A Battle Of The Platforms
ServiceNow and Salesforce are both enterprise grade SaaS platforms that are used by organizations to manage customer interactions and data.
While both platforms offer a wide range of features, they are designed for different purposes and may be better suited for certain processes.
ServiceNow is primarily a platform for managing IT service management (ITSM) processes, including incident management, problem management, change management, and service request management. It also offers a range of other features, such as a service catalog, asset management, and project management.
Salesforce, on the other hand, is a more general-purpose CRM platform that is designed for managing customer relationships across a wide range of industries. It offers a range of features for managing customer interactions, including customer segmentation, lead and opportunity management, and customer service.
Due to the size of these platforms, there is inevitably going to be some overlap, and there is some in the customer support area.
In terms of which platform is better for certain processes, it really depends on the specific needs of the organization. ServiceNow is generally considered to be a better choice for managing ITSM processes, while Salesforce is better suited for managing customer relationships in a more general sense. However, both platforms offer a wide range of features and can be customized to meet the specific needs of an organization.
Most customers are going to ultimately end up needing both tools, for their processes.
We prefer a “better together” story, while the 2 platforms do have some overlap – it’s most common to see customers utilizing both of them.
As the two platforms are fundamentally different, but comparing the 2 is a fun thought experiment.
This is a ServiceNow blog and newsletter.
So we’re obviously going to be a little bit biased…
But we fundamentally see the 2 as providing a customer with a different suite of features and applications.
ServiceNow is generally considered to be a more specialized platform than Salesforce, and it is generally considered to be a better choice for managing IT service management (ITSM) processes. Some of the specific features that ServiceNow offers that may be superior to those available in Salesforce for ITSM include:
- Incident management: ServiceNow offers a range of tools for managing incidents, including automated incident routing, incident categorization and prioritization, and incident resolution tracking.
- Problem management: ServiceNow includes a range of tools for identifying and resolving problems, including problem identification and classification, problem analysis, and problem resolution tracking.
- Change management: ServiceNow offers a range of tools for managing the process of making changes to IT systems, including change request and approval processes, change impact analysis, and change scheduling and tracking.
- Service request management: ServiceNow includes a range of tools for managing service requests, including a service catalog, request routing and approval processes, and service request tracking.
- Asset management: ServiceNow includes a range of tools for managing IT assets, including asset discovery, asset tracking, and asset maintenance.
- Project management: ServiceNow offers a range of project management tools, including project planning, project tracking, and project reporting.
While Salesforce also offers some of these features, they may not be as robust or specialized as those available in ServiceNow.
Let’s dive into Salesforce now.
Salesforce is a more general-purpose customer relationship management (CRM) platform than ServiceNow, and it is generally considered to be a better choice for managing customer relationships in a more general sense. Some of the specific features that Salesforce offers that may be superior to those available in ServiceNow for managing customer relationships include:
- Customer segmentation: Salesforce includes a range of tools for segmenting and targeting customers, including the ability to create custom fields and segments based on customer data.
- Lead and opportunity management: Salesforce offers a range of tools for managing leads and opportunities, including lead capture and qualification, opportunity tracking, and sales forecasting.
- Customer service: Salesforce includes a range of tools for managing customer service, including case management, customer self-service portals, and customer service analytics.
- Marketing automation: Salesforce offers a range of marketing automation tools, including email marketing, lead nurturing, and marketing campaign tracking.
See the “customer” focus above?
Salesforce is hyper focused on the external customer and how that impacts pipelines and the bottom line, the revenue of a company.
Salesforce has too many applications to dive into, so we’ve just given a summary for you to review.
While ServiceNow also offers some of these features, they may not be as robust or specialized as those available in Salesforce.
Additionally, Salesforce offers a wider range of integrations with other business applications and tools than ServiceNow, which may make it a better choice for organizations that want to integrate their CRM with other systems.
Salesforce and IT Service Management
Here’s where there is the most overlap, in our opinion – the service desk.
I have seen a lot of companies use ServiceNow for internal IT processes, and then use Salesforce’s service desk solution, for their customer service desk solution.
It obviously depends on what the customer does and who their customers are.
Salesforce offers a customer support and service desk application called “Service Cloud” that includes a range of features for managing customer service and support. Some of the specific features of Service Cloud include:
- Case management: Service Cloud includes tools for managing customer cases, including case routing, prioritization, and resolution.
- Customer self-service: Service Cloud includes a customer self-service portal that allows customers to find answers to common questions, report issues, and track the status of their cases.
- Knowledge management: Service Cloud includes tools for creating and managing a knowledge base of articles and other content that can be used to answer customer questions and resolve issues.
- Collaboration: Service Cloud includes tools for collaborating with other team members and stakeholders, including the ability to share cases, notes, and attachments.
- Omnichannel support: Service Cloud allows customers to contact support through a variety of channels, including email, phone, chat, and social media.
- Customization and integration: Service Cloud can be customized and integrated with other business applications and tools, allowing organizations to tailor it to their specific needs and workflows.
That’s a wrap.
While the two are fundamentally different platforms, we’ve most commonly seen them work best together.
We’d love to hear your thoughts below on the competitive marketplace between these two SaaS giants.