Is Salesforce right for my business?

Posted On by Veronica Abalos

Salesforce is a highly customisable, integrated CRM platform that prides itself on providing brands with an extensive overview of customer data and performance-boosting opportunities. It is estimated that there are more than 150,000 companies worldwide using Salesforce, including a growing number of brands in the United Arab Emirates.

In this article, we outline some of Salesforce’s core benefits and capabilities, especially in the UAE market, to help you determine its suitability for your business’s goals and requirements.

4C Dubai’s Guide to Salesforce for UAE businesses – table of contents:

  1. What Salesforce products meet your requirements?
  2. How does Salesforce compare to other CRMs in the UAE market?
  3. What businesses use Salesforce in the UAE?
  4. FAQs when considering Salesforce
  5. Further resource recommendations on Salesforce & digital transformation in the UAE

If you want to talk through any of this in more detail, you can get in touch with the 4C Dubai team to speak to one of our business consultancy experts.

What Salesforce products meet your requirements?

The first priority when determining whether Salesforce is right for your brand is working out which specific product suits your needs.

There are a whole host of different Salesforce products and services, which we’ve listed out the key functionalities of below. We recommend you use this list as your starting point and then take the time to research into the individual options that seem most apt.

  • Salesforce Sales Cloud – Includes tools for managing contact data, forecasting sales and centralising customer information. This is particularly useful for businesses with a typically long customer journey, who wish to monitor the progression of sales/enquiry leads.
  • Salesforce Marketing Cloud – Your one-stop shop for managing marketing campaigns in one place, with features including customer journey mapping, email automation, content management and automated marketing data analysis.
  • Salesforce Service Cloud Lightning – A Salesforce product that prioritizes all-things customer service. It integrates with community management tools, chat solutions and custom customer portals.
  • Salesforce Community Cloud – Used for creating branded digital communities, e.g. for connecting with your internal teams, customer base or managing external partners.
  • Salesforce Commerce Cloud – One of the most popular B2C Commerce solutions on the market, Salesforce Commerce Cloud focuses on the management of enhanced shopping experiences across all digest channels. Capabilities include management of promotions, marketing data, customer service, fulfilment and AI.
  • Salesforce Analytics Cloud – If data management and deep-dive analysis are your priority, there’s a lot that Salesforce Analytics Cloud can do for you. Especially for medium to large sized enterprises, it allows for powerful management of data, with layers of dynamic visualisation and in-depth reporting. What’s more, you can gain a deeper understanding of your business data and customers with Tableau by creating fantastic data-rich dashboards, customisable for all roles within your business.
  • Salesforce App Cloud – An often more affordable option, App Cloud is designed to expand the capabilities of an existing CRM in a low-code development way. This is a common stepping-stone for brands that want to get more out of their sales, marketing and reporting.
  • Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud – Part of Salesforce Customer 360, Manufacturing Cloud is tailored to brands in the manufacturing vertical looking for greater clarity and control over their often-complicated processes – from demand forecasting and supply chain management to sales and customer service.
  • Salesforce CPQ – Allows you to manage billing, invoices and payment collection in a straightforward and flexible way.

Want to learn more? The 4C Middle East team would be glad to help advise more specifically on the suitability of different Salesforce products and services for your brand.

How does Salesforce compare to other CRMs in the UAE market?

When trying to understand your CRM options, you will no-doubt be coming across a vast number of different solutions and platforms, not just Salesforce.

Common platforms you may find are Zoho, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and even good old-fashioned Excel spreadsheets. Given the complexity of how any individual brand uses technology, each of these have their own place in the market and have a host of different use cases.

We are therefore going to focus on Zoho and how it specifically compares to Salesforce. Below you will find an overview of the two platforms and the pros and cons of each.

