We used Salesforce to be our CRM and Professional Services Automation (PSA) system. We custom-built the PSA, but the CRM piece was mostly Salesforce out-of-the-box.
Ultimately, if you can figure how to keep your licensing and other add-in costs in check, then Salesforce can be the right tool for you. Otherwise, you may find what we found, which is that Salesforce's continual cost increases eventually cause the platform to lose its ROI. We ultimately switched from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics 365 after Salesforce continually and forcibly raised their costs beyond our ROI threshold. The system was functionally fine, but the annual costs had simply become too much.
As a CRM platform, it's everything you could ask for. Also, its AppStore is top notch. From a functionality perspective, you cannot go wrong with Salesforce. Also, as one of the biggest and most widespread platforms, there are plenty of Salesforce resources out there, so there is no shortage of help available should you need it. If you are a small non-profit particularly, Salesforce can be an incredible resource as your first 10 licenses are free (as long as you qualify as a non-profit with Salesforce)
If you are a for-profit firm, be aware that Salesforce builds in an annual 7% licensing cost increase into it's contracts. As a result, you will be continually negotiating and re-negotiating with them to keep licensing costs reasonable. Even then, Salesforce will continually look to increase your spend with them. Their sales teams/account managers can be very aggressive and a lot of things you may want or need will cost you extra. They're also continually rotating their account managers. This can be very frustrating as a customer because just when you feel that you've built a good relationship with your account manager, Salesforce will switch people on you and then you have to work to rebuild a new relationship.
My current company had been using Constant Contact before I arrived, and it was poorly managed... a huge mess, even... partially due to the staff being unable to coordinate, and partially because the software was a bit clunky. I was brought on during the SalesForce onboarding process, and 36 months later, with very little management efforts from our marketing/BD staff, our data is standardized, uniform, and easily accessible. Emails are scheduled to go out once a week, months in advance, based on templates first developed by our onboarding process, and we have been able to shift our marketing staff to more analytical projects that have given us the edge we needed to be on track to make our profit-sharing bonus numbers for the first time in years.
The ability to customize really makes SalesForce its own beast. I've worked for two companies that have used the software, and both looked very different, yet still intuitively the same. I like that if there isn't currently a solution for you, there are add-ons and plug-ins that can be fitted into your experience to make it an extremely tailored solution for a wide range of companies. Not only that, the customer support staff have some great tools at their disposal that give you an even deeper dimension of control, should you be unable to quite round the edges for your perfect fit. I like the seamless integration with Pardot. In addition, with Pardot's automation platform, you can literally save hours' worth of work as contact/prospect data can sync in nearly realtime, depending on the rules you've set up. If all this sounds perplexing, don't worry too much, as Salesforce has an amazing onboarding team that will work with your designated admin staff to utilize most of the software package from nearly any education/experience level.
There are some frustrating limitations with reporting in Pardot, and sometimes SalesForce integration with plug-ins can be a bit of a hassle if they weren't set up during the initial onboarding, but overall these are speedbumps at worst and don't detract from the overall experience enough to really worry about.
Salesforce has been the single most valuable tool for us in tracking prospective students through a funnel, communicating with them across channels and tying together the rest of our marketing stack.
We use the Higher Education Data Architecture platform on an Enterprise level instance of Salesforce through Salesforce's philanthropic Power of Us program. As a small, private religious institution of higher education, we need a CRM that allows us to customize contact profiles to an unusual degree, as well as automating basic tasks and integrating with our various other communication and tracking platforms.
Salesforce offers us unparalleled customization and allows us to combine analytics on mass emails, texts and website visits from our automation platform with individual emails, SMS, notes and phone call logs. We can analyze data not just about locations and high schools, but also about churches and youth conferences. It's also a useful tool for communication, and has a terrific integration with Twilio for 1-to-1 SMS conversations.
We've found that the learning curve on Salesforce is steep. We took care of onboarding, set-up and training ourselves in order to save money on the fees, and have regretted it. I would strongly recommend getting professional help to tailor the platform to your needs from the outset.
Based on my experience, I would recommend Salesforce to anyone looking for a powerful CRM product.
It can be customized to fit almost any use-case
Support is helpful and enthusiastic
It has a vast range of features
The extensive training available in Trailhead
Reporting capabilities are deep
Importing records is fairly simple
It has a massive range of integrations with other software and services
No automatic email reply capture
The learning curve is steep
It's incredibly complex, and it can be difficult to fully take advantage of it
It's hard to take advantage of some functionality without spending money on other solutions
Some simple functions are tedious to perform
The interface isn't always intuitive
Switching between Lightning Mode and Classic Mode to perform tasks is annoying
We're a union, so we have a little bit of a different situation than a lot of businesses who use Salesforce, but it's been incredibly helpful in allowing us to build an internal leadership structure where we can show the relationships between our members. It has also allowed us to track member activity & engagement in some very powerful ways, and to track the work of our organizers and representatives.
