When it comes to CRM software, there are a lot of options to choose from. Still, there is one brand that many businesses swear by: Salesforce.
You may be surprised to learn that, while we have nothing against Salesforce, we actually think it’s one your business should avoid as an option. Why? To be blunt, Salesforce is not designed for small businesses and startups. Instead, they have taken their enterprise solution and scaled it back to attract the attention of smaller players.
That being said, Salesforce has earned its place in the business world for a reason and we acknowledge that. Let’s talk about why you might decide to use it.
Why Small Businesses Choose Salesforce
Never underestimate the power of brand recognition. Aside from the marketing powerhouse that is HubSpot, Salesforce is essentially synonymous with the term CRM. Because of that strong branding, you may be unaware of the wide selection of CRM software available to you.
On top of strong marketing, Salesforce benefits from word-of-mouth advertising. When you started your business, you likely asked for software and other tech recommendations from fellow business owners. As a result, it’s easy for a brand like Salesforce to dominate an industry or business market where larger businesses have made their CRM software the standard.
Seemingly Low Price Point
You know you need a CRM solution. Your peers tell you that they love Salesforce and highly recommend it. Now you go to the Salesforce website and see that they have a Business Essentials plan for $25 per month, billed annually. A great tool at a low cost sounds like the perfect combination, right?
The issue is that when a company has the reputation that Salesforce does, they expect you to accept what they present at face value. “Essentials” is meant to imply that you are going to get everything you need for that $300 annual charge. Unfortunately, you may end up finding that what is essential to your business doesn’t make the cut for the Essentials package.
From email clients to Microsoft Teams, the popularity of Salesforce demands that it integrates with every other piece of software. In fact, you may only be interested in Salesforce because you came across it while researching other software like MailChimp. As you attempt to replace more manual tasks with automation, it only makes sense that you would want your CRM software to integrate with the tools you currently have in place. Salesforce knows the value of convenience and they continue to successfully leverage this feature into a major value add for business owners.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Salesforce
You Don’t Need It
In our opinion, every business needs a CRM. That being said, not every business needs to pay for CRM software. For what you get in the Salesforce Essentials subscription, you could simply use one of the many free platforms available.
While Salesforce gives you a two-week free trial, they do not offer a free version of their CRM software. HubSpot, Zoho, and Insightly all offer a free version of their CRMs. For the businesses who actually benefit from Salesforce Essential, those alternatives are equally or more robust.
Or You Need More
You decide to pay for Salesforce Essentials only to discover that the features you want are not available in that version. Upgrading to the nex level for better features shouldn’t be too bad….Or so you think.
You’ll quickly realize that getting the truly valuable features from Salesforce incurs a $50 monthly price jump. That means your $300 annual charge per user is now $900 annually per user. Additionally, that higher price tag does not necessarily come with more value. Comparable CRM software, like Zoho, actually crams more desired features for less than the cost of Salesforce Essentials.
Lack of Customization
The type of customer data you collect and the way it is organized varies from business to business. Being able to easily customize fields and modules to work with your business is a necessary feature for a small business CRM and it’s a feature Salesforce places a premium on. Both the Essentials and Professional versions of Salesforce allows for very limited customizable features, reserving the real freedom to customize for its Enterprise edition.
There is no denying that Salesforce deserves the level of trust and recognition it enjoys among CRM software. However, unless your business has the budget and integration needs for Salesforce, you are better off looking into CRMs that gives you the same features and more for a fraction of the cost.
If you still insist that Salesforce is the right choice for your business, be sure to speak to a Salesforce Certified Administrator to learn which version will actually fit your needs.
Do you currently use or interest in Salesforce? If so, let us know your opinion of it in the comments.