Salesforce Review 2022: CRM Features, Pricing, Pros & Cons

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Michael Scheiner
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As a resource specializing in all things customer relationship management, it’s no shocker that we do a yearly review of the best CRMs. This Salesforce review can almost be considered the keystone review of CRMs, as Salesforce is one of the oldest and biggest names in CRM solutions. This article will compare Salesforce packages and pricing plans. It will then give you a quick rundown of Salesforce’s main features for marketing, sales and customer support. After that, we will break down the benefits and drawbacks of Salesforce CRM, as well as look at what other online reviews are saying about it.

A bit about the company. Back in 1999, an ex-Oracle executive had an idea to revolutionize the way we organize our contacts and manage our sales opportunities. With that, Salesforce was born as one of the very first CRM solutions. What began as a suite of sales tools soon expanded into marketing, customer support and many other business SaaS products. Salesforce also offers industry-specific suites of features, for example, in healthcare, financial services, real estate, retail, manufacturing, education and more. 

Today, Salesforce employs over 50,000 people worldwide, with a head office in the Salesforce tower in San Francisco, one of the city’s downtown skyline superstars. Salesforce is publicly traded on the NYSE as “CRM” and it is quite fitting that they have managed to secure that stock market acronym. They are part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average as well as the S&P 100 index.

But enough about company history and corporate details. What we’re interested in here is a solid Salesforce review: pros, cons, prices and ratings. Let’s do this!

 

Salesforce review 2022: Is Salesforce CRM any good?

You want a quick answer as to whether Salesforce CRM software is any good? Well, patience pays off, so please, read on before coming to any conclusions. It’s important to understand the ins and outs of Salesforce’s many modules and pricing tiers before you should form an opinion. There are many other Salesforce software reviews you can check out for quick takes. But this article does the hard work of laying it all out for you to make your own decision. However, here’s an appetizer of what’s to come: Salesforce is indeed a great CRM system. Now, on to the main course.

 

Salesforce pricing plans

First of all, how much does Salesforce cost? Let’s take at Salesforce CRM prices:

Plan

Monthly Pricing

Annual Pricing*

Site

Sales Cloud Essentials

Contact vendor

$25 /user/month

Visit

Sales Cloud Professional

Contact vendor

$75 /user/month

Visit

Sales Cloud Enterprise

Contact vendor

$150 /user/month

Visit

Sales Cloud Unlimited

Contact vendor

$300 /user/month

Visit

Marketing Cloud Basic

Contact vendor

$400 /month

Visit

Marketing Cloud Pro

Contact vendor

$1,250 /month

Visit

Marketing Cloud Corporate

Contact vendor

$3,750 /month

Visit

Service Cloud Essentials

Contact vendor

$25 /user/month

Visit

Service Cloud Professional

Contact vendor

$75 /user/month

Visit

Service Cloud Enterprise

Contact vendor

$150 /user/month

Visit

Service Cloud Unlimited

Contact vendor

$300 /user/month

Visit

*Prices start at

It should be noted that Salesforce has many different tool kits and many different pricing plans for each. For example, the above table shows prices for Salesforce Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud. But there are different packages for things like Small Business Solutions and Analytics, just to name a few, as well as industry-specific packages, specifically for healthcare providers. Always visit the Salesforce pricing pages on their website for exact and up-to-date details.

Cost of Salesforce for nonprofits

Salesforce has a CRM platform dedicated to nonprofits. It’s called Nonprofit Cloud. It’s ideal for fundraising, project management and grantmaking projects. You get your basic customer relationship management, dashboard reporting, as well as marketing engagement tools like email templates and personalized campaign content.

 

Are there any Salesforce coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?

Currently, Salesforce is not offering any coupon codes or promo discount vouchers directly from their website. However, it is sometimes possible to find coupons and vouchers from 3rd party sites, though these are not always guaranteed. You can also always keep checking for special Salesforce offers directly from their site at Salesforce.com.

 

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce is one of the first, and still among the best CRM software on the market. It is more than a highly customizable contact management system, but an entire suite of business SaaS to help with everything from marketing to sales to customer service. The Salesforce platform helps sales reps with every step of the sales process and the larger business process. It’s a top CRM system for any company size, but perhaps is especially great for large businesses. When it comes to sales software companies, Salesforce has the range of functionalities and automations to satisfy your business needs, and what’s more, every functionality is quite user friendly. 

Why is Salesforce so successful?

Salesforce is one of the most successful contact management and overall CRM softwares because of its range of features for marketing, sales and customer support. Among the top tools are lead management, sales forecasting, marketing automation, opportunity management, custom reports and original features like Pardot and Einstein.

