Salesforce bills itself as the world’s first and foremost customer relationship management – CRM – tool and has won a number of rewards. It has more than a hundred thousand client companies, and this number is steadily growing. As a matter of fact, the company controls roughly a fifth of the CRM market, which is quite the accomplishment in the fastest growing software market in the world.
However, the biggest player in the industry is not always the biggest because they have the best product, and it’s always better to look into the features of any CRM in depth before you implement them. So, is Salesforce as good as people say it is?
What are the Strengths of Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce was the first to successfully implement cloud-based CRM software. With Salesforce, everyone can work off the same data, and records are updated as required. Another benefit of the cloud-based software model is that there’s no need for individual users to install software.
The process automation in Salesforce enforces business processes, such as requiring approval for an invoice over a certain amount, or a legal review of contract changes. The automated workflows also feed information to individuals and software applications.
With Salesforce, employees do not have to perform tedious tasks like typing up an invoice or receipt. Everything can be created automatically, and your financial system will be updated as soon as payment is processed. Combine this with the early adoption of cloud-based computing, and you have the explanation for why so many large companies prefer Salesforce and sing its praises.
Another point in favor of Salesforce is that it has a massive number of report widgets that let you analyze your data almost any way you’d like to parse it. This allows Salesforce to be quickly customized to suit almost every industry and most business processes out of the box.
What so many people love about Salesforce is that it provides the metrics managers want. It can show you the sales funnel in real-time, for example. More importantly, you can analyze the conversion rate at each stage, or the purchasing patterns of a particular customer. You can then adjust your sales and marketing strategy based on hard data.
Salesforce has tightly integrated marketing and customer service modules. You can use the CRM system to send out marketing content targeted to specific customer demographics. Customer service and tech support input filters up to sales personnel far faster than it does in other organizations, due to the information flow that occurs through the CRM system even if they aren’t using the built-in chat app.
What are the Weaknesses of Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce is popular because of how many tools it connects with, but, unfortunately, those who choose to use other third-party solutions will have to pay a fortune for custom interfaces. Another common issue with Salesforce is that it can be a challenge to implement and manage. This is one of the main reasons why many small businesses are turning to tools like Zoho, for instance.
This in-depth look at Salesforce vs Zoho CRM outlines some of the main strengths of Zoho CRM. It mentions the fact that Zoho has the same easy-to-read sales funnel and revenue target charts on the dashboard as Salesforce, but for a fraction of the price. It also touches on Zoho’s simpler overall system and the fact that you can use wizards to customize it instead of relying on expensive developers.
We’d argue that Zoho CRM is suited for small and midsize businesses that don’t rely on an army of salespeople to move products or contract services. Another point in favor of Zoho is that its pricing structure starts with a free version for very small businesses.
So, is Salesforce as good as people say it is? Sure, but it all depends on the nature of your operation. If you need a robust tool that can scale up with your organization and have the resources to manage it, go for it. But, for small businesses, or those using tools Salesforce doesn’t support, you may want to look elsewhere.