Ten years ago Oracle dominated the Customer Relationship Management market. With its innovative design and functionality, no other tool could compete. Over the years, however, numerous CRM programs have emerged, some with comparable strength and functionality, others with worse. Few CRM applications successfully distinguished themselves from Oracle until 2009, when a rising force swept the market and revolutionized CRM: Salesforce.com. With its ease of use and agile data collection, storage and reporting functionality, Salesforce.com won over businesses and organizations across the globe.
In the past couple years, another CRM tool has proclaimed superior features and overwhelming end-User satisfaction rates. SugarCRM’s cloud-based system has attracted many Users with its low prices and straightforward functionality. Sugar is steadily gaining more recognition as a distinguished CRM tool for businesses.
As a CRM consulting firm, OpFocus has hosted numerous Salesforce implementation engagements with businesses big and small who have decided to leave other CRM tools, such as SugarCRM, and migrate their entire business platform to Salesforce.com instead. Based on client comments, we have found the following to be the most compelling reasons to choose Salesforce.com for your client relationship management (and entire business operations!):
When you join Salesforce.com, you join a community that spans across thousands of Users in hundreds of countries. Not only does Salesforce.com host multiple websites that are designed to educate administrators, sales users, support reps, and top-notch developers alike, but there are hundreds of Salesforce.com implementation partners, such as OpFocus, Inc., that will guide you through the migration process, train your team, and even help you enhance your instance with advanced layouts and processes. If you want to see an increase in productivity and profit, knowing you have the right implementation partner to support you in adopting a new CRM system is just as important as adopting the best CRM on the market. Check out Astrid’s article on how to pick the right consulting partner to learn more.
Using applications that leverage social media are important steps towards gaining your business wider recognition and keeping your team informed about your prospective and current clients. Along with incorporating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn social buttons that keep you company connected with your clients’ social media pages, Salesforce.com also uses a collaborative tool called Chatter to keep project team members, departments, and even clients in the loop on assignments, much like major social media sites do. Chatter enables you to share records (including all forms of Microsoft documents), collaborate with team members, and follow the status of specific records (eg. Cases, Leads, Opps, Accounts, etc). There are great apps, like Work.com, that build on Chatter’s backbone, making it the ideal spot to project company goals, recognize team members on their work, and set forth quarterly goals to enhance business.
While other CRM tools like Sugar have virtual application sites similar to Salesforce.com’s, none are as vast, nor contain applications as powerful as those found on the AppExchange. Salesforce.com on its own is a very powerful system already. However, when a company has very specific needs such as credit card processing, advanced quote template building, or sales activity tracking, the AppExchange is sure to have the answer. Not sure exactly what to look for? Check out Kyle’s article on the “10 Free Salesforce.com Apps That Your Company Needs” to get your search started. And while you’re there, be sure to take a free trial of OpFocus’ free and for-purchase applications.
Former Sugar users have given praise to Salesforce.com’s robust Reports and dynamic Dashboards. Salesforce employs 4 Report formats that can include formulas, bucketing and advanced data filtering. Needless to say, Salesforce.com Reports are extremely customizable to present your company with exactly the data it needs. Furthermore, the capabilities of the Dashboards extend beyond basic venn diagrams and bar graphs. The gauge, funnel view, complex charts, and other advanced metrics allow extensive amounts of information to be reported on a single dashboard that can be updated as frequently as desired.
The ease of use and high level of customization is the #1 thing OpFocus consultants hear from former SugarCRM users after transitioning to Salesforce. Having a powerful system but whose capabilities are intangible is useless to your team. The features of Salesforce are not only impressive but accessible. If not immediately apparent, answers they are merely a Customer Success Community or Google search away. Furthermore, unlike SugarCRM, Salesforce.com is not a static tool, but rather is a dynamic platform that users can build on and expand with custom Visualforce pages, Customer and Partner Communities, and even building custom apps that are accessible on mobile devices. For help with building out some of these advanced features or an application that will achieve the unique needs of your company, OpFocus is a simple call away.
Feel free to comment below if you have other questions about choosing a CRM or operations platform!
Sign up for weekly OpFocus blog updates!