As we are growing, we are evaluating Salesforce. We will have to create our own parameters and personalize it quite a lot, but we like that it is a flexible tool and scales well.
Gian Luca Petrelli
Founder & Executive Chairman - BeMyEye
It’s Salesforce--there’s no other choice.
Founder & CEO - People.ai
Salesforce is the de facto go-to. It's a heavy loaded platform.
Co-founder & CEO - Pressly
Salesforce is ugly but it works. The integrations we all use are all in Salesforce. The only con is that it’s quite expensive--we would love all of our verification team to use it but it would cost $15,000 a month which isn’t worth it right now.
Co-founder - Betterteam
We use Salesforce a little bit, but I am not always a fan. Most of what we do with Salesforce, we could do with other tools. But our sales reps are familiar with it and it’s easy to get started with it quickly.
CEO - TaskEasy
Our team quite likes Salesforce.
Marketing Director - FreshGrade
I’m learning to like Salesforce. It is powerful. It takes a lot of investment and a lot of time. We had an external expert come in - that was required to use it correctly. I think it will be powerful once we have it set up. Learning to use it at scale is different than personally using it.
Co-founder - Outbound
We really appreciate Salesforce’s scalability and flexibility. Salesforce is really customizable, and it’s customizable without requiring too much ingrained knowledge. It is a large and well thought out platform that has a lot of interconnectivity. There is a lot to know when you get to a certain point. It becomes a system that needs some dedicated attention, not secondary usage.
Marketing Manager - StreamLink
Salesforce is a beast. It’s not the best product I’ve ever used, but it’s very powerful and has a ton of integrations. It integrates into all the different products and tools we use on a regular basis. Not only is it our CRM, we use it for customer communication, our email list and touch points on our website. Every interaction gets logged in Salesforce.
CEO - ReviewTrackers
We’ve used Salesforce since our beginning. We chose it because of their reputation.
Founder & CEO - MyTime
Salesforce is extremely flexible. We have customized it with several integrations to help us manage our internal sales workflows and processes.The Lightning interface in Salesforce is a great improvement in terms of UI and we're looking forward to the Winter '17 release!
Co-founder & COO - Loopio
We were using Zoho before Salesforce. When we were smaller, we used Asana as a “CRM” and then moved into Zoho for collecting leads, prospects and accounts. As our customer success team and business development teams grow, we find that more people are comfortable with Salesforce. Salesforce is also much more feature rich, so it made sense to do the switch now rather than at a later point in time.
Co-founder & VP Data - Zendrive
We’ve used a couple of CRMs before. I liked Pipedrive, but we had to switch because of our reporting needs. I’m not a big Salesforce fan but for the reporting we wanted to do, we needed it. It’s not the most intuitive or has the best interface, but my team has used it before and so we’re familiar with it.
Founder & CEO - Allay
Salesforce works fine. It’s more of a tool to manage the sales workflow, but it is a bit impractical. For some reason, it defaults to first or last attribution, when multi-attribution is the industry standard. Their multi-touch reporting is not very useful. It overwrites historical data by default. If we have 8% of our data, we cannot effectively estimate our marketing interactions.
VP Marketing - Moogsoft
We are happy with Salesforce. Prior to that, we were using excel sheets so it’s a big improvement. Salesforce is reliable and we know that it will grow with us. With Salesforce, we can set up automation based on where a customer is within our opportunity pipeline.
Co-founder & CEO - BottlesTonight
It’s daunting, but powerful. Your sales team will likely love it and be used to it, which will make them the most effective. The Lightning Release makes the UI far more modern than what you typically see in Salesforce. It makes it more usable for those not previously trained in Salesforce. It's a fantastic tool--everything integrates with it and it can be a source of truth for whatever data you have. I use the new design, and our sales team uses the old design because that’s what they know. But as someone uninitiated with Salesforce, I use Lightning. They seem to be making strong strides to improve the UI.
