If you’re thinking about implementing Salesforce in your business, you wouldn’t be Robinson Crusoe if you’re wondering how to choose the right CRM.  Many businesses looking at CRMs could be forgiven for wondering: is Salesforce worth the investment?

It’s true: there are many CRMs out there. Most of them also claim to do similar things, so comparing them can be tough.  That’s when it can be tempting to compare CRMs based on cost. Which brings us to our question…

Is Salesforce more expensive?

Comparing CRMs on cost will only help if you have a clear idea of what your business needs.  If you know exactly what you need: great! It shouldn’t be too hard for you to compare CRMs based on your criteria.  If you don’t, the key questions to ask yourself are: what are we are trying to achieve?  And how much are we prepared to invest?

Is Salesforce more expensive than other CRMs? It might be worth doing the sums...
Is Salesforce more expensive? It might be worth doing the sums…

1. What are we trying to achieve?

Some people are looking for a simple tool to store contacts and manage basic email campaigns. If that’s you, that’s perfectly ok.  There are many off-the-shelf light CRMs in the market which will provide you with a good enough return at a reasonable price.  Salesforce even has one of its own.

But where Salesforce truly shines – and the reason why it is often considered as the number 1 CRM in the market – is in its ability to help businesses solve all sorts of challenges around customer engagement and collaboration.

So if your goal is to have a platform to help tailor your engagement with your customers across all parts of your business, then Salesforce might be worth the additional investment.  Salesforce is completely adaptable to your own business challenges and priorities.  It delivers best value when it’s configured to your business to help your people deal with specific customer engagement challenges.  For example, some of the challenges you might be looking to address could include:

  • having a consistent, business-wide approach to your sales cycle
  • how you deal with customer calls
  • reducing time spent on activities which add little value
  • how you capture and share customer information, and even how it informs decisions like resource allocation or opportunity prioritisation
  • Etc…

Once you’ve decided to invest, there are many ways you can get even more value from your Salesforce subscription.

2. How much are we prepared to invest?

The obvious part of this question is the financial investment.  We’ll come back to that later.  Less obvious – but also important – is the time investment.  If you’re looking for a quick fix and aren’t willing to invest much time, you probably wouldn’t get the best value from your Salesforce subscription.  On the other hand, if you see value in tailoring your CRM to your business and your customers, then Salesforce is a great option.

Back to the financial investment.  Yes, Salesforce is typically more expensive than many other CRMs when comparing monthly subscription costs per user.  But the potential to get value for money is far greater.  Salesforce can be used to tie together as many inter-related aspects of your business as you want. It also offers you the potential to remove ongoing subscription costs of other applications and tools you no longer need.  Provided it enhances your engagement or collaboration with customers, colleagues, suppliers, prospects and other business contacts, anything is possible.  It’s just a question of what is most valuable to your customers and your business.

Salesforce: CRM or information management system?

If you’re still struggling to get your head around it, a good way of thinking about Salesforce is, ironically, not as a traditional CRM.  Rather, think of Salesforce as an information management system, which enables you to integrate data from across your business to manage any aspect of your customer experience or collaboration.  Light bulbs light up once people start to understand Salesforce is actually more than a traditional CRM.

Does Salesforce sound right for you?

If, at the end of the day (or financial year…), you want to transform all or part of your customer engagement and you are prepared to invest in the right foundations to get you there, Salesforce could be a great solution. If you feel like you need more information, our article on key signs your business needs Salesforce technology may help. Overall, your biggest challenge will be making sure Salesforce is truly set up to resolve your business problems.  This is where we’d love to help!

Carnac Group is a Salesforce consultant in Sydney, Australia.  Contact us today if you’d like help mapping out your Salesforce requirements or even just understanding what Salesforce can do for your business.

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