Salesforce CRM is a powerful customer relationship management (CRM) software enables businesses to manage customer data, automate sales processes, and create personalized customer experiences. It is the #1 CRM platform in the world, with more than 150,000 customers and over 4 million users.
Salesforce’s platform is customizable based on an organization’s unique processes, so it can be tailored to businesses in just about any industry. Its features—including automation, analytics, customization, and mobile capabilities—are designed to improve customer acquisition, engagement, retention, and support. And as the industry gold standard for CRM, Salesforce integrates with other business tools, such as marketing automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, and customer service solutions.
Small businesses use Salesforce to track sales, manage customer relationships, and optimize productivity. Mid-sized businesses can use it to better segment their customers, build more significant connections with them, and make more informed decisions about marketing campaigns. Large enterprises typically leverage Salesforce to gain a holistic view of customers and prospects while providing individualized experiences.
Why this product is good
Positives for Salesforce CRM Software
- The Salesforce ecosystem offers a comprehensive list of integration solutions and tools as well as a technical environment to create custom software on top of or alongside Salesforce. And with over three thousand apps, Lightning Components, and BOLT solutions available on the AppExchange marketplace, you can easily integrate for a seamless experience.
- As the most prominent CRM tool with 20 years in the global market, finding IT talent or consultants with Salesforce expertise is easy. Implementation and troubleshooting are easier with the support of skilled experts. Salesforce IT support and resource materials are also available.
- Salesforce is more than just a sales tool—it offers an expansive array of products and services ranging from sales to service, marketing to commerce, analytics to integration, and even sustainability. The Salesforce product library is continually growing, and its products are designed to support businesses in every stage of their digital transformation.
- Salesforce is renowned for its robust security measures, making it the go-to choice for enterprise customers. It provides multi-level authentication and built-in encryption capabilities to keep data safe. Plus, Salesforce is SOC II certified and GDPR compliant, so companies can rest assured that their data is safe.
What is Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM that businesses use to manage customer relationships and optimize sales processes. You can use the platform to track leads, manage accounts, store contacts, generate reports, automate tasks, and find new customers. Its subsidiaries include Pardot, Tableau, MuleSoft, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud. At its core, Salesforce is an enterprise tool that helps companies unify customer data, personalize the customer experience, and build relationships that last.
Features of Salesforce CRM include:
- Contact and opportunity management
- Sales forecasting
- Quote-to-cash (QTC)
- Einstein Analytics
- Small Business support
- Omnichannel marketing
- Email integration
Contact and Opportunity Management: Cloud-based contact management makes crossfunctional collaboration easier and allows companies to better capture customer data. With Salesforce, teams can quickly create and share detailed accounts, contacts, leads, and opportunities in one place for easy access. Opportunity management gives businesses a chance to get an up-close look at the activity timeline of their customers and see exactly which stage each deal is in, helping them make informed decisions about your next move. Not only can they view critical details along with those of competitors, but ready-made templates let you send messages to clients without any extra effort.
Sales Forecasting: With Salesforce CRM, organizations get an all-encompassing overview of their pipeline and how well the business is performing. It monitors the path of leads in the funnel to assess whether they are converting into deals or not. Through this analysis, it provides a thorough prognosis on sales organizations can use to adjust strategies accordingly for maximum success. This reporting can also be used to identify top performers and recognize any areas for improvement.
Quote-to-Cash (QTC): By harnessing the power of Salesforce CRM, you can automate quote management and make life easier for your sales representatives. Configure, price, and quote (CPQ) tools provide them with the latest discounts to offer customers quickly and accurately. The entire process is further accelerated as users swiftly create quotes before submitting proposals in Salesforce Lightning—followed by fast invoicing and efficient cash collection.
Einstein Analytics: Einstein Analytics is the premier business intelligence tool for unlocking complex sales and service insights. Not only do embedded dashboards connect users to Sales, Service and Community Clouds but they also consistently provide employees and partners with data-driven insights. And data security is a top priority for Einstein experts—this analytical tool delivers intelligent solutions so businesses can confidently share data in pursuit of growth.
