Salesforce is the world’s No.1 CRM Platform that uses cloud based applications for sales, service, and marketing. For understanding the Salesforce software, we need to dig deeper into two basic concepts that drives Salesforce. These concepts are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Cloud based application or the Cloud Computing technology. On a superficial note, CRM is any kind of practices, technology or strategy that helps a business to improve the customer relationship and a cloud is simply outsourcing of computer programs.
Now, business has a very long history, so it is obvious that customer relationship management exist in old times too. Since, where there is business, there is a customer and there has to be a good relationship between the provider and the consumer. What made the Salesforce manage the business instead of the business owners itself? What was the need of a software that handles Customer Relationship Management? We all have the idea of personalization and customization in the relationships, whether personal or professional and in a business relationship with a customer is considered the most crucial one of all.
What is CRM?
Be it any small, medium or big enterprise, the goal of customer relationship management is to improve the business relation. CRM is the interaction with customers and potential customers and stay connected with them to streamline the business processes and improve profitability. Customer Relationship Management include tools such as storage of contact information, identify sales opportunity, record, service issues, and manage marketing campaigns. All of these actions contribute to improving the customer relationship. Customer Relationship Management allows you to give attention to relationships of your organization with individual people whether customers, colleagues, service users, or suppliers. CRM is not only for sales. Some of the major gains in productivity comes from moving beyond CRM as a sales and marketing tool and embedding it in your business – from HR to customer services and supply-chain management.
Salesforce works on the cloud based applications. So, here another concept comes into picture, the cloud.
What is a Cloud/ Cloud Computing?
It is simply the outsourcing of computer programs that does not requires us to worry about the storage and power, we can easily without any hassles, enjoy the end result and get maximum out of it. The traditional business applications used to be very complicated and expensive too. There was a large list of hardware and software requirement along with an IT expert to carry out the set up and installation and timely upgrades too. To overcome all of these problems, cloud computing comes to the rescue. Cloud computing is a technology that looks after the management of the hardware and software. Here, in this case, this responsibility is taken by Salesforce. It provides automatic upgrades and it is also easy to scale it up or down. A cloud can be public, private, or hybrid.
Cloud computing is of three types:
- Infrastructure as Service (IaaS): Third paty hosts the infrastructure as hardware or the software
- Software as Service (SaaS): Software such as internet is used as a tool.
- Platform as Service (PaaS): It gives you the service without being to deal with coding.
Cloud is used in Salesforce software due to a number of reasons. Some of the benefits of using Cloud are as follows:
- It is adaptable. The app can be customized in order to allow the owner’s control over it over the code.
- It can be personalized and portals can be given to a number of customers, which shows the multi tenancy of the Salesforce Cloud.
- As it is hosted by third party, the business has a greater assurance of reliability and gives easy access to the customer support.
- It functions on every device and also integrates with other applications.
- With the increased number of security resources and centralization of data, it also provide a very good and secured environment.
Now, that we have understood the base of the Salesforce and what factors contribute to its idea and existence. We are ready to implement it into our business. Let us have a step by step look into the method of Salesforce implementation.
Plan the integration
Before constructing any building, we start with the blueprint, we follow the same approach in Salesforce implementation Services too. Planning is very crucial at the time of implementation as the whole business process would depend upon it. You need to define objectives and outcomes, expectations from this integration, and proper check points to analyze the progress. Establishment of benchmarks for the measurement of progress is also an important part.
Build up a good team that comprises an executive sponsor, an administrator for the daily management of Salesforce, project owner to get the application running, and a user who has all the knowledge about the business processes in the company.
Developing a rollout plan and prioritizing the goals would be the next important thing to do. Since, the sales needs to increase with this Salesforce implementation. Being familiar with the terms used in Salesforce is also very important to grasp it easily.
Educating the team
Investing your time in learning the Salesforce idea, base and working is the best way to ensure your success. The next step for the Salesforce implementation is to attend virtual or classroom training for the administrator and other team members to get a better understanding of the system. During the implementation, you should consider getting help from the large network of certified consulting partners too. They can assist with all aspects of the implementation.
Prepare the data
A business organization has huge data. It requires to be neatly sorted before the Salesforce implementation. Some important decisions have to be made as who can have the access of how much of data? The extent of data visibility to customers, employees and partners, determining role hierarchy, sharing rules and manual, customization of field, layouts, and reports.
Understanding the profiles to be used:
- System Administrator – Can configure and customize the application
- Standard User – Can run reports and create and edit records
- Read Only – Can run and export reports and view—but not edit—records
Transfer your data
The most important part that gives life to the Salesforce implementation in your business is the transfer of data. Once you have prepared and understood all the data and its usage in Salesforce implementation, it can be transferred in the Salesforce database. After the data transfer, you are all set to go live. Some necessary things to keep in mind while handling data transfer:
- Consider importing data during non-working hours, it avoids confusion.
- Give yourself some cushion for error, for example, don’t transfer the data a day before sales training.
- Validate your data i.e. run key reports and display important screens in order to make sure that all the data was transferred in the desired format.
Engage and track progress
You may start by training the end users and developing a good training strategy by understanding the audience. Providing relevant content can help in the process of engagement. Deliver effectively the content to the users.
When you are set to work on Salesforce, here is what to do next as the final step for Salesforce implementation:
- Introduce additional functionality
- Manage data quality
- Join the community
- Manage releases
After all these processes have been done and dusted, we are all set to use Salesforce implementation successfully in our sales and marketing. Salesforce implementation has increased the efficiency of business sales of its users. It works in a very effective way by managing all the Customer relationship tools automatically. It gives you enough time to focus on other important strategies of the business while leaving the length and important procedures on auto pilot.
Salesforce implementation has been proved beneficial in lead management, streamlining the business processes, keeping track of the customer timeline and activities, managing contact, and sharing their interest, closing deals fast. It can provide you all the CRM benefits that you could not possibly get by doing it individually or setting up and installing any number of application on your system. You can try but you would not like the enormous effort you have to put in logging into every application, each time you need information about one particular customer timeline. Salesforce implementation can make your task easier and your goals nearer. Why not take a trial?