Salesforce CRM Review 2023 – Is it The Market Leader?

Salesforce CRM Review 2023 – Is it The Market Leader?

Salesforce CRM is an industry-leading platform that can be used for a lot of different sales automation needs throughout any industry. It’s best for large or scaling businesses and sales teams that need a very customizable solution. Salesforce has been around for over 20 years so it also boasts an industry-leading amount of integrations.

As the industry standard, many businesses try Salesforce CRM at some point in their life cycle, and many leave only to come back again. In this review, we’ll talk about why so many businesses use Salesforce as we detail the good, as well as the bad that might stop you from using it on your sales team.

TLDR – Salesforce CRM Review Summary

Salesforce CRM is an industry-leading platform that can be used for a lot of different sales automation needs throughout any industry. It’s best for large or scaling businesses and sales teams that need a very customizable solution. Salesforce has been around for over 20 years so it also boasts an industry-leading amount of integrations.

As the industry standard, many businesses try Salesforce CRM at some point in their life cycle, and many leave only to come back again. In this review, we’ll talk about why so many businesses use Salesforce as we detail the good, as well as the bad that might stop you from using it on your sales team.

What Is Salesforce CRM?

Salesforce has long been an industry-leading CRM that most competitors are compared to as a standard of practice. As an all-in-one solution, you can manage your leads, contacts, customers and more as you use the tool to maximize your potential to close more opportunities. Most businesses that are looking for an all-in-one CRM will find the software to be rich in features and more than capable of providing a very extensive solution.

Salesforce also offers plenty of customization and integration options. While it’s not easy to set up, the team does provide plenty of support and you can get just about any customization you might be looking for in a CRM. Salesforce also integrates with more than 1,000 other platforms, again providing plenty of options if you’re in need of making it work with other software solutions you may have.

How Salesforce Works

Salesforce is all about customizing your sales pipeline to be exactly what you need or can imagine. It focuses on tailoring the platform itself to your process instead of the other way around. This can make it either a joy to work with for a sales team or a pain for those who are trying to set it up.

The real power of Salesforce is unlocked as you’re able to match the CRM directly to your specific sales pipelines. This helps you dig deeper than just each touchpoint of your sales pipeline. Instead, you’re able to fully understand the entire sales cycle and the overall process and how each is performing at any given time.

Salesforce takes advantage of both the power and difficulty of setting it up by offering plenty of “add-ons” that can increase your total out-of-pocket costs. If you need help customizing the CRM, which most businesses require when choosing Salesforce, or if you need additional functionality from other Salesforce products, then your price can dramatically increase.

The sales process for any of the above add-ons can also be lengthy because you’ll need to get a personalized quote. Likewise, the implementation of the software to get going and get the customizations right can also be lengthy. It’s best if you have an internal implementation team that can handle a hefty load of the customization work.

Unlike many other CRM options, Salesforce doesn’t offer a free version. This is a product that is for businesses that are ready to move forward and get something that will level up their sales team. The company does offer a free version where you play around either with preloaded data or with your own data that you upload, though.

What Sets Salesforce CRM Apart

Salesforce CRM is best used by established businesses that are looking to streamline or improve their sales functions, or those wanting to bring multiple platforms into one CRM. A large sales team will benefit from the many great features that Salesforce offers, including the customization options and the extensive number of integration options. No matter your needs, Salesforce probably has a solution to help, and it is likely to help you get a better overall understanding of your potential customers.

When using Salesforce, it’s important to pay attention to the costs associated with what you want to use. While Salesforce can customize the software for your needs quite a bit, most of it will cost you more than you initially think you are going to pay. Salesforce is not for businesses that are on a very tight budget.

Salesforce CRM Features

Salesforce offers everything from basic lead management to advanced workflows and sales pipeline customizations. While it’s not the easiest CRM to use, it might be the most intuitive. It is more like a complete business ecosystem if you use all of the available tool options. Let’s take a look at how all of the major features stack up and how each works.

Ease of Use

Once you have Salesforce correctly set up, it’s not difficult to train people how to use the software. However, the customization is very difficult to do and it isn’t always the most user-friendly platform. The more complicated the sales pipeline to implement, the more difficult it can be to use the software. Salesforce does not rank high on our list of easy-to-use CRMs.


One of the true wins for Salesforce is its ability to customize just about anything in your sales pipeline. Many CRMs can be difficult to use because they aren’t able to fully customize to your pipeline. Salesforce typically doesn’t have that problem as it’s one of the most customizable options on the market today.

