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ServiceNow vs. Salesforce: Which One Is the Go-To CRM for Your Business?

Salesforce vs Servicenow

We’ve examined a fair number of articles regarding this very question and noticed that they all carry almost no important information. It would seem like ServiceNow and Salesforce are essentially the same programs, and there were little to no clues about how they differ. “Choose the one that fits your business needs” – that is what the conclusion of those articles stated over and over.

Although both Salesforce and ServiceNow are similar in many ways, they are two platforms going in different directions.

To find out more about this, jump right down to the topic that interests you or go through our step-by-step comparison!

salesforce vs servicenow gartner reviews

Source: Gartner

Salesforce is a Swiss Army Knife CRM

Right from its early days, Salesforce positioned itself as a customer relations management service. While the definition of a CRM still applies to them, (and it says upfront that Salesforce is the #1 CRM in the world on their homepage), they are more accurately categorized as a Platform-as-a-Service now. As such, they provide a vast variety of tools and services for businesses of all kinds.

ServiceNow is an IT Service Management Provider

The difference between an ITSM and a CRM is that the former focuses on the IT workflow within a given team while the latter is customer-centric. The expected end result is the same in both cases: to make both the team and target audience happy, enabling a business to scale and adapt.

In case of an ITSM, a team comes first. It’s good to know if you intend to build a particular company image or if your team indeed needs a proper ITIL standard-compliant organization.

ServiceNow CSM vs. Salesforce

One shouldn’t get the impression that ServiceNow does not simplify customer services at all. It’s quite the contrary. It is true that ServiceNow focuses on the internal infrastructure of a given business. However, it is exactly what improves customer experience: linking the front end with the back end allows customers to resolve their issues faster. There is a particular application for that purpose, too. Aside from that, ServiceNow has a wide range of Customer Workflow products.

Should ServiceNow’s out-of-the-box capabilities not be enough, you can still easily integrate one of the third-party services: their full list of more than 500 items is impressive. And Guess what? ServiceNow also integrates with Salesforce.

ServiceNow Integration Diagram Web

Source: Jitterbit

Salesforce approaches the matter of customer service in a different fashion. They provide a multitude of tools of their own making that allow you to aggregate customer data that you need so you can focus on what you do with that data without worrying how it works under the hood. It is also possible to hire a Salesforce professional to manage the whole system.

salesforce vs servicenow gartner customer product capabilities

Source: Gartner

ServiceNow vs Salesforce for Small Enterprises and Start-ups

If your company already has an IT department and the developer team feels like they lack the experience to order the cooperation between all departments, efficiently process all the customer data, and monitor the operation of services at the same time – ServiceNow assistance would be perfect.

Salesforce, on the other hand, is a better fit for small enterprises and start-ups. For example, if a married couple decides to open an online coffee shop, they would rather go for Salesforce cloud services.

Both platforms work well for large businesses (those with more than 1,500 employees). Which one should be given preference depends on the actual company structure and their goals and preferences.

User Reviews

Salesforce has been on the market for a bit longer and always aimed to hit a broader audience compared to ServiceNow, which reflects on their number of user reviews. Yet both companies ranked equally high: 8+ out of 10, according to TrustRadius.

The reviews also give an idea of which functionality of the respective platform is used more often.

Salesforce, for example, is acclaimed for offering the following features:

While ServiceNow is reportedly good at:

  • Incident and problem management
  • ITSM asset management
  • Change management

salesforce vs servicenow gartner customer experience

Source: Gartner

Customer Support

This section is about the support services that Salesforce and ServiceNow deliver to you, not the services you deliver to your customers with the help of their tools.

Every source that we have studied clearly shows that enhancing a business with either Salesforce or ServiceNow is neither fast nor easy. In case with both platforms, there must be a person on your side, dedicated full-time to communication with a given platform provider and study of the respective documents.

The whole implementation process may take up to 9 months. It certainly requires patience. Both Salesforce and ServiceNow reviewers (the real clients, that is) admit that the process is tiring and expensive. However, when the implementation is finished, a client’s business metrics (KPIs) rise up to such an extent that a general impression of a platform provider is great.

It did look like Salesforce’s support team was a bit slow when it came to providing a working solution. Reviewers admitted that they had to escalate their issue to get faster results.


Both platforms are the trailblazers of innovation in the workplace. The hottest topics in sales nowadays are AI and process automation. Both of the platforms actively develop these technologies. Why not if AI chatbots are just as useful to customers as humans?

Customer Story Samantha Philip

Source: Salesforce

There are dozens of AI applications that may not be entirely necessary for your enterprise while the others may be a game-changer; just take it or leave it! Salesforce Einstein AI is extremely customizable:

Einstein for Service

Source: Salesforce.

Above is but a half of a page (prices not included) from a full 12-page Einstein cheatsheet.

ServiceNow does not fall behind with a chatbot of their own making, no-code process automation designer, predictive intelligence, and performance analytics.

Salesforce vs. ServiceNow Comparison of Prices

Both ServiceNow and Salesforce have subscription-based payment plans. There is unimaginable number of services, and to use them one either pay for them separately on a per-user-per-month basis or uses them as a part of a pre-paid plan.

We do not mention the actual prices for each of the platforms for two reasons:

  • Prices are subject to change over time
  • Each use case is unique

Therefore, there can be no unambiguous answer to the question, ‘Which one is cheaper, Salesforce or ServiceNow?’ The best course of action in this case is to get a quote directly from a provider.

Which Is Better: ServiceNow vs. Salesforce?

Surveys indicate that government, education, and non-profit organizations prefer Salesforce. This is not the rule, however; ServiceNow has similar use cases in their portfolio.

The number of services of both platforms is just crazy, and it’s easy to get lost on their homepages. One will surely need guidance to figure out which of them may prove useful for their enterprise. Such guidance is readily available in-person, virtually, or in the form of detailed guides, tables, video tutorials, and ebooks.

Both companies firmly occupy the square of leaders in Gartner’s magic quadrant.

Gartner magic quadrant

Although Salesforce is still far ahead, ServiceNow puts up decent competition demonstrating solid experience in ITSM, while expanding and improving their product offering.

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Votes: 8

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Written by

Arthur Koryaka

Starting from 2007, Arthur managed to successfully help automotive, insurance and healthcare industries to adopt a CRM system. As an experienced consultant, Artur proved his practical knowledge by passing certifications for the different Salesforce roles. Over the years, Arthur is developing his expertise in the financial industry and helps clients migrate to Finance Sevices Cloud.

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