With Salesforce, we can plan, forecast, sell, and market better. It’s like finding the holy grail of CRM.”

Vijayant Dhaka | Senior Vice President, ValueFirst

ValueFirst infuses joy into customer experiences with Salesforce

Today’s connected customers want to be engaged by brands in real time and on the channels of their choice. ValueFirst enables billions of these kinds of interactions every month.

Founded in 2003, ValueFirst is one of India’s leading communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) providers. The Twilio-owned company connects businesses with consumers across telecom and internet channels, including SMS, voice, chatbots, email, and WhatsApp. Its communication platform is used by over 3,000 customers, including Google, IndiGo, Tata Motors, P&G, Info Edge, and Axis Bank.

“ValueFirst is like your friendly neighbourhood postman, delivering messages from businesses to consumers in a fast, intelligent, and cost-effective way,” says Vishwadeep Bajaj, CEO at ValueFirst. “We make conversations easy and joyful.”

This approach of enriching customer connections is carried over into ValueFirst’s own customer engagement and sales strategies.

“We want every customer to feel valued – to have a seamless experience at every touchpoint,” says Shoury Gupta, Head of Marketing and Pre-Sales at ValueFirst. “That means our sales and marketing processes have to be top-notch.”

A wake-up call for sales and marketing

ValueFirst’s previous CRM solution didn’t integrate well with other enterprise applications, limiting its use and scalability. Sales and marketing teams ended up using different tools to solve different use cases.

“Our earlier approach was chaotic,” says Gupta. “Data was unorganised and duplicated across systems. So, the sales team couldn’t respond to leads fast enough. They would chase various departments with half-filled spreadsheets, searching for the right information.”

With customer data locked in silos, the different lines of business were slow to identify opportunities for cross-selling and upselling.

Reporting was also time-consuming, as four different business lines had to manually create four different reports. Management often found these disparate spreadsheets, presentations, and charts difficult to understand.

“Our sales teams and customer volumes were growing every week,” says Himanshu Kumar, President – Key Initiatives and Strategy at ValueFirst. “We needed a smart CRM solution to streamline the flow of information cross-functionally, so that we could understand and act faster on customer needs.”

That solution turned out to be Salesforce.

“In our search for a sales-centric platform, nothing came close to Salesforce,” says Gupta. “From its inbuilt sales quotation features, to its 360-degree customer view, Salesforce was a clear winner.”

Selling and engaging the faster, smarter way

Today, ValueFirst uses Salesforce Sales Cloud to manage its entire sales pipeline. Teams can capture and consolidate leads from multiple channels – social media, Google ads, the website, and WhatsApp chatbots – on a single platform for optimal visibility. 

The company has built a smart routing workflow that maps sales teams to geographies, business lines, and products. So, as soon as a lead comes in, it can be routed to the right sales rep. 

“Previously, it took us 7-8 hours to respond to a lead or opportunity,” says Kumar. “But now, workflows are so streamlined that leads are contacted within a few minutes of them showing interest. This has translated into a 21% increase in conversions.”

A unified view of prospect interactions helps teams sell better and faster. In fact, sales efficiency has improved by over 20% in the past six months.

ValueFirst also uses Salesforce Pardot to nurture leads intelligently. Custom workflows built on the platform automatically “drip” relevant content to prospects or customers based on which stage of the pipeline they’re at.

“By delivering useful and targeted content exactly when our customers need it, we’re able to inspire real engagement,” says Gupta.

Deepening connections: Turning first-time buyers into repeat customers

Having a common CRM platform also makes it easier for the pre-sales team to work closely on opportunities, and be on the lookout for cross-sell and upsell entry points.

“One of India’s largest public sector unit banks had previously purchased our SMS product,” says Gupta. “With a shared view of the customer on Salesforce, our email business line could proactively upsell a new email automation solution to them.”

But sales isn’t ValueFirst’s only objective. A single source of customer truth also helps pre-sales, sales, and marketing teams collaborate seamlessly to deliver engaging customer experiences.

“When there’s a new prospect, the marketing team can immediately invite them for a podcast, even as the pre-sales team sets up a call to understand the prospect’s requirements,” says Kumar. “This kind of coordinated customer engagement wasn’t possible before Salesforce.” 

Adds Gupta, “With better visibility into our customers’ social media handles, we can wish them for special occasions, or congratulate them when they join a new company. Essentially, we’re able to build customer relationships that go beyond the transactional.”

Enriching management conversations with real-time metrics

Powerful reporting tools give business leaders real-time visibility into sales metrics across the four business lines.  

“Earlier, our best sales reps would spend two days creating reports,” says Gupta. “Now, we can instantly access the data we need on Salesforce dashboards.”

Already, 85% of sales reps and marketers are using Salesforce on a daily basis. 

“With Salesforce, we can plan, forecast, sell, and market better,” says Vijayant Dhaka, Senior Vice President at ValueFirst. “It’s like finding the holy grail of CRM.”

To implement Salesforce, ValueFirst turned to Manras Technologies, a trusted Salesforce consulting partner. “Our experience with Manras was fantastic,” says Gupta. “They were always open to incorporating feedback and making changes.

“In fact, they won the APAC MM+ Implementation Partner of the Year ‘21 Award for the ValueFirst project.”

Transforming the future of communication

As digital customer engagement evolves, ValueFirst is gearing up for faster business growth. 

“The biggest industry opportunity right now is to build a single API that can unite all communication channels, including SMS, voice, chatbot, and email,” says Bajaj. “We’re excited to see where that takes us.”

The company also wants to expand the Salesforce platform into a do-it-yourself tool. So, marketers can go in and build a chatbot without knowing a single line of code. Or, a customer looking for an SMS solution can directly use plug-ins on the platform instead of implementing a separate product.

“With Salesforce, the possibilities are endless,” says Gupta. “We look forward to exploring more features and integrations that will help us automate business processes all day, every day.”


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