For every business to succeed it should have solid work force management and also a dynamic customer relationship management tool which will help the business to evaluate and address the immediate needs of the customers. So Salesforce has come up with this tool SFA , salesforce management systems which is a combination of Information Systems and Customer Relationship Management systems. Using these tools, businesses can focus on Marketing and sales activities. These activities are considered to be the core in any of the CRM systems.
So what is CRM system? How is it helpful for the businesses?
A CRM system is nothing but a tool which tracks all the stages in a Sales process. Within this tool, all the customer related information is stored and any sort of contacts or follow-ups done for the customer are tracked perfectly. All of the tasks are monitored and also the room for duplication is negligible while using these type of tools.
If a CRM system is not in place within a company then there will be a lack of communication within the different departments and ultimately affects the customer relationship.
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Cloud Computing and Salesforce
Cloud computing offers a lot of benefits and few of them are listed out below:
- Cost Savings
- Increased Collaboration
- Quality Control
- Disaster Recovery
- Loss Prevention
- Automatica Software Updates
- Competitive Edge
The era of cloud computing has a jump start and businesses started banking on the benefits of Cloud computing. First and foremost the cost associated to maintain or to acquire the Infrastructure has drastically reduced because Cloud computing provides all of the infrastructures as a package. This has made a tremendous availability of resources on demand and at the same time they are offered for a very less price.
Salesforce is also inline with the same business model of providing on-demand services for its customers based on the requirement. As a base version, they provide an opportunity for the businesses to leverage their CRM models and also provide a way for them to customize according to their needs.
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CRM in Early Days
CRM tool or the process was not that concerte as we have today, it has gone through a lot of changes within evolution phase. It has been in existence for last 40 years where businesses have been using these type of tools to effectively manage their customers and their day to day operations.
It all started in the year 1980 when Robert and Kate Kestnbaum started analyzing the marketing database. Based on this study, the customers were communicated effectively. Thus the stand-alone CRM software got into the picture in the year 1986.
Later on, the demand and supply of Personal Computers and the server/client architecture got into the limelight. This has resulted in tremendous growth in terms of development.
In the year 1990 to 1993, a lot of modifications has been done to the tool and the acronym got into the picture and the tool was brought together by combining the benefits of contact management, sales force automation and database marketing.
Slowly CRM got wide acceptance and has seen a tremendous growth. Most of the market competitors started building value-added suite services that can go along with the existing model, just to take the advantage of the platform.
After the dot.com bubble disruption, most of the companies who were into CRM were either acquired by big companies or completely got dissolved. Later in the year, 2007 SalesForce has reintroduced the platform into the market with the brand name as Force.com where it has provided more tools and services than the traditional CRM system or tool will do.
With the help of Force.com, it has addressed all the criticism the cloud-based applications were not completely customizable. A lot of integration possibilities were observed during this transition, like:
- Social CRM,
- Cloud-based customer services management etc
The cloud-based and Saas-based CRM systems are completely available for very competitive prices where migration was easy.
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Benefits of Using Salesforce CRM:
The collection and organizing customer data is a full-time tedious job where there is no scope for mistakes. So to avoid these type of manual errors or handling process, there is definitely a need to have a high-quality Customer Relationship Management tool for every organization or business. This will help them to elevate their customer satisfaction barrier to the next level.
With the help of this tool, it will assist you in identifying, understanding and assisting your clients from time to time. This way you will be able to understand and approach your customer needs directly. The core benefits of using Salesforce CRM tool are listed below:
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1. Be organized and keep a track of what has been done vs what needs to be done:
With the help of CRM tools, you will be able to understand the exact needs, all the follow-up conversations at one place. By understanding, this flow of information will help you stand out while answering any of the questions that are raised by the customers. This will help you to serve your customers above and beyond, which ultimately creates a positive experience.
So everything you interact, intimate, notes all are tracked in a CRM tool. Accessing this information from any part of the world is another added advantage because all of the information is available in the cloud. Thus helps in reducing the time in terms of understanding the client and customer needs.
