or freemium subscription?
Is the pricing affordable, flexible, and fair for your business use cases?
Does it have flexible monthly billing options or does it force you to sign annual contracts?
Are there any hidden costs or add-on service fees?
When buying a sales engagement software, you should always think about how it can solve your future needs. The best software grow with your growing requirements.
Questions to ask:
Does it offer enterprise-level features?
How easy and affordable is it to add more users to the platform?
Can the platform support you across your growing use cases and maturity phases?
Outreach vs Salesloft: side-to-side comparison
The TL;DR version
1. Ease of use
Outreach users highly rate the platform’s user interface and its ease of use. In G2, it scores 8.3/10 for its ease of use and 7.5/10 for the ease of setup. But it falls a tad bit behind Salesloft in both those areas.
Outreach customers particularly admire the platform’s drop-down menus and email templates which make it easier for anyone to start sending outreach emails in no time.
For instance, Outreach gives you good insights within the tool about who opened the last email that you send or who clicked on the link within the email copy so that you can personalize your next follow-up accordingly.
I've been using Outreach.io for 2 years now. Instead of switching back and forth between multiple tools with fragmented information, Outreach integrates all of the tools required to equip sales reps into a single user-friendly interface. Outreach automates sales processes, centralizes lead insights, and allows for the sharing of valuable content used to nurture leads. - Alice Eve, Marketing Director, Cicinia France
Salesloft has a score of 8.8/10 and 8.5/10 for the ease of use and ease of setup measurements—giving it an edge over Outreach. In addition to the intuitive UI, the company also offers easy implementation and onboarding to new users.
There are two things about Salesloft that I really liked. The initial onboarding and training events provided to us were really insightful and actually gave our staff a sense of confidence in using the software. We all immediately felt "up to speed," which is essential for a company-wide rollout. Second, I really appreciated how simple the UX/UI was. I have all the information I require on my dashboard, including reading receipts for emails and calls. I didn't have to flip back and forth between pages to use the tool. - Anthony Mixides, Managing Director, Bond Media
Users praise Salesloft for its email design interface with multiple templates to choose from. Salesloft also has a learning center, Salesloft University, that has several video tutorials for first-time users to go through at their own pace—something that Outreach also does through its Outreach University.
But the similarities between the two don’t seem to stop there.
2. Product capabilities
Outreach is the more feature-dense of the two platforms—which might explain why it’s slightly complex in terms of its UI. Going purely from the capabilities standpoint, you can do a lot more with Outreach functionalities and customize it the way you want to achieve your goals.
On the email front, Outreach lets you schedule email sequences at scale from a single dashboard. If you have multiple Google accounts, you can connect them with Outreach to monitor all activities across all your Gmail inboxes for better visibility. You can use Outreach to automatically pull prospect information from LinkedIn and use the data in Outreach email to send highly personalized cold outreach.
Outreach’s advanced reporting capabilities enable you to get a thorough analysis of your email performances such as open rates, click-through rates, and reply rates. This is a handy feature for prospecting teams who want more visibility into their lead gen campaigns and test their outreach performance.
A significant functionality Outreach offers that Salesloft misses is the ability for you to pause outreach cadences. So if you want to have more control over your automated emails in case you want to pause them during the Holidays or while you are out of office, Outreach is a reliable platform.
But Outreach loses to Salesloft on the mobile front. It neither has an Android app nor an iOS app for you to access your sales activities while you are on the move.
Like Outreach, Salesloft also offers cutting-edge email capabilities that help you create effective outreach messages at scale. What’s unique about Salesloft’s email design feature is that the platform lets you build multi-step sales cadences.
Salesloft offers three out-of-the-box steps that you can add to your cadence workflows—phone, email, and others. This helps you strategically target prospects and share messaging that's aligned with your cadence goals—giving you an advantage in your multi-touch prospecting efforts.
Salesloft also allows you to send targeted emails to prospects based on their interactions with your sales touchpoints. For instance, if a prospect visits your website’s pricing page or downloads an ebook, you can track their activity and add them to a follow-up campaign on Salesloft.
Salesloft is also more collaborative in terms of allowing multiple members of your team to create campaigns at the same time. This is a great feature to ensure that each of your email messaging is error-free, validated by more experienced people in your team, and optimized for response.
