Review of SalesForce.com

January, 2015

Rating: 5/5

Salesforce has been a major force in customer relationship management (CRM) software for a number of years now, with Sales Cloud being their flagship product. Indeed they have held the number one position in the CRM market since 2012, in terms of revenue earned.

Salesforce has built up a number of products over time, both by internal development and by acquisition, and they bundle them in packages, many of which finish with “Cloud”. Sales Cloud is not actually a traditional cloud product at all, but is actually a Software as a Service (SaaS) application. It does include some cloud-based features, though, as it has some ability to be used on mobile devices.

Compared to some of the more recently developed products, Sales Cloud lacks a few features. The main reason for its success as a market leader, though, is that it comes with a highly intuitive and user-friendly interface.

At its heart Sales Cloud contains a contact management system, enabling a complete overview of your clients, including such things as an activity history, key contacts, customer communications and internal account discussions. It even enables you to view relevant insights from social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

You can work together as a sales team, providing easy access to such details as the deals that your various team members have set up, information as to what state in the sales funnel they are at, products, quotes and even the competition.

A relatively recent addition to the package is Chatter, which enables internal social networking for a business. This enables real-time communication between members of an organisation, which I imagine would be particularly useful for getting information about leads to and from your sales team.

Another area which would be useful, particularly to managers, is work.com which despite its name, is actually an app rather than a website. This helps to automate such things as goal setting, coaching, feedback and rewarding your team.

An essential feature nowadays is the ability to access many of the facilities on your mobile. If you are a salesman in the field you will have no difficulty logging calls, responding to leads, checking information, or following up opportunities.

Another part specifically designed for your sales reps is called the Inside Sales Console which is a dashboard showing sales intelligence, detailed company information of potential clients, and multiple leads.

Probably the weakest area of the package is the marketing section. While it contains the basic marketing campaign tools, enabling such things as target list generation, lead source tracking, account segmentation and a number of pre-defined reports, it lacks a number of the marketing features offered by the opposition. It is likely that you will need to have an additional third-party program if you want extensive marketing assistance.

Prices range from $25 to $250 per user per month depending on your size and needs. There are also discount packages available of you combine this with another Salesforce package, Service Cloud.

Salesforce’s Sales Cloud has managed to become the top grossing CRM package for a number of years now. It has fallen behind some of its competitors when it comes to features included, however, and this would be particularly relevant if you are looking for a CRM that has marketing as a priority. Where it still leads the pack, however, is with its intuitive easy-to-use user interface.

The Sales Pitch

CRM

CRM (customer relationship management) is a business strategy that blends processes, people, and technology to help you attract sales prospects, convert them into customers, and keep existing customers satisfied and loyal. The goal of CRM is to learn as much as possible about each customer’s attitudes, needs, and behavior to provide them optimal service and retain the relationship. Because business success is all about customers and their needs, it’s difficult for companies to achieve and maintain leadership and profitability without a sustained focus on CRM.

CRM reaches into many areas within the organization, including sales, customer service, and marketing. Salesforce.com offers a technology solution for all those areas and more. With our CRM software as a service and Force.com cloud-computing platform, you can manage customers while minding your budget’a key balance to achieve in today’s economic climate. Our CRM solutions also lead the way in terms of speed of deployment and time to value: Compared with conventional CRM software, Salesforce CRM can be up and running’and delivering critical business results’within 30 days.

Features

Social accounts, contacts, Mobile, Track opportunities, Quote, Email integration, Internal social network (chatter), forecasting, Analytics, Marketing leads, Approvals, Workflow, Files/libraries, Parner management, Data.com (contacts and company profiles), AppExchange - app marketplace

Customers
3,000,000 users

20/20 Companies, Aconex, Ademco Security Group, Arxxus Technology Partners, AtHomeNet, Aussie Whitegoods Rescue, Beazer Homes, Bharath Beedi Works Pvt Ltd, BPM Partners, Brilliant Event Planning, BudTrap, Case Construction China, Celerant Consulting, Chem-Dry Australia, Critical Systems, CT Corporation, Cvent, Demandbase, eBay, Elecon, EthicsPoint, FICO, FindAPro, FleetPartners, Freeman, FUJIFILM Australia, Harris Interactive, Helutrans, Insync Surveys, Ironbark Asset Management

Tech Information
Service Name
Salesforce.com Sales Cloud
Parent Company
Salesforce.com
No. of Staff maintaining this service (estimated)
Large (500+ people)
Compliance
TRUSTe, EU Safe Harbor Framework, ISO 27001, SAS 70 Type II, SSAE 16, PCI-DSS Level 1, FISMA, HIPAA
Major Outages
June 2012, July 2012
Service-level
99.9%
Support
Telephone, Online, Email, Community
Mobile Devices
Yes, Android App, iPhone App, iPad App, BlackBerry App
Head Office
USA
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