Why Salesforce Isn't for Legal Teams

By Chris Combs


Salesforce.com has built an empire in the cloud software space

over the last 10 years. Through their acquisitions and growth, they’ve build a “cloud” for almost every department inside a company. There’s a cloud for service, sales, support, marketing, and community. Salesforce deserves our respect and admiration for bringing software to the cloud and providing products that help millions of businesses function all with software running on the internet. However, there is an increasing push for all departments to use Salesforce and as a result internal legal teams have been forced to try and adopt tools that don’t make sense. Here are some reasons why it doesn't work:

A Workflow Built For Sales

Salesforce is most famously known for their Customer Relationship Management or CRM tool. The primary function of the CRM or as its called now, the "Sales Cloud", is to help sales team track and manage their sales process. This is one of the main problems for legal: Using a tool for contract management embedded inside the a sales cloud tool forces legal teams into a cluttered and confusing world. Legal teams deserve a tool that is built with their use case in mind, not as an afterthought to a sales-based product.

Search Is Limited

The ability to search for information is critical to an application for a Legal team. Salesforce only does a simple title and name based search on all the basic objects like leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities. There is no ability to search within any of these objects (that’s in the reporting, we’ll cover that below) for key text or metadata. Legal teams that use a CRM will be limited to finding the names of customers and customer accounts, but not much more after that.


The reporting function within the application does a few things really well, like being able to aggregate, summarize and report on the fields that live on specific objects and provide results that can be exported. On the other side, it’s limited to a "field level" search.

So if a sales rep uploaded a finalized contract in PDF format as an attachment and now there’s a need to look into that PDF for a specific term. What do you do? The Salesforce reporting tool will not be able to perform this search. It’s not even remotely close to being able to perform a text based search.

So what happens when a legal team has to respond to audit, due diligence and ad-hoc internal requests? They need a tool that can perform these queries and then export the results quickly and easily. Not leave them searching for hours.

Uneccessary Costs

The Salesforce Sales Cloud is priced on a per seat license. So each person who needs access is charged up to $150 a month. On top of that, implementation costs for Salesforce within an organization creates another significant time and financial commitment.  Salesforce has built an incredible ecosystem with the AppExchange over the last few years. The plugins and packages developed on the Force platform have been downloaded over 3 million times. These packages though have hidden cost though, so in addition to the price per user to use Sales Cloud, these packages can cost up to an additional $100 a user a month. Making the total cost of using Salesforce and, say a contract management package, could be over $3,000 per user per year! Salesforce recently touted they had multiple customers paying over a million dollars a year for their service, and with this pricing policy you can see why. 

Why spend all that money for an experience that really isn't meant for a legal and contracts team anyway? Use your budget for a tool that works for your team and don't fall in the IT trap of everyone using the same tools.

Salesforce’s Sales Cloud is not built for a legal teams managing contracts. Chose a piece of software that focuses on search, reporting and compliance and is built for you like LinkSquares.

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