TrustRadius
Dominant CRM leader.
https://www.trustradius.com/crmSalesforce.comUnspecified8.32385101
Rob Gottschalk profile photo
January 15, 2013

Dominant CRM leader.

Score 9 out of 101
Vetted Review
Review Source

Software Version

Unlimited

Modules Used

  • Sales Cloud
  • Marketing Cloud
  • Partner Portal

Overall Satisfaction

  • We used Salesforce's Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Force.com platform. These are exceptionally well designed with inherent best practice capabilities. Here are some suggestions towards maximizing Salesforce - http://www.saascg.com/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.
I would agree with the results of this survey from Jul-2009, "The survey found that 95 percent of customers indicate they definitely or probably will continue to use Salesforce CRM in the future, and 93 percent of customers indicate they definitely or probably will recommend Salesforce CRM to others. In fact, 75 percent of those surveyed have actually recommended Salesforce CRM to a colleague."

Salesforce is very sticky. It is very user friendly. A very high % of sales and marketing folks have Salesforce experience, making it easier to improve new hire sales rep on-boarding.

A good implementation will help make the sales and marketing functions more efficient and effective. It will give executives visibility into leads and pipeline. These benefits drive higher customer retention.
I believe that Salesforce is the dominant leader to date in CRM. There is a high demand for Salesforce technical resources, with a limited supply of quality Salesforce service providers. Therefore, I started SaaS Consulting Group, a business advisory and technology services firm specializing in Salesforce.com and NetSuite. We have enjoyed healthy growth, collaborating with some of the best companies and people worldwide. We have an excellent group of customers, partners and employees. We are good at applying technologies and best-practice project management to drive measurable benefits quickly. We enjoy learning and sharing best-practice vertical solutions with our customers. We enjoy seeing our customers’ businesses improve and the morale and momentum that goes along with it. http://www.saascg.com/our-clients/

Product Usage

120 - Primarily the Marketing, Sales (including Sales Operations) and Product Management teams. Executive level across the board, including CFO for pipeline and forecasting.
3 - One business analyst.
One technical Salesforce administrator.
One integration expert.
  • Marketing campaign management, lead management and opportunity management in a high transaction volume, inside sales and channel environment.

Evaluation and Selection

Custom SQL system with very limited Sales and Marketing capabilities.

Implementation

Executive involvement is critical. Make sure you have a good handle on the metrics you would like to ultimately manage. Work as a team to document your business requirements. Whiteboard often. Understand Salesforce's best practice capabilities.

Have a central person identified to handle all report and analysis requests (ie - don't allow multiple people to create reports; have one person create reports and distribute them to decision makers via the Salesforce dashboard or whatever form). Make sure you understand critical dates and develop the project plan accordingly.
  • Implemented in-house
  • Professional services company
We implemented Salesforce in-house. In May 2011, I started a Salesforce (and NetSuite) consulting business to help customers implement and/or optimize Salesforce. www.saascg.com

Training

  • Online training
  • In-person training
  • Self-taught
All instructors are Salesforce certified. If you have done any type of customization, then it probably makes more sense to use the consulting partner who implemented your instance of Salesforce for training.
The quality of Salesforce's standard online training is high, but limited by nature as to what it covers.
Here are some common online courses -
Getting Started: Navigating Salesforce
Getting Started: Using the Sales Cloud
Getting Started: Administering Salesforce
Getting Started with Reports and Dashboards
Social Media Goes to Work: Chatter
Securing your Salesforce Organization
Getting Started with Data.com
Getting Started with Force.com Pages (Visualforce)
Writing Secure Applications on Force.com
Yes. I know many Salesforce Administrators who are self-taught. These people normally have a finance and/or sales operations focus.

Configuration

In some cases to reassign existing leads to different sales reps based on the lead's certain supplemental actions.

Support

Customer services was friendly. For development objects and for business process adjustments, you are better served by a 3rd party Salesforce consulting partner.
Yes - We had Unlimited Edition, which entitles you to 24x7 toll free support.

Usability

Salesforce delivers standard forms with standard fields with each object (Campaign, Lead, Opp, etc.). By nature, this cloud-based application is relatively intuitive. A proper implementation - the way you add fields, configure forms, assign permissions and develop workflows - can greatly increase usability, enabling each role to efficiently and effectively manage their day.

Reliability

All Force.com apps run on world-class data centers with backup, failover, and disaster-recovery facilities. Force.com has had a proven 99.9 percent uptime record for years. Accordingly, I only recall our instance of Salesforce having one unscheduled, brief down time over 6 years. I can't remember for sure, but it may have been due to our Internet Service Provider (ISP) versus Salesforce itself. Also, Salesforce does it's best to keep customers in the loop:

Trust.salesforce.com is the salesforce.com community's home for real-time information on system performance and security. On this site you'll find:

Live and historical data on system performance
Up-to-the minute information on planned maintenance
Phishing, malicious software and social engineering threats
Best security practices for your organization
Information on how we safeguard your data
Salesforce performance in general is excellent. "The cloud infrastructure beneath Force.com 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. Force.com 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 Force.com apps run on world-class data centers with backup, failover, and disaster-recovery facilities. Force.com has had a proven 99.9 percent uptime record for years.
4) Proven, real-time scalability - Force.com 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 Force.com 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 trust.salesforce.com.
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 - Force.com runs on three geographically dispersed, mirrored data centers with built-in replication, disaster recovery, a redundant network backbone, and no single points of failure.

Integration

  • Our website. 2) NetSuite. 3) A custom SQL system.
We initially created a custom object for quoting in Salesforce then integrated the transactional (line) item detail with NetSuite. This is very challenging, as you are recreating items, pricing, discounting, etc. Plus, this requires the integration to transfer all of the transactional detail leading to more inherent risk of failure.

We redesigned the integration to allow Sales Reps, on an opportunity in Salesforce, to click a button to launch the Sales Rep into NetSuite where they could enter the quote in NetSuite. Order Management could then process approved quotes to Orders and eventually Invoices. We transferred Quote Header (ID, amount, expiration date) information back into Salesforce so that Sales Manager could run Opportunity and Quote reports (ex. which opps have quotes that are expired). Best of all worlds.
  • 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.
Not to my knowledge.

Vendor Relationship

Salesforce is very good at Customer Service. Sales representatives are seasoned - some are better than others at addressing business requirements.
Private. Salesforce has such a dominant market share, that it is difficult to negotiate special terms.