Service-Cloud-Consultant test prep - Salesforce Certified Service cloud consultant Updated: 2023
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Exam Code: Service-Cloud-Consultant Salesforce Certified Service cloud consultant test prep November 2023 by Killexams.com team|
Service-Cloud-Consultant Salesforce Certified Service cloud consultant
Course Outline: Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant
I. Introduction to Salesforce Service Cloud
A. Overview of Salesforce Service Cloud features and capabilities
B. Service Cloud architecture and components
C. Understanding the role of a Service Cloud consultant
II. Service Cloud Implementation Strategies
A. Defining service objectives and requirements
B. Designing service processes and workflows
C. Planning for data migration and integration
III. Service Cloud Data Model and Configuration
A. Understanding standard and custom objects in Service Cloud
B. Configuring case management and queues
C. Implementing entitlements and service contracts
IV. Salesforce Knowledge Management
A. Configuring and managing knowledge articles
B. Implementing knowledge article versioning and translation
C. Enabling knowledge base search and article recommendations
V. Omni-Channel and Service Console
A. Setting up Omni-Channel routing and work distribution
B. Configuring Service Console for efficient agent productivity
C. Customizing console components and layouts
VI. Service Cloud Automation
A. Designing and implementing service workflows
B. Utilizing process builder and flow for automation
C. Implementing service-level agreements (SLAs)
VII. Salesforce CTI Integration
A. Integrating telephony systems with Service Cloud
B. Configuring softphone functionality and screen pops
C. Implementing call center analytics and reporting
VIII. Service Cloud Analytics and Reporting
A. Creating service reports and dashboards
B. Analyzing service performance and customer satisfaction
C. Utilizing Einstein Analytics for service insights
- Understand the features and capabilities of Salesforce Service Cloud
- Design and implement Service Cloud solutions based on business requirements
- Configure and customize Service Cloud components, such as cases, entitlements, and knowledge management
- Set up Omni-Channel routing and optimize agent productivity with Service Console
- Automate service processes using workflows, process builder, and flow
- Integrate telephony systems with Service Cloud for CTI functionality
- Create and analyze service reports and dashboards
- Demonstrate knowledge of best practices and industry standards for Service Cloud implementation
The syllabus for the Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant course will cover the following topics:
- Introduction to Salesforce Service Cloud
- Service Cloud Implementation Strategies
- Service Cloud Data Model and Configuration
- Salesforce Knowledge Management
- Omni-Channel and Service Console
- Service Cloud Automation
- Salesforce CTI Integration
- Service Cloud Analytics and Reporting
|Salesforce Certified Service cloud consultant|
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Salesforce Certified Service cloud consultant
Which search mechanism should be used to find case comments from within the lightning service console?
A. Search utility component
B. Comment search component
C. Comments list view
D. Global search
A Contact Center Manager is implementing a new customer care program and wants to specifically measure customer
Which three measures satisfy this requirement? Choose 3 answers
A. customer satisfaction Survey
B. Customer Purchase History
C. Customer Support Requests
D. Net promoter Score
E. Service Level Agreement
Universal Containers recently implement Service Cloud. The Support Manager notices that cases are being distributed
unevenly across the team.
What should the consultant recommend to address this problem?
A. Configure Case Assignment Rules to use Queues.
B. Configure Omni-Channel Routing Model as Most Available.
C. Configure Case Assignment Rules to use Users.
D. Configure Omni-Channel Routing Model as Least Active.
A company wants to publish knowledge articles to its customer community. The articles should be organized for easy
navigation by community members.
What should a consultant recommend?
A. Define data categories with custom visibility.
B. Define article types with public sharing settings.
C. Define courses for each knowledge article.
D. Define a custom field to identify the subject.
A company wants to publish Knowledge articles to its Customer Community. The articles should be organized for
easy navigation by Community members .
What should a Consultant recommend?
A. Define Article Types with Public Sharing Settings.
B. Define Data Categories with Custom Visibility.
C. Define courses for each Knowledge article.
D. Define a Custom Field to identify the Subject.
UC has two customer service contact centers and each focuses on a specific product line. Each contact center has a
varying call volume, contributing to a high operational cost for the company. UC wants to optimize the cost without
compromising customer satisfaction .
What can a consultant recommend to accomplish these objectives? Choose 2 answers.
A. Implement a customer self-service portal
B. Enable agents to transfer calls to other agents
C. Cross-train agents on both product lines
D. Prioritize customer calls based on their SLA
A manager would like information on the knowledge base searches conducted by customers and call center agents .
Which two metrics are useful for identifying knowledge article effectiveness? Choose 2 answers
A. Knowledge search query with no results.
B. Knowledge articles with the lowest rating.
C. Number of knowledge articles in each data category.
D. Knowledge articles created by call center agents.
The Service Manager at universal Containers manages three teams. Each team provides support for the specific
product. Agents have concerns about seeing search results for other products when searching the knowledge base. The
service manager originally provided the teams with full access to the articles.
Which solution will ensure each team sees only the relevant article type for their product?
A. Create an article action for each record type and assign them to each team based on their product specialization
B. Create a permission set for each record type and assign them to each team based on their product specialization
C. Create a page layout for each article type and assign them to each team based on their product specialization
D. Create a data category for each product and assign them to each team bases on their product specialization
Universal Containers wants to implement best practices for its customer support teams and has decided to follow a
Knowledge-Centered Support (KCS) methodology.
Which two benefits can be expected from KCS adoption? Choose 2 answers
A. A knowledge article life cycle that is implemented correctly the first time and does not need to change
B. Reduced first contact resolution
C. A knowledge article life cycle that evolves based on usage and demand
D. Reduced issue resolution time
As part of a new Salesforce Knowledge implementation, Universal Containers would like to migrate articles from their
Which factor should a Consultant consider as part of the migration strategy?
A. Convert any articles containing HTML into plain text before importing because HTML is NOT supported in any
article field types.
B. Verify that each article type has field level security on all fields set to read-only prior to import, in order to prevent
any loss of data.
C. Ensure that each existing article type has a corresponding Salesforce Knowledge article type that matches its
structure and content.
