Salesforce ROI Research Findings


  • Forecasting a payback from your Salesforce investment is often a precondition to making the purchase.
  • CRM research shows the Salesforce ROI is 314%, on average. That average varies based on user adoption, company size and CRM maturity.
  • Application payback was most influenced by user adoption and software utilization. Companies with both high user adoption and software utilization achieved up to 2.5 times more payback than the average.

What’s the ROI for Salesforce?

The ROI for Salesforce is, on average, 314 percent. That's according to the research survey findings published in the CRM Benchmark Report; Salesforce Edition.

Salesforce ROI
Salesforce ROI | Source: CRM Benchmark Report

For some companies, the payback was much larger. When the application is fully utilized and widely adopted, the ROI increases up to 789 percent. That's an extraordinary financial return. There are very few IT investments where every dollar invested nets back two to eight times.

Research from the CRM Benchmark Report; Salesforce Edition found that companies implementing #Salesforce earned an ROI of 314%, on average. See the research findings.

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By way of comparison, companies adopting Salesforce achieved an average of 103 percent higher ROI than companies adopting all other CRM applications. The CRM Benchmark Report published survey results from customers across applications. When the data was filtered for the Salesforce Edition it revealed that Salesforce was the top application measured in company earned ROI.

But the research also discovered that not every Salesforce customer earned a positive return. To understand the variables that most influenced the technology ROI, the data was correlated by several factors, which are shared below.

ROI by User Adoption

The range of ROI responses was significant. The distribution varied from zero to high triple digits. So, we compared ROI responses with other findings in the survey to see if there were statistical correlations.

Comparing ROI with user adoption was revealing.

Salesforce ROI by User Adoption
Salesforce ROI by User Adoption | Source: CRM Benchmark Report

71-80 percent user adoption was the breakpoint where ROI went from incremental to linear growth.

The directionally consistent distribution in the above bar chart makes it clear that higher user adoption positively correlates with higher return on investment.

Payback by CRM Maturity Level

Salesforce respondents were shown the below maturity model and asked to best align themselves into one of four levels.

CRM Maturity Model

Each maturity level demonstrates increased software utilization. So, it was not surprising the data demonstrated that maturity level and payback advanced in parallel.

What was surprising were the extraordinary financial returns for the most mature organizations. While only 11 percent of participants reported an “Exceeding” CRM maturity, those respondents achieved remarkable ROI, as shown below.

Salesforce ROI by CRM Maturity
Salesforce ROI by CRM Maturity | Source: CRM Benchmark Report

Payback by Publisher

One of the first survey questions asked for the CRM application used by each participant. We then sorted the ROI data for each application. The top 5 are shown below.

CRM ROI by Publisher
CRM ROI by Publisher | Source: CRM Benchmark Report

While all applications delivered impressive results, Salesforce topped the list primarily due to two factors.

First, it was cited by more respondents in both the Leading and Exceeding maturity categories than any other.

Second, users of this application also reported the highest user adoption.

High CRM user adoption and software utilization heavily influenced Salesforce being ranked as the application delivering the highest financial return.

The Point is This

No technology investment is safe or sustainable if it cannot deliver a positive financial return. Fortunately, when CRM software achieves moderate or higher user adoption and software utilization as measured by program maturity it achieves its namesake mission and delivers an impressive payback to the company.

The Salesforce CRM application offers a tremendous opportunity to improve customer relationships and reap the revenue and profit results.

Survey Methodology

This research was conducted using an online survey from September 1 through September 30.

The survey was completed by 189 respondents in the United States.

The composition of respondents included the following demographics and firmographics:

CRM ROI Survey Methodology

The questions were organized among six categories. Participants were given the option to not respond to questions they deemed not relevant or did not know the answer.

The total number of questions may differ among participants as based on a given survey response, a participant may be posed additional or cascading questions. Certain questions permitted multiple responses; therefore, response totals may not sum to 100 percent. This research report is independently produced by Johnny Grow, Inc.