How Salesforce compares to the competition
The Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps businesses build better relationships with customers. CRM tools are designed to help you track all of your interactions with customers — and potential customers — and build closer relationships with them. Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM brings your sales, service, marketing, and other teams together on a streamlined platform that boosts collaboration and makes it easy to deliver great customer experiences.
There are many CRM options available, some that focus on a single aspect of your business and others that take a more integrated approach. You've likely heard of Salesforce, but how does it stack up to the competition?
How Salesforce competitors compare to Salesforce
The market is full of CRM solutions. Lining the competition up head-to-head against what Salesforce has to offer is a good starting point for assessing all that’s available to you. Let’s dive into a Salesforce competitor analysis by comparing some of the most important CRM features.
Being able to start and grow your business with the same, scalable platform
A CRM should be easy to set up and robust enough to scale with you as your business grows. Some CRM solutions that bill themselves as simple can actually create difficulty as you scale, because they’re not made to integrate across all areas of your business or address more complex business needs.
For example, some service-focused solutions are point solutions. By “point solution”, we mean a solution that focuses on one specific business area without regard for how the rest of the business operates. A service point solution, for example, might suit your service needs, but leave you needing completely separate solutions for sales, marketing, and the rest of your company. Suddenly, your “simple” solution is creating the need for a complex application stack around it.
Salesforce solutions span sales, service, marketing, and more, so Salesforce customers are often able to reduce their stack overall, and save money in the process. Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur starting out or at a large enterprise in a highly regulated industry, you’ll find a Salesforce solution to fit your needs.
Some Salesforce competitors offer APIs and plug-ins, but none let you customize your user experience and deploy new tools and interfaces with little to no code. With Salesforce CRM, you take advantage of our latest innovations without the work of installing new software or skilling up new employees. The Salesforce Customer 360 Platform lets you grow your capabilities beyond what Salesforce competitors can offer. Recent additions to the platform further extend what’s possible within the Salesforce ecosystem:
- Heroku provides a fully managed platform that enables you to develop and deliver apps quickly.
- The MuleSoft Anypoint platform lets you connect applications, data, and devices, both on premises and in the cloud, with an API-led approach.
- Tableau takes any kind of data from almost any system, and turns it into actionable insights with speed and ease.
From easy integrations with the third-party business tools you already use, to clear upgrade paths when you need more user seats and functionality, Salesforce is made to scale. For more, check out our CRM comparison page for growing businesses.
Solving your unique business needs with advanced customization
Customization can really spell the difference between a successful CRM implementation and spending resources on technology that doesn’t do much for your business. When choosing a CRM, it is important to make sure it can fit your unique business case. Some marketing-only and service-focused solutions lack advanced customizations necessary to run and optimize data-driven campaigns and provide a seamless experience for your customers. Many of these solutions also have rigid user interfaces that limit customization to certain areas, like the sidebar.
With Salesforce, you can easily make your CRM your own — with clicks, not code. You can scale and streamline processes using custom objects, customizable screens, and design-branded, external-facing resources for your customers. Whatever your business case is, you can tailor Salesforce to meet your needs, thanks to advanced customization.
Making data-driven business decisions with advanced reporting and analytics
Robust reporting and analytics capabilities help you keep tabs on the health of your business. Whether you’re looking for executive-ready dashboards or custom number crunching, your CRM tool should come equipped to handle your data needs. Unfortunately, not all of them do.
With Salesforce, you can leverage all of your data in one place with sophisticated embedded analytics. Salesforce comes ready to turn information into insights, including:
- Reports and dashboards: Use dashboards and customized reports to identify trends and measure sales progress to see what’s working and what’s not.
- AI-powered service analytics: Optimize service with embedded analytics and AI that can help support agents deliver personalized service with predictive insights.
- B2B marketing analytics: Track what efforts improve campaign performance and marketing ROI. And stay connected to your CRM data, so that you can act on your insights quickly and adapt when needed.
Having a 360-degree view of the customer to build long-lasting relationships
One of the biggest advantages of using a unified platform is gaining a 360-degree view of your customers. It’s not easy for companies to deliver on changing customer expectations. It’s especially hard if companies have disparate systems where customer data is siloed. Some Salesforce competitors that offer point solutions or don’t have a comprehensive platform are unable to provide access to trusted, shared data across teams. That means teams can’t work together in real time to deliver a top-notch, connected customer experience.
This type of fragmentation often happens when department heads purchase CRM to solve a single business problem. And when departmental leaders buy, implement, and manage CRM in silos, it makes it that much harder to become customer-centric and deliver seamless customer experiences.
Salesforce’s unified platform offers a 360-degree view of the customer. By connecting and centralizing all of your customer data you enable employees to escape their silos and meaningfully engage with customers across every department.