D. Prepare a single .csv file that can be used to migrate all articles types at once and include with a properties file in a
.zip for import.
Universal Containers (UC) is updating the Service Cloud console app for its call center agents. Management is
concerned that deploying the new app will disrupt current operations and impact customer satisfaction.
What should the consultant recommend to mitigation these concerns?
A. Deploy the configured and tested app to production, update the agent’s profile to view the app and take away
access to the old app.
B. Configure the new app in a sandbox. Use a change-set to push the configuration to production for testing and
C. Deploy the configuration from a sandbox to production during the next Salesforce version update so the system
only goes down once.
D. Configure the new app m developer org and use an unmanaged package to deploy to production.
How can a Contact Center Manager see which Service Representatives have not accepted new Cases recently using the
Lightning Service Console?
A. Omni-Channel Utility Component
B. Cases report sorted by Rep and Case Owner
C. Cases report sorted by Rep and Case CreatedDate
D. Omni-Channel Supervisor tab
Sales engineer needs visibility to list field edits, emails, case comments, and related objects on ONE page .
How can this be achieved?
A. Customer view of case tab
B. Custom Visual force page
C. Custom report
D. Custom related list
Universal Containers would like to provide their contact center agents with a map image of their customers location
based on the Shipping Address of their Account Record .
What should a consultant recommend as part of the solution?
A. An outbound message to a middleware platform to provide map details
B. A mashup integration on the Account page to a third-party mapping service
C. A Web Service call-out that retrieves map details from the backend system
D. A custom tab of type URL that displays a map image of customer location
Universal Containers (UC) wants to schedule for repair service when an agent is unable to solve the customer’s
problem via the call center.
What functionality should a consultant recommend to satisfy the UC’s need?
A. omni Channel
B. Contact Request
C. Field Service
D. Mobile Connect
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Veeam customers can now benefit from extended security options and enhanced restores to protect against data loss and corruption.
DUBAI, UAE: â€“ VeeamÂ® Software, the leader in Data Protection and Ransomware Recovery, today announced it has launched Veeam Backup for Salesforce v2, available on Salesforce AppExchange Veeam Backup for Salesforce eliminates the risks of Salesforce data and metadata loss from human, integration, and corruption errors. This newest version from Veeam - the #1 data protection provider - extends support for multiple clouds, provides greater security with single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA), and provides a safe environment for testing and developing via sandbox seeding. Organizations can deploy on-premises or in the cloud, recover exactly what they need when they need it, and experience backup that is custom-engineered for Salesforce data and metadata.
Veeam Backup for Salesforce:
Data loss is inevitable within an organization, so it's important for organizations to protect themselves at all costs. This newest version builds on the success of Veeam Backup for Salesforce with its already powerful, rapid-recovery capabilities for IT departments and Salesforce administrators. It underlines why Salesforce data backup is critical to prevent data loss, ensures compliance and enables fast recovery by providing a comprehensive, purpose-built Salesforce backup solution that gives organizations the ability to recover from Salesforce data loss with speed and confidence.
New capabilities of Veeam Backup for Salesforce include:
Veeam Backup for Salesforce is a separate standalone paid product that is new to Veeam Data Platform. Available today from Veeam technology partners, Veeam Backup for Salesforce is sold in one- to five-year annual subscriptions, priced per user license. Veeam is currently offering promotional packages through December 31, 2023 for current customers.
Veeam Backup for Salesforce Community Edition is currently available. Community Edition provides fully functional free backup and recovery of Salesforce data for organizations with 50 Salesforce user licenses or less.
Comments on the News:
About Salesforce AppExchange:
Salesforce AppExchange, the world's leading enterprise cloud marketplace, empowers companies, developers and entrepreneurs to build, market and grow in entirely new ways. With more than 7,000 listings, 11 million customer installs and 117,000 peer reviews, AppExchange connects customers of all sizes and across industries to ready-to-install or customizable apps and Salesforce-certified consultants to solve any business challenge.
Salesforce, AppExchange, Government Cloud, Education Cloud, Field Service, CPQ, Person Accounts, and managed packages, and others are among the trademarks of salesforce, inc.
About Veeam Software:
VeeamÂ®, the #1 global market leader in data protection and ransomware recovery, is on a mission to help every organization not just bounce back from a data outage or loss but bounce forward. With Veeam, organizations achieve radical resilience through data security, data recovery, and data freedom for their hybrid cloud. The Veeam Data Platform delivers a single solution for cloud, virtual, physical, SaaS, and Kubernetes environments that gives IT and security leaders peace of mind that their apps and data are protected and always available. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, with offices in more than 30 countries, Veeam protects over 450,000 customers worldwide, including 73% of the Global 2000, who trust Veeam to keep their businesses running. Radical resilience starts with Veeam.
Salesforce is regarded as one of the best customer relationship management (CRM) solutions for large-scale enterprises, with its Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional tool earning our Editors' Choice award. However, that enterprise-grade CRM is too complex and costly for smaller businesses. On the other end, the company's entry-level Salesforce Essentials offered limited features at a steeper price than its competitors in the small to medium size business (SMB) space. That brings us to Salesforce Starter, a streamlined version of the award-winning platform designed to replace Essentials on Salesforce's menu of CRM options. Starter is specifically targeted toward SMBs, giving Salesforce a seat at the table with HubSpot CRM, Freshsales, and Zoho CRM (our Editors' Choice pick that features deep third-party integrations).
How Much Does Salesforce Starter Cost?
Like its predecessor, Salesforce Essentials, Salesforce Starter costs $25 per user per month, billed annually. That's on the higher end of the affordability scale. Still, Starter does a better job than its predecessor of merging usability and scalability with a comprehensive set of sales, marketing, and service tools that won't overwhelm new CRM users.
The most notable bone that Salesforce has thrown to its SMB customers is that you can onboard up to 325 users on Starter, compared with Essentials' 10-user limit. Salesforce aims to make Starter flexible enough to grow with small to medium businesses, so you won't need to jump to a pricier, more complex solution before you're ready.
