Candid feedback from a CRM Enthusiast
Sara Tsoodle | TrustRadius Reviewer
January 30, 2015

Candid feedback from a CRM Enthusiast

Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Enterprise

Modules Used

  • Force.com

Overall Satisfaction with Salesforce.com

SFDC is presently being used company wide to collect leads and contacts and disseminate to our various internal sales professionals. Various marketing managers deploy campaigns which are then measured within salesforce. Our opportunities are monitored and measured through the entire process. The entire customer courtship experience/funnel is documented in SFDC.
  • Salesforce has a very intuitive dashboard and reporting interface. From a database perspective, I believe it's a reasonably simple system to import and export data from when necessary. The import/export/enriching of data is one area where SFDC seems to be superior to MS Dynamics in my own experience.
  • Salesforce's Opportunity tracking tools are great, though in my opinion- general Opportunity stages have been fairly consistent across all of the CRM platforms I've evaluated and if they do not meet your needs- they can be modified until they do.
  • I do not have specific experience in trying to make customizations to the back end of Salesforce like I do with Microsoft Dynamics- however it appears that the process of making those customizations is far more complex than I wish it were. I would prefer a system that can be customized (with proper approvals and processes) by key stakeholders.
  • I did "arrive" in this system years into it's implementation and can say that the growth of the company seems to have engulfed the system in a way that it's cumbersome now. It's a crystal ball issue at present, no way to predict future. However I would advise that the stake holders in any CRM implementation consider all future acquisitions and integrations- all potential scenarios during conceptual define and design phases. Much of my less than perfect experience is clouded by this state of current system situation...
  • The saved queries/ reporting functions in the system are actually excellent, but as a user I find that data validation rules are often passed over through integrated field / API calls- which seem to incapacitate the validations and "dirty" the data in the system. As a huge advocate of CLEAN data to support quality metrics, this frustrates me. It's likely an issue in systems, however because of my involvement in Dynamics systems I had a hands on role in preventing it in that system. I do encounter a large amount of "dirty" data in SFDC. I cannot speak to the same experience in all other SFDC platforms, but I have had challenges with creating quality/accurate dashes without doing a "manual" cleaning process on a regular basis in this particular instance.
  • I have less experience in this particular CRM with actual day to day record handling so I cannot speak to the average inside or outside sales users' experience in this platform as compared to other platforms. My opinion is usually that a quality design and business rules can optimize key strokes, efficiency, and data quality. There are definitely some challenges we face in this system today which are clearly the result of user interface design improvement opportunities or possibly a need to implement workflows or scripts to "fix" those areas. I believe this to be true of most CRM platforms though.
  • Metrics as a whole are simple to produce and share from SFDC. If you have great data integrity this is a great way to distribute real-time analytics to your execs and strategic planners to make real time decisions. A very nimble/agile system.
  • The metrics aspect has allowed us to create very precise and actionable dashboards which speed up lead conversion. For example- an executive dashboard will note all unread Leads and sorted by their Owners and when it is policed by a director- the lead owners are highly motivated to move on those records and push them into a pipeline.
I walked into an established Salesforce platform after having "curated" my own CRM platform in MS Dynamics. My opinions and thoughts are colored as a result of that. If you run a medium business on the "smaller" side of medium, with less IT resources to devote to your platform, I'd estimate a MS Dynamics type platform might be more suited to you. As a tech savvy marketer I was able to own 80% of the MS Dynamics customizations, write my own workflows, and train my analytics staff to maintain it afterwards- which is not true of SFDC. This was critical to the success of the Dynamics platform for a smaller business. Dynamics IS a microsoft product though, therefore hinges on Internet Explorer as a base technology, and often subject to related slow downs. The natural integration into Outlook is a bonus though.
SalesForce is considerably more "robust" than Dynamics- which is great or not great depending on your needs and business. And that robust nature, merits a more robust support staff in your IT group. Thus the smaller sized business may not be up to the task. A healthy relationship between marketing, sales and technology is critical to the success of any Sales Force platform. I believe SFDC can hold more data naturally with less customizations. The default package of SFDC has more bells and whistles which can "simply" be added in other platforms, but certainly it is clear that Salesforce has a top tier position in this market and has shaped the package around what many users before you have needed.
I believe SFDC is ideal for a business which has a robust IT infrastructure that can support the users after implementation. It can become bloated and I believe requires ongoing connection with IT even if your system is "perfect". In the define/design I believe it is important to have more than 1 marketing operations stakeholder who INTIMATELY understands sales user engagement, analytics, KPIs, and have a fairly robust technical aptitude to engage with the IT professionals. Analytics and data integrity need to be a large focus in the define/design phases.
SFDC also is not best for a retail only business in my opinion. The B2B businesses will gain much more from this than B2C. In a direct comparison- MS CRM integrates directly within outlook to truly cement the "relationship" aspect of CRM whereas Salesforce is still managed solely within the platform. MS CRM has it's own issues as well- relying on the infrastructure of IE to deploy its features, so I'd not really reccomend one over the other. It's truly a strategic choice based on your business.

Salesforce Feature Ratings

Customer data management / contact management
5
Workflow management
3
Territory management
6
Opportunity management
8
Integration with email client (e.g., Outlook or Gmail)
1
Contract management
Not Rated
Quote & order management
Not Rated
Interaction tracking
1
Channel / partner relationship management
1
Case management
Not Rated
Call center management
Not Rated
Help desk management
Not Rated
Lead management
7
Email marketing
7
Task management
6
Billing and invoicing management
Not Rated
Forecasting
3
Pipeline visualization
9
Customizable reports
9
Custom fields
3
Custom objects
3
Scripting environment
3
API for custom integration
5
Single sign-on capability
2
Social data
1
Social engagement
1
Marketing automation
6
Compensation management
Not Rated
Mobile access
6