Salesforce Chatter Alternative
If you’ve ever used the Salesforce Customer Relationship Manager (CRM), you’ve probably seen Salesforce Chatter, a built-in collaborative tool that comes with the program. There’s a lot to love about it and a lot to dislike at the same time. For some, Salesforce’s cost is just too high to justify. Others find the Chatter features too complicated and would rather invest in a simple company-wide social media and collaboration platform that meets their small business needs.
So many Salesforce Chatter users have the same reservations. They think to themselves, “There has to be a better way.” We thought the same thing. That’s why we created a Salesforce Chatter alternative for today’s busy small- to medium-business owners and sales team managers. It’s all included in the Simple Sales CRM software. Learn more about this Salesforce alternative below.
What Is Salesforce Chatter?
Salesforce Chatter is a real-time collaboration tool for your sales team and everyone in your organization. Think of it as your company’s private social media platform. Team members can talk to each other and share information as they work together on new sales opportunities, customer service issues, advertising campaigns and other efforts.
One of Chatter’s best features is the ability to follow more than just other profiles. Salesforce Chatter allows your employees to follow documents, topics and client accounts as they do fellow team members. This feature notifies employees about important updates or changes to files without anyone having to send an email. Your team members get updated when users create new leads, upgrade a lead to an opportunity, add notes to a file, schedule meetings and perform other activities.
It also integrates with other social media platforms so your team can keep tabs on others in your industry and potential clients. You can view updates about companies you follow from across the web, which can help your sales team pick the perfect time to make contact.
All these features are packed into a secure, private environment just for your employees. You can manage your projects and collaborate with team members knowing your proprietary data and leads are safe from prying eyes. Plus, in a branded environment, all users stay aligned and focused on your company’s mission.
What Are the Common Drawbacks of Salesforce Chatter?
Salesforce Chatter is a fantastic tool for some companies. Still, it has a lot of drawbacks. It might not be the right solution for your business, which is why we created a better alternative. Ours is powerful yet simple. It gives you the features you need and cuts out the noise.
We created the Simple Sales CRM activity feed specifically to combat the snags we were running into with Salesforce Chatter. Those issues include the following drawbacks:
1. The Full Version Is Only Available to Salesforce Users
Salesforce Chatter works best as a service included with a Salesforce license. That’s cost-prohibitive to most businesses who don’t already have Salesforce. For small businesses, Salesforce can cost anywhere from $25 per month per user to $75 per month per user. For that price, most companies only purchase Salesforce licenses for their sales and customer service teams. These users will have full access to Chatter, while everyone else will not.
When only part of your team has full Chatter access, it could impede collaboration across the broader company. Chatter Free attempts to solve this issue. It’s a limited version of Chatter that lets your whole team communicate. However, Chatter Free users won’t have access to everything your Salesforce users do. They can see and use profiles, groups and file sharing, alongside a few other basic features. But they won’t see:
- Salesforce contacts and customer accounts
- Many other collaborative features
Salesforce also has a legacy Chatter Only license, which is now only available to existing Chatter Plus customers. This service is specifically for users without their own Salesforce license who must access basic Chatter functions and a few of Salesforce’s other features, like accounts and contact information. It costs $15 per month per user. It used to be a solution allowing the whole company to get on the same page.
New customers who want their entire organization to access the collaboration tool and the necessary CRM data must purchase the Lightning Platform Starter license. According to Salesforce, this license is a replacement for Chatter Plus. It offers more features, namely access to more Salesforce objects and data. These added features can help connect your whole organization. However, these licenses cost more than the Chatter Only license.
These various solutions don’t even include the Chatter licenses available to external users, like business partners and customers. These versions have a slightly different set of features and functions available. With so many different Chatter versions and licenses, it’s confusing enough just figuring out which ones you need and for who.
2. It’s Not a Great Fit for Small and Medium Businesses
Salesforce is enterprise software. Likewise, Salesforce Chatter is meant for enterprises. It’s great for improving collaboration at a gigantic corporation with thousands of employees all over the country. It’s a lot less useful for a company with 20 employees or fewer. Other collaboration tools, like Simple Sales CRM’s news feed, can help smaller firms do what they need for a fraction of the cost.
3. It May Require Training
Many have criticized Chatter for being unintuitive, cluttered and hard to navigate. The instructions aren’t worded clearly, and support is lacking. If you can’t answer your question on Salesforce’s self-serve help pages, you could end up paying for support. Adjusting settings and permissions for your users is a particular challenge. Many complain they can’t find where the notification and user privilege settings live in the app.
These confusions aren’t so hard to work around with the right training. But Chatter is supposed to be as intuitive and user-friendly as a Facebook feed. Needing any training can feel like a letdown. Salesforce offers a basic training module for rolling out Chatter at your company. Taking the Administrator’s tutorial from start to finish takes approximately 80 minutes. While your other users won’t need quite as long, it can still take some getting used to. Your training needs will depend on how tech-savvy your team is.
4. You May Be Paying for Features You Don’t Need
As with any product geared toward massive corporations, Salesforce Chatter is overkill for many small businesses. It’s jam-packed with features you’ll probably never even test out. They’re just not necessary for a small office that already knows all their teammates by name. Even users at large companies admit they don’t understand what all the features do, much less how to use them.
All those unused features add clutter. Meanwhile, if someone tries to use one of these options, they could get confused. Critical communications could get lost in cyberspace. If you’re already paying for the full version of Salesforce, all these features come at no added cost. While they could still muddy the waters, at least you’re not paying extra for them.
