People often ask us, “What is Salesforce, and how does it work?” Well, it’s time to set the record straight. Welcome to Salesforce for beginners.
Some of you may be aware of our cloud logo or cute mascots. Or you may have heard how we’re expected to create 5,240 new jobs in South Africa between 2018 and 2024.
But that doesn’t answer the question that led you to this blog: What does Salesforce actually do?
Salesforce brings customers and companies together
That’s Salesforce in a nutshell. But let’s dig deeper into what makes Salesforce, well, Salesforce.
Our journey began in 1999 in a rented one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, where we sought to bring our vision to life. That vision? To be a “world-class internet company for sales force automation.”
Things went well. And today, we help more than 150,000 businesses worldwide, break down their technology silos, and unite everyone around a single customer view.
This means that employees in any department can all tap into the same 360-degree view of the customer no matter where they are. That’s why we call our customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce Customer 360.
79% of marketers in South Africa are using customer data to help improve customer engagement.
So, what makes a single, 360-degree customer view so valuable? Here are just a handful of benefits:
- Stronger customer relationships across every channel
- Faster issue resolution, no matter the complexity
- Easier (and better) personalisation across customer interactions
- Maximised high-value interactions anywhere, every time
Right, but what is Salesforce used for?
We get it. You want to know what this means for your business.
It means that every department in your organisation has the tools they need to build stronger and more authentic customer relationships. The kind that earns you lifelong trust (a rare thing these days) and drives sustainable business growth.
Let’s break it down by department:
- Marketing can personalise messaging for the right people at the ideal time on their favourite channel. It helps improve lead generation, customer acquisition, and upselling opportunities
- Sales can spend less time doing data entry and more time connecting with customers with precise, data-driven, and repeatable workflows
- Commerce can build simple, seamless experiences that help grow revenue, engage customers, and connect with the rest of the business
- Service can deliver the connected, personalised interactions customers expect – across any channel – with help from automation and AI-powered chatbots
- IT can build modern apps to meet employee, partner, and customer needs; increase productivity by automating key processes; and improve scale, transparency, and security with IT solutions
Source: What Does Salesforce Do?
Audience snapshot: the connected customer in South Africa
Following the pandemic, we expect 72% of consumers in South Africa to spend more time online than ever before. What’s more, both customers and business buyers in South Africa are increasingly turning to new channels to interact with brands on their own terms:
- 90% are using online self-service portals
- 81% are using online knowledge bases
- 72% are using online chat and support services
- 72% are using dedicated mobile apps
But remember, digital transformation isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. That’s why we designed Customer 360 to be as flexible as you need it to be.
Whether you want to take advantage of AI-powered analytics or deliver integrated experiences faster – you can. Our global ecosystem of experts and app partners is always ready to help, 24/7.
Sounds great, but what does this look like in action?
We help South African companies like yours give their customers the kind of connected digital experiences they love. But we think it’s about time we let one of our customer stories do the talking.
RAM Hand-to-Hand Couriers is a family business in South Africa with more than 3,000 employees. And to its knowledge, it’s the only courier brand in the region that doesn’t subcontract its customer’s deliveries to third parties.
With over 1,500 active clients, including major corporations and retailers, RAM has built a dedicated following that treats it more like a trusted partner than a commodity service. In return, RAM aims to treat every interaction as if it is the one and only.
“Customer service is one of our big differentiators, which is why we set a strategic goal to never lose a customer,” says Steven Friedman, CIO at RAM. “And to help give every customer a wow experience, we knew we needed to implement a CRM.”
After researching the competition, RAM settled on Salesforce, initially deploying it as an out-of-the-box sales solution. But it didn’t take long for Steven and his team to discover more value from the solution.
“We were very surprised by what we could achieve with Salesforce,” says Steven. “Today, we’re looking at modernising our entire tech stack and implementing a workflow engine with standardised processes, to help ensure compliance.”
Since deployment, RAM has:
- Improved customer visibility for management, which can now take proactive steps to improve the customer service experience
- Created an environment where everything is measured and logged in a single, shared platform
- Ensured all escalations, actions, and tasks are automatically allocated to the right people
- Enabled its employees to meet changing customer requirements quickly in an agile, data-driven way
So what does Salesforce do? Provides a 360-view of your customers
Over the last 20 years, customers’ expectations for companies like yours have grown astronomically. In fact, 89% of consumers in South Africa say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products and services (see the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer report).
It’s become less about what you offer your customers and more about when, where, why, and how you reach them. And as customer trust has never been more fleeting, it’s so important to understand what they want from you, and when and where they need it – sometimes even before they know it themselves.
Deliver the experiences they expect, and you’ll earn their loyalty. But we know this isn’t easy for everyone. Disparate and siloed data can stop you from getting the right insights into the right hands. At the same time, a lack of centralised visibility can make it difficult to know how to deliver the experiences your customers expect.
Customer 360 was purpose-built to tackle these issues by smashing the silos that stop you from achieving your customer-first potential and paving the way for lifelong customer trust and competitive growth.
Meet the Slack-first Customer 360
Bring sales, service, marketing, commerce, IT, and analytics together through digital workflows!