Really allows you to track your customers/clients/members/leads and see the arc of their interaction with your organization. If you also use something like Pardot to manage emails and online forms, it will give you a complete life timeline for the individual and how they have interacted with you. Allows you to create a journey & experience based on their interactions with you and to give quick follow-up when someone shows signs of life.
The only caveat here is that you have to be ready to use it. That means more than just having people trained in how to use the interface, but making sure everyone is on board for how this kind of data can and SHOULD inform and change how you interact with your clientele. If you're used to getting back to people within 24 hours, you need to be ready to shift that to 20 minutes. If you're used to treating everyone the same, you'd better be ready to create drip/nurture programs based on behavior.
If you aren't ready to use it to its full capacity, it isn't worth the investment, but if you are able to use it the way it's meant to be used, it's incredibly powerful.
It has a steep learning curve. I've been using it for a couple of years now, and I know that I still have barely scratched the surface of what I could be able to do, but I don't have time to devote to just learning SalesForce when it's not my core job. Definitely recommended for larger orgs where you can have a team devoted to support. Also, I hate the way they continually try to sell you new add-ons to the core product.
I have had fantastic experiences with sf.com in several capacities including as sales manager and a front-line revenue producer (hunter). The software is very intuitive so tracking appointments, birthdays of clients, last conversations had (and all other last activities) can not only be saved but can be set up with a time stamp/alarm for follow-up. As a direct sales contributor, sf.com was the only tool I needed to be successful and is comprehensive in its ability to keep an eye on the business. All quotations can be done through the software and the metrics from each quote go into "the system" so that pipeline reports by sales person, group, region, or entire company can be seen and used as a management tool. Literally, I could go on and on about all the benefits of the software. If used properly any sales person should see increased revenue from adding this software as it is a time-safer and organizer.
Packs a punch in features that can be turned on and turned off as needed when business trends and sales needs change. Worth the price as a stand-alone sales CRM and sales tool for a small business with just a handful of reps while at the same time being equally effective as a platform for a company with 1000+ sales people that want integration between multiple departments. Excellent security against both outside and inside threats and manipulation. User definition fields so numerous that it allows for unique user roles for every employee on the system if desired.
Like most software tools, sf.com has a learning curve and there will be some in the company that are resistant to the change. If those people are not pushed and required to use the system completely it detracts from the overall benefit of the software.
The software is more expensive than its competitors - many times significantly more expensive. Also the packages start at the price for 5 users so if you are a small business with yourself and two employees, you will pay for 5 users even though you may only need 2 or 3 users.
Overall experience has been great. We have grown as a company at 30% percent since adopting. We launched on the Lighting UI and I highly recommend the same for anyone that is looking to launch the product. There are a ton of resources that will help with implementation which is great!
The best part and worst part of being on the Salesforce platform is the ability to customize the tool to your needs. If you have a specific process, permission, security that you need to be able to accommodate, you will always have the ability on the platform.
The mobile app is great and is used most of our users. There are some areas for improvement, but overall great.
Salesforce also does a great job of implementing new features and changes based on their community feedback. The Ideaexchange is an amazing tool and SF does a great job basing their changes on wheat the people want.
Finally, TrailHead is the best in the business. The ability to self teach is amazing and SF does a wonderful job keeping all the moduels up to date.
The same thing why Salesforce is great with flexibility and customization also make things very difficult. The best way to describe this is Salesforce is a like a beautiful house on the outside. They give you the roof/doors/walls, BUT what you put in the house and how you arrange is all your own doing. This makes it difficult if you need a specific issue taken care of, you will need to reach out to a developer to accomplish unless you have one in-house.
Also the App exchange although very great, can get very expensive. A lot of companies make a living taking a Salesforce idea and perfecting, then selling on the app exchange. This can come in handy, but also at a cost.
Salesforce is a great tool in managing clienteles and candidates. It is great in terms of managing client and candidate relationship and gives the ambiance that they are talking to a real person without sacrificing too much time. You can also open it everywhere - on app, laptop or computer because all you need to do is to download the mobile version and you can access it using any browser.
