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The web resource Fortune Business Insights claims that the global CRM market size was estimated at USD 64.41 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow to USD 157.53 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 12.0%. This directly tells us that companies tend to increasingly automate the processes of interaction with their customers, from getting to know their products/services to the stages of maintenance, support, and, finally, resales. 

As for choosing a specific CRM solution, there can be many options, the final choice of which will depend on your specific needs. In this article, we decided to consider the difference between ServiceNow and Salesforce, which, for sure, are heard by everyone who has ever been interested in such software. 

We also note that our company provides both Salesforce consulting services or ServiceNow services, feel free to contact us.

What is Salesforce?

Let’s start our ServiceNow vs Salesforce Service Cloud overview with Salesforce.

Salesforce is one of the most popular CRM systems in the world based on a multi-tenancy architecture. Founded in 1999, it was designed to manage personal customer data, deals (orders, sales, and payments), documents (contracts, receipts), and other processes that require direct or indirect interaction with customers. Another essential feature of Salesforce is the ability to generate statistical and analytical reports to determine customer satisfaction, employee performance, and the state of the company as a whole. 

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which One is Better?

All processes delegated by Salesforce are performed through automated scripts, which speed up their execution, eliminate the risks associated with human error, and, of course, reduce their cost. 

Today, this cloud-based system is characterized by dozens of integrations with third-party solutions for managing communication channels (email, SMS, push notifications, etc.). However, if you want to expand its capabilities, you can always connect ready-made extensions or create ones with needed functionality from scratch. 

In general, this is an excellent one-size-fits-all CRM that, thanks to comprehensive compatibility, can be tailored to the needs of any business. Thus, with the right configuration, Salesforce can significantly optimize business processes, increase sales, and improve the quality of customer service.

What is ServiceNow?

In the ServiceNow vs Salesforce comparison, ServiceNow, founded in 2003, is an SaaS platform for IT Service Management (ITSM). Here, the functionality typical for Salesforce and similar systems is secondary, and tasks such as compliance with security policies, solving customer problems (downtime, malfunctions, incidents, low performance), automating IT processes, and even software development come first. Thus, despite the initial similarity of their core goal—to improve the quality of customer service—each of the counterparts in the ServiceNow vs. Salesforce couple does it differently.

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which One is Better?

However, in recent years, ServiceNow’s capabilities have gone beyond IT process management—now, it’s a much more universal solution that transfers the principles of relationships between specific process elements and between the performer and the consumer to other business directions. That’s why, in the latest versions of this platform, you will easily find a sales funnel, financial reporting tools, marketing tools, and much more that a company looking for a comprehensive solution to automate internal (between employees) and external (between employees and customers) tasks may need.

You can also get acquainted with a more in-depth ServiceNow overview in this article and check the main ServiceNow competitors here.

In the next paragraph, we will delve into details of our ServiceNow vs Salesforce Service Cloud comparison.

ServiceNow vs. Salesforce: In-depth Comparison

Let’s look at the similarities and different features in our Salesforce Service Cloud vs ServiceNow comparison.

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which One is Better?

Customer Relationship Management Features

Let’s start our ServiceNow vs Salesforce comparison with an overview of customer relationship management features.

While Salesforce initially was intended to be a “pure” CRM system that covers all stages of the sales funnel and, in general, processes related to marketing, the primary value of ServiceNow lies initially in the optimization of IT processes. 

However, given the constant development of Salesforce and ServiceNow, now in both of them you can find customer profiles, automatic notifications, a customer self-service portal, processing customer requests, etc., and everything related to IT process management aimed to design, create, deliver, and support IT services—the difference is only in the customization level of these features.

Functional Capabilities

Formally, Salesforce is divided into several autonomous configurations:

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which One is Better?
  • Sales Cloud. This is an online system for managing business processes, customer relationships, analytics, marketing, and sales. Here, users can create operations and processes, process customer requests, create task lists, manage sales, provide customer support, implement marketing strategies, build communities, integrate third-party applications, and much more.
  • Service Cloud. This configuration is designed to automate customer service and support processes. Here, you can create a knowledge base, implement multi-channel support, and set up a chatbot and self-service portal, providing customers with the highest degree of personalization.
  • Marketing Cloud. This solution will be an excellent assistant to marketing departments as it covers email marketing, social media marketing, and other types of marketing, which together allow them to implement multi-channel marketing strategies based on real-time analytical data.
  • Commerce Cloud. If you need to automate and speed up processes within your eCommerce solution, this configuration is the one for you. In particular, with its help, you’ll be able to effectively manage product turnover, speed up the processing and delivery of orders, and process complaints and customer requests faster. In addition, you can increase the average customer bill thanks to personalized recommendations.
  • Experience Cloud. With this product, you will be able to form your own online community for both customers and employees of your company, allowing them to share knowledge in real time and leave support requests.
  • Analytics Cloud. With this module, you will get a comprehensive view of what is happening with your business, receiving up-to-date analytics and reports on its key indicators, from customer engagement to profit and loss. Note that this solution provides very convenient visualization tools that will help you quickly draw conclusions about the current status of your company and take the necessary measures.
  • AppExchange. Finally, with this tool, you can integrate third-party solutions for data and process synchronization, as well as extensions for the built-in Salesforce capabilities.

