Customization, add-ons and integrations
Ease of use
Salesforce is arguably the best-known CRM provider on the market. It has an established community and a well-earned reputation for being a leader in the customer relationship management field. While it was created to meet the needs of enterprises and large businesses, Salesforce has expanded its scope and now actively targets businesses of all sizes.
Unlike more rigid competitors, Salesforce CRM provides countless personalization and customization options, giving businesses a high level of control over how the system looks and acts. We were particularly impressed by how Salesforce handles workflow automation and by its pioneering integration of AI in CRM customization.
Notably, Salesforce was one of the first CRM platforms to open itself up to third-party developers, giving it more apps and customization options than any other provider. If Salesforce doesn’t have a built-in function you need, there’s almost certainly an app to compensate. If not, a developer can create and deploy a specific solution.
Salesforce CRM’s initial setup requires time and IT skills. Its learning curve is far steeper than those of many other CRM providers we reviewed. However, you’ll enjoy flexible CRM software guaranteed to accommodate all custom processes and meet the changing needs of your business. For all these reasons and more, Salesforce is our top CRM choice for customization.
Salesforce CRM’s pipeline management feature gives an overview of your sales opportunities. Source: Salesforce
Salesforce may not be the best choice for businesses with less complex operational needs. If your SMB’s CRM needs are straightforward, check out our review of monday.com CRM to learn about a well-executed system designed for SMBs.
Despite its complexities, Salesforce is surprisingly easy to implement and use. Here are some notable ease-of-use factors we discovered.
Salesforce’s visual dashboards help your team pinpoint problems and work on solutions. Source: Salesforce
Salesforce’s upper-tier plans deliver business owners access to live support, coaching sessions and adoption guidance for an additional fee. This may be useful if you’re considering switching CRM systems to Salesforce.
The Salesforce product boasts an impressive array of CRM features that make it one of the best on the market. Here are some of the most notable features that provide excellent CRM software benefits.
We like that Salesforce’s business products seamlessly integrate. Businesses can grow with the Salesforce CRM and gradually adopt new features as needed. Additional Salesforce product categories include:
You can use Salesforce’s impressive range of third-party apps to run many aspects of your company, from marketing to fulfillment. HR, data analytics, workforce collaboration and finance apps plug directly into Salesforce CRM. You can even add ERP apps to Salesforce to build a system close in function to the ERP platform described in our review of Oracle NetSuite CRM.
We also like how Salesforce’s AppExchange breaks down apps by industry. There are 12 sector-specific areas on AppExchange, including communications, financial services, manufacturing and professional services.
Salesforce is a capable solution for companies that want to Boost customer service performance. Read our review of Salesforce Service Cloud to discover how it helps supervisors and teams manage ongoing customer relationships.
We were impressed by Salesforce CRM’s vast customization capabilities – an area where it truly stands out among the competition. While many CRMs we reviewed offer options for customizing deal and contact fields, email templates, and dashboards, Salesforce lets you do much more.
Here are some of our favorite customization options:
Sales managers can customize their dashboards with specific objects. Source: Salesforce
We like that CRM users can build customizable systems and integrate their favorite business apps via the Salesforce AppExchange store. Other CRM software companies we reviewed have similar online stores for add-ons, but Salesforce’s is far more comprehensive, with thousands of available integrations.
The company makes it easy to search for add-ons based on the product name and view industry-specific product bundles. Because Salesforce is such a huge company, its industry-specific add-ons are expansive. There’s even a separate section for small business-specific add-ons, many of which are free.
On the AppExchange, you’ll find five different solution categories:
Salesforce is embracing the “low code” and “no code” trends with its Lightning App Builder and Salesforce Flow drag-and-drop tools. Read our HubSpot review to learn about another CRM with drag-and-drop functionality.
New apps are added to the AppExchange daily, further enhancing its appeal. Source: Salesforce
We were pleased to see Salesforce’s intuitive productivity-boosting tools, particularly its built-in project management features. (Freshworks has similar tools; read our Freshworks CRM review to learn more.) Once implemented, sales and marketing departments – as well as managers – will find it easy to manage and build workflows, assign and follow tasks, and check off permissions.
Salesforce’s visual dashboards allow sales reps to check KPIs and track their progress toward quotas, facilitating productivity and accountability. We like that you can add meetings straight from the calendar tab and see an instant overview of your schedule.
Additional add-on productivity tools are available through the AppExchange.
