TrustRadius Implementation learningsReal-time Reports/Dashboards.,While the product provides core sales and service CRM capabilities, it does not have the breath of Siebel. Need to purchase Apps for additional functionality. The product works very well for opportunity forecast pipeline planning, but many other things require an add-on application. For example, an additional tool is need by reps to handle quoting. An add-on is also required to handle rep commissioning (Xactly is one obvious choice in this area).,Opportunity Pipeline: We have much better visibility into our opportunity pipeline which ultimately allows us to close more deals faster. Completed/Pending Activities: We have customized the system to trigger activities at various points during the sales cycle which helps us manage the process more efficiently. Competitive Data Find. We monitor competitor activity mainly through our call center and log this data in Salesforce.,10,10,700,5,We use Salesforce in a fairly standard way. The primary use is around sales opportunity forecasting. We have multiple franchise businesses that manage their own P&Ls and each of them uses Salesforce to managing opportunity forecasting. These forecasts then get rolled up at the corporate level. Individual sales managers can manage sales pipelines and have visibility into deal details like whether or not a product demo has been given, tracking follow-up calls, deal progress, etc. Marketing analysts are also managing which leads get entered in the system and a lead qualification process. We use Pardot for marketing automation, but have not yet integrated Pardot with Salesforce which means that we do not have a very clear picture of lead sourcing effectiveness. The product is also used to track the installed base.,,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,Self-taught,No. You need in-person training if you want to implement advanced functionality using the platform; integrating with other back-office applications, etc.,Business processes: We configured the product to conform to our internal business processes. For example, every account needs to be touched by a rep within a certain time window. If there is no activity after that time has elapsed, a flag is set that alerts the rep to contact the account. Similarly, flags are set at various points in the opportunity sales cycle to drive regular action after certain time periods elapse.,Yes,10,10,10,10,Oracle ERP,,We purchased a very large number of licenses and there was scope to negotiate around volume discounts.Dominant CRM leader.We used Salesforce's Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and platform. These are exceptionally well designed with inherent best practice capabilities. Here are some suggestions towards maximizing Salesforce -,I believe that Salesforce's inherent best practices are strong and the platform enables great flexibility, which can be a double-edged sword. Proper diligence must be given to your internal controls environment, especially around Quoting and linkage to your financial system. Data analytics and snap shots. Most people used a 3rd party tool for this, like Tableau Software or GoodData. Make it easier to track marketing campaign ROI. Campaign to lead is good. You must follow specific procedures during the Lead to Opportunity/Contact & Account conversion process to ensure campaign to opp/contact tie in. I believe the user interface of the online help could be better organized with a cleaner user interface. Data cleanliness (ie - duplicate leads and accounts/contacts). Most people use a 3rd party tool for this, like Cloudingo.,Tough to quantify ROI. I can tell you that Salesforce was essential for process management and visibility within our business model. We went live on Salesforce within 2 months. This included a full connection to our website, where people downloading our software would fill out a registration page, which created a lead within Salesforce. Goal was to give our sales reps efficient visibility into New Leads for prompt sales activity. It also enabled us to scale, organically AND via acquisitions.,9,9,120,3,Marketing campaign management, lead management and opportunity management in a high transaction volume, inside sales and channel environment.,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,9,Online training In-person training Self-taught,8,8,Yes. I know many Salesforce Administrators who are self-taught. These people normally have a finance and/or sales operations focus.,In some cases to reassign existing leads to different sales reps based on the lead's certain supplemental actions.,Yes,9,9,10,10,Our website. 2) NetSuite. 3) A custom SQL system.,In my current role as President of SaaS Consulting Group, my team has done many integrations, including Salesforce with Doubleclick (an Internet advertising solutions company). We are also in the early stages of a Salesforce to Zuora integration.,,Private. Salesforce has such a dominant market share, that it is difficult to negotiate special terms.2 Hats Salesforce UserSFDC is used company wide as we work with it and provide consultancy to other companies to implement and use it. We use it for monitoring our leads, recording the encounters with them throughout the conversion process from lead to customer. For other companies, our customers, we help them tailoring the SFDC platform to their own needs and adding custom objects that they can integrate into the SFDC standard objects and fields, even if they are not on the traditional selling process, SFDC can be used to manage non-for-profit organizations too. The breakthrough use of mobile technology makes apps available all the time everywhere.,Tasks and events logging including emails, phone calls and integrating with corporate email systems and Outlook connector is fantastic and gives sales team more time instead of double entry. The new files storage management capabilities makes it easier to maintain collaboration on the same document even on the go, and maintain corporate security Chatter capabilities as an intranet medium facilitates communication with all company staff, specially with the Chatter free licencing (up to 5000) everyone can generate leads and document findings and pass it to the sales team Flexible reporting and the ease of creating new everyday reports and dashboards by users themselves and leave the heavy lifting to IT or service providers.,The mobile App might need more improvements regarding response and processing with limited, cluttered mobile devices with limited bandwidth and HW resources. The platform is very easy which might encourage messing up with the existing processes, specially on the loose security entities like small business. Dashboards is great but it might need more improvements to avail more business intelligent components,10,Lead conversion is much faster with SFDC No loose ends on follow-ups with leads. Notifications are always active and you can set follow-up at each task or event to keep you up to the beat with your contacts and leads, so you won't break any promises Better customer support as all agents has access to the records of the previous encounters, so they'll sound much knowledgeable and gain customer confidence that they are working with an expert,10,Implemented in-house,9,10,9Indispensable platform.It makes Sales, Marketing & Services Automation so much easier. The ability to customize Salesforce according to our business needs and to get that done in a shorter time-span is the key difference.,I can't think of anything. It has its tentacles spread across almost all functions in an enterprise and proves to be a very efficient tool, if used properly. One area where they could invest more and extend the functionality