Salesforce is a company based out of San Francisco, California. They are the leaders in cloud technology and CRM services. In addition, they offer a suite of products for customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, social media marketing, eCommerce platforms, and more.
With the power to build relationships with customers at their fingertips in an easy-to-use interface, Salesforce can help your company grow through unified data collection and analytics.
Salesforce is also the name of their flagship product, which is a highly customizable CRM with attractive out-of-the-box features like Web to Lead, Weeding out duplicate leads, Opportunity Forecasting, Email and Campaign management, and Google Apps Integration, etc. All this, along with the standard CRM features like Lead, Contact, Account, and Opportunity Management.
What is Salesforce CRM, you might ask. It’s a top-notch CRM application built on the Force.com platform. It can manage all the customer interactions of an organization through different media, like phone calls, site email inquiries, communities, and social media.
Salesforce handles all the customer relationships by focusing on the sales, marketing, and support processes.
What makes Salesforce CRM click?
Salesforce has grown its platform to support some of the most complex business scenarios. As a result, it has proven that it only needs one-fifth of the development effort and cost compared to a normal application.
A CRM in Salesforce works by managing the standard objects and maintaining the relationships between them and the standard in-built functionalities. It is built on the following different types of cloud:
Sales Cloud mainly works based on Lead, Account, Contact & Opportunity objects. Leads can be further converted into account, contact, and opportunity objects -an important built-in functionality of the Sales Cloud. What’s more, if any custom fields are added to the lead object, it is also possible to set the mapping for them. Opportunities are well managed by giving them different stages and probabilities.
In Service Cloud, the base objects are cases and solutions.
A Service Executive can create a case on a customer inquiry or a complaint, and the corresponding solution can be stored in a solution object.
In addition, there is some standard functionality, like email to case, which will automatically create a new case in the CRM on every customer email.
Marketing Cloud is an application for marketing purposes. It helps in the creation and execution of marketing campaigns, email promotions, and more.
Custom fields can be added to the standard objects, and custom workflows can also be created. For custom views as well as business logic, Visualforce pages and associated apex classes can be used. These customization facilities make it possible to fulfill just about any need a CRM user may have.
Every CRM application must be able to present reports with the data stored within it. For example, in Salesforce, the ‘Reports and Dashboards’ feature enables effective analytics.
There are several standard reports associated with everyday objects. Each report can be used to create dashboard components like graphs. Standard Reports are placed in the folders available in Salesforce, so finding the reports is easy.
Salesforce automation features include tracking leads, managing emails, assigning tasks, notifications, approvals, etc. This CRM will handle all the automation required for the sales, marketing, and service processes.
Who should use the Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce has editions for a variety of users. It offers different editions like Group, Professional, Enterprise, and Performance (For Sales Cloud). An organization can select the Salesforce CRM edition according to their aims and the features they require.
Do note that the different editions have price variations too.
What does Salesforce do?
Leverage Customer Information to Increase Sales
Tools that track sales activities and previous customer interactions are included in Salesforce CRM’s arsenal. With these at your disposal, you can have a better understanding of your clients. It also uses client data from social media and emails, granting you further insight into what makes your leads and existing customers tick.
This information will help you find out what kind of products or content your customers are looking for. In turn, you will create marketing and sales strategies that are more suited to their preferences.
Gives You a Bird’s Eye View of Sales Pipeline
Conversions should be monitored closely, and this platform allows you to do this in real-time. Once you have sufficient data, you can create adaptive weekly forecasts for more organized compilation. Salesforce CRM also has an intuitive dashboard for data accumulation and detailed reporting and analysis, giving you a good sense of your sales performance.
With all the data collected during the sales process, managing everything might be more difficult for you when all your tasks pile up. However, with Salesforce CRM, you can check on all aspects of your pipeline at one glance, from customer activity to conversion rates. This platform even provides you with customizable reporting and visualization options so you can view your data the way you prefer.
Gauge and Determine Sales Opportunities
Salesforce CRM gives you insight into the different aspects of your sales process. These include your customers’ preferences, the progress of your sales and marketing activities, and your conversions.
This platform will also determine sales opportunities, gauge their value, and help you prioritize them according to significance. Through sifting strong leads from the weak ones, you can focus on prospects who are more likely to turn into paying customers instead of those who are not as engaged yet.