Salesforce’s artificial intelligence (AI) strides impressed us with capabilities beyond those of the competitors we reviewed. Salesforce was a CRM-AI pioneer, launching its high-profile AI tool, Einstein, in 2016. Today, the company has picked up the pace amid breakthroughs in the generative large language model AIs (like ChatGPT and Bard) that power tools like Einstein. Einstein is available on Salesforce’s upper-tier plans or as a paid add-on.
Einstein can do the following after gathering data from system use and user input:
Einstein, in its current form, is amazing, and we look forward to seeing its next iterations. We expect AI (and the solutions other CRM providers develop) to be integral to corporate life and CRM adoption in the coming years. We’re not awarding best use of AI in this round of CRM reviews; however, if we were, Salesforce would win.
Einstein can flag emails in which leads express critical concerns that could prevent a deal from moving forward, allowing a sales rep to prioritize those messages and act fast to grow and sustain customer relationships.
Salesforce’s Einstein tool can help with sentiment analysis so you understand how your brand is perceived. Source: Salesforce
Nearly every CRM vendor we reviewed has some form of an online community. However, Salesforce’s Trailblazer community is particularly impressive, replete with documentation invaluable for admins. You can find step-by-step guides on everything from creating custom CRM reports to turning on user notifications.
There’s also an extensive user-only forum for direct communication with other admins and CRM users and a comprehensive Trailhead learning platform with various product-related courses, upskilling opportunities and official certifications.
You can purchase Salesforce’s Sales Cloud CRM via one of four subscription tiers:
Unlike Salesforce competitors monday and HubSpot, there’s no free plan.
Only Essentials is available on a month-to-month basis; all other plans require an annual contract. Bear in mind that annual contracts often require you to pay for the whole year upfront, which may not be ideal for some businesses.
All costs below are applied when billed annually. All plans allow you to send 5,000 email marketing messages daily from the platform, which is much more generous than many other providers we reviewed.
Price: $25 per user per month; available for up to 10 users
Features: Account, contact, lead, task and opportunity management; lead auto-assignment; prevention of duplicates; automatic capture of a lead’s available web information; mass email; marketing campaigns; customizable reports and dashboards; email integration with Gmail and Outlook; and Salesforce mobile app
Price: $75 per user per month
Features: Everything in the Essentials plan, plus pipeline management, lead registration, rules-based lead scoring, collaborative forecasting, a forecasting mobile app, quote and order management, roles and permissions, and a developer sandbox
Price: $150 per user per month
Features: Everything in the Professional plan, plus workflow and approval automation, sales teams and territories, opportunity scoring, and advanced reporting
Price: $300 per user per month
Features: Everything in the Enterprise plan, plus a sales engagement hub, AI-powered sales insights with Einstein, sales cadences and 24/7 support
Salesforce is pricey compared to other CRM solutions we reviewed. It’s a massive product with many add-ons and customizations; the subscription costs listed here should be considered jumping-off points.
You can spend considerably more on Salesforce. For example, CPQ & Billing, which allows you to quickly configure, price and quote complex solutions, costs $75 per user per month. Other add-ons include Pardot, Quip, Einstein AI and Sales Dialer – all sold separately. There are additional costs if you opt for training or help with implementation.
Many other SaaS products offer free versions and low-cost, entry-level subscriptions that can be used indefinitely. While $25 per user per month isn’t exorbitant, it’s not a realistic long-term option for most small businesses because only 10 users are supported at that level. The next plan jumps to $75 per user per month – significantly more expensive than the competition.
We recommend taking advantage of Salesforce’s 14-day free trial to ensure this CRM is worth the investment.
Implementing CRM software always takes care and patience. But due to its breadth of customization options, Salesforce CRM’s implementation process can vary drastically, taking anywhere from a few days to several weeks. While that may seem alarming, users will quickly see that this CRM is worth the effort once it is set up.
Salesforce and third-party agencies can manage your initial implementation and launch for you. Still, this help comes at a cost, depending on your company size, number of employees, data volume and complexity, third-party integrations, and customization level.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to create a complex solution immediately. You can use the software out of the box and modify it as your business needs evolve. Thanks to the Salesforce CRM’s intuitive design and overall sophistication, the learning curve isn’t steep for non-admin users after implementation.
In addition to a vast library of training materials, Salesforce offers adoption guidance and coaching services for an extra cost. That may be worth it for business owners concerned about setting up the CRM and onboarding users.
