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Salesforce review

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Before Salesforce was a thing, CRM was done on tech like Oracle and SAP. They were clunky, coming with a steep learning curve. Businesses had data centres were on prem. It meant installing programmes and what not inside a company’s walls and of course cost a lot of time and money.

The future as the founder Marc Benioff foresaw, was what is now known as Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. Companies can buy software when needed, not install it within their own walls, at lower costs, and with the same or even greater efficiency. What we now almost take for granted.

Now, Salesforce is almost like the gold standard for CRMs, even its stock ticker symbol is “CRM”. It’s the granddaddy of CRM, making it possible to track every customer’s interaction with your business. It allows you to optimise your marketing, offer customer service, find opportunities and grow your sales.

Salesforce and its flagship product, the CRM with the same name was founded by Marc Benioff, a sales exec at Oracle in 1999. At the time, he went against conventions. He wanted to make software available to the masses and not only the privileged few who could afford it because they had the manpower, deep pockets, and sites.

Pros and cons of Salesforce

As a pioneer, Salesforce made it easy for a business to use software, with the help of a global cloud computing infrastructure. Its flagship product is the CRM software with the same name. It helps businesses automate sales and marketing tasks as well as glean insights into their contact to make more informed decisions to grow faster.

With Salesforce, you can manage your contacts and leads, discovers sales opportunities, and define workflow rules and automations.

Salesforce is quite a complicated software with many products. No wonder its pricing is also complicated. Still, it caters to SMEs and offers CRM plans that satisfy their specific needs.


  • Extensive feature list makes it a powerful platform
  • Extensive add-ons that you can add or remove as you need
  • Massive library of add-ons


  • No free plan
  • Complicated pricing plans
  • No easy backup and restore
  • Expensive and still you have to pay for add-ons to get what you want out of it
  • Setting up and tweaking it to your prefs is complex and eats a lot of time
  • Maintaining is also time-consuming
  • Its many features make the interface cluttered which in turn makes even simple jobs unnecessarily complex
  • Thanks to its ever-growing features, you’ll never master it adding to its already steep learning curve
  • It doesn’t work in all browsers, for example, it doesn’t work in Brave

Who is Salesforce for?

Salesforce is the gorilla in the CRM space and being around so long, famous for being dividing. Maybe, it’s easier to start with who Salesforce is NOT for. It’s infamous for its prices. And over the years, it has gotten difficult to use with a steep learning curve. So, if you’re

  • price-sensitive
  • need 24/7 support included
  • need something that just works – without a learning curve
  • just starting to use a CRM

Salesforce is praised as an innovative software that keeps adding features and has no shortage of integrations. This means you’ll always be learning something and you’ll never master it. For some, it’s out of scope for what’s needed to run their business.

Now you know who it is NOT suited for, here are some situations that can push you into using it:

  • you’ve outgrown your current CRM
  • you’re a fast-growing business
  • you have CRM experience, even better if you or your sales and marketing teams know their way around Salesforce
  • you want it to talk with your existing tech stack
  • you have complex business processes and use cases
  • you have the deep pockets and/or technical staff to set up and configure it
  • you have the deep pockets to foot the bill for each user and perhaps also for training

How easy is Salesforce to use?

Salesforce can really be dividing: Until you get to the good part – its powerful and highly customisable CRM, it lets you jump through endless hoops.

When you create an account, although you do so with your email address, Salesforce creates a new username for you in the form of Then, it forces you to use your mobile number as a 2FA. When you finally see your account, you still need to answer some questions, although you can skip that.

Salesforce asks you some questions when you first log in

Knowing that it can be overwhelming, Salesforce onboards you with a checklist. Know that Salesforce has a vast feature list and almost endless customisation options and brace yourself. Setting up and configuring it to fit your needs may need quite some time and expertise.

Onboarding checklist

Your in-house admins may also need specific training for all the options. It may be of little consolation, but the steep learning curve is not because of a badly designed interface but due to its massive feature set.

Key features

Salesforce’s huge feature list means it’s more of a business ecosystem. All the features and products work and talk seamlessly with each other.

Depending on the plan you’ve chosen you’ll see different apps in your account. Its features and apps largely fall into

  • sales
  • marketing
  • After-sales (customer support)

Salesforce is ever-evolving, adding and pruning features or buying companies such as Slack, the workplace communication tool. With Salesforce, you can expect to

  • discover opportunities and manage your pipelines
  • manage your partners
  • assign and manage tasks and activities
  • manage your contacts and contacts
  • and more


Salesforce has an integrations marketplace called Appexchange. You can find not only apps but also components and consultants who’ll help you set up your Salesforce.

You can filter the 4000+ and counting apps by price, rating, and more

Salesforce customer support

The vast resource of self-help documentation is needed for a software with so many features. When you’re logged into your account, Salesforce not only has a guidance centre, it also has an in-app help and featured prominently in the top navigation, you’ll see “Get Help”.

Salesforce pricing

Having several products, Salesforce doesn’t make it easy to find the right plan. Its prices are based on how many users are going to use it and how many features your business needs.

Salesforce SME packages

Its inclusive CRM plans are designed for SMEs. Also, there’s no free plan and the 14 days free trial seems a bit short considering Salesforce’s extensive feature list.

When you choose Salesforce, always keep in mind the costs associated with what you want to use. Not only do you need to plan for each user and built-in features you want (it can be $25 – $300 per month per user), you also have to keep an eye on the add-ons.

Is Salesforce the right tool for you?

If you’re a fast-growing business, Salesforce has your back and can future-proof what a CRM can and should do. It’s great in giving you massive options to configure it to your needs. The thing is, you can’t just dip in and out of it. You have to commit yourself to it once you’ve decided to use it. It’s almost like adopting a child and raising them.

When Salesforce was born, there was a saying: “No one ever got fired for buying IBM”. Even if no one got fired from buying IBM or now Salesforce, it’s safe to assume that many have been fired for bad implementation and consulting of Salesforce.

If you’re looking for something more easily digestible yet very cost-effective, take a look at Apptivo.

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