As with many of its competitors, you can test drive Salesforce Starter for 30 days without a credit card before diving into a yearlong commitment.
If you need more advanced features, Salesforce Professional is the next tier at $80 per user per month, billed annually. This plan adds tools like sales forecasting, quotes and contracts, and third-party API access. Then there are Salesforce's Enterprise tiers that range in cost from $165 to $500 per user per month, billed annually. These include the sophisticated features, high-level customization, and robust library of add-ons that make Salesforce one of the top CRMs.
How does Salesforce Starter fare against its rivals? Let's take Zoho CRM, for example. Zoho's Standard plan costs $14 per user per month, billed annually, making it notably more affordable than Salesforce Starter. Although it lacks the case management and artificial intelligence-optimized tools found in Salesforce Starter, Zoho compensates by offering lead scoring and sales forecasting. Both platforms are evenly matched when it comes to customization, reporting, and ease of use. Ultimately, your choice boils down to your budget and business needs.
How to Set Up Salesforce Starter
Salesforce Starter's setup process is one of its most impressive features. In contrast to earlier Salesforce products, Starter practically holds your hand (in a good way) through onboarding. There's still a noticeable learning curve, but you won't need to outsource onboarding to a Salesforce expert. This will save your business money.
To begin, you fill out a brief form and take a short survey regarding your business goals, which will then bring you to a two-minute video. (The video is merely a Salesforce commercial, so you won't lose much by skipping it.). When you're ready to purchase a plan, click the "Buy Now" button in the application's top-right corner to begin the three-step checkout process.
Then you'll see a homepage split into two main areas. The top section, Quick Look, features shortcuts to essential sales, marketing, and service tools. Click on these for a guided walkthrough of those elements, complete with on-page prompts and a sidebar checklist you can either move, minimize, or snooze as needed. The homepage's bottom half highlights your exact sales activities and suggests the next steps based on those metrics.
The top tabs highlight the Accounts, Contacts, Sales, Service, Marketing, Calendar, Dashboard, and Reports sections. Above these tabs are a universal search bar and a notifications button. Guidance Center and Quick Settings offer setup checklists and admin tools, such as adding users or managing your Salesforce subscription.
These are all welcome features, and they make it clear that Salesforce Starter aims to provide SMBs with a turnkey CRM. Starter doesn't support what Salesforce calls "custom objects," which let third-party vendors integrate their software with the platform. That's in contrast to Saleforce's earlier Essentials product, but the benefit here is a less time-intensive setup. This is ideal for companies new to CRMs or smaller teams that lack the resources to allocate for a lengthy onboarding process.
Data Transfer and Syncing Options With Salesforce Starter
There are two ways to sign in to Salesforce Starter: the usual email-and-password method or syncing to your Google or Microsoft account. The latter method streamlines the login process and lets you directly upload contacts, emails, and calendar events to the CRM. Salesforce's Einstein Activity Capture automatically links synced data to appropriate deals, granting you more time to focus on revenue-generating tasks. ("Einstein" is Salesforce's catch-all branding for any feature it claims is powered by AI.)
To import sales data, leads, or opportunities, you must upload a CSV file. You can opt to populate your contacts that way, as well.Â
Salesforce Starter's Pillars of Sales Success
The Guidance Center focuses on three main pillars for selling on the platform: Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities. These serve as the backbone of your Starter sales operations, housing all the essential information and functions you'll need to initiate and advance deals.Â
An unobtrusive pop-up walks you through manually entering data for each section. After saving the data, you're taken to an overview page divided into three parts: personal details, exact activities, and other related CRM data such as Cases and Files. This hub streamlines vital sales activities like sending emails, scheduling meetings, and logging calls, eliminating the need to toggle tabs or swap screens.
You can filter Accounts, Contacts, and Opportunities with preset or custom list views. Tailor these lists for targeted marketing campaigns or generate quick sidebar charts to track specific metrics on the fly. You also can switch between table, Kanban, and split view formats, whichever suits your workflow best.
Maximizing Lead Generation in Salesforce StarterÂ
Although Salesforce Starter's target audience is SMBs, many of which will have little or no experience with CRM software, it offers many features that aid growing companies in executing an efficient lead generation strategy without devoting too much time to grunt work (read: data entry). These tools are found in the Marketing hub. They don't rival what's available from standalone email marketing and marketing automation products, but they'll be a boon to smaller companies that don't want to navigate learning multiple applications for their sales functions.
Cadences, a feature also present in Salesforce Sales Cloud Lightning Professional, guides you through the prospecting process by mapping out activity sequences. These sync up with Tasks, which automatically update as leads progress through the pipeline.Â
Sorting leads and automating tasks is seamless, thanks to Segments and Flows. These sections have a visual interface with drag-and-drop elements and dropdown menus, leveling the playing field for people new to CRMs who don't want to be inundated with lines of unfamiliar, confusing code.
The Campaigns tab has an email builder with customizable templates and myriad components for businesses wanting to level up their outreach. Whether you're sending one email or preparing an email blast, the Einstein Send Time Optimization suggests the best times to hit send (you can disable this if you prefer manual timing).
The Performance tab offers a comprehensive view of your ongoing email campaigns so you'll know what's working and what's not. Notably, this component was often the slowest to load during our tests. (For context, we tested the software against the latest version of Chrome on a 2019 Intel-based MacBook Air.)Â
Salesforce Starter lets you send up to 2,000 emails per month, which should suffice for most small businesses. However, if you need to up that allowance, you can pay an extra $10 per month for another 1,000 sends.
Advanced options, such as lead scoring and sales forecasting, aren't part of the package, which is expected given Salesforce Starter's focus on user-friendliness for smaller businesses. Nor is there any integration with social media networks, which is something to keep in mind if you promote heavily on such platforms. However, Zoho CRM is worth investigating if you're looking for such features at a fair price.Â
Keeping Clients Happy With Salesforce Starter
In addition to its Sales and Marketing tools, Salesforce Starter also has a Service hub to help manage customer queries. The central feature here is Cases, where you log and view every interaction that a customer had with your company about a given issue. This way, any team member can easily step in and pick up where someone else left off for a smoother transition. (Once again, you can think of this as a subset of what you'd get from a standalone help desk product.)