2. No need of Single Point of Contact:
Usually, most of the time the customers like to have a single point of contact which helps them to describe their issue or a concern. The practice has been in existence for a quite a long time. This is because the customers are comfortable to talk the single point of contact only because they have known the entire history of the conversations and they can quickly relate to the problem or issue and work towards a resolution. The same concept has been implemented in CRM system now, all of the customer support activity is tracked into the system it is easy for any new employee to pick up the case and work towards a resolution.
3. Response time is tracked and worked accordingly to resolve the task:
Being very active and aggressive in terms of solving customer issues is the one the crucial point where businesses are evaluated, by resolving the complaints quickly and effectively will increase the trust factor. This is possible with the help of a CRM system. From the time when the issue or problem is keyed into the system, the entire history for the customer can be accessed and possible resolution can be applied instantly. This will help to expedite the process and also at the same time increases the customer satisfaction levels. So having CRM system is mandatory to have a happy customer or a client.
4. Automation of Tasks:
For a successful conversion of potential lead to an actual sale takes a lot of time and efforts. Tasks like filling out forms, reports that need to send across to the officials, legal issues, administrative tasks. All of these activities should be completed. All of these tasks are completely automated and the load is taken off from the employee. The system will drive the entire process flow where the necessary inputs are provided by the customer on timely basis. During this process, the steps involved in terms of closing a sale will be automated completely.
5. Improvised data utilization:
With the use of CRM system, all the customer related information and the followup related information is available at one place. All of this data can be synthesized and analyzed accordingly. Further, the integration aspect into third party tools will be possible. The data can be further analyzed and decisions can be derived which will help the organization to effectively handle the prospective customers.
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Different products and services that are offered by Salesforce:
The products and services that are offered by Salesforce are listed below:
- Salesforce Application
- Lighting Platform
- App Exchange
- Salesforce.com Community
Within Salesforce Applications, a predefined or pre built apps are available, i.e. Customer relationship management where the sales executives can keep a track of their complete activity, i.e. from marketing, sales, and customer service or support.
This is part of Platform as a service (Paas) offering from Salesforce.
Using this platform, customers can build any type of application without having any softwares installed or any infrastructure setup. All of the services are defined and provided within the Paas platform. The platform has a capability to integrate with third part tools where customizations can be done to address the unique business requirements.
This is more sort of a community where a lot of applications are available that are built by independent vendors or partners. Most of these applications are free and can be tightly integrated with Salesforce platform.
Salesforce provides an active community for all the individuals who are interested in salesforce platform. With on going training programs and consultation events, best practises sessions and discussion boards, the entire community is active and already serving a lot of enthusiast.
Below are few products that are built by salesforce which are offered to businesses based on their needs:
They are lot of different products and services that are offered by salesforce to make sure the demand is acknowledge according to the need. The following are few areas/ departments where they are various products/services are offered by salesforce.
The products that are offered by salesforce for sales department are as follows:
This is a cloud based solution where organizations can leverage this service and manage their contacts from anywhere with any device. This is one classified as number 1 CRM system for the businesses.
CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote
Using this tool, the executives can understand the customer requirements and configure the quote accordingly. So based on what is required, the customer will be billed accordingly. They will have an provision to apply any discounts so that they can configure the final price and send out the quote for the customers. This tool is very beneficial for sales executives to close their sales quickly and effectively. So by doing this, the billing and revenue recognition is streamlined.
The products that are offered by salesforce for Service department is as follows:
With the help of Service cloud, the customer support activity can be taken to the next level. With instantaneous and personalized support service you can contact your customers via phone, email and chat. Also you can take the advantage of AI functionality that is built in within salesforce platform.
The products that are offered by salesforce for marketing department is as follows:
With the Marketing Cloud service, you can build and manage any type of email campaign activity. This campaign can be helpful for your product marketing activities for an organization. The email campaign can be completely automated so that the relevant messages are sent across to the right person at the right time.
With the help of this tool, you can build attractive landing pages where you can provide more information about the product that you are promoting and also increase the conversion rate from potential buyer to an actual customer.
Keep a track of the activity that your potential customers are doing with your email’s and based on the activity you can convert high quality leads into actual customers. Using this tool will help you improve your overall businesses .