Now let’s look at the key products of ServiceNow—in fact, there are several more, but we decided to consider the four most important of them:

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which One is Better?
  • IT Service Management (ITSM). In general, this is the basic ServiceNow configuration that allows companies to automate IT tasks such as managing incidents, problems, changes, etc. In this way, companies can more efficiently and quickly deal with processes that are usually assigned to the IT department, thereby increasing customer satisfaction.
  • IT Operations Management (ITOM). This module provides end-to-end management of IT infrastructure and operations, streamlining the tasks associated with optimizing processes within the company’s IT infrastructure. In this way, businesses can use their digital capacities more wisely and increase the visibility of internal operations.
  • IT Business Management (ITBM). If you need an efficient solution for managing projects, planning business goals, and allocating resources, this configuration will help you deal with all these tasks quickly and efficiently.
  • Resource management. This ServiceNow product streamlines human resource management processes, automating tasks such as onboarding new employees, payrolls, training, and many other tasks related to interacting with the company’s resources.

Automation and AI

Since automation is one of the key tasks of CRM, the tools for its implementation are present in both contestants of the ServiceNow vs Salesforce Service Cloud comparison and in large numbers.

For example, with regard to Salesforce, here, automation is primarily concerned with tasks related to attracting potential and retaining existing customers, as well as stimulating both the former and the latter to sales. Within it, developers can use tools both for low-code and custom development: write macros, set up triggers to execute algorithms, and even create intelligent workflows using AI (the world’s first AI, Einstein GPT, is available here) and machine learning that are able to comprehensively analyze customer behavior and determine subsequent procedures based on this.

Speaking of ServiceNow, there are also both basic and highly intelligent automation capabilities, specifically based on AIOps. In particular, you can run automated AI searches for external and internal users, create automated process sequences with coding and without, and even deploy automated customer and employee services with AI-based chatbots. Also, ServiceNow provides its clients with a Developer Program with all necessary resources to learn, build, and deploy applications based on this platform.

Custom App Building

In our Salesforce Service Cloud vs ServiceNow comparison, we can note that both Salesforce and ServiceNow allow developing custom applications. In particular, in Salesforce, you can develop or automate with a low-code approach as well as perform custom development of frontend, backend components, integrations, and full-fledged apps. Each of your projects can be enriched with CRM data and the built-in generative AI Einstein GPT. Also, you can perform integration in Salesforce for existing applications through Lightning App Builder. Once you’ve completed your development process, you can seamlessly integrate your app into your existing workflows.

As for ServiceNow from the ServiceNow vs Salesforce comparison, it provides a full-featured low-code App Engine Studio development environment in which you can create applications to help implement your IT processes. It is characterized by a large number of widgets and templates that both specialists with little experience in coding and experienced developers can use to speed up their work. This environment allows you to create desktop and mobile solutions with high compatibility with third-party services that can be connected via API in no time.

Issue Resolving

Salesforce has a fairly extensive functionality that allows the customer support department to automate operations for interacting with the company’s clients. For example, there are integrations with messaging services (email, SMS, push messages, instant messengers, etc.) and even AI-powered chatbots that will save your support department from unnecessary workload. In general, with Salesforce, you will get at your disposal a comprehensive solution for processing customer requests and quickly resolving their problems.

In turn, in our ServiceNow vs Salesforce overview, ServiceNow can be considered a more advanced solution, as it covers higher-level maintenance tasks and has more advanced features, including auto-testing of app performance, modular service portal, service catalog builder, and much more, which not only allows you to deal with existing problems but also prevent new ones.


If you want to choose only one product from the Salesforce vs ServiceNow pair, then you should understand that both ServiceNow has the functionality of a CRM system, and Salesforce has functionality for ITSM, but it’s not as advanced as the one implemented in solutions originally intended for this.