Co-founder & CEO - Payable
Salesforce is an amazing tool, if you have the right people to take advantage of it. The Salesforce cloud integrations are incredible, even better if you come from a sales-driven environment. It’s built into that process very deeply. It’s a robust record keeping platform and keeps us synchronized through alerts and notifications. It’s a great way to track new leads, opportunities, or follow-ups. But, the problem from the licensing standpoint is ridiculous--it’s pricey. It’s inherently restricting and not everyone has the view into it that they need. From a UI perspective, it’s not Harvest. It’s a task based environment that does itself no favors by having an antiquated, archaic UX that is painful at every step of the way. If you’re awesome at Salesforce and it’s in your nature, then great; but if you aren’t, it’s tough. Salesforce is behind this massive wall and after you get over the wall you are in this big scary garden and you’re like “wait, now what do I do?” Salesforce is good at offering help; but “we’ll walk you through it” costs money. Bottom line: you should have it, it’s incredibly powerful. For anything within a sales organization, Salesforce is a requirement. Just be prepared.
We’re heavily reliant on Google Analytics. We’re using a combination of Salesforce sales efficacy (leads closed, marketing messages, feedback loops, etc.) and Google Analytics for the analytics and measurement. I would love to have a deeper data-driven view of our organization which is why I’m looking into Domo, but it’s not necessarily a “starter tool” for analytics. We would need to make sure someone can read Domo before we implement it.
Much of our content lives in Salesforce natively. I will always be a designer, and the idea of designing and campaigning through Salesforce isn’t the first thing that comes to mind--but as I have learned, it is very robust. Salesforce is our primary email management and marketing tool and it makes sense to aggregate whenever possible.
Salesforce does what it needs to do, but it is overly complicated. It does not have that huge of a role in our company yet.
COO - Higher Ed Growth
Salesforce is overpriced. It is an OK tool; it’s the first one that was built for this purpose. They created a good platform that can integrate with a lot of other tools. The problem is that people lose too much time on it.
Founder & CEO - TelecomQuotes
We’re unique because a lot of our customers use Salesforce, so we need to use Salesforce to know how our customers are using it and have a tight Salesforce integration. Salesforce is hard to set up, but it performs all the basic tasks. The one downside is it doesn't have any native plugins, so we have to pay for Cirrus Insight, which is annoying.
Co-founder & CEO - DocSend
Salesforce is a pretty pervasive tool; this means that you can find a lot of online resources for troubleshooting. The ecosystem around this tool is very strong. It integrates very well with all the other tools that we use, as well as Terminus, our own platform. For us, it’s very important to have our tools integrate seamlessly with one another as much as possible.
Co-founder & CMO - Terminus
With Salesforce we can easily run reports on everything we need.
Co-founder & CMO - Terminus
We have a love/hate relationship with Salesforce. We like it because it is highly configurable--we can define our own workflow and model every process to our own needs. On the flip side, it is a little bit too overwhelming and it slows us down. Our sales people spend too much time on Salesforce. It takes a great deal of effort to configure it to perfectly fit our needs. Also, their mobile app is not great. One advantage is that it is considered an industry standard - so we do not need to do a lot of training to onboard new sales people - they are mostly familiar with the tool. Also, since it is very “featureful,” we know that it can grow with our business.
Founder & CEO - AppGyver
Salesforce is more robust than what we need at the moment, but easy to use and gets the job done.
Co-founder & CEO - Opternative
We generate our leads in CSV format and can easily integrate them into Salesforce, which is a good tracking tool. As a 10-FTE organization, we sometimes find it a bit more complex than what we need. Overall, Salesforce is what we chose and maintain month after month, day after day. We find that support is available when we need it.
Founder & CEO - Funding Portal
Salesforce is really easy managerially. It is an amazing tool. Unfortunately, it is super expensive and you get locked in a contract. I wish it was on a month to month basis.
Founder & CEO - VIVE
Microsoft Dynamics is a great CRM. The only downfall is that the integration with Gmail is exceptionally poor. It is hard to find a good CRM system out there. We looked into some but were not able to choose a good one. Salesforce is too expensive. Insightly is too basic and does not do any type of rules management.
Founder & CEO - LifeLine Response
We used Salesforce for a while but found it was more than we needed, as we’ve recently started focusing more on B2C and have been getting tons of inbound leads.
Co-founder & CEO - Nitrous
We love Salesforce! There’s always pros or cons to any CRM tools, but in our opinion and based on our experience, Salesforce has the fewest cons and most room for customization.
