act salesforce conversionAs the author of 13 books on various CRM software applications and the creator of the lynda.com Act! training videos I am often asked to compare the various CRM products.  Potential CRM users aren’t sure which product to choose, and existing CRM users often want to “jump ship” to another CRM solution. In the final analysis, most CRM products offer very similar feature sets.

Act! was virtually the first player in what was then known as the “contact management” arena and has been around for 30 years.  Salesforce.com came out in 1999 and is actually listed as “CRM” on the New York Stock Exchange. As with many businesses in the software industry, Salesforce.com is not without its share of problems and people are abandoning the San Francisco based company in search of greener pastures.  I am often asked to do Salesforce to Act conversions so I am focusing this article on the reasons I am seeingCRM users leaving Salesforce.

CRM Pricing

Subscription services from Salesforce.com range anywhere from $25 to $300 per user per month, depending on the package selected. While this may or may not seem like a huge expense to you, keep in mind that all of their per-user products are billed annually and require an annual contract. There are also upgraded features available for most packages, all of which come at significant additional cost beyond the license fee. On the other hand, an existing user of Act v18 Pro can purchase a license for a one-time fee of $150.

CRM Reliability

I’m not saying that Salesforce isn’t a great product, but there is a history of lawsuits where service is concerned. There are some major issues with their applications, however, including timeout errors, fields and objects that won’t load, and service disconnection. Some of these problems are due to the fact that Salesforce.com’s applications are hosted from 27 locations globally, and depending on your distance from their nearest location, you may experience a decline in performance. The plug-ins, cascading style sheets, and javascript that normally create a sleek user interface will become a real nuisance if you’re experiencing packet loss during data transfers.  And, because Salesforce is 100% “cloud-based” a major outage like the one that occurred during the first week of March could mean that you have little or no access to your data.  On the other hand, Act! is a truly hybrid solution which means that Act users can have access to 100% of their data in an offline environment.

CRM Support

The service offerings from Salesforce.com are rather expensive and offer little in the way of options for small business owners. CRM implementations will fail without adequate support and training. Many users find the Salesforce platform to be overwhelming if they only need basic CRM services for a small team with a limited number of clients but can’t afford to purchase necessary training.

If you’re considering a Salesforce to ACT conversion, the process is painless--we promise!

If you’re new to CRM and seeking ACT support, training or hosting, you’ve also come to the right place. We wrote multiple books about CRM so contact us today for more information about how the Act Consultants at Tech Benders can meet your company’s needs!