Written by Dudez Ignacio Reviewed by James Macey Updated on 17 March 2023 On this page Pros and cons How much does Salesforce cost? How does it compare with other CRMs? Other standout features What kind of business is it best for? Verdict Expand Our in-depth research into 11 leading customer relationship management (CRM) tools found Salesforce to offer the most scalable CRM software, earning a score of 4.7/5 in the scalability criteria of our research.As one of the most customisable solutions, Salesforce allows you to manage your marketing database, sales leads, and customer life cycle in a single app. With all of this, growing businesses can easily implement the technology they need to achieve their goals.In this review, we'll examine how Salesforce performs in the key factors you should compare when shopping for a sales CRM: as well as scalability, these key factors are pricing, lead capture features, lead communication features, and customer support channels. We’ll also analyse how Salesforce performs against leading competitors, tackle its standout features, and look at its pros and cons.If you need a quicker way to know which CRM software fits your business’ needs, try our free quote finding tool. All you need to do is give us a few details about your business, and the top providers will be in touch with obligation-free quotes. Yes, the CRM world can be daunting, but we're pros when it comes to navigating this area, so read on! Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Score 3.7 Best For Scaling businesses Price Range £20 – £240 per user, per month Try Salesforce Salesforce's pros and cons Pros Highly scalable Offers lots of data visualisation options Provides extensive customisation options Cons Expensive plans when compared with other CRM systems Lacks digital selling tools ✓ Pro: Highly scalableSalesforce is a sustainable system, meaning businesses using the system are unlikely to need to switch to another CRM provider as they grow – its plans offer the functionality needed to keep your team efficient as it evolves. This is why Salesforce earns an excellent score of 4.7/5 in the scalability criteria of our research, the highest scalability score of all the CRM platforms we analysed.Each Salesforce plan has the flexibility to allow you to customise your own sales pipelines to suit your business model. In addition to this, each plan also has a social listening feature, which can help you enhance your social media marketing strategy. This feature can only be added when you get the social intelligence add-on. However, you need to call the customer service to discuss add-on fees.✓ Pro: Offers lots of data visualisation optionsSalesforce scores a perfect 5/5 in our data reporting research category. It offers a lot of data visualisation tools on all of its plans, which are important tools for any kind of business, and whether you’re looking for a sales or customer service CRM. These tools include custom reports, a chart builder, and revenue data views, and allow you to better understand data, explain trends, and generate valuable insights. When you can analyse data faster, you can create feasible business goals and targets.✓ Pro: Provides extensive customisation optionsMany companies have pre-existing processes, so it’s important to have CRM software that allows you to integrate these current processes. Salesforce allows you to do exactly that, offering a whole lot of customisation options on every plan, including custom dashboards and an automation builder. It scores 4.3/5 for customising in our analysis. Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial So you can find out whether it's the right CRM for your growing team without paying for a plan Try Salesforce Free for 30 days ✘ Con: Expensive plans when compared with other CRM optionsSalesforce’s Sales Cloud is designed to help businesses of all sizes to scale every process with automation, so staff can focus on increasing sales and growing the business. However, its plans are more expensive for small businesses than other CRM options. Its cheapest plan costs £20 per user, per month and, while it offers lots of customisation, data visualisation, and integration options, the service is limited to 10 users maximum. It also lacks some important digital sales tools – such as website chatbots and live chat – that would allow you to connect with your customers easily to deliver faster support, improve marketing strategies, and increase customer satisfaction rates.Meanwhile, Zoho CRM is a better option for smaller businesses because it offers a great value free plan, and when comparing both Salesforce and Zoho CRM's standard plans, Zoho CRM's is a lot cheaper at £12 per user, per month. Plus, it enables you to have unlimited users on the system and comes with more digital selling tools, such as website visitor tracking, web forms, and social listening, making it better value for money.✘ Con: Lacks digital selling toolsWhile Salesforce may offer a web form feature, it lacks digital selling tools, such as a website chatbot. This feature can help you prioritise leads, reach out to the right person at the right time, and gain customer insight. This is why Salesforce only scores a below average 2/5 in the lead capture category of our research.Zoho CRM, on the other hand, scores a perfect 5/5 for lead capture. Its use of AI in its digital features, such as Zoho Sales iQ, is matched with its real-time translation feature that helps overcome language barriers, resulting in converting more leads. Aside from that, Zoho CRM also offers a social listening feature, but, unlike Salesforce, you don’t need to pay extra for this to be added to your plan. ▶ Read more: The Best CRM Systems for Small Businesses How much does Salesforce cost?Salesforce Sales Cloud pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Tier Salesforce Essentials Tier Salesforce Professional Tier Salesforce Enterprise Tier Salesforce Unlimited Price £20 per user, per month Price £60 per user, per month Price £120 per user, per month Price £240 