What is Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
Salesforce.com is an online product that allows Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support employees to track information about their prospects and customers.
It allows those multiple groups to have a unified view of the customer, so that they can provide a better customer experience. Key interactions with the customer, and information about what they’re interested in, can all be tracked in Salesforce. Then people in these different departments can see this, and have a smarter conversation with the customer (and each other).
Think of all those times when you call a support line, key in your account number, then get a human being who then asks you for your account number… that’s not having the same view of the customer’s data.
Salesforce can do a lot of other things, but fundamentally, it allows multiple groups within a company to have the same view of a customer (versus each group having their own system to track customer-related information, which opens up the possibility of that information to get out of sync).
What Does Salesforce Do?
Now that we have a clearer idea of what Salesforce CRM is, let us answer the question, “What does Salesforce do?” to understand its functionality.
Salesforce helps you at all stages of your sales cycle, right from acquiring a lead to communicating with the customer for after-sale services. The Salesforce technology helps you in recording all necessary details about your current, past, or potential customers and storing them within your system in an organized manner.
Salesforce stores specific details about your customers in information tablets called Salesforce objects, such as Leads, Accounts, Cases, opportunities, contacts, etc. These objects can be utilized for obtaining customer information whenever needed and for tracking the activities of specific customers/Accounts. By establishing suitable relationships between two or more Salesforce objects, users can undertake sales processes or obtain necessary reports. This is how Salesforce works in helping you customize your services based on the customers you cater to.
What Is The Need For Salesforce In 2021?
The need for a platform like Salesforce is only going to increase with time. In 2020, the need for personalization and advanced technology is at its peak. Businesses need to treat every customer as if they are the only ones catered by them. Also, after witnessing a global pandemic and realizing how fickle physical activities can get, there is also a need for high flexibility in every sector of the industry.
Salesforce helps you in tackling the majority of the challenges 2020 has thrown or is likely to throw at business organizations. It provides an optimum level of business and process automation, helping users to provide personalized services according to specific customer requirements. Beings cloud-based platform, it also provides substantial flexibility in operation as your team members can use the platform at any time from any location.
This flexibility is also increased by its seamless mobile customization. Moreover, every tool, platform, and application pertaining to Salesforce keeps updating according to the latest technological advancements. This makes is certain that Salesforce is here to stay and will help businesses sail into the new decade successfully.
Now that we have understood the core functionality and relevance of the platform, let us understand the different Salesforce Clouds while answering the question, “What is Salesforce used for?”
What Is Salesforce Used For?
Salesforce CRM is used to perform an array of specific functions that are dedicated to streamlining the marketing and sales services of an organization. The CRM platform is essentially developed to provide ease of operation to the users while making sense of the complicated customer database. It also allows them to create extensive reports to help the management take key business decisions.
The services provided by Salesforce software are divided into multiple offerings that can by different organizations (or the same company) for different purposes. These offerings are called Salesforce Clouds, each of which is comprised of a unique set of processes.
Salesforce Sales Cloud
Sales Cloud is probably the most beneficial and sought after the offering of Salesforce CRM. As the name suggests, it helps businesses in driving their sales and generating revenue for the organization. Right from finding the right leads and qualifying them to facilitate purchases and closing sales deals, Salesforce Sales Cloud guides your sales team every step of the way.
One of the most advanced and currently relevant features of the platform is Einstein AI. Incorporated into Salesforce Lightning, the latest version of Salesforce CRM, Einstein is an artificial intelligence component that scans all your CRM data and helps you make a predictive analysis. It also helps you prioritize the sales leads to nurture and predict the behavior of your customers based on their current and previous interactions.
Salesforce Service Cloud
This is the platform designed to handle CRM activities of a business functioning in the service sector. If you are into a business that partly or wholly provides services to the clients/customers, Service Cloud provides you with services such as efficient call centers, knowledgebase, provision for live customer interactions, product assistance, etc.
