For the last two decades, Salesforce has changed the way businesses operate and grow. Piloting SaaS (software as a service), the company has revolutionised browser-based usage of platforms as opposed to installations of various programs – allowing work in the so called ‘cloud’.
The term ‘cloud’ symbolises the fact that access is not dependent on an installation of some sort but it’s accessible via any device via a browser or a mobile app – just with a simple login.
In a series of articles, we will discover the various elements that comprise the Salesforce platform – Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Analytics Cloud, Marketing Cloud, etc.
Why Salesforce and Next Consult?
Apart from being the most innovative company in the world for 2017 for the fifth time in a row, Salesforce lives and breathes by its principles of Trust, Growth, Equality and Innovation. By providing solutions to various problems that businesses face every day, Salesforce helps them grow, close more deals and get better and bigger in their respective fields. The platform also allows for a great deal of customisation, which means it’s a good fit for small and big businesses alike.
We at Next Consult are an official partner and reseller of Salesforce. Apart from selling the best CRM solution in the world, we also implement it, advise businesses and offer support during and after the installation. Our Salesforce consultants are certified in Sales Cloud implementation, and all of the other Salesforce solutions - Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Analytics Cloud and so on.
What is Sales Cloud?
With Sales Cloud you can sell more, improve efficiency of your sales team, and make faster and better predictions and decisions. In addition, you will get many features that help communication between your employees and streamline not just marketing activities, but the entire process of finding new customers and analysing their behaviour.
What does it mean for your business?
• A 360-view of the client – now it’s easier than ever to see who initiated contact with a particular lead and how, when and why they converted them into a customer. Or why they didn’t! You can also see all marketing communications that took place.
• Improved pipeline management – the sales process and all employees benefit from more visibility in terms of where leads stand and who is likely to convert soon, or who needs more attention. Good pipeline management means every sales person is kept in the loop and know exactly what they need to do next.
• Faster and better forecasting and analytics – through machine learning, Sales Cloud produces easy-to-read reports and forecasts for upcoming sales. It also helps you get a better view of the current business situation.
• Increased revenue – with all these features working towards a more streamlined process, the revenue is going up, while the sales team’s time isn’t wasted.
Sell more with the lead-to-customer management features
1.Leads and Campaign management
This tool helps you to track your leads from all marketing sources, assign people to various leads, track the progress with the aim of converting them into opportunities, and then to clients. So, what defines a lead? This is a person/company that has the potential to be your next customer, but for now you aren’t quite sure if they are interested or not. For now, they are just a name and an email or a phone number. It’s up to you to lead them through the path of converting into a customer.
2. Account and Contact Management
After you converted your lead to a client, Sales Cloud allows you to have a complete view of your customers, their activities and touchpoints with your company, including data from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn directly on the CRM screen.
You have information about:
• Accounts - this is a company and this includes all contacts you have from this company. An account can have 10 contacts for example, 10 employees from company X. Apart from the people’s information, here you have lots of useful information about the company too: address, sales revenues, number of employees. You do not need to input all these data manually, since Salesforce integrates with various public data sources, and obtains these automatically
• Contacts – a Lead turns into a Contact when some form of communication has been established. This part of the Sales Cloud has lots of information about previous email communication and other activity, related to this person (e.g. how many times he/she opened e-mails from you, communications with the service team, issues, etc.)
• Opportunities – when a lead has been nurtured and moved to Contacts, it can become an Opportunity for sale. There are many ways to segment sale opportunities according to the stage they have reached in the sales funnel – for example, if they are new, closing soon, if they are above a certain percentage probability of becoming actual sales and so on. Here you can also add numeric values to each opportunity and assign specific people to each one. The options are virtually endless!
• Opportunity management – the ideal tool for managing all aspects of your deals, including stage, estimated completion date, amount, quote generation and more. It’s also a great way to communicate with your sales team, send them congrats on closing opportunities and overview the whole process
Improve efficiency of your sales team
1. Mobile - Your sales people have access to all the information in the system through their mobile phones anytime, anywhere. This way they can make a quote and prepare an offer while being with the client.
2. Email integration – Sales Cloud allows for integration with your favourite email provider so you can easily manage various clients and communications while putting them straight into the CRM
3.Workflow management - Sales Cloud can integrate the entire workflow of the sales process from generating a quote, preparing an offer, getting approvals depending on the authorization of each sales person, manager, etc, up to the generation of contract.
Make better predictions and decisions with the build-in analytics
1.Reports and Dashboards - this is where your data really starts telling a story. You can track various bits of information for various times, contrast and compare them to get the most detailed information about what’s going on in the business.
2.Sales forecasts and predictions - Each sales person have a dashboard where he can see his/her pipeline, deals, predict quarterly and annual goal completion, get suggestions for cross sales or important information about the leads and opportunities from the web.
There are many other things that Sales Cloud offers, apart from the lead management process. Some of them include:
• AppExchange – think of this as what is AppStore for you iPhone. It’s the place where you can get various apps to fulfil different purposes for your business such as DocuSign for digital signatures or Dropbox for bigger file sharing
• Social media integration – you can contact people via social media and run campaigns
• Einstein AI – the AI tool that helps your employees become better at selling and communicating with thorough customer insight, based on the analytics in Sales Cloud. Their own personal data scientist!
There are many other features that allow you to further customise, slice and dice information and manage your business’ processes. Keep in mind that all of this is available on mobile too – so you have access to your Sales Cloud anywhere you go.
If all of this is too overwhelming, we can help bring some clarity! You can drop us a message and ask about what Salesforce can do for your business.
By Ivo Dreshkov, Partner Software Solutions at Next Consult. More about Ivo.
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