would be to incorporate a completely native CPQ (Configure / Price / Quote), tool that can leverage the existing functionality of the platform.,10,No. of Opportunities converted in Salesforce Time to market Change Management - Release cycle time Effort spent on changes,,400,2,CRM for Sales & Marketing (New Business Development, Account Management, Email Marketing, Campaign Management, Channel Marketing etc.), Customer Support, Professional Services Management.,10,,Professional services company Don't know,5,Online training Self-taught,10,Depends on the individual taking the training. Self-taught worked for me and I'll recommend that approach to individuals who can benefit from that approach.,10,No,10,10,10,9,Sage Saleslogix BigMachines Echosign Netsuite Boulderlogic LMS,Yes,Not part of the negotiation in this company.Heavy reporting capabilities lacking.Ease of use for basic features Customizable Relatively simple self-service reporting Escalations Work flows,Heavy reporting or analysis Act as a true development tool Provide sub-second response times that might be required of a call center,9,Make no mistake, this software is not inexpensive. However the visibility and cross-organization communication it facilitates is more than worth the cost. In addition, bolt on software is available that can dramatically reduce implementation and integration times while adding needed features (i.e. order processing).,10,350,Provides clear view of accounts, prospects and sales activities Provides clear view of all client-reported issues Provides software to support change management processes across multiple internal groups,,Professional services company,,Online training Self-taught,7,Training was not required for most basic features.,Yes,7,8,9,9,Primarily other SaaS products. Many of which were on the platform.,Not many initially. We were able to get more favorable conditions as we grew.Great contact management for sales and marketing.Salesforce is best at Contact management for sales, marketing and customer support. These functions are pretty much out-of-the-box. It can be easily adapted (customized) to implement many different business processes and controls such as employee onboarding, project management and implementation, customer surveys, defect tracking, and billing, to name a few.,Out of the box email communication functionality is a weakness. Salesforce is not a mass email tool so notifying more than 250 customers in one batch or more than 1000 in a day is not done natively. Salesforce has said that they are improving their basic email service in future releases.,9,Through customization we are able to lower our time to resolution in the customer support environment and increase our sales opportunities in the sales environment.,750,7,Sales, Customer Support, Billing, Employee Onboarding, Knowledge Management, Contract Management, Customer Surveys, Campaign Marketing, and Project Management and Implementation.,10,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,10,In-person training,9,10,Yes,8,9,10,10,We integrate with many internal Sequel Server based applications and a data warehouse.,Oracle,No special terms.Extremely configurable but too complex.Salesforce is very good at allowing businesses to model their front office business processes, particularly sales and customer service. It is an open system with an open API that makes system integrations easier. It is extremely configurable and customizable, with excellent built in reporting.,The main shortcoming of is that it is fairly complex.,9,Huge efficiency gains in sales and in customer service.,200,5,Sales Service Software Development Product Management,10,No,Don't know,7,Online training In-person training Self-taught,9,The basics are easy to learn without training, but advanced concepts, such as the sharing rules, require training.,Yes,8,8,9,9,Eloqua Marketo Zendesk Our own product which is based on,NoUse a good consulting company to get the most from it.Salesforce is great at deal mgmt and forecasting, and as a repository for account information and contact management. Integration of support tickets into CRM view of Account is really useful (rather than having them in a separate system). Ability for Inside Sales to create email templates for one-off sends is also really useful.,We tried Chatter, but it never clicked here (or anywhere I've tried to use it). One problem is that the whole company is not on Salesforce, so it's not used across the company. Furthermore, it doesn't have standard chat features like gamification, rewards for chatting, chat search capability etc. The tool just seems to create a lot of distracting noise and was not adopted by Salesforce users. Salesforce can be a bit tough and expensive to customize. You need a sys admin with some stroke to make it sing. The ideal profile for this person is part programer, part business analyst, and part program manager. Without this, the system is always less than satisfactory. The whole argument that Salesforce is a SAAS offering, and therefore services and support are less important is just not trueI feel that Salesforce really needs a services arm. There are many customizations essential to making users of the system productive. For example, I have to create workflows and dashboards to show many of the things we want to know - especially around data maintenance and Business Intelligence. I have to build dashboards for users. - both sales people and execs struggling with what they need to have for it to be useful. The product is really a toolkit rather than a set of capabilities that are ready to go out of the box.,Sales CRM tracking allows us to forecast much better than we could without it. We hit support ticket SLAs. We also get some good business analytics (# customers, products sold, customers by industry, deal sizes etc.) out of the system.,8,8,100,2,We support three primary processes via Salesforce: sales CRM, support cases, and lightweight marketing/emailing for the sales team. CRM: Opportunity tracking; territory management; detailed information about accounts and deals. This is where sales people or Account Managers go for account information. On the support side its simply case management. Opening cases, escalating cases, appending support contracts, etc. The Service Cloud is not a great tool for handling support cases. Not a good support tool. They have tried to build workflows and everything from scratch but it doesn't really work that well. Marketing lite: Inside sales reps use Salesforce for Outlook. This provides them with automatic syncing between Outlook and Salesforce for email and appointment tracking. It provides basic email templates, but is clearly not a real marketing automation system like Eloqua or Marketo.,,,Implemented in-house,7,Self-taught,I'd recommend some training for selected heavy users/admins for sure, and then I'd recommend you create your own internal training once you get it customized.,Building custom dashboards mainly.,No,7,8,10,8,Intaact. Tenrox. LinkedIn. iProfile.,Treehouse,,Their standard license terms online have auto renewal and +7% annual increases built in, I'd negotiate that out.Not ideal for contact management.Not really designed as a contact management system (which is my specific use case). We did some custom development work to make the platform manage our specific contact management workflow. Although there are better contact management systems out there, we needed everything to be integrated into a single system. Salesforce is used for a lot more than just contact management across the organization.,Some usability issues. Although usability is generally good, there are some weaknesses: not all objects talk to each other / impossible to report on certain things. Salesforce