Founder - Neumarkets
At the rhythm that we are growing now, we will have to move back to Salesforce, unfortunately. I am not looking forward to it because I hate the UI, but it scales better for bigger companies.
Co-founder & CEO - Qordoba
Salesforce is efficient and we like the new interface. It's very complex, but same as Pardot, once you learn to use it, it's very colorful. It takes time in the beginning to make sure you are tracking the right things and getting the right reports, but once you are done it's very nice.
Co-founder & CEO - Concord
We used to use Streak, but it ended up being quite expensive as we scaled. And Streak didn’t have the functionality that we wanted in the end, so we made the decision to switch back to Salesforce. It doesn’t have a great interface, but it integrates with our applicant tracking system, which is one of the reasons we switched back. It’s also easier to find developers that know how to work with Salesforce. And surprisingly, it’s not more expensive than Streak. In the end, we decided to go with what’s more well-known.
Co-founder & CEO - PowerToFly
Salesforce takes forever to set up! It’s very complex, so if your company has 4 people, you’ll be better off using something like Pipedrive, Base, or Streak. Those all work fine when you’re really small. But when you have more than 2 sales folks, you’ll have to move to something more serious, and Salesforce is the industry standard. When you have ability to hire someone to set it up for you, that’s when you should bring it on.
Co-founder & COO - Branch Metrics
We were using RelateIQ for business development, but now we are transitioning into Salesforce. It’s a more prolonged solution with more features and more functionality.
Co-founder - Bauxy
We previously used Pipedrive, but recently transitioned to Salesforce. There’s a reason Salesforce is the industry standard, and it’s been working well for us. It allows everyone to see what is going on, and has tons of great apps on the app exchange. Geopointe is one of those apps, which we use all the time.
Director of Marketing - Smart Lunches
We have a handful of Salesforce ninjas, so we utilize Salesforce heavily. We use it for forecasting, planning, managing in the field, etc.
Founder & CEO - Wizeline
We use Salesforce. We don’t love it, and we don’t hate it; it gets the job done.
Co-founder - FullContact
We chose Salesforce because it’s the most widely-used CRM. Most sales folks are already up to speed and can jump right in with using Salesforce. And the reporting is good. The data analytics team can merge data and pull interesting reports easily from Salesforce, and we like that it’s highly customizable since there are tons of app integrations available.
Co-founder & CEO - AdStage
Salesforce has an OnSIP plugin, so you have your phone inside your Salesforce browser! You can do things like click-to-call, so that when you click on a phone number, it’s calling through the app; you never have to leave the page. You can also use this integration with your desk phone. If you use Salesforce with a desk phone, you click the number, and your desk phone will ring. If you use the plugin with the integrated app, information like call date and time get tracked; it’s all very tightly integrated.
CEO - OnSIP
Founder - VentureOut
We use “cases” in Salesforce to track inbound support requests from Fellows.
COO - Venture for America
We have a love/hate relationship with Salesforce. We’ve been customizing it, and using it, in various ways, since the beginning. What we do is very specific and unique, and customizing Salesforce for our purposes has always been a challenge. But we like that it has a lot of support built in, and we know that if something goes wrong, it’s still a reliable tool. They have good, and frequent, maintenance and upgrades.
COO - Venture for America
We use Salesforce, and I love to hate it and hate to love it. I previously tried Pipedrive, which I transitioned away from because someone in our sales department wanted to use Salesforce and was familiar with it. Pipedrive worked well for my personal needs earlier in the business, but I do not think it would have the horsepower Salesforce does, particularly as it relates to integration with our admin site and marketing tools.
Co-founder & CEO - Priori Legal
We’ve been using Salesforce, at various companies, for a good 12 years at this point, and it’s awesome.
Founder & CEO - Oktopost
We’re mostly B2C, so there’s less of a need for a CRM. But our sales team uses Salesforce, and they seem to generally like it. We started as an engineering-oriented team, and as we started bringing on a sales team, they said we needed to be using Salesforce, so we went with their recommendation.
VP of Product Development - RescueTime
Salesforce is a little clunky and slow, but it has a great API, and a great ecosystem of available tools. The pros outweigh the cons for sure.
