Recently I have been demoing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems online the first CRM I demoed is the industry leader Salesforce. I wanted to try Salesforce after reading the book Behind the Cloud Untold Story of How Salesforce by Marc Benioff.
Salesforce promotes an Out-of-the-box CRM for up to 5 users on Sales Cloud Essentials. The first issue I had with salesforce essentials is the $25 a month statement on their site. The promotion is not 100% accurate as $25 a month but there is no monthly option to pay all $300 dollars plus tax must be paid upfront.
Mostly all of salesforce cheaper services are all pay once a year. If you buy the medium to enterprise services with more than one account, you can get monthly billing with a signed contract.
The next issue I had with Salesforce was billing and invoicing which is not offered on any of the cheaper essential plans. Even if you go into the Salesforce app store none of the apps will work for billing, invoicing or credit card processing unless you have the $75-dollar midgrade business plan. Which by the way you have to migrate to from essentials which I believe there is a charge for that as well.
One thing I have to say with Salesforce is for $300 dollars a year if you pay it all up front you get Sales, Service, and Chatter all in one, which is a good deal when you consider programs like Oracle Sales Cloud alone is $65 dollars month per user and Microsoft Dynamics is $115 a month per user just for the base feature packs.
Salesforce recently bundled in their Salesforce Lightning for Gmail functionality into Office365 and G Suite which used to be an additional $300 a year per user. I would like to point out that features like this do come free with companies like Prosperworks, Hubspot or Nutshell. So again, Salesforce is milking every dollar from customers because if you had to pay for both you would be over $600 a year at this point without invoicing and Credit Card processing.
I think Salesforce is a great CRM I mean the layout and design of Lightning are great and Salesforce Lightning for Gmail is very well done an essential for any salesperson using GSuite and Salesforce it’s that good. I think where Salesforce falls short for small business is cost a mom and pop place with one sales representative spending $300 just for base software I just don’t see that happening since essentials is built and marketed as an Out-of-the-box CRM solutions for up to 5 users I just don’t see the appeal for the small business owners at that price point.
Salesforce is, in my opinion, the Apple of cloud CRM solutions they make the product and they do it better than anyone but just like Apple, you’re paying for a premium product at a premium price.