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Salesforce Sales Cloud OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Salesforce Sales Cloud is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Opportunity Management tools. It is most often compared to Vlocity: Salesforce Sales Cloud vs Vlocity

What is Salesforce Sales Cloud?

Salesforce Sales Cloud is the most widely used of sales tools and sales automation software, speeding and streamlining all phases of sales from lead management to analytics and forecasting. Thanks to Salesforce Sales Cloud, more than 100,000+ customers and 2 million subscribers worldwide can manage people and processes more effectively, pursue more business in less time, and close more deals.

Salesforce Sales Cloud is also known as Sales Cloud, SFDC, Salesforce.

Buyer's Guide

Download the CRM Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Salesforce Sales Cloud Customers
Coca-Cola Enterprises, Kuoni Global Travel Services, Financial Times, Just Eat, Jobsite, H.R. Owen, PlayerLayer, O2, DMGT, Philips, Xtreme.ie, Business Stream, Remote Asset Management, Dialogue Group
Salesforce Sales Cloud Video

Archived Salesforce Sales Cloud Reviews (more than two years old)

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ITCS user
Account Executive at Slashdot Media
Real User
Leaderboard
We use it for the full sales cycle and email marketing

What is our primary use case?

Email marketing Full sales cycle CRM to record everything.

How has it helped my organization?

You must have a process and record everything to automate and keep track.

What is most valuable?

Learning how to generate specialized reports. The more metrics and understanding of functionality, the better.

What needs improvement?

If you don't have sysadmin rights, you can be hamstrung doing many things manually and one at a time.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What is our primary use case?

  • Email marketing
  • Full sales cycle
  • CRM to record everything.

How has it helped my organization?

You must have a process and record everything to automate and keep track.

What is most valuable?

Learning how to generate specialized reports. The more metrics and understanding of functionality, the better.

What needs improvement?

If you don't have sysadmin rights, you can be hamstrung doing many things manually and one at a time.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
reviewer823218
‎Senior Account Executive at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
It has custom fields and custom reports which can align to our business objectives and marketing focus

What is our primary use case?

Business development Account management Sales governance Lead management Forecasting Onboarding new reps 

How has it helped my organization?

Predictive sales data Account/territory governance Lead management Marketing/sales synergy 

What is most valuable?

It has custom fields and custom reports which can align to our business objectives and marketing focus. 

What needs improvement?

Auto clean for duplicate leads, accounts, and contacts needs improving.  When importing from other apps, it gets messy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What is our primary use case?

  • Business development
  • Account management
  • Sales governance
  • Lead management
  • Forecasting
  • Onboarding new reps 

How has it helped my organization?

  • Predictive sales data
  • Account/territory governance
  • Lead management
  • Marketing/sales synergy 

What is most valuable?

It has custom fields and custom reports which can align to our business objectives and marketing focus. 

What needs improvement?

  • Auto clean for duplicate leads, accounts, and contacts needs improving. 
  • When importing from other apps, it gets messy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Find out what your peers are saying about Salesforce, Pega, Microsoft and others in CRM. Updated: October 2021.
542,823 professionals have used our research since 2012.
ITCS user
Functional Consultant at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Every department contributes to the revenue numbers through the use of this tool

What is most valuable?

The Sales Cloud platform The Service Cloud platform

How has it helped my organization?

It has touched every spectrum of our organization regardless of the roles the various department plays. Every department contributes to the revenue numbers through the use of this tool.

What needs improvement?

Improving reports/dashboards is needed. It is quite good, but taking it up a notch would be beneficial for the whole team.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 2009, so six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There have been no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the

What is most valuable?

  • The Sales Cloud platform
  • The Service Cloud platform

How has it helped my organization?

It has touched every spectrum of our organization regardless of the roles the various department plays. Every department contributes to the revenue numbers through the use of this tool.

What needs improvement?

Improving reports/dashboards is needed. It is quite good, but taking it up a notch would be beneficial for the whole team.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it since 2009, so six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There have been no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has scaled well and every department in our organization uses it.

Start small, then leverage it to the whole team in phases. You will achieve greater success when doing it in small steps, which will also ensure that this product gets used most efficiently.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

A six out of 10.

Technical Support:

A six out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No other solutions were previously used.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team for implementation.

What other advice do I have?

Get your requirements properly analyzed before walking it through with the deployment team.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user378351
Sales Operations Manager at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Adding company hierarchy makes it easy for our sales people to identify subsidiaries of existing customers.

What is most valuable?

The ability to easily change layouts, create customized fields and customized reports makes my job so much easier. Adding company hierarchy makes it easy for our sales people to identify subsidiaries of existing customers. The Salesforce forums are very responsive when you ask for help.

How has it helped my organization?

Adding customized drop-down fields and check boxes limits the amount of admin time that our sales people have to spend to keep their accounts up to date. Using Salesforce for Outlook enables our sales group to easily add emails sent and received to the account which puts all the information in one place. This allows top management to see exactly what is going on with each account without having to go to sales to get updates. Also having the ability to schedule pipeline reports to be emailed keeps the entire management team up to date on any pipeline changes.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to have the ability to change default values on certain fields such as the “Related To” field on the Task and Event pages.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for over eight years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

The only issue we had with deployment was training the sales team on how to use it. After using ACT for so long, it took some of them quite some time to feel comfortable with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues scaling it.

How are customer service and technical support?

It has been excellent the few times I've had to use either customer service or technical support. For most issues I come across I use the forums which are excellent!

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We previously used ACT. ACT had many limitations but the biggest limitation but the main reason we switched was that ACT had limitations when it came to integrating with our accounting software.

How was the initial setup?

My part was straightforward. The only complex issue was integrating it with our accounting system which was handled by our CIO.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves. Prior to cutting over completely, you should definitely have all of your lists (Lead Source, Industry, etc.) in place. You should also have any customized fields in place and your layouts finished.

What was our ROI?

We have not tracked ROI, however, upgrading to the enterprise edition gives you more options and is definitely worth the additional cost.

What other advice do I have?

You should definitely purchase enough data storage. If you start using above 80% to 85% of your allocated data storage, response times will decrease.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Salesforce certified system admin at a cloud provider with 51-200 employees
Vendor
You get what you pay for and whilst the enterprise version is not cheap, its worth every penny.

What is most valuable?

Multiple editions available and all cloud based.

Have recently began working with the new interface called Lightning and feel that its a great improvement to the "classic" version.


How has it helped my organization?

  1. The entire organisation is now on the same page, with one source of truth.
  2. Forced people to become compliant in reporting and updates - if its not in Salesforce it did not happen.
  3. No more "versionitis", data, reports all in once central place.

What needs improvement?

The only time I have ever been upset with Salesforce was when I failed my certification exam. I thought to myself "Why do they make the exam so hard ? Why is the training so expensive ?" Now that I have passed I am grateful that it was a difficult exam. Other than that I support clients all over the world and Salesforce are quite stringent about sticking to regional offices.

For how long have I used the solution?

Just over eight years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I thought I could manage on my own with the first deployment but needed an expert which we called in.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Excellent and that's the regular support not premium level. Support staff are always helpful polite and do not close a case until the customer smiles.

Technical Support:

Excellent

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were using a combination of Google docs and contacts in Outlook. We switched because it was a mess.

How was the initial setup?

We needed the help of an expert and it had just as much to do with scoping our needs as it had with configuring Salesforce to meet those needs.