Making the most out of your CRM with a robust community
When choosing the right CRM for your business, you want to make sure that you’ll get quick answers to any question that comes up. Whether you are new to CRM or an experienced user, there are always learning opportunities to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. Some Salesforce competitors don’t have a robust community of users who are there to help and contribute from their experience.
At Salesforce, we see our customers as our greatest strength, and our Trailblazer Community brings them together. Over 2.3 million members strong, the Salesforce Trailblazer Community of CRM users drives innovation and change in members’ businesses and within the Salesforce ecosystem itself. Get advice and expertise from people, partners, and developers driven to blaze a trail for their customers.
Choosing a partner that values trust above all
Trust — including data security, privacy, and transparency — is extremely important to have with your CRM vendor. When comparing Salesforce to its competitors, it is important to know that Salesforce is a values-driven company, and trust is our number one value. We strive to earn your trust. All of our product offerings are built on our multitenant cloud architecture, which provides the same core technical resources and security for all of our customers, no matter how big or small. Product and security updates are automatically rolled out to all customers multiple times a year, ensuring their data is kept safe without any action on their end.
The Salesforce Trust status sites provide real-time transparency around service availability and performance for Salesforce products. We post the latest security advisories and best practices on our security landing page, alongside educational resources for shoring up your own information security. As you can see, nothing is more important to our company than the privacy of our customers’ data. Learn more about how we safeguard your data.
Salesforce CRM editions
When comparing CRM competitors to Salesforce, it’s important to know the similarities and distinctions between Salesforce editions.
- Essentials Edition
The easiest way to get started with Salesforce, for just $25/user/month. Essentials makes it possible for every small business to tap into the power of Salesforce to engage with customers on any channel, and deliver faster customer support from anywhere. Essentials is a combined sales and customer support CRM tool that is easy to set up and use.
- Professional Edition
Complete CRM solutions for any size team, designed for businesses requiring full-featured CRM functionality. It includes straightforward and easy-to-use customization, integration, and administration tools to facilitate any small to midsize deployment. Get business insights with customizable reports and dashboards. Track your sales leads, service cases, marketing campaigns, contracts, orders, and more.
- Enterprise Edition
Deeply customize your CRM and meet more complex business needs. Customize Salesforce to your company with custom record types, increase productivity with automated workflows, manage complex case requirements, integrate with any system with APIs, and more.
- Unlimited Edition
Access to unlimited online training, 24/7 support, and over 100 admin services, allowing you to optimize Salesforce to meet your needs. Tailor Salesforce to your business by building unlimited custom apps, tabs, and objects.
More Salesforce strengths
The World’s #1 CRM
We’re honored to have been named the world’s #1 CRM provider by many analysts familiar with the landscape. Analysts often cite Salesforce’s ease of use, scalability, and industry-specific features and integrations as part of what sets us apart from the pack. We strive to offer solutions to fit businesses of every size, across all industries. Another reason analysts and customers alike have embraced the platform is our Trailblazer Community of users, administrators, and developers, who share knowledge and help one another get the most out of Salesforce.
Salesforce is the market leader when it comes to customer satisfaction for growth among potential CRM buyers.
Salesforce CRM is delivered through the cloud as software as a service (SaaS). On one hand, that means there is never any need to pour cash reserves into hardware and software purchases. On the other, a strictly SaaS platform limits network architecture options. Private cloud, on-premises, or hybrid cloud architectures — which some enterprises prefer — are incompatible. Your users access your Salesforce instance via web browsers and our mobile apps, and we take care of the rest — from regular software updates to keeping your customer data secure in our cloud.
CRM for many industries
Salesforce works with a range of industries, including financial services, healthcare, life sciences, communications, retail, media, government, manufacturing, automotive, higher education, and nonprofit. Several major CRM competitors target some of the same industries. However, other CRM vendors can’t match the breadth of Salesforce’s reach, nor the depth of our industry-specific features and expertise.
Mobile access to business systems and data is essential. Modern CRM platforms need quality mobile apps that work from anywhere. The Salesforce mobile CRM app brings easy-to-use CRM capabilities to iOS and Android devices. Both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SAP also offer mobile apps. But only Salesforce puts a full, intelligent CRM platform in your pocket, offering seamless transition from desktop to mobile, personalized navigation and favorites, and all of your custom Salesforce apps in one place.
Social media integration
Not only does Salesforce integrate with Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel; it also integrates with social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Tools like Essentials social media integration eliminate the need to toggle between the CRM and other productivity apps. Salesforce competitors have limited connectivity. For example, Microsoft and Oracle offer some social media capabilities, but their products don’t offer Salesforce’s range of integrations with social media platforms and tools.