Salesforce vs. Zoho:

Salesforce Advantages

  • Offers plans specifically for different sizes of business
  • Offers free trials of its paid plans
  • Includes a mobile app
  • Highly customisable/scalable
  • Will equip you for growth and grow with you
  • Incredibly robust feature set – Salesforce is a complete CRM with a wide range of features
  • Recent updates have focused on user experience and accessibility
  • Focuses on automation and time-saving across all stages of sales and data management processes
  • Integrates with hundreds of third-party tools, e.g. HubSpot, Docusign, QuickBooks
  • There is a significant digital community of Salesforce experts who regularly share knowledge and recommendations
  • Offers learning courses and qualifications

Salesforce Disadvantages

  • No free tier
  • Has to be billed annually
  • Complex capabilities – professional plans do require a large amount of set-up and often technical expertise

Zoho Advantages

  • Offers a free plan
  • Suited to small business just getting started
  • Easy to get started, with a straightforward interface (doesn’t necessarily require technical expertise)
  • Integrates with a large amount of third-party tools, although not as many as Salesforce, so definitely double check your tech portfolio first

Zoho Disadvantages

  • Many features restricted to higher pricing levels
  • Not designed around handling higher volumes of data, per larger scale businesses
  • Poor reviews of customer support

The main distinction between the suitability of Zoho or Salesforce comes down to the size of the business. Due to its high-powered nature, Salesforce is a generally better fit for mid to large-sized businesses, with Zoho better for smaller companies and start-ups. That said, if you are a smaller brand with high growth potential (i.e. you operate in a flourishing industry or you’re looking to expand), Salesforce’s customisation will equip you better for growth and be a much more appropriate long-term selection.

What businesses use Salesforce in the UAE?

While not yet as integral to the market as it is in the USA and Europe, for example, Salesforce’s influence in the United Arab Emirates is growing from strength to strength with each passing year.

4C has partnered with an exciting range of UAE brands who’ve been at the forefront of this flourishing market, for example:

Property Finder

  • One of the UAE’s leading real estate and rental marketplaces, Property Finder came to 4C Dubai with the desire to realise a single view of its customer. Previously, running the business across multiple platforms meant that their performance and customer data was spread across a number of different spaces. Property Finder moved to an integration of Salesforce Service and Sales Cloud, giving not just their sales team but their whole operations team a full 360 degree view of their customer.
  • Read the full case study here

EMAAR Properties

  • A leading MENA Region premium property developer, EMAAR decided to adopt Salesforce Sales Cloud in order to create a unified CRM platform across all its multiple branches. The customization permitted by Salesforce enabled EMAAR to build a framework that linked all the different offices to allow for far support reporting and transparency.
  • Read the full case study here

Level Shoes

  • Prior to adopting Salesforce Service and Marketing Cloud, designer footwear specialist Level Shoes found that their data was siloed across multiple platforms. They also had limited automation and personalization capabilities, which was slowing their sales and marketing efforts. They now boost a much more streamlined technical set-up, that has since paved the way for a 30% growth in their customer database.
  • Read the full case study here

Frequently Asked Questions when considering Salesforce…

What problems does a CRM solve?
The purpose of a CRM is to consolidate and streamline business processes, meaning that – so long as you find the right one for your needs – it would improve your data management, workflows, customer service and sales management processes.

Do small businesses use Salesforce?
While small to medium businesses do not make up the majority of Salesforce’s clientele, there are certainly strong options for smaller brands – especially ones poised to grow. Salesforce offer tiers of small business solutions pricing, especially for this purpose.

How much does Salesforce cost?
Salesforce pricing varies significantly based on the scope of your requirements and what specific products you go for. It can begin at $25 user/month for Salesforce Essentials and go up to $325 user/month for Lightning Unlimited. 30 day free trials are available.

Contact the 4C Middle East Team

Because every business is different, the best way to know if Salesforce is right for your brand (and how best to approach product/service selection) is to talk to seasoned professionals. The 4C team is happy to walk through options with you and discuss how best to start your digital transformation journey today.

Further resources on Salesforce & digital transformation in the UAE