There's also the Knowledge tab, where you write and publish articles about common customer problems and their solutions, all within the CRM. These articles are searchable and accessible right within each customer case, so you can resolve things quickly and keep things moving.
The last Service feature is Quick Text, designed to speed up outreach by letting you create preset email messages for occasions like birthdays or special promotions. We couldn't fully test this due to a minor bug. Still, it's worth noting that at the time of our test, Salesforce Starter was a just-launched product. As of this writing, it's still only available in a limited number of geographic regions, mainly owing to language localization issues.
Measuring Success With Dashboards and Reporting
Salesforce Starter has the weakest reporting capabilities among the full family of Salesforce Sales products. However, compared with most CRM competitors in the small business space (like Freshsales or HubSpot CRM), it's robust without the overkill of advanced features better suited for large enterprises.
Salesforce Starter comes with over 60 customizable report types across 11 categories, such as sales, marketing, service, and admin. You'll also have a range of nearly a dozen chart types, giving you the flexibility to present your data in the most meaningful way. You can organize dashboards according to report types and tailor the formatting to your liking.Â
You can make reports and dashboards public, private, or limited to specific users. With the Subscribe feature, you can opt to receive notifications for report or dashboard updates in real-time or at scheduled intervals.
Is Salesforce Starter Easy to Use?
Salesforce Starter aims to be accessible for newcomers to the Salesforce ecosystem or CRMs in general. While the platform is feature-rich, which could potentially steepen the learning curve, the on-page guidance and easy access to the Guidance Center are a boon for smaller teams that may not have the means to bring in a Salesforce expert to train them. There's also the Trailblazer Community, where you can find resources and answers to any questions you may have.Â
Salesforce is known for its high level of customization, and Salesforce Starter also delivers on that front. You can tweak the interface to your liking, which could range from something as basic as choosing between a wide-spaced or compact layout, or going all-in and incorporating the colors and logo of your company for a personal touch.Â
On the other hand, unlike its predecessor, Salesforce Essentials, Salesforce Starter doesn't support the platform's custom objects. As mentioned above, this restricts the range of third-party app integrations that are available. But once again, this is likely intentional given the platform's focus on simplicity for small businesses. If building a tech stack is necessary for your small business, look at HubSpot CRM instead.
Salesforce Starter syncs with the Salesforce mobile app, which is free to download on Android and iOS. While it lacks access to the advanced remote features available in Salesforce's Enterprise tiers, the core functionality should meet the needs of most small to medium businesses.
A User-Friendly Gateway to the Salesforce Platform
Salesforce bills Salesforce Starter as a platform for small- to medium-size businesses seeking a turnkey CRM. It succeeds in that regard, thanks to a straightforward setup process and a focus on core sales, marketing, and service tools. Its scalability and ease of use make it a suitable choice for companies that want to streamline their operations, minus the burden that often accompanies the introduction of new technology. For most SMBs, Salesforce Starter is a fine introduction to the Salesforce ecosystem (or CRMs in general).
There are concessions you must make if you opt for Salesforce Starter. Notably, a lack of support for third-party objects and fewer AI-powered tools than other Salesforce products. The trade-off is a CRM that's essentially ready to use out of the box, barring any tweaks you'll want to make to the interface. Editors' Choice winner Zoho CRM is a better value for your money, but the entry-level Starter is an excellent gateway into the broader Salesforce platform that offers room to grow.
Veeam Software, the leader in Data Protection and Ransomware Recovery,Â today announced it hasÂ launchedÂ Veeam Backup for Salesforce v2,Â available on Salesforce AppExchange Veeam BackupÂ for Salesforce eliminates the risks of Salesforce data and metadata loss from human, integration, and corruption errors. This newest version from Veeam â€” the #1 data protection provider â€” extends support for multiple clouds, provides greater security with single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA), and provides a safe environment for testing and developing via sandbox seeding. Organizations can deploy on-premises or in the cloud, recover exactly what they need when they need it, and experience backup that is custom-engineered for Salesforce data and metadata.
Alice Steinglass, Executive Vice President of and General Manager, Platform at Salesforce, said, â€śVeeam Backup for Salesforce is a welcome addition to AppExchange, as they accelerate business transformation for customers by backing up and quickly recovering Salesforce data and metadata in the cloud and on-premises. AppExchange is constantly evolving to connect customers with the right apps and experts for their business needs.â€ť
Veeam BackupÂ for SalesforceÂ Â
Data loss is inevitable within an organization, so itâ€™s important for organizations to protect themselves at all costs. This newest version builds on the success of Veeam Backup for Salesforce with its already powerful, rapid-recovery capabilities for IT departments and Salesforce administrators. It underlines why Salesforce data backup is critical to prevent data loss, ensures compliance and enables fast recovery by providing a comprehensive, purpose-built Salesforce backup solution that gives organizations the ability to recover from Salesforce data loss with speed and confidence.
New capabilities of Veeam Backup for Salesforce include:Â
Danny Allan, CTO at Veeam, said, â€śReliability and consistency of protecting SaaS data is a key driver for improving data protection in 2023, according to the Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2023. However, many organizations still donâ€™t believe that Salesforce needs to be protected and that their data and metadata are safe in a cloud somewhere. We disagree â€“ and so does Salesforce. Veeam Backup for Salesforce bookings grew 195% quarter-over-quarter for Q3â€™23. With V2, weâ€™re excited to continue to support our customers and partners in this shared responsibility to ensure that their business is kept running and critical data is both protected and quickly recoverable in case of human error, integration error or data breaches.â€ť
Veeam BackupÂ for SalesforceÂ is a separate standalone paid product that is new toÂ Veeam Data Platform. Available today from VeeamÂ technology partners,Â Veeam Backup for Salesforce is sold in one- to five-year annual subscriptions, priced per user license. Veeam is currently offering promotional packages through December 31, 2023 for current customers.
Veeam Backup for SalesforceÂ Community Edition is currently available. Community Edition provides fully functional free backup and recovery of Salesforce data for organizations with 50 Salesforce user licenses or less.
