Salesforce: From A Hug To A Half Nelson
By Bernie Vineberg
It is very much agreed in the on-demand industry that Salesforce.com has the best marketing machine going. It is an attractive package and promises improvements in business performance and practically comes packaged with a big hug.
On reviewing the merits of one CRM versus another. I came across a curious thing. While visiting the site of Salesboom.com, I noticed something called a Magic Button. This is a mechanism whereby customers can easily get their data out of the Salesforce CRM system, without having to go through the grueling Salesforce process to exit their services.
It appears that the sales team at Salesforce did their jobs, but that for whatever reasons, some customers want out, a not unexpected event in the sales world. What is surprising is that there exists a complicated process and lack of support for getting existing data out of Salesforce back into the customer's control. Hence, the Salesboom Magic Button.
Some of the problems encountered by Salesforce Team Edition customers were elemental, such as the inability to customize fields and the lack of a mass email function at this level. These are very basic components of a contact management process and any customer would rightly expect to see this functionality certainly at the Team Edition level.
So what is happening here? Is it that Salesforce has so many add-on components it is hard to get the data out? Is there a lack of caring for customers in business? Inattention
to smaller business owners? What is this disregard for people trying to do business?
If I am in business and decide to try a CRM system, I would expect that my data, my lifeblood, would remain always under my control, and that I would not have to wrestle it back into my custody.
On-demand CRM is the future, for Customer Service and for all business lines as the capacity for integrated business automations is limitless and the potential for mutual successes unlimited. It is important that all Service Providers in this industry behave responsibly and with respect towards the customer and most critically, the customer's data.
I would sincerely recommend that anyone considering on-demand CRM Services confirm exit processes with their vendor and to explore the potential liabilities in undertaking to use a multi-platform CRM Solution. Unless you are good at getting out of a half-nelson.