In the world of business, technology has always played a key role in the development and growth of a company. Technology has a big impact on business operations, with its main role in business being to drive growth and improve operations.
In recent years, we have seen a rapid surge in Cloud Computing technologies which aim to make businesses more efficient in managing their services and customer relationships. Business operations have been revolutionized by powerful software-as-a-service (SaaS) technologies such as Salesforce.
The role of technology in business caused a tremendous growth in trade and commerce around the world. Saas technology such as Salesforce has been changing the way businesses operate in many areas such as accounting, data collection, logistics and sales and promotion, among others.
This article looks to explain what Salesforce is, how businesses are using this technology to drive business growth, and why companies are looking to hire certified people with Salesforce knowledge and training.
The History of Salesforce
Salesforce, Inc. is an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company was founded in 1999 by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez as a company specialising in software as a service (SaaS).
The journey began from the small room and now it has reached the cloud. Salesforce today has now become a cloud-based CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). Its aim is to facilitate various sales and data processes and improve profitability for the organisation using it. For this purpose, they use data analysis to work on a high amount of information.
Companies can then utilise the data gathered from various sources to drive sales for their business. This is what CRM tools like Salesforce offers to their customers. Salesforce is a cloud-based software that provides flexibility to the companies for tracking and reporting customer data. A key benefit to many businesses is that it provides advanced solutions for managing contacts, eCommerce, and records.
Before Salesforce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions were hosted on an organization’s own server. This at the time was a costly solution for businesses as they required their own in-house developers and computing technicians to plan, implement and manage their own CRM solutions. Often these CRM solutions were difficult to use and were deemed too expensive for the majority of businesses.
Salesforce successfully identified an opportunity in the market and built their own affordable CRM software and positioned it as an online service in which businesses can plug into and customise the platform for their own business needs. Since then Salesforce has now grown into the fifth-largest software company in the world.
What is Salesforce Used for?
Salesforce is a multi-solution platform that has been designed to help businesses manage their customer communications, records and sales data. It provides a digital facility for keeping track of all customer as well as client information.
This powerful all-in-one CRM has been able to solve business problems that had originally required multiple tools and software which were expensive as they each required dedicated teams and resources to manage them.
Salesforce enables users to do the following:
- Conducting your contacts
- Following the track of leads
- Forming reports
- Creating and impersonating email marketing campaigns
- Carrying out social engagements
- Conducting e-Commerce
- Sustaining records of communication with customers
- Combining with third-party software
- Improving Customer Experience
What are the main products Salesforce has to offer?
Salesforce today provides various Cloud software solutions and a platform for users and developers to develop and distribute custom software. Below we shall take a look at 3 of the most popular Salesforce Cloud products and explain what they each offer:
The Salesforce Sales Cloud was their first product and is the most popular CRM that helps supports a business’s sales team. Initially designed for B2B businesses, the Sales Cloud helps the sales team with lead management functionality to efficiently process leads, guiding a potential customer through a defined sales funnel. Today, many B2C companies also utlise the Sales Cloud CRM and its features which include:
- Lead Management
- Opportunity Management
The Salesforce Service Cloud CRM was developed to support a business’s customer support team by providing a customer portal in which customers can directly access in order to submit customer support requests and queries, providing an important customer and valuable service tool for businesses.
The Service Cloud helps customers get in touch with a company via email support, live chat, or phone, and then helps the customer agent find and process a resolution to the customer issue. By providing quick and efficient customer service, businesses are able to improve their customer relationships and loyalty as customer enquiries are dealt with in a efficient and timely manner, ensuring no customers are forgotten about or missed. Key features include:
- Ticket Assignment
- Queue Management
- Live Chat
- Knowledge Base
The Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing automation and analytics software and service platform which helps your business connect with your customers. This platform offers range of features that enable you to market to your customers via email, SMS, social, utilising advertising platforms such as Facebook.
The Marketing Cloud is a powerful tool which has the ability to seamlessly connect to the Sales or Service Cloud, allowing for CRM data to be passed into the tool. This integration provides businesses with a dynamic and competitive advantage over other businesses.
Used for delivering relevant, personalized journeys to your target audiences across the right channels and devices, the Marketing Cloud product helps marketers deliver the right messages at the right time to the right users throughout a campaign timeline, during the entirety of the relationship.
Within Marketing Cloud, users can take advantage of Salesforce integrated solutions like Customer Journey Management, Email Studio, Mobile Studio, Social Studio, web personalization, advertising, content management and creation, and data analysis. All of these integrations work together to help you achieve your primary objectives, build new goals, and give a clear visualization into your customer’s journey through marketing goggles.
Salesforce says, with Marketing Cloud, “every imaginable customer interaction and engagement is covered”.
Salesforce also offers other “Clouds”, including the Experience Cloud, Analytics Cloud & Commerce Cloud that enables even further functionality on their platform. Click here to learn more about Salesforce products and services.