has abandoned core functionality development (delegated to app developers in the AppXchange) in favor of social CRM functionality which is of less interest to us. Biggest problem by far is de-duping of names in the database. The software is incapable of recognizing that a contact already exists in the database (if, for example, the email is different). Lots of manual de-duping required.,10,8,Deal flow: Managing opportunities to leads to funded entities Contact management: Tracking individuals as they move from one organization to another. Maintaining database of individuals with their history.,,Online training,8,Yes,,8,10,10Great platform but email marketing lacking.The whole idea of platform as a service as an idea is great. It’s all there, it makes it so simple. You can customize the heck out of it. The flexibility is incredible. All your data is in one location. You can deploy during business hours.,The stock look and usability is not there still. It’s a little cumbersome. We have customized the look and feel. We have developed our own quoting tool, and many other tools that we’ve built in Visual Force because of that reason. I would like it to do a better job of email marketing. They let you email from but it’s a very limited amount – for us, just 400 emails per day. It would be nice if they bit the bullet and allowed you to send mass email. We use Eloqua for email/marketing automation, but we have sales people who want to just email out of as they have access to the templates. We would pay extra for that service. Frankly, I don’t think we use the full functionality of Eloqua. I’d rather just have native email in For mid-sized to small companies, I don’t think they use the full range of marketing automation tools. We are really just using Eloqua for email campaigns. The reports are decent but don’t offer the full richness of what accompany actually needs. That’s why we are using Crystal Reports. You cannot really have formulas in You have group formulas, but they are not detailed on the row itself. There’s a need for a lot of manipulation of data outside of,IT labor cost savings. Virtually the whole company uses it. I don’t have to hire a SQL person, SVN (versioning), nobody to take care of email/db servers. We are saving two people’s salaries, which almost pays for it. Everything is in one place. Because you are able to customize to include support, implementation managers, tutoring for software, all information is in there, quickly go into one location.,10,10,250,3,Sales Cloud – sales force automation Service Cloud – customer service (support ticketing, response) Knowledge and Articles – a customer support knowledge management add-on that we pay an extra license fee for - not included with Service Cloud. As you’re working a case and people have done the exact same thing before, you can go into Knowledge and Articles location, to see how they have solved the issue before. Content – we are storing content inside Project management - we are not using a packaged Professional Services Automation tool. We are mostly customizing for project managers and the implementation team. The project management team also use Jira and some use Basecamp. We are thinking of using (from internally in IT.,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,,Self-taught,I just used help documents and learned my way. With premier support, we have the ability to get training and plan to do so for new members of our team. We go to Dreamforce and attend webinars for continuing education. We read release notes.,We have done a lot for a company of our size. We have done Visual Force customizations for pages/layout We have customized workflow/triggers extensively. We have done a lot in Apex.,Yes,7,9,8,Greatplans - accounting/general ledger Eloqua - marketing automation Crystal Reports - reporting Insight2 (appexchange app)– leads and contacts – overall picture of what activity has been happening – breaks it into nicer GUI LogMeIn Rescue (appexchange app) – “LogMeIn Rescue Integration Services offer you the ability to access your remote support session data through a set of standard web services.” CalendarAnything (appexchange app)- Create customizable calendars for any standard or custom object Boldchat (appexchange app) – Visitor monitoring and proactive chat service NTR support (appexchange app)– When s/o calls in to our call center, enables to pull up their information based upon their phone number. DemandTools from CRM Fusion (appexchange app) – for data quality management. Avalara (appexchange app) - sales tax calculation,I do compare what I’m paying with others. It’s hard to haggle on the price as a mid-sized company.Great for opportunity tracking. Lack of trend analysis is a pain.Opportunity tracking Contact management Sales forecasting and lead tracking, reporting and analytics.,Trend reporting – push stuff to Excel for this. We are not using an analytics package. does have some abilities now to capture trend data but it’s difficult to expose it and use through standard reporting templates. We pushed that data out into Excel. Ability to shape itself to your forecasting methodology is limited – inflexible – you need to adopt their approach. I am now used to it, but may be problematic for a new user.,Better forecasting Better key metric tracking (leads, opportunities) More accurate reporting in general Central repository for all things client oriented Remote access For those on legacy installed CRM apps - some considerations - the rate of innovation in SF is significant; sooner or later you have to pay the piper – your internal development costs will need to increase; the AppExchange marketplace is also valuable. Examples of valuable recent innovation include: they have significantly improved their dash boarding; the ability to join tables/ objects; they have allowed you to start capturing trending data and export to Excel. This was the primary reason we used Cloud9 at my last company – Cloud9 captures and visualizes.,10,10,60,1,Sales Support/customer service Connection points into Finance – finance only uses to feed their own accounting software.,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,8,Online training Self-taught,8,For the most part we were self taught and everybody knew enough that, in aggregate, we could get quite a bit done. When we brought in consultants to build out deeper functionality or to speed things up, we would have them build training for the sales team that we would jointly deliver., has tremendous capabilities and some of that is accessible and usable for simple tasks such as contact management. But to use it for a growing business and have it be at the heart of your reporting systems, you will need to configure the objects, create fields, automate workflows, customize forecasting, build security levels, and configure reporting etc.,No,6,8,10,9, - file storage. When you go into opportunity record, instead of storing the contract in, we store it in Box. This is a central repository for documents so you don’t have multiple versions flying around. Marketo - marketing automation,Intacct - accounting system,,I didn’t handle final pricing.Fantastic product, but requires internal expertise.We’re able to build custom applications and immediately solve business problems without having to do the traditional client server model. If you know what you’re doing the ability to customize and solve problems is unparalleled. There is also so much functionality out of the box. They continue to drive to concept of citizen developer. You really need just a system administrator.,My only caveat is that it is not as user friendly as you would want it to be. You need an expert to develop on the platform. It requires a degree of