DMP stands for Data Management Platform
Using this tool, businesses can keep track of all their customer data in one place and can utilize this data based on different segmentation. All of this data can be accessed from anywhere as this is a cloud based solution.
This is a B2B marketing tool which has automation capabilities which will help you drive more sales and plan your marketing activity more effectively.
The products that are offered by Salesforce for productivity department is as follows:
Using this tool the businesses will be able to create spreadsheets, documents, checklists where all of the team members can collaborate and work towards a common goal.
They are a lot of unique products in Analytics and commerce platforms where businesses can leverage and enhance or streamline their processes.
Companies that are using Salesforce currently in USA, India?
They are lot of companies that are utilizing and benefiting by using the Salesforce CRM application. In addition to the standard options, a lot of plugins and customizations are done according to their business needs and have seen tremendous growth in terms of sales activities, marketing activities and forecasting.
Below are few Indian companies that use Salesforce.
Sector the company is into
Below are few US companies that uses Salesforce:
- American Express
- Financial Times
- Design with Reach
- Zero motorcycles
Global CRM Software Market Trends & Growth
The CRM software has seen ocean of changes right from its initial concept to the current market products. Nowadays, CRM software is provided on Saas based model where a steady and incremental growth has been observed. The increased awareness and the necessity of CRM softwares in small and mid level companies has boosted the CRM software utilization.
With the constant updates to the CRM Software, getting in touch with customers and making sure the customer interaction is maintained optimum levels is very easy and convenient for the businesses. Thus helping out companies by saving valuable time and also cost associated.
With the help of cloud computing, the acceptance of softwares have been skyrocketed because all of the data is available 24/7 and can be accessed from anywhere. Cloud computing has actually revolutionized the software industry. Having an appropriate tool for the businesses to manage their CRM activity has been very easy. A huge growth potential in terms of software utilization is observed in APAC (Asia Pacific) and ROW (Rest of the World) especially in service related companies.
Also, with the help of pay as you go service model, most of the small scale and mid scale companies has started utilizing the services. The demand for CRM software is increasing exponentially and applying analytics on the CRM software is going to be the next big thing in the industry.
What is the future of Salesforce CRM Software?
The Saas based model ( Software as a service) has become very popular in the market and the need is growing exponentially because of its availability and also the service is offered at a very competitive price where a small to mid scale organization is also able to adopt these tools and get to enjoy their benefits.
Most of the companies that are already using Salesforce as their CRM platform convey that they have a tight relationship with their clients and customers where they were able to provide a personalized approach. This number will grow exponentially when the usage of the software will be expanded to other departments of an organization.
According to the market survey, about 70% of the customer or client needs are fulfilled accordingly. This is a big number in the customer service industry where the organizations purely run on the satisfied customers count.
Salesforce has plans to introduce a lot of Analytical components into their service platforms where they are able to generate more value for their clients/customers. They have already launched their new Lightning CRM in 2015 and staying solid by adding more features on quarter by quarter basis.
With the help of Lighting CRM solution, the sales executives can completely customized their dashboard dynamically and make sure that the tool provides the required data for him to perform well.
Salesforce CRM Certifications
They are a wide range of certification options available for an individual to get certified and showcase their value in the market. All of the salesforce certifications are globally acceptable. They are different certifications available and it is best for the individuals to go through their domain related certifications and get certified.
The following are few certifications that are available:
- Salesforce certifications based on the role
- Certification for Administrators
- Certification for Developers
- Certification for Architects
- Certification for App builders
- Certification for implementation experts or consultants
- Certification for Marketers
- Certification for Pardot experts.
Salesforce CRM Salary Trends
The compensation in terms of Salary varies from one to another and few other factors come into the picture, they are:
- It depends on the organization where the individual has secured the job.
- Depends on the years of experience the candidate has.
- Depends on the city and the place where the candidate is going to work.
- Depends on the need for the organization.
Considering these needs, the salary trends are projected below with their job titles:
|Job Title||Salary Range|
|Salesforce Project Manager||$94,000|
|Salesforce Business Analyst||$90,000|
The above values are subject to change based on the factors that are listed above.
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