What about the implementation team?

We started in-house and moved quickly to a vendor whose expertise level was very good.

What was our ROI?

Never calculated it but cannot understand how we ever managed without Salesforce.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I have been involved with the deployment of a number of versions starting with contact manager (very reasonable) all the way up to their enterprise version. You get what you pay for and whilst the enterprise version is not cheap, its worth every penny.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Zoho CRM, Goldmine and Act.

What other advice do I have?

Spend as much time as you can scoping your needs and understanding what you want to achieve today, next year and in 2 years time.

I am really happy that Salesforce gives admins and developers access to the latest release in their sandbox (test environment) weeks before the release. This gives you a chance to evaluate and become familiar with the new release features.

The new interface Lightning is an important and extensive makeover that is even slicker and leaner than the existing interface

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Sales manager at a construction company
Vendor
In different tabs, you can track accounts, leads, and opportunities with one click. It's more expensive than other CRM services.

What is most valuable?

This is very flexible product. I can tune many of its features for our company. Also, it integrates almost all needed tools for a small company, like ours. I like its powerful dashboard and third-party integration tools. In different tabs, you can track accounts, leads, and opportunities with one click. Also, I love their PRM system for communicating with indirect channels. I worked with Salesforce for one-and-a-half years and I completed many projects with it.

What needs improvement?

Salesforce is more expensive than other CRM services. It also has fewer features than many others competitors. Each of these reasons is not a big deal, but they forced us to eventually find another solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I used it for one and a half years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no more than a dozen cases of instability a year.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scaled well for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is nice.

Technical Support:

They sometimes have problems with finding the root cause of an issue.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't use a previous solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is an expensive solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
IT Leader at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Simple, intuitive, user friendly software with certain challenges in digitizing complex business processes around CRM

What is most valuable?

Chatter, Mobile Platform along with Mobile Push, Salesforce synchronization for MS Outlook, simple & smart analytic dashboard

How has it helped my organization?

User Adoption has improved a lot resulting in improvement of Data quality & ROI of Software.

What needs improvement?

Need to make complex CRM processes as Out of Box features, Address interface challenges between Salesforce and On-premise enterprise Software, Lot of dependency on affiliate software such as Service Max & Marketo

For how long have I used the solution?

7 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Digitizing complex business process around Sales (Multiple layer of approvals), building complex dash board consolidating Sales, Marketing data (Marketing ROI), building interface between Salesforce and On-premise enterprise software.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes. In Data synchronization & Replication.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, when we moved beyond 3000 seats, we had challenges in meeting some Performance & Scalability standards.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I would rate them 7 out of 10.

Technical Support:

I would rate them 6 out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, I used Siebel & we switched to have better user adoption and better manage the cost of ownership of CRM software.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was easy however we faced a lot of difficulty when we tried to interface it with other enterprise applications.

What about the implementation team?

Our business was a mixed one i.e. combination of in-house & vendor team. Initially, we had a lot of challenges in terms of scaling up vendor team.

What was our ROI?

Unfortunately, we don't have a comprehensive way to capture ROI however we can observe both tangible & intangible benefits of using Software (Better user adoption, simplified data entry, better decision making through alerts of software, etc.)

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Setup cost was way higher than expected. We spent close to $1.5 million on setup including interfaces for 3000 seats. Our d-d cost is approx 900k.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we evaluated SAP CRM, Oracle On-demand and Siebel

What other advice do I have?

I strongly recommend it for a small to mid size company.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Principal Oracle CX Cloud Consultant at Rapidflow Inc - Supply Chain, Logistics, PLM, Cloud
Consultant
The bulk edit page is nice for creating multiple users at once with the most basic information.

Valuable Features:

You can have non-sales and marketing personnel using Chatter without driving up licensing cost.

The bulk edit page is nice for creating multiple users at once with the most basic information.

Room for Improvement:

The integration piece is missing.

Salesforce has a integration capability, but the moment we say integration, it's categorized into the following types:

- Synchronous and Asynchronous integration

- Hybrid integration: direct and middleware based

- Cloud-to-Cloud integration such as Salesforce.com to RightNow

So my point was whether Salesforce has the mentioned integration capabilities or not and answer is always the same -- it depends.

In such cases, we have to consider integration from the beginning and what kind of legacy systems we have and what the architectures of the current accounting system are, etc.

But also have to recognize that simply because we use a legacy system from a vendor who has a Salesforce too, that doesn't mean it integrates all that easily.

For Salesforce.com products to truly add business value to the enterprise, integration is thus crucial.

The increasing shift toward hybrid architectures, moreover, means that integration solutions must be able to seamlessly connect Salesforce.com with other SaaS applications and on-premises legacy systems.

And here, based on my past experience, I can say that Salesforce still have room for integration improvements.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues with scalability.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
ITCS user
Salesforce certified system admin at a cloud provider with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It's allowed us to move away from sharing documents and use it as a single source of information for our organization.

What is most valuable?

The ease of customization plus the availability of an extensive selection of apps.

How has it helped my organization?

We have moved away from sharing docs and now everyone is on the same page with only one source of truth.

What needs improvement?

It is still relatively expensive - would like to see it a little cheaper.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have worked with all versions, contact manager. group, professional, enterprise, unlimited and non profit starter pack for almost seven years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did need some external help initially but the reason for that was my fairly complex formula fields.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's outstanding.

Technical Support:

It's outstanding on standard support plus they off premier support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I worked, for a limited time, with Zoho and was looking for a bigger "ecosystem."

How was the initial setup?

I had a few issues with the formula fields otherwise it was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We used an in-house with some vendor assistance who had a very high level of expertise.

What was our ROI?

It's never been measured, but our year on year growth would have never been possible without Salesforce.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would rather go for a version with less functionality, but allows a budget for more users.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Zoho CRM

What other advice do I have?

It is not a perfect solution to all needs but is certainly an ideal solution for most.

Prepare an extensive needs analysis - ensure that Salesforce can deliver the solution you need.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user314100
Technical Associate at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
In addition to the basic data model, it allows developers to customize the platform according to their business needs.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Salesforce platform is the development model of Customer Facing Implementation/Applications. Salesforce provides a basic data model already prepared for users and allows developers to customize the platform according to their business needs.

How has it helped my organization?

Salesforce helps in increasing the productivity, sales, lead-management process (in which every lead is tracked in an efficient manner). The users within the organization are able to track their (and their sub-ordinates') opportunity pipeline. Sales managers have the tools, real-time tracking and instantaneous feedback are by far the best methods and hence they can give more energy to selling and immediately incorporate managers’ instant feedback with deals in motion.

What needs improvement?

Salesforce is itself expanding at a fast pace for all the partner, customer, and developer community. But as a Salesforce developer, it would be great of Salesforce can step towards the Open Source platform for development and implementation.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have more than two years of experience working on the Salesforce platform. I have worked on Apex classes, VF pages, REST API, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, etc. for developing and customizing Salesforce for our clients.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While the Salesforce version upgrades are in process, there may be some performance issues (however, Salesforce does inform users about this beforehand).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, the Salesforce platform is a multi-tenant platform and, hence, it focuses more on the governor limits and scalable applications. But if a company wants to expand the CRM, they can ask Salesforce for the 'unlimited' version which enables a larger limit with a per usage count.

How are customer service and technical support?

