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All about Salesforce, world #1 CRM provider: functions, benefits, user reviews

No doubt you've heard a lot about Salesforce CRM lately. But Salesforce seems to be something huge, something confusing, and turns out that it's not just an install-and-use CRM, right? We know that it might be hard to deal with it quickly because Salesforce offers a wide range of unique products with specific features. In this article, we will "sort through" basic information about Salesforce CRM, provide you with real users reviews, show benefits of Salesforce, and explain how your teams can work together more efficiently.

Why do businesses use CRMs?

CRM stands for "Customer Relationship Management". Businesses use CRMs to expedite business growth, efficiently interacting with customers and potential clients. CRM implementation helps to realize marketing strategies, simplify access to customers' data, quickly meet customers` needs, and as a result, enhance sales. Such software unites marketing, sales, and service departments in one place to work on common goals. Having all data in one place, your teams work together and know much more about the clients' interests, which allows to have a deeper involvement in clients` cases and build personalized approaches to each of them. According to McKinsey research, 76% of consumers say that personalization prompted consideration of a brand, and 78% say that personalized content made them more likely to repurchase.

What is Salesforce?

Salesforce Inc. is an American cloud-based software company, global CRM services provider. But Salesforce is not just CRM. It is a cloud-based enterprise platform that offers businesses various opportunities in business applications to upgrade interaction with clients and make doing business more comfortable. The Salesforce platform is flexible and can run almost any app to group customer data from all apps used within the organization. Salesforce enables customization in all shapes and sizes. With an open API and a large developer community, Salesforce is top-selling among different industries.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), in May 2022, Salesforce was ranked the #1 CRM provider. IDC data shows that in 2021 Salesforce CRM had 23,8% of the total CRM market share (for comparison, in 2020, they had 19,8%). Salesforce has held the leading position for nine years in a row.

Salesforce brief history

Once upon a time (in 1999), Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez founded Salesforce as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. In 2000 they made a noticeable marketing company: near the building, which hosted the conference of the biggest CRM software provider, they placed an advertising banner which said: "The End of Software". Why did they need it, you ask? Because Salesforce changed the technologies, becoming one of the first cloud computing companies, and started delivering software through Internet browsers instead of company-hosted servers. In other words, the company was among the first who enabled online access to data from any point of the world before it was mainstream. In 2007, the technological basis of the CRM system was offered as a service and allowed subscribers to create their own applications in the same stack as the main Salesforce.com systems (which became the beginning of the Platform as a Service (PaaS) era of Salesforce).

Find out more about Salesforce structure here.

The top benefits of Salesforce

Flexibility

Over 150 000 different-sized companies from various industries use Salesforce CRM platform. Standard solutions might not work for such a huge amount of users. That's why there's no "one size fits all" treatment in Salesforce. The users aren't tied to only set page layouts, workflows, and processes.

Data protection

Salesforce has security built into every layer of the platform. Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology protects users' data using both server authentication and data encryption. Salesforce platform has integrated Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Also, Salesforce.com is hosted in a secure server environment that uses a firewall and other advanced technology to prevent data breaches. In addition, Salesforce users can schedule or generate backup files of your data regularly.

Functionality

As #1 CRM provider, Salesforce has wide functionality to satisfy the needs of each business that trusts Salesforce CRM. There are special products for some sectors that have special needs. For example, Salesforce Commerce Cloud (a B2C solution that offers the e-commerce industry an opportunity to create personalized online shopping experiences for every client) or Salesforce Health Cloud with powerful information processing.

Higher productivity

With Salesforce CRM, users are more productive. No need to spend hours for emails or searching for the details of clients' requests. After Salesforce implementation, your teams work together in customer-centric cooperation. CRM saves records of conversations, interactions, needs, notes, and contact information, so every team member has access to the newest insights and can easily access records from anywhere.

Clear data dashboards

If companies manually manage customer data, they might have a lack of context and lose valuable details. Salesforce dashboards can deal with this task by their own and graphically present results for you. Also you can have an individual dashboard to concentrate on the exact information you need, according to your responsibilities in the company.

Cloud Service Models In Salesforce

As we stated earlier, Salesforce started as a SaaS company but now expanded its offerings. All offerings are divided into three groups:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS). This offering allows users to just log in and use built-in software across the cloud.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS). Within the framework, users can develop apps and websites on the ready-to-go platform. Later the apps can be scalable to meet the needs of the organization.
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Here Salesforce provides users with high-level APIs with all data securely stored on the Salesforce cloud.

Salesforce Cloud Services

Salesforce CRM system offers customers a range of cloud services to enhance their business processes and operations. With a wide variety of Salesforce products, organizations can choose those that match business requirements and technology bottlenecks. Six the most popular Salesforce cloud services are the following.

Salesforce Sales Cloud

The Sales Cloud is a Salesforce CRM platform created for B2B sales management (now it is also designed for B2C). Salesforce Sales Cloud helps personalize the approach to each customer, find the most matching solutions for consumer demands, and streamlines business processes. It is the most popular Salesforce product.

