Salesforce is the most widely used Customer Relationships Management platform. It’s used by more than 150,000 companies throughout the world. This cloud-based system has standalone applications for customer service, marketing, and sales, in addition to the full product suite.
Salesforce can be used by big and small businesses alike, and the benefits include its simplicity and security. Salesforce can be used to store customer data, create more sales opportunities, and manage marketing campaigns. It’s also a way to interact with customers in all phases of their journey.
If you’re considering a data migration to Salesforce, the following are seven general but important things to know.
1. What It’s Used For
Salesforce is used by companies like American Express and Adidas. It’s a way to understand your customers and then customize and tailor how you connect with them. There are also Salesforce features that let you work toward growing your customer base.
You can use Salesforce for real-time analytics related to customer support and complaints.
Users can access Salesforce from wherever they are since it’s cloud-based.
As was touched on, Salesforce is a CRM platform. CRM is a broad term for the technology used to manage all the interactions and relationships of your company for current and future clients.
2. The Benefits
According to Salesforces’ marketing materials, companies using the software see an average increase of around 27% in sales revenue and a 32% lead conversion increase. Salesforce also reports that users see a 34% uptick in customer satisfaction, paired with deployment that’s 56% faster.
3. How It Works
Salesforce is defined as a service as a software platform or SaaS. That means Salesforce uses a cloud-computing model. The applications are hosted on the cloud and then are available online.
There are several different cloud platforms that fall under the Salesforce umbrella, including a service cloud, community cloud, IoT cloud, and an engagement cloud.
With these cloud platforms, as a Salesforce user, your business can have a full picture of your customer journey and also manage marketing campaigns across multiple channels.
4. Pros of Salesforce
There are a lot—too many to mention here, in fact, but some of the big upsides of Salesforce include:
- Since Salesforce operates as a cloud-based CRM, it’s less expensive than an on-premises CRM. You don’t need all the additional IT resources to launch Salesforce, such as the components of physical infrastructure.
- Your employees can access Salesforce at any time and from anywhere.
- You can build your own customer portal or app, which is great for marketing and customer service.
- Salesforce offers a variety of customization options. You can simply customize with the point-and-click tools, or you can customize your own code.
- Salesforce integrates with many external systems.
- As with most cloud solutions, the pricing for Salesforce is scalable. You can scale up or down based on how many users you have.
5. Cons of Salesforce
Of course, there’s nothing that doesn’t have downsides, and Salesforce is no exception.
First, while you could use Salesforce if you’re a small business, some opinions indicate it’s too complex and it’s better suited to large companies with dedicated sales and marketing teams. As a small business, you may not find much value in the complexity of offerings from Salesforce.
Also, even though the pricing is scalable, it may be out of your budget as a small business.
There is a learning curve associated with it, and there are different certifications that may be helpful for your staff to learn to take full advantage of Salesforce.
6. Sales Features
Since the sales features are probably your top priority if you’re considering Salesforce, it might be useful to go over what those are.
Some of the primary sales features of Salesforce include:
- Pipeline and opportunity management—you can manage from the lead phase all the way through to the confirmation of an order. You can divide this by sales rep, team, region, or tracking stage.
- Partner relationship management.
- Task and activity management.
- Account management.
- Management of customer contracts.
- Order and quote management.
7. Marketing Features
Again, something else that Salesforce offers is marketing features. These include email marketing and campaign management for multi-channel marketing.
Lead management and analytics for your return on your marketing investments are also part of the Salesforce platform.
Overall, Salesforce is undoubtedly one of the most popular and comprehensive platforms of its type on the market, and if you need a robust solution, it may work for you. Otherwise, you might need something simpler.