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Customer experience covers the entire buyer journey, from prospects all the way to customers who advocate for you. It has to work across the board for every person that you interact with. Every touchpoint you have with your customer is an opportunity to engage further and deeper: emails, phone calls, videos, or downloads from your website.

Regardless of stage in the sales cycle, you need to capture information from all of those sources and begin creating a complete view of your customer. You also need to provide value to your customer at each of those connection points. Buyers will pay for an excellent experience and they will select whichever vendor provides it, even if they cost more.

Most sales processes aren’t completely connected between pipeline generation and opportunity management, which blocks customer information from flowing seamlessly through the cycle and prevents you from providing buyers with the best experience possible. Disconnected systems and disrupted processes cause your sales teams to suffer from lower productivity, poor data quality, and an inability to forecast.

Low productivity and poor data quality also affect your customer, which affects your business. When data is siloed, you aren’t able to build strong relationships with your customers. Every time a customer interacts with a new person at your company, it’s like you’ve never heard of them. Multiply this over several touchpoints (sales, service, communities), and the customer is likely to drift away. Ultimately, business is lost.

Now not only are you fighting an uphill battle with reporting and forecasting difficulties, you’re also dealing with higher customer attrition!

The takeaway? You have to connect your sales processes in order to deliver a better customer experience, and you need sales intelligence and productivity tools at each stage of the cycle.

The solutions you select to help connect and automate your selling processes will have a huge impact on your customer experience and the success of your business. Simply put, here are 4 areas where automation can help you drive operational excellence to accelerate your sales cycle and maximize revenue!

1. Increase Rep Productivity and Sell Faster from Anywhere

A key ingredient to success for your sales org is turning more opportunities into closed business, faster. Having everything in one place makes people more productive. Empower reps by removing obstacles to selling and giving them all the information they need, right at their fingertips. Allow them to send emails, log calls, and track activities, all from the same place, and make this data actionable. Providing powerful mobile access to your entire CRM will allow your reps to work productively from anywhere.

2. Build a Complete View of Your Customer

Throughout the customer lifecycle, you have to continue breaking down data silos. Once a prospect becomes a customer, it's more important than ever to serve them with the right support and communication. You can continually engage and service them beyond the close with features such as intuitive case management and self-service communities. It’s possible for customer information to flow seamlessly through every aspect of a platform, so you can rest assured that key insights are always available. That way, you’re always working on building a 360-degree view of your customer, and you’re bringing to light cross-sell and upsell opportunities as they appear.

3. Accelerate Deals through Your Pipeline

One of the most common selling frustrations is that outdated or disconnected CPQ tools are delaying the sales cycle. CPQ projects were expensive in the past; it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build custom solutions. Now, CPQ is brought to the masses with a new focus on powerful out of the box functionality. With the right CPQ, customers and sales reps alike are able to enjoy a faster and more seamless closing experience. Quickly and accurately configure products and pricing, send out sales quotes, create branded proposals in seconds, customize and deliver contracts with clicks, manage orders and provisioning, and streamline approval processes to accelerate deals through your pipeline. Enable your partners to do the same with integrated partner communities!

4. Set a Foundation for Long-Term Sales Success

Powerful out-of-the-box functionality is important, but every company is different. It’s also important to have a platform that you can customize to meet your specific needs, and that allows you to scale quickly. You want to be able to extend core capabilities easily and know that your data is still safe and protected. You should be able to quickly customize any existing app or page layout and add in custom fields, all using point and click.

So, where are you feeling the pain of a disconnected sales cycle?

Maybe your reps aren’t as productive as they could be. Maybe important information about your customer is falling through the cracks. Maybe your quoting and proposal processes are delaying your sales cycle and inaccuracies are beginning to affect revenue. Maybe you’re feeling a lack of insight into your business, or maybe you just know your current systems won’t continue to scale the way you need them to.

We can fix that!

More than 150K companies across all segments, industries, and regions are using Salesforce to accelerate their sales process. Our customers employ the world’s best sales teams, and we continuously learn from their expertise to drive innovation. Feedback is channeled into three major releases every year, so we are always delivering new features for you to take advantage of (for free!).

Our trusted cloud infrastructure allows us to run all of your technology for you, rolling out updates automatically so you can scale up users, deploy mobile, or automate a business process with out-of-the-box point and click functionality. Here at Salesforce, we are always making improvements in order to get you the latest and greatest technology, enabling the continued success of your customers and your business.