specialization that most people don’t have.,10,10,600,4,We are extensively using for our internal business processes automation. We have done a lot of internal stuff to automate internal processes. We have also built applications that we intend to sell on top of but are transitioning more towards and Heroku as is too expensive. We have started to use Chatter in the last 3 months. We are using to support HR related processes. We don’t have an HRIS application so we have customized to handle many HR related functions including: general liability claims; workers compensation; recruiting – we created a candidate object; risk management; and payroll change approvals. Most customizations were achieved through clicks not code configuration in the platform, but we have since done some Apex and VisualForce coding work. We are using VisualForce and triggers a lot more. We also use a lot of out of box stuff like workflow and approval. We have not looked for 3rd party HRIS apps, as the system as customized currently meets our needs. We also have a home grown time and attendance system – a desktop based system that is integrated via data loader. We recognized the need for online approval process for payroll changes so we did a hybrid approach using Longer term, I think we will want to take a look at an HRIS system since we are growing at 30%. Our HR department went rogue and found a system called Origami that is replacing some elements of our homegrown system IT wasn’t consulted on it. Our managers are mini HR people. We don’t have a centralized HR system. We empower our managers to do a lot of the HR staff – reporting for liability etc. It has worked out so far but it's not a model that’s sustainable. We are also using for Business Performance Improvement. We are very mobile driven and we determined there was a need for our managers to evaluate team members in terms of how well they were cleaning hospitals. Using Mobile, we developed an employee object called Performance Improvement. It’s accessed through iPod touch connected to WIFI and enables performance evaluations on all team members. We also recently farmed out a project to a company called They built a product on native iOS for the iPad. It’s iPad data entry, with custom objects on the back-end and quite a bit of Apex. It’s used for a quarterly evaluation of our facilities that we’re cleaning. We are evaluating, how we interact with patients. It is a real time device, where a VP in the field, can do an evaluation. It has an offline mode and uses mobile SDK. We also have a self-service kiosk for our hourly team members. We use Visual Force pages for buttons. It’s a touch screen. We can do the whole on-boarding process with a goal to be completely paperless. PDFs are stored in Amazon S3. Applications get sent off to directors for approval, then if approved, the hourly person can fill out new hire paperwork. We have a signature capability that they can sign to authenticate document. The problem was most that most e-signature options like Docusign and Echosign require email addresses (many of our hourly workers don't have one), so we had to build something custom that’s .NET based sitting on Amazon. It’s pretty bad. We also built an application on Salesforce called IT tracker, to track IT assets in our system. We also use for case management. The case object is not visible to one app license users, so we set-up a visual force page on intranet which acts as dependent pick list to enter cases. We use email to indicate that we’ve received your case. Other departments now want to do this. Records management/content management – we scan documents in. We use to store meta data. The actual documents are stored on servers here, but we aim to transition storage to Amazon.,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,,Online training Self-taught,Most training is handled in-house. We throw staff in front of generic videos currently, but intend to move all to cyberU. We are building out all training content.,We are using Salesforce for a number of core business processes and have developed multiple custom apps.,Yes,7,9,10,Google Apps and Google Sites Amazon S3 - this is our primary storage Box - we use this for individual sharing/ small clusters of teams. ADP PayforceGood product but needs strong administrator.Security is really good. Configuration management works fairly well I love the Appexchange. It is the first place to go shopping, especially if sales related. Configurability for profiles is good.,You really need someone qualified to administrate it. While it is extremely flexible, it is not straight forward. You are really likely to want to customize it and customization requires a different skill set and level of maturity. We need both system administrators who do clicks not code configuration changes, and full blown developers. We needed someone more than a click based administrator to make changes. I’ve had to hire several developers and a dedicated administrator. It is complex. You need to learn the model. It is very flexible and feature complete. There are certain features you can turn on that cannot turn off later if you goofed, e.g. territories. Forecasting module – out of box it is challenging. We are looking Appexchange applications right now. We are doing a pilot with Cloud9. Analytics is a weak spot of the product. It is difficult to use. We needed someone to write reports. You can get to basic proficiency quickly, but if you want to merge/blend data, across objects, it requires a different skill level. We also are using a data warehouse – MySQL data which interfaces to GoodData. We will end up with both. The reports we can build in SF we will to give users just one dashboard, and you don’t have a reconciliation issue. The other difficulty, is tracking things that happen in less than one day e.g. the time between lead and first activity. That sort of time tracking is hard in Salesforce.,We have great visibility to pipeline. We have the ability to manage accounts and opportunities. It’s at the heart of our operations. It is easy to integrate. You don’t have to spend on integrating to other vendors which means cost avoidance – many things available out of the box. It gives our CFO some measure of predictability of future revenue via past bookings and current pipeline.,10,9,175,3,Sales Marketing Customer support - although we use Zendesk for ticketing, we look up account history in Salesforce directly. Support initiate account changes e.g. new customer information. Finance,No,,Implemented in-house,,Online training In-person training,8,8,Primary customization was for integration to our own product – for lead flow and to get to work with Zuora (our billing system). It required true programming in both cases.,No,5,7,9,9,Zuora - billing system Zendesk - ticketing system Marketo - marketing automation Data warehouse Box - file storage InsideView (Appexchange package) data augmentation service. Popular among our users. Conga (Appexchange package) – mail merge tool. I am a big fan. It enables you to create a template in Word or Excel merged with data from opportunity and will create a filled out document. Totango (Appexchange package) – a quoting tool which replaced Drawloop for us. Xactly (Appexchange package) - sales compensation AppBuddy (Appexchange package) – it's like grid app. It's a good productivity saver.Provides great visibility into pipeline.Usability, customization, cost of ownership We try to keep our implementation as vanilla as possible – customizations are lower cost of ownership, and much faster Opportunity to revenue visibility gives us a much better handle on our design wins. Global search,Salesforce out of the box is fairly inflexible – e.g. its object structures