Why I Hate Salesforce

Jen Dodson

Chief Creative Officer

This post is a personal opinion based on my experiences. I know there are people who have great success with the software and that it has its merits. However, that seems to be the minority despite the fact there are so many users. Particularly for small to medium sized businesses.

  1. It’s expensive – It’s referred to as the Cadillac of CRMs for a reason. Compared to other systems, it’s considerably more expensive. Like most SaaS companies they do have a non-profit rate which is great in theory. However, it’s a very stripped down version.
  2. It overpromises – I’m in marketing, I get it. Sales teams sell all the features and benefits possible because it creates a sense of value. However, once someone gets into the software, they often only use a small portion of the features available. Since the features list is so “impressive,” it’s easy to fall in love. But how many will you actually use and get value from? Not as much as you think.
  3. It’s too customizable – In an ever-changing world, constants can be a good thing. I’ve seen too many people make monthly changes to their Salesforce structure because they think of something differently. While its great you can do this, it can effect the ability to analyze data overtime.
  4. Everyone buys it – If multiple people got sick from your building’s cafeteria, would you still go there to eat? Probably not. So why with so many people not liking or fully using Salesforce does it still sell so much? Maybe it’s because people aren’t taking the time to do the research and settle for the first reasonable option.
  5. Distracts with Inflated Brand Value – Since so many people use Salesforce it’s perceived to be the best option and usually makes a short list of contenders. Unfortunately, that’s the wrong way to go about choosing a CRM. Instead of starting with what options are available, companies need to think about what they really hope to get out of the software. Then evaluate which options best align with those goals.
  6. It’s overbearing – Since there are so many integrations, there is a way to have Salesforce do almost anything for your organization. Just because Salesforce can do something, doesn’t mean it should. Sometimes having two systems is the better way to go. Perhaps one for contact management and another for email automation or one for sales and one for time tracking on projects. There are plenty of options available and the best system for your needs usually isn’t the most obvious.
  7. It’s not that easy – If your organization’s leaders can’t understand how an operationally critical software works and constantly have to defer to a specialist or a consultant, you’re doing something wrong.
  8. Software usually isn’t the solution – Software should be a tool, not an answer. Your team still needs to use it regularly and consistently to get the most value. Especially for smaller companies, sometimes a spreadsheet is the best option for accomplishing a goal. Let it sink in that I am a digital native, marketing professional, telling you that being simple is OK if it works for you. Obviously, a global organization probably shouldn’t have its sales representatives sharing an excel file.

I could go on and give more specifics, but what’s the point. People will still buy Salesforce. The brand value is that irritatingly strong. From my experiences in a variety of applications, the product just doesn’t live up to the hype or warrant the investment. Hopefully something happens to positively change my opinion or a better contender takes market share. In the meantime, we’ll do our part to help our clients with Salesforce get as much value as possible.

If you are considering adopting a CRM tool or switching solutions, please think carefully about what you need it to do first and work backwards from there. Just because something can do something, doesn’t mean you should do it that way.