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Is Salesforce Good for Small Business? 7 Ways It Can Help Your Company

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Is Salesforce good for small businesses?
Yes, Salesforce is a great solution for small businesses. The vendor aggressively promotes solutions that help small businesses thrive and grow. This includes primarily the affordable Salesforce Essentials CRM app. Other support systems for SMBs include an online learning platform via Trailhead and funding opportunity with Salesforce Ventures.

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, 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.

Is salesforce good for small businesses

Trust and Client Dependency Challenges for SMBs

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:

SMBs Value Trust in Relationships


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: Salesforce

Designed 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.

Why Salesforce is Good for Small Business

1. It understands small business problems

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, 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.

2. It thinks along the small business process

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 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.

3. It has a well-designed CRM built for small businesses: Salesforce Essentials

salesforce essentials dashboard

Priced within SMB budget range, Salesforce Essentials covers all small business contact management needs.

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:

  1. Connected social channels. Social media is where the action is for businesses today. Consequently, software vendors are locked in an arms race for the best social media management software. With this backdrop, Salesforce Essentials comes with an easy setup experience that makes it a breeze to add social channels. A few clicks get you set up in no time.
    With direct access to your social media accounts, you get to engage with any customer at their choice of platform from within Salesforce. This lets you address customers needs quickly and avoid unsavory reviews for your brand.
  2. Set up faster with live help and walkthroughs. If getting your Salesforce Essentials investment running seems like a daunting prospect, Salesforce now provides in-app help and chat to set up your application just as you want it. Each business workflow gets its own walkthrough to eliminate errors. When you find yourself with more time on your hands, then there’s a free hands-on workshop to transform you into an expert.
  3. Don’t lose sleep over delayed response. You could empathize with the frustrations of customers who’ve waited hours on end without getting any response. When you become aware of it, the customer is already gone, off looking for another vendor while also possibly leaving unpleasant remarks about your company. Any small business owner can now implement a chat box on their website and manage prospect and customer conversations from the web in Salesforce. A little chat widget does the heavy lifting. When a customer starts a conversation, you get real-time notification as well as all the pertinent information about the customer.
  4. Get native phone support and dial away. With Lightning Dialer for Essentials, you can make and receive phone calls from within Salesforce, while customer information is automatically populated for you to get full context of the relationship and customer history. Personalization comes easy, right away. The app also logs the call, which ensures that your last call provides the key backdrop for the next.
salesforce essentials direct dialer

Users can now make or receive calls directly from Salesforce Essentials.

4. It hosts Trailhead, the fun knowledge hub

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.

5. It supports startup developers through AppExchange

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.

6. It hosts a huge Salesforce community: Dreamforce

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.

salesforce dreamforce

Salesforce Dreamforce events give you experts and a large user community.

7. It has a huge Salesforce investment fund

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.

Is Salesforce good for your SMB right now?

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.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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