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Salesforce Sales Cloud: Implementation, Adjusting, Customization

What to do if you implement a costly CRM, and find out it cannot cover all your business processes?

If you are a business owner or executive, you don’t need anyone to explain why to use a CRM. Manual is good, and Excel tables will save the world, but at a certain point in a company's life cycle, digital becomes the only efficient answer to enormous data, growing operational complexity, and related chaos. And the world’s statistics prove this statement:  91% of companies with 10+ employees use a CRM to manage client relationships. 

However, a proper CRM is not just a pain killer. With the right business vision and technology strategy, CRM adoption can be the first step toward creating a massive operation advantage in the market. Recent surveys of companies in developing and developed countries (2019-2022) reveal the fantastic outputs a CRM can have: 

  • Sales teams using CRM confirmed that job satisfaction increased by 17%.
  • When the customer journey is properly embodied into the CRM funnel, the conversion rates may increase up to 300%.
  • CRM systems enhance customer retention rates, leading to a profit gain ranging from 25% to 85%.
  • Access to improved data can reduce the sales cycle by 8-14%.
  • Companies can slash lead costs by 23% by using CRM.

But what is meant by “proper CRM” and “proper adoption”?

On average, businesses use only 50% of all CRM features that they are paying for.

Such insight indicates that no CRM software has the power to cover all needs of a particular business. It happens as CRM platforms are developed to deal with typical cases and support standard industries’ processes. And when it comes to the specific requirements of a particular business, a CRM may lack features. Even choosing the best and the most expensive CRM solutions in the market has nothing to do with this trend.  

Salesforce CRM is not an exception. Even being world’s #1 CRM, it has its limitations. 

Salesforce Sales Cloud is proven to be one of the most efficient solutions for developing companies.

But what if you have implemented Salesforce Sales Cloud but appear to lack a bunch of important features? This is the most common existential question in client management: What must be adopted, CRM software to a company’s sales processes or vice versa?

As for us, we solidly chose adjusting tools to a vision, but never conversely. No matter how good or expensive your software is, it is still a tool chosen to embody and strengthen your approach. An approach to customer management is usually called a magic ingredient or an operational advantage. And its value can hardly be calculated, as it consists of years of experiments, disciplined work, trials, wins, and failures. Your company's processes and approaches are what make it unique, recognizable, and easy to remember. So why should you lose all these advantages due to a lack of tools in your CRM? No way!

So here Salesforce Sales Cloud adjustment comes into play. It is also known as customization or configuration because standard solutions are expanded and complemented to cover individual needs. 

Salesforce customization mainly cannot be performed by a user. It means you need a Salesforce administrator, a consulter, or even an engineering team. TrustRadius users, in their reviews of Salesforce software, aptly emphasized that implementing significant changes demands engineering skills.

Types of Salesforce Sales Cloud custom configuration

Sales Cloud is an integrated platform that allows the automation of sales processes, accelerating sales productivity, creating a pipeline of leads, and closing deals faster. 

However, sales processes are just ways to describe human interactions,  and each sales team may develop a unique approach of building connection with customers. This means there is no absolute standard of drivings sales processes. 

Fortunately, Salesforce provides an opportunity to tailor its components, features and appearance, so that each enterprise finds it comfortable to cooperate within Sales Cloud. The customizable elements can be divided into UI (user interface), functionality, and integrations. Let’s have a look!

  1. UI customization 

Marketing, design and CX experts agree in one thing: perception is everything. And when speaking about software, the first thing  that affects the impression is user interface. To allow companies create the best performing and most delightful experiences, most Salesforce products, as well as Sales Cloud, have customizable user interfaces. That means you can represent your brand's identity on Sales Cloud pages in many ways. For example, the simplest UI customization is adding your brand's logo and "painting" pages with the brand colors. 

If you feel that such UI customization of Sales Cloud is not enough for you and you have more complex ideas to come true, contact us. Our Salesforce consultants will help you to implement your ideas by applying Visualforce or Lightning Components.

