So big is the Salesforce name in the enterprise realm. It has become synonymous with customer relationship management (CRM) software. However, as organizations digitize and increasingly switch to a collaborative and remote work environment, CRM solutions are one of the most hotly contested areas of the productivity market. So, can the Salesforce CRM hold up against a barrage of powerful competitors? Read our Salesforce review below to find out.
Ease of use
Value for Money
Starting from: $25/month
Pricing Model: Per user
Yes, has free trial
No free version
- Massive selection of features
- Multiple cloud products
- Customization tools
- Easy to use for beginners
- Messy pricing models
- May need a specialist for demanding workflows
- Small business
- Medium business
- Large enterprises
- Cloud, SaaS, Web-Based
- Mobile - Android
- Mobile - iPhone
- Mobile - iPad
When your teams have access to the top customer relationship management (CRM) solution, everyone in your organization benefits. Salesforce is the leading name in CRM technology and helps businesses efficiently manage customer interactions and generate new leads. Whether you need marketing, sales, IT services, collaboration, or commerce solutions, Salesforce is a platform that delivers.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is both the best-known and most popular customer relationship management (CRM) product on the market. In fact, it is ubiquitous across enterprises, with millions of companies using it worldwide. However, as the CRM market becomes more competitive, does Salesforce marketing cloud remain the best choice?
After decades of being a leader in CRM solutions, products like Salesforce service cloud and Salesforce sales cloud continue to be popular. Certainly, for small businesses targeting swift growth, Salesforce remains the most potent CRM platform. Packed with innovative features, Salesforce has many tools tailor-made to help organizations streamline and enhance customer relations.
Over the years, Salesforce has been able to use its success to branch out with a range of other cloud enterprise products, including app development, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI).
It is practically ubiquitous with customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The company has led the industry for decades and offers innovative features developed to increase sales revenue, improve customer satisfaction, and grow companies. While it is a CRM software company, first and foremost, its products unite sales, service marketing, commerce, IT, and analytics through one unified system. For small businesses, it offers tailor-made solutions for sales, marketing, and service teams;
What Does Salesforce Do?
That is why we place the Salesforce platform as the best CRM tool for businesses that are growing. If you have a small pool of employees but expect swift growth, Salesforce will make transitioning to bigger teams easy. Thanks to its existing feature set and reputation for innovation, Salesforce will remain potent even for major organizations consolidating and not growing.
There is a lot of competition out there, such as from HubSpot and Freshworks. Both those rivals do some things better, but overall it is hard not to recommend Salesforce for CRM needs. We especially like Salesforce for small business needs, but organizations of all sizes will get something from the platform.
Still, nothing is perfect, and in the following review, we will give you all our Salesforce knowledge. A good place to start is with looking at what we like about Salesforce and what we don’t like:
What We Like
- Features Galore – When using Salesforce workbench, you never have to worry about a lack of features. This is comfortably the most feature-rich CRM solution on the market, with advanced tools across marketing, outreach, support, management, and Salesforce consulting.
- Easy to Use – Honestly, ease of use is something most CRM solutions excel at. In fact, we rank Freshworks and HubSpot as even more user-friendly than Salesforce. Still, that does not mean Salesforce is not easy to use in its own right.
- Deep Third-Party Integration: No enterprise platform (of any kind) does third-party integration quite like Salesforce. With its own built-in marketplace, you can find all the apps you need to connect with the CRM software.
- Automation – Salesforce is our favorite CRM tool for automating tasks. It handles business processes through a simple interface and allows you to generate automatic cues and notifications across various metrics.
- Customization – Salesforce lets you have the customer relationship management experience you want with a robust set of customization options. Whether you use coding knowledge or built-in point and click controls, adding your own custom tabs, templates, reports, dashboard, and fields is easy.
What We Don’t Like
- Price – There is no getting away from the fact Salesforce can become very expensive. Considering it works so well for small businesses, it could be cost-prohibitive for many target customers. Pricing is also not flexible enough compared to rival CRM platforms.
How to Use Salesforce
As mentioned, usability is one of the Salesforce benefits. So, of course, it makes sense that a CRM platform should promote ease of use, but we are still impressed by the UI and usability of Salesforce. Not least because this platform has such a massive catalog of features and potential integrations that it could be easy to create a confusing ecosystem.
Salesforce has been able to avoid any usability issues across all pricing tiers. Thanks to a simple dashboard system, it is easy to get a visual workflow. However, However, Salesforce does become more difficult to use across pricing tiers. Regarding how to use the platform, we will focus on the basic Essential pricing plan and the full Enterprise Sales Cloud tier.
