Salesforce VS ACT – And the winner is…?

For the sixth or seventh year in a row, Salesforce has dominated the charts and reviews of CRM solutions, and there are countless reasons for this. The biggest thing is that while Salesforce is very competent in its own right as a CRM solution, its capacity for expansion and integration are tremendous. But, the days of it holding exclusivity to that and some other things are long passed. With newcomers on the scene, Salesforce has to compete on fairly even footing once again. This is the case with Salesforce vs ACT. ACT is developed by a company called Sage. With competition with Salesforce as its primary goal. But, where Salesforce has a relatively small initial feature set, lending to the limitless expansion of their App Exchange, ACT packs a giant feature set that, as far as CRM goes, is quite simply absolutely complete. The Trick: The trick is, when you look at Salesforce, you’re not really looking at specifically just a CRM solution, not for a long time now. Contrarily, you’re looking at a CRM-centric multi-solution that can grow to handle large quantities of other SaaS niches. This CRM as a core concept has caught on so much that even in environments where it’s difficult to accomplish that (due to various choices made), people still adopt it. But, while it may be unfair to consider Salesforce’s beyond CRM selling points in a CRM comparison, it’s also a problem for competition that doesn’t play nicely with that, as a merit for CRM in general. Price Point: I hate the term ‘price point’. Can we just all agree to say ‘price’ from now on? Anyhow, one of Salesforce’s downsides is that its extreme affordability is a bit of an illusion. Up front, it’s rather affordable, but as you buy apps to install on it, and concede to upsells for package expansion, it becomes very costly. It’s worth it if you have the money to comfortably spend, but it’s an issue. Contrarily, ACT has a simple set of plans, and you can only incur so many punitive costs from giving into upsells or upgrading for growth and volume. So, as far as price being up front and limited in scope, ACT wins. Features: Well, as I said, Salesforce by itself has a fairly narrow set of features, but they’re very solid ones. Nothing absolutely necessary is missing from the simplest package. But, the real key to features is the expansion through their App Exchange. This works fine, but if you want out of the box, just everything you usually need, then it’s the wrong path for you. On the other side, ACT has a giant feature set, including social media integration, custom environments, OLEDB connectivity, configurable everything, and Google and Microsoft integration. However, the features available are all there is, and can be augmented no further. While it’s great for immediate use, it still loses to Salesforce here. It just does. It’s all about which you can get the most out of indefinitely. Community: Well, when it comes to community, Salesforce wins without even needing clarification. It’s the most popular CRM solution around, it’s got the biggest development community, and the most active blog community out there. So, while ACT is great CRM, it’s a year or two too late, because for CRM to hold the role now put upon it as a core, the winner of Salesforce vs ACT is still Salesforce.
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.