Like Outreach, Salesloft has good analytics and reporting capabilities to help you keep track of your email performance and score leads. But here’s one more benefit Salesloft has over Outreach: Salesloft sends you email notifications every time there’s a new lead so that you don’t have to check the platform for new updates.
And of course, its iOS app gives you the on-to-go abilities to schedule emails, insert dynamic email fields, and connect your calendar from within the mobile app. But be warned, Salesloft’s mobile app doesn’t offer you the entire range of functionalities that you get with its web version and many of its users don’t have a favorable experience with the app.
Another major similarity between Outreach and Salesloft is that they both don’t offer a free trial of their product—nor do they have their pricing information available on their website.
It’s a frustration I share with prospects comparing Outreach vs Salesloft because a self-service demo of the platform and transparent pricing information are critical components when you are making an important purchase decision.
Luckily, the Internet is a good place for finding a software’s pricing information even if the vendors try their best to keep it confidential. Our research suggests that Outreach’s base price starts at $130/user/mo plus an implementation fee ranging between $1K to $8K—depending on your requirements.
For us, the cost of an Outreach seat ranges between $165 and $185 every month (upfront annual contract, no option to cancel). There is also a $10,000 to $12,000 implementation fee, and priority support costs $15 to $20 per seat per month. - Alice Eve, Marketing Director, Cicinia France
Here’s the email response that Revpilots—a software review and recommendation platform—got from Outreach’s sales team with regards to their pricing information.
That implementation cost is pretty hefty if you ask us, even with Outreach’s all-in-one software positioning. Our take is that they could have at least offered a limited-period free trial for users to sample the platform before they upgrade to a paid plan or talk to the sales team.
Like Outreach, Salesloft also has a pricing page with no pricing information. They guard their pricing information behind the sales team because there’s no other way for you to officially verify their price point without talking to the sales first.
And the worst part—no free trial. You can, of course, request a demo with their sales team.
According to our findings, Salesloft costs you in the range of $125 to $165 per user per month. Unlike Outreach, they don’t have a minimum seat requirement or a paid-for implementation fee.
However, there are conflicting reports about the implementation costs. According to FunnelFlare (yet another player in the sales engagement niche), Salesloft does charge “a mandatory $3000 onboarding fee depending on your user seat count.”
A Reddit user did a detailed analysis between the two software platforms some time back and reported that Salesloft asked their company for a one-time onboarding fee of $600. For Outreach, the onboarding fee was $800.
This is a classic problem that comes up when companies don’t communicate their pricing plans upfront. It forces people to make assumptions based on the quotes that they get from the companies and there’s no clarity about the accurate information unless you become a paid customer.
It’s a problem many customers who choose Avoma over Gong and Chorus also share when it comes to evaluating conversation intelligence software.
But based on our observation, Salesloft has a slight edge over Outreach on the pricing front. The base price for both platforms is in the same range (which is on par with other sales engagement tools in the market).
But the required minimum number of seats and a bank-breaking implementation cost (assuming Salesloft doesn’t charge it) means that Outreach is a pie in the sky for most mid-market customers. It could be one reason why Salesloft has more customers (3300+) than Outreach (2000+).
SalesLoft's pricing varies from $75 for the group version to $125/mo per user for the enterprise edition. We paid for the latter. - Najaf Husain, CEO & Co-Founder, Elastio
Both Outreach and Salesloft are all-in-one software platforms that provide everything that you need to manage complex sales workflows.
To understand Outreach’s scalability, we need to revisit and analyze its core functionalities once again. Like I mentioned earlier, Outreach has five elements in its sales execution platform:
Let’s understand them one by one.
Outreach Engage clues in what it might offer, i.e. sales engagement capabilities for frontline sales teams. Outreach Engage helps sales teams have the account coverage they need, inspect deals to convert pipeline, and coach reps towards actions that matter.
Outreach leverages AI to generate actionable deal insights that sales reps need to accelerate the deal cycle.
Outreach Guide is Outreach’s revenue intelligence capability that gives both sales reps and their manager granular visibility into the progress of sales deals. With Outreach Guide, sales teams can track deal health, detect risks, and increase rep productivity by up to 30%.