Founder & CEO - Justworks
We’re big users of Salesforce. We have a dedicated team that just manages Salesforce! For the first 8 years, we used Smartsheet as our CRM. We used it until we outgrew what we could efficiently do with it. It was great as a CRM until our sales team grew to about 12-15 people.
Senior Product Marketing Manager - Smartsheet
We find prospects on LinkedIn using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and then source email addresses off of LinkedIn using LeadIQ. We’ve been working with LeadIQ since they started, and we really like using them. Everything is brought into Salesforce, and then Salesforce is connected to Outreach to send outbound emails to prospects.
Growth and Business Development Strategy - Lob
Salesforce is Salesforce, you have to use it. It does its job. We used to use RelateIQ, but switched to Salesforce when we had more requirements for a CRM. With Salesforce, you have to know before you get into it that you’ll have to hire someone to set it up for you, or need someone on your team with deep Salesforce knowledge to start using it. It’s not easy to use out of the box, which is really unfortunate because it’s definitely the best tool out there; you just have to spend a lot of time on customizing it to fit your needs. It’s actually not the best fit for us, but we’re definitely trying to make it work for us at this point. On the flipside, a big positive with them is that so many companies have built on top of Salesforce, there’s always a tool that’s already built for you when you need it.
Growth and Business Development Strategy - Lob
A huge pro with using Salesforce is that, if the functionality you seek isn’t native, there’s probably an extension or integration already available. Integration with Salesforce is pretty much mandatory if you have a person-tracking product, which is a huge swath of the application universe. In the early days, when I experimented with less expensive CRM’s, this wasn’t the case and I learned a lesson the hard way. As for cons, it’s expensive and complex.
Founder - Qbox
Salesforce is our main CRM. It’s a bit clunky and web-based, but it’s still the best tool for tracking. It’s the most sophisticated option in this space, and is pretty much the default option for CRM tools. It works for us for now, with a 6-person sales team, but we might look into other options as we grow.
CEO - Zumper
Salesforce is complicated to set up, but once it’s setup, it’s great. And as long as you commit to using it, it’s good.
Managing Director - Impact Hub NYC
We just switched from Apto, which is a good CRM platform for old-school real estate companies, but wasn’t what we needed. We tried to use, but it ultimately required too much customization. Apto is built on top of Salesforce. Now we’re getting started with Salesforce. We’re very familiar with it, because Apto is built on top of it, but we do anticipate hating it. We have a new sales development lead who has a bunch of experience with Salesforce, so we’ll see how that goes before we bring in an outside consultant to help us get started.
Co-founder - TheSquareFoot
For acquisition efforts on our supplier side, which is centered around sales and account management, we’re just starting to implement Salesforce. Before, we were using Zoho, and Zoho had been good for us. Although I don’t think Salesforce is the best CRM solution out there, we’ve resigned ourselves to having to use it, because it has such a big stranglehold on the market! All salespeople worth their salt know Salesforce. I mean, people can build a career on knowing how to use Salesforce! We’ve looked at Zoho, SugarCRM, along with some of the other new-school CRM tools, and while they’re better, with better APIs and interfaces than Salesforce, the problem is that the most experienced and talented salespeople we interview already know how to do everything in Salesforce right out of the gate. So we’d lose a lot of time having them learn a whole new system. So we had to give in, and we’re starting to use Salesforce now.
Co-founder - Kinnek
Salesforce is our home base for logging all of our interactions with prospects, customers and churned customers.
Co-founder & CEO - PivotDesk
We’ve set up an integration between Salesforce and our admin tool to track and analyze our sales funnel. Here, we look at trends around: 1) Lead generation; 2) Lead qualification; 3) Sales funnel: 4) Close business (closed lost and closed won).
Co-founder & CEO - PivotDesk
The sales team is happy with Salesforce, especially with the various integrations it offers with some of our other programs.
Senior VP Communications & Marketing - Karmic Labs
We use Salesforce to handle our business relationships. But from a nonprofit perspective, we don’t rely on individual donations and asking for pledges, so in that regard, Salesforce isn’t so helpful. We’re 80% corporate-funded, split between sponsorships of campaigns, and we also have an earned-income agency called TMI in a fee-for-service structure.
