- Highly customizable
- Numerous features
- Over 4,000 integrations
- Built-in AI
- Data-rich reporting
- High price
- No refunds
- Poor customer support
Since launching in 1999, Salesforce has carved its way into the CRM software industry. The well-known cloud-based platform helps organizations manage and streamline their sales, marketing, and customer service processes.
With a comprehensive suite of tools and extensive customization options, the platform’s Sales Cloud is the perfect choice for growing businesses seeking to efficiently manage customer relationships. It’s also excellent for those looking to enhance collaboration within an organization, as people from all departments have a shared view of clients, leads, and deals.
Prices start at $25 per user per month, billed annually. But before subscribing to one of the plans, it’s possible to thoroughly test the service for free for 30 days without having to provide any credit card details.
Test Salesforce for free for 30 days – no limitations and no credit card required. Upgrade any time to a paid subscription after the trial expires.
Salesforce’s numerous features help businesses store, monitor, and analyze all customer data in one place. Every team member is able to view customers’ information, so marketing, sales, and service departments can stay in the loop about every client account. Tasks are also centralized – displayed in a to-do list, they can be easily created, assigned, and tracked.
Salesforce makes it equally as simple to manage contacts. Recording details can be quickly done using the system’s preset and customizable fields (name, email, and phone number). Additional data can also be added, such as the lead source and preferred communication channel. Moreover, it’s convenient that users are able to import their existing clients’ information, contacts, and leads data.
Finally, keeping track of events and meetings is effortless with the calendar tab, as a scheduler lets users set appointments with customers in person or remotely (either by phone or video).
As its name suggests, Salesforce provides tools to improve companies’ selling processes. The platform allows businesses to manage the complete sales cycle, from lead capture to closing deals.
The sales pipeline neatly displays an overview of the stage each client account is currently at, and there are alerts for when a deal has overdue activities or needs a follow-up.
Additionally, managing client account stages is made easy with drag-and-drop functionalities. Information is updated in real time, so everyone on the team is instantly made aware of any changes.
What’s more, the platform generates comprehensive sales forecasts based on the gross roll-up of a set of opportunities within the sales pipeline. It also tracks how sellers perform within a specific period, so sales managers can monitor their teams’ KPIs and come up with new sales strategies.
The cloud-based platform features several built-in apps to manage sales, customers, leads, and more. Businesses are able to track leads through the sales funnel and update their status (new, nurturing, converted, etc.) according to their stage.
From the ‘Campaigns’ page, it’s possible to manage marketing channels like email, social media, and mobile messaging. It’s worth mentioning that new users may take time to figure out the tools and get acquainted with this page’s layout, which could be more user-friendly.
However, one of Salesforce’s major selling points is that it’s highly customizable, so companies are able to tailor the platform according to their specific needs. Users can set page layouts, customize tabs, and even include custom fields, helping them to organize and quickly find important information.
Moreover, the platform lets companies develop their own apps by grouping items that suit their needs, with no programming knowledge required. These apps can be personalized with the businesses’ branding, giving them a more professional look.
Overall, Salesforce reports provide a wide range of data for users to analyze their business’s metrics. Sales reports provide insights regarding deals, forecasts, and more, while marketing reports show metrics related to lead generation and conversion rates.
Moreover, Salesforce’s data-rich reports provide essential insights regarding customer service, such as case volume, response times, and customer satisfaction ratings.
Creating reports using the drag-and-drop tool couldn’t be more straightforward, and they can be customized according to the desired report type, format, and fields.
Although being highly adjustable may be advantageous, those who aren’t familiar with the platform may feel overwhelmed with the process of setting up the reports. Choosing report fields, applying filters, and configuring summarization options can be fairly complex for beginners.
Unfortunately, the formats to export the reports are limited, as it’s only possible to export formatted reports as Excel files or the raw data as Excel and CSV files. The platform could improve this by adding other useful formats like PDF and JSON.
Salesforce’s AI tool, Einstein, helps users enhance productivity with advanced analytics and machine learning. With this unique tool, users are able to tailor customer interaction with AI-generated emails, chats, and offers.