Improves Your Marketing Pipeline
At every stage of the pipeline—from gathering and qualifying leads to turn them into opportunities—the Salesforce CRM software can help you. While managing prospects and customers effectively, you can also make sure that no leads fall in the cracks by automating follow-ups and tracking where your leads are in the sales funnel.
Whatever opportunity comes your way, you will likely make the most of it, thanks to efficient contact management and data-driven user engagements.
Develop More Effective Sales Cycles
If you compare Salesforce CRM with other solutions on the market, you’ll find that it helps you understand your clients and your opportunities better and helps you streamline your process. The platform is equipped with workflow automation and task management features to help you fine-tune your sales cycles and stay on top of them at all times.
These will help you map out your data-backed strategies and gain real-time visibility over your sales cycles. In turn, this will allow you to move leads through the sales funnel faster.
Makes Teams More Efficient
Unlike spreadsheets and ledgers that can be misplaced or stored in disjointed filing systems, Salesforce CRM consolidates all your data in one database. With this, you allow your marketing teams, sales teams, and administrative staff to access the same comprehensive pool of information and stay on the same page when it comes to the different aspects of your operations.
This means employees can coordinate better and get tasks done faster and more efficiently.
Reduce Conflicts on Sales Channels
Now and then, friction occurs between your sales representatives because they are focusing on the same territories. With Salesforce CRM, you have access to robust territory management tools. This will help you set boundaries according to customer volume and employee assignments to achieve a balanced workload among your reps.
Boosts Lead Nurturing
Generating leads and converting them into paying customers takes more than getting your brand noticed. 79% of leads never convert into sales because of poor lead nurturing. It would help if you were more proactive in monitoring your prospective customers and getting in touch with them. With Salesforce CRM, you can track clicks, create campaigns, and automate the whole process. This allows you to generate quality leads, nurture them, and accelerate the conversion process while reducing the time spent on the sales cycle.
Provides Tools for Field Personnel
Salesforce CRM is a completely cloud-hosted platform, making it ideal for sales and marketing teams that are always on the go.
This allows you to access your dashboards, reports, and other CRM data on mobile devices so your field professionals won’t have to go back and forth to the office to get the information they require.
Integrates Well with Your Current Infrastructure
Similar to other products in the Salesforce productivity suite, Salesforce CRM is built for flexibility. It was made to blend seamlessly with other software ecosystems through powerful APIs.
With this feature, you can integrate with third-party applications like JIRA, Freshdesk, Zendesk, Samanage, FinancialForce, and more, making it easy to extend the platform’s capabilities. Moreover, this allows you to retain your existing business systems and even consolidate the data from all of your applications in a singular interface for easier monitoring.
Other Noteworthy Salesforce Details
To make it easy for you, we’ve provided you with a summary list of its features below.
- Contact Management
- Customer Engagement Tools
- Workflow Creation
- Task Management
- Opportunity Tracking
- Collaboration Tools
- Intuitive, Mobile-Ready Dashboard
Features for Marketers
- Marketing Leads Monitoring
- Social Media Integration
- Email Integration
Features for Salespeople
- Sales Lead Monitoring
- Communities for Sales
- Sales Forecasting
Also, Salesforce CRM has reasonable pricing plans that depend on the number of features you need for your operations. Here they are below:
- Startup companies and small businesses that require minimal features can opt for the Lightning Essentials package, available at $25/user/month.
- For medium-sized businesses that require more advanced CRM functions, a Lightning Professional package costs $75/user/month.
- There is also a Lightning Enterprise package at $150/user/month that supports a larger number of process automation
- An Unlimited Lightning package at $300/user/month with all the platform’s features.
5 Reasons Why Salesforce Is The Best CRM
According to Gartner, the overall value of the Global CRM Software Market was 20.4 billion USD by the end of 2013 – which is anticipated to increase by 13.7 % every year, making the global CRM software market a billion-dollar space. Salesforce is right at the top contributing to 16% of the overall CRM Software market share, making Salesforce and CRM software inseparable.
Yvonne Genovese, Vice President at Gartner’s Marketing Leaders Research, said, “Marketing will be the largest growing Salesforce CRM category through 2017.” The International Data Corporation (or IDC) expects the overall market for marketing automation to grow from $3.2 billion in 2010 to $4.8 billion in 2015.”
