Are SMBs not the right fit for Salesforce?

Salesforce has recently released their second annual Small & Medium Business Trends Report. In this report they analyze data from nearly 500 business owners and leaders to discover their unique needs and the challenges they face. You can find the full report here.

One of the questions that was asked in the report really caught my attention as I started to think of what it could mean for the company.

That question was “To what extent are the following factors a challenge to your company’s adoption of new technologies?” to which the results were:

The results are displayed as ‘the percentage of SMB owners and leaders who say the factor is critical, major, or a moderate challenge.’  If you are familiar with the Salesforce platform a few of these factors should jump out at you. Take for example “Difficulty in customizing new technology to meet our business needs.”

If you’re looking at this from Salesforce’s point of view, you may say that the platform can be customized to meet almost any needs you have, so this isn’t a concern. But another way of looking at it – Salesforce is customizable, but not necessarily easy to customize. If you ask me, I would put Salesforce under ‘difficult to customize’ in terms of the level of expertise required to do so.

Another is the “difficulty implementing and rolling out new technologies” factor – to which 44% of SMBs said to be a challenge. Again, Salesforce doesn’t come across as a platform that is easy to implement and roll out. Think about it, to implement Salesforce in a way that will have a positive ROI it is recommended that you work with a certified consultant.

Not to mention that you will probably be required to put your employees through a few hours of training just to grasp the platform. Couple this with 43% of SMBs struggling to find time to train employees, and you have a recipe for an inconsistent data disaster. Now, this is not to say that all of this effort will be well worth it in the end, but once again it is not exactly easy.

Lastly, budget constraints are a challenge for 53% of SMBs. Salesforce is a) not cheap to license, b) not cheap to implement, and c) not cheap to maintain…

So am I saying that because of this Salesforce won’t find success with SMBs? Of course not. In fact, they recently announced their new Lightning Essentials CRM package that comes pre-packaged with a ton of valuable functionality and a significantly reduced price tag.

As an SMB if you have time to train your employees, can afford to pay for it, and aren’t worried about hiring a consultant to implement and customize Salesforce, then it’s the best solution you will find.

To view the full report by Salesforce, you can find it here.

About Shane Rostad

Shane Rostad is a marketing manager for TriFin Labs that loves to share his knowledge and learnings about tech through writing. When he's not reading you can find him exploring Florida's parks or loitering in a local coffee shop.

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