Salesforce is Simply the Wrong Solution for Most SMBs

Don't dig yourself into a bigger hole.

The stories of small to mid-size businesses struggling with the implementation and utilization of Salesforce.com continue to grow and grow and grow. How do I know this? Because I represent a competitive product, Commence CRM and I get the calls every day from people looking for an easier to use, affordable alternative. The question is why? Is Salesforce.com a lousy product or a bad company to do business with? Of course not, but maybe Salesforce just was not the right solution for their business or for yours.

According to industry analysts, Salesforce.com is the best solution in the industry, but best for who and based on what? These guys spend all their time comparing who has the most features and functions, who is coming out with new innovative products, who is the thought leader and who has the most name recognition, then select a winner based on their findings. Their reports often list Salesforce.com as the best solution across every category: small business, mid-size business, and large enterprises. That is just incredible. I am not aware of any company with a generic product like CRM that is identified as the best solution for every size business and in any industry. Of course, this is simply nonsense as reflected by the high churn rate for small to mid-size businesses that are seeking an alternative to Salesforce.com.

More importantly, are you basing your decision on who has the most product features, the most customers, and the highest name recognition. Or are you more concerned with finding a solution that can address your specific requirements that is also easy to use and affordable? I hope it is the latter.

Think of it this way. If you were going to plant a tree in your backyard you could rent an expensive backhoe from Kubota or Caterpillar to dig the hole, plus hire a skilled person to operate it, add the cost of a landscaper to repair the lawn damage caused by the heavy machinery, and so on. You would probably be better off with a shovel; it’s simpler to operate, more affordable, and gets the job done. I think you see my point. Despite what these industry reports say, it is virtually impossible for one company to be all things to all people and Salesforce.com is no exception here. Most CRM firms, including the one I work for, target a specific industry segment – small business, mid-market, or enterprise corporations. The reason is that the business requirements of a small to mid-size company are vastly different from those of a global enterprise organization. This makes it extremely challenging for companies that target small businesses to compete at the enterprise level; and for those servicing the enterprise market like Salesforce.com to meet the business requirements of small to mid-size firms.

Commence CRM serves small to mid-size firms. We would be the wrong choice for large corporations for the same reason Salesforce.com is the wrong choice for small to mid-size firms.

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