The Salesforce cloud is an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) suite offering applications for small, midsize and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and support.
The Salesforce app has capabilities that include sales management, marketing automation, partner relationship management and customer service. These applications help organizations manage customer accounts, track sales leads, conduct and monitor marketing campaigns and provide service post sale.
Salesforce for Outlook allows users to synchronize contacts, calendars, emails and tasks in both applications. Salesforce for small business allows users to manage contacts, track sales deals, manage tasks and events, harvest leads and track performance. The Salesforce enterprise edition layers in call scripts, team-selling functionality, business workflow, setup approval and automation, custom applications, API integrations and more.
CRM Salesforce solutions are available only for software-as-a-service (SaaS) deployment. Force.com provides a technology stack that covers database and security as well as workflow and user interface.
Andrew H. Especialidad: Relaciones públicas y comunicaciones Número de empleados: 51-200 empleados
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.
Especialidad: Hospital y atención sanitaria Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
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.