2015 Salesforce Usage Report Reveals 70% Of Users Face Huge Data Challenges

Key Takeaways

  1. 7/10 people said they ALWAYS encounter missing data such as an email address or phone number in Salesforce records
  2. 70% of users said that their biggest Salesforce challenge was data quality/missing information
  3. 52% of Salesforce Admins said that the most important aspect of their role is to improve productivity and operations within their business

Company Locations by Continent

salesforce_survey_location A huge amount of businesses across the globe use Salesforce to retain customer information and data. In our survey, we found that Salesforce usage was exceptionally dense in North America with fewer respondents across Australia, Asia, South America and Africa. Salesforce began in the US so there is a huge client-base in North America. Despite being skewed towards the US, this was only a reflection of our respondents and not the entire Salesforce client footprint.

User Industries

salesforce_survey_comp_industry Unsurprisingly, B2B proved to be the most dominant industry using Salesforce. According to Salesforce, they are set up using a B2B model (as opposed to a B2C) meaning B2B companies can utilize the features more effectively. In fact, some of the most popular sessions at Dreamforce and Salesforce events are the ‘How Salesforce use Salesforce’. Many companies set their CRM up in an identical way to Salesforce because their model is proven to succeed. B2B sales teams especially benefit from Salesforce with features such as creating an ‘Opportunity’ and the ability to produce accurate sales forecasts. The survey also showed that 13% were B2C companies and 6% were Non-Profit. Although our survey figures are low, the Salesforce foundation works with thousands of charities and the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is entirely a B2C play. Those surveyed here were primarily from B2B companies.

Company Size

salesforce_survey_comp_size The results were evenly spread across the company sizes with the two higher end sizes combined making nearly 50% and the bottom three sizes combined achieving the same. Salesforce customers range from small businesses through to large businesses with all company sizes showing the importance of up to date, accurate data storage enabling them to give better customer service.

Number of Customers

salesforce_survey_comp_customers Once again, our results are varied from under 100 all the way to over 5000 proving that regardless of customer size, companies all find a need for Salesforce. However, is out of date and inaccurate data affecting revenue and causing user issues?

Annual Revenue

salesforce_survey_comp_turnover Whatever industry you’re in, annual revenue reveals the success of a business. Whether you’ve just started out or you’ve been established for ten years, these numbers speak volumes when you look for investments, partnerships and for your own profit. Inaccurate and out of date data can ultimately affect annual revenue by damaging customer satisfaction, customer retention and sales. 25% of users said that their company had an annual revenue of less than $1 million with 28% generating more than $10 million. However, Salesforce is important to departments with varying degrees with Sales being one of the most important. Therefore, it’s inevitable that the annual revenue for these companies could be marginally higher if data was accurate.

Importance of Salesforce to Varying Departments

Users rated:

  1. Sales
  2. Customer Service
  3. Marketing
  4. Operations
  5. Finance/HR

Rating in order of importance, users chose Sales as the most important and Finance/HR as the least important. Customer Service and Marketing were ranked second and third. Many could argue that they should be the other way round although both depend heavily on Salesforce for contact information and level of activity/usage for either customer issues or marketing campaigns. As these ranked highest, it’s important to see how often these departments use Salesforce.

Salesforce Usage within Companies

salesforce_survey_usage Our survey showed that roughly 1/3 of companies’ employees use Salesforce and 32% of companies claim that all employees use Salesforce. Only 1% said that no one in their organisation used Salesforce meaning 99% of those surveyed have invested and use Salesforce. Salesforce proved most important to the Sales department. If only 1/3 of people in a company are using Salesforce, it’s likely that the majority of these users are in the Sales team. Interestingly, 68% of companies do not buy Salesforce for all of their employees. When asked how long their organisation had been using Salesforce, 54% of those surveyed said less than 2 years and 26% 2 years or more. Surprisingly, only 17% said 5 years or more and 3% said 10 years or more. Due to the recent popularity in the Cloud, these figures will undoubtedly grow as businesses move to implement new technologies. This could be a factor in why only 32% of those surveyed said that all employees in their company use Salesforce.

How Often Users Login to Salesforce

salesforce_survey_missing_data 94% of users surveyed log in to Salesforce every day showing how important Salesforce is to their workflow and productivity. Only 4% said every week, 2% every month and 0% never log in to Salesforce.

How Often Salesforce Records are Updated

salesforce_survey_comp_updates 78% of users surveyed update their Salesforce records every day meaning a lot of time that should be spent on their work duties is spent putting data into Salesforce. Compared to this, 17% said they update Salesforce records every week with 3% updating every month and 2% never updating.

Missing or Out of Date Contact Information

7/10 users said that they always find contact information missing or out of date such as email addresses and contact numbers in Salesforce records. With 78% of users claiming to update their Salesforce records every day, it shows the rate of decay with Salesforce data. Take job titles as an example, people are promoted and demoted regularly and although users are updating every day, it’s impossible to keep up with the speed that the data changes. This means that the 94% of users logging in to Salesforce every day and the three key departments, Sales, Customer Service and Marketing utilizing it, are using erroneous contact information which can result in bad customer service, ineffective marketing campaigns and inaccurate reports.

Biggest Challenges

salesforce_survey_comp_challenges Giving multiple choice answers on what their biggest challenges are, users voted data quality/mission information as their number one challenge with 70% choosing this. This coincides with the 7/10 users that said they always find missing data in their Salesforce records. Not only does this prevent them from generating useful reports but it doesn’t give them an insight into accurate contact information and activities. Voted joint second was Workflows and Customization and System Integrations. Interestingly, third was generating useful reports which is a direct result of bad data quality and missing information.

The Role of the Salesforce Admin

The role of the Salesforce Admin has become more popular over the past few years. Salesforce themselves introduced the Admin keynote speech for the first time at Dreamforce 2015 which became one of their most attended keynote speeches. 38% of the total users surveyed were Salesforce Admins and we asked about their use of Salesforce and what they consider to be the most important aspect of their role.

Certified Administrators

Out of the 590 Salesforce companies surveyed, 38% of them said that their company had a Certified Salesforce Administrator. With the launch of Trailhead offering free training and tutorials, we hope to see this figure rise significantly over the next few years.

Most Important Aspects of a Salesforce Admin’s Role

salesforce_survey_admin_role There is a complexity to the Salesforce Admin role. According to the 38% that were Salesforce Admins, 52% said that the most important aspect of their role is to improve productivity and operations within their business with 23% choosing to help their business make better decisions. With missing data being the number one Salesforce challenge, their job is made substantially more difficult to achieve the most important aspects of their role.


Our survey shows Salesforce is used mostly every day with the majority of companies logging in to find missing data such as email addresses and phone numbers. This proves that the fundamental reason for having a CRM software, to enable businesses to give the best customer service possible, is being jeopardised. There is a breakdown in accurate data which is effectively damaging companies across the globe. The role of the Salesforce Admin can improve problem areas within Salesforce and those surveyed worked with over 100 other employees to 1-5. With their most valuable job aspect chosen as improving productivity within their businesses, it makes sense why more companies are slowly but surely introducing the roles.
However, with bad data quality and missing information voted as the number one Salesforce challenge and 7/10 people always finding missing contact information, the main issues that CRM was trying to solve remains. As more and more companies jump ship to the Cloud, these statistics will continue to increase before the problem is solved.
We just released the 2019 Salesforce Usage Report: insights from over 500 companies across six continents. From those on the front line of sales through to the decision makers confirming budgets and direction with Salesforce.

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