Small Business Support: With Trailhead, Salesforce has made it easier for small businesses and startups to grow and succeed. This application employs artificial intelligence to provide customers with the best-in-class services possible. Thanks to its 360-degree customer view, Trailhead can capture data from emails, support channels, calendars, and numerous other customer data sources. There is also a setup assistant that answers inquiries and provides customized advice to help businesses get off the ground faster. With numerous tutorials available within the app itself, beginners can learn about all of Salesforce’s products—including CRM—but get into the nitty-gritty details as well.
Omnichannel Marketing: With Salesforce CRM analytics, marketing teams can easily launch and monitor multiple campaigns from a single platform and receive instant insights on their performance. From email to social media campaigning, Salesforce keeps track of every action taken and compares the efficacy of each against the entire omnichannel strategy (e.g., Facebook vs. email results). This data allows for smarter business decisions about investment plans and informs how marketing activities impact sales.
Mobility: The Salesforce mobile app offers users the convenience of accessing their CRM data on the go, at any time, and from virtually anywhere. With a few taps, they can view meetings, events, or account updates immediately. Plus, making conference calls and taking notes in real time is incredibly easy with the mobile app. And for times when internet service is spotty or intermittent, all offline data will be updated as soon as the device connects to the web again.
Email Integration: With just a few clicks, Salesforce Dashboard Components, enable stakeholders to observe major trends and quantify operations to gain insight into team performance. Building custom dashboards with drag-and-drop icons from within Salesforce CRM will give you the power of a 360-degree view of all things related to the business. Users can produce data reports based on preferences through an intuitive drag-and-drop UI.
What are the advantages of using Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce Cloud 360’s Benefits
Salesforce Cloud 360 is a powerful solution that provides businesses with the means to gain a comprehensive view of their customers. This platform offers lead and opportunity management, customer analytics, marketing segmentation, and data-driven insights.
Benefits of Salesforce Cloud 360 include:
- Real-Time Analytics: Salesforce’s analytics engine is one of the most powerful in the industry, enabling users to access real-time customer data from all connected systems. Particularly for enterprises with complex data infrastructure (e.g., CRM, ERP, cloud data warehouses, etc.), the ability to compile and analyze data from multiple sources into a single ecosystem is invaluable.
- 360-Degree Customer Insights: With Salesforce Cloud 360, businesses can gain deep insight into customer behavior and preferences. This enables targeted segments on specific customer groups, which helps increase conversion rates and ROI. With higher-priced software versions, marketers can also access powerful AI-based insights to optimize campaigns more effectively.
- Security: Salesforce’s cloud platform is designed with security as a top priority. All data stored in the cloud are encrypted, and all applications undergo rigorous testing before release. Businesses have the option to assign varying levels of security clearance to users, ensuring that sensitive customer data remains secure.
- Scalability: A key benefit of utilizing Salesforce is that it can scale with a business as it grows. This platform has no limitation on the number of users, and its features are easily customizable to suit the needs of any organization. This ensures businesses can stay competitive in their industry without worrying about breaking their budget.
- Process Automation: Automating key processes is one of the most efficient ways to improve the efficiency of any organization. With Salesforce Cloud 360, businesses can save time and money by automating mundane tasks such as responding to customer inquiries, processing orders, and tracking shipments. That way, employees can focus on more critical aspects of their job.
- Integrations for Everything: Salesforce Cloud 360 can be integrated with a wide range of third-party applications, making it easier for businesses to connect their existing systems and access data from multiple sources. This enables them to make decisions based on more accurate, up-to-date information.
- Comprehensive IT Support and Resources: Salesforce provides businesses with the necessary IT support and resources to ensure that their CRM is always up-to-date. The company offers training sessions, user forums, and an extensive library of resources to help users get the most out of their Salesforce Cloud 360 implementation. Salesforce Trailhead is also an excellent resource that helps employees learn about Salesforce development.