CEO - DoSomething
Salesforce is a necessary evil, but it works. And I actually like Salesforce a lot, it just needs to be updated for a 2015-type interface! I’ve tried many alternatives, both free and paid, including HubSpot and SugarCRM, and no other CRM has the backbone and support of Salesforce, especially in terms of integrations.
Founder & Head of Operations - Wheelhouse
Salesforce is the 800-pound gorilla that you can’t really avoid. It’s not the easiest to customize unless you hire a firm to do it for you. But their APIs are great, and we’ve put them into our website so everything syncs with Salesforce. For example, if someone registers on our site, their information automatically syncs to Salesforce.
CMO & EVP of Sales - ExecRank
We use Salesforce for business analytics for our website and sales metrics.
CMO & EVP of Sales - ExecRank
Right now we use Trello, but Salesforce will be managing our project management once we transition over.
Salesforce, as an entity, is like walking into a grocery store, starving, and having no idea of what you want to eat. It’s the definition of “choice paralysis.” It’s the legacy of legacy of CRM systems, and it’s just so robust--it’s too much. It’s like learning how to fly a jet plane. But if you compartmentalize what you need your business to do, you can develop the tools in Salesforce that cater to what you need to get done, and you can ask it to do anything. That’s the power of Salesforce. Being a sales-based CEO, I’m acutely aware of the importance of data--how you collect it and manage it--as one of the most essential parts of running and scaling your business. Although there are affordable, easy-to-use, quick platforms, they’ll never replace a robust CRM platform. Without it, you can’t do anything properly. There are so many different touchpoints with your customers, and you really need to manage that data that comes through and provide a positive experience for your customers. It’s not just about selling, but about the management of your community. Without it, you won’t be able to grow.
We’ll be moving over to Pardot and Salesforce in the next 60 days.
For customer success we'll probably move to Totango for retention (moving this quarter). For sales, we'll probably move to Salesforce, but I've been through that transition before and I know how painful it can be. Salesforce is very flexible, but the transition is really awful, and they really don't offer any help. We're currently bringing on someone who's a CRM/communications manager, and then assess if we also need an expert in Salesforce.
Head of Growth Marketing (former) - Mention
We now keep all clients in our Salesforce database. Their level of customization is unmatched by their competitors.
Co-founder - Aviary
We are in the process of transitioning to Salesforce from SugarCRM. We used a homegrown solution for two years, then went to Sugar because it seemed cheaper. But we’ve had a horrible experience with Sugar, including a lot of technical issues and integration problems, and it’s wound up costing us a ton of money. We’ve essentially had to eat a full year of licensing fees, and we’re now in the midst of a three-month transition to Salesforce. We have also brought on an outsourced firm to help us with the transition.
Co-founder & President - Work Market
I think Salesforce is a little too overwhelming for a very small business. Unless there is a dedicated person maintaining this system, it can easily get away from you. It is also a much more costly option. I wouldn't recommend this for a very young or small company unless there is a heavy reliance on sales or a large sales presence.
Director of Operations - Inxent, Inc.
When we started growing, we had to find somewhere to hold our information in a centralized place, and we came across Salesforce first, and stuck with them. They were one of the earlier players in the CRM space, and they’ve been reliable. They’re also always developing and enhancing their products, so they can grow with us.
Founder & CEO - Sociallybuzz
In the past, we tried to use Salesforce, but it was massive overkill for a company our size, and the platform was overwhelming and messy. Salesforce’s pricing plans are also ridiculous if you want to get any sort of API access.
Vice President of Technology - Golf Genius Software
Our data analytics team led the implementation of Salesforce. Then we had people on our team take the Salesforce certification to build that competency in house. Before Salesforce, we had just been using Google Docs to track customers.
Co-founder & COO - Casper
If you're trying to build a big business, you need an enterprise-grade CRM platform. There are a lot of emerging CRM providers out there, but since we had a clean state to do this right, we decided we wanted everyone adopting Salesforce from day one, rather than setting ourselves up for high switching costs down the line. It is much easier to start with the product you think you're going to grow into, rather than switch later on.
CEO - Fluent City
We're very happy with Salesforce, and our sales team is very heavily Salesforce-driven. When we started, we used Pipedrive, but as soon as you have any realistic sized sales team, you have to move. Salesforce was the inevitable choice. Like Trinet, it does everything you want, it's just not the most modern UI. Our sales development team runs a highly automated outbound demand-generation process. They use a variety of tools for list-building and enrichment, and automated multi-channel outreach (social media, phone calls, email). For each of those functions, we have tools that integrate with Salesforce: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, InsideSales.com and Outreach.
