Technology continues to disrupt almost every facet of every industry. The world has moved beyond a world of just standalone mobile devices. Consumers are connected to the “Internet of Everything”. We’ve entered into an era where smartphones are connected to everything – beacons, fitness trackers, smart TVs, LED lights, homes, cars and so much more. Welcome to the digital economy where businesses must embrace digital transformation or risk being left by the wayside. So, what has been one of the top driving technology forces enabling this new world of connected devices? Cloud computing.
Now enter Salesforce. The company got its start in the technology industry specializing as a software as a service (SaaS) company entering into the marketplace with its sales automation (or CRM) software. Salesforce has exploded as the fastest software company EVER to reach $5 billion in annual revenues. Salesforce helps customers bridge the gaps that exist between consumers and their connected devices to the businesses and customer-centric systems they use on the other side. What can you learn from Salesforce’s successful business model and apply to your digital business?
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Here are 5 reasons why Salesforce’s Customer Success Platform is a critical and core component to enabling digital transformation for your enterprise and how you can get there:
#1 More Social, Collaborative Selling. Most businesses in this day and age are using a sales automation tool with contact and opportunity management functionality. However, the buying process has changed but has your CRM? We live in a mobile and socially connected world. Selling doesn’t stop in the office at your desk. Sales teams are constantly on the go. How do you give them the tools to be successful and access the information they need about their leads, meetings, and deals? Welcome the new Sales Cloud features in the Spring ’15 release. Sales Path coaches reps through each deal stage making it easier for reps to follow your sales process and enter data on their mobile device. Badges and Skills recognize and reward the hard work your sales team is doing to keep them motivated to sell. Google Maps help you visualize where your contacts and accounts are from a mobile device. And don’t forget the importance of Sales Collaboration. Powerful social tools inside your company walls are just as valuable as the social networks outside. Connect with your team’s experts, find the right files, ask questions, and close deals faster by putting collaboration at the heart of your business.
#2 ‘Always-on’ Service. One of the hottest digital transformation trends right now, believe it or not, is around customer service. The future of the call center means moving beyond making customers go through the frustration of waiting on hold for 30 minutes only to have someone that isn’t able to answer their question or issue in an efficient and effective manner. Just like your customers expect to be able to have self-service capabilities on the sales and marketing side, they’ve come to expect it on the service side as well. Things like channel preference, mobile solutions, agile and multichannel service, VOC, and personalization are Customer Service digital transformation “must-have’s”. This requires you first understand the current state before overhauling your existing legacy call center systems and processes, or better yet, simplifying them. You may be asking, “How do I wave the magic wand and make that happen?” Hint: the answer is Service Cloud, but implementing a technology solution to go digital won’t happen over night. You need to identify the right “mix” that defines your customers’ interactions and where you can implement things like case deflection, a knowledge base, and social or self-service support (I’ll talk about that in a bit).
#3 Marketing Automation. Until the last 2-3 years, marketing was not as tightly integrated with the business as it is must be today. Why is that the case? Before, sales and marketing operated in siloes, as did a vast majority of the customer interactions, allowing for little visibility into the customer journey. The digital economy and demand for digital touchpoints has forced marketing, along with other areas of the business, to do three things: connect customer interactions across channels and devices, combine customer data and behaviors to deliver more personalized and relevant messages, and to better understand, map and predictively engage during all phases of the customer journey. What does that mean for most organizations and how do you execute? First, marketing needs a vision and an execution strategy for bringing together the various departmental functions that encompass digital transformation: email, social, web, physical, etc. The answer lies within their marketing technology infrastructure. Salesforce is taking it to a whole new level with its Marketing Cloud. It’s no longer about reacting to what the customer does. It’s becoming more about what the customer wants to do next. As part of the latest release they just rolled out, marketing can look at a customer’s purchasing decisions and behaviors, analyze the trail of interactions, and push recommended content, products or offers in real time. They’re not the first technology provider to offer this capability, but the Salesforce advantage is in their ability to bring this all-in-one functionality all under one product “roof”, and extend the reach of marketing into other areas of the business with their marketing cloud and platform.
#4 Creating a Community. What’s the next opportunity for you to engage with your customers, partners or employees? The social aspect of connecting and engaging with others sharing a common interest is a powerful collaboration tool. Customers trust other customers. Think about how many times you’ve polled your Facebook friends looking for answers, or you’ve spent hours scouring the internet troubleshooting a problem. Customer reviews, word-of-mouth referrals, and peer-to-peer problem solving carry their weight in gold, but is your business maximizing these untapped lines of communication and collaboration? Breaking down the silos that exist between you, your partners and suppliers, customers, and employees, by putting the power to serve others in their hands is a powerful tool. With traditional portal technology solutions it’s often a one-way conversation. You’re telling them all about your brand but you’re not taking the time to understand and empower others. With Salesforce’s Community Cloud, you can build a community around your network to grow your brand and your business.
#5 The Missing Link – Analytics. One of the biggest challenges with most business intelligence (BI) solutions is that the average business user isn’t in control of the data they’re asking questions around or trying to glean insights from. Today, business is done in real time and data is one of the biggest assets a company can leverage to make informed business decisions. Salespeople, marketers, customer service reps, and executives all need this information at their fingertips. The Salesforce Analytics Cloud, powered by Wave, is intuitive and easy to use – not something every business user can say about BI or big data solutions designed to handle structured or unstructured datasets. It’s also mobile optimized making analytics on the go possible. Data visualization helps business users make customer and business insights actionable bringing digital transformation full circle for an enterprise.
Where is your business at with digital transformation? Are you exploring the possibilities with Salesforce or maximizing the value of your Customer Success Platform? If not, you should get engaged with us.