Salesforce Cloud CRM Pricing
In addition to a free trial for each subscription level, the software company’s scalable pricing structure offers four different tiers for its Salesforce CRM software.
- Essentials ($25 per user per month): Essentials is Salesforce’s entry-level tier, providing enough features to help businesses get started. It includes core Sales Cloud features (i.e., account, contact, lead, and opportunity management). Sales engagement, dashboard analytics, and automated approval workflows are among the many features only available to higher tiers.
- Professional ($75 per user per month): Professional accommodates businesses with more complex processes. This subscription level offers everything available in essentials plus sales pipelining, quota management with custom KPIs, and advanced sales forecasting features.
- Enterprise ($150 per user per month): For scaling companies with greater needs, the enterprise subscription includes all of the features from the professional level. It also offers complex approval processes, customer-specific pricing catalogs, and automated lead assignment capability.
- Unlimited ($300 per user per month): As its name suggests, unlimited provides extensive features for businesses that need to leverage multiple external applications within their CRM ecosystem. This plan has all the features available in the enterprise subscription plus unlimited custom objects and external app connections. It also offers 24/7 tailored support and guidance.
It is also worth noting that implementation can be a significant added cost to Salesforce CRM. Setting an organization up with Salesforce requires professional IT assistance, typically through a third-party Salesforce consultant or partner. The cost of implementation depends on the complexity and customization required within the system.
Which CPQ Solutions Integrate with Salesforce CRM?
As the industry leader, Salesforce can integrate with just about every CPQ platform. Currently, Salesforce customers are best off choosing one of these eight CPQ solutions:
- Salesforce CPQ
- DealHub CPQ
- Experlogix CPQ
- Epicor CPQ
- Conga CPQ
- PROS CPQ
- Tacton CPQ
- Configure One CPQ
Salesforce has its own configure, price, quote (CPQ) tool, aptly named Salesforce CPQ. With this Salesforce CRM app, users can easily manage your product quotes—from tracking products associated with the deal to standard prices and quoted prices. Plus, Sales Cloud customers have control over setting criteria for quantity, delivery terms, and payment schedules that reflect in the quote.
On top of that, Salesforce CPQ has a built-in quoting system that auto-populates customer data for quick quoting. After the quoting process is over, it generates an approved template PDF and sends emails directly to customers.
The DealHub environment is purpose-built to improve the overall sales process. DealHub CPQ enables faster production of accurate quotes and orders with dynamic pricing, automated approval workflows, auto-synced data, and version control out-of-the-box. Companies can create interactive sales playbooks with DealHub and guide reps through each stage of the customer journey, streamlining every Salesforce user’s sales process.
When integrated with Salesforce, DealHub’s Revenue Hub combines CPQ with revenue recognition, allowing companies to manage their entire end-to-end revenue process while keeping a 360-degree view of every customer’s needs. DealHub’s unique sales engagement platform further improves this process by unifying stakeholders and customers to work together in the cloud.
Experlogix CPQ provides Salesforce users with comprehensive yet easy-to-use functionality, including dynamic pricing, product configuration, and order management. It’s powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 technology and supports the Salesforce platform. Experlogix CPQ offers high-end product modeling capabilities that allow users to configure complex products to the last detail—in minutes, not hours.
Experlogix takes a transformative approach to product visualizations with Image Compositing in Experlogix CPQ. From enhancing colors and textures to creating intricate compositions comprised of multiple layers and effects, resellers and customers can collaborate to create the perfect product match.
By leveraging Experlogix CPQ’s intelligent workflow approval requests, sales teams can work together efficiently and reduce delays in approvals from management and engineering. This solution will trigger Salesforce workflows for discounts, change orders, and other related processes—allowing sales orgs to streamline the entire process.
Epicor CPQ (formerly KBMax) is designed for manufacturers and distributors who need an integrated and efficient customer-focused system. Epicor’s CPQ solution revolutionizes the selling experience, empowering every Salesforce user to easily configure products in 2D, 3D, or augmented reality with interactive product configurators.
