Salesforce Enterprise: Growing boldly with a CRM
January 27, 2015

Salesforce Enterprise: Growing boldly with a CRM

Samantha Safin | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • SalesCloud
  • Knowledge

Overall Satisfaction with

We currently use the Sales Cloud for Salesforce almost exclusively, with our primary use revolving around our sales cycle. We have, however, also expanded our use of Salesforce to incorporate part of our ongoing client relationship management. Our users consist of marketing, account development, sales, client services, and finance department employees. Initially there was little in the way of customization, however we are slowly rolling out some of the more powerful abilities of the CRM.
Overall, Salesforce is there to give our users visibility into their prospects, activities, pipeline, and ongoing customer relations. As a company with a relatively small commercial team that is servicing multiple countries, it is very important that we be able to share this information across the team no matter where we are at any given time. Salesforce also helps us better forecast our revenue for upcoming quarters.
  • Reports and dashboards in Salesforce are powerful and easy to build. They have been invaluable to our ability to track activities and forecast. Reports give you detailed information and can be filtered to extreme specifics. Dashboards give a great overview of a pipeline, or a snapshot of the quarter, that can be useful for executive that just need a high-level view of the business.
  • The community is a fantastic resource to find answers to questions when you are stuck on a problem. There are users from all walks of business, and I have never had a question that didn't relate to someone else in some way. An extension of that is the AppExchange, where you can find apps that will work with Salesforce to answer those problems for you, as well.
  • Salesforce is extremely user friendly. It is intuitive for an administrator, and it makes creating a fantastic user interface easy. There is a way to do almost anything, often multiple ways, and the process is always simpler than it may initially seem. It also looks a lot better than a bunch of spreadsheets.
  • Salesforce integrates with everything. If there isn't an automatic integration with it, you can create new API integration points. If you use Marketo, which is a common marketing automation tool, it will integrate with Salesforce. Our finance and implementation departments are starting to work on creating integration between their systems and Salesforce. Having that integration makes it easier for us to use Salesforce as a one-stop-shop kind of system.
  • Salesforce is easy to change if you need to. There are high levels of customization, and there are small changes that you can make to mirror your actual business processes within the "org." If your company goes through a major process change, it is relatively simple to alter your settings, objects, and fields in Salesforce to reflect that change. You don't have to shut the whole production down and start over; you just make a plan for change management and go about it.
  • Automation, automation, automation. You can take out a lot of the human error with Salesforce's multiple automation tools. Workflow, approvals, and now processes. If there is a field or a message that your users persistently forget to update or send, then you can automate it and sit back.
  • There are a lot of ways to do things in Salesforce, which can be great, but it can also be frustrating. Because of its high level of customization ability, it is at times difficult to know which option for change is best to suit your business's needs. That flexibility can also make it difficult for less savvy users to follow processes correctly.
  • While Salesforce can be customized almost everywhere, making global changes that don't involve security can be difficult at times. Most changes are granular, and there are a lot of trickle down effects. If you are putting together a new process for your business, or changing a layout, forgetting even a small step can sometimes add time onto the process. Seemingly simple tasks can become complicated in that way. They are always improving this, but in the meantime, the inability to make mass changes to some of the metadata is at times a headache.
  • Some features must be turned on by request and cannot be taken away once deployed. While that is not necessarily a problem after testing the feature in a sandbox and deciding to deploy, it could be a problem when an org changes hands or a process changes. Salesforce does alert admins that these features cannot be turned off, but again, when inheriting a production org, like I did, it can become cumbersome to revive or reboot when there are legacy products that serve no current function.
  • It can be difficult to sign up for a beta without a dev org or a sandbox. I have both, but I have met with roadblocks sometimes asking about beta projects that we can join.
  • Collaboration has gone up within our sales team, which has in turn helped us to win on more opportunities. Because the sales team can see what other area directors are doing, they can modify a tactic to work for them. It also provides a kind of gamified incentive.
  • Our pre-pipeline organization has improved, which has allowed us to better forecast the pipeline and more accurately predict when an opportunity will close.
  • Our pre-sales team has become more efficient and organized with Salesforce. They are able to more quickly share important leads or contacts with the sales team, and they can also leave valuable insights for the sales directors.
I inherited our org, and so was not part of the selection process. However, Salesforce's reputation and presence in the market made it the strongest contender for our business.
Salesforce is a fantastic tool that can help almost any business case. While I have used it only for sales and prospecting, it is also often used for recruiting (both business and education), customer support ( with the Service Cloud), marketing (with Pardot), and almost everything that falls in with those categories. In general, smaller companies without a large technology spend would not do well with the higher end versions of Salesforce, only for its cost. However, the product is easily scaled to suit a growing business, so it shouldn't be ruled out. Because each company is different, it would largely be based on your needs.
Also make sure you ask what your current and potential future needs might be in regards to their various service offerings. You may only need the Sales Cloud, or just the Service Cloud. One benefit of Salesforce is the ability to pick and choose some features.
Any CRM is worth looking at, if you are currently using a manual process, but if cost is a huge concern, there are other options out there.