Outreach Commit is a sales forecasting capability that uses a scientific forecasting model to analyze your existing pipeline and provide automated data about revenue potential.
Essentially, what this means is that sales leaders can get a comprehensive view of the pipeline with account-level data to analyze the risks and opportunities.
Here’s how Outreach Commit shows you the forecasting data.
Outreach’s Sales Execution Intelligence offers capabilities such as sentiment analysis, deal health score, A/B testing, and job title classification so that reps can make informed decisions and take the right actions to drive winning outcomes.
Finally, the Shared Core Services supports all of Outreach’s aforementioned capabilities by giving users a single point of administration, security, privacy, governance, and integrations.
Outreach has tried to bake all the important ingredients of a sales execution solution (Sales Engagement, Revenue Intelligence, and Revenue Operations) into one. Most other vendors in the category offer either one of those two of those components.
Outreach also offers a wide variety of native, supported, and third-party integrations across 15 different software categories to help you extend the platform’s capabilities. One of Outreach’s biggest red flags is that it only integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Salesforce CRM.
Given Microsoft’s puny market share in the CRM world, Outreach’s CRM integration bets heavily on Salesforce customers. If your sales team isn’t a big fan of using those two tools, Outreach isn’t a good fit for your use cases.
Another hiccup in Outreach: it doesn’t integrate with Google Sheets—a must-have for most sales (and other) teams. If you work with Google Workspace and use Sheets to track projects, analyze data, create sales templates, and build report dashboards—Outreach is a disappointment on the integrations front.
Bottomline: Outreach is certainly a scalable solution for managing your end-to-end sales actions and workflows. From the point of view of solutions and offerings, Outreach is a reliable software that scales with your needs. From the pricing standpoint? Not so much. There are also a few limitations to its scalability that I will discuss in a minute.
Let’s discuss Salesloft’s core functionalities to keep the comparison even.
Salesloft has three components under its ‘Product’ capabilities:
Cadence to help you build and nurture the pipeline
Deals for pipeline management and forecasting
Conversations to find insights and facilitate coach
Salesloft bundles these capabilities into different feature packages:
Under the Prospect package, Salesloft offers the following features:
Cadence automation to create personalized interactions
Sales playbooks to help new reps access best practices and past cadences
One-click dialer to call/text prospects from a computer, mobile, or a landline
Calendaring to book meetings faster with calendar sharing and automation
CRM sync to automatically log calls and messages to the CRM platform
Mobile app access to sync calls and notes automatically to CRM on the go
Analytics & reporting to monitor sales performance and outcomes
Under the Sell package, Salesloft has:
Deals to help you automate workflows, monitor pipeline health, and forecast deals
Account mapping to support your account-based sales campaigns
Calendaring, mobile app access, CRM sync, integrations, and security/governance like in the Prospect package
Within its Engage package, Salesloft offers:
Conversations, its native AI-based conversation intelligence capability
Calendaring, mobile app access, CRM sync, integrations, and security/governance like in the Prospect and Sell packages
Finally, its Enterprise package includes:
Everything in the Sell, Prospect, and Engage packages but aimed at enterprise teams
Salesloft has an extensive app marketplace—much like Outreach Platform Integration—that comes with integrations with more than 163 marketing and sales technologies like Demandbase, Drift, AirCall, Lusha, and ZoomInfo.
Its advantage over Outreach in terms of integrations is that Salesloft connects with a larger number of CRMs like SugarCRM, LeadIQ, HubSpot—in addition to Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce.
There’s a thin line between Outreach and Salesloft in terms of their product differentiation, offerings, pricing, and integrations—but Outreach presents the information more clearly on its website than Salesloft.
The similarities also mean that Salesloft is scalable too, but fails at the same area Outreach does, i.e. pricing. One big difference is that Salesloft is scalable not just in its feature capabilities but extends to horizontal post-sales use cases like customer success.
What’s missing in Outreach and Salesloft?
Right out of the gates, both software platforms don’t offer a free trial or a freemium plan—which is a big letdown. They are missing out on a huge opportunity to attract target customers by not letting prospects try out the product on their own. It’s something that companies like Avoma does well and take pride in offering a product-led experience combined with a sales-assisted cadence.