Epicor CPQ provides customers, distributors, and sales teams with the flexibility to customize and configure their products from any location, including their websites. This user-friendly technology makes it easier than ever before to make purchases quickly and conveniently. And since it’s easy to integrate with Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud, the purchase process is fast and secure.
Conga CPQ is a cloud-based CPQ platform that Salesforce customers use to customize, send, and export quotes. Conga CPQ automates the sales quoting process, from configuring complex products to generating professional quotes and contracts. It also helps streamline operations, including pricing rules and discounting, currency conversion, discounting, and compliance checks.
The Conga ecosystem is built to run alongside Salesforce. Conga Quote Generation can work with Salesforce CPQ to create, send, and track quotes—all without ever leaving Salesforce. And Conga’s Integration Package provides a seamless solution from CPQ to CLM. With the pre-built integration framework, Salesforce users can go live in just four hours and experience full deployment within two weeks. Conga enables organizations to leverage their Salesforce data for greater revenue with less effort.
PROS makes selling complex products and services easier for Salesforce users by making its revenue and profitability realization platform natively integrated. Leveraging the power of predictive analytics, its smart Salesforce CPQ (configure, price, quote) solution provides insightful recommendations on products and services tailored to customers’ needs at competitive prices.
PROS Smart CPQ is Salesforce-certified and readily integrated with Salesforce Lightning, making it one of the best Salesforce CPQ solutions on the market. Because of its deep integration, it uses Salesforce to create a holistic selling experience on mobile, social, and cloud-based platforms. PROS makes it easy to create accurate quotes, forecast revenue, and track customer trends in real time.
When you use Tacton CPQ software for Salesforce, selling customized items becomes effortless. Designed for B2B manufacturers, Tacton can handle even the most intricate configurations. Tacton CPQ’s out-of-the-box capabilities enable Salesforce users to express millions of product variants to configure complex products. Features like guided needs-based selling, AR technology, and Visual Configurations enable sales reps to configure products to match customer needs.
Tacton’s powerful pricing engine ensures your prices and margins are instantly accurate after each configuration, regardless of the pricing model or sales channel, helping users maximize profits. Utilizing analytics to power your Business Intelligence tools with Tacton’s CPQ data improves your product portfolio and sales operations. Tacton’s powerful integration links your enterprise systems with new product introductions and sales-to-order processes. With this tool, you can produce accurate sales orders in ERP quickly and sync all of your selling data to Salesforce seamlessly.
Configure One CPQ is a specialized solution for manufacturing and other industries requiring intricate product configurations. This application allows sales reps to create individualized configs of complex items, compute pricing in real-time, integrate factory data into the system, supply customers with complete product quotes quickly, and expedite orders.
It is precisely this manufacturing capability that makes Configure One a good fit for Salesforce users. By coupling Salesforce’s CPQ integration with Configure One, users can directly tie customer data from Salesforce into the Configure One quoting interface while conveniently populating all quote information. Product configurations, customer data flows, and dynamic pricing can all be pre-populated and quickly sent off for customer review.
Valuable Insight From Real Customers
Gartner Peer Insights
Salesforce Cloud 360 has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Gartner Peer Insights. In their reviews, users note the software’s extensive features and integrations help provide one single unified experience for the customer. However, some users mention the price and data integration issues as disadvantages.
The reviewers and customer demographics are as follows:
Reviewer’s Company Size
- $50M-$1B: 55%
- $1B-$10B: 9%
- $10B+: 27%
- Gov’t/PS/Ed: 9%
- Finance (non-banking): 18%
- Services (non-government): 18%
- Education: 9%
- Healthcare and Biotech: 9%
- Other: 45%
Reviewer’s Deployment Region
- North America: 64%
- Europe, Middle East, and Africa: 36%
Gartner Peer Insights affirms that Salesforce Cloud 360 increases sales productivity, as cited by the reviews on their site.