Use the Data Import Wizard from the Setup menu to import up to 50,000 standard objects – like contact, lead and account information – from a CSV file.
While Salesforce is a market leader in CRM technology, integrations and capabilities, we found that it falls short in the customer service department. When we reached out for information about the company’s services, the response was delayed.
When we did communicate with customer support reps, they were very helpful and used real-life situations to explain the product’s features and answer questions about the program. They were very clear and offered several solutions to help further our understanding. However, compared to other providers we called, their answers could have been more detailed.
Unfortunately, Salesforce has a C-minus rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and isn’t an accredited BBB business. It earned 1 out of 5 stars and closed 55 complaints within the last three years. That’s disappointing and surprising for a company that’s so well regarded in the industry.
On the plus side, Salesforce provides an extensive selection of self-guided resources, access to the Trailblazer community and basic technical support. Additionally, its Unlimited package comes with 24/7 assistance.
For an additional fee of 30 percent of your total monthly service fees, users can access 24/7 phone support, expert coaching and a dedicated account manager.
Salesforce CRM is an excellent solution; however, we did identify some limitations:
When evaluating the best CRM software, we conducted extensive comparative research of dozens of software solutions in the category. Our product review process was designed to help you find the right CRM for your business. It included customer support team communication, trials to evaluate product functionality, and an evaluation of each provider’s tutorials, webinars and support materials. We also took pricing into consideration. When looking for the best CRM for customizability specifically, we examined customization options, available integrations, reporting and analytics, and sales automation.
Though the Salesforce system has an extensive collection of CRM features and add-ons, its intuitive design and standard CRM lingo make it easy to learn. The vendor also provides various training materials and courses on Trailhead, the company’s free online learning platform, to get you started.
Salesforce doesn’t have a free plan; its pricing starts at $25 per user per month. However, the company offers a 14-day free trial so you can assess whether it’s a good fit for your business.
In the ever-evolving landscape of business technology, adapting to change is no longer a choice — it’s a necessity. And when it comes to managing those changes seamlessly, Salesforce stands tall as a powerhouse. However, navigating the intricate realm of Salesforce Change Management can often leave even the most seasoned professionals scratching their heads.
We unveil six invaluable tips that promise to unravel the complexities, making the process not just manageable, but downright straightforward. Whether you’re a salesforce novice or a seasoned pro, these insights will empower you to wield change as a tool for growth, without breaking a sweat.
Before embarking on any salesforce changes, it’s essential to meticulously define the scope and objectives of the proposed modifications. This involves a detailed analysis of the current system, identifying pain points, and recognizing opportunities for enhancement. Once potential changes are identified, a rigorous prioritization process should be employed.
This prioritization should be based on factors such as the anticipated business impact, alignment with strategic goals, and feasibility of implementation. The impacts of any change should be thoroughly evaluated, considering both short-term and long-term consequences. This includes assessing potential disruptions to existing processes, workflows, and user experiences, as well as estimating the financial, resource, and time investments required for successful implementation.
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Successful salesforce change management thrives on collaborative efforts across diverse departments. Forming a dedicated change management team comprising representatives from different functional areas fosters a holistic approach. Involving stakeholders early in the process ensures that all perspectives are considered, mitigating resistance and enhancing buy-in.
Open communication channels must be established to facilitate idea sharing, status updates, and issue resolution. This collaborative synergy not only promotes comprehensive change planning but also empowers a sense of ownership among stakeholders. By uniting expertise and insights from various disciplines, organizations can navigate change with collective strength and drive more successful implementations.
Thorough documentation is the backbone of effective salesforce change management. Detailed records of change requests, requirements, and implementation plans ensure a clear roadmap for all involved. A well-maintained repository of version-controlled documentation facilitates transparency, aiding in tracing the evolution of changes and reducing confusion. This meticulous documentation also supports knowledge transfer, enabling seamless onboarding and continuity.
By meticulously capturing every step and decision, organizations establish a reliable foundation for change, ensuring that stakeholders remain informed and aligned throughout the process. Robust documentation safeguards against uncertainties and serves as a valuable resource for future enhancements.
Rigorous testing and quality assurance are cornerstones of successful Salesforce change management. Crafting comprehensive test plans and scenarios allows for the meticulous examination of new configurations and functionalities. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) involving end-users validates the changes from a practical standpoint, ensuring they meet user needs and expectations.