Workflow out of the box is fairly limited e.g. we have quotes with multiple products, product lines – you cannot have simultaneous approval on workflow. It doesn’t search across line items. Reporting is fairly limited. We are not very mature in this regard. You can only join two objects.,Better visibility in pipeline – we know what design wins we have Ability to activate a lead/resolve a lead,10,9,900,2,Sales Cloud – track project from lead, design, opportunity, and all follow-on revenue opportunities. We can tie sample to revenue. We have 2 different types of quotes – direct and through distribution. When we get the revenue transactions out of SAP we can tie opportunity.,,,Professional services company,,Online training In-person training Self-taught,8,7,We provided our own end-user training.,We have tried to keep it as vanilla as possible. One major piece of customization is around commissions.,Yes,9,9,10,10,SAP ERP SAP Data warehouse Marketo (marketing automation)Lack of trend analysis is bane of my existence.It’s truly the platform for the business. We can comprehensively run almost everything we do. It’s all down to management adoption. As it gains more data, it becomes more useful. Opportunity tracking is great. Native reporting is very intuitive, very straightforward, and efficient. I Iove the dashboarding. Even with workarounds, it is really intuitive. The user interface and its ease of use for developers/administrators Help and training on their website is amazing.,The bane of my existence is the ability to snapshot and warehouse data for reporting and trend analysis, i.e. any type of reporting on deltas to where we were last year. Salesforce really needs to fix this. I have not seen something in production from Salesforce for data warehousing. You can do an analytical snap shot that allows you to run a report, but it is very manual and only allows 2,000 line items of data. This is incredibly limited and not very user friendly. You can use a tool like ForceAmp to do data extracts, then push the data into a warehouse to run analytics. We have created our own extract capability and licensed Tableau for visualization and analysis (e.g. joins). We tried out Cloud9 as a solution but it was poor at everything except warehousing data. If you change a field in Salesforce you want this added to your data warehouse, however, there was no API/interface to make fixes on your end and you had to reach out to the company (Cloud9). We had to give them a user license to run their snapshotting. We fired them a year ago. We had to buy a solution (Apptus) for quoting/proposals as native functionality wasn’t great. Workflow and approval process was squirly and price modification was rudimentary. As you build more complexities, the system breaks down. The forecasting tool is great for some things but not great for others. It is not that flexible. Presently forecasting object does not have API access. Salesforce are currently overhauling it. If you have a custom developer, you can bypass issues with custom triggers e.g. totally separated stage and forecast categories. If people move departments, everything they do (e.g. their past sales) moves with them – e.g. when they move vertical. It is not role based. Historical reporting moves with them and you need to snap shot. The data doesn’t line up. You cannot do roll-ups across custom objects.,Access to data – I wouldn’t have any idea to report on the business without salesforce. Contrasting to non-SAAS CRM products, it is so easy to make changes that roll out to the whole user base. You don’t have to do a re-deploy. You can play with a sandbox with no downtime.,10,9,900,7,Within the sales function: Account planning Territory management Opportunity management Forecasting Reporting Compensation – at a rudimentary level Contact management for sales and marketing automation Hand-off from inside to outside sales team Developing market strategy/planning - run total available market analysis Content repository – ROIs and case studies. Contracts, quoting and proposals, pricing approvals and workflows.,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,7,In-person training,4,We have built visual force pages that allow you to group things beyond native capabilities. We have built custom triggers to overcome system limitations e.g. if you close an opportunity it can only do certain things – the custom trigger allows you to do 15 things, e.g. send emails, create account etc. We have built custom reporting features in the system. We needed an in-house developer when we reached 300 employees. Previously we were using outside help. If you can find someone who does systems administration and development early on that would be best. We had one, but they ended up leaving. They were a senior system developer.,Yes,7,9,10,10,Apttus - Pricing/quoting Docusign - electronic signatures - attempted, not fully implemented. Jigsaw, LinkedIn, InsideView, formerly Hoovers - data augmentation Eloqua, Marketo - Marketing Automation. We were using Eloqua but switched to Marketo. Mindjet deal navigator and People Maps - account/connection mapping Cloud9 - analytics - not longer using Clarizen and previously DreamFactor - project management/ professional services automation Oppdots - reporting Boomi - middleware to pass data to Netsuite,I was not involved in the negotiation.Love the AppExchange.The holistic view of the customer is huge. It gives an entire view of what’s going on with a customer from sales, Project Management, Account Management etc., which is very helpful for support. I can see the entire timeline, who has come and gone, what they bought, debooked etc. Other tools I have used in the past were silos and did not have this holistic data. The call center tool is now a strength. I love the Appexchange. I can find solutions like reply to case that make the tool so much stronger and avoids customization. That’s huge. I can usually find multiple options and try them out for free. Dashboards and automated report distribution - the ability to take what’s going on in these support cases and roll-up into a dashboard that updates on my chosen cadence, and emailed out automatically is huge. Every morning at 4.30am, I and my team get an email saying here’s how we are doing as a team. At noon, another report comes out automatically so say how each person id doing individually against their metrics. It saves our operations team a ton of time. Our parent company (we were just acquired) has a support operations team with 20 people. All they do is create reports about how you are doing. At least half of those resources could be saved. I love the customer portal. It is completely customizable. You can make it do whatever you want with frames, sections etc. It’s a platform really. I can keep customers on same page rather than having them wander around – I love that – I love the usability – customers can look at defects, cases, have power to close cases, they can look at ideas, and the learning learn center. There is context sensitive framing of learning/training content – e.g. if a customer has a specific product, they will see related training options.,IDEAS doesn’t have a strong enough integration to the rest of the product. It appears to have been created separately. It operates almost as a separate application. I can get to it in the same page as the tab but my fields don’t cross populate. I would like to know on my dashboard, who’s putting in ideas this week.,Scalability - it’s a single source place for data, ticketing and workflow. It takes me away from having single threaded conversation with customers. We have 25 people in support (of which 4 are managers) serving 1600 clients. Our parent company who is not using has 100 people