If you’re new to Salesforce, a prospective user, or want to know more about how the technology can optimise your business, this FAQs article can help to answer your queries about the world’s number one CRM platform.
What is Salesforce?
According to Salesforce themselves, “Salesforce is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform for supercharging every part of your company that interacts with customers — including marketing, sales, commerce, service, and more.”
Used by more than 150,000 organisations worldwide, Salesforce is a cloud-based system with standalone applications for sales, customer service and marketing among Salesforce’s comprehensive product suite.
Salesforce is a great tool for businesses of all sizes that are looking for a simple and secure way to store their customer data and generate leads and sales opportunities. It’s also a useful platform for overseeing marketing campaigns and interacting with customers throughout all stages of their journey.
What does Salesforce offer?
Designed to service all aspects of the modern business, Salesforce houses multiple product trees. As the products are cloud-based, they can be seamlessly integrated with external applications, such as:
- Social media
- Microsoft Office
- CMS (content management systems)
With the advantage of being completely customisable, Salesforce allows users to build their own bespoke solution that meets the specific needs of their business.
For users, Salesforce can help to make the most of detailed customer accounts and contact management. From this, users can make informed sales decisions based on customer purchase history, notes and other documents shared internally by other team members, as well as insights gained from social media.
The built-in Einstein AI module can track where a lead originated from, scores it and uses that to inform which products and/ or services are the most appropriate. Moreover, Einstein identifies the opportune time to approach potential and repeat customers, ensuring users catch the lead at the most appropriate time.
Salesforce’s sophisticated dashboard enables users to create custom sales forecasting reports, as well as tracking the wider team’s performance. Sales Cloud is also extended to the Salesforce mobile application, accessible via smartphone or tablet, making it easier to log, visualise, and utilise sales data when you’re on the go. Sales Cloud oversees all aspects of the process, from lead generation through to a sale, to then using that data to inform of future activity.
In the modern world, customers are looking for immediate solutions to their problems. To assist this, Service Cloud provides a system to enable high-quality customer service. The focus of Service Cloud is on gathering all customer communication in one place, enabling easy access to customer queries and previous internal communication; this allows any team member to respond rapidly to a customer regardless of whom the customer was first in contact with. Service Cloud additionally provides the ability to manage a reputation online through tracking and responding to mentions online. A customisable experience also means companies can adapt the system to suit their processes.
Direct contact from customers is logged in Service Cloud as ‘cases’, regardless of whether they are queries or complaints. The aim of this service is to decrease the handling time for each ‘case’, which Service Cloud smartly suggesting the most effective ways to do this. Either through pre-prepared templates to send quickly to customers or introducing workflows to allow automated responses, Service Cloud is there to ensure customer relationships are maintained.
With social customer service, users can monitor and respond to customer posts across all major social networks. Particularly useful for large businesses that use contact centres for customer service, Service Cloud also invites the integration with telephony.
As a solution to building and tracking customer journeys, Salesforce offers Marketing Cloud. Marketing Cloud will analyse individual customer profiles to inform the user of what type of person they’re dealing with, and the best way to transform an interaction into a sale for the particular individual. Whether it’s through liking a social post, opening a mailshot or interacting with a piece of content online, Marketing Cloud creates the best outcome.
With the Pardot application, B2B marketing automation is made possible. This sees the sales and marketing data combined into one single portal, making visualising and analysing business data much simpler. Via various creation studios housed within the Marketing Cloud, users have the ability to customise their marketing efforts in detail.
Here, you can draft social posts, schedule and analyse through Social Studio, and create mailshots which are cleverly distributed through Email Studio. Additionally, Advertising Studio identifies the most effective forms of digital advertising for the user, while suggesting ways to tailor campaigns in order to maximise return.
Continuing the theme with Salesforce products, data-driven insights are made through Marketing Cloud’s integration with other services in the Salesforce suite.
What are the requirements for Salesforce?