Salesforce provides various levels of technical support for different types of customers based on the version they have purchased.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have not worked on any other CRM application development platform.

How was the initial setup?

Salesforce provides a basic data model which matches most all of organization models, but there is always a requirement to customize it according to a company's user needs in the most efficient manner. The consultants or the Salesforce developer can help the customers to achieve company-level customization.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it through a vendor team. I have worked on a Salesforce appExchange product (quick modular application specifically designed for companies to overcome implementation efforts).

The best advice for Salesforce implementation is to check if the feature is provided by Salesforce in the standard version; if not, then search for a Salesforce app on AppExchange which might fulfill the requirements, and if no such app exists, then we might have to develop it ourselves for the particular situation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Costs and benefits in most cases are hard to determine, but don’t let perfection be the enemy of valuable information. If you are looking for a systematic functioning within your organization, Salesforce is one of your paths towards it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are various case studies on Google which suggests the options for choosing the best CRM. It depends on various factors such as cost, productivity, implementation cost, maintenance cost, etc.

What other advice do I have?

You can try Salesforce as a free developer version (with lots of limits). You can contact me at vishal_kdn@yahoo.co.in for any kind of help and advice.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user375510
Marketing & Sales Manager at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It gives us visibility into tracking opportunities and interactions with customers.

Valuable Features:

There are several valuable features, but the ones most useful to us are:

  • Contact Management - this allows for better tracking of communication with end-customer tracking.
  • Opportunity Tracking - you do not forget about opportunities that could slip through cracks.
  • Excellent tech support for premier partners - pay for premium support as they always answer rather quickly.

Improvements to My Organization:

It gives us great visibility into tracking opportunities and interactions with customers through email and phone conversations.

Room for Improvement:

It needs improvement on integration with common apps, such as Outlook and iContact.

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues deploying it.

Stability Issues:

We haven't had any issues with instability.

Scalability Issues:

We've been able to scale it as needed.

Initial Setup:

It was easy to do. 

Implementation Team:

We did it in-house, but help from having their premium support team. 

Other Advice:

To use it in the most beneficial way for your organization, be sure to find a company that is familiar with the product for the integration.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user379737
Salesforce/CRM System Administrator at a individual & family service with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
We use it for fundraising, grant management and volunteer management.

What is most valuable?

I have only ever used the Sales Cloud as customized by the Nonprofit Starter Pack (NPSP) as provided by Salesforce.org and virtually all aspects of that application are incredibly helpful from a nonprofit perspective. It really takes the ‘Sales’ Cloud and turns it into the ‘Nonprofit’ Cloud. We use it for fundraising, grant management, volunteer management and everything in between.

How has it helped my organization?

We use Salesforce for every aspect of our business and it improves efficiency and gives us one source of truth when it comes to organizational information. Everything from fundraising to volunteer management goes through Salesforce!

What needs improvement?

There are data limitations on the platform – in terms of how much data you can store on the platform without having to purchase more. Generally, anything over one GB of data is going to cost your organization extra – this happens fast too so watch out. There is a lot you can do with zero programming knowledge and you can automate most repetitive tasks with no code!

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for roughly five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with the stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would call out the one GB data limits as a scalability concern – as it is often an unexpected cost as Salesforce generally hides this nugget of information in the documentation/limitations of the product. From a deployment perspective – not really. It’s a complicated tool so the amount of time, expertise and/or money you have is generally going to impact deployment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Salesforce relies heavily on their Community to do the work of support/customer service and it has paid big for them. I am usually headed to the Power of Us Hub or the Salesforce Community before I pick up a phone to call support. Overall, that experience is far more positive than trying to contact support. In the rare instances where I have had to call support, they are responsive – but beware of the additional costs for the ‘Premium’ support packages.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In my current role, no. In previous roles, we evaluated other donor solutions and determined that Salesforce was best suited for fundraising and program management. The flexibility and 360 degree view of your constituents is really the draw.

How was the initial setup?

It’s a fairly straightforward purchase process – but the set up can be complex depending on your organizational requirements. The NPSP makes it easy to get off the ground quickly, but additional customization can often require consultant assistance.

What about the implementation team?

I’ve done both – generally working with a vendor for any heavy development/coding work that needs to happen. Everything else I was able to learn. Salesforce does a great job empowering customers and ensuring that they have what they need (including access to peers) to learn the platform. I would say this is a core organizational strength of Salesforce.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

In terms of non-profit licensing, you get your 10 free Enterprise Edition licenses as a 501(c)(3) and take advantage of those to learn the platform! As your organization grows, see Salesforce as an investment, not as a free tool that you must ensure continues to cost your organization $0. This will do more harm than good – learn the platform and allow it to grow with you.

What other advice do I have?

You generally have two routes to go when implementing; you can hire a vendor to do the work for you, or you can invest in/hire a staff member/team to learn the platform, gain expertise and implement internally. In the non profit space, I heavily favour the second option as I think investing in some staff time to learn this is great and there is an amazing community to support the process.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user378165
Salesforce Service Cloud Certified Consultant at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The most valuable features for us are Visualforce and Apex, Process Builder, and Knowledge Base.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features for us are

  • Visualforce and Apex
  • Process Builder
  • Knowledge Base

How has it helped my organization?

Our productivity and capability to solve and anticipate problems in the Call Centre team increased at least 50%.

What needs improvement?

Although the implementation was straightforward with our in-house team, it did take 12 weeks to complete the process.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no issues with the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Through their site, they expose their stability KPIs for their customers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Considering they are 100% cloud, if the customer needs scalability you just have to contract more users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

10/10

Technical Support:

10/10

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We had a different solution, and switched because they have a 100% integrated platform where my team can develop our business processes almost without code.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward, and it took 12 weeks to do the first implementation.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house. I strongly recommend good project management and some Salesforce certified people to help with the system integrations.

What other advice do I have?

Start with a small group of users, and take care with user adoption.

Salesforce has a great Customer Community where the users can add their suggestions and ideas.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Managing Director at Aprika Business Solutions Pty Ltd
Consultant
We find the email to case functionality helps simplify the process for our clients when submitting support requests.

Valuable Features

I personally find the Opportunities to be the most valuable aspect of the tool. It helps me keep a close eye on the business' pipeline. We've also developed a native project management solution on the Salesforce platform called Mission Control. We use this to track the scheduling and performance of all implementation projects. This is of great importance to our business in understanding our bandwidth and efficiencies. We also find the Case object to be of great value, including the email to case functionality that helps simplify the process for our clients when submitting support requests.

Improvements to My Organization

We run our entire business in the cloud and Salesforce.com sits at the heart of our solution stack. We have a subscription based model for our products, such as Mission Control, Mercury SMS and InteliMail. We've integrated Salesforce.com with eWay, an online payment gateway to automate our monthly billing process.

Room for Improvement

The main area that I feel could be improved is the performance of the Salesforce1 mobile application. I find it to be too slow to be of any real value whilst out on the road.

Use of Solution

I have been using the Salesforce.com CRM system for over 12 years. I first used it as a Marketing Manager for the company I was working for at the time. In the last six years, I've been running Aprika, a Salesforce.com Consulting Partner helping to implement the solution for clients in Australia.

Deployment Issues

We've implemented Salesforce.com for over 200 clients and we've never come across a requirement that could not be delivered on the platform.

Stability Issues

We've implemented Salesforce.com for over 200 clients and we've never come across a requirement that could not be delivered on the platform.