Enterprise Strategy Group Practice Director Christophe Bertrand, said, â€śOur exact study on the disconnect in SaaS data protection reveals that while most end-users recognize the importance of Salesforce environments and data, they find it challenging to safeguard these assets from the threat of data loss. Veeam for Salesforce V2 provides essential features to mitigate this risk and enhance data and metadata protection at scale, making it an ideal solution for many organizations in need.â€ť
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms can save businesses time and boost sales by tracking and automating client interactions. The best CRM software helps businesses organize customer information and engage with leads and customers via multiple channels, creating a consistent and effective communication strategy.Â
Salesforce and HubSpot are top-tier CRM solutions that can help many businesses. Weâ€™ve evaluated key elements of our Salesforce CRM review and our HubSpot CRM review to help businesses weigh their similarities and differences and choose the right CRM software for their needs.Â
Salesforce vs. HubSpot
Who Do We Recommend Salesforce For?Â
While Salesforce is an excellent option for any business, we recommend the platform particularly for businesses with advanced customization or automation needs.Â
Salesforce is a well-known and highly respected CRM vendor used by thousands of companies worldwide, including big names like IBM, Mercedes-Benz, NBCUniversal, Herman Miller, Morgan Stanley, PayPal, AT&T, 3M, ADP, Adidas and Asana. Its high-level sales and marketing features can help businesses of all sizes generate leads, close sales, and Boost and streamline operations. We especially like its AI-powered Einstein tool, which automates sales tasks and provides rich deal insights, call coaching and sentiment analysis to help your sales team perform more effectively.
We appreciate that Salesforce offers an expansive range of plans to accommodate the needs of various businesses. In this evaluation, we focused primarily on its impressive small business offerings. Salesforceâ€™s lowest tier starts at an affordable $25 per user per month; as businesses scale and their needs grow, they can upgrade to more feature-full plans.Â
The following features make Salesforce a top CRM choice:
Salesforce offers easy-to-read dashboards and AI-powered personalized insights. Source: Salesforce
Who Do We Recommend HubSpot For?
We recommend HubSpot for small businesses implementing a CRM for the first time or companies with teams new to using CRM software. Its user-friendly interface promises a short learning curve that can help quickly get your staff up and running.Â
HubSpot boasts well-rounded sales and marketing features. Its intuitive setup and navigation will make it easy to manage customer relationships, track customer and lead communications, build a sales pipeline, monitor in-progress deals, and much more. Additionally, its expansive integration options can help businesses connect their CRM to their existing business software, creating a customized solution.Â
We were impressed by HubSpotâ€™s free offering, which provides essential sales, marketing, commerce and operations tools to help small businesses on a tight budget manage leads and customers. As they grow, they can opt for the affordable Starter tier for $20 per user per month and gain more extensive sales and marketing features.Â Â Â
We think the following features help HubSpot stand out among the competition:Â
HubSpotâ€™s education platform, HubSpot Academy, offers training courses in multiple areas, including sales training and digital marketing skills development.
HubSpot offers a wide range of sales and marketing tools, including email templates and tracking. Source: HubSpot
Salesforce vs. HubSpot
Price and Plans
Salesforce offers various plans with features to Boost lead management, sales, marketing and more. Various add-ons are available for enhanced CRM analytics capabilities, marketing features, commerce options and more. We like that it offers a reasonably priced Starter plan; however, itâ€™s missing notable features like automations and detailed CRM reporting. We were also disappointed that you must opt for the Unlimited plan to access lead scoring.Â
The following prices reflect monthly charges with annual billing. Youâ€™ll pay more for monthly billing.Â
HubSpot has various iterations related to marketing, sales, customer service, operations and content management. For our evaluation purposes, weâ€™re looking at HubSpotâ€™s CRM Suite and its pricing.Â
We love that HubSpot CRM Suite has a free tier â€“ few competitors offer this perk. While the free tier lacks some crucial features, including marketing campaign management, itâ€™s still a great deal to help businesses get started with using a CRM.Â
The following plans and prices reflect an annual billing discount. (Youâ€™ll pay more for monthly billing.)Â
Weâ€™re calling a tie in this round; your businessâ€™s needs and budget will dictate the most affordable package for you. HubSpotâ€™s free plan is unmatched; however, it may not be enough for your businessâ€™s sales and marketing goals. The Starter plan adds essential features, but thereâ€™s an enormous price jump to its Professional plan if you need more extensive functionality. Salesforce may end up being a better value if you need a higher-level plan. Its Professional Plan is $80 per user per month, offering businesses a way to upgrade beyond essential features without incurring exorbitant expenses.
Check out our review of monday Sales CRM to learn about another popular CRM platform with a generous free tier.
Salesforce offers a 30-day free trial, allowing businesses to thoroughly test its CRM platform. No credit card is required to sign up for the free trial. To sign up, youâ€™ll complete an online form with essential information like your name, contact information, company size and company name.
HubSpot offers a 14-day free trial for its paid service plans. Additionally, businesses can sign up for a free account to access a more limited range of CRM tools.
While both vendors allow you to test their software for free, HubSpot wins this category. Businesses can use its free offering as long as necessary before upgrading to a paid version.
Salesforce can integrate with various software packages and productivity applications, including Slack, Google Cloud, Dropbox, Mailchimp, QuickBooks and DocuSign. Salesforce integrations can be managed through Zapier, AppExchange plug-ins or API integrations.
HubSpot offers robust integration options within its App Marketplace, including popular business software like Gmail, Asana, Zapier, Microsoft Outlook and Calendly. It even offers integrations with competing CRM tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Pipedrive, Freshsales and Zoho CRM.Â
HubSpot offers an expansive range of integrations in its user-friendly App Marketplace â€“ over 1,000. Additionally, setting up integrations with HubSpot is exceptionally quick and easy.Â
CRM integrations are crucial for many businesses, allowing them to utilize existing software, including productivity and communication apps.