Salesforce powers both our business development, sales, and recruiting efforts in our company. Salesforce makes it easy for us to know what is the last stage of a candidate, what are the next steps he needs to take in his candidacy for a single position, and also if he has already been talking to someone else in our company.
Salesforce also makes it possible for us to know what was the last message we sent out to a single candidate or client. It is also great in terms of establishing relationship because we can customize HTML emails as if we are sending a tailor-fitted email to a single person even-though it is just an email blast.
It is great as well in terms of driving sales and business development effort. We can keep track of the cadence of each possible client, and we can also indicate if they are set for a phone meeting or in-person meeting with our higher ops. The chatter is also great, and from time to time Salesforce gives us a snapshot of what we have done and what we are doing.
I really don't have a lot of bad experience with regards to us using Salesforce. Maybe one thing they can improve on is how their technical support works. Sometimes they are not that helpful, and they are not that trained enough in resolving each person's concern.
A hub for organizing our customers and tracking our performance.
I really enjoy how customizable Salesforce is, you can completely tailor each section, such as your page layouts for leads, contacts and accounts to display the data that matters to your business. The software allows you to create new fields, organize them how you'd like and even create automation tools to trigger workflows and email alerts based off of your entries. Outside of the native Salesforce capabilities is a massive app store called the appexchange that allows you to connect your environment with services such as MailChimp for marketing emails, DocuSign for executing contracts and more. Salesforce is not always simple but once it is understood it can be manipulated to fit any businesses needs. We love the report feature because we can pull information on all fields that matter to us in each section (tab) of Salesforce to measure our performance. If your reports often have a defined criteria and date range you can easily schedule email alerts to receive without having to pull manually.
The customer service is bad. Unless you are looking to upgrade your account somehow or purchase a new product you wont be able to contact anyone. You can purchase the customer service package but it is an additional amount. The package allows you to contact customer support via phone - without it you will need to submit a ticket which sometimes takes over a week to resolve. In my opinion no one should have to pay extra to receive quality service for a product they own. Additionally, Salesforce offers customers the opportunity to request fixes/updates to the service and vote on top priority items. I've seen these items often times sit in the queue for 3-5 years. When it's a change that the majority of your customers are demanding there needs to be some priority to that! I think some advice I'd give to Salesforce is to do a better job at not only pushing out new products but ensuring that after they are pushed out they are continuously being monitored and improved , not abandoned. We purchased Pardot three years ago and found that to be a huge mistake because it seemed to be abandoned by Salesforce as the moved onto Marketing Cloud and other ventures. There have been no improvements to Pardot (a Salesforce product) in the last 3 years - it has remained exactly the same even with all of the suggestions provided by customers. We also tried Quip (a Salesforce product) and found it to be similarly undone so decided not to go down that road again.
Automation of common tasks saved us time. Documenting conversations and tracking new data gave us the ability to work with the right person at the right time. 3rd party apps were easy to find and integrate into our business processes. Saved time by building drip campaigns during the recruiting process. Adding new fields meant we could be agile in implementing new ideas and pilot projects.
Customizable - allows organizations to track anything and everything
Automation - easy to build workflows to automate repetitive tasks
Security - can control access to fields, records, or entire objects by user type. Access and security are vital and easily maintained and deployed
Innovative - Salesforce is consistently voted one of the most innovative companies in the world. Quarterly releases are packed with new features to support users and administrators
Community - the Salesforce community is incredible. Find answers from other users and administrators through Salesforce's gigantic communities.
Equality - Salesforce is a champion for equality and equity for all. It is important that we are partnering with a company that views equality as a core value.
Philanthropy - Salesforce has been committed to giving back since it was founded. Again, sharing the work with a partner that has strong values is an important business lever.
Training - hours and hours of free training exist at the click of a button. ANYONE can learn to administer Salesforce by using Salesforce Trailhead, their online training module.
Can be difficult to use and learn, particularly for administrators. Maintaining documentation is vital and is left to the organizational administrators without much advice from Salesforce. All the possibilities can be overwhelming for new users and administrators.
It's a very complex and versatile piece of software, there's a lot to like about it:
- it can be used for Sales and Service
- it is cloud-based and can be used by teams scattered around the whole world
- it can be customised to suit all business types, from selling companies to clinics etc.