per user, per month Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Salesforce doesn’t offer a free plan, but its cheapest plan, Essentials, costs £20 per user, per month and is geared toward small businesses. It comes with enough useful customisation and integration features to allow you to streamline your sales, marketing, and customer service operations, but more importantly, enough tools to launch your sales journey. However, it does lack lead capture and lead communication features, such as a website chatbot, instant messaging apps, and website live chat.The upside is that Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial on all of its paid plans. Plus, its succeeding plans come with more lead conversion features such as lead scoring and a customisable sales pipeline. but still not as many lead capture and lead communication features as competitors, thus earning a low score of 1/5 in the pricing category of our research.If you're a startup wanting to cut back on costs, Freshsales could be a better bet as it offers a free plan that enables unlimited users and more lead communication services, such as native VoIP and website live chat. ▶ Read more: Freshsales vs. Salesforce: Prices and Features Comparison Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Pricing Swipe right to see more 0 out of 0 backward forward Tier Marketing Cloud Account Engagement Tier Salesforce Plus Tier Salesforce Advanced Tier Salesforce Premium Price £1,000 Price £2,000 Price £3,200 Price £12,000 Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Try Salesforce Marketing and sales are two important branches of your business. Marketing must engage with customers and entice them towards the service or products you offer, while sales must turn these potential leads into paying customers. Salesforce also offers a CRM for marketing teams: Marketing Cloud Engagement, another cloud service.It’s a simple yet modern marketing automation platform that allows marketing and sales departments to create, execute, and manage marketing campaigns online that’ll help generate better leads. However, the pricing for this is even steeper than that of Sales Cloud. It’s charged on a per organisation, per month basis, rather than per user, per month. Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial So you can find out whether it's the right CRM for your growing team without paying for a plan Try Salesforce Free for 30 days How does Salesforce compare with other CRM software?Considering the key factors is fundamental when choosing the right CRM software for your business. As well as pricing, the priorities for sales team CRMs are lead capture and communication features, scalability, and the availability of customer support channels. Here, we evaluate how well Salesforce performs in these factors against other leading CRM platforms on the market.Lead capture and communicationSalesforce’s Essentials plan is fairly affordable at £20 per user, per month, but it does lack lead capture features, such as a website chatbot and website live chat, seeing it earn a low score of 2/5 in our lead capture research category.Meanwhile, Zoho CRM has a free plan available, and its Standard plan is a lot cheaper than Salesforce’s Essentials plan. It’s only £12 per user, per month, and comes with unlimited users and more digital selling tools such as website visitor tracking, web forms, and social listening.Despite lacking some lead capture features, Salesforce offers more business process features such as custom objects which is the highest level of customisation over their CRM system, and Zoho CRM doesn’t offer this in its free, Standard and Pro plans.ScalabilitySalesforce is king when it comes to scalability, scoring a solid 4.7/5 in this category in our research, the highest among the rest. Our expert software researchers measure scalability using a list of metrics, including:CustomisabilityIntegrationsTeam infrastructure featuresSecurity featuresCustomer supportSalesforce scores very well in all of these criteria. For example, it offers a solid list of essential security services on all of its plans, including custom permissions, SSO, multi-factor authentication, IP restrictions, and data restrictions. However, it's worth noting that Pipedrive, our favourite CRM system for data protection, offers more security options than Salesforce on its Essential plan, such as custom permissions.On the other hand, every Salesforce plan comes ready with first-party and third-party sales engagement integrations, but first-party integrations aren't available on any of Pipedrive’s plans.Customer supportSalesforce scores a perfect 5/5 for its customer support in our research because it offers all the essential customer support channels. (Phone support and 24/7 live support aren’t available on the Essentials plan, but will be included once you upgrade to Salesforce's pricier plans.) Support channels on offer include a community forum, knowledge base, phoneline, chat, email, and 24/7 live support. It’s worth noting that the 24/7 phone support costs extra on both the Professional and Enterprise plans. This service will be free when you upgrade to the £240 per user, per month Unlimited plan.Even though Zoho CRM also scores a perfect 5/5 for customer support, Salesforce still comes up on top. This is because Zoho’s 24/7 live support option is only included on its most expensive plans, Ultimate and Plus, while Salesforce includes this service on all plans except Essentials. Salesforce's other standout featuresAppExchangeAppExchange might just be one of the most important features that Salesforce has to offer. It’s a public directory with a vast range of free and paid applications, from cloud computing to marketing automation, which users can access, download, and install. This was launched in 2005, and currently offers about 7,000 apps that provide business solutions for any unique business challenges you may encounter.There are ready-to-install apps, pre-built business processes to help accelerate automation, and a platform on