Pressure Mounts from Salesforce Competitors
After years of excitement and rapid growth the shine may be coming off the apple at Salesforce.com, and competition may be the culprit. Layoffs, the closing of multiple offices and a falling stock price is now taking place at Salesforce and one has to wonder what is next for this industry giant.
According to industry analysts the CRM sector is expected to see substantial growth in the years ahead. This has caused a myriad of companies to enter the space with competitive products, many of which are easier to use and considerably less costly to implement than Salesforce.com. This is quite typical in the technology sector where one company gets an early lead as Salesforce had done, but it erodes over time as others catch up. As such, Salesforce is now experiencing a significant increase in competition over previous years.
One notable standout in the sector is Commence Corporation, manufacturers of Commence CRM. Commence CRM is an all-in-one solution targeted at small to midsize companies that do not need the cost and complexity associated with enterprise solutions like Salesforce. While there are several other strong competitors in the space, what differentiates Commence CRM is the array of professional services the company provides. Commence recognizes that smaller businesses often struggle to recruit experienced sales and marketing personnel that are necessary to maximize the value of CRM software. To address this, the company has coupled their software with highly experienced sales and marketing personnel that provide lead generation along with sales and marketing enablement services that significantly impact the return on investment Commence customers realize from its solution. Customer testimonials have been very good, and the firm has been experiencing an increase in inquiries from Salesforce customers that have discovered that they underestimated the challenge associated with the implementation, training and cost associated with the utilization of Salesforce and as such, are now seeking an alternative. Commence CRM is certainly worth a look. It is important to note that Commence is not an enterprise solution and while it offers functionality that rivals much more expensive products, it is best suited for companies of 10 to 100 users that do not require multi-language or multi-currency support.
The expected growth of the CRM software industry will certainly open the door to new companies, increasing the competition even further. It will be interesting to see if Salesforce can grow its customer base in this highly competitive sector.