March 24, 2023
Salesforce CRM Review-featured

One of the first and most well-known cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions is Salesforce. A wide range of CRM tools for sales, service, marketing, commerce, sustainability, safety, and experiences are offered by the software service provider. Salesforce provides bespoke packages for organizations of all sizes in addition to a number of need-based software solutions to integrate marketing, sales, commerce, service, and IT teams with a single solution for every stage of their customers’ journeys. The Essentials, Sales Professional, Service Professional, and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement versions of Salesforce’s Small Business Solutions were the main focus of our evaluation. A sales force at a small company with less than 20 people who need user accounts was the target audience for our Professional version demo account.

Also Read: Guide to Developing a Training Program for New Employees

Why We Chose Salesforce for Small Businesses

Salesforce boasts the most plans and features we’ve analyzed and is one of the top providers of cloud-based CRM solutions in the market. In contrast to the other market leaders, Salesforce targets small companies who wish to start with a straightforward and efficient all-in-one sales and customer service solution with many of its product offerings and pricing. Because of its cognitive tools, which become better with each client encounter, Salesforce learns and develops with your company. With Salesforce’s single data source and helpful AI-powered suggestions from Einstein, it is simpler to understand how to spend marketing resources and customize messaging for various client categories. Business owners and small sales teams can eliminate repetitive manual tasks and concentrate their energy on providing personalized service and deals at the ideal points in their customers’ journeys with the help of simple-to-use automations, time-saving macros, AI-powered insights, and detailed customer information.


  • Salesforce can expand with your business thanks to its broad selection of CRM tools.
  • To enhance customer experiences and results, Salesforce serves as a single source of customer data for everyone in your business.
  • A specific collection of CRM tools developed for small enterprises by Salesforce is available.


  • In order for larger firms to utilize Salesforce connectors efficiently, they may have to spend more money.
  • The majority of Salesforce plans need a yearly commitment.
  • During off-hours, it could be difficult to acquire rapid technical support.


Salesforce is far from a challenging tool to set up and operate in a small company context, especially for first-time CRM account owners, despite its potential complexity and comprehensive range of capabilities. But if usability is your major concern, you may want to think about switching to another CRM, such Keep or Sales CRM, two of the best options for usability (learn more in our Keep review and Sales CRM review). After completing the quick setup steps to import your contacts and create your sales processes, you can start generating new leads and increasing your sales with live in-product support available to help with any little problems.

Automated tools will record sales activity like emails and calendar entries using the AI-powered tool dubbed Einstein even with Salesforce Essentials, the company’s free version. It’s simple to create efficient sales tactics and keep track of every stage of your customers’ journeys when all of your customer data is kept in one place. When it comes to assistance, you may assist your clients in resolving frequent problems by establishing a searchable knowledge centre using a pre-made design.

To meet the changing demands of your customers and staff as your small company expands, you can quickly add features from the AppExchange or upgrade to a better-featured plan. The mobile CRM applications provide you and your team access to all of your CRM’s capabilities, enabling successful collaboration from any location.

Features of Salesforce

It would be difficult to discover a popular CRM function that Salesforce does not already include in its basic edition or as an add-on. With Einstein Activity Capture, you can get AI-powered features and automations even with the base Essentials package. These kinds of capabilities are often only included in more costly, higher-tier service provider plans. Data synchronization, sales tracking, customer assistance, mobile access, custom reporting, integrations, and all other capabilities required to handle customer sales and support are included in all Salesforce subscriptions. A handful of the functions that work well for small company owners have been highlighted.

Sales Forecasting

A precise and current picture of your complete business funnel is provided by Salesforce. With real-time leaderboards that foster friendly rivalry, you can inspire your sales representatives to surpass their goals. An objective, data-driven point of view makes it simple to spot problem areas in your company so you can make the required corrections and keep up with your sales targets. A number of weighted factors, such as the owner, time, forecast categories, product family, and region, are used by the programme to produce predictions. Salesforce claims that sales managers can often rely on their anticipated statistics to be accurate to within 10%.

Lead Management

To automatically add new leads and assign them to the right sales agent, you may utilize landing pages and email. Your representatives will have access to all the data they need to follow up immediately, and it just takes one click to send an email from a customized template or to place a call using the built-in dialer. You may alter the lead’s information pages to emphasize the specifics that are important to your company and instruct your representatives on what to concentrate on and do next. Many manual activities may be automated, and complicated macros can be set up to perform several time-consuming processes rapidly with just one click. Your salespeople may spend more time selling and less time learning about their clients if you provide them with useful information and helpful automations.

Social Intelligence

The distinctive Social Intelligence tool, available as an add-on for $25 a month, assists company managers and owners in harnessing social media involvement to improve sales choices. For your accounts, rivals, and industry, this social listening tool employs natural language processing to analyse popular news and business events. In order to reach your consumers where they hang out online, you may use this tool to find new leads, make reminders to get in touch with contacts, search for account names, and utilise keywords to surface important business discussions and events.