Scalability Issues

We've implemented Salesforce.com for over 200 clients and we've never come across a requirement that could not be delivered on the platform.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The standard Salesforce.com support process is very good. They also have a premier support option which provides a very quick response time. In addition to this, the community of users are extremely helpful and supportive to one another and using the success.salesforce.com website, you're always guaranteed someone will be able to help you out.

Initial Setup

We are a Salesforce.com Consulting Partner, so we're the team helping the client implement their required solution. Salesforce.com conducts regular, independent research which states a client that works with a consulting partner to implement the solution is 65% more likely to be successful.

Implementation Team

We have implemented Salesforce.com for over 200 clients, as you can imaging, there's been varying scales of complexity in the requirements ranging from a simple out of the box configuration through to solutions requiring a lot of customisation using Apex and Visualforce as well as integration with third party systems.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

I do hear that Salesforce.com licensing is expensive, but once clients start using the system and the light goes on in relation to understanding the power of the platform, they realise it's well worth the investment.

From a personal perspective, one of the key things Salesforce.com provides us is insight into our business that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. We're able to easily track conversion rates, budget performance, staff efficiency rates and many other key metrics that are important to our business.

Other Solutions Considered

12 years ago, I initially compared it to a number of other solutions through a tender process. We conducted our due diligence and Salesforce.com came out top by a long way. As a Consulting Partner, we typically see prospects comparing Salesforce.com and MS Dynamics. Generally, we see them evaluate the two products and in most cases, they'll establish Salesforce.com is the more powerful, flexible and scalable solution.

Other Advice

Don't hesitate - if you're looking at using Salesforce.com, you're on the right track. After a few months, you'll wonder how you managed without it. In terms of implementation, I would strongly recommend engaging a consulting partner, it doesn't have to be Aprika. They can bring real value add to the project and ensure the system is set up to support user adoption. Engaging staff from various parts of the business in the initial implementation is also a key ingredient to successful adoption.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Aprika holds three different partner accreditations with Salesforce.com. Cloud Alliance Partner - we work with clients to ensure they successfully implement Salesforce.com within their own business ISV Partner - we build our own applications on the Salesforce.com App Cloud, such as Mission Control, Mercury SMS and IntelliMail, which are available from the AppExchange PDO Partner - we work with other ISV Partners who do not have the technicals skills to develop their business concepts. We provide the support these clients need to develop a solution on the App Cloud.
ITCS user
Managing Member at Christiano Ferraro Consultancy, LLC
Consultant
It's helped to reallocate marketing spend to more effective lead-generating activities. The built-in information indexation with standard and custom fields provides control in manipulating data.

What is most valuable?

The reporting and dashboards functionalities are the most valuable features for us.

Also, the CRM's built-in information indexation with standard and custom fields provides complete control in manipulating data. This functionality remains key to driving informed decision making.

How has it helped my organization?

It's driven comprehensive decision making by associating marketing spend with the lead source to revenue generation from completed sales efforts over an extended sales cycle.

Also, the information indexation is fantastic and this facilitates a comprehensive understanding when you need to correlate marketing spend with sales efforts to ascertain ROI. This helped to reallocate marketing spend to more effective lead-generating activities that contributed to higher ROI. Information indexation of the tool facilitates associating ROI by lead source which won opportunities for sales.

What needs improvement?

  • Reporting can become slow to pull once you reach a certain limit of contact records due to the complexity and volume of the data available.
  • It's a comprehensive tool that is not intuitive to use in order to effectively leverage the benefits of its customization capability.
  • The tool can appear complex and there are key understandings needed to leverage this CRM properly. Not creating an opportunity upon lead conversion for example, prevents correlating data between lead source and opportunities won at a later date - so important!

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over 5 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No, it's straightforward to get an account. From there, it's knowing how to customize it properly to optimize process and facilitate quality data input. It's also been straightforward to deploy for my clients.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are only stability issues if the report pool involves data from 10,000+ records. The pull can be very slow. Other than that, the tool is both robust and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability issues only arise around reporting from my experience as the data pulls can become slow.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Never called customer service.

Technical Support:

I've had insufficient engagement with technical support to comment.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We didn't switch, but different CRMs apply to different business sizes and integration requirements. 17 Hats is quite comprehensive for entrepreneurs, for example, but you might consider this more of a simplified ERP solution.

I have not come across the circumstance where I migrated to Salesforce from something else. Either it was chosen from the beginning or not chosen when the complexity of data control was not needed.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is complex, but worth the time to get things the way you want it. Complexity is commensurate with what you want to get out of the tool.

You sign-up online with immediate access to the tool. I feel the setup can appear complex to those not familiar with the tool initially and creation of customizations is not intuitive at the admin level. There is a learning curve with detailed control.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house.

What was our ROI?

N/A

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Professional is what I choose unless the enterprise functionality is immediately relevant to the business operations. Standard license is usually sufficient. In my professional opinion, the pricing is small compared to the value Salesforce brings.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated InfusionSoft, Sugar, Karma 2.0, Netsuite ERP, and Zoho.

What other advice do I have?

CRM deployment is part of a bigger strategy to centralize your data. By mapping out all the area data enters and exits first with requirements for each point, you can assess if Salesforce is the right fit properly.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user347724
Contract Salesforce Consultant at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The ease of customization makes every Salesforce implementation like a strand of company DNA. This can be a top-tier solution for companies who utilize the product with best practices.

Valuable Features

My background is with Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. The product has versions which come in the form of three yearly releases for summer, spring, and winter.

With the new releases, upgrading certain features is not optional, it just happens on a designated date and your application gets upgraded automatically. For the more interactive parts of the upgrades, there is sometimes a need for admin intervention. This requires some sort of back end configuration by a system administrator.

Salesforce's release notes are extremely comprehensive - sometimes too comprehensive as they can top 300 pages per release. Most people should be able to find what they need from the table of contents fairly easily. The organization of the document stays very regular year over year.

Room for Improvement

I would like to see Salesforce scale back on the new items, and try to fix more of the old broken items, bugs, and enhancement requests. Sometimes, like with the new community templates, there can be obvious bugs that slide by unnoticed and then the end user has to find them as if it were a beta release.

Use of Solution

I started using Salesforce when they were on the winter 2011 release.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Premier support costs a lot of money and oftentimes they do not have better information than a good admin could find out on their own. It is great for someone new to Salesforce without an experienced admin to turn to for support.

Implementation Team

Don't do it yourself unless you plan to become a Salesforce Admin. Do it right the first time, which does not mean pay the highest price.

Make sure if you are using a consulting company they are as trustworthy as possible, research who your consultant is, previous successes of the individual you work with and not just the company as a whole. Find them on LinkedIn and ask people about them. If you hire someone in-house do the same research. If you are exposing all your company data and the system architecture of the company moving forward to one person's design, it is critical to make sure you have the right person guiding it.

Ask them about why they like doing Salesforce, the values that are important to them and how they picture the beginning, middle, and end of the consulting/work relationship. This should give you some insight into what guiding principles they are likely to follow

ROI

ROI depends on how good the guy setting up your Salesforce is.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Do your best to negotiate the cost if you can. Salesforce is one of the most expensive solutions out there.