In particular, some Salesforce plans include access to artificial intelligence, as well as other advanced automation tools. This allows companies to effectively manage many of the tasks originally assigned to the IT department. Along with this, ServiceNow is capable of solving a variety of marketing tasks and can lead the customer through the entire sales funnel, from the moment of initial acquaintance with the brand to repeated sales, synchronizing the work of sales, marketing, and support departments.

Third-party Integrations

Salesforce currently allows over 2,500 integrations, while ServiceNow provides support for about 1000 third-party software solutions. Along with this, one of the key products supported by both options in the Salesforce vs ServiceNow couple is Zapier, an online platform with which you can automate simple business processes


So, what about the pricing models in our comparison of ServiceNow vs. Salesforce? 

Salesforce has a rich pricing plan that makes this platform highly scalable: it can evolve in sync with the growth of the company that uses it. The main products of this platform are the following:

  • Sales Cloud. This is a cloud-based solution for small and medium businesses that covers basic processes in the sales department and starts at $25 per user per month. If you want to get more features, including access to AI-driven tools, you will have to pay up to $300 per user per month.
  • Service Cloud. This is a customer service platform that helps companies manage and resolve customer requests and issues. It has an extensive set of tools for case management, a comprehensive knowledge base, and omni-channel support, analytics, and automation tools. The basic Service Cloud model costs $25 per user per month and can go up to $300 as its functionality grows.
  • Marketing Cloud. This variation of the platform provides companies with advanced marketing tools that allow them to build strong and cost-effective relationships with customers. The pricing of this version is very flexible and depends on the size of the client base of a particular company.
  • Commerce Cloud. Commerce Cloud by Salesforce is rightfully recognized as one of the world’s best CRM solutions for B2C and B2B commerce. It’s a cloud-based platform that provides companies with highly intelligent tools to enhance the shopping experience across all channels—mobile, social, web, and even offline. Pricing for this version of the platform is also very flexible and depends on the turnover of a particular company.

Salesforce to Streamline Sales and Marketing Processes

Now, let’s talk about ServiceNow: here, the pricing model looks a bit simpler. In particular, you can choose from the following system configurations:

  • IT service management. The pricing of this version of the platform depends on the number of users registered and starts from $100 per user per month.
  • IT operations management. Here, as in the previous version, pricing is also determined by the number of registered users. The basic version also starts at around $100 per user per month and can go up to $250.
  • IT business management. Finally, the pricing for this configuration depends on the number of registered users as well, for each of which you will have to pay from 100 to 300 US dollars per month.

ServiceNow ITSM Module for Brokerage Firm

In addition, please note that the use of Salesforce vs ServiceNow may entail some extra costs for configuration, deployment, and integration with third-party solutions, as well as asking for professional consultation from support service specialists.

ServiceNow vs. Salesforce: Why Not Both?

In general, the Salesforce vs ServiceNow couple can be used simultaneously: for example, you can combine customer data from the first system with relevant support services from the second one, while the common data fields in these systems will be synchronized with each other. Thus, each time a particular client creates a request, it will first enter Salesforce for marketing needs, and, at the same time, it will be redirected to ServiceNow to call the desired service.

Salesforce vs ServiceNow: Which is Better for Your Business?

Taking into account the difference between ServiceNow and Salesforce, we can conclude that Salesforce and ServiceNow aren’t interchangeable products, and you should be clear about what tasks each of them is used for. Based on the above, we come to the following:

  • Salesforce, being a highly scalable and highly customizable solution, streamlines workloads for dispersed teams that frequently interact with customers (both potential and existing) and aims to increase sales and customer satisfaction.
  • ServiceNow, being a solution for managing IT services and IT operations, is used to optimize both internal IT processes and IT processes related to customer service and support (for example, troubleshooting performance issues, bugs in the provided software, and other problems that may affect sales and customer loyalty in a bad way).

Final Thoughts

Now you know that questions like: “Which is better, Salesforce vs ServiceNow?” aren’t correct. Also, we hope that we have helped you understand the difference between ServiceNow and Salesforce so that you can now make an informed decision when choosing a particular CRM. 

On our own behalf, we want to say that no matter what choice you make between ServiceNow vs. Salesforce, we are ready to help you deploy and configure this type of software. You can contact us right now to discuss your needs and find out the cost of our services. Also, you can check our Salesforce success stories and ServiceNow success stories to find out more about our best practices in CRM deployment and configuration.

Roman Bilokon
Roman Bilokon Practice Leader, Enterprise Workflow Automation

With more than 10 years of experience, Roman is a thought leader committed to driving long-term value for C-level client stakeholders and decision-makers through the integration of custom Salesforce and ServiceNow solutions.


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