In an exciting announcement, Salesforce released Salesforce Starter – a new CRM for small and growing businesses. Starter combines sales, service, and marketing tools into an a platform specifically for small business.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what Salesforce Starter is and what this new platform can do.
What is Salesforce Starter?
Salesforce Starter is a more affordable and simple version meant to start your relationship with Salesforce. It promises to bring the sales, service, and marketing tools into one centralized software. This promises to avoid complex setups and data that is separated across multiple systems.
For starters (pun intended), the parent Salesforce has over 20 years of expertise with new CRM users. To make it easier to get started. There is guided onboarding, reporting templates, pre-built dashboards, and unified customer data view.
Starter is priced at $25/month per user, billed annually.
Obviously, Salesforce is feeling the heat of other CRM systems that are catering to the smaller CRM users. They just want a simple app for a small price. There is an opportunity to take a big bite out of the huge market. And once businesses grow, they will be comfortable with the Salesforce platform to prospect, win, manage customer relationships, and retain customers.
For those not so familiar with this type of small business CRM software, here is our what is CRM primer.
Salesforce Starter’s features overview
Sales CRM features
There is a daily digest feature, to stay organized on tasks. All the contacts, leads, and opportunities in one place. Some prebuilt components help simplify pipeline management and introduce working in sales stages.
The Einstein Activity Capture syncs your email and calendar. So you can always look back and have a history of contact moments. And not missing important messages that need follow up or scheduling conflicts. Starter has reasonably intuitive dashboards with important sales reports already set up from the beginning. You can customize the dashboards to fit your own preferences.
Customer service features
Handle the necessary details for your support tickets in Starter. With customizable email templates and quick text, customer service can quickly reply to common issues using prewritten support templates. Salesforce Starter’s case management is there to make sure all issues are dealt with on time and within SLA.
Knowledge management is simplified for the SMB market. Create and publish knowledge base articles to share with your customers. Integrated email support channel makes sure the customer service requests are logged and none slips through the cracks.
Marketing CRM features
We aren’t super impressed with the email campaign features in Salesforce Starter. (but then this is not meant to be the best email marketing platform. It has a few pre-made email templates, and you can use mail merge tags to customize emails. The email builder has holders for important email elements.
The Einstein Send Time Optimization is also included in Salesforce Starter, to predict the best time to send emails. Although with open tracking being less accurate, you have to take it with a grain of salt.
Smart segmentation is the feature to categorize leads and customers into targeted lists for personalized outreach. With content personalization and journey management, build automated email flows.
So with starter’s marketing functionality you have a set up to create campaigns, segment your audience, and automate email campaigns.
Why SMBs can benefit from Salesforce Starter
Salesforce makes a point to highlight why it fits better with SMB
Salesforce Starter offers budget-friendly pricing, meant for small businesses. You can access the core features to manage customer data and grow your business without “breaking the bank”. (sorry for that tired breaking the bank expression)
Shorter learning curve
With Salesforce Starter, you don’t need the extensive training that goes with enterprise CRM platforms. A more user-friendly interface, and onboarding help. A single salesperson or team can quickly learn and start using the platform.
Grows with your business
As your business grows, Salesforce Starter grows with you. It’s scalable, allowing for upgrades and extra features as your requirements change. This is of course what Salesforce is counting on. Expanding business that will grow into the bigger and the platform with you until you reach the Fortune 500. At least you know it scales.
Starter isn’t too rigid. You can tailor Salesforce Starter so it works in your company best. Customize fields, workflows, and reports. The idea is to create a CRM platform that works for you.
Simplified customer management
Manage customer data in one place with Salesforce Starter’s Data Cloud. If implemented correctly this can give a full view of customer preferences, behaviors, and interactions. These can be used to personalize interactions and make sure you call your contacts by the right name and according to their sales stage give them a good communication experience. With email integration, you can reach your audience effectively and create targeted campaigns.
You’ll also find that Salesforce Starter gives tools like self-service portals and knowledge base for customer service. A lot of people prefer to resolve issues themselves, and fast, prompt resolution is good for customer satisfaction and retention.
What do we think of Salesforce Starter?
Salesforce Starter offers an affordable CRM platform with a user-friendly interface and customizable features. If you as a SMB was already thinking about Salesforce, this is a nice way to step in. As it is super new, customers respond to this specialized SMB CRM we will report on later.
That this is a smart move by salesforce is a given, as long as it doesn’t cannibalize their other offerings too much. And if they combine the platform with their own big sales engine and have figured out the small market – it has all the makings of a great tool.
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