2017 is the ninth year in a row in which Gartner has named Salesforce as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM. With an impressive performance in 2016 and Q1 of 2017, Salesforce continues to dominate the CRM market.
If you are exploring the CRM industry, you will come across a plethora of CRMs, with many of them offering the base functionalities, aimed towards effective management of your customers to enhance your relationship with them. So, what is it about Salesforce CRM that makes it so popular and a leader in the market? Why would an organization pay premium price for Salesforce, when there are others at nearly half the cost?
Salesforce was the first to launch a CRM on the cloud and have been the leaders in the Cloud CRM space ever since. The depth of functionality and ease of use were the primary winners for them. If you have a look at the Salesforce analytics, you would come across the following benefits of using Salesforce:
1. Ease of use :
This is one of the primary reasons that drive the Salesforce adoption rate. Sales Reps have better visibility into their accounts, contacts, opportunities, tasks, all from a single place. They have a complete 360-degree view of the customer, which in turn helps them to make better business decisions and close deals faster. It is easy to navigate between the modules and you can collaborate with your colleagues too.
2. The depth of functionality :
The default Salesforce platform comes with a wide array of features and functionalities which caters to most organizational needs. During the implementation process, the Admin can make point-and-click alterations via the Force.com builder to configure the solution as per your business process.
3. Customizability :
Another area where Salesforce scores major brownie points amongst its competitors is its ability to be highly customizable. While a majority of requirements can be handled through configuration, sometimes there is a need to add/extend the existing functionalities to accurately reflect your business needs. For Salesforce customization, technical expertise is required on Apex Code and Visualforce pages. For many users, the greatest strength of Salesforce is its customizability – custom fields, objects, 3rd party Salesforce extensions, integrating your own apps, etc. to provide you a complete solution.
4. Scalability :
When you are opting for a CRM, you are not simply making a decision for today, but the solution should also be scalable enough to meet your business needs 3 years hence. Salesforce is highly scalable and the customizability factor helps to modify and adapt to all future specifications.
5. Cloud-based PaaS model :
Salesforce launched the first cloud-based CRM and also established the Platform as a Service ( PaaS) market with Force.com to support the complex real-world business models. With no capital expense involved for the setup, Salesforce charges are based on user licenses. Salesforce’s Sales Cloud has four Editions – SalesforceIQ Starter, Lightning Professional, Lightning Enterprise and Lightning Unlimited – starting from $25 to $300, billed annually for per user/month. Their Enterprise Edition priced at $150/user/month (billed annually) boasts of the maximum number of subscribers. If your requirements alter, you can move up or down to any Edition and also increase/reduce the number of users.
6. Efficient Pipeline management:
From the Opportunities view, Sales Reps have a consolidated view on all potentials and stages, presented visually, and it helps them to focus and prioritize on the current deals.
7. Reports :
Sales Reps can create their own reports to see the Accounts they haven’t worked on for a while, Opportunities present in the pipeline, products they have sold, activities performed and tasks completed. Reporting charts and dashboards would help them to measure their own performance and find out critical data via graphical formats.
8. Continuous Improvement and Innovation:
The Salesforce team and community work closely to build the solution better each day – they listen to customer feedbacks and requests and incorporate new features in the solution. Thrice every year Salesforce releases new features to drive their reputation for product functionality and customer satisfaction.
Salesforce understands that there are other applications which can be used in addition to Salesforce for enhancing customer engagement. So, it introduced the Salesforce marketplace and termed AppExchange. AppExchange is a business app store with 2800+ apps ( free + paid ), which includes Salesforce integrations with MailChimp, Xero, Quickbooks, DocuSign, AdobeSign, etc. for small and enterprise businesses, all in one platform. With Lightning App Builder, customers and partners can build/customize parts of an application or page themselves. Check out these Top Salesforce AppExchange Apps!
10. Implementation Time:
Being a Cloud Platform, the implementation time for Salesforce is much lesser than standard solutions, thereby lessening the Go-Live timeframe. The feature-rich solution can be configured easily and even if any customization is required, it can be incorporated in a systematic order easily.
11. Track customer lifecycle:
The solution has been built for customers and sales reps to track the potential and customer lifecycle – Sales Cloud for channeling sales activities, Service Cloud and Desk.com to anticipate and cater to customer needs, Marketing Cloud and Pardot to build 1-o-1 customer journeys and drive sales, Analytics to deliver customizable insights and gain deeper understanding of your team’s performance, etc.
Salesforce has diligently worked for the last 17 years to build a brand name while successfully showcasing growth, retaining customers with service and value, creating a sense of collectiveness amongst customers and stakeholders, making it a brand to be reckoned with in the CRM space.
If you are using or working with Salesforce, tell us about your experience. What is it about Salesforce that excites you and makes you fall in love over again?