- it has a very rich marketplace, if you did not find what you were after baked in, you will probably find it in the AppExchange
- it has a lot of integrations, e.g. email, CTI
- it is cross-platform, you can use it on phones, tablets, MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux
- it is very secure and has a very granular security options
- you have access to all your data, you can export raw data anytime you need it for security and migration purposes
- it has an insane deal of automation, you can apply a lot of automatic jobs, workflows, processes that will automate your daily tasks, allowing you to focus on the most important tasks for your business cutting down on the admin for the regular users
- first of all, it is quite expensive, on the other hand, building and using an in-house CRM can be even more expensive, before purchasing, however, make sure if you need all the bells and whistles, as you might just as well get a competitor's CRM that will suit your needs and will be cheaper
- complexity has its price, to configure all of this, you will need a bunch of well trained certified and experienced admins, employing incompetent admins will expose your business to unnecessary downtimes
- competent and experienced admins, on the other hand, are also very expensive and not necessarily easy to find
- Salesforce can be very fragile to changes, making a small change can sometimes cause a chain reaction immobilizing your business, every change has to be thoroughly tested in Sandboxes
Before deciding to use Salesforce I recommend doing a research to make sure your business will benefit from Salesforce's features. It is a great tool and can really help your business provided there is a good justification. Otherwise, you might be better off with something simpler.
At the end of the day even though I complain about salesforce it makes life easier when you are part of a sales organization. You have access to all records associated with a particular account. You can track lead history, marketing engagement, lost opps, and just about anything else you'd need to know.
Salesforce does everything. It presents you with powerful tools to run reports, create dashboards, and search for info (accounts,leads, contacts, etc..). As far as managing customer-facing business, financials, acticity, contracts, etc... It's the best. And for the most part if Salesforce can't do what you need specifically they probably have a third-party provider that you can plugin ala Zuora.
From a user perspective it's very easy to get granular with data you are trying to explore and present it in a number of ways. Figuring out there reporting and dashboarding tools makes it extremely powerful.
Salesforce is generally great, but being a best in class CRM for general purposes means that certain specific needs of one company might not always be met. It's their challenge for sure (kind of like a POS). Lots of different use cases all generally falling under the same category.
Besides that the only cons I have are sort of nitpicky day-in-day-out stuff. It takes too many clicks to say log a mtg or update someone's status. A sales operations leader of mine one time did an analysis of how many clicks within salesforce a rep makes in a day and the number was staggering.
Reporting on leads and contacts together is also kind of a pain and sometimes impossible.
It keeps good track of our candidates and clients discussions over a period of time which helps us get back from where the last conversation had ended. A good account information as well with 360-view of information. Tools operate much of some famous social networking sites and could be considered as an easy-navigating platform.
A platform that offers sales management, customer service, marketing automation and partner relationship management. It is a c cloud-based CRM solution, Salesforce gives you anywhere, anytime, access to your business data, even from mobile devices. This platform helped us streamline our process and logged our conversation with each of our clients/candidates keeping track of the discussion history and knowing where we left at. It has a good contact management system that allows the users to store a lot more information like account/client details, addresses, other available information which allows a good account info overview. The Dashboard is customizable and can fit to what their client needs and requires for the specific process. It's an easy to navigate software especially for those who had been into cloud-based platform before.
The complexity of its features sometimes are not being exhausted/maximized by small-scale businesses and could get overwhelming at times. Pricing may be a bit high for a small company especially if they want something that is more customizable. For our team, it took us a while to navigate the platform fully and think of was on how to customize the platform based on our needs. Knowing what is already available for us and what can be considered for the future is something that we get to deep dive over the course of months and a lot of collaboration and dicussion with the team. Reporting issues might be a bit hard in terms of knowing who is responsbile for certain technical glitch if its Salesforce folks themselves or some app that links to it.
The benefits that i get from using SalesForce is the ability to track of my salespeople data entry of all the bookings, sales statistics within my region, and so much more. Moreover, from SalesForce i can email a customer directly verifying the reservations entered in the system are correct or not, as well very easy to make changes of an existing reservations, adding and remove multiple properties withing my region, and exporting daily revenue data to my revenue management company . SalesForce i believe drives our business to have the ability to track and generate more revenue, and determine where more resources are needed to increase customer satisfaction. I encourage anyone in the CRM business t o utilize SalesForce .
SalesForce I believe drives our clients sales and track each and every sales person's goals and bookings. As a tech support engineer one of my responsibilities is to support SalesForce users with any issues that occur. As a front end user, features that i like about SalesForce is the ability to enter a specific booking, tracking the revenue of that booking and all bookings entered by a salesperson, easy to edit changes of any existing group, an announcement page that lets me displays the messages that i enter them, and so much more. Moreover, one of the main features that i like about SalesForce is the customizeable dashboard; once logged into SalesForce , the tool's dashboard gives me a detailed view of how a specific hotel's revenue is performing, and also provides detailed summaries of a customer's data and other relevant statistics.