Other Advice

The ease of customization makes every Salesforce implementation like a strand of company DNA. This can be a top-tier solution for companies who utilize the product with best practices. On the other hand, some companies who have a weak IT department or just are not ready to integrate their business with Salesforce should hold back! This is because the needs of a very young business will undoubtedly change again and again, and when a company takes their Salesforce system along for that roller-coaster ride, the company growing pains leave scars on the system. This causes some people to resent Salesforce as a system. I'm not going to say a young company should not use Salesforce, only that it is critical to have the most experienced system admin you can afford if the business wants to use Salesforce from an early age.

The amount of time you believe it will take to get Salesforce operational for your company, triple that time and then multiply by two. Here's why, say, I think it will take three months to roll this out, with documentation, or finding resources it will take six months and with unexpected delays it will take nine. Now multiply by two again because you should spend nine months planning out who, how, where, when etc. If you want your system to do well you need to do the work to get there. Otherwise you will end up having to redo your entire Salesforce implementation.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user341313
VP of Operations at Rhymeo LLC
Vendor
Appexchange packages help to quickly hit requirements, but the reporting functionality is much more a query engine than a true reporting module.

What is most valuable?

  • Quick go-to-market with a sales process
  • Utilization of the "platform as a service" features of Salesforce
  • Appexchange packages help to quickly hit requirements
  • Robust feature set when considering all the Salesforce packages - Sales Cloud, communities, Service Cloud etc.

How has it helped my organization?

I've implemented a Saleforce solution at a hedge fund where we were immediately able to connect the marketing and customer relations department for tracking up-selling opportunities.

By building on the Salesforce platform, we were able to work through potential data problems such as tagging financial advisor owned accounts separately from individual investor accounts, bringing much needed granular tracking of the new money subscription opportunities.

What needs improvement?

The reporting functionality of Salesforce is much more a query engine than a true reporting module.

Salesforce have made some great strides towards addressing this deficiency with the advent of the analytics cloud, but it still needs improvement for customers not paying for the additional service.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been consulting on the platform for five years. I have implemented it at Rhymeo as a customer and currently utilize the platform at another client.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Being forced to run through all test classes to deploy to production has always been a concern for organizations that are apex heavy and need the ability for quick, impromptu deployments. Some “quick deploy” features are incredibly helpful for organizations trying to meet this requirement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

One look at their website will show you the incredible stability of this product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scaleability has never been in doubt.

How are customer service and technical support?

Premier support has always been incredibly helpful when solving problems.

However, the true benefit of the salesforce community comes from the helpful users that are constantly contributing to the Salesforce support forums.

You’re usually always a quick Google search away from advice to solving a problem.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

While consulting for the platform, we were always brought in to assist with implementation after vendor analysis.

How was the initial setup?

Good consulting on the platform is the key to a straightforward vs. complex implementation.

Users are always reluctant to change so managing expectations and involving business users very early in development is the key to success. The robust configurability vs. code allows implementers the ability to demo early and often to business users. Lightning and process builder are taking this to a welcome new level.

What about the implementation team?

Always via a vendor team. Speaking to experienced implementers when planning the release schedule for Salesforce manages the risk that integration inevitably always brings forth.

What other advice do I have?

Spend as much time with Salesforce customer success managers as possible. The wealth of Salesforce accelerators and their solution engineers have built help show the potential features of Salesforce early in the planning stage and go a long ways to a smoothful project planning and execution

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user334860
Independent Contractor at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
It has allowed the Sales Directors to have better visibility about pipelines, but sale items for complex-solution sales needs improvement.

What is most valuable?

Sales reports Graphics

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed the Sales Directors to have better visibility about pipelines and working deals.

What needs improvement?

Sale items for complex-solution sales.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for a year and a half.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't needed to use support as we have a specialised partner.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used an alternative solution but it…

What is most valuable?

  • Sales reports
  • Graphics

How has it helped my organization?

It has allowed the Sales Directors to have better visibility about pipelines and working deals.

What needs improvement?

Sale items for complex-solution sales.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it for a year and a half.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

We haven't needed to use support as we have a specialised partner.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used an alternative solution but it didn't meet our expectations on user interface and data consolidation. We switched, as Sales Cloud exceeded our expectations in these areas.

How was the initial setup?

It was very straightforward. The only problems with the initial setup was created by us in our discussions about our internal sales process.

What about the implementation team?

We used an internal team with help of an hired partner specialized in the platform.

What was our ROI?

We haven't calculated the ROI because our main objective was to provide an effective solution that our sales team can use without issues.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this product for beginners and advanced sales teams. Considering the alternatives that I know, it is the best solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user320526
IT Director at a retailer with 51-200 employees
Vendor
We have automated many of the manual sales processes. I'm waiting for the improvements to the UI which are coming.

What is most valuable?

The core features as well as the ability to extend them using ‘click-vs-code’ configurations to drive workflow activities.

How has it helped my organization?

We have been able to automate a large portion of the manual processes for our sales activities.

What needs improvement?

We know that User Interface improvements are coming, as well as improvements to reporting and dashboards.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Salesforce for four years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

It is possible to use or configure the system in a way that can ‘slow it down’, but deployment, stability and scalability are some of the best features of Salesforce.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is the one area that Salesforce needs the most improvement. They are slow to respond, and in many cases you don’t get the help you need. There are different levels of support based on the license agreement, so make sure you know what you are getting, but don’t expect fast results except for the most basic questions.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

A different solution was used several years ago and was called Goldmine.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward, and consists of many of the same considerations for any move to a CRM solution. However, the ability to configure Salesforce Sales Cloud is much faster.

What about the implementation team?

We did use a partner for the implementation, but have not used them since. I would highly recommend that you have someone on the team who is close to a salesforce solution/technical architect. They don’t need to be certified, but they should have a track record for successful project management and understand the salesforce technology stack.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Negotiate during the end of the Salesforce year. You will get the best pricing. Review the licensing options to align it to your needs. And ask for help from people you know who are like your company and using Salesforce.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other CRM solutions as well such as Microsoft CRM.

What other advice do I have?

Follow good practices for comparing it, don’t over customize the standard functionality, make sure you understand how you would use it based on your sales processes and which ones you should/could change.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Technical Lead, Data and Business Intelligence at a tech vendor with 501-1,000 employees
MSP
Our sales team can manage and track their workloads and pipelines easier, although there are minute details to deal with during implementation.

What is most valuable?

All the features of this product are valuable to me.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps our sales organization manage their workload, manage their sales pipeline, and our execs can track performance and perform all relevant sales functions.

What needs improvement?

I cannot think of anything right now.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for four to five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

As it is a cloud computing managed technology, all these headaches are taken care of by Salesforce itself.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

As it is a cloud computing managed technology, all these headaches are taken care of by Salesforce itself.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As it is a cloud computing managed technology, all these headaches are taken care of by Salesforce itself.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

5/10.

Technical Support:

5/10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

No previous solution was used.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house, but I would suggest enterprise companies to use a vendor team, as there are a lot of minute details with Salesforce. Experienced vendors will help you harness the real power of Salesforce using industry practices and previous experience.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I am a technical person and do not look at those details.

What other advice do I have?

Cloud computing is the future. Many companies are jumping on the Salesforce bandwagon as it integrates and works well seamlessly with other cutting edge technologies.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a Global Strategic partner.
ITCS user
Independent Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
The free customer service isn’t so useful, but that is mitigated by the huge number of consultants, YouTube videos, and KB articles.

What is most valuable?