Salesforce Service Cloud

The Service Cloud is designed for customer support and service teams. The main purpose of Service Cloud is to increase satisfaction with personalized customer services. This platform allows tracking customers' activity across such channels as email, live chat, or phone to choose the most comfortable channel for every customer.

Read “Improve your business processes with the Salesforce Service Cloud Platform” to find out more about Salesforce Service Cloud.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

The Marketing Cloud helps the marketing team explore customer behavior, manage advertisement, content creation, and as a result, build effective data-based marketing strategies. Instruments of Marketing Cloud integrate data from every customer interaction with the product for personalized, relevant campaigns development. The Marketing Cloud can be integrated with the Sales and Service Cloud to collect all the data in one place.

Salesforce Experience Cloud

Salesforce Experience Cloud (you might have heard about it as Community Cloud) helps companies create websites, mobile apps, or portals to be visible and represent all wanted content. Salesforce Experience Cloud is created to work in combination with other products: Experience Builder, Salesforce CMS, Mobile Publisher, and a whole set of Salesforce CRM instruments.

Read “Salesforce Experience Cloud: what is it, and what is it used for?” to find out more about Salesforce Experience Cloud.

Salesforce Analytics Cloud

The Analytics Cloud is a platform designed to simplify and upgrade reports creation. Also, if you need to visualise a big volume of data and to see what exactly this data tells you and get more valuable insights - this AI-powered cloud can be helpful here. Artificial intelligence quickly structures analytics and gives users recommendations about the next actions.

Salesforce App Cloud

Salesforce App Cloud allows users to create apps on the Salesforce platform, utilizing a collection of development tools (e.g., Heroku, Salesforce Thunder, Salesforce Sandbox). Created apps are automatically connected to all Salesforce data and use APIs to connect with external data.

How industries can benefit from Salesforce - find out from Salesforce real users reviews

Salesforce for Manufacturing

According to Salesforce research, 81% of manufacturers say that “moving their planning process to the cloud is a critical or high priority” because “inaccessible data, legacy tools, and cloistered teams impede their forecasting process”. Salesforce CRM provides manufacturers with the opportunity to determine peak order periods to start seasoning campaigns, build long-term partnerships, increase cross-selling, and more. Using Salesforce CRM aids in better production planning, so companies can adopt lean manufacturing and don’t waste resources for extra. In 2019 Salesforce launched a unique product for the manufacturing industry - Manufacturing Cloud, which gives supply chain visibility and enhances business processes management.

Salesforce for IT

Salesforce helps IT specialists do their job better and satisfy customers' needs with the most suitable solutions. With Salesforce CRM, the IT sector can target leads effortlessly, having all the necessary data at its fingertips. As in the IT sector, the cooperation of a few departments might be vital, Salesforce CRM simplifies information sharing and teamwork.

Salesforce for Telecommunications

Telecommunication is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, which is caused by the advancement of mobile technologies and the increasing demand for high-speed data services. And one of the problems the industry faces due to the growth is a consistent broad of customers database and data that needs to be processed. A recent study by SkyQuest Technology found that nearly two-thirds of telecom executives believe that big data analytics is a key driver of business value. Big data analytics is essential in the competitive telecom market. Salesforce CRM helps telecom services providers to stay ahead and deliver a personalized experience to their customers. The extensive data collection makes it easy to analyze and predict market trends.

Salesforce for Retail

Salesforce integration in retail businesses makes it possible to bring personalized customer buying experiences to a qualitatively new level due to the collaboration of sales and marketing departments, store managers, inventory, supply chain, and customer support team. A detailed overview of customer data allows businesses to forecast buying trends and upgrade marketing targets. Also, Salesforce CRM tracks the dubious fields in the retail industry to prevent revenue losses and keep customers' loyalty.

Salesforce for Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI)

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, banks move customers out of branches and onto digital channels more intensively. Despite all the advantages of digitalization, such changes have a  noticeable drawback in the banking sector. In 2020, Accenture conducted Banking Consumer Study, which shows that only “29% of respondents trust their banks to look after their long-term financial wellbeing, compared with 43% two years ago”. So, now for BFSI is vital to establish relations with the customers and show that dealing with money online is just as reliable as offline. And here comes Salesforce CRM, which helps businesses to process customers’ data and provide people with personalized high-quality services. Moreover, in 2015 Salesforce launched the Salesforce Financial Services Cloud for the BFSI sector.

How to customise Salesforce

Salesforce has a sizable list of useful but confusing platforms and products. To get as many benefits as possible from them all and to find the most suitable solutions, it's better to choose expert guidance that will customize Salesforce exactly to your needs. Sparkybit expert consultants are ready to guide your organization in Salesforce world. Contact us to get reliable partners.

Salesforce is the #1 CRM provider, so to be the leader, it has to satisfy the needs of incompatible businesses from different countries and industries, with different sizes and approaches to work. And Salesforce successfully copes with this task, offering services for various goals. As a Salesforce consulting and implementation partner, our team works with numerous companies and knows how to find Salesforce services for your unique organization.

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