 

Salesforce software features list

The main features of Salesforce are:

  • Marketing automation

  • Email marketing

  • Audience discovery

  • Contact management

  • Opportunity management

  • Workflows

  • Customer support

  • Self service

  • Einstein AI

  • Analytics and reporting

  • Mobile app

  • Salesforce Integrations

1. Marketing automation

Salesforce’s marketing suite of tools, called Salesforce Marketing Cloud, is all about reaching larger audiences, expanding your network, and getting deeper insights into the people who engage with your marketing campaigns. The purpose is to prime the best leads and hand them over to sales. To do this, Salesforce has many automation features for marketers. Among them is Pardot, which is a B2B marketing automation tool. It does social media tracking, A/B testing, lead nurturing and lead scoring, among other things.

2. Email marketing

Salesforce Email Studio is their email marketing module. Email marketing campaigns are built with data from all departments to be relevant to target audiences through segmentation. There are many great email templates you can choose from and customize. You can set dynamic functions like personalized messaging, and get tips for the best times of day to send.

3. Audience discovery

Salesforce Data Studio is a data sharing platform which works with loads of second-party data from other networks. The idea here is to search and acquire data on new audiences with the hopes of narrowing down a marketing campaign’s scope. Social Studio is a similar set of tools to Data Studio, but are dedicated specifically to social media audiences. 

4. Contact management

Of course, it goes without saying that Salesforce is a powerful contact management solution, as this is basically another way of describing CRM. This suped-up database lets you organize your contacts, gives you demographic data which can be sorted, grouped and filtered, manage their deals, and even schedule tasks. It’s a total 360-degree view on each contact, including detailed communication histories.

5. Opportunity management

Opportunities flow directly from contacts, as each contact is a potential lead and future customer. Opportunity management from Salesforce includes tools to stay on top of each salesperson’s deals in progress. You get stats on each stage of the deal and pipeline, as well as instant notifications when there are changes. It also tracks which products and pricing info was part of each deal.

6. Workflows

It isn’t only the marketing department that gets to leverage automation. Salesforce has workflow features which are handy for sales or support as well. There is a simple workflow builder, often using basic “if-then-that” sequence logic. When setting up workflow rules, you can choose between automated actions which kick in immediately, or time-dependent actions which are executed after a set duration.

7. Customer support features

Salesforce Service Cloud is a whole other set of features to make sure customers are happy before, during and after the sales process. Support agents get that holistic view of each customer and their support history. Cases are solved quickly with a combination of AI workflows when it’s simpler, and human intervention when it’s needed. There is even a call center integration.

8. Self service features

For many customers, a quick bit of help is all they need to get over an issue, and for that, Salesforce has a Self Service Portal. The portal can be branded to your company. You can fill it with knowledge articles which are easy to search through. It is even possible to build portals which are personalized for each customer or company you work with. From the self service portal it’s also easy to connect with a human support rep if needed. 

9. Einstein AI

Artificial intelligence is becoming a key aspect of any CRM solution and Salesforce is no exception with Einstein AI. Einstein can offer relevant and up-to-date ”coaching” tips, or opportunity insights, to sales teams based on past proven success rates. Einstein lead scoring goes above and beyond the Salesforce marketing tools too, sorting through leads and prioritizing the most important ones, or the biggest deals. There is also Einstein activity Capture, which syncs your email, calendar and Salesforce account. Finally there is Einstein Account Insights for deeper business development goals.

10. Analytics and reporting

With Salesforce you can create custom analytics dashboards and reports without needing to know any code. It’s all done with a simple drag and drop system, which works with groups, filters, charts, and customizable fields. This is useful for not only leads and deals but also tracking the performance of your sales team members or customer support teams. The analytics dashboard also looks great on the Salesforce mobile app.

11. Mobile app

Of course, like any great CRM, Salesforce has a mobile app. You can arrange your tasks, events, meetings and even update accounts quite easily. You can use the mobile app to attend meetings virtually and even make notes while meetings are in session. The mobile app is also a key tool for team collaboration, as it coordinates between sales staff in different offices or on the road. 

12. Integrations

Even though Salesforce is one of the biggest CRMs out there, occasionally you still want to integrate with other SaaS. Salesforce has many great integrations, for example, with accounting software Quickbooks. With Zoho Flow you can integrate it with Zoho, or otherwise you can set up syncs with HubSpot or Outlook. With Salesforce AppExchange, you can build new features with simple drag and dropping. For even more integrations and add-on flexibility, there is an entire Salesforce API family. 

 

Salesforce pros and cons

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Salesforce:

Salesforce advantages

So for newbies coming to this article who are still wondering why Salesforce is good, here are some answers. First and foremost, this is a tool that will totally transform a salesperson’s account management, beginning from their full contact list, right up to their opportunities and deals in progress. The bottom line is what it’s all about, and Salesforce delivers on that line with more contacts, more data, more sales and more long-lasting customer relationships.