Co-founder & CEO - Greenhouse
It's impossible to use, but everyone uses it. So, oh well.
Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer - Contently
We JUST signed a deal with Salesforce, so I can't say much about its service, but we looked at literally EVERYTHING: RelateIQ, Pipeline, Close.io, Insightly, Zoho. We were pretty close to going with PipelineDeals, but in our research we found that most of the services that had the same functions as Salesforce were approximately the same price. That wouldn't normally be a huge factor, but we were hiring a sales team and all of our potential hires already knew Salesforce. Going with Salesforce just reduced friction.
Co-founder & President - ALICE
Salesforce. Period. It’s best in class, and we’ve tried all the others.
Co-founder & CEO - SponsorHub
The Salesforce interface and usability sucks, but experienced sales guys are used to it.
Co-founder - Monaeo
We have two teams that work with large numbers of people--our sales team and our partners team. We use Salesforce for our sales team. It's what everyone knows. It's actually a pain to use because it's SO customizable--it's like a blank sheet of paper. Starting out with it is really difficult.
Co-founder & CEO - Segment
So many different things integrate into Salesforce--all of the other systems that we use plug right in.
CEO & Co-founder - Movable Ink
We had picked Salesforce when we started because we were well-acquainted with it--everyone is.
Co-founder - Keen IO
We use the enterprise edition of Salesforce for our entire sales team, and we love it. It required a heavy tech implementation to start. At first, we tried to implement it and use it on our own without hiring a consultant; if I had to do it all over again, I would have hired that consultant sooner to do the initial implementation and to educate us on how to use the platform better for our needs.
Co-founder & CEO - Manicube
The List gives us a list of people in certain positions, and Salesforce helps us capture client-specific metrics. Prior to Salesforce, we had been using Google Sheets, so this is a substantial upgrade. Salesforce gives us insight into Sales and revenue analytics. The tools is robust, but can be cumbersome and time-consuming to manage.
Founder & CEO - Kargo
Both Salesforce and SalesforceIQ are great tools for keeping conversations all in one place and keeping track of them. Cost would be the cons for both. They're pretty expensive for small startups.
CEO & Founder - 15Five
Highrise was great for seed stage, but Salesforce became necessary at Series A. Highrise was super light weight and took no training. We had to transition to Salesforce, as we had multiple teams needing to access records for different reasons. It has much more detailed information keeping, and way better graphing/visualization of data.
CEO & Co-Founder - Thunder
Salesforce is a good choice for Series A startups.
Founder & CEO - MakeSpace
We originally used Pipedrive, and I’m a huge fan of that tool for small sales teams. It did everything we needed for our first couple sales hires (up until five reps) and then we upgraded to Salesforce. Both services are great for different stages of a company's life. Pipedrive is affordable, and easy to teach and learn. Salesforce is incredibly powerful, but that also comes with a lot of complexity. I would recommend that companies wait to use Salesforce until they have someone on the team who is willing to be invested in learning and maintaining it. We have that person now--our head of sales had used Salesforce extensively at his previous company, so once he was onboard, we were able to transition the team over to Salesforce. That happened once we had five salespeople.
Co-founder & CEO - The Muse
Founding Partner, Chief Product Officer - Reboot
25%Stacklist Startups Are Using Salesforce
The platform is particularly popular among later-stage companies with a more developed sales force and a larger customer base to justify its cost. However, because of Salesforce’s ubiquity in the CRM space, it’s also used by some smaller startups. The platform has so many moving parts that it requires a lot of hands-on time to manage properly; as such, it’s favored by startups with enough internal resources to take advantage of all it has to offer.
Salesforce has a five pricing plans: The initial Group plan costs $25 per user per month; the Professional plan costs $65 per user per month; the Enterprise plan is $125 per user per month; an Unlimited plan is $250 per user per month; and the Performance Edition, which goes for $300 per user per month. Each upgrade offers additional features such as mass emails, history tracking and automated data cleansing.
Visit the website: http://www.salesforce.com/