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Salesforce vs Keap as a Small Business CRM In 2023

Additional Salesforce vs. Keap Resources:

Is Salesforce.com really a viable platform for a small business CRM?

What does a small business—any business for that matter—need now?


Not software.

Not a repository of information.

Not an online calendar.

Not an online task-tracking and generating platform.

Not a 2-hour to 48-hour email "support" process.



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And where do sales come from?

  • Advertising and marketing.
  • Building large, targeted lists.
  • Joint venture and affiliate partners.
  • Buzz creation.
  • Generating word-of-mouth referrals.

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Sales Grow From Systems and Automation

How do you do all of the above?

You advertise and market creatively and consistently and you offer something of value to your prospects in return for them giving you their information.

You then communicate with them in a manner and with a tone they desire so a relationship and trust are built and forged and crafted over a period of days or even months.

But as a business owner, you don't get paid to educate.

So you MUST be able to do all of this automatically.



The A.B.C.D.E. Sales & Marketing System™

That's where I think Salesforce.com misses the mark for the small business CRM market.

Salesforce Pricing (Sales Cloud)

Since forever, Salesforce.com has offered a whole heckuva lot of pricing options.

It's really a tad bit intimidating, and I've been in this space full-time since 2007 and have been using Salesforce since 2004!

But here's a summary:

  • Salesforce Essentials, "our all-in-one sales and support app." (Billed annually, which means it's $300/user upfront for the year, or $30/mo/user still on an annual contract, but paid monthly.)
    • Run away from this!
    • In 2008, Keap promoted itself as an "all-in-one" solution, and it was not, is not, and never shall be! It's not their fault. There's just no way to be "all-in-one" for everyone on the planet. Salesforce KNOWS this, so why are they blowing that smoke?
    • Here are the Salesforce Gotchas:
      • Only one list.
      • On the Salesforce site, they say, "Lists are an easy way to keep track of your opportunities, deals, customers, or other processes."
      • What does it cost you if you have the four lists they mention? 
    • CRM for up to 10 users
    • Billed Annually, so pay $3,000 upfront and hope this is the right platform for your company of ten users for the year
  • (In 2022, this is what they offered, but I honestly can't keep up with their name changes! They have Professional at $75 and Enterprise at $150 now.) Salesforce Platform Plus: "Extend Salesforce to every employee, every department, and transform app dev for your entire organization." (It used to be Salesforce Lightning Platform Plus. These friggin names change every year! AHHHHHH!)
    • So they admit that the Platform Starter edition is incomplete.
    • Also billed annually at $100/USD/user/month, so for five users, you're at $6,000 with a one-year contract
    • No mass email, which means you have to pay for another platform and integrate it, i.e., more costs and potential for lost data, time, and sales
  • Salesforce Lightning Enterprise (was "Most Popular" in 2022; now they don't tell you which is most popular, but the description remains, "Deeply customizable sales CRM for your business."
    • So for $150/USD/user/month (billed annually), you can finally make this CRM your own by customizing it! That's $750/mo for five users FOR A YEAR to have a CRM you can "deeply customize."
    • Do you want to pay $9,000 per year to be able to customize your CRM, and yet you still can't do bulk emails, e-commerce, affiliate marketing, or sales and marketing automation?
  • Lighting Platform Unlimited used to be "Unlimited CRM power and support." Now it's "Transform app dev for entire organization."
    • Now you no longer have to request a quote.
    • It used to be $1,500/USD/user/month for your five users so you can FINALLY get phone support! So hand over $18,000 for a one-year contract, and someone at Salesforce will finally speak to you and your other four users, but now it's...$300/mo?
    • That IS NOT what small business owners need to grow sales

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Salesforce.com lets you "kind of" capture web leads, but it's REALLY limited.

Salesforce.com lets you "kind of" send mass emails, but it's REALLY limited.

But Salesforce.com doesn't help you with eCommerce, and you can't do drip campaigns or nurture sequences that are triggered and run automatically when certain events occur.

If you want to do that, you must go to the Salesforce.com AppExchange and bolt on a product like Exact Target or Vertical Response.

These types of bolt-ons are what my prospect described the other day as...

Salesforce.com's never-ending-tack-on-expenses."

He said that because each one adds another $20 to $100 to $500/mo or more depending on the size of your list, the number of products you sell, etc.