Features and Capabilities

Salesforce offers basic lead management tools like any other CRM, however, it doesn’t nearly stop there. The platform is one of the most comprehensive tools on the market today. Here are some of its best features:

  • Forecast management
  • Quoting
  • Contracting
  • Customizable reports
  • Customizable dashboard
  • Pipeline management
  • Advanced permissions
  • Integrations with more than 1,000 other platforms
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Lead auto-assignment
  • Mass emailing

There is a good chance that if a feature doesn’t exist, it can be built to sync with the out-of-the-box tool.

Workflows and Automation

Salesforce offers a lot of different options for automation, not just being limited to automatically assigning leads as they come in. The workflows are customizable and are very much dependent on how you’re able to implement the software for your needs. For both of these features, Salesforce offers a developer sandbox for your tech team to work on continuous improvement.

Third-Party Integrations

The sheer volume of third-party integration options makes it an excellent choice for those needing to piece together a few different solutions. You can easily search for add-ons or other platforms that you can integrate with, at any time. Salesforce now has more than 3,000 integrations to discover other platforms that can help your processes.

From marketing automation to scheduling software, Salesforce is able to integrate with the leading platforms used for most purposes. Some of the most popular integrations include Slack, Calendly, DocuSign, QuickBooks, LinkedIn, HubSpot and more. 

Salesforce CRM Pricing and Plans

Now let’s take a look at the pricing and features available in each of the current Salesforce plans that you can choose from. We are focusing on the benefits of Sales Cloud, but there are other products available.

Salesforce CRM Tiered Pricing and Plans

  Starter Professional Enterprise Unlimited
Starting Price (per User per Month) $25 $75 $150 $300
Number of Users No limit No limit No limit No limit
Free Trial Length 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Contact Management
Lead Management
Opportunities Management
Lead Scoring
Customizable Workflows
Team Collaboration
Analytics and Reporting Add-on available Add-on available
Third-Party Integrations
Customer Support


With the Starter plan, you’re able to get access to a lot of rich features for the lowest price. Some of the major features missing from this plan include some of the best analytics reporting, team collaboration and automation features. This plan is likely for those who are just looking for a way to test the platform out and determine if it will work for their needs.


Lead scoring is a major miss in the Professional plan. This plan picks up team collaboration features from the Starter plan, as well as the forecast management tools that help you improve the accuracy of your forecasts and customizable KPIs.


The Enterprise plan takes quite a bit of a jump in features being offered. You can now specify collaborators that are assigned to each individual deal. This plan also enables you to better manage your overall pipeline with features such as pipeline inspection, opportunity scoring, deal insights and waterfall charts.


Every feature that Salesforce has to offer is available in the Unlimited plan. The most notable new feature is lead scoring, which helps to make Salesforce such a popular tool. With this plan, the developer pro sandbox is unlocked for your tech team to work with. You can also get access to Salesforce Meetings, which gives sales reps a complete view of everything related to a single meeting.

Salesforce CRM Customer Service and Support

Salesforce offers customer service 24 hours per day, seven days per week via telephone or live chat. You can also submit a ticket or contact request through a web form and receive a message back within 48 hours. If you need Spanish or Portuguese support, then you’ll need to conduct that business between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET.

Salesforce CRM Additional Features Worth Noting

Salesforce offers a lot of different products that will work seamlessly with the CRM. This includes a marketing product that will automate your customer journey and email marketing campaigns. It also includes a fully customizable customer support solution. If you’re looking for an all-in-one product for all of your software needs, then Salesforce might be your best bet as there are few holes in a total collection of things it offers.

One of the most popular ways to use Salesforce is to capture leads as they come through the marketing pipeline. The platform offers web-to-lead capture with every pricing plan, and you can send mass emails, as needed. You can also manage and track your marketing campaigns across all channels.

Salesforce CRM Alternatives and How They Compare

  Salesforce CRM Freshsales Zoho CRM
Free Plan No Yes for up to three users Yes for up to three users Yes for up to two users
Starting Price (Billed Annually) $25 per user per month $15 per user per month $14 per user per month $8 per seat per month (three seat minimum)
Free Trial Length 30 days 21 days 15 days 14 days
Contact Management
Lead Management
Opportunities Management  
Lead Scoring
Customizable Workflows
Team Collaboration  
Analytics and Reporting
Third-Party Integrations
Customer Support
Learn More On Salesforce’s Website On’s Website
Read Reviews Read Freshsales Review Read Zoho CRM Review Read Review

The Pros and The Cons

Pros of Salesforce CRM:

  • Incredibly powerful CRM platform
  • You can add/remove features to suit your needs
  • As the most popular CRM platform, it’s easy to find sales reps who know how to use the software

Cons of Salesforce CRM:

  • Expensive
  • You have to pay for add-ons to get the most out of the software
  • Configuration and setup is complex and time-consuming
  • Cluttered interface makes navigation and simple tasks unnecessarily complex
  • The learning curve never seems to end
  • Customer support has a poor reputation

In terms of features, there’s not much to complain about when it comes to Salesforce. Just about every feature you could need from a CRM platform is there and you can add/delete features to suit your business needs.