One of the biggest downside of SalesForce is the password expiration duration; as a salesperson i keep having to entered a new password every 30-45 days or so, I wish there was an option to extend the duration of the password expiration. I know it is a security protocol within the system itself to recreate a new password for any user after 30-45 days.
I must say that this software has given me several benefits starting with the price-product ratio. The cost is low if we consider how powerful the software is. In turn, the savings in time and money that means being able to work from anywhere is something very positive. Sometimes I travel outside the state and the fact of having this work tool prevents me from having to buy a ticket, take a plane and return to a meeting. Simply from any platform (in my case a laptop) I can sit down in the lobby of the hotel where I am staying and share documents, modify them, work online with my project colleagues in the company and the other companies that make up the institution for which I work. This product has simplified my work and my life. I owe him 3 promotions since I usually excel in the assigned projects. My experience has been very positive in that sense and I have a lot to thank for this product.
One of the aspects that I value most about this software is the possibility it offers me to work from anywhere. My work demands to travel continuously and the fact of being able to access the cloud from any laptop, tablet, smart phone or table computer and sharing information and tasks with my co-workers is very positive. And the best thing is that this software gives me total security that others do not guarantee me. Knowing that my data, my projects and my documents are well protected, generate me a lot of confidence, so I totally recommend it
Although it is a very powerful software, its use is sometimes complex with respect to the tools to segment and automate my marketing campaigns since working with well-defined social strata in the communication area would be a great collaboration to do it from the same software and not manually Simpler steps that allow processing all the information and then classify it. It would be very helpful because of the complexity that sometimes is made for those who are beginning to use this software.
Absolute enterprise situational awareness. We operate in a high-criticality, high-consequences, high-reliability industry; Critical Medical Aviation. We must be aware of a wide range of matters and be extremely well-synchronized in our efforts - aviation, safety, logistics, customer focus, innovation, marketing, communications, professional-development, succession planning - all these and more are managed across the Salesforce Platform. Our industry is responsible to provide individuals with the highest probability of a positive outcome when their survival is at high risk. The Salesforce platform is virtually on board each flight.
Form many years we used another CRM - that was just that - a CRM. Salesforce has become a platform capable of infinite applications and integrations. It requires an investment in funds - and yes - time. But anything of high-yield does. Key - is securing a solid company for the customization Salesforce Corporate does a fine job connecting with the best. I frankly am shocked that in today's world many organizations are still operating without robust CRM and synchronous applications. I would suggest to those about to embark on this - GO WITH SALESFORCE - the leader and don't waste precious time going through all kinds of demos with others. Bottom-line - Salesforce is ahead and keeps ahead and will continue to do so. This greatly lessens your risks, Just make the move then make the commitment to optimize the core capabilities.
It's an odd thing - but - what like least is; far too many capabilities. One can be overwhelmed and fixated on constantly wanting more. So - there's the good news - a company will probably never be able to keep up with the options available - it will never be limited - therefore Salesforce is aspirational and helps to drive growth. I believe the company will never stop keeping way ahead of what customers or prospects want. Just advise to master the basics and then progress.
This helps my and my team realize more ROI by helping automate and report on what is necessary for us to keep recorded in CRM. The laborious tasks that team members hate dealing with can be taken care of by the Salesforce platform itself, causing less friction with management and 100% accurate reporting in CRM.
Salesforce helps me keep track of my progress as an employee and offers transparency as to what I can do to improve my processes and learn to succeed to higher degrees and frequencies.
I like all of the automation and customization available with Salesforce. It is great having access to a tool that is capable of taking so much of the human decision out of the equation so that the team members can focus on their responsibilities and allow Salesforce to do the heavy lifting. If can be tiresome to try to always remember what needs to be logged/updated when and where, and Salesforce makes reporting compliance easy for any team of any size. Customizing it offers great value as well, as there are numerous departments in every company, and we all would like to use Salesforce differently. I get to have layouts and processes that match my team, while not being bothered with those of other departments.
What I like least is that Salesforce has sub-par support. There is a lot of complexity to their platform, and because of that, a lot of questions arise. The team at Salesforce, even if you pay for premier support, is not all that responsive or helpful. There is a lot that they themselves don't necessarily know and maybe have to track down the appropriate internal resources to get the answers. Another thing is that Salesforce seems to neglect very important features requests from Salesforce Ideas posts. Clients are offering their feedback and suggestions firsthand, but certain requests that would benefit every company (such as being able to sort reports by more than just a single field) get left in the dust for UI updates to try to wow or entice new clients. Salesforce definitely has a direction of its own, and although they do build new and helpful aspects to the tech, you are on their wagon wherever they choose to pull it.