Besides the money, though, you're having to learn and integrate another system, which is EXACTLY what you do not want or need to do as a small business owner.

You need sales.

Keap (Infusionsoft) 2023 Pricing

As of March 2023, Keap has gone the opposite of Salesforce and simplified its pricing even further.

Keap has done away with Essentials, Deluxe, Complete, and Team.

Keap offers free, unlimited, 24x7 support for any and all editions they provide:

Keap Pro: $149/mo paid annually, or $189/mo paid monthly
  • 2 Users
  • 1,500 Contacts (Add more contacts as you grow. Only pay for what you need.)
  • Unlimited emails per month

Keap Max: $199/mo paid annually, or $249/mo paid monthly

  • 3 Users (Additional users are just $29/mo.)
  • 2,500 Contacts (Add more contacts as you grow. Only pay for what you need.)
  • Unlimited emails per month

Phone and chat support comes with all paid Keap editions at no extra charge. (The Free edition comes with free chat support.)

Salesforce.com Knows CRMs Are Dead

Salesforce was early to market in the online CRM SaaS space and evolved to become the 800-pound gorilla in the space.

This has helped them become the Kleenex or Coke of their market segment...but small businesses are not buying a one-cent tissue or 50-cent soda to be consumed and immediately thrown away.

You're buying a tool—a platform—that will become the engine of your business.

Like your car's engine, it's useless to a commuter or a soccer mom without a gas tank, a transmission, a steering wheel, comfy seats, and an entertainment system for the kids, which is why Salesforce is moving beyond the CRM.

As I linked to above, Salesforce vs. Keap: After The ExactTarget Purchase, Salesforce is trying to move into email marketing and marketing automation to address the evolving market.

Sure, Salesforce is probably the best, shiniest filing cabinet on the market today.

They make nice pie charts and bar graphs and are the go-to CRM for Fortune 500 companies that have the size and scope, budget, and staff to run such a massive platform.

But buying a pretty filing cabinet just because Apple or Ford might use it is not only foolish, it could put your small business out of business.

Keap Has Always Known That Affordable Sales and Marketing Automation Is The Name of The Game

The internet never sleeps.

Your competition is no longer the guy in the strip center across the street or the gal across town.

With smart marketing, relevant content, and timely delivery of targeted information at the moment of relevance, you can now compete with the provider across the country and across the ocean...but you need more than a pie-chart-creating CRM with expensive support and annual contracts.

You need web forms that segment your visitors into leads that you capture 24/7, automatically, and predictably.

You need to track the actions—or inaction—of your leads to turn them into prospects.

You need to schedule and send appropriate information—including calls, text messages, direct mail, and even faxes—to those prospects to move them through your sales pipeline.

You need online order forms and shopping carts to make sales while you sleep.

You need affiliate marketing that helps your biggest fans and supporters promote you and get paid for their efforts...but only after they generate the sale.

You need support on Friday night and Saturday morning and Sunday before your big launch on Monday, and you don't need to spend extra for that support.

That's why, if you're even considering the question of "Salesforce vs Keap," I'd say you need Infusionsoft.

If you still have questions about ordering the right CRM for you, take the Best CRM For Me survey for free here.


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If you already own Keap or HubSpot and need to get more out of it just pick the block of time for my CRM services that fit your budget at my page, The CRM Butler, and get ready to get more leads, convert more sales and make more money...while you sleep.

Does Your CRM Help You "Automate. Integrate. Dominate."?

Automation, 24/7 Support, Email Marketing, Unlimited Web Forms, Setup & Training, Affiliate Marketing, and E-Commerce are all included in one of these CRMs. (Hint: It's the one that is a lot more than a CRM, aka, static, expensive Rolodex® in the sky.)


In the ongoing question of Keap vs. Salesforce, why are so many business owners leaving Salesforce to automate their business with Keap?

So they can automate their business...among other reasons.

Salesforce vs Infusionsoft Infographic,salesforce,Infusionsoft,professional sales training, Infusionsoft support


Some additional Salesforce vs. Keap resources here at The Sales Whisperer® include:

If you still have questions about ordering Keap for your business and would like to see Keap in action check this out.

If you're ready to get started with Keap and you want to secure over $1,741 in bonuses and savings by ordering through me, please contact me now, and I'll help you secure your own Infusionsoft application today.

Market like you mean it.
Now go sell something.