Salesforce CRM review
Are you looking for the perfect CRM that fits your need? You're about to find out if Salesforce is the CRM for you!
If you're wondering what is a CRM, then head over to find out why you need a CRM! 🤗
What is Salesforce ?
Salesforce is the superstar of all CRM systems. It's not likely that you've missed it until now!
Created in 1999, Salesforce is a pioneer of 100% online softwares. Indeed, the company was among the first to offer SaaS solutions and has largely contributed to the democratization and success of the latter.
Over the years, this CRM has become an extremely complete and adaptable platform. What makes it so famous is the ability to customize it to suit your business. Today, Salesforce has over 150,000 customers worldwide.
The world's #1 CRM is rated 4.4/5 among more than 17 000 reviews on Capterra. But is it right for you?
Here's a quick overview of Salesforce, its features, its pricing, and our overall opinion!
Who is Salesforce CRM for?
In theory, Salesforce can be used by all companies, regardless of their size. A special offer dedicated to SMBs, Essentials, is available for €25/user/month.
However, the complexity of the platform makes it difficult to learn and integrate for teams that are not used to using a CRM.
On the other hand, Salesforce is really a must-have for larger (and more experienced) teams who can really take advantage of all the features and options offered.
Salesforce's key features
Salesforce offers a myriad of features designed to bring businesses and consumers together. The tools are so numerous, and constantly evolving, that it's very easy to get lost if you're not familiar with the software 🥺 So we're going to try to break down and demystify Salesforce's products and services to help you determine whether or not this CRM platform is right for you.
To simplify, there are 3 main applications in Salesforce: Sales Cloud for salespeople, Marketing Cloud for the marketing team, Service Cloud for customer support. Each of these applications syncs to the others to support collaboration and communication between teams.
Granted, the Salesforce ecosystem is made up of many other tools, integrations and add-ons, but if you're in the market for a CRM, these are the three main ones you'll want to look at.
Contact management with Salesforce
Salesforce allows you to import your database of contacts and companies in order to centralize all the information you may need on a daily basis to communicate with your prospects/customers.
- Last name
- First name
- Phone number
- Position held
The contact sheets also contain the history of your relationship with your contacts or their companies: your various exchanges on different platforms, but also your previous and future actions.
Remember to customize the content of the records in your Salesforce CRM! Indeed, depending on your activity, you might need to list some specific information about your business. This is why Salesfroce offers "custom fields". With these, you will be able to better filter, prioritize and segment your contacts. 🎯
Salesforce CRM for salespeople: Sales Cloud
Among the Salesforce suite of tools, Sales Cloud, designed for sales teams, is probably the most widely used.
Sales Cloud is available in several versions, more or less extensive, depending on your needs. Moreover, you can connect many applications with it to make it even more powerful 💪. So it would be impossible to list all the features offered.
However, here's an overview of the main uses:
- Opportunity management: From lead to convert, the pipeline allows you to track the progress of your leads at every stage. This allows you to precisely identify the actions to take based on the phase they are at in your sales cycle. But also to better prioritize your efforts according to the importance of the accounts. This pipeline is customizable so you can adapt it to your own sales process.
- Quote management: Salesforce allows you to create and send quotes directly from your CRM. A huge time saver for salespeople, since once you've set up the pricing for your products/services, this feature automates the entire process. Salesforce is one of the only CRM tools to offer this feature natively, without integrating a third-party tool.
- Individual and team organization: Salesforce has designed various tools to help Sales better organize on a daily basis. The sales pipeline to prioritize accounts, smart appointment management, email synchronization, etc. Sales Cloud condenses and connects all the tools that salespeople use on a daily basis.
- Sales reporting and forecasting: Salesforce is particularly powerful in analytics. Sales Cloud generates all kinds of reports that will give you detailed insights into the state of your business as well as insightful predictive analysis.
Salesforce CRM for marketing : Marketing Cloud and Pardot
Salesforce offers two solutions for marketing teams. Marketing Cloud which is more adapted to B2C companies, and Pardot which features are specially designed for B2B.
Here is a sample of the key features of Marketing Cloud:
- Multi-channel marketing: Emailing, social networks, SMS... Whatever your preferred communication channels, you can manage them via Salesforce. Valuable time saved since your CRM allows you to filter and segment your mailing lists more easily and have access to the information you need to communicate the right way. Plus, Salesforce provides you with highly accurate analysis reports of your campaigns and network posts, in real time.
