How Salesforce Thrives
Let's talk CRM. You know how important it is. Without loyal customers, you won't have a successful business. Successful CRM not only brings in new customers, it helps retain those you already have.
Salesforce is the gold standard when it comes to managing your customer relationships. But why is the cloud CRM company so popular? Here are the Salesforce tricks that not only grew their business, but help to keep their customers happy and successful.
The company was started back in 1999, launched in a small apartment in San Francisco. Since then, Salesforce has become the hottest cloud computing CRM company in the entire world, as well as the third largest. Even throughout the recession, as dot com after dot com declared bankruptcy, the company was able to survive. Why?
The founders took the normal on-site CRM method and transformed it entirely into on-demand using the cloud computing method. While the traditional CRM software companies were asking for large sums of money to put their CRM system in place, Salesforce snuck in offering the same service, only cheaper, because you didn't need to invest in expensive software and equipment. Instead, they made their money from monthly service fees.
Why It Works
Cloud computing, back then, was new and revolutionary. Even if Salesforce didn't realize it, this model was likely the reason they were able to survive the difficult economy.
Relying on the cloud is beneficial for the customer, largely due to cost. If a customer purchases pricey on-site CRM solutions, it doesn't make much sense to switch, even if you are dissatisfied. Typically, the larger the investment, the higher the chances are you're stuck with it. Relying on cloud CRM solutions means the freedom to say “I don't like your solution, I think I'm going elsewhere” without losing your shirt.
The cloud also allows you to more easily add or remove users depending on how well business is doing. The bottomline: the cloud means flexibility.
Fourteen years later, and Salesforce is evolving right along with technology. Of course, they offer numerous applications for your PC and mobile devices, giving you the power to manage customers from anywhere.
Sales Cloud, their “sales success toolkit,” brings your social media accounts, analytics, and contacts to one place, and allows you to view deals-in-progress, get quotes, and more. Other apps offered include Service Cloud and Marketing Cloud.
There is even the AppExchange, an app marketplace full of the top cloud social enterprise tools, sales applications, and other services that tap into Salesforce data.
Recently, Salesforce updated its Chatter application, making the data available from a mobile device. This is considered the next big step for CRM.
Chatter gives the mobile salesperson the ability to access a customer account, edit the information, and even close the deal.
Mobile App Drawback
Of course, there are drawbacks to diving into the mobile device waters. The biggest one: updating apps when the associated mobile OS is upgraded. It is a complex process of coding and hair pulling, but Salesforce wants to change that.
Salesforce upgraded its mobile SDK to version 2.0, which allows developers to more easily link up Salesforce data to their iOS and Android apps no matter how they're built, and gives the apps access to the phone's built-in GPS and camera.
To attract developers, Salesforce is beginning what it calls the “Salesforce Mobile Accelerator Program.” Backed by numerous partners, the goal of the program is to “provide training and best practices on reference architectures, mobile architect curriculum, and consultant certification.”
During the week of April 22, Salesforce plans a 37-city event that gives developers a chance to work with the toolkit and new SDK.
It is clear that Salesforce, the company that showed just how essential cloud computing is to managing customers efficiently, survives mainly because they easily adapt to the times.