Salesforce Feature Ratings

Customer data management / contact management
Workflow management
Territory management
Not Rated
Opportunity management
Integration with email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail)
Contract management
Not Rated
Quote & order management
Not Rated
Interaction tracking
Channel / partner relationship management
Not Rated
Case management
Not Rated
Call center management
Not Rated
Help desk management
Not Rated
Lead management
Not Rated
Email marketing
Not Rated
Task management
Billing and invoicing management
Not Rated
Pipeline visualization
Customizable reports
Custom fields
Custom objects
Scripting environment
API for custom integration
Not Rated
Not Rated
Single sign-on capability
Not Rated
Not Rated
Social data
Not Rated
Social engagement
Not Rated
Marketing automation
Compensation management
Not Rated
Not Rated
Mobile access
Not Rated


35 - Our company uses Salesforce's Sales Cloud, but we do have service-side employees that also use the platform. The bulk of our activity in Salesforce comes from our Account Development team, Sales team, and Client Services team, with special mentions to Finance and Marketing. Because our platform is integrated with our instance of Marketo, the bulk of our marketing and lead generation is housed there, and not in the CRM.
Sales is the primary use of the platform for us. We track companies (Accounts), contacts, and opportunities, as well as our interactions with our prospects. We use that information to forecast.
Client Services also uses the platform, with more focus on maintaining our relationship with current clients, as well as entering renewal opportunities and other tasks that come with providing excellent service.
1 - I am a solo admin for Salesforce, supporting all of our users. We have never had more than one admin at a time, although I have recently used the delegation feature to delegate some rudimentary admin privileges to a super user in the Client Services team. That allows me the freedom to deal with the metadata changes and large-scale updates, while the delegated can handle login issues or record ownership questions for his team (and his team only). Integration issues may also involve our HelpDesk, more specifically if there is a communication or server errors with an Outlook instance.
  • We track our sales directors' activities to see what works and what doesn't, as well as to mark milestones in our sales process. Since we have three different teams that could be working with a prospect at any given time, the visibility to those milestones is important.
  • We use Salesforce's customization to design different user interfaces and objects for different types of accounts - prospect vs client. The ability to create multiple apps and objects helps us to more clearly define records for each role.
  • As contacts and leads age, or as we determine that we are not a good fit for a prospect, we use Salesforce to bucket those accounts and contacts, so that we can market to them directly based on their needs. It helps us to better target specific groups with our marketing, even though we do not use the marketing automation features.
  • We will soon be using Salesforce as a way to help our clients create an Annual Plan, that will look at how they currently use our offered technology and compare it to what else could be helpful to them.
  • We have considered integrating with software that our implementation and support teams use to be able to see all interactions with clients, short of simply moving it all to the Service Cloud.
  • We would like to integrate with our billing software to allow finance and client services to better communicate about renewal fees for clients.
  • We are woefully short on automation usage at this point, but we are in the process of changing that.

Evaluating and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
When our organization chose Salesforce in the early 2000s, Salesforce won based on reputation and features. As I have taken over, I can say that were we in a position today to sign with a CRM, I would still choose Salesforce for the same reasons. Salesforce is easy to use but still powerful, and it is hard to think of the letters CRM without thinking of Salesforce. Usually a company becomes such a large player because they offer the best, and Salesforce does not break that trend.
As I was not part of the original decision, I can only say that were I now in a position to choose a CRM, I would likely go with Salesforce still. Not only am I familiar with the platform, I also know that it has a strong reputation in the industry. The company is admirable in its philanthropic efforts, and it continues to grow and be at the forefront of its technology. As a technology company, that is what we look for in our partners.


My least-proficient users are still able to perform their basic functions in Salesforce, namely monitoring accounts and contacts, creating and updating opportunities, and logging calls or emails. Because many of their day-to-day processes can be automated, at least in part, by the CRM, it makes it more user-friendly, even for those who still prefer to use paper and pen. Similarly, my super users enjoy the vast reporting capabilities available to them, and they understand and appreciate the kind of customization we can do to the system. Having a central, powerful CRM like Salesforce helps them stay focused, and they bring some great ideas my way that can help us improve the usability even more.
The one draw back is that sometimes too much choice can paralyze, and I see at times that my less active users are often those that come to me wondering whether A or B is the better way to do something. They can become confused as to whether to use a report or dashboard and, if a report, which fields to sort by, etc.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
Lots to learn
  • Creating a user interface within Salesforce is a fairly straightforward process. Specifically the creation and use of custom fields, and even custom objects, is a breeze. Editing a page layout requires only drag and click, even to the choice of which direction tabs function in, but if you feel comfortable with code, then you can also dig in deeper.
  • Salesforce gives you the ability to mass transfer or mass delete records. I took over the org from years of legacy records that hadn't been polished or dusted in a long time. After running a data cleanse, it was a breeze to either re-assign or remove the records.
  • Report and dashboard building are both intuitive and easy to pick up quickly. While some of the report logic could become complicated, especially if new to reporting in general, it is easy to learn. Another drag-and-drop application (for both) that is easy to use.
  • It is surprisingly easy to customize Salesforce. Even creating an app is easier than it sounds. They do a great job of creating wizards and guided processes that make personalizing the org to your exact specifications a doable project, even for a single admin.
  • Sometimes change is not easy. You can develop a process or automation to run and suit your business needs, but if and when that business need changes or evolves, changing the automation can be difficult. What makes it cumbersome is not deactivating an automation, but having the follow the thread to deactivate or remove every piece of the chain. For instance, if a field is no longer needed, you cannot always just delete the field because it may be used in a workflow, which means you have to go and reevaluate the workflow and edit or deactivate it before moving forward with removing the field.
  • Salesforce is just releasing their de-duplication tool, which will catch incoming duplicates in most cases. However, finding existing duplicates is difficult and requires the use of external apps to make an automated process.