  1. Functionality customization

Imagine Salesforce being a coat. Among Salesforce Sales Cloud functions you can customize are objects, fields, reports, and dashboards. For example, Salesforce offers default fields in Sales Cloud. But sometimes organizations need to collect some specific customers' or leads' data. If your organization is one of them, you can create custom fields for more valuable and efficient data capturing.

Due to customization, you can create custom formulas to use throughout Salesforce Sales Cloud. If you have some specific request in Sales Cloud customization, our consultants are ready to help you meet your needs. 

  1. Integrations

Salesforce integration allows users to expand beyond Salesforce, have all needed data about the interaction with the customers and leads, and keep existing apps or third-party systems, but have the most benefits from them in cooperation with Salesforce. Integrating favorite apps with CRM allows bringing the essential data of various systems, like supply chain, ERP, HR, SAP, ORACLE, and more. 

A case from Sparkybit's Salesforce customization portfolio

To illustrate all the statement above about custom Salesforce solutions, we will look at our project with LendInvest, a leading financial provider in the United Kingdom. 

Sparkybit + LendInvest

One of its products developed by Sparkybit is Broker Portal, a disruptively innovative solution that makes the mortgage application process fast and seamless for all the participants.  

Some time ago to go through the whole process, one should invest a huge amount of time and effort, as the process was offline and harshly bureaucratic. Since the portal’s launch, it became much easier to both apply and manage every deal via Salesforce end-user interface. It all became digital and mostly automated.

And what is interesting about it, is that Broker Portal solution is mainly based on Salesforce Experience and  Sales Clouds, with modified and expanded functionality. Let’s see, how Sparkybit’s Salesforce developers reconfigured standard Sales Cloud components, processes, and added custom features.

Custom business process in the Broker Portal

Broker Portal’s key idea was to enable brokers to submit bridging enquiries and applications digitally directly into Salesforce. To make these applications automated and semi-automated, it was necessary to built and launch custom CRM workflows, relevant to the mortgage application process and compliant with the legal policies.\ Moreover, it was to make it comfortable for both types of Lendinvest’s clients: borrowers and underwriters.

So the custom business process was implemented in the following way. 

When a borrower needs a loan, they create an Enquiry draft - an online application for the issuance of funds to purchase any property, a land plot, a house, an enterprise, and anything else that can be bought in the UK. The Enquiry is one of the Salesforce record types LendInvest uses. When the Enquiry is ready, the underwriter logs in to Salesforce, checks what the customer wants to buy, checks the amount of the loan and income for the year, and then calculates whether this application is suitable. Once everything is reviewed and approved, the final document is created and sent for signature (this stage is implemented via Conga). As soon as documents are signed, Salesforce automation changes the record type for that record because after this Enquiry goes through the enquiry life cycle, they start working with it as an application. The application has other stages: more validations, processes, and integrations. But let's emphasize once more: not as a newly created record, but as an old record with a new record type. The final stage of an application record type is the funding approval, and then - completed - the money is sent. The flow automation is implemented for the approval process.

Accounts and contacts 

First of all, there are two types of accounts and two types of contacts in the Broker Portal: brokers and borrowers. A broker is a person who creates a deal and is an intermediary between a borrower and LendInvest. So, the borrower comes directly to the broker and says they want to buy a house (or something else we discussed before) for this amount of money. After all the dealing with the enquiry, the broker says that LendInvest will give them a loan. As a result, the application is created by the broker. Such a type of cooperation with an intermediary makes the custom combination of B2B and B2C.

Conclusion

Salesforce Sales Cloud customization is vital for businesses that want to get the most out of their CRM. Businesses can add specific features that are unique to their processes and needs to improve the overall efficiency. Sparkybit engineers have an experience in adjusting Salesforce Sales Cloud-based solution to various-sized and -industrie business needs. It’s critical to choose the right Salesforce provider who can help you get ahead in the competitive market. If you are looking for such Salesforce consultants - contact us because we are those who know how to make your business portret from Salesforce CRM.

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