Salesforce really helps make sure that nothing slips between the cracks. It provides a single, organized location for everything from personal notes about potential clients, to the ability to track potential profit.
Very customizable! With a good admin, you can set up Salesforce to collect, display, and track exactly what your team needs to know, with customized levels of visibility and access. I've used Salesforce for healthcare clients all the way to public school clients - Salesforce helps make sure that any client or contract can go from a "potential" to a reality by helping keep track of communication, notes, deadlines, and where projects are stagnating.
For teams and execs who don't have time to drill down into the details, the ability to customize and create reports with graphics is fantastic. You can create a snapshot of where members of your sales teams are at (profit, conversions, potential money on the line, number of stalled projects, etc.) - a great tool for motivating your team and helping decide where to invest your energy.
If you don't have time to run reports every day, you can customize your home screen to automatically see the follow-up reminders, graphs, and data that's applicable to your position and your priorities.
Salesforce's customization options simultaneously can be its best and worst feature. If your admin doesn't set up required fields, report parameters, and access settings, Salesforce can be an absolute nightmare for everyone on the team. If something feels "clunky" or "broken," it's probably in your settings, and not in the software.
You know when you interview someone and you ask them for their weakness and they turn a positive into a negative ("I'm a perfectionist!") Well, that is the issue with Salesforce. It is so configurable that you can get yourself into trouble! There are layers and layers of security and configurations - you get to choose how complex your org will be. How you set up objects and relationships will greatly impact on how you can later get out your data.
Take the time to engage a Data Architect to review the design before you release to the hordes!
And while yes, the data structure and reporting tool inhibit reporting and analytics, it collects the data relatively well. Best bet is to get a copy of your data and get it into a data warehouse or even a couple of simple reporting tables. Get your users used to using other tools for reporting whenever possible.
It is easy to get up and running with a very simple and basic sales/CRM configuration with Salesforce. Creating custom objects (tables) and fields is pretty simple and convenient. The platform also offers easy to use, off the shelf APIs that make integrating outside sources and systems pretty straightforward. And, if designed properly, it can scale and adapt fairly well. Extremely configurable and can ultimately do most things asked of it.
I have two issues with Salesforce. The first is the way it stores the data. Because it is an object oriented database, it stores more in columns than in rows. The User Interface is based on the structure of the objects and on the relationships of those objects. What ends up happening is that data starts to "spread" via triggers and workflows so it will be visible. Traditionally, there has been a lot of copying of data between Salesforce objects.
The second issue is an extension of the first - Reporting. Reporting is inherently difficult to begin with because of the structure of the data. In order to create a report, a "report type" has to be created which pre-identifies the objects and fields. It makes ad-hoc reporting difficult and time consuming. But the reporting tool itself is clunky and difficult to use. To be clear, this is basic Salesforce reporting - not Einstein or Wave. You can't rename columns on the fly, can't create non aggregated calculations, and the user interface is just plain outdated.
What I like most about Salesforce is the capability of being an all-in-one CRM. In the insurance business, there is a very wide variety of details to track: client information, sales statistics, commissions, important dates, data from insurance carriers, and more. Salesforce has the ability to customize the fields so that we can keep track of as much information that we want to.
Another example of the versatility of Salesforce is that it can be used by all departments of a company. SeniorQuote has deployed Salesforce with our sales agents, case managers, finance department, administrators, marketing specialists and data analysts.
We have incorporated plug-ins with Salesforce to make it versatile for our needs. We were able to incorporate inContact with our Salesforce to have a built-in phone dialer for our agents. We also incorporated Marketo's automation software to have the ability to use digital marketing with the ease of a "click" while surveying our extensive database of leads.
We purchased additional support, which has been a huge help. Response time is good. I put in tickets for help which are answered anywhere between minutes after my request up to 24 hours. The assistance we receive is often stellar, and the representatives are very knowledgeable. The only quirk with them is they are sometimes in foreign countries and some instances I've dealt with people with poor communication skills.
What turns me off about Salesforce is the configuration. It could be pertinent to SeniorQuote, because we did not hire a licensed Salesforce administrator to configure and maintain our Salesforce account. After going through it without an administrator, I would highly recommend having one on staff (as appropriate to company size) Simply put: the more complicated or detailed your CRM will be, the higher the likelihood you will need an in-house administrator.