Salesforceâ€™s customer service team is available 24/7 by phone, email and chat. However, the support line frequently experiences a high call volume that may lead to long wait times. Salesforce encourages customers to take advantage of the available online self-help tools or request a support call via an online form.Â
HubSpotâ€™s customer support options vary depending on your plan:
HubSpot also offers many self-service features and training options online.Â
While Salesforceâ€™s customer support options arenâ€™t perfect, we appreciate that the company offers 24/7 support through multiple communication channels. We think itâ€™s crucial for small businesses to have access to phone support, as even the most user-friendly CRMs have a learning curve.
You donâ€™t need to be a HubSpot customer to access the companyâ€™s training library. HubSpot Academy courses and certifications are free, providing a great resource for training on skills like sending marketing emails and improving SEO.
HubSpot offers a wide range of sales features, including deal tracking. Source: HubSpot
Salesforce offers comprehensive and user-friendly sales features, even in budget plans. The Salesforce CRM is one of the most popular tools for sales teams because the platform offers strong sales tracking functionality along with robust analytics, forecasting capabilities and AI-powered insights to help boost sales teamsâ€™ productivity and performance. We also like how well Salesforce organizes lead data and routes leads to the correct sales team member.
Track the performance of specific marketing assets or campaigns with Salesforceâ€™s helpful marketing data dashboards. Source: Salesforce.
The HubSpot Marketing Hub includes the following features:
Access advanced marketing reporting with visual charts and graphs with HubSpotâ€™s marketing features. Source: HubSpot
HubSpotâ€™s marketing features shine, with multiple options and ease of use. We also like that the vendor offers marketing skill-building courses to train marketing teams.
Salesforce vs. HubSpot Recap
Both Salesforce and HubSpot provide essential CRM features; however, one may be better than the other for your specific business needs.Â
Choose Salesforce if:
Choose HubSpot if:Â
Salesforce does not have a free plan but does offer a free trial. If you are looking for a free CRM option, consider HubSpotâ€™s free CRM plan.
HubSpot has different plans and features targeted toward different functions, including sales and marketing. A stand-alone Sales Hub can be purchased by companies that just need sales-focused features.
Both vendors offer comprehensive CRM tools that can meet the needs of a wide range of businesses. HubSpot offers more affordable pricing and a shallower learning curve, making it a great option for many small businesses. Salesforceâ€™s enhanced customization options make it well suited for larger businesses.
Yes. QuickBooks offers a Salesforce Connector that can integrate data between Salesforce and QuickBooks.
According to HubSpot, over 184,000 businesses globally are using its service.
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Shares of Salesforce (CRM 0.93%) were down about 2.5% at the start of trading on Monday before rallying by midmorning.Â Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to a neutral rating, citing the potential for slowing growth.
The stock has rebounded this year following a sharp sell-off in 2022. However, the stock is still 33% off its all-time high.Â
Macro headwinds could hold Salesforce in check
Salesforce has been a high-growth leader in the customer relationship management (CRM) market. The company regularly posted annual revenue growth of 20%-plus for many years before the weak macro environment caused top-line growth to slow around 11%. This initially sent the stock spiraling downward last year, which is why the downgrade from Piper Sandler might have spooked investors today.
Piper Sandler analysts cited internal research that found customer demand slowing for leading cloud companies. Because of this finding, the analysts believe this year's growth estimates for Salesforce are too high. The consensus Wall Street estimate has Salesforce revenue growing 11% year over year.Â
Investors have been optimistic about Salesforce's focus on growing free cash flow and the potential for a turnaround in enterprise spending. This has pushed the stock up 51% year to date, but Salesforce is not out of the woods yet. During the most exact earnings call in August, management noted that macro headwinds are still leading to longer sales cycles, which is pressuring revenue growth.Â
Is artificial intelligence (AI) demand an opportunity for Salesforce?
Piper Sandler sees risks from the focus on generative AI in the near term. As companies shift their focus to investing in this breakthrough new technology, it may shift some spending away from Salesforce.
Salesforce should benefit from AI over the long term. It has already been investing heavily in this technology, which led to the launch earlier this year of Einstein GPT, which brings chatbot capabilities to Salesforce's CRM platform. Investors should watch how Salesforce characterizes demand for these services in the next quarterly earnings report.
The Salesforce CRM offers an impressive selection of features, customization options and tailored workflows within a single ecosystem, making it our pick for the best CRM for growing businesses.
Businesses must successfully convert leads and manage and grow customer relationships to succeed. Salesforce CRM features myriad customization options to achieve these goals, empowering businesses of all sizes â€“ and across various industries â€“ to better understand and support prospects and customers. You can adapt nearly every aspect of the softwareâ€™s interface and performance to help sales, marketing, customer service and technical support teams succeed. Salesforce CRM features thousands of fully integrated apps, plug-in scripts, and a superior API interface to help businesses create a flexible, customized solution. Once implemented, youâ€™ll enjoy a beautifully designed product thatâ€™s speedy, powerful, and perfectly tailored to your companyâ€™s specific needs and processes.
Salesforce CRM Editor's Rating:
9.5 / 10
Why We Chose Salesforce as the Best CRM for Customization
Salesforce is arguably the best-known CRM provider on the market. It has an established community and a well-earned reputation for being a leader in the customer relationship management field. While it was created to meet the needs of enterprises and large businesses, Salesforce has expanded its scope and now actively targets businesses of all sizes.
Unlike more rigid competitors, Salesforce CRM provides countless personalization and customization options, giving businesses a high level of control over how the system looks and acts. We were particularly impressed by how Salesforce handles workflow automation and by its pioneering integration of AI in CRM customization.
Notably, Salesforce was one of the first CRM platforms to open itself up to third-party developers, giving it more apps and customization options than any other provider. If Salesforce doesnâ€™t have a built-in function you need, thereâ€™s almost certainly an app to compensate. If not, a developer can create and deploy a specific solution.Â
Salesforce CRMâ€™s initial setup requires time and IT skills. Its learning curve is far steeper than those of many other CRM providers we reviewed. However, youâ€™ll enjoy flexible CRM software guaranteed to accommodate all custom processes and meet the changing needs of your business. For all these reasons and more, Salesforce is our top CRM choice for customization.
