THE GOOD

Smartly designed, user-friendly interface:

The user interface for Sales Cloud is simple, elegant, and intuitive. The landing page is laid out with standard components such as activity feeds for the items you're following, a customizable dashboard that gives you a real-time view of your performance, and tasks and a calendar that are synced automatically with your email application. There are also guides on each page that assist you with some of the more advanced functions of the product. With a click of a button, you are able to navigate to the relevant page of the user guide on the help site.

Easy customization:

You don't have to be a programmer to customize Sales Cloud to fit your business needs. You can customize tabs, fields, and the interface and create formula-driven fields effortlessly with the help guide. Most impressively, you can utilize a point-and-click app builder to build your own application. You can even publish custom apps to Salesforce's marketplace, AppExchange, to be shared with other users.

New Salesforce Console:

The Salesforce Console is a customizable, dashboard-like interface that makes it easier to find, update, and create records. As part of the Winter '14 updates, the Salesforce Console utilizes a multi-tab design which enables you to work with several applications at the same time, giving you one-click access to the information you use the most.

Real-time data access on mobile devices:

You can get instant business information anytime, anywhere through an iPhone, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. You are able to edit and customize almost every field, module, and object in Sales Cloud. Take a call with a contact and log the call as a record directly to the contact's record, have leads routed automatically to your device as they come in, pull up account information prior to a meeting, and assign tasks to colleagues -- all from your mobile device.

Nicely integrated Social CRM functionality:

With the growth of social media, it is increasingly important to gain insight into what customers are talking about on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Salesforce is by far one of the leaders in providing tools within its CRM application for you to get into this data. You can monitor and respond to conversations that are relevant to your organization, gain insight into your accounts and contacts' activity streams from Twitter and Facebook, and create leads from posts and comments.

Companywide collaboration through Chatter:

Built into the CRM application is an enterprise-level, real-time social networking tool called Chatter. This collaboration tool uses the same tools from social media to help organizations collaborate and empower all departments, from sales to service to marketing, to get more done faster. Chatter increases an organization's productivity by sharing answers, ideas, files, and more. You can follow people or business data, such as records, documents, and analytics, within your organization and get real-time activity feeds to track each of these items.

Quality business data offered through data.com:

Offered by Salesforce, data.com provides leading B2B data sourced from Dunn & Bradstreet's database of over 213 million companies worldwide and Jigsaw's extensive business contacts. For an additional fee, you can directly add these accounts and contacts to your CRM with the click of a button. This tool gives you access to clean, quality, up-to-date data that's seamlessly integrated and can be used for any of your sales and marketing initiatives.

AppExchange for superior third-party integration:

You can easily search for, read reviews on, and install a wide variety of applications directly into Sales Cloud using Salesforce's application marketplace, AppExchange. There are currently over 1,700 apps covering sales, customer service, marketing, IT, administration, finance, and human resources. AppExchange enables you to scale and customize your CRM in a cost-effective manner. With close to 45% of these apps being free, you're bound to explore a number of tools to extend the use of Sales Cloud beyond what other CRM software provide.

Get support from multiple sources:

Salesforce employs a massive staff and there is no shortage of channels for you to seek support for all your customer and technical issues, including live chat, phone, email, and social media. On top of that, the online resources available to you free of charge are first rate.

THE BAD

Relatively expensive:

Compared to other CRM products on the market, the advanced Salesforce plans are above average in price. However, you do get your money's worth, as you're working with a feature-rich and customizable CRM application from a solid brand.

No service level agreement (SLA):

Unless you negotiate or ask for it, Salesforce generally does not provide a service level agreement (SLA) as a standard practice with all of its contracts. SLAs are important, as they act as a form of assurance for customers that the CRM vendor is upheld to a certain level of system uptime. Typical vendors have an SLA that is financially backed, meaning you receive a credit of some sort if the SLA is not met.

THE DETAILS

Details
Contract Agreement Annual
Data Storage 20MB - 120MB/user, 1GB/org
Free Trial 30 days
Monthly Rate $5 - $300/user
Number of Users 1 - Unlimited

FEATURES

Title
  • Case Management You can create, track, and manage customer cases.

  • Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) is enabled for this product. At a minimum, this allows you to manage incoming and outgoing calls.

  • Email-to-Case You can capture a customer case from email.

  • Knowledge Base You can publish a knowledge base to contain solutions to be shared with users in your organization and customers.

  • Self-Service Portal You can provide online support for your customers through a self-service portal.