  • Open API
  • Big ecosystem of applications, knowledge, and training
  • Flexibility

How has it helped my organization?

I’ve worked with about 30 nonprofit organizations implementing Salesforce. I’ve seen it answer questions that are key to an organization’s strategy, e.g. Does our program work? Which people does it work best for? Where is the revenue coming from? How many people are we serving today/this week/this month/this year?

In addition, it saves hours a day for staff members who track donations, volunteers, etc.

What needs improvement?

Reporting is still not as strong as it should be.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used the Enterprise Edition for three years/

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Salesforce is complicated, and there are plenty of things that can go wrong. With small to medium non-profits, the biggest issue is typically that staff don’t have time to spend using the new system, or that leaders aren’t asking questions of the system. When the system doesn’t get used, it definitely doesn’t work.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It really depends. The free customer service isn’t so useful, but that is mitigated by the huge number of consultants, YouTube videos, and KB articles. These resources are just a different level of magnitude than for any other similar product. If you pay for tech support and additional customer service, I believe that the experience is better, but I don’t have direct experience with that.

Technical Support:

The free tech support is really only useful for pretty basic stuff. They get the job done, but it isn’t any fun. It would be nice if they would consent to fix things via email instead of phone calls.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I’ve switched organizations from various home-grown solutions, eTapestry, Donor Perfect, Gift Works, and piles of spreadsheets. All those options have their advantages, but none are as flexible as Salesforce.

How was the initial setup?

I did set it up for an organization where I worked, and it was complex but now I’m very comfortable doing it, however, your average non profit staffer is not.

What about the implementation team?

I've been the vendor, except when I set it up for the organization where I worked.

What was our ROI?

The price point for non profits is very low, as the first 10 users are free and subsequent users are about $30 per user per month. There’s also the investment either in significant staff training or in a consultant, but for something as simple as a donor database, you’re probably looking at a one time cost of about $3000-$5000. Ongoing costs depend on the time and tech skills you have on staff. Organizations with one person who is interested and able to spend some time on it can need as little as 10 hours from a consultant per year, but those who need more assistance might need more like 48+ hours per year. Prices for consultants vary widely, as does quality. In terms of the return on that investment, a non profit that uses the system well should be able to raise more money with the data and time savings provided. Some organizations do this by better identifying and following up with donors, and some are able to demonstrate their effectiveness and better compete for grants.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It depends entirely on how complex the use of the system is. A system that does day-to-day program management, volunteer management, donor management, and outcomes tracking can cost upwards of $40K. A basic donor database can be as little as $3000-$5000.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

For different organizations, I’ve evaluated Sugar CRM, eTapestry, Gift Works, Donor Perfect, Wild Apricot and Neon. These products all have their advantages, but only Sugar CRM has the open API and flexibility of Salesforce. Unfortunately, Sugar’s ecosystem is tiny compared to Salesforce’s. It is much harder to find qualified consultant, online resources are paltry in comparison, and I’ve been told by web developers that Sugar is horrible to interface with.

What other advice do I have?

Hire someone to help, even if you just hire them to spend a few hours pointing you in the right direction. Make sure you’re ready to use the product, Salesforce provides pretty good resources for evaluating this. However, the big thing you need are leaders who are asking the important questions and who will give staff time to devote to setting up and using the product. Without those two things, it doesn't matter who you hire or how much money you spend, you won’t be successful.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Consultant with 51-200 employees
Real User
Could add more options to customize the user interface but has sped up development and delivery within the organization.

Valuable Features

The ability to customize many things, from the UI to the business logic, and the fact that the solution uses a cloud platform were valuable features for our organization.

Improvements to My Organization

It has sped up development and delivery within the organization.

Room for Improvement

The areas for improvement are adding more options to customize the UI, and the business logic.

Use of Solution

I have been using the solution for 3 years.

Deployment Issues

No issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

No issues with stability.

Scalability Issues

No issues with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

The customer service was good.

Technical Support:

The technical support was good.

Initial Setup

Initial setup was straightforward. It is just a matter of receiving the initial user credentials, change its password and create the other users after logging in. This is the initial setup prior to developing any customizations.

Implementation Team

We implemented through an in-house team.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

Setup cost: $280 per month per user, $600 per month per developer + 20% of the total yearly cost (users x individual cost) per sandbox - pre-paid annually.

Other Solutions Considered

Before choosing we looked at Microsoft Dynamics.

Other Advice

If seeking help, make sure that the people who will work on your project are certified (don't merely ask if they are certified, ask for a list of their certification numbers prior to agreeing with their statement of work). There are companies that assign junior people to your projects and bill them as senior consultants.
Expect to pay $200+/hour for HIGH quality consultants - if less than that, you may not getting high quality and may end up paying more in the end for the rework or the costs associated with a inadequate implementation.
Start with smaller, short term projects and add functionality and users gradually.
If you're in a large company (has divisions/regions), before attempting companywide adoption, choose a smaller group of users and make sure they are so pleased that they become champions of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Highly customisable CRM system - ever expanding feature set can be daunting

Valuable Features

Ability to add custom objects (tables) into the database means Salesforce can be tailored to any business. The workflow capability makes it possible to automate labour intensive tasks such as sending standard emails at pre-defined points within business processes.

Improvements to My Organization

Automation of routine emails, centralisation of data, standardisation of company processes, on demand access to reports and dashboards, 360 degree view of customer records and history.

Room for Improvement

Some areas of functionality from early versions of Salesforce getting a little dated and in need of overhaul. Examples include activity management.

Use of Solution

4 years

Deployment Issues

Installing Salesforce for Outlook needs careful preparation and confirmation of users' version of Windows and Outlook.

Stability Issues

Salesforce is very stable. I have not experienced any major outages since using the system.

Scalability Issues

No

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Salesforce customer service is efficient.

Technical Support:

Salesforce technical support is efficient.

Initial Setup

As a Salesforce implementation consultant, I have seen Salesforce setup in many organisations. Whilst it is easy to configure Salesforce, it is not always done in the most appropriate way. For example, creating custom fields when it would be better to create a custom object related to a master object, A specific example would adding fields to an Account to record customer satisfaction on a monthly basis. Better to create a custom object rather than adding a new set of fields each month.

Other Advice

Think about the Reports you want to run before you begin configuring Salesforce. Otherwise you may find you configure the system in a way that is incompatible with the Reports and Dashboards you need

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is registered Salesforce partner
ITCS user
Sales with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Very satisified with this solution but alarms for overdue tasks needs improvement

What is most valuable?

I really like the Sales and Marketing related tabs as there is Leads, Accounts, Opportunities, Reports and the very practical and self-explaining use of Salesforce. The Software offers a nice overview and doesn't let you forget about any planned or scheduled tasks with reminder functions as well.

How has it helped my organization?

Salesforce helps me very well organizing my daily tasks and shows me an overview what I have reached every day or offers me reports which can be easily created and saved for my personal way of working.

What needs improvement?

They should think about introducing some sort of fire system (colours: green - yellow - red) to set alarms of overdue tasks.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since May 2013, every day

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

None

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

One day in the morning it broke, but the support team quickly helped me get back to speed with it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I'd give it an A - perfectly satisfied

Technical Support:

I'd give it an A

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Oracle Siebel, Update seven and others - all of them not very practical, no real overview or easy way of handling. It took much longer to become acquainted with these systems.

How was the initial setup?

