In a Nutshell
- Can handle many use cases with over 14 products.
- Can be customized heavily to suit your needs.
- Over 3000 apps available to customize the default offering.
- Expensive relative to the competition.
- No free plan.
Salesforce at a Glance
Best for: Mid- to large-sized enterprises with complex CRM needs.
Key use: Total software solution package for businesses. Includes software solutions for CRM, lead management, marketing automation, customer service, IT ticketing, HRSM, analytics, and interdepartmental communication.
Price: Varies significantly with business needs, from $25/user/month up to $300/user/month.
Free trial: 30 days
The Salesforce suite has 3 CRM solutions, one each for sales, customer support, and marketing. These products enable businesses to digitally store customer information and facilitate communication with existing and potential clients.
Tools for Sales Teams
Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s primary solution to assist sales teams. It provides account, lead and contact management solutions, and comes with an integrated customer database. It also enables users to view a visual sales pipeline and use AI-assisted sales forecasting tools to predict the sales cycle going forward. The full list of features includes:
- Mobile access
- Process automation
- Account and contact management
- Opportunity management
- Lead management
- Reporting and custom dashboards
- Pipeline and forecast management
- AI-powered automations and insights
Tools for Customer Support Teams
Service Cloud, the customer service software, enables service agents to easily view customer information aggregated on a single dashboard. It also assists with case management by centralizing related tickets into cases that are easy to review so that agents can find relevant information faster.
Additionally, Service Cloud generates reports that make it easier for management to monitor agent performance and identify opportunities for improvement.
The full list of features includes:
- Agent workspace with automation and workflow builder
- Case, knowledge, and incident management dashboards
- AI-powered reporting and analytics
- Telephony and voice communications
- Interactive video support
- Customer self-service suite
- Messaging, social networks, & AI-powered chatbots
- Agent productivity dashboard
- Field service optimization tools with scheduling and job management
Tools for Marketing Teams
The Salesforce Marketing CRM is called Marketing Cloud. It enables users to run configurable, automated email campaigns, engage with clients across multiple social media channels, and analyze the effectiveness of campaigns with several dedicated analytics tools.
The full list of features includes:
- Email studio
- Journey builder
- Interaction studio
- Customer data platform (CDP)
- Data analytics platform (Datorama)
- B2B marketing automation
- Advertising, mobile, and social media studios
- Content management
- Google Marketing platform
- Loyalty management
Customization and Integrations
Salesforce is highly customizable. During setup, you can work with the Salesforce development team to customize aspects of the UI and add or remove any features according to your needs.
After setup, you can access Salesforce AppExchange, a marketplace of over 3000 applications that can offer a vast range of further customization options for your Salesforce suite.
Reporting and Dashboards
Every product in the Salesforce CRM suite features some form of reporting. For instance, Sales Cloud features sales forecasting reports, and Service Cloud has support reports that track service agent performance.
In addition to the in-product reporting features, Salesforce offers a dedicated analytics software product called Tableau. Tableau provides AI-driven insights that are relevant to all business lines.
Salesforce features a mobile app that integrates seamlessly with the desktop version. You can access your CRM dashboards and view reports, all on a mobile-friendly interface. The app is available on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
Plans and Pricing
Salesforce products are available for sale individually. The majority of these products are priced on a per-user basis. However, some products require a fixed monthly fee for access or are priced as a percentage of your overall monthly payment. Salesforce Sales Cloud is a great example of the typical pricing model users can expect from a Salesforce product.
Salesforce Sales Cloud Pricing
*Prices are per user, per month.
Ease of Implementation and Use
Setting up Salesforce can be complex, and typically takes 2-8 weeks. Advanced technical knowledge is required, so assistance from its development team is available during setup. Additional assistance can be acquired by hiring a freelance Salesforce consultant or reviewing the Salesforce knowledge base, which is available for free to subscribers.
Salesforce’s free customer service system uses online tickets. Users can submit tickets to Salesforce’s tech support team, which will attempt to resolve their issue as soon as possible.
Additional support options are available to users who are willing to pay a premium for Salesforce Success. Paying for the Premier Success tier unlocks access to 24/7 phone and developer support and expert coaching. Above Premier is the Signature option, which provides a dedicated support representative and proactive troubleshooting of issues by Salesforce’s software engineering team.
What Users Say About Salesforce
"We built social collaboration into our business process and improved productivity and visibility."
- Nikon Instruments
“With Salesforce we can move a lot faster and keep adapting to our customers’ needs.”
- Kemal Cetin, VP of IT, Coca-Cola Enterprises
“Salesforce helps us connect more closely with our 600,000+ customers.”
- Dan Page, VP Sales Automation, ADP
Salesforce is a versatile business software solution that is ideal for large enterprises with complex software support needs. It provides a broad range of products covering numerous business needs, but its primary strength lies in its 3 CRM solutions for customer service, sales, and marketing. These features are backed up by robust, AI-driven analytics software. Salesforce is highly customizable at setup and can be further customized with over 3000 third-party applications. If you are prepared to pay a premium, Salesforce will be able to meet almost any business software need you have.