which to build apps and custom pages without using code. This feature isn't only for the tech-savvy; it’s also designed with beginners in mind.Enhanced Einstein BotsWithout needing a human agent, the Einstein Bot can be programmed to do a lot, such as provide answers, search records, create new inquiries as leads, create new cases, and collect feedback. The Enhanced Einstein Bot came from Salesforce’s standard bot, but their main difference is feature parity. Meaning, the Enhanced Einstein can send images or share files, while the standard one can only send texts.These days, businesses have been using bots to communicate with customers for a myriad of reasons. It’s cheaper, more efficient, and can improve customer experience. The Enhanced Einstein Bot is native to Salesforce and was only recently developed in 2022. It can be used on multiple channels, such as SMS, Chat, Slack, and Facebook Messenger so you can reach out to your business customers easily and increase your brand's visibility.Not only that, it’s multi-lingual and can answer queries in different languages. However, at the moment the Einstein Bots feature is only available on the Service Cloud Unlimited Edition (£240 per user, per month) user licences. The upside is that Salesforce is planning to include this feature in Sales Cloud later in 2023. What kind of business is Salesforce best for?Our research shows that Salesforce is the most highly scalable system on the market. Industry giants, such as Apple and Amazon, have been using it for years. However, Salesforce uses cloud service technology and offers great automation tools that would be perfect for small businesses, too. This is why Salesforce is best for small businesses that are expecting lots of growth in the future, or those that wouldn't want the hassle of switching to another CRM as they grow.Does Salesforce have good customer reviews?Salesforce’s scores in our extensive research prove it to be one of the best CRM software solutions out there. However, we also wanted to investigate what users have to say about it. These reviews are taken from business review sites such as Trustpilot and G2: Very simple to use and intuitive bit of kit What do you like best about Salesforce Sales Cloud?Easy to track opportunities in a self-defined funnel. Can customise weightings, rules and required fields to ensure data is being tracked efficiently. Better than other competitors in most places.What do you dislike about Salesforce Sales Cloud?Not set up efficiently for smaller, niche industries. Quite costly too, but benefits outweigh the cost in my opinion.What problems is Salesforce Sales Cloud solving and how is that benefiting you?Includes custom reporting regarding any account at each stage of the life cycle. Can customise dashboards to accurately track personal as well as company-wide performance. (sic) Tom R., Business Analyst Source: G2 - 8 November 2022 Salesforce CRM is excellent for opportunity tracking Salesforce CRM is excellent for opportunity tracking. My account team is also very good because we set an upfront contract on how we would like to communicate and consult with each other from the beginning. I think that's important. (sic) Tina, no position provided Source: Trustpilot - 17 January 2023 Not all users are happy with the service, however. Despite Salesforce's numerous customer support channels, users occasionally report that they have a hard time connecting with the support team for assistance – like this succinct reviewer: Ironic How can you provide a customer sales service when your clients can’t even reach you! (sic) Mary Beccari, no position given Source: Trustpilot - 27 February 2023 Verdict Salesforce is the most scalable CRM system we evaluated, scoring 4.7/5 in this critera of our research because its customisable platform enables businesses of all sizes to create a system that supports all their processes, without having to switch to another supplier down the line.For example, its custom automation builder, which is available on all of Salesforce's plans, allows users to set up custom workflows to automate manual processes, giving staff less admin work and letting them focus more on generating more leads and closing more deals. Salesforce also offers a lot of other customisation options, as well as data visualisation options. It’s also packed with features that enable you to come up with effective marketing strategies.Even if it lacks digital selling tools, Salesforce still offers essential lead capture services, such as web-to-lead and web forms, important for enhancing customer engagement and online marketing strategies. That’s why it attracts growing businesses, despite its pricey rates.However, if you’re looking for a more affordable plan that offers more digital selling features, Zoho CRM is your best bet as it offers a free plan (and a 15-day free trial on paid plans), plus website visitor tracking, web forms, and social listening. But it falls short in the customer support sector because, unlike Salesforce, Zoho CRM lacks support services such as 24/7 live support.Still unsure which CRM system best fits your business? Why not try our free quote finding tool. All you need to do is answer some questions about your business, and we will match you up with trusted suppliers that can provide what you need. They will then be in touch with tailored, obligation-free quotes for you to compare. Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial So you can find out whether it's the right CRM for your growing team without paying for a plan Try Salesforce Free for 30 days Written by: Dudez Ignacio Expert Market Content Writer Dudez Perez-Ignacio is a Content Writer for Expert Market, specialising in writing about phone systems and helping readers learn about innovative communication technology trends and insights, prioritizing value to help drive business growth. Researching and writing about this every day means Dudez is fluent in the complex vocabulary of business phone systems. 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.