  • Service Contracts You can create, track, and manage service contracts - which is an agreement between you and your customers.

  • Solutions You can create, view, and manage solutions used to solving customer cases.

  • Web-to-Case You can capture a customer case online through web forms on your website.

  • Campaign Activities You can create activities, waves, or hierarchies within a marketing campaign.

  • Campaign Cloning You can easily clone or copy an existing marketing campaign.

  • Campaigns You can plan, create, track, and manage marketing campaigns through the CRM application.

  • Email Templates You can utilize pre-defined email templates or create your own.

  • Mass Emailing You can send a mass email message to multiple recipients.

  • Web-to-Lead Forms You can create and publish forms on your organization's website to gather information and capture new leads.

  • Campaign Wizard You can get step-by-step guidance in creating marketing campaigns.

  • Analytic Snapshot You can report on and view historical data.

  • Campaign Metrics Reporting You can get reporting on campaign metrics such as: ROI, bounce emails, unique emails open, total email click-throughs, unique email click-throughs, and click-to-open rate.

  • Charts You can create, edit, and view charts with data from the CRM application.

  • Customizable Dashboards You can customize dashboards.

  • Custom Reporting You can create, edit, and view reports with data from the CRM application.

  • Dashboards You can view data through dashboards.

  • Drill-Down Capable You can drill down on a report or chart to see the data set used.

  • Export Reports You can run and export reports from the CRM application. Typical report formats are CSV, PDF, and XLS.

  • Multiple Report Types You can view a report in different formats. These formats include tabular, summary, or matrix.

  • Pre-Built Reports The product comes stocked with pre-built reports.

  • Report Builder You can set up new reports or existing ones through a report builder.

  • Sales Reports You can report on opportunities and leads.

  • Scheduled Reports You can schedule a report to run daily, weekly, or monthly. Some products also have the functionality to email the report to you automatically.

  • Support Reports You can report on cases and solutions for your organization.

  • Account Management You can create, track, and management accounts.

  • Activity Tracking and History You can track current and historical activities for a record, such as accounts, contacts, and leads.

  • Assets Assets are specific products your customers have. You can create, store, and manage this in the CRM system.

  • Competitor Tracking You can track competitors' strengths and weaknesses for your opportunities.

  • Contact Management You can create, track, and management contacts.

  • Contract Management You can create, track, and management business contracts.

  • Customizable Sales Forecasting You can customize sales forecasts.

  • Customizable Sales Process You can customize sales processes for your organization.

  • Document Library You can store files in the document library. These are files that are often shared with your contacts and accounts.

  • Lead Management Leads are potential customers. You can create, track, and manage leads in the CRM system.

  • Lead Routing You can route leads to the appropriate person or team.

  • Lead Scoring You can score leads.

  • Multiple Currencies Your administrator can set up your CRM system to use multiple currencies.

  • Opportunity Alerts You can set up alerts to monitor deals from opportunities.

  • Opportunity Tracking You can track and manage opportunities, which are sales or pending deals, for your organization.

  • Product Catalog You can create, track, and manage products and price lists.

  • Qualify and Convert Lead You can qualify and convert a lead to an account, contact, or opportunity.

  • Quota Management You can set and monitor sales quotas for your sales representatives.

  • Quotes You can create and share quotes for customers.

  • Sales Forecasting You can create and generate sales forecasts to see what your expected sales revenues are.

  • Facebook You can integrate the product with Facebook, which enables you to view a contact record's profile from within the CRM application.

  • Google Apps You can integrate the product with Google Apps.

  • LinkedIn You can integrate the product with LinkedIn, which enables you to view a contact record's profile from within the CRM application.

  • Microsoft Excel You can integrate the product with Microsoft Excel.

  • Microsoft Word You can integrate the product with Microsoft Word. This is useful for such tasks like creating mail merge templates with data from the CRM application.

  • Twitter You can integrate the product with Twitter, which enables you to view and join in on real-time customer conversations.

  • Fields You can customize fields in the CRM application. Depending on the product, this can mean renaming, creating, or ordering fields.

  • Formula Fields You can create formula driven fields in the CRM application.

  • Manage List Views You can customize list views in the CRM application to see a specific set of records.

  • Marketplace You can customize the CRM application by adding applications, either from the company or a 3rd party, through a marketplace or app store.

  • Personal Display You can change display options in the CRM application to personalize the user interface based on role.

  • Tabs/Modules You can customize tabs or modules in the CRM application. Depending on the product, this can mean renaming, creating, ordering, or grouping tabs or modules.