Where Salesforce let us down was in the pricing and usability department – and, unfortunately, the problems begin as soon as you start setting up the system. However, we were willing to accept that a complex system can take time to set up and this by itself wasn’t going to stop us from using Salesforce as our CRM.

Unfortunately, the dealbreaker for us was the day-to-day use of the platform which manages to make even simple tasks frustratingly difficult to accomplish. It just feels like every action takes 4-5 clicks to complete when they should be one or a few clicks away.

So that gives you an idea of what we liked and disliked about Salesforce so let’s take a look a the key features you can expect from Salesforce and how much it’s going to cost you.

Salesforce CRM Competitors and Alternatives

Salesforce CRM vs. Freshsales

Both Salesforce and Freshsales offer AI-powered tools, including lead scoring, and both can be customized to meet your needs. Freshsales works a bit better as an out-of-the-box solution, which is appealing to smaller businesses, while Salesforce needs customization to really unlock its power. Freshsales is a good step towards the power Salesforce can provide if you’re not quite ready for the cost and time commitment of having Salesforce.

Salesforce CRM vs. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is an introductory-level option that is best for small businesses or small sales teams that are just starting to use an automated CRM solution. This is very different from Salesforce, which is for established businesses looking to level up their sales team with deep customization or with broad integration needs.

Salesforce CRM vs.

Salesforce and work best for two different audiences. While Salesforce is a comprehensive solution that caters to larger teams with deeper pockets and complex situations, is a platform that is easy to use and get started with. It tailors itself more toward smaller businesses or beginner sales teams.

Is Salesforce CRM Right for Me?

Salesforce CRM Is Best For:

Salesforce CRM is an all-inclusive solution that is best for larger or scaling businesses that have lots of customization or integration needs. Smaller businesses or those without a team to handle the customization capabilities or modification requests will likely be overpaying for a CRM product. This is not an out-of-the-box solution that any business can use.

With that said, Salesforce CRM is a powerful solution that can help all businesses if you can afford the products that your business needs. No CRM is as customizable and can integrate with more than Salesforce can.

Salesforce CRM Is Not Recommended For:

Businesses that have a small budget or that do not have overly complex sales processes will not likely find Salesforce to be the best solution. The pricing for Salesforce can increase dramatically if the base features in your Salesforce CRM cloud account don’t meet your needs. This includes having to enlist the Salesforce team into customizing the software for your needs. The majority of small businesses will find other CRM solutions to be more beneficial and easier to use than Salesforce CRM.

Salesforce CRM Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the benefits of a CRM?

CRM benefits include the ability to segment customers, personalize outreach, centralize and organize lead, customer and partner data, forecast sales trends, scale internal and external communication, automate tasks and data entry and discover actionable trends in customer data. All of these benefits come together to help companies offer better lead and customer experiences, ultimately boosting lead conversion rates and customer lifetime values.

Can Salesforce be used as a CRM?

Salesforce has many products, but their primary offering is a CRM that is used by many businesses. If you can customize it, then Salesforce can be a potential CRM fit for your business, regardless of size.

Does Salesforce have a free trial?

SalesforceCRM offers a 30 day trial.

Is Salesforce a good CRM?

Salesforce is the best CRM for customization and integrations on the market today. Many businesses that need those two features will be hard-pressed to find a better solution.

Is Salesforce secure?

Salesforce is a large tech corporation, and unsurprisingly they protect their products with all sorts of modern security measures. For example, Salesforce supports multifactor authentication to protect user accounts as well as security health checks that administrators can run on their accounts to spot vulnerabilities.

Why is Salesforce a bad CRM?

Salesforce isn’t a bad CRM product, but it can be expensive and difficult to customize to your own needs. Smaller businesses will find it difficult to justify the cost or time it takes to build and maintain.

Does CRM require a large IT investment?

No. There are plenty of cloud CRM solutions that information technology (IT) novices can employ. You don’t have to make a large investment in physical IT infrastructure or hire IT staff to manage your CRM. Many CRM solutions are available as software as a service (SaaS), which means that you only pay for what you use and can stop using it at any time.