- Online Advertising: Marketing Cloud allows you to create and manage digital ad campaigns directly from your Salesforce. Connect your Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Google Ads, etc. accounts. Then manage your campaigns, drive their performance and optimize ROI.
Pardot is a solution specializing in automation for B2B marketing, acquired by Salesforce in 2013. This application is now a leader in marketing automation. It allows to:
- Generate leads: Collect leads via forms that can be added on your website (the data will automatically be added to your contacts in your CRM). Then qualify your leads via a scoring system to better filter, prioritize and adapt the customer journey.
- Email marketing: Pardot allows you to create and send emailing campaigns and to program email sequences (to do Cold Email or onboard your customers, for example). You create, send, manage and follow the performance of your emails directly through the platform.
Of course, the analysis tools allow you to follow the ROI of your marketing actions at any time.
Salesforce CRM for Customer Success: Service Cloud
Service Cloud allows your Customer Service to optimize your relationship with prospects and customers. Once again, the tool is so powerful, that the possibilities are almost endless.
Let's take a closer look at the main benefits of the application, which could truly change the life of your Customer Support teams:
- Data centralization: Providing customer service inside a CRM allows for greater efficiency on queries. Indeed, customer service has access to all the necessary data to better respond to the problems of each person. The exchanges are therefore personalized and more informed.
- Interactions on all channels: Service Cloud allows you to connect and interact with your prospects and customers on all the channels they use to contact you. Social networks, phone calls, emails, live chat, etc. Everything is centralized on the platform!
- Automation: Salesforce allows you to automate certain actions to save your Customer Success department time while improving the quality of service. Automatically assigning a ticket based on the expertise and availability of team members, setting up workflows adapted to your internal processes, etc. The possibilities are endless.
More Salesforce products
While Salesforce was initially focused only on CRM, the company now offers many other complementary tools. We've just reviewed Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service, because these are the "basics" of a CRM.
Salesforce goes (much) further by offering, among other:
- Community Cloud: An application that creates platforms to facilitate communication between teams, but also with partners and prospects/customers.
- Commerce Cloud: This B2B and B2C commercial solution facilitates the management of your e-commerce site by creating a customer experience adapted to your activities and sales channels.
- Tableau: A set of analytics tools including customizable dashboards to get detailed views of your performance and find new opportunities and more!
The Salesforce app
Salesforce's vision from the start: make your CRM available in the cloud, anywhere, anytime. At the time, customer relationship management tools were software installed locally on the computers of a company's employees. An installation that required a considerable amount of time to be properly configured and that prevented any team mobility.
It is therefore obvious that Salesforce applications can be used on all media: desktop, mobile, and tablet.
The Salesforce application is available on iOS and Android and is 100% customizable to perfectly fit your needs.
A meeting at the customer's site? An off-site event? Remote work? No worries, your Salesforce CRM is available everywhere and all the time. Thanks to the app you can check your tasks, your schedule, your (future) customers' data, etc. Of course, the app updates itself in real time.
Integrate your tools with Salesforce
You may wonder if the tools you use every day integrate with Salesforce. There are over 3 000 third-party tools that can be integrated! That's a lot of tools and you're sure to find something you like:
- Marketing: Mailchimp, Marketo, Eventbrite, Sendinblue, etc.
- Sales: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Asana, Slack, Shopify, etc.
- Customer Service: DocuSign, Survey Force, Amazon Connect, Coveo, Case Timer, etc.
- And many more applications dedicated to Human Resources, Finance, IT, etc.
Take a look at the Salesforce AppExchange to find all the possible integrations!
Pros and Cons of Salesforce CRM
✅ Salesforce is (really) very comprehensive. The number of features, tools, options offered is incomparable with other solutions. Moreover, the CRM offers a very large number of integrations. You will find absolutely EVERYTHING you need.
✅ Due to its leading position, Salesforce is very well known and documented, and many people use it. This makes it easy to onboard and train teams. In addition, you will find a multitude of tutorials, forums and articles in case of a glitch, or if you want to push your use of this CRM even further.
