Selecting the best CRM solution for your business can be time-consuming and confusing as there are so many providers and plans available to choose from. To help businesses navigate the plethora of options we have produced a range of comparison articles that examines what two providers can offer and contrasts them. In this piece we have compared ServiceNow and Salesforce, we hope that this can help you decide whether one of these providers offers a plan that would work for you and your business.
Comparing what each of the providers can offer you is a big task when they offer so many plans and can have so many features to explore. To help with this we have selected a range of key features that you may be interested in so you can see if the provider offers them. Please note that not all the plans may offer all of these features and you may need to take out a higher level plan to access them, so we suggest that you check the plan thoroughly before purchasing it to see what is included.
|Insights and analytics
|Third party integrations
|2 day response unless purchase additional support plans
ServiceNow and Salesforce have taken different approaches to their software. ServiceNow offers Customer Service Management (CSM) software rather than CRM software, but it offers many of the same features and benefits to businesses as CRM software does. ServiceNow also only offers a single software option as a complete solution with three tiered plans that provide different levels of features and the number of custom tables varies.
Salesforce provides a different approach as they offer a complete CRM software solution as well as individual software solutions that cater for different business functions so that you can select one or many parts of your business to deploy the software in and increase the software coverage over time. Each of the individual functionality plans is tailored to the needs of that service or department and offers many unique features as well as some shared features that are available in more than one plan. The combined CRM software provides the benefits of the individual plans with the added benefit of having more staff collaborating and sharing data.
Below are the categories of plans that are available from the two providers.
ServiceNow offers CSM software that delivers many of the benefits of CRM software including improved customer service operations and customer engagement through digital workflows. It brings together all parts of your business in resolving customer issues and expands self-service opportunities through AI-powered chatbots and supports omnichannel including phone, messaging, chat, web, email, in-person and social media. It provides automation of processes to maximise efficiencies and guides resolutions for agents as well as automatically routing work to the best agent through machine learning to route issues, recommend solutions and identify trends. The software also provides workforce optimisation through dashboards, scheduling and quality management, mobile apps for access from any device, custom applications and integration with third-party applications.
Salesforce offers a complete CRM solution that is called Customer 360 which brings together all of its individual plans, this includes sales, marketing, service, commerce, IT and analytics. As a combined plan it delivers all the features and benefits of the individual plans into a cost-effective package and provides the added benefit of aligning more teams and increasing collaboration across your business through greater insight, better data and streamlined processes.
Salesforce offers a marketing solution called the Marketing Cloud that is designed to assist businesses in planning their marketing activities, tracking their activities, gaining valuable insights and informing future decisions. The software is capable of managing a variety of marketing activities including digital marketing, email marketing, digital advertising, B2B demand generation and marketing analytics.
ServiceNow does not offer a comparable product.
Salesforce offers a sales-based CRM solution called Sales Cloud that combines Salesforce with Slack to offer greater functionality and collaboration across the business. The software creates a single platform for all apps, data, conversations and alerts as well as provides a space for teams to work collaboratively in closing sales and increasing the number of repeat purchases. The software combines sales forecasting, opportunity management, contract management, process management, mobile CRM and revenue intelligence.
ServiceNow does not offer a comparable product.
Salesforce offers service solutions to businesses through their Service Cloud software which enables the automation of business processes and the creation of intelligent workflows. The software has been designed to support call centres and help desks to become smarter and more agile through the use of productivity tools and cross channel support. The software also features web services, telephone integration, knowledge base, case management, tracking of service contracts and entitlements, and 24/7 support.
ServiceNow does not offer a comparable product although some of the features included in its CSM plans may cover elements of the software requirements for the service solution.
Website support software
Salesforce offers website support software through their Commerce Cloud software which is designed to support businesses that are operating online to connect and unify their sales channels and customer journeys. The software connects customer shopping experiences online and offline, assists in running personalised campaigns, provides the ability to collaborate across the business and boost sales conversions.
ServiceNow does not offer a comparable product.
Small Business software
Salesforce has also created a tailored range of Small Business plans that provide functionality based plans which are sales, marketing and service. These plans are based on the basic level of Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Service Cloud plans and they provide small businesses with the ability to connect their teams, streamline their processes through automation and reduce administration.
