When talking about CRM solutions, Salesforce is probably one of the first names that springs to mind. This isn’t a surprise, as they do a significant amount of business with companies across all sizes and industries, and with varying structures and organizational needs.
Although adept as an off-the-shelf sales management platform, does the functionality of Salesforce provide the ideal capabilities for the direction and growth of your business? Are you considering Salesforce because you are familiar with the name, or because it provides the functionality you’re looking for?
These are important questions to consider. Reviewing your existing and anticipated business strategy as it aligns with the as-built Salesforce platform can provide insight into how well Salesforce will work with your CRM requirements.
Who Salesforce Is (And Isn’t) Designed For
SalesForce is primarily designed as a commercial application. Although widely used by many types of organizations, the platform’s largest customers are commercial companies who provide products and services to both consumers and other commercial companies.
SalesForce is not built for businesses selling to the government. This is because there is an inherent organizational structure and lead capture and development within government sales that rarely, if ever, mirrors proven commercial sales strategies. This makes the adaptability of the as-built SalesForce solution a challenge to utilize in the government space.
Because of its limitation in applicability for businesses providing services to the government, there are customizations that must be made to the standard Salesforce dashboard just to track the typical government contract process through the system. However, there is a substantial price to customize Salesforce to fit your company’s business model and capture strategies.
Now, as your company grows, adapts its strategy and adjusts its customer base – all natural progressions of any organization – additional customizations would need to be made at another substantial price. Salesforce does not innately change as your company grows. This, naturally, leads to more customizations, which, in turn, increase costs.
Salesforce Can Be Dynamic
That’s not to say that SalesForce isn’t a dynamic CRM tool. Although their touted list of customers include well-known Fortune 500 companies, they have made a name for themselves based on their reputation, customization capabilities and continued technological advancements and tools. In addition to Salesforce’s ability to adapt to customer operations and integrate with existing artifacts, software and platforms, it rightfully boasts extensive task automation, portability, and cloud-based real-time access to your important data.
The Bottom Line
Is Salesforce for you? That depends, as there are a number of facets to consider. Salesforce isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to a CRM. And while it is capable of aligning with your specific business requirements, it is up to you to weigh the impact of the total cost of the investment that is required to get exactly what you need.