As previously mentioned, Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM platform. This means there are no minimum system requirements, in the way that an on-premise CRM solution would. However, internet connectivity is required and the Salesforce online application is only compatible with the following browsers:
- Google Chrome
- Apple Safari
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Mozilla Firefox
Who uses Salesforce and why?
Salesforce is a popular CRM solution across a vast range of industries and can be used by all branches of a business to gain, retain and satisfy customers. It’s just as valuable for effective data administration as it is for identifying new business opportunities.
Regardless of the size of a business, the platform can be utilised by all roles within the sales spectrum. If sales are at the core of a business, the insight, forecasting and reporting features of Sales Cloud will provide every advantage to a sales team.
Shifting to a different area of business, Marketing Cloud provides the opportunity to create, schedule and tailor marketing campaigns to offer custom content for new and existing customers. It’s a valuable tool for:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- B2B marketing automation
- Digital advertising
- Organic search
Practically all roles across digital marketing, which is a highly effective form of marketing in today’s digital world.
Customer service culture is changing, which is why Service Cloud empowers staff to keep track of customer interactions, before engaging in the quickest and most effective resolutions. Salesforces integration with telephony also makes it a brilliant solution for businesses using contact centres.
How can it help businesses to grow?
Ultimately, Salesforce is a conversion-centric platform and can help businesses to grow by increasing sales.
Salesforce generates a higher volume of sales leads through intelligent marketing, before managing and nurturing those leads until the opportune time to approach the customer.
Initially, Salesforce generates a higher volume of sales leads through intelligent marketing. It then allows you to manage and nurture these leads until the opportune time to approach the customer. Once the sale is made, Salesforce utilises the information to inform future marketing and sales efforts.
Salesforce is a constant cycle of sourcing data to improve future processes.
For organisations, customer retention is highly important, and positive customer experience is vital for repeat business.
To support this, Salesforce offers exceptional customer service solutions, with emphasis on enabling quick and easy access to all customer communications. Providing such access ensures that no matter the stage of communication, any team member can easily pick up on the case with all prior communication documented.
By streamlining business processes, Salesforce is profoundly valuable for increasing productivity. This enables staff to focus more of their time on their job role, rather than on data administration or analysis. Therefore, resources can be invested in more sales staff (or other valuable roles) who will provide value to the organisation, as opposed to hiring additional team members to support.
Does Salesforce have Security?
Data protection and cloud security are more important now than ever, particularly with the introduction of GDPR.
FairWarning, Salesforce’s security specialists, recently released an industry-first cloud visibility report. Designed to provide insights into users’ activity in the cloud, using data from nearly 50 companies monitoring over 18,000 users, the report found:
Among businesses monitoring for security, 36% are focusing on export activity, 22% on report activity and 19% on login activity.
API access and changes to security controls are emerging areas in security monitoring.
27% of organisations focused on usage as well as “top user” activity.
What is Salesforce Marketing Automation and Pardot?
If the status as the world’s number one CRM wasn’t enough, Salesforce was recently positioned as a Leader in its 2018 Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management by Gartner. Salesforce was recognised for its completeness of vision and ability to execute, with Pardot highlighted as a key offering in its product suite.
Pardot enables marketing and sales team to work together easier than before. Through innovative lead management capabilities (including AI-powered lead scoring), lead nurturing and lead routing, Salesforce delivers smarter and more personalised customer experiences. A key factor for both sales and marketing personnel.
Michael Kostow, SVP & GM, Salesforce Pardot said: “A single platform across sales and marketing is crucial to delivering best-in-class lead management. Powered by artificial intelligence and marketing analytics—including multi-touch attribution—Pardot helps customers increase pipeline, sales and drive deeper relationships.”
Delivering intelligent lead management, faster sales cycles and a smarter, more personalised customer experience, Salesforce Pardot is a leading B2B marketing automation solution. Personalisation has a significant impact on brand advocacy and loyalty, and with innovative features, Pardot empowers marketers to generate more leads and arms sales teams with personalised content at the right time.