Starting with the Essentials plan, it is basically an out-of-the-box solution that even beginners to CRM software can quickly master. When you get started, Salesforce automation tools ask you some questions to understand your level of experience. Next, the platform provides learning tools to guide you through setting up the software.
This allows navigation drop-down menus to list the items you use more frequently first. All relevant information to your projects is found in the central dashboard, but you can also customize any section component to show the data you want to see. Essentially, you create the perfect dashboard for your organization.
On the Enterprise Sales Cloud pricing plan, there is admittedly a steeper learning curve to overcome. That’s because the dashboard is filled with more Salesforce project management features that you can access. While this is good for enterprises that require advanced tools, it is just clutter for organizations requiring a more seamless experience.
Some of the additional features are excellent others are more of a gimmick. For example, we like the “forecasts” tool, but you will need some experience to use it effectively. On the flip side, the “Quarterly Performance” chart does not provide enough accurate information to justify how much space it takes on the dashboard.
If we were to walk through the entire Salesforce features list, you would still be reading this review in three hours. Needless to say, Salesforce CRM features are extensive, making this a complete customer management solution currently available.
Below we will cover some of our favorite abilities, including Salesforce cloud features and Salesforce reports. It is worth noting that the platform makes it easy to access tools, with everything you need available through the Salesforce dashboard. You can also create the exact feature set and dashboard you want, thanks to the robust custom settings in Salesforce.
Being able to streamline projects through automation workflows is a valuable part of the Salesforce experience. Thanks to a simple UI, you can drag and drop processes for automation across numerous metrics.
Salesforce delivers what is probably our favorite mobile CRM service. You get a complete sales and customer connection platform directly on Android or iOS devices. Users can respond to leads, track work opportunities, manage dashboards, and log calls. You also get customization options through the salesforce feature.
Account and Contact Management
It is important to have a detailed overview of customers. Salesforce provides that access, giving you insight into customer activity, communication, accounts, and more. You can also see important contacts, connect with social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook.
- Opportunity Management
As well as connecting and managing customer relationships, Salesforce also specializes in team management within your organization. One of the best examples is the ability to see how your team is handling deals. For example, you can see products and quotes regarding a deal and potential competition, and the stage of the deal.
Salesforce CRM also provides ways to access new customers as well as managing existing relationships. For example, thanks to its lead management tools, you can track leads from the moment they engage until you close a sale. You can also generate campaigns and properly manage how you are spending money and resources on marketing.
Reports and Dashboards
There is a lot of information to dig through on Salesforce, so having access to data can be valuable. With the dashboard UI, you can see reports in real-time, providing glance info on projects. You can also dive deeper with more detailed reports, which users can also customize.
Pipeline and Forecast Management
Speaking of real-time access, you can also get reports into the health of your organization. For example, check on pipelines to see how teams perform and then receive accurate forecasts on project outcomes.
Salesforce is a massive platform that provides an array of features across a wide range of business demands. No two companies will want the same results from Salesforce, and the scope of the platform is what makes this flexibility possible. However, to reflect the sheer amount on offer, Salesforce pricing must also be flexible.
Starting From: $25/per user (Monthly Plan)
Pricing Model: Subscription
Free Trial: 14-days
Salesforce is well-known for allowing its customers to leverage a vast number of third-party applications. In fact, it has one of the largest integrations libraries we have ever seen. If you want to tap into another application directly within Salesforce, you will find what you need on the Salesforce AppExchange.
Whatever the Salesforce integration you require, AppExchange will almost certainly have it. This is the place to find native integrations that work seamlessly within Salesforce. For example, a Jira Salesforce integration, a HubSpot Salesforce integration, or the Salesforce Slack integration. You will also find apps from Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, DocuSign, and many more.
There are over 5,000 apps – both free and paid – available within Salesforce AppExchange. As a result, you can facilitate a broad range of third-party requirements without needing to leave the Salesforce dashboard. Salesforce also delivers for mobile users, with hundreds of app integrations functional on smartphones and tablets.
If you are looking for a Salesforce alternative, there is a lot of choices out there. As CRM software becomes increasingly important to organizations, the number of top-quality CRM platforms is also increasing. While we will look at some specific Salesforce competitors below, first, we will list some of the big-name alternatives:
- Freshworks CRM
- Zoho CRM
- See All Alternatives
Salesforce Review Conclusions
Salesforce is an excellent choice for businesses targeting growth. Across its products, but especially with its CRM solutions, the platform delivers flexibility and customization that growing organizations need. In addition, even larger enterprises can leverage the extensive Salesforce features list to power customer and team management.
However, for those bigger companies, Salesforce gets complex enough that you will need to hire specialists to handle workflows.