Essentials is aimed at bridging the gap in its market – which till now have catered to large firms. With this Salesforce.com aims to cover every segment of its market.
In a step aimed at mitigating air pockets in its market, Salesforce.com Inc has launched new customer service and sales software tailored specifically for small businesses, an area the firm has struggled to address before.
Named ‘Essentials’, the apps are in fact simplified versions of its Sales and Service Cloud products, said Mike Rosenbaum, Salesforce’s Executive Vice President.
“We want to make sure we have a product that works for every segment of the market,” said Rosenbaum.
Earlier, small businesses have complained of their struggle to use its products saying they are too expensive and too complex.
Chris Keegan, Director of Products at Door, a Dallas-based real estate brokerage marketplace, said he found it difficult to configure and that employees in the firm reverted back to using spreadsheets to log customer data. As a result in 2016, Door replaced Salesforce with ProsperWorks, which targets small and medium-sized businesses.
“One of the issues we were having is that no one on our team was using Salesforce to its full capabilities,” said Keegan.
With Essentials, Salesforce is targeting this sector with a ready to use “out of the box,” solutions, said Rosenbaum.
Essentials is priced at $25 per user per month for teams of up to 10 people.
“As Salesforce has continued to add features to their products they’ve become more complex and also more expensive,” said Rebecca Wettemann, an analyst with Nucleus Research.“This is a way to make those core features much more accessible to small and mid-size businesses.”
However, Essentials, lacks marketing features and is still expensive compared to other customer relationship software aimed at small businesses, said Kate Leggett, an analyst with Forrester Research.
“Not all the small businesses will consider Salesforce because there are cheaper options out there,” said Leggett, pointing to ProsperWorks, Zoho, Freshworks and Infusionsoft.
Incidentally, Salesforce stated it will discontinue Desk.com and SalesforceIQ, two products that cater to small businesses, from March 2020.