  • API The product has an API feature that enables you to access your organization's information from the CRM application.

  • Data De-duplication You can identify, fix, and reduce duplicate data through data de-duplication.

  • Data Import You can import data into the CRM application. Most commonly in CSV or XLS formats.

  • Deleting Mass Data There is an option to export all of your data in the CRM application.

  • Export Backup Data There is some level of monitoring functionality that enables you to track certain tasks like: bulk data load jobs, inbound emails, usage, or workflow queues.

  • Monitoring You can merge duplicate data.

  • Record Merge You can merge duplicate data.

  • Gmail You can view and send email from a Gmail account within the CRM application.

  • IBM Lotus Notes You can view and send email from an IBM Lotus Notes email within the CRM application.

  • Microsoft Outlook You can view and send email from a Microsoft Outlook email within the CRM application.

  • Yahoo You can view and send email from a Yahoo email account from within the CRM application.

  • Best Practices You can find best practices for the product. Typically in implementation of the product in your organization.

  • Blog There is a blog for the product.

  • FAQ There are frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the product.

  • Knowledge Base There is a knowledge base for the product.

  • Training Some level of online training is available for the product. Typically as courses or classes.

  • User Guides User guides are available for the product.

  • Videos Videos are available for the product.

  • Webinars There are webinars for the product.

  • Access to Accounts You can access account records from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Cases You can access case records from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Contacts You can access contact records from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Dashboards You can access dashboard(s) from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Leads You can access lead records from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Opportunities You can access opportunity records from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Access to Tasks You can access tasks from the CRM application on a mobile device.

  • Android You can access the CRM application with an Android phone.

  • Blackberry You can access the CRM application with a Blackberry.

  • Can Edit You can make edits to data in your CRM application on a mobile device.

  • iPad You can access the CRM application with an iPad.

  • iPhone You can access the CRM application with an iPhone.

  • Windows You can access the CRM application with a Windows phone.

  • Data Sharing Rules Data sharing rules enables administrators and/or users to grant access to defined sets of users.

  • Field-level Security Field-level security enables administrators to restrict view and edit access for certain fields in the CRM system.

  • Security Groups Administrators can create and manage groups in the CRM application. This may include groups based on location, department, or job profiles.

  • Territory Management Territory management enables administrators to grant access to accounts based on characteristics of the accounts. Often is used to structure sales territories.

  • User Management User Management enables administrators to perform certain tasks for users like create user, reset password, and assign permissions.

  • Email You can get assistance with customer or technical issues with a representative through email.

  • Forums A community for support with common product problems. Typically made up of users and product specialists from the company. Also known as "communities" or "answers".

  • Live Chat You can get assistance with customer or technical issues with a representative online through live chat.

  • Phone You can get assistance with customer or technical issues with a representative through phone support.

  • Social Media The company has a social media presence in Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+. This could be a viable support channel for some products.

  • Tickets/Case You can get assistance with customer or technical issues by submitting a ticket/case/service request online, most commonly through a customer service portal.

  • Auto Response Rules You can create auto response rules to automatically send email responses based on a set of conditions.

  • Case Assignment Rules You can create case assignment rules to specify how cases are assigned to users or queues.

  • Custom Workflows You can create custom workflows to automate procedures and business processes.

  • Escalation Rules You can create escalation rules to escalate cases to users or queues if they are not resolved within a certain time period.

  • Lead Assignment Rules You can create lead assignment rules to specify how leads are assigned to users or queues.

  • Visual Workflows You can create workflows visually in diagram structure.

  • Invoices You can create and manage invoices (customer bills).

  • Price Books You may sell products to customers at variable prices. Use price books to track and manage this.

  • Purchase Orders You can create, track, and manage purchase orders.

  • Sales Orders You can create and manage sales orders for customers.

  • Vendor Management You can track and manage vendor information.

PRICING

Contact Manager

Monthly Rate: $5/user
Number of Users: Up to 5
Data Storage: 1GB/org

Group

Monthly Rate: $25/user
Number of Users: Up to 5
Data Storage: 1GB/org

Professional

Monthly Rate: $65/user
Number of Users: Unlimited
Data Storage: 20MB/user

Enterprise

Monthly Rate: $125/user
Number of Users: Unlimited
Data Storage: 20MB/user

Performance

Monthly Rate: $300/user
Number of Users: Unlimited
Data Storage: 120MB/user

Comparable


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