We are happy to share some insights about Salesforce drawn from our latest Value Index research, the 2023 Ventana Research Value Index: Customer Experience Management, which assesses how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements.
In all of our Value Indexes, we utilize a structured research methodology built on evaluation categories designed to reflect real-world criteria and derived from RFP responses and a vendor selection process for analytics and business intelligence. We evaluated Salesforce and 21 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product — Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability — and two related to the vendor — TCO/ROI and Vendor Validation. To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and on data derived from our Benchmark Research on Customer Experience (CX).
Salesforce is an American, software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based company that began with CRM and expanded its cloud portfolio to include software for many front- and back-office business functions. Its portfolio currently includes applications focused on sales, customer service, marketing automation, analytics and application development. It was categorized as an Exemplary Vendor, ranking first as the Overall Value Index Leader. It was a Value Index Leader in both Product Experience and Customer Experience, placing first and second respectively. Salesforce scored first and was a Value Index Leader in the Capability category. It was also a Value Index Leader in three other categories: Adaptability (third place), Reliability (third place) and Vendor Validation (second place).
Salesforce is one of the few vendors in customer experience management (CXM or CEM) to have experience building software for each key CX department. Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud and Sales Cloud form the core of its offering and are supported by other components that add value to CX at the application and platform levels. Einstein AI and the new Genie customer data platform (CDP) were not directly evaluated in this report but are two significant elements that boost the effectiveness of teams working on any stage of the customer life cycle.
Salesforce still has room for improvement in Usability (10th place), where it needs to focus attention on how the interface adapts to users in different roles. To boost its ranking in the TCO/ROI and Customer Experience categories, Salesforce can improve the way it presents pricing information to buyers, along with how it helps them build their business cases for purchase and deployment.
This assessment was based on Salesforce’s CXM products available in October of 2022. Late in 2022, Salesforce unveiled its CDP, called Genie, which is expected to be a significant platform component going forward.
Salesforce, like all vendors in this space, should work towards a holistic, integrated CX platform that addresses the needs of users across the enterprise. Connecting workflows from marketing, sales and service teams should be a key priority.
This research-based index is the most comprehensive assessment of the value of CXM software in the industry. Technology buyers can learn more about how to use our Value Index by clicking here and included vendors that wish to learn more can click here. Read the report here.