Addressing any detected bugs, performance issues, or discrepancies during testing guarantees a smoother transition. A robust testing phase minimizes post-implementation disruptions and fosters user confidence. By prioritizing quality assurance, organizations fortify their change management process, delivering dependable solutions that align seamlessly with business objectives.
Empowering users through effective training and ongoing support is pivotal in salesforce change management. Developing comprehensive training materials, including guides and tutorials, equips users with the knowledge to navigate new features and processes. Conducting engaging training sessions and workshops enhances user proficiency and fosters a positive transition experience.
Providing accessible avenues for user support, such as help desks or forums, ensures timely issue resolution and knowledge sharing. Prioritizing user training and support cultivates user confidence, reduces frustration, and promotes efficient utilization of the salesforce platform, ultimately contributing to the success of change initiatives.
A well-executed change rollout and vigilant monitoring are pivotal to salesforce change management success. Careful planning of controlled rollouts or pilot launches ensures gradual adoption and minimizes disruption. Monitoring user adoption, feedback, and system performance provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of implemented changes. Iterative improvements based on real-time data help fine-tune configurations and address evolving needs.
This proactive approach guarantees that the change’s impact aligns with expectations, promoting sustained user satisfaction. By maintaining a watchful eye on the ongoing change process, organizations can swiftly adapt, optimize, and enhance the Salesforce environment, driving long-term success and continuous improvement.
Simplifying Salesforce change management is a multi-faceted endeavor that demands strategic planning, collaboration, documentation, testing, training, and vigilant monitoring. By adhering to these key principles, organizations can navigate transitions with clarity, engage stakeholders effectively, and ensure seamless system enhancements. Embracing change as an iterative process allows for agility and continuous improvement, leading to a Salesforce environment that not only meets current needs but also lays a solid foundation for future innovation and success.
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In the ping pong match of generative AI announcements, it’s once again Salesforce’s turn to make a stir. This past week, the company announced its existing venture, Einstein Studio, which allows users to “BYOM”—bring your own model—to the generative AI sphere. With Einstein Studio, customers can use Salesforce’s custom AI models or their own custom AI models to gain greater insights form their internal, proprietary company data. In turn, businesses will be able to generate smarter, faster insights and content from the data they’re already using via “enterprise-ready” AI.
According to Salesforce, data from Salesforce Data Cloud can be used to train models from throughout the Salesforce ecosystem, including Amazon SageMaker, AWS, Vertex AI (Google Cloud) and others. The company says it can connect and synergize customer data from any source to generate a single customer profile that adapts to customer activity in real time.
Touted benefits include:
● Faster deployment: Einstein Studio doesn’t require businesses to extract, transform, and load (ETL) their data across platforms, which means teams can “point and click” to get their information to the cloud to train their LLMs. This, in turn, means a more productive data/engineering team.
● Generate more content and predictions. Salesforce says Einstein already generates more than 1,000,000,000,000 predictions a week throughout the company’s apps. With Einstein Studio, it will undoubtedly be able to create even more, including content like meeting transcriptions and auto-responses to inquiries, as well as product recommendations, customer segmentation, and personalized pricing. Indeed, it should allow businesses to gain even more insights—and generate even more value—from the data they are already gathering.
● Increase revenue, decrease churn. With greater insights, Einstein Studio will Boost the overall customer experience with more personalized and relevant content. This, in turn, will help increase revenue opportunities and decrease churn. In other words, it will enhance the ROI of a company’s investment in AI. Research shows almost 60 percent of companies say they’re a year or more out from implementing AI in their business. Einstein Studio could help make AI more accessible.
Just as importantly, Einstein Studio enables users to determine how their data will be used in training other LLMs, ensuring that enterprise data should be kept safe and secure.
Absolutely not. Salesforce launched its first AI solution Einstein in 2016. The strategy then, according to some, is that it would use machine learning, packaged as AI, to differentiate itself across the industry. At that time, however, predictive and generative AI were far less understood than they are now. Einstein’s value, at the time, may have been negligible, but it did create both visibility and intrigue into the power of AI embedded in SaaS—helping pave the way to this year’s AI momentum.
