This article is part of a larger series on CRM.
What We Recommend Salesforce Essentials For
Salesforce Essentials is made for startups or small businesses with 10 or fewer sales or support team members. Its core CRM features include lead and opportunity tracking, and it also comes with tools for email marketing and customer support. Moreover, it has a mobile app with full offline functionality. Overall, it helps you improve sales productivity and efficiency as well as increase customer retention.
Who Salesforce Essentials Is Good For
- Small businesses needing an advanced sales pipeline management tool: Although made for small teams, Salesforce Essentials is packed with robust features for tracking leads and customers. This is why it is included in our list of the best CRMs for small businesses.
- Teams looking for a CRM with email marketing capabilities: You can use Salesforce Essentials to manage and track your email marketing campaigns. It also integrates with email service providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Mailchimp. For this reason, it is one of our top picks for the best CRMs for email marketing.
- Salespeople seeking a mobile CRM for field sales reps: Salesforce Essentials’ mobile app has all of the features of its desktop version. You can access and update your sales pipelines even when you’re offline. It is one of our recommendations for the best mobile CRM app.
Salesforce Essentials Is Not a Good Fit For
- Large sales teams: Salesforce Essentials can only seat up to 10 users per account. Larger teams that handle large volumes of data can find it challenging to use this CRM with this limitation. If you need to scale up your business and use a tool that can support a higher number of users, you can upgrade to Salesforce’s higher tiers or try Pipedrive.
- Companies that focus on social media outreach: Salesforce Essentials’ basic social media capabilities are limited to customer support. Consider Zoho CRM if you’re looking for a CRM for social media marketing initiatives.
- Ecommerce and wholesale businesses: Salesforce Essentials does not offer tools for tracking and managing sales, orders, and product lists. It also does not have a built-in CPQ (configure, price, and quote) feature. If you need these capabilities to run your business efficiently, check out Bitrix24.
Are you not exactly sure what to look for? Look at our ultimate CRM guide to deepen your understanding of how CRMs work and why it’s an essential tool to grow your business faster.
Salesforce Essentials Overview
|Includes lead generation and assignment||Does not offer a free plan|
|Offers customer support tools||Limited to 10 users per account|
|Provides extensive tutorials and setup guides||No workflow automation tools|
|Gives users access to all contact records and sales opportunities||No tools for quote and billing management|
|Has customizable reports and dashboards||Has no option for roles and permission access customization|
Salesforce Essentials Pricing
Salesforce Essentials offers a single subscription plan that costs $35 per month and supports up to 10 users. Annual pricing is available at $25 per month. This package includes tools for managing contacts, accounts, leads, and opportunities. It also has other features like lead assignment, email templates, custom reports and dashboards, and case management. You may sign up for a 14-day free trial to test out its features.
Salesforce Essentials add-on:
- Sales Dialer for Essentials (inbound and outbound calls from Salesforce phone channel): $2 per 100 minutes, per month
- Sales Dialer (click-to-dial and automatic logging): Starts at $5 per user, per month
- Social Intelligence: $25 per user, per month
- Inbox: $25 per user, per month
Salesforce Essentials Features
Salesforce Essentials is equipped with easy-to-use tools to help small businesses sell efficiently and provide robust support to their customers. It offers a single platform to manage customer data, follow-up leads, track customer interactions, automate tasks, and organize support channels. Aside from that, you have access to in-app tutorials and prebuilt business apps built specifically for small businesses.
Below is a closer look at Salesforce Essentials’ features.
One of Salesforce Essentials’ primary features is the sales cloud, which covers tracking sales and opportunities, managing accounts, and managing contact details. It also has a service cloud for customers’ case lifecycle management. From each cloud, you can access a built-in software called Chatter, which you can use for communication, file sharing, and team collaboration.
- Lead management and assignment
- Block duplicate data entries
- Web-to-lead capture
- Mass email
- Campaign management
- Email templates
- Account and contact management
- Opportunity management
- Customizable sales process
- Task management and activity feed
The sales cloud provides you with tools for selling smarter. You can generate leads from your company website’s visitors, track and qualify prospects, and then route hot leads to the right agents. It also lets you manage your contacts, customer engagement, and opportunity stages. Moreover, you can send targeted emails to leads and monitor your marketing campaigns across all channels.
- Case management
- Knowledge base
- Lead-contact account management
- Omnichannel routing
- Computer telephony integration (CTI)
- Social customer service (live agent chat and Facebook Messenger)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered recommendations
- Help center
- Customizable reports and dashboards
The service cloud serves as a platform for customer case management. You can integrate it easily with telephony systems like the private branch exchange (PBX) or voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP), so you can make and receive calls. It also allows you to engage with customers via live chat, create cases from social media, and send AI-powered responses. In addition, it offers tools for setting up a self-service site for your customers.
