We’ve been hearing all about CRM for years now, right?
So why has messaging around customer relationship management, and the CRM tools and platforms that support it, not simply faded into the background? Surely organisations have all been implementing relationship management systems and databases that help satisfy the wants and needs of their customers.
Actually, it has a lot to do with the customers themselves, and the momentous change in expectation they have undergone whilst navigating a digital-first world.
Customers expect cohesive, personalised digital services
Our recent State of the Connected Customer report revealed much of this change. Perhaps the headline statistic to come out of the research, with 12,000 consumers and 3,600 business buyers globally, is that 88% of customers expect companies to accelerate digital innovation due to COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, 54% say it feels as if sales teams, customer service and marketing don’t share information and 65% say they often have to repeat or re-explain information to different representatives of a business.
CRM is essential to meet and exceed customer expectations
Clearly, digital-first behaviour is here to stay, and expectations around it are high. That’s why the importance of a world-class CRM system has only increased over time. Customers aren’t what they used to be. They will continue to change and evolve.
The only way to keep up is with relevant customer data in real-time. That’s what customer relationship management is all about. As the future of work is decentralised, it’s increasingly essential that CRM solutions are hosted in the cloud, offering access from anywhere and at any time, on any device.
This is where Salesforce CRM comes in.
What is Salesforce?
Salesforce CRM is the world’s #1 CRM. In a digital age, Salesforce CRM brings companies and customers together, uniting teams within those businesses around each customer. In doing so, this leading CRM platform helps businesses get closer to and focus on their customers.
Over the past 20 years, Salesforce has been integral to the digital transformations of many of the world’s leading businesses, large and small. Salesforce CRM products have been trusted to lead customers through innovation and change.
What does Salesforce stand for?
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from getting closer to our own customers, and helping them get closer to theirs, it’s that trust has to be earned.
In fact, the latest State of the Connected Customer report told us 42% of customers don’t trust companies to tell the truth, and 36% don’t trust companies to act with customers’ best interests in mind.
So it’s only right that we at Salesforce discuss who we are.
Whether they’re used as sales management software, to personalise commerce platforms, as an enabler of marketing automation, for personalised customer service, or for other business process management purposes, Salesforce products share the end goal of bringing businesses closer to their customers.
Salesforce is committed to a deep and core set of values. They are:
We take these very seriously.
Equality of every human being
Equality is part of everything we do. It’s at the core of how we run our business and this makes us a better company and community.
We’re committed to having a positive impact on:
We believe business is the single greatest platform for change.
If we can achieve our lofty goals and help our own customers to do the same, we will have a powerful, positive impact on our community.
What is Salesforce CRM?
Salesforce CRM is not a single product. That’s because in business, one size does not fit all.
Instead, it’s a collection of powerful, cloud-hosted and data-driven solutions that our customers bring together on one platform, forming the all-important single source of truth.
Salesforce Customer 360, our vision for digital success, enables all teams – including sales, service, marketing, IT, analytics and more – to share a real-time, single view of customer data. This means collaboration is not just easy, it’s the only way.
Salesforce solutions introduce automation, meaning previously time-consuming and repetitive tasks become a thing of the past. Best of all, they are powered by AI. Important insights, customised for each user and always focussed on customer success, are identified and presented in a user-friendly format.
Key Salesforce CRM solutions cover:
- sales management – every step of the way
- customer service – exceptional, personalised experience
- marketing – automated and personalised, across multiple channels and touchpoints
- ecommerce – develop meaningful customer relationships
- analytics – help your people see, understand and action customer and business data
- data integration – create smarter, connected experiences by integrating data from other systems into the one platform
- enterprise platform – develop engaging, smart apps for customers, employees and partners
It all adds up to the fact that Salesforce Customer 360 solutions provide businesses with the tools to connect with their customers and provide customers with seamless, personalised, trusted experiences.
Salesforce CRM tools unite teams around their customers at every touchpoint.
What are the benefits of Salesforce CRM to enterprise businesses?
For businesses of any size there’s a Salesforce CRM solution to bring them closer to their customers and, along the way, to delight those customers with personalised experience.
Let’s look into how this works for large organisations that prior to the digital revolution had little chance of keeping up with the customer experience offered by smaller businesses.
What is the challenge for enterprise?
Across every industry, organisations are facing massive disruption in a business environment that is changing at pace.
Many are still struggling to meet their digital customers in the right place and at the right time. Those digital customers, at the same time, are constantly being reminded of trust issues that exist around data security and privacy. The fourth edition of the State of the Connected Customer report tells us 47% of customers believe most companies don’t use personal information to their customers’ benefit.
Only 27% of customers completely understand how companies use their personal information, and that’s a serious problem. But it’s also an opportunity.
So how can Salesforce help?
How can enterprise do better with digital?
For many large organisations, legacy customer systems present a challenge. Their systems and data are disconnected and don’t offer a single source of customer truth.
At the same time, for the first time in history entire workforces are having to be powered remotely, further adding to the challenge. Those without distributed cloud tools are having a particularly difficult time.
Salesforce can help to bridge the digital divide, quickly and efficiently.
Automation removes much of the time-consuming and repetitive work, and ensures customers receive relevant, personalised messaging at the right time and in the right place.
Communications, meticulously planned through individual customer journeys, are endlessly scalable as markets change and grow, thanks to the fact that the Salesforce platform and its solutions are hosted in the cloud.