Moving on to some specific benefits: Salesforce’s email marketing tools are great, especially the templates which look good and are easy to customize. Add to that the marketing automation tools, especially Pardot for the B2B game, and this is one CRM which knows how to open up new opportunity doors.

Finally, there’s something to be said about Einstein, the AI high-velocity sales assistant. The lead scoring and sales forecasting power here is unbeatable, as is the automated activity tracker. The scope and degree of sales tools and tips given by Einstein really give a salesperson an edge.

Salesforce disadvantages

Now we have to get to some of the more negative bits. So, you want to know why Salesforce is bad, if we can even speak so plainly. 

Well, one of the problems with Salesforce CRM might be the learning curve. We’re not saying that Salesforce gets an ‘F’ when it comes to ease of use, but for CRM platform noobs, this might require some time to master, which means you have to allow for some downtime from your day-to-day tasks like networking and selling. Still, in the end, it will pay off and save time.

Another drawback to Salesforce is the somewhat Byzantine pricing system. There are so many modules, each one a combination of other tools, with some overlaps here and there, and for each module there are many degrees of premium packages. What’s more, there is a pretty big list of add-ons for each module, so you might never be fully sure if you have the package you need, or if you are paying for things you don’t.

 

Salesforce complaints & praise (from real Salesforce CRM reviews)

You don’t have to take our word for it. Let’s see what Salesforce reviews online are saying, both the pros and the cons, the good and the bad. Sure there are some warranted Salesforce criticisms out there, and everyone deserves to be heard. First thing to note is that when it comes to Salesforce ratings, this CRM software generally scores about 4.5 out of 5.

The positive online Salesforce reviews tend to praise its robustness when it comes to features, meaning many businesses do not need any other SaaS. Often, its level of customization gets solid ratings too. Many online reviewers have great things to say about its email templates and other marketing templates. The analytics dashboard is another part of Salesforce that its users and critics really enjoy, as is the reporting.

Salesforce criticism tends to revolve around the same few issues. First off, as a piece of computer software, many older people are just a bit slow and reluctant to fully embrace it. There are some negative reviews which mention feature overload (as well as drowning in pricing package tsunamis). Occasionally, there have been complaints about the platform not running 100% smoothly when the internet connection is not going at full force, which can be a drag on using the tools and doing business. 

Review of Salesforce support

Salesforce support can vary from case to case and depending on your package as well. For most problems, you are encouraged to visit the Help Center where you can search for issues and fixes from documents, videos and other resources. After that, there is a Saslesforce community where you can directly ask questions and wait for someone to answer you. Salesforce also provides technical documentation for more complex IT support issues.

If you want personal support, you have to log in first to your account. This can be a bit annoying if you are still looking for help in choosing a plan and signing up, but in that case, there will be Salesforce sales staff who are very eager to be of service. For those who have accounts, you can always get access to your case history as well.

Overall, Salesforce users offer mixed reviews of their customer service. Some complain that it is very difficult to ever speak to a human support agent. Others praise the depth of its knowledge base for self service. Ultimately, the customers paying for the most premium packages get the best customer support. Normally, any license supposedly gets a response within two days, while premium plans get priority 24/7 support. 

 

Is Salesforce worth it? Our conclusion

The Salesforce CRM tool is definitely worth it, without a doubt. This is especially so if you’ve never used a CRM solution before. It’s handy for so many use cases, departments, industries or particular sales strategies. 

Now, if you already use a CRM system like HubSpot, is Salesforce worth ditching what you've got and switching over? That depends on many factors. These include your budget, the size of your team and who will be using the CRM software, how many advanced features you need, and what your overall business goals are. Some people want to grow sales, others want to deepen relationships with their existing customers, while others are just trying to get their name and brand out there to the general public. Sure, Salesforce is one of the best CRMs to do all of this, but there are plenty of solid alternatives that might suit you better.

In the end, you can always talk to a Salesforce rep to get answers to your exact questions about Salesforce offers. Otherwise, there are free trials of many Salesforce packages. If you’ve got the time and patience, try some of these out with no commitments. Then you can best compare Salesforce to the rest of the CRM universe. May the force (of sales) be with you!

Our final Salesforce rating

We are going to bestow a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating on Salesforce.com. Does that rating change depending on company size, if you are a small business or not? Perhaps, yes. So for small businesses, it’s a 4.4, and for enterprises, it’s a 4.8. 

 

FAQs

What is SFDC in Salesforce?

The acronym SFDC means Salesforce Dot Com. In other words, you can say SFDC CRM to simply mean your Salesforce.com customer relationship management solution. Salesforce was founded in 1999 and today employs more than 50,000 people worldwide. It is one of the pioneers of CRM systems.

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