At Valenta we do a lot of Salesforce Consulting in the area of CRM, and we help many clients with previous Salesforce integrations. More often we also help clients start new CRM projects. We always assess what a business needs, where it wants to go, and what the best CRM is to get them there. In many cases that CRM is Salesforce. In this blog post we will cover both the highlights of Salesforce CRM, the benefits of Salesforce CRM, and provide our key takeaways.
Highlights of Salesforce CRM
Salesforce was founded in 1999 and is lead by Marc Benioff. To say that Salesforce pioneered both cloud-based CRM and SaaS (software as a service), is not an understatement. The company is public and has a market cap as of the date this blog is being written of 209 billion USD. The fact that the company’s ticket symbol is CRM makes the point that it is the big dog in the CRM space. Salesforce has the largest SOM overall for CRM with a 19% share of market. Customers of Salesforce CRM are primarily large enterprises and mid-sized enterprises.
Salesforce has a wide services portfolio which started with CRM but has expanded overtime to offer more of an ERP SaaS style offer, plus other essential business software. Salesforce has grown organically launching new modules to meet market demands and requirements. It has also expanded through acquisition. Salesforce acquired MuleSoft in 2018 for 6.5 billion USD. MuleSoft is an integration as a platform company or iPaaS (integration platform as a service) which helps integrate Salesforce CRM with other business software. Salesforce acquired Tableau in 2019 for 15.7 billion USD. Tableau excels at dashboards and data visualizations, but this understates its capabilities. Tableau solutions search relational databases, other databases and spreadsheets to provide real time graphs and charts to help drive a business. More recently, Salesforce acquired Slack in 2021 for 27.7 billion USD. Slack is a business communication platform centered around IRC (internet relay chat) / IM (instant messaging). Slack organizes communication by content and topic and aims to dramatically diminish organizations reliance on email.
Salesforce is regarded as an excellent choice for an all-in-one CRM solution. Many large and mid-sized companies wanting a cloud-based platform select Salesforce CRM for this very reason. Salesforce CRM has abundant automation features and workflow management tools. Salesforce is laser focused on making sales teams more effective, hence the name of the company. Salesforce CRM also excels at team collaboration and linking all department to front line sales.
Benefits of Salesforce CRM
There are numerous benefits of Salesforce CRM. Again, its calling card is that it may be one of the best all in one platforms out there. Some of the main features include the expected, productivity and task management, contact record management, and lead management. Salesforce CRM also features email integrations for Microsoft and Google inboxes. One of the best aspects of Salesforce CRM is sales forecasting and opportunity management portions of the CRM. These tools are straightforward and can drive many compelling reports. Salesforce CRM also provides a CMS (content management system) for managing content that is attached to records. This can be particularly useful when attaching quotes, proposals, RFPs, Invoices, and many other docs to a record. Training for Salesforce CRM comes in the form of online training resources which are “gamified” to keep users interested. Salesforce provides certification-based instruction (Valenta staff have completed many modules of these!). The main training module is called Trailhead and it sets industry standards for training.
Regarding advanced features, Salesforce offers analytics as standard and also as an add on with Tableau. It provides customer service solutions, marketing automation and integration with invoicing and accounting modules. Salesforce CRM also features robust app development and has many 3rd party integrations. Salesforce CRM provides a centralized database for all departments like the ones you would find in ERP solutions. Salesforce CRM add-on modules include Experience Cloud, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Education Cloud, B2B Commerce, B2C Commerce, Customer 360 Platform, Einstein, Pardot, Salesforce Analytics, and more. Salesforce Einstein is especially interesting and is utilized for AI driven analytics. If a business cannot find what it needs in the Salesforce “universe” MuleSoft will facilitate 3rd party integration. Regarding Integrations, Salesforce supports Mailchimp, G Suite, Slack (which as mentioned earlier they recently acquired), Dropbox and QuickBooks, and many others. Regarding Support for Salesforce CRM, it is also mostly online and features community forums. 24/7 support is available on the highest-level platform
The Pricing for Salesforce CRM at the time we write this blog is as follows:
$25 per user per month for Essentials
$75 per user per month for Professional platform for any sized team
$150 a month per user for Enterprise customizable version
$300 a month per user for what is termed Unlimited platform
Please check out Salesforce pricing
Key Salesforce Takeaways
The writer of this blog has used Salesforce CRM, Zoho, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar CRM, Pipedrive, ACT!, plus a few others – and would place Salesforce in his personal top 2 favorites. Typically, Salesforce CRM is best for mid-sized business and larger businesses. Salesforce has many Fortune 1,000 customers. Salesforce CRM is very powerful and is heavy on features. However, it can take a little while to learn and Salesforce CRM can be less intuitive than some competitors. Hiring outside help is a good decision when it comes to Salesforce. We have had numerous engagements where we have cleaned up and customized previous poorly executed Salesforce implementations from other consultants and service providers. Salesforce offers robust analytics and reporting, but these modules usually require training and assistance for the uninitiated. Salesforce is one of the higher priced CRM solutions available. That said, it certainly falls into the “you get what you pay for” category … Salesforce does not have the top market share by accident.
Want to Learn More?
We have covered a lot in this blog concerning Salesforce CRM, highlights of it and the benefits of Salesforce CRM. At Valenta we have a lot of experience with Salesforce and a lot of respect for salesforce CRM. Many of our staff are trained on Salesforce and we can provide consulting on projects, training, plus outsourced administrators and developers.
Valenta is a business consulting and business software integration services provider. We focus on serving small and midsized businesses. We provide the same services large consulting firms offer to the Fortune 1,000. Valenta provides offshore or near shore virtual staff in addition to consulting and software integration services and can provide virtual CRM Administrators for SMB CRM implementations.
Contact Us to understand how our services can help you.