Fast forward to 2023, and it seems like Salesforce is just as committed to finding cutting edge solutions to keep itself relevant while also providing real value to its users. In March, Salesforce announced it would be bringing ChatGPT to its CRM as Einstein GPT. In April, we saw Salesforce begin to integrate its Einstein GPT and Data Cloud into its automation kit called Flow. This allowed users to auto-generate responses using natural language prompts and real-time data sharing to create personalized experiences more quickly. Then, in June, Salesforce announced both Marketing GPT and Commerce GPT to auto generate things like emails, marketing segments, personal shopping experiences and more. And of course, this month, we’re seeing the announcement of Einstein Studio and BYOM. The pace of its offerings in AI have been significant and had to be in order to keep up with commercialization efforts of its competitors.
But is Einstein Studio et al. enough to compete with Microsoft’s Copilot solutions?
The big question now is whether Salesforce’s AI investments set the company up well to compete with Microsoft’s segment of the marketplace. The answer is nuanced because Microsoft’s Copilot and OpenAI partnership is being used across a portfolio that spans well beyond business apps into search, productivity, collaboration and more. Furthermore, Salesforce is leveraging OpenAI as part of its AI stack, which of course benefits Microsoft.
With its current AI related offerings as well as its BYOM announcement, Salesforce’s most direct Microsoft competitor would be Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 offerings including its Sales Copilot, a sales-specific AI assistant. The Sales Copilot tool connects user CRMs with Microsoft 365 and Teams apps to do—well—all the things Salesforce’s solutions aim to do: generate real-time tips for meetings, summaries of customer data, emails, and reports. And, although it’s a Microsoft tool, it can be added to CRMs like Salesforce. Which serves Microsoft well to get parts of the business even if it doesn’t win the CRM part—which is an advantage for Microsoft to play in so many parts of the software suite. But also reduces the competition from all or nothing to harmonious partnerships of heterogenous software, which are often how enterprise software stacks are comprised.
Right now, it’s early to make a call on how Einstein Studio, and Salesforce’s Marketing and Commerce GPT tools will fare in the race to AI and in head-to-head competitive sales. As of now, reviews are scarce, likely because the technology is advancing far faster than enterprise teams can adequately adopt it. Philosophically, I’m positive on flexible AI model deployment strategy as each LLM and smaller language and foundational models bring different attributes. I see such flexibility as a competitive advantage in the long run. Nevertheless, the final story will be told in numbers. But undoubtedly AI is changing the way companies buy and consume software, and I believe that the pace of innovation will only get faster to the benefit of businesses and users everywhere. So, bring on the competition and keep the innovation coming!
Mathew Sweezey, co-founder of Salseforce's Web3 Studio, is joining Smart Token Labs as chief strategy officer
Sweezey believes the ERC-5169 token standard, or smart tokens, can help onboard more users to Web3
After ushering the leading cloud-software company into Web3, Mathew Sweezey is bullish on digital ownership. But instead of using traditional non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to do so, he’s leveraging another emerging blockchain technology – smart tokens.
Sweezey, the former co-founder of the Salesforce Web3 Studio, is joining tokenization company Smart Token Labs as chief strategy officer, with the goal of bringing Ethereum-based smart tokens to the greater Web3 ecosystem. Sweezey joined Salesforce after the company acquired marketing technology firm Pardot, where he previously led research and education initiatives. He spent years in thought leadership at Salesforce, becoming a partner at the company’s Futures LAB think tank to explore new possibilities for technological exploration and implementation.
His new focus is on smart tokens, also known as the ERC-5169 token standard, which are digital assets that combine the functionality of NFTs and smart contracts. Unlike most NFTs, which commonly use ERC-721 and ERC-1155 token standards and can represent ownership of a digital asset like art, smart tokens can be used to carry out predetermined tasks, such as interacting with other wallets autonomously or transacting on a user’s behalf. The result is a more dynamic and interactive experience that can be utilized across industries.
Sweezey told CoinDesk that the NFT boom in 2021 was his own personal entry point into Web3 and sparked his interest in empowering digital ownership. However, when helping to onboard companies to Web3 at Salesforce, he noted that many firms were struggling to find long-term utility for NFTs.
While NFTs have made their way into industries like gaming, entertainment and event ticketing, the tokens themselves don’t have any inherent utility baked into their smart contract code. Instead, the token’s utility is determined by its creator after mint. For example, a person can mint an NFT representing a ticket to a Taylor Swift concert but it's up to the show's organizers to determine whether the NFT ticket has any broader value, like being used to access the event.
Smart tokens are meant to enhance NFTs through the addition of smart contract functionality, taking them from static collectibles to active tools in a decentralized ecosystem. For example, in the realm of blockchain gaming, a smart token could serve as a character in a game and be programmed to complete quests independently.