in support serving 2500 clients. The more we invest in it, the more human resources we can save. It allows us to spend time on more difficult problems and being client facing SAAS – meaning yuo can work from anywhere, which has been important at times e.g. when we’ve had power cuts Reports run themselves.,10,9,300,2,Sales Cloud for CRM for sales, marketing, and support Customer portal – rolled out last January to 100% of customers as the primary client facing interface for support. It allows self-service, ticket submission etc. Call Center – a back-end for support administration. Ideas – for customers to submit enhancement requests. It is actively used. Customers like it. Content – a place to do file storage e.g. PDFs, Powerpoints. It is a single source for support based communication. Chatter – for internal communication.,,Vendor implemented Implemented in-house,,Self-taught,I don't believe training is required.,We have customized the portal but not our overall instance. Additionally, when we brought in Appirio/Financial Force (for Professional Services Automation – time tracking etc.), there was a lot of work required to accommodate it. This required some Apex code. We have done no customization for support specifically. We have added simple things like pick lists which are click customizations/configurations, but no Apex code.,Yes,,7,9,,Phone system - Shoretel Chat - ATG from OracleAlmost perfect!While it is not perfect, it is so flexible. The sky is the limit, yet it is still fairly easy to use. If they don’t do it, it’s so easy to interact with APIs to get things done. Everything on the app exchange and in the community. There are so many reasons why it is the place to be. Innovation is consistent though not exactly what I want though. They are always 2-3 steps ahead e.g. their acquisition of social media solutions.,They roll out features that are almost there - doesn’t quite do what I want it to do e.g doesn’t work with a specific field or object. This has always been a frustration. It seems like their stuff is more for demo purposes than to help their current users.,Visibility across the customer. While that one view is never as good as it’s made out to be, it is much better than silo’d applications Mobile access is a benefit.,10,10,300,2,Sales & marketing: Forecasting, Pipeline management, Contact management, Sales process management, Lead qualification, Quotes and contracts, Management reporting. The following sales processes are not run in - Forecasting is mostly done in Excel work. Forecasting means different things to different people. To us, it means the process by which a rep rolls up commitment to manager, the manager then reviews and rolls-up their commitment. We have looked at a couple of 3rd party forecasting modules and haven’t found “the one”. Are considering custom development. Customer service,,Implemented in-house,,Online training In-person training,8,8,Yes,6,8,10,9,Cloud9 - analytics/forecasting tool Echosign Marketo Boulder Logic (reference tracking system) Big Machines Lots of home grown/custom stuff,NetSuite - accounting system.Relatively easy to use and train, but support is poor.I am able to pull data much better than other tools I’ve used before. Easy to use and easy to train users on. You can get up and running quickly – this is particularly important. Ability to customize,We have faced some challenges with historical reports, where filters are turned off. You can filter on what a value changed to, i.e. prospect to MQL, but it is very difficult to pull the data. You have to export to Excel and de-dupe. It does give a real time view. Forecasting in was another downfall for us. You cannot parse out the data the way you want it to be broken out. We ended up using an AppExchange app called Sales Clarity ( for executive management. Our SVP sales uses it for forecasting. It has strong integration appearing as just another tab in It feels like a piece of and takes a couple of minutes to load. It has to pull all the data in from You have to plan everything out. We had to rebuild some custom objects as they were limiting our views. The basic support line is not very helpful. They are not very good at understanding problems. They refer you back to knowledge base, but generally that's where I started. Turn around times are generally not very good – 3-4 days after you place call.,The forecasting is crucial to us. Our board asks about it on a regular basis and having a central database is crucial. Beyond that, being able to share documents and knowledge, and to have everyone have access to agreements etc. Having our sales people be able to transition deals if they change territories and to easily manipulate the data has been really critical. We have been through two rounds of funding and some of the data that investors request, we simply couldn’t get to otherwise.,10,8,60,1,Sales Customer support Customer success,,Implemented in-house Professional services company,,Self-taught,In a past company, I was a trainer. I did train the trainer classes back then for a customized instance. Coming on board to this company,I’ve mostly learned as I go.,We have built out entire sales process in defining workflow from lead to closed opportunity. We have automated status changes and automatic field populations. We have used a lot of drop down dependent pick lists. We have a few custom objects and plan to add more and more. We have done some Apex coding for triggers – used a 3rd party for that. We have not done Visual Force customizations. We do not have an in-house resource that can code in Apex or Visual Force.,No,4,9,9,8,Eloqua (marketing automation) Hoovers (AppExchange data augmentation service) Box (AppExchange online file storage tool) SalesClarity (AppExchange sales forecasting for B2B sales managers) CountryComplete (AppExchange free tool to auto-complete, validate, standardize and correct your country fields) Cloudingo from Symphonic Source (AppExchange de-duping tool) Customer Stories (AppExchange app - to quickly find success stories, competitive wins, and sales references) Adobe Echosign (AppExchange e-signature tool) Xactly (AppExchange app for sales commissions/performance management - just now deploying) CampaignerCRM formerly known as Landslide CRM (sales process tool)Deep functionality across sales process.Salesforce is very good at sales processes, forecasting, and customer service. It has deep functionality across the entire sales process. It is flexible enough to model any sales process from lead to forecasting to sales execution (although we supplement it with Marketo for marketing lead generation activities). This is really the Salesforce sweet spot.,Workflow and approval process supporting the sales process are less robust. It is quite easy to build approval process in the system, but the required flexibility is not there. For example, during the approval process, there is a hard limit imposing a maximum of fifteen steps. Many of our approval process require more steps than that and we need a bit more flexibility. Another example is approvals: if we set up five approvers, either all five or one can be required to approve. There is no flexibility to change that rule.,We do not measure direct ROI,10,9,260,2,Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Order Management, HelpDesk,Vendor implemented Implemented in-house,7,In-person training Self-taught,7,Yes, this isn't a bad way to go after you've become familiar with the basics,Yes,3,9,8,3,Zuora, Finance, Marketo, Jira, Remedyforce, Rally,,We are pretty standard in our contract.
2258 Ratings
Score 8.2 out of 101
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2258 Ratings
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Score 8.2 out of 101

