Written by Zara Chechi Reviewed by James Macey Updated on 27 September 2021 On this page What are Salesforce CRM’s features and benefits? How much does Salesforce cost? Is Salesforce CRM right for my business? What do Salesforce customer reviews say? Expert verdict What other CRMs could I consider? Expand We’ve narrowed down Salesforce CRM’s best bits and drawbacks to help you figure out if this is the right system for your business. Pros Customizable Offers workflow automation Most advanced CRM on the market Comes with a mobile app Cons Expensive for more features Has a sharp learning curve 24/7 support only available for highest-paying users At a glance: Salesforce CRM software is one of the most popular CRMs around, although small businesses may struggle with the pricing structure and lack of a free version. Salesforce occupies a giant space in the CRM market, taking up a share of around 20%. Its cloud-based software helps you manage leads, sell more efficiently, and increase productivity. The system is straightforward, intuitive, flexible, and able to meet the demands of various businesses. Salesforce is suitable for businesses of all sizes; however, it’s best suited for large or multi-layered businesses as you’ll need to invest time and money to make the most of this software. Salesforce is an incredibly comprehensive system, so we’ve conducted extensive research to help you see if this CRM software is the right fit for your business. Quick factsFounded 24 years ago in San Francisco Boasts 150,000 customers worldwide What are Salesforce CRM’s features and benefits?✓ Almost 100% customizable You can almost completely customize Salesforce, making it a flexible and dynamic system for your business. There are very few limitations when using this software, which is great as you can adapt it to your unique needs. You can customize it through point-and-click tools, or with code for more complex options. You can customize anything, including email templates, field types, dashboards and automated workflow tasks. This customizability provides your business with the tools to be able to easily adapt when necessary. You can continue to modify the system as your business grows and evolves. ✓ Third-party integration Almost every third-party app can be integrated into Salesforce. This is one of the reasons it’s so popular – you’re able to carry out almost any process with this software. Integration gives you the ability to seamlessly use most apps with Salesforce. You can integrate Salesforce with apps such as G-Suite, Slack, QuickBooks, LinkedIn, MailChimp and Dropbox. This means you can continue to use all the apps you love, and better yet, access them from one central place. This gives you a birds eye view of your business’s operations, and ensures that information, data, and tasks are all handled under one roof. ✓ Workflow automationSalesforce offers a simple point-and-click action for automating business processes. This automation increases efficiency and productivity, opening up room for you to focus on more important tasks. For example, you can efficiently organize and deliver an email marketing campaign as this system allows you to send automated customized emails in bulk. Automation can occur based on triggers such as user activity and time. Using it, you can streamline your day to day tasks, deliver customized correspondence to customers, and ensure that tasks are completed on time. ✓ Great customer service featuresThe aim of a CRM is of course to manage relationships with customers in an easy, efficient and intelligent manner. You’ll be glad to know that Salesforce offers several great features for your customer service team. Tracking and managing phone calls with customers is vital for a great customer experience. Call management with Salesforce is fairly straightforward: you can record calls, make notes, and link a call to a customer, case or email. Effective case management helps your business deal with customer enquiries and problems easily. The advanced, intuitive software gives you the ability to link relevant cases, emails, information, and files. This means you can deal with queries quickly and efficiently. ✓ Sales featuresThe name might have been a giveaway, but Salesforce’s focus on providing fantastic sales features is good news for your sales team. Its system gives you the ability to manage leads (or ‘opportunities’ in Salesforce lingo) in a clever and effective way. Salesforce provides insights, reports, and the ability to track an opportunity at every stage. As a lead progresses, you can assign and manage tasks, dating them and viewing the entire team’s schedule. The great thing about CRMs is that you can conduct your entire business in one place. Even if your business is multifaceted and there are lots of moving parts, you’re able to manage and see various processes at once. ✓ Insightful analytics and reporting Using the data you have on hand is key to making informed decisions in your business. And Salesforce does not disappoint in this department. Salesforce provides fresh CRM data which gives you the ability to:Analyze a customer’s journey every step of the way, gaining insight into how you can increase conversion rateUse data from Einstein, Salesforce’s resident AI, to find information you would never have found otherwiseCreate reports without relying on IT The dashboard is easy to use, intuitive, and provides a snapshot of your business at a glance. If you want deeper insights and data, you can easily create a report yourself by dragging and dropping filters, fields, charts, and groupings to put together a live report. How much does Salesforce cost?Salesforce prices are only available in USD. PackagePrice (per user, per month)What you’ll getEssentials$25Account, contact, lead and opportunity management Email integration with Gmail or OutlookMobile appProfessional $75 Everything above, plus:Lead registration and rules-based