Salesforce is an incredibly powerful and important part of the modern business world of interactive mortgage review. But how does it all work? And does it really, as many claim, put a stake in the heart of good-old-fashioned, low-tech CRM systems?
We took a look at some common misconceptions people have about Salesforce and found out the truth that no one wants you to know. This post might not get your boss off your back…
1. It’s all about the data
Salesforce is not just an online store. It’s actually a powerful and useful tool that helps companies with all kinds of different businesses, including billing, sales, marketing and customer service. One thing it can’t do? Process your customers’ data (unless it’s done through the Salesforce Quickstart programs ). Not only is that a key part of using other CRM tools like NetSuite , but you still have to deal with data that needs processing before you can put it into Salesforce. Using the Salesforce platform allows companies to share information between departments with ease, which saves them time and money down the road.
2. It’s just for salespeople
While it’s true that salespeople are perhaps the most important group of users, Salesforce is a powerful tool for everyone in the organization. Every member of staff should be able to use Salesforce—from executives to sales reps—to access information about their team members, suppliers, customers and competitors.
3. It’s a big, expensive system
If you’re used to the high-tech world of integrated systems and “big data,” Salesforce can feel like the biggest and most complicated thing you’ve ever seen. But there are very simple ways to access this powerful tool. You can check out terms in its standard support plan here .
4. It just means you need a lot of people
That’s what Salesforce customers want to believe. There’s no doubt that you need to have good salespeople in your team to make sure the information they’re using is accurate, but there are ways to use the system even if they’re not the most qualified sales associates. For example, certain teams don’t necessarily have a good grasp of what their customers want—which can help them better understand why someone might choose one target over another.
5. It’s just for big businesses
Actually, it’s relatively easy for SMB-sized companies to afford these tools and still be profitable . That said, you can easily sell your business or franchise and transfer the license . However, it is true that if you’ve decided to go with a cloud-based solution, it’s going to cost more. That said, the cost of maintenance is much lower than it would be on a traditional system, making the price more reasonable.
6. Salesforce doesn’t need an outside consultant
While integrations are usually the name of the game when it comes to other CRM tools, Salesforce makes this much easier for its users. The company has partnered with over 65 third parties and tech companies to allow for integration and additional functionality . For example, Adobe integrations have been added since the launch of Quickbooks and ecommerce integration started in 2010 . You don’t have to worry about your data being lost or having to call around for new integrations.
7. It’s hard to learn
Well, the Salesforce platform is pretty complicated , so it’s not surprising that many of its customers struggle when they first join. But while other CRM platforms can be at times confusing and overwhelming, Salesforce makes things pretty simple with their “do one thing and do it well” philosophy . This means that Salesforce goes beyond the features you’d expect from a CRM system, from payment tracking to social media tools . Most of these features can be integrated into other programs like NetSuite for even greater functionality.
8. It’s too expensive
While it’s true that Salesforce does cost more than some of its competitors, the company has a wide range of payment plans and corporate pricing options . And as every big company knows, if it’s going to spend thousands or even millions on a new system, you have to get the most out of it. For example, Business Management Suite (the most expensive plan among many) offers all kinds of features including Sales Development, Customer Relationship Management and Demand Generation , all integrated with Salesforce. It also features Pardot integration for marketing campaigns. So even if your business doesn’t need all these features now, it might down the road.
9. It’s only for tech companies
Salesforce is so strong that it has actually been used successfully by many non-software companies. For example, the National Football League uses Salesforce.com to track transactions among its players and teams. The US Air Force has also used the system to track its purchases, inventory and maintenance issues . On top of this, local governments, universities and even schools have begun implementing these programs in recent years.
10. It doesn’t integrate with your Web site
Salesforce can integrate with your existing website , but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to branch out into new types of marketing campaigns or databases . You can even use it for “live” communication via Twitter , Facebook and LinkedIn. All you have to do is pick the Sales Cloud, which gives you all the tools you need to get started with these services. And since the system is cloud-based, all your departments will be able to access it from anywhere.
11. It’s not going away
Salesforce’s popularity has spurred a lot of interest and new partnerships. For example, Quickbooks has integrated its tools for Quickbase , an open source app that helps businesses build their own data model and integrate it into QuickBooks Pro and Enterprise editions. In April 2013, Salesforce also announced a partnership with Microsoft Outlook, so users can now add all their contacts in Outlook, import contacts from Excel and use a custom CRM application created in Salesforce to manage them.