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Rob Gottschalk profile photo
January 15, 2013

Dominant CRM leader.

Score 9 out of 10
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Salesforce performance in general is excellent. "The cloud infrastructure beneath has been fine-tuned over the past 10 years. It powers nearly 100,000+ businesses running more than 185,000 applications that 3 million users count on every day."
Points per Salesforce -
1) Multitenant kernel - With a multitenant platform, each business that uses the app doesn’t have its own copy. Instead, all businesses share a single copy and then customize it for their specific needs.
2) ISO 27001 certified security - You can’t compromise when it comes to enterprise-level security. is road-tested and trusted by nearly 100,000+ companies, including many of the world’s most security-conscious organizations, such as banks and health care providers.
3) Proven reliability - All apps run on world-class data centers with backup, failover, and disaster-recovery facilities. has had a proven 99.9 percent uptime record for years.
4) Proven, real-time scalability - is used by many of the world's largest enterprises, including Cisco, Japan Post Network, and Symantec. Applications can automatically scale from a few users to millions of page views, as needed.
5) Real-time query optimizer - You need fast access to your data. The query optimizer delivers under 300ms response time, at a massive scale.
6) Real-time transparent system status - You can always see real-time system performance, availability, and security information at
7) Real-time upgrades - Unlike traditional software platforms, our upgrades never break your customizations, code, or integrations. We upgrade the platform for you 3 to 4 times each year. As a result, you’re always on the latest version, with access to the latest features, performance, and security enhancements.
8) Real-time sandbox environments - With a single click, you can create copies of your applications, configuration, and data in separate environments for development, testing, and training.
9) Three global production data centers and disaster recovery - runs on three geographically dispersed, mirrored data centers with built-in replication, disaster recovery, a redundant network backbone, and no single points of failure.
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November 11, 2015