Full-scale conversation intelligence features
Salesloft added the revenue intelligence capability to its platform by acquiring the conversation intelligence product Noteninja in 2018. Outreach acquired Canopy in 2021 to do the same.
But both platforms’ conversation intelligence capabilities are heavily tilted towards sales use cases like pipeline analysis, deal health monitoring, sales forecasting, and sales coaching. This implies that conversation intelligence (also sometimes used interchangeably with revenue or deal intelligence) is a privilege only reserved for sales managers/leaders.
The ability to enable cross-team collaboration should be an important aspect of good conversation intelligence platforms because sales is not sustainable when it’s siloed away from other functions.
But most conversation intelligence solutions in the market—be it Gong or Chorus, Wingman, Salesken, and ExecVision—miss the mark by making conversation intelligence exclusive to sales (by not allowing cross-functional collaboration on these platforms).
Outreach and Salesloft have the same flaw. Their conversation intelligence capabilities pigeonhole customer insights for just one business function—sales. Even Salesloft, which positions itself as a good solution for customer success teams, doesn’t have conversation intelligence capabilities to support CS use cases.
Instead, what you need is conversation intelligence capabilities that cater to your end-to-end meeting lifecycle.
Both software also lack automated note-taking ability—a must for busy sales teams today who have a dozen calls to attend every week. The alternative is for you to either stick to the status quo (i.e., take handwritten notes) or invest in third-party manual note-taking apps like Dooly, Scratchpad, Otter, or Fireflies.ai.
An even better alternative is to use Avoma since it offers everything from recording your calls and meetings, transcription, AI-generated note-taking, to conversation and revenue insights—all in one platform—so that you don’t have to stitch insights manually from multiple tools and contexts.
Better scheduling features
Both Outreach and Salesloft offer scheduling capabilities that aren’t fully baked for all business use cases.
For instance, Outreach Meetings helps you:
Automate meeting reminders and follow-ups before and after meetings.
Save the back and forth to book a sales meeting.
Allow your prospects to book meetings from your calendar page.
Similarly, Salesloft’s scheduling capabilities let you:
Add buffer times between your back-to-back meetings.
Avoid last-minute scheduling problems
Limit your calendar availability to add urgency to prospects and maintain deal momentum
To be fair, these calendaring features are on par with leading scheduling apps like Calendly or Chili Piper. But both of them lack a couple of important functionalities, i.e. users neither have the ability to automatically generate agendas for their meetings nor create multiple scheduling pages.
For busy teams, it’s great to have a scheduling tool that allows them to assign agendas based on the meeting type. If a prospect has scheduled a product demo meeting with you, for example, your scheduling tool should be able to assign a standard template to the meeting and share it with all meeting guests to ensure alignment. This helps you save time and build consistency across your teams.
In today’s fast-paced business environment, people have scheduling needs that transcend beyond just sales discovery and demo calls. Scheduling meetings is every team’s requirement and for it to be effective, scheduling tools should start offering purpose-based scheduling pages for use cases such as networking, customer success check-ins, QBRs, or job interviews.
All this to say that although Outreach and Salesloft are great tools in their own right, they fall short in a few areas like pricing, conversation intelligence, and scheduling features. These aren’t big complaints against Outreach or Salesloft, but the shortcomings become more prominent as you try to scale their usage.
It’s tough giving our verdict on platforms that have so much in common. On 9/10 comparison planes, it’s a head-to-head tie between Outreach vs Salesloft. However, there are minute nuances that you can pick up on to decide what suits you best:
Outreach’s offerings are easy to understand. It gives you control over pausing your cadences. If these two factors are important for your buying decision, go with Outreach.
Salesloft checks more boxes on key areas like ease of use and iOS mobile app capability. It also solves specific problems for customer success teams, which is an added advantage. Go with Salesloft if you want more value for money for using a sales engagement solution.
If conversation intelligence and simplifying meeting scheduling are your major requirements, consider Avoma. It’s way more affordable, offers robust coaching capabilities, and cuts across all revenue functions with industry-leading conversation intelligence and scheduling capabilities.
NOTE: This blog originally appeared in the Avoma blog.