CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Oftentimes, when people talk about CRM, they are referring to a CRM system. A CRM system is a technology that allows you to store and manage customer and prospect information, such as personal information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities.
A CRM system helps organisations build customer relationships and streamline processes in order to increase sales, improve customer service and increase profitability. CRM is not just for sales. It gives you a clear overview of customers by consolidating the many streams of data from sales, marketing, customer service and beyond.
Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that brings customers and companies together. It’s one CRM platform that gives all your departments, including marketing, sales, commerce and service, a single view of every customer.
As the world’s #1 CRM system, Salesforce offers many benefits to businesses:
Identifying and categorising leads
Salesforce helps you to identify, add and organise new leads easily, enabling sales staff to focus their attention on the right clients.
Increasing referrals from existing customers
With a better understanding of your customers, you’re able to identify cross-selling and up-selling opportunities.
Improving products and services
Salesforce is capable of gathering information from various sources across your business, giving you insights into how your customers feel about your product and organisation. This allows you to spot problems early and improve your offering.
Working from anywhere
As a cloud-based CRM system, all the users have access to the same information all the time.
Salesforce does not require special installation, which keeps IT costs low. Salesforce is also priced on the number of users and the features needed, making it very flexible and cost-effective.
Salesforce is with built with cutting-edge Internet security technology, ensuring that your data is safe, secure and available only to registered users of your organisation.
Short development and roll-out time
Salesforce is easy to install and requires simple programming. Its user interface (UI) is also highly intuitive, making it very easy for any organisation to adopt.
You can integrate Salesforce with a variety of systems and applications, such as ERP, marketing automation and data warehouses. There are also numerous apps available in Salesforce that can be immediately installed in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Salesforce is excellent for smaller businesses and startups by streamlining and automating processes, and enabling your team to work more efficiently and consistently.
As Salesforce is cloud-based, you don’t have to invest in costly server infrastructure to use the platform or install software on every computer. You also do not need to hire staff for system upkeep and support. There are a variety of subscription and user licence options available, and you can pay according to your budget and functionality requirements.
There’s a reason over 150,000 global organisations have chosen Salesforce over other CRM systems. Here are the key strengths of Salesforce:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is built into Salesforce, helping you make decisions faster, make your employees’ more productive and make customers happier. Salesforce’s augmented analytics also help users discover insights, predict outcomes and find recommendations to help their work.
The Salesforce platform is highly expandable and can be securely integrated with other systems.
Salesforce is proven to drive efficiency and growth. 38% of Salesforce customers report an increase in sales productivity after adopting the platform.
The Salesforce mobile app lets you run your business from anywhere, with on-the-go access to all of your vital business information, including tasks and notifications, dashboards and reports, and more.
Salesforce has a 2.3 million member Salesforce Trailblazer community which drives innovation and change in their own businesses as well as within the Salesforce ecosystem itself. Salesforce also runs Trailhead, which is a free and self-service platform for learning new skills, earning professional credentials and connecting to mentorship and job opportunities.
To answer this question, it’s important that we are aware that an average organisation uses hundreds of applications. These applications exist in cloud applications, legacy infrastructure and on-premises hardware and software. Each application can store and operate with a massive amount of data, which makes it difficult to manage.
When companies integrate data into one central location, such as a CRM platform, it’s easier to analyse and process, especially using machine learning, a subset of AI. Companies can analyse this massive amount of data (or big data) faster with machine learning and make decisions based on reality and statistical trends, not estimates.
By using Salesforce in your CRM or data integration, you can get a holistic view of your data across different business units. Your employees are able to work together on the same platform and collaborate on various levels, allowing you to enhance efficiency and profitability.
Due to varying reasons, some organisations may not want to switch fully onto Salesforce. For instance, some companies may like to retain their customer data in their own servers. If this is your concern too then fret not! Salesforce takes an API-first approach to building features on its platform, therefore it is fully adaptable with a wide range of systems and applications. Your existing platforms can co-exist seamlessly with Salesforce through API (Application Programming Interface) and you can get the best of both worlds.
The most well-known type of Salesforce Partners are Salesforce Consulting Partners (or Salesforce Implementation Partners) are individuals or companies registered with Salesforce, who are offering Salesforce services such as implementation, integration, platform customisation, training and support to Salesforce customers.
There are also other types of Salesforce Partners such as Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who build apps for Salesforce. However, for most businesses who want to use Salesforce, all you will need to know is what a Consulting Partner or Implementation Partner is.
A Salesforce Consulting Partner can offer expert advice and services around the Salesforce platform. Consultants working for a Salesforce Partner company typically own Salesforce certifications as implementation experts on different roles (such as administrator or developer) and products (such as Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud) that prove their expertise in the technology.
If all you need is Salesforce’s ready-to-use solutions for your business and you have an in-house admin to manage the implementation for you, then you may not need a Consulting Partner.
For most organisations, implementing Salesforce would require varying degrees of customisation, which would call for the help of an external vendor. Additionally, a Salesforce Consulting Partner can boost the success rate of your project by introducing best practices, optimising your usage of the system and enhancing staff learning, adoption and engagement.
You should always start by looking at your own needs and figure out what kind of Partner would fit. Your Salesforce account executive would usually be able to provide some recommendations.
Salesforce’s AppExchange is also a good place for you to do a broad search on the available consultants with the specific product and industry expertise you are looking for. A tip for you is to look at the star ratings provided by the customers for the consultants, which will give you a better idea of the Consulting Partner’s service level.
We recommend that you prepare a checklist that lists out your basic requirements in order to evaluate different vendors. These factors may include project type, project size, budget, expected outcomes, complexity of the project, vendor’s experience. You may also consider additional factors such as the vendor’s reputation, what people say about their customer service and which Salesforce products do they specialise in.