What do you like best?
Salesforce is customizable and allows us to model the application around our internal processes and business flows. We are not restricted by system constraints and are given freedom within the tool to modify the application and processes around our (changing) business needs.
Similar to Apple, there are thousands of custom apps designed to integrate seamlessly with Salesforce.
From a development perspective, Salesforce.com makes things simple on the Force.com platform and gives developers an ability to code using different languages.
Easy API Integrates with numerous platforms (marketing automation, data.com, custom SQL databases, etc.)
Salesforce continues to expand beyond sales tools, into marketing, automation and beyond.
Easy to use interface
What do you dislike?
Sometimes the standard Salesforce Data Object hierarchy causes conflicts with outside platforms/vendors. For example, you want to send an email to customers, but because this would have to be a contact object after the lead is converted, some of the data is in the account, some in the opportunity, and some in the contact. It can be restrictive in situations like this.
As flexible as they are, there are still some things that restrict you in your business processes. Meaning, sometimes business cases come up where you need to automate a certain way, and Salesforce is not set up that way
Overall, you’re paying for the Lamborghini with Salesforce, so it’s going to be more expensive than some newer CRM systems. But typically, you get what you pay for.
Add-on services can be expensive. Items like Salesforce Knowledge, Service console, Desk.com, etc. If you want to upgrade your platform at a per license base, these services sometimes double your per license cost which can become cost prohibitive.
Recommendations to others considering the product
Carefully outline your business processes before beginning an implementation. Include business leaders as much as technicians and administrators. You don’t want to build something that become prohibitive as your business needs/processes change. It’s more difficult to back track, so plan properly. A good consultant can be helpful to get your started.
Design with the Standard salesforce objects in mind. Only use custom objects when they are absolutely necessary. It will be advantageous when you want to integrate with outside applications, systems, and vendors.
Investigate if there are CRM platforms build specifically for your industry. Salesforce is built with a generality in mind and lets you customize – which takes time and resources. There are unique CRM platforms built specifically for a respective industry which may accomplish what you need, and wouldn’t require customization. It may be less costly in the end run and fit your needs nicely.
Make sure you set your user profiles permissions correctly form the onset of the project. Know who your administrators are and will be moving forward.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
Salesforce.com provides transparency to the entire marketing/sales/service ecosystem. From lead generation, through the funnel and understanding the lifetime value of a customer – as well as servicing the customer - in one system is the clear benefit. True knowledge management.
Save money by not having to print reports, forms, etc. We now house a large majority of our customer forms and documents in Salesforce.
Mobility – With multiple offices, we’re able to have customer service and sales in separate buildings, yet both departments can work within salesforce to service the customer best, while giving the business clarity into costs, processes, etc.
Automated Dashboards tracking KPIs and more.
Easy Reporting – Simplifying the reporting methods and dependency on Excel.
Activity Management – the ability to keep track of sales teams, customer service teams, and other business segments’ activities for performance review and other management needs.