But all these features you’ll never use are part of what makes the Lighting Platform Starter license so expensive. When you can get your entire CRM software for less with a simpler Chatter alternative built right in, the cost of Salesforce Chatter for non-Salesforce users might not be worth it.
Why Use Simple Sales CRM Over Salesforce Chatter?
As with everything we do at Simple Sales CRM, our Salesforce Chatter alternative is powerfully simple. We recognize Chatter has a lot of advantages. Still, it has some hardly-used features that only serve to drive up the cost and make your life more complicated. Your small business is busy enough as it is. You want something that gets the job done and doesn’t require an entire handbook to understand.
Introducing Simple Sales CRM. It comes with a built-in, real-time collaboration and activity feed that gives you all the crucial information and cuts out the nonessentials. Here are a few reasons to try out Simple Sales CRM’s collaboration and news feed tools:
1. It Has the Same Core Features You Love
After analyzing Salesforce Chatter and its many features, we identified the ones that work. We give you powerful features like:
- Status updates: Declutter everyone’s inbox by turning low-priority emails into news feed posts. Every employee can update their status with the tasks they’re working on or just completed. Instead of emailing the team to let them know they added notes to a document, they can post a quick status update. That information then appears in everyone’s news feed.
- File and account tracking: One of the most useful features we offer is tracking for leads, opportunities, accounts and documents. Whenever someone adds a lead, upgrades it to an opportunity or makes changes to a file stored in the app, an automatic update pushes through to your team members’ news feeds.
- A calendar feature: Our color-coded calendar feature lets each team member create a personal calendar and share it with others.
- Team member profiles: Every team member has a profile with contact information and a photo. Your employees can follow their teammates to see important updates and can put a face to the names they see pop up.
- Social media integrations: Your news feed integrates with external social media platforms like Twitter. See what your customers and prospects are saying online, and find new leads by searching for topics related to your industry. Important updates appear right in your news feed so you never miss a beat.
- Mobile access: Take your CRM and news feed on the go with our mobile app. Even when you’re on the road for a sales call, never miss an important update.
2. It’s Affordable and Free to All Simple Sales CRM Users
With Simple Sales CRM, there are no complicated licenses to sort through. All our users get access to the real-time collaboration and activity feed at no additional cost. Everyone on your team can get the most out of your CRM and collaboration tools for one low price. Pay just $15 per month per user for the whole software — not just the news feed and collaboration tools. You can even pay by the year and get one month free.
Our service is significantly less than the cost of implementing Salesforce Chatter for your whole organization. Plus, we don’t charge cancellation or sign-up fees. Our pay-as-you-go model means you don’t have to sign a long-term contract, either. We also offer the We Pay You! Guarantee. If you don’t increase your sales by enough to cover the service’s cost within one month, we’ll give you $15 per month for up to three months until you do.
3. There’s No Extensive Training Required
Our activity feed is user-friendly. It models itself after the social media platforms your employees are probably already familiar with. Many of our customers have told us they implemented our simple CRM tools with no training at all. Yes, we mean they were able to implement both their activity feed and the entire CRM without any time for training. That’s almost unheard of with many enterprise-level CRMs on the market.
While we work hard to make our software as intuitive as possible, we also have a detailed help library when you need it. Our getting started video series will teach you the basics in no time.
4. You Get Fast, Helpful Customer Support
Whether you have questions about your activity feed or anything related to your CRM, we’re here to help. All our plans come with Gold Support. You can always reach our support team via email at email@example.com. We usually respond within a few hours during regular business hours.
A CRM and Salesforce Chatter Alternative All in One
Perhaps the best part about Simple Sales CRM is getting a Salesforce alternative and a Chatter alternative in one powerful and easy-to-use platform. It has all the CRM features you need, with nothing you don’t. Because we designed our tools with simplicity at the forefront, busy small businesses can sign up and get started quickly. Besides our real-time collaboration and news feeds, our web-based software offers:
- Lead and sales pipeline tracking: When your team picks up new leads, you can bring them into Simple Sales CRM easily. As you qualify leads, your whole team can track progress. Watch and manage your contacts as you schedule initial meetings, analyze their requirements, create proposals and sign deals. Design a custom sales pipeline that matches your team’s workflow.
- Project management: As your sales team collaborates on projects, you can create tasks and due dates so everyone stays on target. Each team member will see task reminders on their homepage so nothing falls through the cracks.
- Contact management: Let Simple Sales CRM be your personal address book. Everyone at your company can find the most up-to-date contact information for all your clients and potential clients.
- Reporting: Simple Sales CRM has powerful reporting features. View graphs and charts of your current leads, opportunities and accounts. Track your sales team’s performance by salesperson, and get so much more out of your sales data with our reporting suite.
- File storage: Keep up to one gigabyte of files stored right in your CRM. Anyone who needs these files can access them with your permission.
- Web to lead contact form integration: With simple integration, the leads that come in through your website’s contact form automatically populate into Simple Sales CRM. From there, you can assign them to a team member and track the lead as it travels through your sales pipeline.
- Commission tracking: Our CRM takes the expected deal size plus each salesperson’s commission rate to give users an estimated commission on every deal.
- Configurable user permissions: Easily set permissions and privileges that make sense for your team. Give people the access they need, and keep everyone else out.
Try Simple Sales CRM for Free Today!
Simple Sales CRM is already empowering thousands of sales teams for small and medium businesses to manage their sales and customer relationships. See the difference a simple, full-featured CRM can make for your company. To test drive Simple Sales CRM, sign up for a 14-day trial for free, with no credit card necessary.