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With Salesforce, BlueFort Security is strengthening its customer relationships across sales, service and marketing.
Cybersecurity is increasingly critical for organizations of all shapes and sizes. The costs and potential causes of a breach multiply every day, and effective prevention requires a specific, targeted response to a unique threat profile.
BlueFort Security take a relationship-based approach to cybersecurity. They use Salesforce to build a 360 view of every customer in order to fully understand their needs and deliver truly bespoke and robust security services.
“We’re specialists in a world of generalists,” says Ian Jennings, Managing Director of BlueFort Security. “Our specialism is in delivering cybersecurity solutions that add business value. Salesforce’s specialism is optimising business operations in service of stronger customer relationships. In short, Salesforce helps us do what we do best, even better.”
And just as BlueFort’s customers realise more business value from cybersecurity as time passes, BlueFort is realising compounding benefits from its Salesforce relationship as each year goes by, as Jennings explains:
“With every additional Salesforce solution we use, our ambition grows. The more we integrate, the more insight we get into our business – and the more areas of the business we identify as candidates for optimisation.”
Sales Cloud forges stronger customer relationships – even in a pandemic.
Cybersecurity buyers are often well-informed and naturally skeptical. That makes for a high-touch, relationship-driven sales cycle that's grounded in trust, transparency and credibility. It takes time to build up trust, and so scaling this sort of relationship is challenging. But BlueFort has the right solution for the job in Salesforce.
”Over the years, we've been able to unlock Salesforce's enormous potential to help our sales and service teams forge stronger, mutually valuable customer relationships, grounded in deep credibility," says Jennings.
For instance, Salesforce helps BlueFort’s salespeople to create a 360 customer view of multiple stakeholders within complex enterprise opportunities.
“We’ve integrated Outlook with Einstein, so contacts entered into Outlook are automatically pulled into the Sales Cloud,” explains Jennings. “These contacts can be tagged as relevant to a particular opportunity, which helps Einstein weigh the opportunity by analysing the cadence of communications between the salesperson and the customer contact.”
And with Sales Cloud, BlueFort’s salespeople can nurture all of its customer relationships, no matter how multi-dimensional, from anywhere.
“We used to build a lot of relationships face-to-face,” Jennings continues, “but thanks to Sales Cloud, the pandemic hasn’t created distance between us and our customers. Our sales team can keep building relationships within our customer accounts remotely.”
It’s easier to sell products strategically with Salesforce CPQ.
BlueFort serve customers through an ‘entitlements’ model – a vast selection of cybersecurity services and engagements that customers consume as their needs evolve. Historically, salespeople used paper-based processes to track entitlements and prompt customers to use services at given times, such as when a customer needs to upgrade their technology.
And then the lockdown happened, and everything changed.
“When we were forced out of the office in March, we obviously couldn’t rely on paper-based sales documentation anymore,” says Jennings. “And that gave us the space to look harder at our manual business processes through a Salesforce lens. We quickly realised that there was a more efficient way to do things.”
Now everything happens in Sales Cloud. Entitlements can be easily tracked, and BlueFort’s salespeople are using Salesforce CPQ to quickly tailor complex packages around customer’s specific strategic needs.
“The old process involved a number of manual data-entry touches,” says Jennings. “Aside from being time-consuming, these processes were at risk of human error. Salesforce means we can accelerate opportunities more efficiently, while effectively eliminating data inconsistencies.”
BlueFort also uses DocuSign – a Salesforce plugin from the AppExchange – to track contracts, documents, signatures and contacts across the business, helping to streamline the quoting process.
The company also uses a RingCentral VOIP integration to enable its people to be truly location independent (which has proven to be vital during the pandemic).
“The AppExchange ecosystem is hugely important to us,” says Jennings. “We’re using 20+ plugins at the moment. The first question we ask now when we intend to use an application is ‘does it integrate with Salesforce?’”
With Service Cloud, customers are getting better support, faster.
BlueFort deal with 500+ active contracts at any one time; Salesforce brings all those contracts into a single view. This visibility helps BlueFort’s support team as much as its sales team.
Service agents can easily access insights into customers, including what systems they’re using, their entitlements and their previous cases to help contextualise enquiries and accelerate troubleshooting.
BlueFort used Knowledge Base to build up a huge repository of fault resolution documentation that service agents use to assist customers in real time. The company also integrated Knowledge Base with Einstein so agents receive on-the-fly suggestions for resolutions as they type.
Features like this explain how Service Cloud has already helped reduce the average time-to-respond from 40 to 20 minutes. In fact, when customers contact BlueFort via real-time channels such as WhatsApp or live chat, the typical response rate is under two minutes.
And Salesforce makes customer service easier for BlueFort’s customers, too. With Digital Engagement in place, customers can raise support tickets through a range of convenient, real-time digital channels, such as WhatsApp and LiveChat.
As for self-service, customers can log in (via the Customer Community portal) to the customer-facing Knowledge Base, which BlueFort is continually expanding. The company plans to put parts of this in the public domain, so that customers don’t even have to log in to troubleshoot common issues.
Pardot supports sales with targeted, joined-up messaging.
In 2019, BlueFort scaled up its marketing function to support the company’s growth. Hannah Baker was brought in as Marketing Manager – and Baker introduced in Pardot as an integrated marketing tool.
“BlueFort is fundamentally a customer-driven organisation,” says Baker, “To be successful, our salespeople have to build strong relationships with the relevant experts they’re selling to. We use Pardot to support those relationships.”
For instance, BlueFort leverages the automation offered by Pardot to alert account managers of customer activity so they can personally follow up with customers. The company also runs targeted marketing campaigns with personalised, relevant messaging.
Pardot also gives BlueFort more control over the messaging and cadence used by its partner network. “In the past, partners have tended to hand-off to us late in the customer journey – the first-time customers heard the name BlueFort was at the end of their journey. With Pardot, we introduce BlueFort into the conversation from the first touchpoint, which means we’re giving warmer leads to the account managers,” says Baker.
During the lockdown, Pardot has also made it possible for BlueFort to keep its events-based marketing alive, with online events that let sales teams continue to capitalise on their interpersonal and presentational skills. Now, instead of staging bi-annual face-to-face events, BlueFort can host smaller events online on a monthly basis.
“Pardot has streamlined our event sign up process hugely “We launched a new website in June 2020, and we’ve embedded Pardot forms into it which customers can fill in to sign up to events directly.”
“Our account managers are automatically notified when a customer has signed up to an event, and the customer or prospect receives automated confirmations, event details and reminders.”