Salesforce CRMâ€™s pipeline management feature gives an overview of your sales opportunities. Source: Salesforce
Ease of Use
Despite its complexities, Salesforce is surprisingly easy to implement and use. Here are some notable ease-of-use factors we discovered.Â
Salesforceâ€™s visual dashboards help your team pinpoint problems and work on solutions. Source: Salesforce
Salesforceâ€™s upper-tier plans provide business owners access to live support, coaching sessions and adoption guidance for an additional fee. This may be useful if youâ€™re considering switching CRM systems to Salesforce.
The Salesforce product boasts an impressive array ofÂ CRM featuresÂ that make it one of the best on the market. Here are some of the most notable features that provide excellent CRM software benefits.
Comprehensive Business Ecosystem
We like that Salesforceâ€™s business products seamlessly integrate. Businesses can grow with the Salesforce CRM and gradually adopt new features as needed. Additional Salesforce product categories include:
You can use Salesforceâ€™s impressive range of third-party apps to run many aspects of your company, from marketing to fulfillment. HR, data analytics, workforce collaboration and finance apps plug directly into Salesforce CRM. You can even add ERP apps to Salesforce to build a system close in function to the ERP platform described in our review of Oracle NetSuite CRM.Â
We also like how Salesforceâ€™s AppExchange breaks down apps by industry. There are 12 sector-specific areas on AppExchange, including communications, financial services, manufacturing and professional services.
Salesforce is a capable solution for companies that want to Boost customer service performance. Read our review of Salesforce Service Cloud to discover how it helps supervisors and teams manage ongoing customer relationships.
We were impressed by Salesforce CRMâ€™s vast customization capabilities â€“ an area where it truly stands out among the competition. While many CRMs we reviewed offer options for customizing deal and contact fields, email templates, and dashboards, Salesforce lets you do much more.Â
Here are some of our favorite customization options:Â
Sales managers can customize their dashboards with specific objects. Source: Salesforce
Integrations and Add-ons
We like that CRM users can build customizable systems and integrate their favorite business apps via the Salesforce AppExchange store. Other CRM software companies we reviewed have similar online stores for add-ons, but Salesforceâ€™s is far more comprehensive, with thousands of available integrations.Â
The company makes it easy to search for add-ons based on the product name and view industry-specific product bundles. Because Salesforce is such a huge company, its industry-specific add-ons are expansive. Thereâ€™s even a separate section for small business-specific add-ons, many of which are free.
On the AppExchange, youâ€™ll find five different solution categories:
Salesforce is embracing the â€ślow codeâ€ť and â€śno codeâ€ť trends with its Lightning App Builder and Salesforce Flow drag-and-drop tools. Read our HubSpot review to learn about another CRM with drag-and-drop functionality.
New apps are added to the AppExchange daily, further enhancing its appeal. Source: Salesforce
Intuitive Productivity Tools
We were pleased to see Salesforceâ€™s intuitive productivity-boosting tools, particularly its built-in project management features. (Freshworks has similar tools; read our Freshworks CRM review to learn more.) Once implemented, sales and marketing departments â€“ as well as managers â€“ will find it easy to manage and build workflows, assign and follow tasks, and check off permissions.Â
Salesforceâ€™s visual dashboards allow sales reps to check KPIs and track their progress toward quotas, facilitating productivity and accountability. We like that you can add meetings straight from the calendar tab and see an instant overview of your schedule.Â
Additional add-on productivity tools are available through the AppExchange.
Salesforceâ€™s artificial intelligence (AI) strides impressed us with capabilities beyond those of the competitors we reviewed. Salesforce was a CRM-AI pioneer, launching its high-profile AI tool, Einstein, in 2016. Today, the company has picked up the pace amid breakthroughs in the generative large language model AIs (like ChatGPT and Bard) that power tools like Einstein. Einstein is available on Salesforceâ€™s upper-tier plans or as a paid add-on.
Einstein can do the following after gathering data from system use and user input:Â
Einstein, in its current form, is amazing, and we look forward to seeing its next iterations. We expect AI (and the solutions other CRM providers develop) to be integral to corporate life and CRM adoption in the coming years. Weâ€™re not awarding best use of AI in this round of CRM reviews; however, if we were, Salesforce would win.
Einstein can flag emails in which leads express critical concerns that could prevent a deal from moving forward, allowing a sales rep to prioritize those messages and act fast to grow and sustain customer relationships.
Salesforceâ€™s Einstein tool can help with sentiment analysis so you understand how your brand is perceived. Source: Salesforce
Nearly every CRM vendor we reviewed has some form of an online community. However, Salesforceâ€™s Trailblazer community is particularly impressive, replete with documentation invaluable for admins. You can find step-by-step guides on everything from creating custom CRM reports to turning on user notifications.Â
Thereâ€™s also an extensive user-only forum for direct communication with other admins and CRM users and a comprehensive Trailhead learning platform with various product-related courses, upskilling opportunities and official certifications.Â
You can purchase Salesforceâ€™s Sales Cloud CRM via one of four subscription tiers:
Unlike Salesforce competitors monday and HubSpot, thereâ€™s no free plan.
Only Essentials is available on a month-to-month basis; all other plans require an annual contract. Bear in mind that annual contracts often require you to pay for the whole year upfront, which may not be ideal for some businesses.
All costs below are applied when billed annually. All plans allow you to send 5,000 email marketing messages daily from the platform, which is much more generous than many other providers we reviewed.Â
Price:Â $25 per user per month; available for up to 10 users
Features:Â Account, contact, lead, task and opportunity management; lead auto-assignment; prevention of duplicates; automatic capture of aÂ leadâ€™s available web information; mass email; marketing campaigns; customizable reports and dashboards; email integration with Gmail and Outlook; and Salesforce mobile app
Price:Â $75 per user per month
Features:Â Everything in the Essentials plan, plus pipeline management, lead registration, rules-based lead scoring, collaborative forecasting, a forecasting mobile app, quote and order management, roles and permissions, and a developer sandbox
Price:Â $150 per user per month
Features:Â Everything in the Professional plan, plus workflow and approval automation, sales teams and territories, opportunity scoring, and advanced reporting
Price:Â $300 per user per month
Features:Â Everything in the Enterprise plan, plus a sales engagement hub, AI-powered sales insights with Einstein, sales cadences and 24/7 support
Salesforce is pricey compared to other CRM solutions we reviewed. Itâ€™s a massive product with many add-ons and customizations; the subscription costs listed here should be considered jumping-off points.Â
You can spend considerably more on Salesforce. For example, CPQ & Billing, which allows you to quickly configure, price and quote complex solutions, costs $75 per user per month. Other add-ons include Pardot, Quip, Einstein AI and Sales Dialer â€“ all sold separately. There are additional costs if you opt for training or help with implementation.