Einstein Recommendations

Salesforce’s AI-powered recommendations integrate user behaviour from every interaction that has been logged with the specific criteria created by your company to create thorough user profiles and send relevant information through email and the web. You must choose a product or service from your catalogue, decide which audience group will utilize it, and specify the kind of information or previous results Einstein will use to generate a suggestion before you can create a recommendation. For instance, depending on the activity of all accessible contacts’ bank accounts, a financial institution might suggest a banking product, like a car loan, from its Salesforce catalogue to all of those contacts. Einstein may create a suitable and special offer to tempt a purchase based on each contact’s bank account details.

Salesforce Cost

Four options with three separate levels are available for the Salesforce Small Business CRM. Everything you need from a CRM to manage your company effectively is included in the entry-level Essentials version, which has a cap of 10 user accounts. Depending on how you deal with clients, you may choose either the Sales Professional or the Service Professional for the middle-tier Professional choice. Instead of charging by the number of seats, the more expensive Marketing Cloud Account Engagement offers support for 10,000 contacts and is paid per contact you manage.


The product you choose, the size of your team, the quantity of contacts, and the complexity of your CRM processes all have an impact on how difficult it is to set up Salesforce. However, setting up an Essentials plan in Salesforce is said to be quick and simple for small businesses. More than 350 YouTube videos, more than 120 webinars, and a sizable library of on-demand professional coaching films are among the self-help tools available to you. They may assist you with everything from importing contacts to setting up automated sales processes. Salesforce offers checklists and suggested actions as you go through the setup process to assist you with connecting to your email, setting up your sales processes, customizing fields, importing data, and beginning the process of gathering and nurturing leads.

Customer Service

Although Salesforce’s customer care is accessible 24 hours a day by phone, email, and chat, getting the assistance you want might take some time. To start a technical support case, Salesforce advises that clients use an online form to request a support call. (We saw something similar in our assessment of Oracle NetSuite CRM.) Although this procedure ensures that the right person is available to address your problem, the waiting time may be annoying if it interferes with your sales or support efforts and you need an instant response.

When we phoned Salesforce for technical help after regular business hours, we were told that there was a high call volume and that we should visit to look for a solution on our own.


Only DocuSign, Dropbox, HelloSign, CodeScience, ActiveCampaign, and Zapier are integrated on the Essentials package. While many of the essential CRM connectors may be handled by Zapier alone, you’ll have to pay extra for a package that includes more than 100 automated tasks per month.

Most of Salesforce’s products need to be subscribed to annually. Both the majority of their plans, the majority of CRM companies provide for yearly and monthly payments (see examples in our HubSpot review and Zoho CRM review).


All of the top CRM software vendors in 2022 were taken into consideration for assessment by our editorial team and contributing authors. We chose 11 of the top CRM platforms for small companies after doing our initial study on each one: Salesforce, Sales CRM, Freshworks, Keap, Zoho, Oracle NetSuite, HubSpot, Insightly, Pipedrive, SugarCRM, and Zendesk. We selected the optimum use case for 11 providers after spending countless hours evaluating each platform and taking part in live product demonstrations in order to assist small company managers and owners in selecting the ideal CRM. In order to provide you a better understanding of the features and tools that set these CRMs apart from the rest of the field, we’ve also done a deeper dive into six of our top performers. With simple-to-use capabilities for managing leads, tracking sales targets, and automatically identifying insights about social trends that are pertinent to your organization, Salesforce caters to the requirements of small enterprises and teams. The platform has a wide range of functionality, so you can always get the CRM tools you need as your organization changes.

FAQs for Salesforce

Does Salesforce have a free version?

The CRM software from Salesforce does not presently come in a free edition. It does, however, provide a free 14-day or 30-day trial for the majority of its items so you may thoroughly evaluate them. The cheapest package provided by Salesforce, called Essentials, has a 14-day free trial and costs $25 per user per month when paid yearly.

Is Salesforce a cloud-based platform?

Yes. In actuality, Salesforce was one of the first companies to provide cloud-based software services. CRM, sales, corporate resource planning, marketing automation, and analytics are all covered by its cloud-based software solutions.

Which companies use Salesforce?

Numerous multinational corporations utilize Salesforce’s cloud-based service for sales, marketing, communications, and other purposes, according to client success stories on the company’s website. These businesses include Asana, IBM, NBC, NBC, Herman Miller, RBC, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, AT&T, 3M, ADP, Adidas, and American Express.

Overall Value

We recommend Salesforce CRM for …

  • New businesses looking for their first CRM platform.
  • Small businesses shopping for a basic all-in-one sales and support platform.
  • Scaling businesses expecting steady growth and looking for a flexible CRM to meet their evolving needs.

We don’t recommend Salesforce CRM for …

  • Businesses in niche industries that don’t segment their audience.
  • Businesses seeking an equal mix of sales and customer service from their CRM.
  • Enterprise-level businesses that want a lot of customizable features and tools.

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