ServiceNow does not offer a comparable product although their tiered plans may offer an option for smaller businesses, however, this is hard to assess as they do not provide the pricing for comparison to know if it is suitable for smaller businesses.
Both ServiceNow and Salesforce offer tiered plans that are based on an escalating pricing model. The price of plans increases as the number of users or custom tables increases and the features included in the plans also increase. However, ServiceNow is not transparent in its pricing, unlike Salesforce.
ServiceNow doesn’t publish the prices for its CSM products on its website as they provide flexible and tailored pricing that will cater for the individual organisation. To get a price for their plans you will need to contact them to get a bespoke quote based on your business needs and they will help you to assess which of the plans is most suitable for your needs. They offer three plans that have an increasing level of features and numbers of custom tables, these plans are:
- Standard – includes 25 custom tables
- Professional – includes 100 custom tables
- Enterprise – includes 1,000 custom tables
Salesforce offers tiered plans across most of its range with some plans having comparable prices, such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. They also offer a range of unique plans that are tailored to specific marketing needs that are not tiered but feature based.
Salesforce also offers a range of plans catering specifically for small businesses which are tailored versions of their Cloud plans designed for smaller businesses.
Small Business plans
- Sales Cloud is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Service Cloud is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Marketing Cloud details are not available, you would need to contact them for a quote.
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud plans
- Essential plan is for up to 10 users from £20 per month per user.
- Professional plan is £60 per user per month.
- Enterprise plan is £120 per user per month
- Unlimited plan is £240 per user per month.
Marketing Cloud plans
- Pardot B2B Marketing Automation is from £1,000 per month for up to 10,000 contacts
- Email, Mobile and Web Marketing is from £320 per month
- Social Studio is from £800 per month
- Datarama is from £2,400 per month
- Google Marketing Platform is from £10,000 per month
Commerce Cloud plans
- The pricing for these plans is only available by requesting a quote.
Knowing what other customers think about the service a company provides is an important part of researching a company and its products as it can undercover a lot of things that are not apparent from their website. Customer reviews are a very good way of exploring how good a product is and how effective the company’s customer service is as this is often hard to know without experiencing it first-hand.
ServiceNow has very few customer reviews written about them at the time of writing this comparison piece and the only ones we found when we explored some of the leading customer review sites were on Trustpilot. There were only two reviews on Trustpilot and one of these has to be discounted as the comments showed that the review was in fact for a car repair garage, not a CRM software company. The one review for ServiceNow rated them as bad as they had received a large number of spam emails from the company which had caused them issues.
Salesforce only featured on two of the leading customer review sites explored at the time of compiling this comparison piece, and these were Trustpilot and Reviews.co.uk. There were only two reviews on Reviews.co.uk and these were both positive about Salesforce. The reviews on Trustpilot were more negative with Salesforce receiving an overall score of bad as 79% of the 251 reviews rated them as bad. The feedback from reviewers was predominantly focused on the software being difficult to deploy, develop or resolve issues as it is hard for the average person to understand the mechanics and you need to either employ an external Salesforce specialist or consultant, or seek additional support from Salesforce at an extra charge.
Try before you buy
ServiceNow does not offer a free trial of their CSM software, but they do provide a free demo of their software that you can sign up for on their website. They have a library of bite-sized videos as well as a live, in-depth demo to allow you to explore the features that their software offers and see how it works.
Salesforce offers a longer than average free trial of their CRM software which is available for 30 days and allows customers a longer time to familiarise themselves with the software and its features before purchasing it. The free trial is offered with no obligation and no payment or credit card details will be taken.
ServiceNow’s key advantages are:
- Provides three plan levels catering for different budgets and needs
- Aims to bring together all parts of your business in resolving customer issues
- Streamlines processes through AI and automation
Salesforce’s key advantages are:
- Offers software catering for specific functions
- Provides a combined plan
- Offers a 30-day free trial
- Provides a range of plans that cater for a variety of needs and budgets
ServiceNow’s key disadvantages are:
- No pricing information is available
- Does not offer function based solutions
- Lack of customer reviews
Salesforce’s key disadvantages are:
- Customers score them poorly reviews
- Concerns were raised about the software being hard to implement and technical issues being hard to resolve without external support at high fees