The primary motive of this platform is to ensure that the customers are happy and satisfied with the business. One of the primary features of Salesforce Service Cloud is its ability to route the right customer cases to the right agents. This makes the process of problem-solving faster and more organized.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
This is the module that is dedicated to navigating the complete journey of your customers on a platform. The primary motive of the Marketing Cloud is to provide marketing channels that facilitate personalized communication to the customers. With the help of this platform, markets can send the right message at the right time to the right person and through the right channel.
One of the most relevant features of Salesforce Marketing Cloud in recent times is marketing automation. Owing to increased competition and the need for personalization in the market, marketing automation helps you ascertain useful customer information and formulate the right messages to communicate with them. Also, the platform allows you to draft efficient and result-oriented marketing campaigns for greater user engagement.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud
This is arguably the most relevant platform for marketing in recent times. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is essentially designed to help businesses set up and/or manage their e-commerce ventures. Right from designing the website (storefront) and getting the products listed to receiving payments and managing checkout processes, it is the best assistance you can receive to market your products online.
Based on your business model, you can avail of two major variants of the Commerce Cloud. If you deal with other businesses and follow the B2B module, you can opt for Salesforce B2B Commerce Cloud. On the other hand, you can choose Salesforce B2C Commerce Cloud if you tend to the ultimate customers.
Salesforce Community Cloud
A Salesforce Community is essentially a virtual group comprised of individuals having a common interest. Salesforce Community Cloud allows you to build such communities to facilitate quick and efficient communication with your customers, Salesforce Partners, employees, or any other entity having a vested interest in your organization.
Community Cloud can be referred to as a social platform where individuals can meet, interact, and share constructive ideas that would affect a particular project or an ongoing campaign. The platform can also be used to improve personalized customer interaction and receive their feedback.
Key Features and Benefits of Salesforce
Now that we have answered the fundamental questions of “What is Salesforce?” and “What does Salesforce do?” it is important to understand some of the major features and advantages of the platform that would help you in handling your CRM in 2020.
One of the most prominent services provided by Salesforce is that of efficient lead management. With the help of Salesforce tools and platforms, you can identify prospects, generate leads, and add them to your sales pipeline. Once leads are added to the pipeline, the platform helps you in scoring them based on their responses, allowing you to cater to the more responsive ones first.
This way, Salesforce technology provides the right amount of automation and effectiveness in handling your sales leads, reducing the time and efforts put in by your sales representatives.
As mentioned earlier, the need for personalized services is steadily increasing over time. Customers want to be treated specially and want their specific needs to be taken care of. Salesforce helps you solve this purpose by organizing your customer details on an individual basis.
As opposed to the marketing team manually going through the data of every single customer, Salesforce automates the process of scanning customer database and tending to each customer based on their specific requirements. It also helps you track the actions of your customers with your business to ascertain their likes and preferences. For instance, if a customer visits the page selling t-shirts on your online store frequently and is a frequent buyer of t-shirts, you can personalize the page to show them new stocks of t-shirts and/or t-shirt ads on their browser. This way, you can cater to the specific needs of your customers and build a loyal base.
Salesforce is a highly customizable platform. Its functionality can be tailored according to the specific requirements of the concerned user. This has facilitated an array of third-party integrations with external platforms and applications.
Salesforce allows independent software vendors (ISVs) to develop robust applications on using the Salesforce environment. These applications provide users with an ideal mix of services provided by two software entities. Apart from providing a centralized platform to the users, such integrations also increase the overall functionality and consistency of Salesforce.
In the majority of these third-party integrations, the integrated platform allows users to utilize their CRM data to avail services provided by the integrated application. For instance, if Salesforce integrates with an accounting platform, you can perform accounting activities using your CRM contacts on the concerned application. Similarly, if Salesforce integrates with a chat room, you can provide online/live chat facilities availed from the concerned application to your CRM contacts
It is important to keep a record of all the activities performed by your team to monitor its progress over a period of time. Salesforce CRM comes with a feature that allows you to create extensive and automated reports for specific activities performed by your team members.
Salesforce helps you track all your business processes and formulate highly informative and customizable reports for specific projects. These reports display extensive information about the progress your team made over a specified period of time. Ultimately, they help the management to take key decisions to improve the functionality of their organization.