“We wanted to grow and evolve as quickly as possible, so we needed a CRM platform that would scale with us. We need to practice what we preach, so understanding our own customers and building strong relationships with them is vital for successful growth.”
The company started using Salesforce, the world's #1 CRM company and Intelligent Customer Success Platform in 2011. “Salesforce was the natural choice for us – not only does it satisfy our functional requirements, it also integrates with our other systems easily,” said Priemer. “Many of our customers also use Salesforce alongside our advocacy solutions so integration with CRM helps boost the value of both platforms.”
For example, new sales leads generated through a customer’s advocate community can be automatically attributed in Salesforce CRM so that the effects of their campaigns are clearly measured. “Many of our customers have discovered millions of dollars of sales pipeline and downstream revenue they’ve directly linked back to specific advocate programs and campaigns,” said Priemer. Even better, they’ve also discovered huge cohorts of previously silent fans within their customer community that they were never even aware of.”
Influitive can also integrate with Community Cloud, which enables companies to create online destinations to interact with customers, employees and partners in a branded and personalized environment. Through these communities, Influitive is able to discover and nurture new advocates to help their customers promote their brand. “Having an online community, makes it easy to tap into and engage large sets of potential advocates. For example, AdvocatedAnywhere, our simple embeddable widget helps companies learn about their advocates and gauge interest in performing variety of helpful actions from participating in a case study or Net Promoter survey, speaking at an event, or even providing product feedback.”
Influitive recently used their own advocate community to get feedback on a new sales pitch. “We wanted to know what customers thought of some of our new positioning and within hours we got really valuable feedback from dozens of customers. Our community not only continues to be an indispensable resource for us, but the solution helps us build stronger customer relationships and grow our pool of advocates,” added Priemer.
Besides integration with its advocacy platform, Influitive uses Salesforce internally to help drive growth and support innovation. Sales Cloud captures customer data, tracks opportunities, and manages renewals. “Influitive’s relationship with the customer starts with the very first outreach or advocate referral and continues past the sale, all the way through to contract renewal,” explained Priemer. “A single view throughout this lifecycle is vital to ensuring a consistent and frictionless customer experience as different teams get involved.”
With Salesforce, Influitive’s sales and senior management team has the visibility it needs to identify potential bottlenecks in the sales cycle and take action to eliminate them. “We now have greater insight into the sales pipeline and ways we can better serve our customers during the buying process– all this helps us close deals faster.”
These insights have helped Influitive increase sales 10-fold in the last two years. And as deals have got bigger, thanks to Salesforce the sales cycle lengths have remained the same.
Forecasting is also more accurate, Priemer explained, “I can see how we’re doing against our targets, and the steps needed to bring our deals to fruition. And with Salesforce1 Mobile App, I can do all of this while I’m on the road.”