Why I RAN From Salesforce

Why I RAN From Salesforce

I still remember in 2003 when I logged into Salesforce for the first time. I was already an avid Sugar Fan Boy at the time but knew there was a shift about to occur as the Engineering demand of Sugar was too much for a normal business. Who would have known just how right I was?

For the next 16 years I would walk almost 100 companies into launching or integrating with Salesforce in some way. I probably was one of their largest sales producers they still have no clue of. But just like in 2003 I am seeing a shift about to occur and have made a jump.

December 2018 I was tasked with selecting and launching a new CRM. Rather than just going to my default answer of Salesforce I decided to do some serious homework and see what else is out there. All that homework led me to a phone call with my friend Roxanne, CEO at Good Look Ink, that would change everything.

Roxanne had called to catch up with me and during our call shared with me that her company just moved their CRM platform and about to migrate their accounting platform to the same company. The later comment caught me off guard as I could not imagine what company she could be talking about that would do CRM, support desk, marketing automation, and accounting. Then she said a name I would have never expected… ZoHo!

Till that day ZoHo was a CRM product I only ever heard on the lips of small startups. An affordable tool that allowed them to get going quickly. Roxanne was the first established business I ever heard of using them, and can I just tell you I am so happy she did.

Following that conversation with Roxanne, I did some serious digging into ZoHo and each new layer I pulled back I became more and more excited. Not only did I find a CRM solution but a platform that would allow me to lower my monthly tech spend by $6k - $11k while centralizing all my data for better business intelligence. I was very excited!

With six figured savings at my fingertips it was easy to get my fellow executive team to buy in. Plus, with a $35 per user price tag in comparison to the $125 per user from Salesforce I did not even need to sell it that hard. 

Over the next 3 months I would lead a team of 3 – 5 people through the launching of ZoHo and watch a transformation occur in a business like I have never seen. With one simple decision to take on ZoHo ONE and launch it companywide streamlined our entire client lifecycle and forced the business as a whole to strengthen our processes 100-fold. Its exposed efficiencies and deficiencies across the enterprise. But most importantly has provided us a single data warehouse to now begin data mine and learn from.  

Has it been all smooth, NO! But at $35 per user for over 40 applications that span across every department of our seven businesses I am willing to forgive a lot. Plus, after my recent trip to the annual ZoHolics (ZoHo’s version of Dreamforce) I was exposed to their new Enterprise support team which has cleaned up more in the weeks we have been using them than in the entire time we have been with ZoHo.

My point with this article is not to sell you on ZoHo, but to open your eyes to the fact that Salesforce has become what they set out to originally destroy. They are the new Oracle, Dynamics, SAP, etc…. Just look at the cost you are incurring to turn that monster on and get it to 60% of what you really need. Your timeline to recoup your investment will take years, if ever. Just like when Salesforce came to market a pivot is happening and businesses need to get ahead of it.  

If you are in a growth business controlling your operating expenses is how you will ensure you control your burn.  

To Your Success & Prosperity,

Michael McMillan

ZoHo Fan Boy


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