Many other SaaS products offer free versions and low-cost, entry-level subscriptions that can be used indefinitely. While $25 per user per month isnâ€™t exorbitant, itâ€™s not a realistic long-term option for most small businesses because only 10 users are supported at that level. The next plan jumps to $75 per user per month â€“ significantly more expensive than the competition.Â
We recommend taking advantage of Salesforceâ€™s 14-day free trial to ensure this CRM is worth the investment.
Onboarding and Implementation
Implementing CRM software always takes care and patience. But due to its breadth of customization options, Salesforce CRMâ€™s implementation process can vary drastically, taking anywhere from a few days to several weeks. While that may seem alarming, users will quickly see that this CRM is worth the effort once it is set up.
Salesforce and third-party agencies can manage your initial implementation and launch for you. Still, this help comes at a cost, depending on your company size, number of employees, data volume and complexity, third-party integrations, and customization level.
Fortunately, you donâ€™t necessarily have to create a complex solution immediately. You can use the software out of the box and modify it as your business needs evolve. Thanks to the Salesforce CRMâ€™s intuitive design and overall sophistication, the learning curve isnâ€™t steep for non-admin users after implementation.
In addition to a vast library of training materials, Salesforce offers adoption guidance and coaching services for an extra cost. That may be worth it for business owners concerned about setting up the CRM and onboarding users.
Use the Data Import Wizard from the Setup menu to import up to 50,000 standard objects â€“ like contact, lead and account information â€“ from a CSV file.
While Salesforce is a market leader in CRM technology, integrations and capabilities, we found that it falls short in the customer service department. When we reached out for information about the companyâ€™s services, the response was delayed.
When we did communicate with customer support reps, they were very helpful and used real-life situations to explain the productâ€™s features and answer questions about the program. They were very clear and offered several solutions to help further our understanding. However, compared to other providers we called, their answers could have been more detailed.
Unfortunately, Salesforce has a C-minus rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and isnâ€™t an accredited BBB business. It earned 1 out of 5 stars and closed 55 complaints within the last three years. Thatâ€™s disappointing and surprising for a company thatâ€™s so well regarded in the industry.Â
On the plus side, Salesforce provides an extensive selection of self-guided resources, access to the Trailblazer community and basic technical support. Additionally, its Unlimited package comes with 24/7 assistance.Â
For an additional fee of 30 percent of your total monthly service fees, users can access 24/7 phone support, expert coaching and a dedicated account manager.
Salesforce CRM is an excellent solution; however, we did identify some limitations:Â
When evaluating the best CRM software, we conducted extensive comparative research of dozens of software solutions in the category. Our product review process was designed to help you find the right CRM for your business. It included customer support team communication, trials to evaluate product functionality, and an evaluation of each providerâ€™s tutorials, webinars and support materials. We also took pricing into consideration. When looking for the best CRM for customizability specifically, we examined customization options, available integrations, reporting and analytics, and sales automation.
Though the Salesforce system has an extensive collection of CRM features and add-ons, its intuitive design and standard CRM lingo make it easy to learn. The vendor also provides various training materials and courses on Trailhead, the companyâ€™s free online learning platform, to get you started.
Salesforce doesnâ€™t have a free plan; its pricing starts at $25 per user per month. However, the company offers a 14-day free trial so you can assess whether itâ€™s a good fit for your business.Â
With so many companies out there, it can be tough to nail down the best Salesforce alternative for your business. To find the right one for you, consider your goals, budget and must-have features. Additionally, consider user reviews and review articles to get a fuller picture of what the CRM software is like. We also suggest asking friends or colleagues from other companies to see what they use for their business and if they recommend it.
You may have certain CRM features or integrations in mind that are necessary for your business to run smoothly. If so, be sure to write them out and reference them during your search. Consult your team and other relevant stakeholders to review the list and add to it, if applicable.
Aligning with your team is the first step you should take when looking for a Salesforce alternative. Understand what they need or donâ€™t need in a CRM and ask if there are any pain points with Salesforce in particular.
Measure these against your businessâ€™s priorities. Review past reports to identify gaps or areas of improvement, and make sure that a CRM can help you reach your goals. For example, if you find that your customer satisfaction score (CSAT) numbers were lower than expected, a CRM can help you streamline your customer support management to provide better service.
Pricing and Budget
CRM providers vary in price. Companies such as Freshsales CRM and monday.com offer free versions, but youâ€™ll need to pay something per month or year to get their premium features or add as many users as required. Generally, CRM pricing ranges from a few dollars per user to hundreds per month. It all depends on your needs. However, consider factors such as a CRMâ€™s per-user per-month rates and whether discounts are available for bulk subscriptions.
Also, check for the need for specific contracts, add-ons or integration capabilities. For instance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 enables software integration only when you pay for its add-on feature. So, consider each CRMâ€™s pricing peculiarity and nail down your budget ahead of time to make your search easier.
Ease of Use and Support
You need a CRM that is easy to set up and navigate. So, choose one with user-friendly layouts that allow you to create tasks, import and export data and update information. Also, ensure the CRM supports its users via various channels, including phone, live chat and email. Other popular support channels to look out for are tickets, user forums and resources such as webinars, tutorials, live demos and a rich knowledge base of answers to FAQs, infographics and videos. A CRM software that is easy to use will help you enjoy CRM benefits, and a reliable support team will make sure you donâ€™t miss out on those benefits due to glitches.
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