I have used Salesforce with three different companies and have witnessed the many problems that arise when you don't have someone who is an EXPERT at Salesforce to help you out. At the very least, I suggest buying the Additional Support.
We were able to streamline our internal process which has made our operations more efficient! We are able to easily set up new users and training is easier to relate but helps with consistency and best practices.
Salesforce is not only appealing to the eye but the page is full of images that gives you that feeling of productivity! Salesforce chose a great color in business.. BLUE, which indicates Salesforce to be a dependable, confident application. The role in which I work is that of an Asst. Office Manager and HR Representative and I love that Salesforce offers many facets that I utilize daily. Timeclock Online and Chatter are my most favored features (at the present time). Timeclock Online is user friendly and I am able to collect data on a dime! Chatter is a direct messenger but also time stamps and leaves a record that all can access and pick up where someone or a process was left. I could go on and on but I must mention the Free tutorials and the Community which keeps you abreast to the latest and greatest news. When I am having a challenging moment (brain fart) I can always rely on Salesforce support to assist and get the job done!
What I don't like about Salesforce is that it offers so much and I don't know it all (no fault of Salesforce). There are time we're I can get overwhelmed with different aspects of the application. More so a personal issue and not a Salesforce issue is that I am not the certified Salesforce user. When I first started utilizing Salesforce, it was a challenge to distinguish the purpose of the different consoles and their efficiency. Lastly, (at the present time) I regret that there is not an option, or one that I am aware of that would allow you to color code your tasks to help distinguish different tasks that are commonly performed daily. This of course is a personal preference.
Overall, salesforce is a stronger tool for a sales team than a customer service team.
Salesforce is a great tool to keep track of customer information like contact details, communication history, and even a check box to identify difficult customers. By changing the titles of emails once they are saved, other co-workers can quickly see the status of an account. For instance, let's assume I have been emailing a customer to get an updated credit card number and they call a different co-worker to find out why the order has not shipped. That co-worker can easily do a search under the customer's name or company and with a glance see that I have trying to get new credit card information. They can immediately answer the customer.
I also like that phone calls can be placed directly through salesforce. With integration into the company phone system, but logging in and hitting a button, your phone will call the customer.
Also, the sales team can post - just like on facebook's wall - about their latest activities. This gives other teams the ability to see if there are any areas of concern or emphasis when they talk with that same customer.
There is a lack of customization that can make this out of the box solution a little unwieldy for individual companies. For example, each customer can only be associated with one email address. Therefore, if a customer sometimes emails you from their work email and sometimes from their home email, the conversations cannot be grouped under one person.
Also, emails cannot be sent directly from salesforce.com. Instead, it integrates with MS Outlook. In my experience, that integration can sometimes have issues where emails are not saved on salesforce. Also, the user has to go back into salesforce after sending the email to add information and change the subject to be more easily searchable by colleagues.
Firstly, there is little to no risk when using Salesforce. Due to its low acquiring costs and low-risk management as an organization tool, there is very little to lose and a lot to benefit from.
The database that Salesforce uses is also helpful in digitizing and organizing company sale records. Thus, improving the overall organization of a company.
Firstly, there is little to no risk when using Salesforce. Due to its low acquiring costs and low-risk management as an organization tool, there is very little to lose and a lot to benefit from.
The database that Salesforce uses is also helpful in digitizing and organizing company sale records. Thus, improving the overall organization of a company.
Salesforce and good customer service comes hand in hand. It allows customization of profiles for individual customers as well as quick, organized access to individual records
There is also no need to purchase software and hardware systems to help maintain and keep the application running. Therefore, unlike most software, Salesforce requires no capital investment.
The integrated solutions allow users to work more efficiently and increase the value of each part of the customer life cycle. Moreover, Saleforce analytics and its reporting function gives its users the ability to expand their campaign capacity. As a result, overall productivity can be increased and profit can be maximized.
Since Salesforce is an application and no software is required, there is no need for constant updates as Salesforce will update automatically.
At times, there can be too much customization and the interface can be filled with cumbersome and tedious tools which can be seen as repetitive or distracting.
Some users face difficulties in the transition between transactions. Some have to go through multiple screens to process transactions.
Salesforce has its own maintenance schedule since runs on its own cloud server. As a result, there are times that the application will not be accessible.
Users can also lose a personal touch as in the process of automation
Salesforce contains barriers to adoption. This means that even though Salesforce is cheap, the cost to integrate the application and redesigning their IT to incorporate it into a company is not the same as the cost of acquiring Salesforce. It is possible that the cost of integrating it can exceed the costs of the software itself.
