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Salesforce CRM Review

PROS / Salesforce has an intuitive design that makes it easy to use and navigate.

CONS / The live support was difficult to contact.

 VERDICT / Salesforce brings all of your contact information to one central place, providing tools for marketing, sales and employee tracking.

Salesforce has created contact management software that is easy to use and navigate, letting you track your company's information and utilize it with powerful reporting tools. Salesforce's design makes it the best contact management software we reviewed and our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.

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Salesforce takes your information to the cloud; this frees up your computer storage, protects your data on a server and allows multiple users to access the information from different remote locations. Salesforce does not offer an on-premise option, so you can't host your contact management software on your own database.

Contact Management

As you create a new contact in Salesforce, you may designate the contact to one of 10 customer types, including an investor, press representative, perspective client and competitor. Individual contacts can be marked as private to a specific employee or public to all users of the contact management system within your company. This feature lets you safeguard sensitive contact information.

All contacts inside of Salesforce must fall under a company account with a designated account number. After the company account is created, you can enter new contact information and connect them with the company account. These extra steps can be burdensome if you are looking to enter contact information quickly in the client management software.

Salesforce has tools that allow support personnel in your company to also have access to contact information. This works well if you want to use Salesforce to track customer complaints, contact payment history or track support tickets. This software can be used in-house to help managers conduct and maintain a performance-evaluation program. Viewing fields are tailored through program settings to display information that is important to your business. The customer management software's filters let you display information based on name, department, project or sales campaign.

Importing contact information from other programs, including Excel and Outlook, is simple using Salesforce. This saves you time from having to enter each contact's information into a new contact management system. From within Salesforce, you can dial clients, email responses or even send out mass emails informing clients about upcoming events or press releases. Salesforce keeps track of emails that bounce back and accounts that have multiple contacts, and it can be set to send out automatic replies to specific client groups. Salesforce can also sync to your Outlook, allowing any communication that happens through Outlook to be saved and shared with Salesforce.

Sales & Marketing Features

Contact management software doesn't benefit you or your business if you can't convert contacts into sales and marketing opportunities. Salesforce includes important sales and marketing features that are included with the program, so you don't need to pay extra for these capabilities. Salesforce is good for lead generation. The software lets you store information about each contact in filterable categories, so you can group similar contact together. This is ideal for targeted marketing campaigns or targeted sales. Salesforce allows you to assign specific contacts or groups to your employees and to flag specific contacts for needing contact.

Salesforce CRM can generate many types of reports. This program automatically generates activity reports, lead reports, sales reports, best practice reports, call center reports and many more with a few clicks of a button. You can choose which reports are made public, which remain private and which can be shared with only a select group of individuals.

Employee Tracking & Support

Salesforce has a tool called Chatter, which lets you create your own social network through the client management software. This allows your employees to connect, pass along information and strategize about contacts through Salesforce. You may create groups for your employees where they can post questions, upload information or search out information in the contact libraries.

Each individual user has the option to create a personal profile. These profiles can include pictures, contact information and any Chatter groups they have joined. Just like other social media outlets, the Salesforce profile has a newsfeed that shows recent activity by that employee, including customer service issues they have addressed, follow-up emails they have sent and sales agreements they have closed. These profiles may be marked as private and used for employees to track their own progress or made public for the entire workforce to see each other’s achievements.

Ease of Use

Salesforce is nicely designed to make using the software easy. You can customize information and templates for the contacts, allowing you to see the information that would help your company. There aren't too many tabs, which prevents confusion.

The mobile app from Salesforce is good for providing contact information to your employees outside of the office. Salesforce keeps a history of the information you entered about each contact, which is accessible from the app. You can also input new contact information to Salesforce from your tablet or smart phone using the app.

The pay scale for Salesforce’s services is a little difficult to follow. Not only is there a monthly, per-user fee, Salesforce also places a cap on how many users, customer contacts and sales campaigns you can have. If you need more, you have to pay additional costs each month.

Help & Support

Since Salesforce is a cloud-based product, you receive software updates automatically. This makes support easier than other installed contact management systems where you must perform the software updates on individual office servers and computers.

Salesforce has prompts that you can click on to receive tips and helps for entering information into fields and connecting them to various tasks and users. A hidden side bar expands as you roll over with common topics and walk-throughs, including video tutorials and illustrated instructions.

If you need individual help, Salesforce has email, telephone and live chat support available. However, we found it difficult to actually connect with personnel and get answers to our questions in a timely manner. This being said, most questions are easily answered with the video tutorials and embedded helps.

Summary

The pay scale for Salesforce is tricky to understand compared to other contact management software, and we found it difficult to get live, personal support. Yet, Salesforce has the easiest-to-use interface, the best contact management, and the most advanced sales and marketing strategies among the client management software we reviewed. Salesforce is a software you should consider if you want a tool for better contact and customer relations.

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