Having been in the business for nearly 20 years now, Salesforce has most of the market share when it comes to sales, marketing as well as customer services applications. Both small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporations, use many Salesforce products, including its highly effective customer relationship management SaaS product. By offering to businesses, the power and functionality of an enterprise-grade CRM, in a gradually scalable and upgradable package, it enables even SMBs to compete with large-scale corporations. It does this by investing in the industry standard and thus, leveling the playing field for these businesses. Salesforce is a good choice for SMBs particularly because of its ecosystem whose capabilities extend beyond that of any other lightweight CRM software.
Why choose Salesforce CRM?
Today, Salesforce CRM software has become one of the top five fastest-growing enterprise software companies all around the world. And one of the main reasons for this growth is the massive Salesforce App Market place it has to offer to its clients. This marketplace app helps ease third-party integrations and in addition, its sheer size makes it the most viable option for scalability. So, in this way, your business is likely to outgrow that of your competitors by using the Salesforce CRM. Having said that, it’s now time to look at why Salesforce is such a robust CRM software.
1. Powerful and Scalable, yet Customizable – One of the main reasons for Salesforce to dominate the CRM market is its scalability feature. It’s also because it can be customized according to the needs of various businesses. And although the implementation time varies according to the different levels of subscriptions and integrations, it offers one of the best user interfaces ever available in a CRM software application. It’s UI is robust and requires very little training to use, even for a beginner or non-admin user. Navigation is quite easy too, with each tab being separated into different categories that are very easy to grasp. These include tabs like Home, Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Campaigns, Opportunities, Forecasts, Files and more. With this style of arrangement, one can be able to view all the information that’s available on the platform and jump from one task to the other quickly and easily.
The scope of salesforce is broader than most other CRM software, which is meant only for small businesses. The CRM software’s functionality goes beyond that of any ordinary CRM software or application by providing SaaS-based solutions like project management, workflow tools, content management and a host of third-party integrations. And although third-party integrations are nothing new to Salesforce, still, the quality and quantity of these integrations are far greater than any other normal CRM software. Furthermore, Salesforce has a comprehensive support team that can help you with the integration, implementation, and customization. However, for all those entrepreneurs who want to do in-house integrations or implementations, it comes with its own community support as well as implementation training manuals which are available online.
2. Company Pricing – With so many features available, it’s can be taken for granted that the Salesforce CRM isn’t a budget solution. Although the pricing is affordable enough at the surface level, any additional customizations, integrations, users or storage tend to come at premium rates. Additionally, any implementation or consultation service can also cost an additional few bucks, but it still isn’t going to break your bank. In general, the pricing breakdown of the Salesforce CRM software is a three-tiered one.
The first of these three tiers is an entry-level software called Lightning Essentials. It costs about $25 per user, per month and is suitable only for small businesses. This software makes it possible for small business owners to buy the Salesforce ecosystem, without paying much upfront. However, the Lightning Essentials is limited to a maximum of five users at a time. So, in case you find that your team is of a bigger size or is growing in size, better plan to upgrade to a more premium version.
The second option, the Lightning Enterprise is considered to be the best option and is far more expensive than the Lightning Essentials, at $150 per user, per month. However, it does offer more extensive customizations, which make it the most suitable option for businesses with specific requirements. This CRM package grants users with full access to all of its features that come inclusive of the package. Besides this, it also offers unlimited roles and permissions, unlimited record types, unlimited processes, unlimited profiles as well as page layout, along with one partial sandbox for lightweight dev testing.
The last of the three tiers, the Lightning Unlimited, is the most ideal CRM solution for all those highly-tech oriented businesses which require extensive dev testing tools. The Lightning Unlimited offers the same tools as the Lightning Essential, in addition to a full developer sandbox and developer pro sandbox. It costs a lot more than the Lightning Enterprise, and stands at $300 per user, per month. It also grants its users access to the Premiere Success Resources, 24/7 toll-free support, developer support, unlimited online training, configuration services as well as access to accelerators. Most of the features that are present in this tier are most likely not available in any other tier or any other CRM. However, in most cases, they are not required for SMBs.
3. Easy to Use – Before purchasing the Salesforce CRM, small companies and businesses should consider how much time they are willing to invest in learning it. In general, however, medium and large-sized companies have their own in-house team to help their salesforce developers in learning the tool. They often describe the Salesforce CRM as easy to use and consisting of a long implementation process, which is quite what one would expect when dealing with highly sophisticated technology such as Salesforce. By testing the software, one can find out that on the whole, it comes with engaging design and the layouts, tabs and menus are placed in easy to use positions. However, other research has shown that small enterprises tend to find Salesforce CRM quite confusing and extremely hard to implement. Most of the users found it to be a frustrating experience, where they had difficulties in setting up the CRM software and configuring its admin part. Such users said that they had to seek help from the Salesforce support team and that the entire process involved a lot of work than usual.
4. Customer Service – Customer service with regards to Salesforce is considered to be its weakness. Requests are often ignored, whether you are a client or a member of the media. Also, getting someone from the support team to call back or return an email can be challenging at times. Even finding the most basic of information can be frustrating sometimes. Getting anything else, other than pricing or a features list can be mind-boggling and can involve filling out long request forms that demand personal information. However, it’s still unclear as to whether the Salesforce customer team is lacking simply because they want their customers to opt for paid consultation or because it dedicates most of its resources for servicing enterprise-level clients.Still, small businesses should consider the expenses involved when seeking consultation services from the Salesforce support team.
So, with that said, the Salesforce CRM is one of the best and robust CRM solutions for SMEs. And besides the features that have been discussed above, the Sales CRM software also comes with a set of other company provided features, which include customizable dashboards, advanced analytics, click-to-call, B2B marketing tools, salesforce trailblazer community and customer service console among other things. And while the benefits offered by the CRM software are plenty, it also comes with its own set of limitations, including higher pricing, fewer users and figuring out how to use and implement the CRM software among others. Also, any customization services are bound to cost you a fortune. Some developers even charge from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to help businesses implement Salesforce. So, although it’s no doubt a robust CRM system, it still has its own set of demerits.