Absolutely straightforward - no difficulties there as far as I learned from our IT team

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was lucky not to need to evaluate other solutions, as my company chose this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PatrickCiPaaS
Senior Technical Product Marketing Manager at SnapLogic
Real User
Leaderboard
SFDC makes it easy to provide sales enablement content to the field
As a Technical Marketing Engineer, I use Salesforce.com (SFDC) to provide marketing approved solution briefs, links to videos, and presentations to our sales engineers in the field. They can access the materials from anywhere and I can manage version control. Pros: SFDC is a great tool as an up-to-date content repository and tracking tool It's easy to find materials and preview for relevance before downloading The system provides pretty snappy responses time uploading and downloading materials Cons: The ramp up time takes awhile to get everyone using it instead of just handing off materials as an attachment Making registration for users easy is important otherwise the slow-to-change folks might never log on

As a Technical Marketing Engineer, I use Salesforce.com (SFDC) to provide marketing approved solution briefs, links to videos, and presentations to our sales engineers in the field. They can access the materials from anywhere and I can manage version control.

Pros:

SFDC is a great tool as an up-to-date content repository and tracking tool

It's easy to find materials and preview for relevance before downloading

The system provides pretty snappy responses time uploading and downloading materials

Cons:

The ramp up time takes awhile to get everyone using it instead of just handing off materials as an attachment

Making registration for users easy is important otherwise the slow-to-change folks might never log on

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user8568
CTO with 51-200 employees
Vendor
5 Rules for Getting the Most Out of SalesForce
In business the fittest survive. And if you want to go beyond surviving to thriving, you have to get the most out of your processes and systems. Given the ubiquity of Salesforce, how do you make sure you’re getting more out of it than your competition? Here are 5 rules for driving outstanding results from Salesforce. Assure Data Reliability Assuring data reliability is easier said than done. Here are the nuts and bolts behind this rule. Data consistency is king. Therefore, you need to design with as many drop-down fields as possible rather than leaving it open ended. Each of these fields becomes your standard Saleforce lingo. Otherwise you end up with a jumble of data that you can’t consolidate. For example, if you have an open text field titled “Product Type”, some reps…

In business the fittest survive. And if you want to go beyond surviving to thriving, you have to get the most out of your processes and systems. Given the ubiquity of Salesforce, how do you make sure you’re getting more out of it than your competition? Here are 5 rules for driving outstanding results from Salesforce.

  1. Assure Data Reliability

    Assuring data reliability is easier said than done. Here are the nuts and bolts behind this rule.

    • Data consistency is king. Therefore, you need to design with as many drop-down fields as possible rather than leaving it open ended. Each of these fields becomes your standard Saleforce lingo. Otherwise you end up with a jumble of data that you can’t consolidate. For example, if you have an open text field titled “Product Type”, some reps will enter “Enterprise License”; others may say Enterprise, misspell it or abbreviate it.
    • Requirements rule. If you want a piece of data on every record, require it. When you set up a requirement in Salesforce, your call center associates cannot save a record unless they complete those fields.
    • The right rights. Not everyone needs to be able to do everything in Salesforce. And you can make sure they only do what’s appropriate by looking at profiles and roles assigned to each user. Only allow them “write” access to data that’s critical to their job function and “read only” rights to other data.
    • Garbage data? Don’t load it. Scrub and de-dupe your data before any mass data loading.

  2. Design for a Positive ROI

    Of course you want a fantastic return on investment (ROI) and are designing your Salesforce implementation with that in mind. But what are the steps for getting there?

    • Design your business process with as much workflow automation as possible, assuring maximum efficiencies.
    • Measure your historical sales or service data, and evaluate your return against the same business processes prior to implementing Salesforce. This gives you information on what you might need to tweak, and also lets you know what’s working.
    • Take advantage of the power the Force.com platform offers you through customizations, and by integrating Salesforce with existing third-party databases within your organization.
    • Design dashboards and reports that enable you to assess your sales pipeline and provide a 360 degree view of your business.

  3. Make Sure Users…Use It

    It goes without saying that if your users avoid using Salesforce, your investment won’t pay off. You can’t just say “it’s here”, and expect everyone to clamber on board the Salesforce train. There are four best practices to facilitate user adoption.

    • Training, training, training—no one likes to use a system that’s foreign to them. They want software that makes their lives easier. Overcome this hurdle with step-by-step training.
    • What’s in it for me? Just as you have to sell the benefits of your products and services to your prospects, you have to sell the tools you expect associates to use by letting them know how it’s going to make their work lives better. Don’t talk in broad generalities – employees want to know exactly how their work day will be better than it was before.
    • Money motivates – develop monetary or gift incentives for associates who use the platform in way that’s consistent with your vision.
    • Listen, learn and enhance—users may find areas for improvement. If you listen to them and enhance and update the systems as necessary, you’ll improve productivity and buy-in.

  4. Design Dashboards for Decision Making

    When it comes to Salesforce, the devil’s in the details. Salesforce give you basic visibility to your business, but its true power comes from enabling you to dig deep and uncover new, unexpected insights. It may be a tedious process, but take the time to get into the nitty-gritty and define all the metrics that can heighten your decision-making powers.

    Create custom fields in every object for each metric you want visualize in dashboards and use in reports. For example, if you use a sales-touch cycle, be sure to have a drop down field that includes the touch-cycles process so you can run reports from that field.


  5. Plan for the Future…Beyond CRM

    Salesforce has come a long way from its customer-relationship-management (CRM) only days by providing the open APEX code for third party APP developers. Now, the sky is the limit with the FORCE.com platform.

    Because of this, Salesforce has divided functionalities into separate clouds--Sales, Service and Marketing. With APEX code and Visual Force pages you can customize Salesforce and create custom applications with the help of a developer. If you can dream, it can be done. And if you plan it right, it will be done.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Can Salesforce replace your corporate intranet?
In the company I work for, QuestBack, we always strive to implement and adapt new enhancements and functionality that is released in Salesforce. Whenever we can streamline and move business processes to this platform, it increases our Salesforce.com ROI in addition to providing all employees with fewer separate systems and places to log in. A while ago, I was asked by the management team if Salesforce could replace our current intranet solutions. This post is based on a talk I gave at Salesforce’s Social Enterprise event in Oslo in April 2012. See the slides from this presentation here. Chatter – great for collaboration, but… Over the last years, Salesforce have launched lots of interesting functionality when it comes to building up a social enterprise, including Chatter that…

In the company I work for, QuestBack, we always strive to implement and adapt new enhancements and functionality that is released in Salesforce. Whenever we can streamline and move business processes to this platform, it increases our Salesforce.com ROI in addition to providing all employees with fewer separate systems and places to log in. A while ago, I was asked by the management team if Salesforce could replace our current intranet solutions.

This post is based on a talk I gave at Salesforce’s Social Enterprise event in Oslo in April 2012. See the slides from this presentation here.