As Sweezey delved deeper into learning about smart tokens, Sweezey found Smart Token Labs, which helps businesses tokenize loyalty and membership experiences. Smart Token Labs previously partnered with electric vehicle company Karma Automotive to tokenize car ownership, providing holders services including car registration, insurance and club membership on the blockchain.
Sweezey told CoinDesk that in his new role at Smart Token Labs, he hopes to highlight how smart tokens can help onboard more users to Web3 by removing the technical barriers to entry, such as opening a crypto wallet. He explained that smart tokens can live on or off-chain, in an Apple Wallet or an email address, which makes it easier for new users to enter the space without needing to first set up a crypto wallet.
“Once I saw the ability for a token to become an application, that's when my mind was blown,’” said Sweezey. “It wasn't until the concept of the smart token – which is frictionless, has the ability to become an application and the ability for it to be claimed and used in the Web2 world but then be backed up by the power of Web3 technology – that's when the lights turned on.”
Smart Token Labs helps provide the infrastructure for companies to enter Web3 through tokenization. It uses its native Smart Layer network to help businesses build their own smart tokens and create composable, or interoperable, digital experiences.
“What I really hope to do is be able to help people understand how we use these types of technologies to create better experiences and better business efficiencies,” said Sweezey. “I can help us really move the world forward and past the current conversation about NFTs to a new conversation about just what is possible through digital experiences, and the concepts of Web3 will fade into the background.”
Some say volatility, rather than debt, is the best way to think about risk as an investor, but Warren Buffett famously said that 'Volatility is far from synonymous with risk.' So it seems the smart money knows that debt - which is usually involved in bankruptcies - is a very important factor, when you assess how risky a company is. We note that Salesforce, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) does have debt on its balance sheet. But is this debt a concern to shareholders?
Debt is a tool to help businesses grow, but if a business is incapable of paying off its lenders, then it exists at their mercy. If things get really bad, the lenders can take control of the business. While that is not too common, we often do see indebted companies permanently diluting shareholders because lenders force them to raise capital at a distressed price. Of course, plenty of companies use debt to fund growth, without any negative consequences. The first thing to do when considering how much debt a business uses is to look at its cash and debt together.
View our latest analysis for Salesforce
The image below, which you can click on for greater detail, shows that Salesforce had debt of US$9.60b at the end of April 2023, a reduction from US$10.6b over a year. But on the other hand it also has US$14.0b in cash, leading to a US$4.38b net cash position.
According to the last reported balance sheet, Salesforce had liabilities of US$21.6b due within 12 months, and liabilities of US$14.5b due beyond 12 months. Offsetting these obligations, it had cash of US$14.0b as well as receivables valued at US$4.63b due within 12 months. So it has liabilities totalling US$17.5b more than its cash and near-term receivables, combined.
Of course, Salesforce has a titanic market capitalization of US$201.6b, so these liabilities are probably manageable. Having said that, it's clear that we should continue to monitor its balance sheet, lest it change for the worse. While it does have liabilities worth noting, Salesforce also has more cash than debt, so we're pretty confident it can manage its debt safely.
Better yet, Salesforce grew its EBIT by 1,005% last year, which is an impressive improvement. That boost will make it even easier to pay down debt going forward. The balance sheet is clearly the area to focus on when you are analysing debt. But ultimately the future profitability of the business will decide if Salesforce can strengthen its balance sheet over time. So if you want to see what the professionals think, you might find this free report on analyst profit forecasts to be interesting.
Finally, while the tax-man may adore accounting profits, lenders only accept cold hard cash. While Salesforce has net cash on its balance sheet, it's still worth taking a look at its ability to convert earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to free cash flow, to help us understand how quickly it is building (or eroding) that cash balance. Over the last three years, Salesforce actually produced more free cash flow than EBIT. That sort of strong cash generation warms our hearts like a puppy in a bumblebee suit.
We could understand if investors are concerned about Salesforce's liabilities, but we can be reassured by the fact it has has net cash of US$4.38b. And it impressed us with free cash flow of US$7.1b, being 440% of its EBIT. So we don't think Salesforce's use of debt is risky. There's no doubt that we learn most about debt from the balance sheet. But ultimately, every company can contain risks that exist outside of the balance sheet. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Salesforce you should be aware of.
Of course, if you're the type of investor who prefers buying stocks without the burden of debt, then don't hesitate to discover our exclusive list of net cash growth stocks, today.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.