Automation and AI
From lead, prospect and pipeline management to proactive customer service solutions and client management insights, Salesforce tools save administrative and management time, liberating staff to do higher-value work whilst eliminating human error.
Decisions are informed by real-time data and market intelligence, rather than historical numbers on spreadsheets.
Sourcing their customer data from a single source of truth, all departments and functions work collaboratively. From the customer point of view, it provides a cohesive, consistent experience. They sense how well the business knows them, increasing loyalty and trust.
For more detailed information, discover the six greatest benefits of CRM platforms.
Customer success story: Fisher & Paykel
When customers wanted to connect on more channels and staff needed better tools and information, the time had come at Fisher & Paykel for technological transformation.
It began with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to engage consumers and personalise communications. This built out the single source of customer data truth.
The business is now developing several other tools on their Salesforce platform to automate and streamline quoting, collaboration with retailers and customer self-service.
Perhaps the most powerful outcome is the fact that the technology has enabled the Fisher & Paykel team to become more human.
“Our partnership with Salesforce means the technology is less of the focus and we can concentrate more on the customer, more on our people, more on our product,” says Rudi Khoury, EVP, Marketing & Digital Transformation, Fisher & Paykel. “That’s really where the advantage is for us.”
Cloud software: What is it and why is it better for CRM?
Most services we use today, from email to music streaming to the TV we watch, are hosted in the cloud.
What is the cloud? The term refers to servers that are accessed online, via the internet.
Previously, we’d need a physical or local connection to a server to share software and documents on particular computers. Cloud computing allows us complete freedom of access. We can use and share software (cloud-hosted software is often known as Software as a Service, or SaaS), apps and information from anywhere and on any device, at any time. Find out more about cloud computing here.
Another benefit is that updates to software occur in the background, continuously and automatically. Every time you use cloud-hosted software, you’re using the latest and greatest version. It’s that simple.
Why is cloud best for CRM?
As customers of all industries, from retail to financial services, from healthcare to consumer goods, shift online in droves, they expect brands to be available to them in every channel and at any time. This includes in-person, email, social, SMS, phone, chat and more.
Across all touchpoints, customers expect consistency.
When they walk into a store, customers expect the salesperson to be aware of the email conversation they had with the sales team a week ago. When they connect via online chat, they expect the service agent to know which product they last purchased.
This integration and connectivity of information is made possible by a real-time, single source of customer data truth. If it’s not hosted in the cloud, if all teams aren’t dipping into the same data pool, the customer will have a disconnected and therefore disappointing experience.
Cloud CRM success stories
Here are some enterprises that have leveraged Salesforce CRM for customer success.
1. Telstra customer data integration
Australia’s largest telco integrated 100 years’ worth of customer data to enable more than 20,000 frontline agents to share a single view of each customer.
2. Foxtel’s omni-channel success
As customers increasingly desired service interaction over digital channels, FOXTEL delivered a seamless and heavily streamlined, omni-channel, online experience, all managed on a single platform.
3. Australian Radio Network streamlined processes
Advertising campaign collaboration, once managed by email and spreadsheet, was centralised and streamlined across all departments and functions. This brought powerful flexibility, transparency and sharing of ideas and expertise.
4. Cotton On builds loyalty through customer experience
Using Commerce Cloud, Cotton On has quickly built up its international, multichannel capability, switching on 10 websites in 12 months and transforming customer experience along the way.
Learning the Salesforce software lingo (ie CPQ, Clouds, Trailblazers)
There is a little software lingo in the Salesforce world. Here are some of the most common terms you’ll want to get your head around:
Cloud: This refers to servers that are accessed via the internet, allowing freedom of access from anywhere on any device and at any time.
Trailblazers: At Salesforce, this is our term for pioneers and innovators who not only drive the future of technology but also give back to their communities.
Pardot: A powerful marketing automation solution for B2B organisations of any size.
CPQ: ‘Configure, price, quote’ refers to software, such as Salesforce CPQ, that immediately and accurately provides customer pricing for any configuration of a product or service.
Salesforce AppExchange: Offering thousands of apps and services that extend Salesforce solutions, AppExchange is the Salesforce marketplace.
Omnichannel: This simply refers to a multi-channel approach to sales that is seamless whether the customer is online, in store, on the phone, on a mobile device, on email, etc.
Einstein: Our comprehensive AI for CRM, Einstein is an integrated set of technologies that makes your solutions smarter.
Opportunity: Representing potential future sales, opportunities are deals in progress that can be tracked and used to forecast sales.
Lead scoring: This is the automatic scoring of inbound leads, to let sales teams know which are the most interested in your product or service.
Object: Salesforce objects are database tables that can store standard or custom data, and from which reports, activities and more can be launched.
What makes Salesforce the best CRM software for enterprise?
Salesforce has earned the position of the world’s #1 CRM through a deep focus on customer success. In doing so, it provides a customer relationship management platform that brings departments and teams together around a single source of customer data truth.
The broad choice of cloud-hosted CRM tools on the Salesforce platform make a customised CRM implementation strategy a powerful reality at any scale. Other solutions within and around the Salesforce environment, including in the AppExchange, further extend the opportunity to boost customer experience and business results.
With a Salesforce CRM solution, customers notice the difference. It’s nothing more than they expect.