Sales Cloud

2020 has not only been a year of pandemic, quarantine, vaccines, social distancing and digital education, but it has also brought about learning and innovation in the business field too. With the COVID-19 outbreak, many businesses were caught flat-footed. Selling organizations that relied heavily on human-to-human interactions were the most unprepared, and the disruption left them feeling uncertain about the impact on their sales processes and revenue. However, SFA came to the rescue. SFA systems help to cultivate and enforce consistent sales execution. To that end, Gartner recommends that all selling organizations examine their SFA implementations in 2020, looking for ways to make the tools more likely to support consistent sales execution.

Gartner defines SalesForce Automation (SFA) as systems that support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for organizations' sales professionals. Gartner considers SFA to be foundational technology, implemented to automate an organization's core sales processes.

The core capabilities of SFA systems include:
  1. Lead, account, contact and opportunity management
  2. Sales activity management
  3. Guided selling
  4. Sales pipeline and forecast management
  5. Mobile applications
  6. Reporting
  7. Partner relationship management (PRM)
  8. Platform capabilities
  9.   Optional capabilities include:
    • Sales content management
    • Configure, price and quote (CPQ)

Different sales organizations require different levels of depth and complexity in their SFA product. Vendors that support a wide range of complexity have greater market potential. SFA accounts for the largest section of the sales technology market. Gartner estimates that SFA technology comprises approximately 55% of the overall sales technology market.

Salesforce is a Leader for the fourteenth consecutive year, according to Gartner, reflecting its sustained strength in terms of product vision, marketing execution and revenue growth. Its SFA offering is Salesforce Sales Cloud. Salesforce has a wide range of native functionality for all SFA core capabilities, particularly guided selling, forecasting and PRM. In the past year, Salesforce has introduced unique forecasting capabilities, with forecasting by product families, product schedules and territories, as well as quarterly predictive forecasting via Sales Cloud Einstein. Salesforce has also improved its sales acceleration add-on with new customer engagement notifications and cadence functionality. It has repackaged Salesforce Sales Cloud, adding AI functionality to the base product, including Einstein Opportunity Scoring and Einstein Voice.

These days, SFA products are also being built on the same architecture as its process modelling, marketing, digital commerce and service products. This is an advantage for sales organizations with complex B2C processes, as well as those looking for a single-source vendor for all CRM capabilities.

Salesforce's relationship with global system integrators comes especially handy for companies with worldwide SFA implementations or significant process transformation requirements.

Customer journey workflows, an AI-based cross-sell modeling capability, and an AI-based performance modeling capability for baselining sellers' selling ability are a unique addition as they provide a customer journey simulator for sales processes. This capability helps sales reps identify and repair "broken" customer journeys.

Redesigned UI, improved predictive forecasting and new digital commerce functions have also brought in a zing to the SFA market.

Salesforce also helps develop marketing messages and content for all decision-making roles. It has one of the largest implementation partner ecosystems, supporting deployments in all geographies. Additionally, it has expanded its vertical offerings in the past year, adding new products for CPG and industrial manufacturers.

Salesforce delivers a comparatively higher number of product enhancements to Sales Cloud making reference customers give it higher scores than its competitors for its vision for improving sales execution, its scalability and flexibility to meet the needs of different sales teams. Salesforce also has a wide range of options for building guided selling processes, including capabilities like Path and Lightning Flow making it the right choice for businesses with complex sales processes.

SFA product's ease of use, referring to functions like record searchability and an attractive UI make reference customers give it notably high scores for usability and the quality of its system administrator functions making it a Go-To choice for businesses planning on SFA implementation or upgradation.

The professional services, real estate, pharmaceutical and logistics sectors, midsize to very large enterprises in the financial services, insurance and life sciences sectors, retail banking, corporate banking, wealth management, life insurance and insurance sectors are few of the verticals that have benefited from SFA.

An example of how a streamlined integration might help businesses might be as follows: your marketing team uses HubSpot Marketing Software, your sales team uses Salesforce, and your customer service team uses Zendesk. You can integrate HubSpot Marketing and Zendesk with Salesforce, creating a transparent data funnel through which your marketing, sales, and customer service teams can have a 360° view of every customer. This means transparency through the whole sales funnel, and it makes it easier for marketing, sales, and customer service to get on the same page.

Salesforce integrates with major social media networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. This allows users to meet customers where they are — interacting with them across the social sites they frequent the most. Also, it enables users to track social media reactions. Salesforce also lets you connect with your clients via social media, look at what they are talking about right before a meeting so that you can give the right suggestions, etc. and connect better with them. They can use this data to develop more effective sales and marketing campaigns. This powers 360-degree customer support that other competitors can't provide. If you care enough about your customers to interact with them in the way they feel most comfortable, you're more likely to keep their business.

You can minimize customer dissatisfaction by integrating Salesforce with your customer service platform. Your customer service team will then have access to all customer information, helping them keep track of any outstanding customer issues and preventing issues from falling through the cracks.

Report generation helps businesses to quickly access data that helps to improve products and services. With easy access to deep insights and analytics, businesses love Salesforce.

While most Salesforce competitors offer mobile apps as a part of their service, none do so to the level that Salesforce provides. Its User App Exchange offers thousands of apps and components designed to help users get the most out of their Salesforce investment. It's been downloaded more than three million times and is recognized as the largest, cloud-based business app marketplace around.

Salesforce also dominates when it comes to mobile access. Worldwide users can access their Salesforce solutions from any device they choose. These include Android and iPhone, as well as the older operating systems.

When a business adopts Salesforce, they are purchasing something that makes them ready for the future. With its undeniable focus on innovation and making technology ready for tomorrow, Salesforce has been at the forefront of innovation and development. If you haven't examined your SFA implementation yet, then this is the time to do it.

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