Chatter – great for collaboration, but…

Over the last years, Salesforce have launched lots of interesting functionality when it comes to building up a social enterprise, including Chatter that enables collaboration and communication directly within the CRM platform. Being aware of this, the management team challenged me to explore whether this could be used as a replacement for our corporate intranet. While a lot can be solved with out-of-the-box functionality in Salesforce (Chatter, CRM Content for Document management, Chatter profiles for employee directory etc) , we discovered a number of shortcomings when using it for a more traditional intranet:

  • Lack of news and article functionality - While Chatter is all about posting status updates, questions and attachments, we needed a place to post more traditional, longer texts, e.g. management news and updates that could contain pictures, links and other elements within the same article.
  • No front page – Chatter is all about feeds and push notifications. We have the need to have an intranet front page, where editors can sort and select top news and articles and where we can have links to important functionality (both within Salesforce and external systems) in addition to be able to show important metrics (e.g. dashboard components for total sales etc.)
  • Lack of placeholders for static content – Our company have a wide variety of static content, e.g. routines for bug handling, travel expense guidelines, HR policies etc. We needed functionality to store this (not as documents and attachments), but rather static HTML pages (“Articles”) in a tree structure based on departments (e.g. Sales, Admin, F&A etc.)
  • Missing blog functionality – Related to the above, we want to empower employees and departments to produce more extensive content than Chatter updates allow.

In addition to this, we miss something that could tie all the great elements together, e.g. one point to click to get a total overview of employees, news, feeds, documents etc.

CRM + Intranet= Like?

We often see that intranets are a system detached from all other business systems in the company, a simple placeholder for static information and some corporate news.  But does it have to be like that? More than 80% of of our employees are already working within Salesforce everyday, with sales, customer support, billing or marketing. Why not blend these tasks with the more traditional intranet information? By linking information from Salesforce, like information on closed deals, marketing campaigns and Q&A’s from support with news on the intranet and cross-team Chatter collaboration, you truly unleash the power of the two information sources. In addition to this, you may see that merging these will be mutual beneficial for adoption of the two systems.  

Closing the gaps

Before starting, I did a lot of research on the web to see if people have been doing similar things within Salesforce. As far as I could see, not much have been done in this intersection between Salesforce and more traditional intranets. Some good discussions on Linkedin and the other great Salesforce communities provided us with good ideas on how to progress, and we connected with Fluido Ltd. to discuss the technical requirements and what it would take to meet our requirements.

We are currently in the progress of developing and rolling out our new corporate Salesforce-based intranet. We want to blend the out-of-the-box functionality with our company specific needs and we need to develop solutions that closes the gaps discovered in the above paragraph. The fundamental idea will be to develop one intranet homepage that displays all relevant information and links for the employees. Supporting this, we have developed Chatter-enabled objects for news, articles and blogs.

Key features of the front page will be:

  • “News for all” section with news available for all employees, e.g. Management updates or other corporate news.
  • “News for you” that is news based on your role in the organization (as defined on the user profile). This ensures that employees only see relevant information, e.g. sales news for sales reps or Norwegian news for all employees in our Oslo office.
  • Chatter feeds will be visible on the front to make the front appear more dynamic and updated, in addition to providing the user with the latest news from any object he/she subscribes to.
  • The right menus populated with real-time updated Salesforce data. In our example, we extract information about Global Sales current quarter, recently closed deals and top Sales reps current quarter.
  • At the bottom of the front page, we have external feeds from our media monitoring service, twitter feeds in addition to a corporate calendar (Salesforce object).
  • In addition to all this, we will take the standard Chatter functionality into extensive use: Chatter profiles will be used as the corporate employee directory, Chatter groups will be used for collaboration for teams and groups and Salesforce CRM Content will be used for all documents, including any customer facing material that will be tagged with extensive meta data to ease sales reps job of finding relevant and updated documents.

Moving forward

This is a work in progress project, and we are currently working with the great guys at Fluido Ltd. to develop the Visualforce pages and structures needed to put this in place. In addition to this, we are working to extract information from the old intranets and place them in the new information structure (with Chatter groups, news, blogs and static articles). The next point on the agenda will also be to create a Chatter/Collaboration roll-out strategy, which I will save for my next blog post to discuss.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
CIO with 201-500 employees
Vendor
SAAS solution, easy to deploy globally, easy to...

Valuable Features:

Best of breed SAAS solution, easy to deploy globally, easy to customize to comply with any business process, ideal for small-growing organizations. Very intuitive, and widely accepted by sales people. On-going innovation, with zero investment in upgrades.

Room for Improvement:

Become VERY expensive as you grow. Endless number of limitation force license upgrade to Enterprise and then to Unlimited, and to double the price per user. Many additional hidden costs pop-up in time. Insufficient reporting and dashboards functionality.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user3267
Sales at a tech vendor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Easy to understand and logical GUI. Flexible and...

Valuable Features:

Easy to understand and logical GUI. Flexible and easy to use report wizard and exports

Room for Improvement:

Difficult to manage data quality over time

Valuable Features:

Easy to understand and logical GUI. Flexible and easy to use report wizard and exports

Room for Improvement:

Difficult to manage data quality over time
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1692
Sales with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Intuitive and easy to customize. But the mobile app is lacking

Valuable Features:

As a Software sales professional, Salesforce.com helps me greatly organize the multitude of complex sales cycles I manage on a daily basis. The interface is very intuitive. I also appreciate the ability to customize the application for my particular business. And, I appreciate it's ability to integrate with other cloud and desktop products.

Room for Improvement:

The mobile application for Salesforce.com is somewhat lacking. I would have expected more from this leading organization. I also at times am frustrated my the response time as I am logging activities in the system. I seem to be waiting on a page to load. This wasted time can add up over a day.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1638
CTO at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Flexible, fast, robust. Missing SQL-like query analytics.

Valuable Features:

Great flexibility Fast tools to get up an running Robust measures to guarantee quality of service and development

Room for Improvement:

No free SQL like Query Analytics tool (you are limitied to a certain amount of tables you can include in a query/report)

Valuable Features:

Great flexibility Fast tools to get up an running Robust measures to guarantee quality of service and development

Room for Improvement:

No free SQL like Query Analytics tool (you are limitied to a certain amount of tables you can include in a query/report)
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user999
VP of Development at a marketing services firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Although expensive and can be hard to adopt, there's a clear reason that Salesforce is an industry behemoth in the CRM world.

Valuable Features:

Very robust CRM tracking Integrates well across the email platforms we use. API also integrates well with other inbound marketing software we currently use. Many useful apps in their AppExchange.

Room for Improvement:

Takes a long time to get fully up and running on Salesforce. We've noticed a few bugs that haven't been worked out (although Salesforce support team is great) It's quite expensive on a per user basis.

Other Advice:

Overall, I would recommend Salesforce, as it's an industry leader and integrates well across multiple platforms. However, it is expensive, and took a long time for my team to fully adopt Salesforce and to use it without having any issues.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user984
Developer at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
Excellent cloud

Valuable Features:

Simple cloud interface for CRM systems. Easy to integrate a wide range of data integration tools.

Room for Improvement:

Backend database is not compatible with all SQL standards. Slow while loading bulk data.

Valuable Features:

Simple cloud interface for CRM systems. Easy to integrate a wide range of data integration tools.

Room for Improvement:

Backend database is not compatible with all SQL standards. Slow while loading bulk data.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user942
Sales at a tech vendor with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Salesforce - Best of Breed, but Overkills to a Point

Valuable Features:

Lots of functionality and it is a customizable interface.

Room for Improvement:

There is TOO much functionality and it is far too complex. Not a user-friendly interface with overkill features that diminish the point of having the system in the first place.

Valuable Features:

Lots of functionality and it is a customizable interface.

Room for Improvement:

There is TOO much functionality and it is far too complex. Not a user-friendly interface with overkill features that diminish the point of having the system in the first place.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.