Although other CRM platforms implement AI-driven tools, Einstein stands out for the amount of data it interprets and the suggestions it gives based on the information processed. Insights across sales, marketing, and customer service are automatically provided by the tool and embedded into businesses’ workflows. What’s more, Einstein is useful for building custom predictions and recommendations with low-code tools.
Additionally, Salesforce offers several features for businesses to support their customers. The platform allows customer support agents to assign, track, escalate, and resolve cases. Moreover, real-time assistance can be provided with the live chat feature available.
For desktop, Salesforce is available only as a web app. Alternatively, the software is available for Android and iOS via its mobile app – Salesforce Mobile. The app has a user-friendly interface that runs as seamlessly as the web version.
Overall, managing contacts, accounts, and leads on the mobile version is easy and intuitive. Plus, the app features essential tools and data that allow viewing sales pipelines, accessing reports, and managing tasks on the go.
Also, some mobile-specific functionalities, such as camera integration and barcode scanning, lead to the conclusion that the web and mobile apps were designed to complement each other in supporting users’ needs.
Finally, it’s worth noting that more complex operations can only be performed through the web version, such as managing account members and advanced campaigns setup.
Ease of Use
In general, the platform’s interface could be more user-friendly. The layout would benefit from a makeover as it’s not the most intuitive and looks outdated.
Beyond this, the vast number of tools Salesforce provides can be overwhelming for first-time users. Making up for this, however, are the help buttons attached to every page, leading you to how-to videos.
It’s also helpful that the platform has a guidance center with articles and lessons about its many features, as training is essential for learning the ropes of the resources available.
Moreover, it’s worth mentioning that switching from pages and tabs is a smooth experience, and even with a large amount of data and tools, pages load in no time.
Salesforce has a dedicated space for third-party integrations called AppExchange. The platform impressively integrates with over 4,000 apps, allowing companies to build a connected CRM ecosystem and streamline workflows.
Among many others, some of these integrations include:
- Collaboration tools, such as Microsoft Teams and Slack.
- Accounting software like QuickBooks.
- E-signature platforms, such as DocuSign.
- Survey software like Typeform.
Moreover, connecting Salesforce to a Zapier account lets users integrate with over 5000 more third-party apps.
Although having this number of integrations available is highly advantageous, it’s worth highlighting that the AppExchange is a marketplace, so there are varied prices for each platform integration.
Altogether, Salesforce isn’t the most budget-friendly CRM platform on the market. For $25 per user per month, the Starter plan is best suited for small businesses, as it only supports up to ten users. As hinted by its name, this plan covers all the essential features, such as leads, accounts, and task management.
To only way to add more users is by scaling up to the Professional plan ($75 per user per month), which also comes with added features like sales forecasting and order tracking. The Enterprise plan ($150 per user per month) is the one to choose when looking to thoroughly automate their processes with Einstein. With this plan, the AI tool can be purchased as an add-on starting at $50 per user each month, billed annually.
Additionally, those who need the AI tool for at least two users may find the Unlimited plan more advantageous because Einstein is included in this plan without requiring extra payment. Unlimited costs $300 per user per month (billed annually), offering all features this software comes with and providing training as well as 24/7 toll-free support.
Ways to pay for these subscriptions include Mastercard, American Express, and Visa credit cards. But before opening the wallet, it’s worth checking out the 30-day free trial, which allows you to test the platform with either pre-loaded dummy data or your own. Moreover, the company doesn’t provide refunds, which is an extra reason to go for the free trial before committing to a paid plan.
Salesforce offers a vast selection of support materials, such as videos, tutorials, webinars, guides, and a global community called Trailblazer.
Although the amount of information available is significant, answers to basic questions regarding topics such as refunds and cancellation policies are hard to find. Unfortunately, this leaves users with no choice but to spend time contacting the support team.
To do so, the company provides phone and live chat customer service. However, we contacted the support team via live chat several times, but agents were never available.