2014-06-18 10:33:00 UTC

Salesforce.com is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2014 Gartner report. What are your experiences with it?


Salesforce.com is positioned in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Engagement Centers. What are your experiences with this solution? What other CRM solutions have you used? How do they compare?

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55 Answers

author avatar
Consultant

I would prefer to chose platform based on specific needs vs directly looking at Gartner report however I agree that quadrant placement of different products can be used gain perspective.

I have used Siebel , Salesforce ,Saleslogix ,Rightnow & Vocalcom.Based on my experience ,each product has its Pros & cons.So product selection is direct function of "your business needs & requirements"

I would rate Siebel to be functionally rich when it comes to complex workflow ,Rules while automating Sales , Marketing & after market service processes. Salesforce is user friendly & intuitive tool with a very strong Social CRM feature- Chatter.For Contact center & Customer experience management , Vocalcom & Salesforce would offer complementary feature sets.

I have done one of the most complex migration project from Siebel to Salesforce & we ended up buying 4 different ancillary tools such as Marketo ,ServiceMax ,OBIEE etc to meet our different objective across CRM function (Marketing,Sales , After Market Service, CRM insight etc).Initially , we thought we could do all using Salesforce but had to settle down with many more tools & we could only meet 85% of our business requirement that we managing only through single Tool - Siebel.

Thanks
Pratyush

2014-06-24 16:27:56 UTC
author avatar
Vendor

While SalesForce CRM is not offered only as a CRM product but a SaaS platform for any business and offering solution in the similar lines. You also get Mobile platform and you are at least few years ahead of other CRM application available today in the market technically. Functionally there are cons for Salesforce where other product weigh better, but there is always a workaround for the requirement and the they offer apps in the marketplace allowing users to deploy custom solutions which the user might feel apt for their organization.

2014-06-20 18:39:27 UTC
author avatar
Consultant

We service many clients that use SalesForce.com and Microsoft CRM. We concur with Gartner's finding that both of these platforms are feature rich and can be customized to fit many business models. In our opinion, for most applications, these two solutions are a great fit. In many cases we find that where clients are unhappy with their solution it is because it hasn't been configured or customized to fit their business process and has nothing to do with the platform itself. The platforms and technology are maturing but it takes the right partner to configure the system correctly based on a clients business needs,

2014-06-18 18:21:08 UTC
author avatar
Vendor

I have used RightNow CRM, Sugar CRM, and SalesForce . All three have their positives and negative points. While I have not fully explored the capabilities of all, I offer these observances.

RightNow is by far the best platform if the focus of your CRM is technical support. Sugar CRM support case mechanics are very basic. SalesForce is only slightly better from a usage perspective but does support advanced workflows and rule functionality. RightNow is rooted in support and it shows in most of the key usability areas. First and foremost, the RightNow application displays support case threads in a single scrollable pane with an intuitive UI allowing the user to see attachments and timelines along with internal notes. RightNow handles case updates via a web portal or via email seamlessly to customers and the user. SugarCRM does not support email updates at all. SalesForce email updates are all viewable individually, but while viewing a single update, you can’t see the previous updates, so following the conversation is difficult. This is especially painful if the user is collaborating with other users on the case as it is necessary to read through all the other updates and comments separately.

The RightNow knowledgebase is also superior to the SalesForce solutions in that the content can be much more dynamic and easily ingrained into the support process allowing users to search content for internal as well as customer facing consumption. Sugar CRM offers some KB functionality, but it is definitely third tier.

From a sales perspective, SalesForce is unsurprisingly the leader here. Lead creation is simple and conversion to opportunities and customer records is intuitive. The simple contact and account merge functions built into SalesForce are invaluable when dealing with issues caused by multiple roles creating the same record with slight variations. Sugar CRM supports the sales function well, but the usage is less intuitive than SalesForce and capabilities for advanced features such as pipeline and forecasting don’t quite match up. My experience with the Sales functionality of RightNow was brief so I cannot offer a full comparison there. All three platforms offer MS Outlook plugins for tying in Outlook emails to CRM. SalesForce offers an “Email to SalesForce” function which allows a user to BCC an email address associated to his/her specific account. When the email is received, it is associated to the contact record and account of the recipient. This is a very convenient way to keep communications tied in to SalesForce and is platform independent, so Gmail or other platforms can use the feature without the need of a plugin.

Marketing is addressed strongly by all three platforms allowing for email campaigns and integration into sales and other efforts. SalesForce users will likely require a third party add in to perform advanced marketing campaigns. Sugar CRM had some limitations as well that may be addressed by third parties.

SalesForce also dominates the field when it comes to third party support and integration. This is good and bad. It’s good because it fosters competition and allows SalesForce to focus on the core platform. It’s bad because any shortcomings of the application tend to be schluffed off by SalesForce with a response of “There’s an app in the App exchange to handle that” Focus on usability items that don’t fit an easily addressed niche are not addressed. Those not interested in managing a CRM package and a herd of plugin applications have to either live with default functionality or build their own.
All three platforms support custom programming and object definition.

Sugar CRM is PHP based and offers a great deal of flexibility so long as the internal resources can maintain and support it. A strong PHP shop may wish to use the self-hosted platform to avoid any constraints the hosted service applies. When I last used RightNow, the application split between a .NET user application and end user pages served via PHP/Javascript/HTML. So you needed two skill sets for customizing depending upon which side you were working. Customizing the user experience was non-trivial and required a lot of massaging of .NET packages. SalesForce allows pretty easy customization of the user experience both via built in configuration as well as support for “Visual Force” pages. SalesForce includes in-application editors but falls short in supporting serious development via an external IDE. Their Eclipse plugin requires exclusive use of JDK 1.6 and fails with other versions. Not a unique Java issue, but detrimental to those developing for other platforms as they need to customize their Eclipse environment to SalesForce needs. Since Sugar CRM and SalesForce users access the app via a browser, customizing the user experience is more straight-forward.

In summary, Sugar CRM doesn’t master any area of CRM, but for those with lightweight needs and low budgets, it certainly does the job. Organizations with involved support processes and call centers will find RightNow to be the platform of choice. However, small organizations need not apply as their sales team has no time for them. SalesForce is optimal for the sales centric organization and is flexible enough to make most other functions workable. Third party integrations such as DocuSign and other marketing and sales add-ons offer a wide range of functionality options. Be aware of the limitations between editions and note that Enterprise edition is necessary for a full range of capability and compatibility with many of the add-ons.

2014-06-18 16:18:57 UTC
author avatar
Vendor

I have been using Salesforce.com for the past 4 years and have had an extremely positive experience. It not only allows you to store and manage customer data, but also to collaborate with colleagues and share questions and ideas. In addition, I find the reporting tools to be invaluable.

Regards,
Zoe

2014-06-18 13:11:26 UTC