Salesforce is a CRM (customer relationship management) platform for businesses. It has a large customer base and provides a CRM solution for startups to large enterprise businesses.
Using the Salesforce CRM platform, you can manage many aspect of your business in an effective manner including sales, lead generation, marketing, and customer management.
In this Salesforce review, i’ll show you what this platform has to offer small businesses, the features it has, and if it is worth the investment.
In this review…
- What is Salesforce?
- Salesforce Pros and Cons
- Salesforce Review: Features and Usability
- Available Services
- Salesforce Pricing
- Salesforce Dashboard
- Salesforce Integration
- Customer Support
- Salesforce Review: Summary
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce is an established CRM platform used by hundreds of thousands of businesses. For small businesses, it offers a great set of tools that help you manage your day-to-day jobs far more effectively than you could by using a manual system. For example, you can manage customers, look for new business opportunities, and also create business forecasts.
Overall, it is one of the most robust CRM platforms with a comprehensive set of features. However, it does have a few drawbacks. For example, there are many different packages and prices plans, and to the uninitiated user, this could be confusing. Also, the platform itself is not the easiest to initially learn.
For those of you that haven’t seen Salesforce before, here’s what it looks like. This is the Salesforce ‘executive dashboard’ which give you an overview of all sales activity in your business.
Salesforce Pros and Cons
For a quick Salesforce review, here’s a glance at the pros and cons for a small business:
Salesforce Review: Features and Usability
To give you an overview of what Salesforce has to offer, we have broken the review into separate categories.
Salesforce is a complex CRM system, and its scope is suitable for anything from small businesses to enterprise companies. In this Salesforce review, we are concentrating on Salesforce as a tool for small businesses.
For small businesses, Salesforce has an excellent array of services. The main services are broken into three categories – sales, service, and marketing.
The sales features are predominantly aimed at generating more sales and building your customer base. This includes tools for lead generation, customer analytics, and customer management. If you want to expand your customers and get those customers to spend more, the sales platform is the option to choose from.
The service features relate to customer retention. It’s one thing to generate sales, but it takes a whole set of different tools to get repeat custom and improve customer satisfaction. Using the service tools you can give excellent customer support, drive upselling and cross-selling, and look at what your customers really want.
Finally, the marketing services allow you to improve your content marketing strategies. You can utilize tools like the social studio, advertising studio, and journey builder to target potential new customers effectively.
Salesforce has a complex set of price plans for its various business segments. This can be confusing as it has plans for small businesses, commerce, customer service, marketing, and engagement. Essentially, you can choose a price plan to suit your specific Salesforce needs.
In this Salesforce review, we will focus on the small business price plans, and how this CRM platform could be used for small businesses. The following are the three different small business plans:
- Small Business Sales – From $20.00 per user, per month.
- Small Business Service – From $20.00 per user, per month.
- Small Business Marketing – Price only available on request.
Essentially, the minimum price is $20 per month for small businesses. This is OK, but it is not the cheapest CRM solution available either. However, for the price, you do get an amazing array of features. Also, this basic package can be used for up to 10 users.
If you have a larger team, you can subscribe to the professional package which is a decent jump at $60 per month. However, this is suitable for any size team, regardless of the number of users.
In terms of features, Salesforce is a comprehensive CRM platform with a wealth of tools for marketing, sales, and customer support. This is one of its strong points – it offers one of the most complete small business management solutions available.
Basic features include account management, lead generation, new business opportunities, and customer management. You can also use the Salesforce dashboard to generate advanced sales forecasts and other important reports.
Salesforce also has a level of automation and utilizes AI technology. Once you have your dashboard and various reports set up, you can automate much of the process. This can reduce the overall workload and allow your team to concentrate on important things like lead generation and customer service.
You could consider Salesforce a complete business ecosystem. You can manage everything including sales, marketing, and serving. The features are also customizable, and you can scale your Salesforce platform as your business grows.
The dashboard is an important aspect of Salesforce. It is the central place where you manage your business and access the various tools and features. At first glance, the dashboard may be overwhelming. There is a large number of tabs and menus.
Indeed, Salesforce does have a steep learning curve, particularly for administrators. There are so many things an admin can change, add, and remove, that training may be required. However, the admin controls are one of the strong points of the dashboard.
Admins essentially control the platform and control the users and what they can access. For example, an admin is responsible for creating new users. They can also set permissions so that different team members only have access to the areas of Salesforce that they need. This is incredibly useful and streamlines the process. It also makes sure that your Salesforce subscription is being utilized effectively.
For the basic user, the learning curve is less steep. It’s still not particularly easy, however, basic users should not need additional training. With restricted permissions from the admin, basic users should be able to quickly access only the tools and features they need.
There are a number of different dashboards you can create with Salesforce. This is an example of the sales lead pipeline dashboard, showing you the flow of potential deals and key prospects.
Salesforce Integration and Add-ons
Another fantastic aspect of Salesforce is the number of integrations and add-ons available. This is a widely used CRM platform, therefore there are many third-party integrations available. The basic functionality and features of Salesforce are more than enough, however, the integrations take it to the next level.
The main third-party integrations from established companies include Google Cloud, Slack, accounting tools like Quickbooks, and email marketing apps such as MailChimp. You can also integrate with LinkedIn, DocuSign, JIRA, cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, and Hellosign.
As you can see, these integrations can be highly useful. For example, DocuSign can be integrated with Salesforce so you can sign and track business agreements and sales invoices. Alternatively, Slack can be used as an additional collaboration tool and messaging system for Salesforce team members.
These are just some of the main examples of popular integrations. Salesforce also has one of the largest app marketplaces for third-party developers. If there is a feature you want that you can’t find in Salesforce, you can likely find it in the app marketplace.
Whilst Salesforce is one of the best-known CRM platforms, it is not widely known for its fantastic customer support. It does have a decent range of customer support channels available. This includes a live chat that uses a combination of human support reps and AI technology. It also has a range of free-phone numbers for different countries. For example, there is a free-phone 0800 number for UK customers.
The customer support options are available 24/7 and this does mean that you can get effective support. Also when using the live chat, the waiting time was minimal. You first have to answer some basic questions with an AI bot. This narrows your support options and makes sure you are connected to the right person.
We do like that Salesforce has a hands-on resource center on its website. Here you can find a host of useful guides, videos, and reports relating to the usage of Salesforce. The resource section also contains training courses that you can join and even a section for Salesforce certification. Whilst the human-to-human customer service is OK, the self-help customer service and resources are excellent.
Salesforce review: Summary
For small businesses who wish to grow and manage themselves effectively, Salesforce is a brilliant CRM platform to use. The number of different features and tools can be utilized easily to boost productivity, generate sales, and manage your customers better.
We feel it is best used for small businesses that have an established team of employees. Also, we feel it is best used for businesses that are in markets that offer the chance for growth. If you are in a steady market that changes rarely, with a steady customer base, you may not get the complete benefit of the tools Salesforce provides.
It is also the best idea to have one dedicated admin to manage the overall hierarchy and setup of your Salesforce system. If you try to manage the platform yourself, but also utilize the sales, service, and marketing tools, you may find it overwhelming.
Whilst Salesforce certainly offers excellent utility, features, and integrations, we feel the price is not the cheapest available. Also, the depth of the human-to-human customer support could be improved.
If this Salesforce review helped you, please recommend DigitalSupermarket.