I titled this review the way I did because Salesforce really is just short of 5 stars. It is essentially a sandbox in which you can build and build to your heart's content. It offers a level of customization that I have not seen in any other software to the point that you can easily get lost if you don't know what you're looking to accomplish. And regardless of how efficiently you build something, you'll always find a more efficient way to do it the deeper you dig into the system. The community and app store are impressively expansive and growing by the minute. Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce conference in San Francisco is a wonderfully unique experience and I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to go. It's not every day that a work conference feels like a vacation.
So what causes Salesforce to stop just short of 5 stars? It's the little things. There are small bits of functionality that one might consider standard in modern software that just isn't there. For example: while there are queues and public groups that are made up of Users, you cannot add Users to multiple groups at one time, say when first creating a User. Instead, one must go into the setup of each queue or group and add the user there. Not major but noticeable.
Another example is with the list views in Service Cloud. It offers wonderful customization in the sense that you can add any field to the object to your list view, create buttons to take any number of actions from your list view, and add filter logic to fully tailor your list view as needed. However, you cannot currently export that list view into a CSV or Excel file. Instead, you either have to copy and paste the "printable view" into an Excel file or build a copy of your list view as a report. Again, not a major hindrance by any means but still a rather simple function that is inexplicably excluded.
It is certainly pricey so there's always that consideration there. However, if you have the resources available, it is certainly worth the investment to have a fully scalable solution for all of your marketing, sales, service, and analytics needs. Despite the existence of Microsoft Dynamics, I would say that in terms of community, education resources, and development potential, Salesforce is the CRM equivalent of the Windows operating systems.
The level of customization available through the UI without needing any coding/dev work
Even though I wasn't part of the selection of the application, I must admit it is a great software, but mostly because the experience that has built into. Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities are the basic pilars of every Sales process, and the information you can manage with it gives you a lot to track sales and team performance. It takes time to train and configure it and that's why I would not recommend it for a startup (besides the cost).
We wanted to have a software that could help us manage the sales process and be able to help our sales and provide information to the management, and we could get that with Salesforce.
The experience that the software has embedded in the features and the ability to configure and adapt it to our processes. One example of this is how they map the selling cycle: Campaigns, Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, Contracts.
About features, the reporting that they have, even if with our version is limited, it's one of the most powerful I know. And you can complement it using other software such as Dataloader.io
Another thing that we use a lot is the ability to create workflows. Pro Edition only have that for Contracts, but the ability to combine different objects with processes is very powerful.
Another thing is the app market that they have, hence the development model and integration features they have. Even if you have a limited version such as ours, you can always extend the functionality using other apps.
I would say that what I like least of it is their licensing model. Since they are so big, everything costs a lot, and the way they modularized the system sometimes just doesn't make sense. For example, the Professional Edition includes the ability to create forecasts out of the Opportunity pipeline, but it requires the ability to configure permissions and user profiles that you can't do with that edition! After long hours talking to the support, they told me that the only way to do it is to go Enterprise, which costs the double.
Another thing that for a new user, and being exposed to several other application, the UI hurts your eyes. But here is a fact: Salesforce is used for thousands of companies for a very long time, so changing anything in the UI would cost millions to companies in training. At least that is what they say, and I believe it.
Lots of information and easy to find accounts. The benefit of finding lots of detailed information about customers and the process of their accounts.
This software is great at displaying information about customers accounts and having it set up so multiple departments in my company can all work at them in different ways with out conflicting with one another. It is very detailed in the information that it displays. Everything is time stamped and is displayed with the users that edit it. Salesforce integrates very well with the other proprietary software we use. It also is very easy to search within Salesforce for more information. for example, It does not matter if you search "Street" or "St." when searching for a customers account you will still find the same information in the search. I like how easy it is to upload documents to Salesforce. I can do it from my computer at work and do it in all of the different categories that our company uses for the different documents we use. After uploading them you can also edit the title and the category at any time from within the list of attachments.
There are some things I dislike about this program. For example, attachments populate with customers names in the title, but if you attach a document that has a symbol in the name like Mc'Mullin then the attachment on will upload corrupted and you wont be able to download or open them until its uploaded without any symbols. The attachment queue often gets backed up and it may take a few hours for contracts to be uploaded to the account. Though it is excellent at displaying a lot of information it displays it over multiple pages. It is often very difficult for new employees to figure out where all this information is located and can take several months for them to become proficient and find information on their own.