According to the Gartner research reports, 94% of the Salesforce CRM revenue is generated from the ‘Support and Subscription’ fees whilst only 6% of the revenue comes from ‘Professional Services. As a result, Salesforce is concentrating on “Supports and Subscriptions” to grow its revenue exponentially.
The company’s CEO, Marc Benioff, stated that “Salesforce.com has recorded constant currency and deferred revenue growth of 30% or more year-over-year. The company expected revenue to rise to between $6.45 billion and $6.50 billion in 2016.
Vision And Execution
With a complete long-term vision and its high capability to execute, Salesforce CRM Software claims the highest position in the Customer Relationship Management software market. The ability to execute this vision on the ground has helped Salesforce reach the top.
In 2014, Gartner once again titled Salesforce as the leading CRM software. Salesforce has maintained this position for four years in a row. Salesforce has emerged as the leader in the Gartner’s Leader Magic quadrant for 2014 (the image below illustrates the leading position of Salesforce when compared to other CRM software players).
Salesforce has a smart acquisition policy to increase enhanced capabilities. As part of their long-term vision, they were successful in numerous strategic acquisitions from the year 2006. Strategic Acquisitions have helped the Salesforce CRM Software build a highly broadened marketing ecosystem referred to as the Marketing Cloud.
In June 2013, ExactTarget was acquired for $2.5 billion, which helped enhance the Marketing Cloud through email campaign management and marketing automation. ExactTarget acquisition has also resulted in Salesforce owning Pardot, an application for marketing automation that primarily works in online marketing campaigns. Pardot helps boost sales by creating and deploying marketing campaigns. As a result, Pardot has a vital significance in increased revenue and efficiency of Salesforce CRM Software.
The most recent strategic acquisition has been RelateIQ for $390 million, which helps eliminate manual data entry by automated tracking of relationships in the CRM space. This will certainly be a critical value-added offering in Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Highly Diversified Offerings
Salesforce is the innovator of the SaaS approach in the enterprise space. Its proficiency in on-demand software helps reduce the cost for customers as it provides a common networking, hardware, and software platform. In addition, customers can improve sales and enhance communication through various SaaS offerings of Salesforce, namely Salesforce Chatter, Sales Cloud, and Service Cloud applications.
Salesforce acquired Heroku in 2010 to provide its customers with PaaS (Platform as a Service) to provide support for various programming languages. In addition, users can customize their applications with developer tools like TheAppExchange and Database.com. With diverse offerings and a wide product portfolio, Salesforce is inventing the future while other competitive CRM software applications like the Siebel are just trying to get into it.
Dawn of Salesforce1
Gartner has stated that by 2015, an overwhelming 60% of Internet users will prefer mobile customer service applications, with various devices and applications being available on a single platform.
To stay tuned with the increasing demand and growing trend, Salesforce launched Salesforce1 in October 2013- an innovative CRM platform for software vendors, developers, and customers for connecting applications and third-party services such as Dropbox, Evernote, and LinkedIn. Instant and customized Customer Service, On-Screen guided support, and live video support are just some of the remarkable features of Salesforce1 which contribute to its dominance in the CRM software space.
Salesforce1 has seen significant growth of active mobile application users, a whopping 96% with a 46% increase in the active users for customized mobile applications. Thus, Salesforce1 successfully leverages the growth in the Customer Relationship Management Software market by meeting the increasing demand for mobile devices’ service providers.
What the future holds for Salesforce CRM Software?
With different Salesforce reviews on the web, it is palpable that though the cost for Salesforce CRM Software service is more, it has the best user-friendly interface compared to other CRM software such as Siebel, SugarCRM. Furthermore, according to IDC, the overall Marketing Automation market is poised to touch $5.5 billion in 2016 from $3.7 billion in 2011which presents exceptional growth projections for Salesforce CRM in the marketing category.
Salesforce is on the brink to provide an array of diversified cloud applications and services to meet the insatiable demand for cloud computing. As a result, Salesforce Customer Relationship Management software is set to grow exponentially in the CRM software market.
So, there you have it. Salesforce CRM can do many things to help you gain leads and improve business performance.