- Team collaboration
- Deal management
- Customer engagement
- Personalized marketing
- Full offline functionality
You can download the Salesforce mobile CRM app from the App Store or Google Play. The mobile app allows you to access and update CRM data, collaborate with teammates, and schedule appointments. You can also close deals, engage with customers, and deliver marketing campaigns on the go. The app works even when you’re offline and syncs once you’re back online.
Reporting & Analytics
- Real-time sales insights
- Customizable reports and dashboards
- Drag-and-drop report builder
Salesforce Essentials’ reporting capabilities are limited to real-time sales insights. You can configure the reports and dashboards using its drag-and-drop functionality. There are also various options for the types of charts and filters that you can use for your visual reports. However, it does not offer forecasting, cross filters, and history tracking features. If these features are essential to your business, try Bitrix24 or upgrade to a higher Salesforce tier.
Customization & Automation
- Lightning Flow Automation (flow + process builder)
- Lightning App Builder (drag-and-drop app builder)
- AppExchange (prebuilt apps and flows)
Salesforce Essentials’ Lighting Flow Automation tool allows you to automate and manage up to five business processes and five flows per organization. It has a drag-and-drop tool called Lightning App Builder with prebuilt and custom components you can use for customized apps and pages. You can also install prebuilt apps from the AppExchange store.
- Google Workspace
- Jira Software
You can extend Salesforce Essentials’ capabilities by connecting them to other apps you frequently use to run your business. Some of its popular integrations include Outlook, Google Workspace, DocuSign, QuickBooks, and Dropbox. You can sync these apps via AppExchange, Zapier, Automate.io, or Workato. Some apps like Mailchimp and Slack provide integration via Application Programming Interface (API).
Salesforce offers three levels of support under its Success Plans: Standard, Premier, and Signature. All types of licenses—including Salesforce Essentials—offer Standard Success support. This gives you access to self-guided resources, online learning, a help portal, demos, events, and community advice. It also includes a two-day response time to technical support cases submitted online.
The Premier Success plan costs 30% of the net price of the software subscription. It adds 24/7 phone support and developer support on top of the inclusions in Standard Success. You also receive expert coaching and training sessions, personalized recommendations and resources, and a 25% discount on Salesforce classes and certifications. Aside from that, there are business value reviews and technical health reviews conducted by Salesforce experts.
Under the Signature Plan, a technical account manager (TAM) assigned to your account documents your needs and prioritizes solutions to issues you encounter. You also get pre-deployment support, 24/7 automated solution monitoring, and key event management services. The cost of this plan depends on the complexity and scale of your business solution.
Ease of Use
Salesforce Essentials is best suited for users with intermediate-level technical skills. There is a bit of a learning curve to it, and it takes several clicks to accomplish an action, but it is easy to use once you become familiar with its layout. The number of display options can be confusing for beginners. However, it offers many video tutorials, in-app prompts, and self-help resources for users who need assistance in using the software.
Salesforce Essentials Alternatives
Best for: Organizations that need a CRM with social media marketing tools
Best for: Business-to-business (B2B) companies with simple sales models that focus on direct selling
Best for: Small ecommerce businesses looking for a CRM with order and inventory management features
Starting price: Free or $14 per user, per month
Starting price: $12.50 per user, per month
Starting price: Free or $24 per month
If you’re not sure Salesforce Essentials is right for you, check out our guide to the top six CRMs for small businesses. If you’re looking for an alternative similar to Salesforce at a lower price point, read our guide on the best Salesforce alternatives.
What Users Think of Salesforce Essentials
Most Salesforce Essentials users like its out-of-the-box setup, ease of use, and its robust contact and lead management features. They also appreciate its collaboration tools, mobile app, and straightforward reporting tools. As of this writing, it has earned the following scores from the most popular review sites:
- Capterra: 4.3 out of 5 based on 144 reviews
- G2: 4.2 out of 5 based on 469 reviews
- Software Advice: 4.29 out of 5 based on 142 reviews
While some users commended Salesforce Essentials for its deep customization options, others think that this is overwhelming and confusing. Some find its pricing to be a bit expensive for the set of features it offers. Despite these downsides, the majority of users consider it a powerful CRM, especially for salespeople on the go.
Salesforce Essentials is a scaled-down version of Salesforce’s sales and support CRM editions. While it has a 10-user limit, it is equipped with powerful sales automation, lead management, and customer support tools. Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see Salesforce Essentials in action.