Salesforce launches ‘Pro Suite’ to capture more of the SMB market Salesforce launches ‘Pro Suite’ to capture more of the SMB market
Join leaders in Boston on March 27 for an exclusive night of networking, insights, and conversation. Request an invite here. In another move to... Salesforce launches ‘Pro Suite’ to capture more of the SMB market

Join leaders in Boston on March 27 for an exclusive night of networking, insights, and conversation. Request an invite here.

In another move to strengthen its market footprint, Salesforce has announced it is launching the “Pro Suite” of its CRM offering in general availability.

Accessible starting today through a single application, the offering builds on the Starter tier that debuted last year and provides advanced functions to help small businesses handle more of their business workflows — while still retaining the simple, out-of-the-box experience the entry-level suite offers.

It is priced at $100/month per user, with no seat limit, and is also set to be enhanced with additional capabilities, including AI features, Salesforce confirmed to VentureBeat.

The launch comes as part of the company’s effort to take on the growing competition from players like Zoho and Hubspot in the SMB segment and provide businesses with a platform where they can start from the most basic tier and upgrade all the way up to the enterprise suite as their business needs evolve.

VB Event

The AI Impact Tour – Boston

We’re excited for the next stop on the AI Impact Tour in Boston on March 27th. This exclusive, invite-only event, in partnership with Microsoft, will feature discussions on best practices for data integrity in 2024 and beyond. Space is limited, so request an invite today.

Request an invite

Just today, another CRM rival, Creatio, announced its own AI-powered Copilot assistant and app-building studio.

What to expect from the Salesforce Pro Suite?

When Salesforce launched the Starter Suite last year, the goal was to give a self-service solution to help small businesses easily get started with its CRM.

The offering, priced at $25/month per user, provides users with one application with all critical Salesforce offerings — marketing, commerce, services — capable of handling key business tasks such as tracking sales leads, managing customer service cases, sending emails, collecting payments and more.

On top of that, it includes additional features like guided onboarding, reporting templates and pre-built dashboards to make the experience as simple and ready-to-use as possible.

“The first thing that we do is we capture some data — name, email address, etc,” Kris Bullmaier, SVP and GM of self-service and growth at Salesforce, told VentureBeat. “We ask a couple of questions and these questions allow us to better personalize the overall out-of-the-box experience that we deliver. We build the org (the experience) by default with sales, service, marketing, and commerce in one application, and we’ve moved to this left nav model to better encapsulate the idea of the ability to get to any of these apps at any point in time.”

The company launched the Starter suite last year in April and has since onboarded over 3000 SMBs as customers. However, as clients mature and their businesses grow complex, they may need to do more. This is where the new Pro Suite comes in.

The upgraded tier allows users to unlock advanced capabilities that are critical to support more intricate business workflows across the same one-app experience of the Starter Suite.

This includes new features across marketing, sales, service and commerce as well as access to AppExchange solutions, process and workflow automation with Flow, a dedicated sandbox for testing and training, and support for custom apps and objects to meet specific unique business needs.

For instance, to help teams better handle sales and streamline revenue collection, the Pro Suite provides capabilities like forecasting, quoting and direct payment links. Similarly, for service, there are additional features like omnichannel routing and in-app and web messaging to quickly answer customer queries.

While Bullmaier did not give an exact number, he did note that “a lot of customers” have already upgraded from Start to Pro (which was in soft-launch mode until today) owing to the need for customization and advanced features.

“It’s the sudden realization (for business users) that I need more automation and more customization. And that Starter just isn’t enough robust functionality,” he explained while adding that some customers have even upgraded to their most advanced, enterprise-centric Einstein 1 edition as well.

“Once a customer starts with us, they don’t ever have to switch platforms and end up becoming a customer for life. We allow users to grow all the way up to the most advanced tier function,” the SVP added.

More to come with a focus on data and AI

As of now, both Starter and Pro Suites come with basic predictive AI features like Einstein Activity Capture and Send Time Optimization.

However, as the products improve, the company hopes to bring advanced generative AI capabilities with Einstein Copilot to help users get off the blank page (like when creating an email for an opportunity).

It is also working to expose users to advanced data cloud functions in the coming months.

Currently, unlike the enterprise version, the data cloud only works under the hood for Starter and Pro suites, rationalizing sales, service marketing and commerce data.

“GPT scenarios through copilot are our focus,” Bullmaier noted. “We’re working with that team on how to bring that into the overall product experience and do so in a way that is relevant for this segment. We want the copilot experience to be out of the box and just work for our users. We’re focusing on that overall ease of use. But the great thing here is data cloud is on by default, rationalizing all of the data. So the app is AI-ready. We just want to make sure that the experience is perfect for these users.” 

He added that some internal demos are already using gen AI capabilities but did not share when exactly these features will trickle down to end users. Beyond this, the Pro Suite will also get more advanced capabilities from Salesforce marketing, service and commerce clouds — details of which remain unclear at this stage.

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.

Source link