✅ Salesforce is very strong in analytics. The capabilities of Tableau (formerly Einstein Analytics) are impressive and what Salesforce is known for. Using AI, it can generate sales predictions and analyze your data in depth. Good to know: it is a paid option between 75€ and 150€/user/month depending on the version chosen.
❌ Salesforce is a complex tool to get started with. It requires integration by an integrator, and proper training for team members who have not yet learned how to use it.
❌ What makes Salesforce strong is the fact that it is ultra-customizable. But this strength tends to backfire on the user who may feel lost among all the possibilities offered by the platform. Salesforce is definitely not a software for beginners!
❌ The price is high which makes it very unprofitable for small businesses that opt for the basic plans (which are therefore less feature rich). Finally, there are many "hidden" costs: integration, implementation, adding options, etc.
Dropcontact x Salesforce integration
Salesforce is a very powerful multi-purpose tool. But like all CRM systems, it has its weaknesses. Reliability of contact data is one of the main problems with a CRM.
Obsolete or erroneous data, duplicate contact or company records, missing information, etc. To remedy these problems, your team must continually update the data in your CRM. It is estimated that each member of a sales team loses an average of one hour per day updating the data in their CRM.
But all this is history thanks to Dropcontact's integration with your Salesforce CRM! You'll save precious hours to stay focused on your tasks.
Dropcontact allows you to automatically clean and enrich the data in your CRM:
💚 Enrichment and automatic cleaning of contact records: adding or correcting the email address, arranging the information in the right fields, adding the business phone number, adding the civility, correcting special characters, etc.
💚 Enrichment and cleaning of company records: addition of website, business sector, employee range, postal address, etc.
💚 Automatic detection and intelligent merging of duplicates
Every time you add or edit a contact, their record is automatically processed by Dropcontact so that you always have all the necessary, and up-to-date, information.
Your data will never be outdated again! Dropcontact works thanks to an algorithm that updates your contacts' information in real time. No database with outdated or questionable information. Moreover, this method guarantees that Dropcontact is 100% GRPD compliant!
👉Try Dropcontact's integration with Salesforce for free for 7 days!
Salesforce plans and pricing
As we have seen above, Salesforce offers different modules, called "Clouds". Each of these services is offered à la carte, with several price ranges depending on the version chosen, and the number of users. In short, Salesforce pricing varies depending on your needs and the size of your team.
Still, you should know that Salesforce does not offer a free version 🥲. But, you still have the option to test it for free for 30 days.
Salesforce license prices
As you can see, it's not easy to explain Salesforce pricing since it depends on many criteria.
To give you an idea, here are the prices per license for each tool.
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud pricing by Salesforce:
- Essentials Plan: €25/user/month for up to 10 users, with the basic functionality of an out-of-the-box CRM.
- Professional Plan: €75/user/month for a full-featured CRM, with no user limit.
- Enterprise Plan: €150/user/month for a fully customizable CRM.
- Unlimited Plan: €300/user/month for a complete and unlimited CRM, plus 24/7 support.
Marketing Cloud pricing by Salesforce (for B2C marketing):
- Basic plan: €400/month for features including email marketing, content creation, Integration with Sales Cloud
- Pro Plan: €1250/month for Basic Plan features, plus Eistein recommendations, workflows, and automated campaigns
- Corporate Plan: €3750/month for all the features of the Pro plan, plus Einstein Analytics, customer journey design, multi-channel predictive content.
Pardot pricing (for B2B marketing):
- Growth Plan: €1250/month, for lead generation and management, personalized emailing campaigns, sales and marketing intelligence
- Plus Plan: €2500/month for all the features of the Growth plan, as well as advanced automation, and advanced reports and analytics.
- Advanced Plan: €4000/month for all the features of the Plus plan, plus personalized messages and Einstein Analytics.
The above prices are indicative and we recommend that you contact a Salesforce representative for a custom quote. Which you should not hesitate to negotiate... 😉
To learn more, feel free to visit Salesforce official website.
How much does Salesforce integration cost?
In addition to licenses, you'll need to pay integration and setup fees. Because Salesforce is so complex, it's recommended that you use an integrator to set it up and optimize it properly. You can include integration in your contract, or go with an independent integrator. The price will depend on the solution you choose, the number of users on your team and their needs. According to our research, these costs can amount to over 100,000€ 😱
CRM alternatives to Salesforce
Our full review of Hubspot CRM
Our full review of Pipedrive CRM