lead scoringCollaborative forecasting Enterprise $150 Everything above, plus:Workflow and approval automationUnlimited $300Everything above, plus:24/7 support and configuration servicesAt first glance, it seems that the pricing is fairly affordable. However, this pricing only covers fairly basic features. You’ll need to pay for extra features, such as the Einstein AI tool, which will cost you $50 per user, per month. Then there’s Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly ‘Pardot’) Salesforce’s B2B marketing solution, which provides complete marketing automation – with costs starting at $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts. Despite the complex pricing, these add-ons are one of the great things about Salesforce – you only pay for what you need. You can build your business a customized and dynamic system that is unique to your needs. Plus, you won’t find yourself with extra features that you’ll never actually use. The prices are presented per month, however you can only be billed annually. This may be limiting for some businesses. If you’re still on the hunt for the right CRM system for your business, use our free comparison tool to receive tailored quotes from a variety of trusted suppliers. Free quotes here Is Salesforce CRM right for my business?“Will Salesforce keep my data safe?”Yes, Salesforce will keep your data safe. As it’s a cloud-based platform, your data will be secured in the cloud. Cloud-based storage is a safe way to have your data stored, because it protects your data from disasters, robberies, and unhappy employees. Salesforce utilizes Transport Layer Security (TLS) technology when you gain access via a Salesforce-supported browser. TLS uses server authentication and Classic Encryption, to keep your data safe and only available to registered users in your business. As well as security, there are other advantages to having data stored in this way: There is no need to have expensive on-site data storage, saving money and resources.You can scale your business without needing to update your physical data storage.“I’m on a tight budget. Is Salesforce a good fit for me?”Salesforce’s complex pricing system means that initially it might seem fairly affordable. However, to gain access to the more advanced and comprehensive features, you’ll have to spend some more money. If you run a small business and you’re not in need of these features, you might be quite happy with the lower-tiered packages. There’s also no customization available, but as a new or small business you might find that this simplicity works for you. As your business grows, you might find that you need other features, and at this stage you can then add on the features you want. Salesforce doesn’t offer a free version of its software, unlike some other CRM systems, so you’ll have to shell out money if you want to use it. However, Salesforce does offer a 30-day free trial for all of its packages. This can help you figure out if the system is right for you without needing to make a commitment. The 30-day trial doesn’t ask for any credit card or payment details, so you won’t find yourself stuck if you don’t cancel in time. What do Salesforce customer reviews say?We’ve collected reviews from Salesforce users to give you real-life insight:“The best in the business. Great ecosystem, and a really powerful platform that does take some management – but once set up with a plan to manage on an ongoing basis, it’s by far the best out there.”Salesforce Customer, Trustpilot “Good if you know what you are doing, but can get expensive and is not totally intuitive. For larger organizations it works really well, but for smaller ones it might be tougher to jump right in.”Salesforce Customer, Trustpilot Expert verdictSalesforce is the most popular CRM system in the world, and it's easy to see why. Its advanced features, analytics, and customizability make this software one of the most comprehensive systems available. Small businesses and start-ups may struggle to implement this system effectively as there’s so much to learn and modify. There’s a pretty steep learning curve, and larger businesses have the resources to customize, learn, and apply this system more easily. As a new or small business, you might prefer something like Zoho. Although its free version is limited, it is much easier to set up and use.We’ve given you our expert verdict on Salesforce, and you should have enough material to make an informed decision. If you’re still not convinced, you can use our free comparison tool to match you with suppliers customized to your exact requirements. Simply give us some brief details such as your team size, what you need a CRM system for, and what system you’re currently using. We then do all the work for you, and match you up with trusted CRM system providers that can cater to your needs. They’ll then be in touch with tailored, no-obligation quotes for you to compare. Our tool is completely free and is the easiest and quickest way for you to compare the right CRM systems for you. What other CRMs could I consider?If you’re still not sure whether Salesforce is the right system for you, read our other reviews to find your best-fit software. Zoho CRM Read reviewFreshworks Read review Written by: Zara Chechi Business Services Expert Zara is a Payments Expert, specialising in writing about Point of Sale systems. With a Law Degree from City University of London, she has used her legally-honed research and analytical skills to develop expertise in the Business Services world. Featured in FinTech Magazine, she quickly became an expert in payroll, POS systems, and merchant accounts. Reviewed by: James Macey Senior Business Software Researcher James thinks all businesses can improve if they use the right technology. At Expert Market, he utilises his 4+ years experience as a researcher to offer specialised advice on a wide range of categories from CRM to Fleet Management.