2 Hats Salesforce User

Score 10 out of 10
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Generally the response is very good. However, SOMETIMES, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (formerly Exact Target) server is slow especially on the noon period (EST) where I guess most of the global working hours coincides. is currently integrating/digesting ET, so I expect that delay to be resolved.
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March 13, 2015

Indispensable platform.

Score 10 out of 10
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For a SaaS provider, I'd rate their performance to be one of the best. At times, reporting tends to slow down if the data set is very large, which is the case in any system. But, that's a very rare phenomenon.
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Feature Scorecard Summary

Customer data management / contact management (116)
Workflow management (110)
Territory management (90)
Opportunity management (115)
Integration with email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail) (108)
Contract management (88)
Quote & order management (83)
Interaction tracking (99)
Channel / partner relationship management (78)
Case management (57)
Call center management (43)
Help desk management (47)
Lead management (105)
Email marketing (87)
Task management (101)
Billing and invoicing management (37)
Reporting (59)
Forecasting (100)
Pipeline visualization (110)
Customizable reports (113)
Custom fields (110)
Custom objects (106)
Scripting environment (78)
API for custom integration (91)
Single sign-on capability (87)
Role-based user permissions (69)
Social data (73)
Social engagement (72)
Marketing automation (95)
Compensation management (62)
Mobile access (101)

About Salesforce

Salesforce is a web-based CRM application that enables users to forecast revenues and track leads.  It is a leading sales, service, and marketing app.'s Sales (CRM), Service, Platform and Marketing applications are designed to help companies connect with customers, partners, and employees in entirely new ways. According to the vendor, on average, reps using Salesforce see: a +29% increase in sales from greater visibility, +34% increase in sales productivity, and +42% increase in forecast accuracy.

Salesforce Features

Sales Force Automation Features
Has featureCustomer data management / contact management
Has featureWorkflow management
Has featureTerritory management
Has featureOpportunity management
Has featureIntegration with email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail)
Has featureContract management
Has featureQuote & order management
Has featureInteraction tracking
Has featureChannel / partner relationship management
Customer Service & Support Features
Does not have featureCase management
Does not have featureCall center management
Does not have featureHelp desk management
Marketing Automation Features
Has featureLead management
Has featureEmail marketing
CRM Project Management Features
Has featureTask management
Does not have featureBilling and invoicing management
Has featureReporting
CRM Reporting & Analytics Features
Has featureForecasting
Has featurePipeline visualization
Has featureCustomizable reports
Customization Features
Has featureCustom fields
Has featureCustom objects
Has featureScripting environment
Has featureAPI for custom integration
Security Features
Has featureRole-based user permissions
Has featureSingle sign-on capability
Social CRM Features
Has featureSocial data
Has featureSocial engagement
Integrations with 3rd-party Software Features
Has featureMarketing automation
Has featureCompensation management
Platform Features
Has featureMobile access

Salesforce Screenshots

Salesforce Integrations

123FormBuilder (formerly 123ContactForm), Act-On Software, Agiloft Flexible Service Desk Suite, Ambassador, Artesian, Autopilot, Buddy Media, PROS Smart CPQ, Connect First Contact Center Solution, Demandbase, OneSpan Sign (formerly eSignLive), Ektron Web Content Management System (Discontinued), Oracle Eloqua, CX Social, eTrigue DemandCenter, SalesGenius, Genoo, HubSpot, InsightSquared Sales Analytics, LeadLife, LoopFuse, Mavenlink, Adobe Campaign, Net-Results, Oktopost, Pardot, Aprimo, Unbounce, Woopra, Yesware, Zuora, ActiveDEMAND, Lead Liaison Lead Management Automation, Planyo Online Booking System, HG Focus, Aventri (formerly etouches), Makesbridge, Phonedeck, Mautic Marketing Automation, Zoho Creator, Celoxis, HRMSSoft, FieldService360, ReportMiner, Centerprise Data Integrator, LeadBase, ServiceTrade, CallidusCloud CPQ, CallidusCloud CLM, CallidusCloud Sales Enablement, Interactions Digital Roots (formerly ENGAGE), DataCurrent, Acquia Platform, Right On Interactive, SnapEngage, Boingnet, Sage Intacct, Allocadia, Projector PSA, Oracle Responsys, Wrike, MindTouch, Fathom Connect, Fathom Analytics, Fathom Q, Fathom Customer Care, Paperless Proposal, AWeber, QuoteWerks, Mycroft Assistant, SmartSearch Document Management,, SendinBlue, Quick Base, Lead Only

Salesforce Competitors


Has featureFree Trial Available?Yes
Does not have featureFree or Freemium Version Available?No
Does not have featurePremium Consulting/Integration Services Available?No
Entry-level set up fee?No

Salesforce Technical Details

Deployment Types:SaaS
Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No