Salesforce provides a cloud-based CRM platform that enables businesses to build more meaningful and lasting relationships with customers. The Salesforce CRM is a comprehensive, scalable customer relationship management service that streamlines collaboration within an organization and ultimately boosts customer loyalty by gathering and tracking data to better understand wants and needs.; Businesses that implement Salesforce CRM acquire improved insight into identifying opportunities to serve customers through a range of marketing and sales channels. Salesforce applications are optimized for ease of use and intuitive deployment. The software is robustly customizable and integrates easily into other software applications like social media, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and many more. In fact, Salesforce is consistently recognized as the #1 CRM for businesses of all sizes. Let’s take a look at why:

Basic Salesforce CRM features

  • Contact Manager ($5/user/month)
    Manage business contacts, customer interactions, and conversations from one dashboard. Works with email applications including Microsoft Outlook and Gmail.
  • Group Edition ($25/user/month)
    Basic CRM for small groups. Provides basic features to generate and manage leads through the sales cycle. Also offers desktop integration and one app from the AppExchange. Limited to five people or fewer.
  • Professional Edition ($65/user/month)
    Complete customer interactions manager. Unlimited users and many additional features including campaign management, email marketing, customizable dashboards, support case tracking, and privacy controls. Also allows custom object creation and up to five AppExchange apps.
  • Enterprise Edition ($125/user/month)
    Includes Salesforce CRM and Force.com platform features, including workflow and approvals, automation for any business process, complex sales territories, access to additional AppExchange applications, and integration with any system using the Salesforce API. Highly customizable.
  • Unlimited Edition ($250/user/month)
    All CRM features accessible across an entire business. Offers high-volume data storage, a large number of custom objects, mobile access, unlimited custom tabs and custom apps, as well as 24/7 Premier Support.

How does the competition measure up?

It’s true that there are serious salesforce competitors in each segment, enterprise level, mid-sized business segment, and small business segment. But when the competitors are lined up against what Salesforce has to offer, it simply isn’t a contest. Review the following Salesforce competitor analysis, and you’ll see why it’s the industry-leading CRM.

Salesforce market share and customer size

In June of 2015, Informationweek.com pointed out that Salesforce, “faces stiff competition in all market segments.” Still, Salesforce holds by far the largest share of the total CRM market, 18.4% according to that same report, 6.3% more than second-place SAP. If we look at the small business segment, that percentage is much higher.

Delivery

Salesforce.com is only delivered through the cloud as software-as-a-service (SaaS). On the one hand, that means there is never any need to pour cash reserves into hardware and software purchases upfront. On the other hand, a strictly SaaS platform limits network architecture options. Private cloud, on-premises, or hybrid cloud architectures, which some enterprises prefer, are incompatible.

Target Industry Segments

Salesforce specifically targets a range of industries, such as 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, while the competition may be intense this is not so much a threat but a fact that there's no room for complacency. The same holds true of small and mid-sized Salesforce competitors, but maybe to a lesser degree since the smaller competitors lack the same breadth.

Reporting and analysis

Customizable reports and dashboards are one of the top selling points of a quality CRM. Salesforce CRM supplies users with instant access to real-time data and analysis of all kinds of scenarios, like sales pipeline, win-loss, and historical views. Of course, all of this analysis is supported by real-time views of sales data.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is backed by the rigid SQL Server Reporting Services engine, which includes a large list of prebuilt reports, and the capacity to segment data in Excel pivot tables, among other features. SAP CRM uses interactive reporting, which also enables on-the-spot analysis, and Oracle CRM provides users the ability to generate reports with little need for technical knowledge.

Mobile

Mobile access is essential to quality CRM platforms. Those that allow for a BYOD approach tend to be cheaper and easier to adopt as well. The Salesforce1 mobile app brings easy-to-use CRM capabilities to iPhone, Android, Windows, and BlackBerry. Both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and SAP also offer a wide range of mobile apps. However, with more than 2,700 apps available, Salesforce’s AppExchange is the largest app marketplace in the cloud-based business software industry. More than 70% of Salesforce clients use apps with their CRM, and about half have downloaded two or more.

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, thus eliminating the need to toggle between the CRM and other productivity tools. Others have limited connectivity, Microsoft for example carries social capabilities like integrated social listening, analytics, and engagement, while Oracle offers Social Media Connector for Siebel CRM.

Our top choice

Salesforce’s global revenue grew 28.2% from 2013–2014, far more than any competitor. More recent earnings reports show that same rate of growth has held through FY 2016. With that in mind, let’s restate the line quoted from informationweek.com to read “Salesforce brings stiff competition to all market segments.” It’s at least equally accurate, but the reworded version pinpoints the real singularity of Salesforce CRM. No other CRM competes seriously in every segment the way Salesforce does. Or, to put it more plainly, let’s turn to Quintessentially Co-Founder Paul Drummond, who states, “With Salesforce, we don’t just meet expectations, we exceed them.”

The old adage suggests that when it comes to determining the best product or service, one should “let the market decide,” and when it comes to comparing the best CRMs in the industry, it’s fairly obvious that the market has decided in favor of Salesforce.

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