How much does Salesforce for small business cost? A mere $25/month for Salesforce Essentials. With such a low cost it’s hard not to see what Salesforce’s intent is: to deliver killer sales and service applications to the SMB segment while giving them an equally irresistible pricing system to boot. It silences critics who support the idea that the company has gone big too fast for its own good or for the good of SMBs.
Once a startup itself, Salesforce has not forgotten its roots. In recent years, it has established clear pathways for small businesses to make it to the big league or simply prosper. Last year, it retired SalesforceIQ and Desk.com, which they acquired to support the small business segment, in order to develop an SMB-focused offering built on the Salesforce Platform – Salesforce Essentials for small businesses.
How does Salesforce help small businesses? In this article, we’ll look into exactly that and more. You’ll learn how Salesforce can help small business and the tools you can leverage to boost growth.
Trust is a huge priority for businesses that are growing or just starting out and acquiring new customers.That concern is well-founded, too, as loss of trust can cost businesses billions, according to Accenture.
Small businesses also put a premium on trust when dealing with vendors. This sentiment follows concrete findings by Salesforce about how SMBs place trust at the top of their list when dealing with all the three legs that support their business: customers, employees and vendors. The following chart amply shows this state of mind:
of SMB leaders value trust above all else in their relationship with customers
of SMB leaders value trust above all else in their relationship with employees
of SMB leaders value trust above all else in their relationship with vendors
Source: SalesforceDesigned by
Other equally crucial issues arise of course. Many SMBs do not want to get trapped being overly dependent on any one client. But what to do if the client has been there all along and always pays on time? The answer lies in either offering more products or services or finding customers outside of your familiar client grounds.
Diversity of clients is thus paramount to the success of SMBs, especially with fair contracts to breathe on. Being able to survive the loss of one or two clients builds them up for stable growth. If they could sustain it, they may well be on their way to spectacular success without having to ask for external funding.
Salesforce seems to play the right cards in both aspects of providing vendor trust and supporting SMBs with technology to manage their client diversity. It has built a decades-long industry experience to merit credibility and, critically, the tools to help small businesses manage multiple clients without losing that personal touch.
While Salesforce now belongs to the tech behemoths with close to $3 billion in annual sales revenue, it wasn’t that long ago that it also saw life as a small startup with 4 people co-founding it. Like other businesses that made it to the top, Salesforce’s road to success has not been straightforward. Its acquisition of Desk.com, for example, has not really delivered. .
A sweeping simplification of its sales and service cloud products paved the way for Salesforce to address the emerging needs of small businesses. Now twenty years after its foundation, it oversees ventures that earn it billions from a customer base that numbers more than 150,000. Having scaled the heights of success, it now earns the trust of enterprise accounts left and right. Small businesses use small business software, but do small businesses use Salesforce?
In fact, it does. And of those 150,000 customers, many are small businesses, even startups. They enlist the help of Salesforce for various reasons, which we shall see about next.
Right off the bat, Salesforce encourages small businesses to write down their own processes and see how Salesforce could get in the picture to improve processes. There is no overbearing Big Brother, I-know-better-than-you dominating approach: instead, it fully recognizes the autonomy of SMB clients and respects their choice of processes.
This approach helps SMBs find their feet faster. Since they know their processes better than outsiders, they could easily find the processes that truly work for them. If they find errors, they could easily trace the causes and mitigate them. Since Salesforce is already integrated into the process, they could rectify issues quicker and easier. Adjusting to real business drivers rather than imposed procedures sets them up for real success.
Salesforce announced its full resolve to lend a hand to fledgling small businesses by revamping its software lineup that has not made their desired impact. Among those retired in line with this approach are Desk.com and SalesforceIQ.
Salesforce introduced Salesforce Essentials to simplify its small business lineup. Additionally, Salesforce Einstein, its artificial intelligence technology, runs in the background of the platform which means SMBs now get their hands on the latest cutting-edge technology to get their CRM system moving.
The CRM solution for SMBs, Salesforce Essentials is more than a repository of customer names and numbers. It provides you with everything you need to know about a customer before engaging with them.
The 360° view allows you to offer a personalized experience. Essentials helps small businesses work efficiently and prioritize the most important and immediate tasks. It’s set up for email integration and connects with social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The vendor has an appealing free trial where you can tinker with the features at no cost. Small businesses can try out Salesforce Essentials in a free trial.
Salesforce Essentials is priced at just $25 per user per month, giving SMBs an excellent CRM solution at a friendly price-point. With it, you’re provided the following features:
A lingering concern for SMBs is how soon their employees can make the most of Salesforce’s solutions. While Salesforce has done much to overhaul complex UI designs for more straightforward one, it has not stopped there. With Trailhead, users can easily learn to use any Salesforce solution.
Since it’s created following gamification software systems, users learn while having fun, too. In no time, they should be ready to get their application investment truly working for them.
Better still, Salesforce finds a way to make learning its applications more enticing. There’s a system of globally-recognized credentials that users can add to their resumes. Lastly, an extensive Trailblazer Community makes excellent mentorship just a fingertip away.
Speaking of AppExchange, this robust Salesforce app ecosystem supports SMBs two ways.
First, startup developers get all the encouragement and support they need to be accredited partners of Salesforce. Getting their unique applications to the Salesforce marketplace opens up a whole new level of exposure to a large market.
Salesforce throws its full support, even funding, for those SMBs who seek to make it as sellers in the thriving marketplace. Training, conferences go all out behind them so they do not miss any step along the way.
Second, SMBs who have already invested in other applications will not need to spend frustrating hours over how to make these apps work with Salesforce. The robust APIs and other software integration systems ensure this does not happen.
With thousands of applications in the AppExchange, it’s also likely that the external application can be integrated with Salesforce outright.
If that is so, then getting Salesforce over these applications will seem like having a harmonious system from day one.
If three months of Salesforce Accelerate leaves you wanting more, then Dreamforce it is for you. This time, brace not just for a parade of experts but also for around 180,000 of Salesforce users and customers.
With Dreamforce, you get to meet and learn firsthand how Salesforce is an excellent way forward for your small business. The largest software conference in the world should more than set your mind to see Salesforce in a different light.
SMB-centric applications, fun learning systems are often enough to propel SMBs and startups forward. However, other SMBs may still need that one last push to step up to the next level.
Enter Salesforce Ventures that gives Salesforce portfolio customers access to the vendor’s resources and experts. These ensure SMBs will steer their businesses to further success while navigating with proven ideas.
SMBs that have done well will not fail to capture the attention of capable investors who will then partner with them to push the business to more market space and growth. It works whether you need that one more branch or just need to invest in new crucial technology but simply lack the funds currently.
For startups that need to establish a more solid footing, Salesforce Accelerate provides the insights, learning and support that startups need. Within three months, they should get a good shot at making it within the AppExchange ecosystem.
Solid mentorship, exposure and continuous support should help businesses make it in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Salesforce gives many reasons why you should opt to choose it over other leading CRM tools out there. The support, the suite of software with SMBs in mind, the opportunity for funding and large mentor and expert communities are too compelling to resist.
Salesforce has effectively dispelled notions that the company has gone beyond its humble beginnings and is now focused on the enterprise and Fortune 500 companies. The simplicity of Salesforce Essentials makes it easy to get started and the multiple learning and support systems, mentorship and walkthroughs easily address the concern of adoption.
Of course, you will have reasons to choose other alternatives too. But if you find Salesforce Essentials is just the tool for you—don’t forget the crucial step: go for the trial version first to get a good, real feel of how the software could work for you. Again, you can do that easily when yousign up for Salesforce Essentials free trial here.
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