If you work with customer contact, customer experiences or digital marketing, you have probably heard of Salesforce, one of the leading CRM systems. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and that is exactly what Salesforce can help you and your organization with: building strong relationships with your customers and maintaining them in the best way.
Are you considering starting to use Salesforce? Then you are not alone - it is one of the most popular CRM systems for a reason. But there are a few important things you need to keep in mind before implementing. We at Columbus are here to guide you through the entire process.
In this blog you can read and learn more about:
What Salesforce is and what you can use it for
Which industries use Salesforce
What disadvantages there are - and how we help you deal with them
What happens after the implementation
What can I use Salesforce for?
Salesforce is a CRM system that manages your customer data through customer journeys. It gives you a 360-degree view of all the interactions and relationships that the customer has with your business. You are constantly updated on the customer's most important information, so you do not miss anything. Then you can build a personal and engaging customer journey, something which in turn gives even happier and more satisfied customers.
As a partner, Columbus offers services and support for various applications, so-called clouds, on the Salesforce platform.
We have services within:
- Sales Cloud
- Service Cloud
- Field Service
Sales Cloud is a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management application or CRM system. With Sales Cloud, you and your sales team can work together to increase sales and reach new customers. The application includes, among other things, Contact Management, Process Automation and the new Revenue Optimization, which forecasts and provides insight into company growth.
Service Cloud is an application that enables communication with and supports the customer. The customer can then contact your company about a case and receive an automatic update along the entire case management process through status messages. You see the most important contact information, what products the customer has as well as a history of cases to be able to offer the best possible support and help.
Field Service is another support application aimed at companies that need on-site service or support. It is mainly used to handle service and support in the field, for example via mobile. Then your company can follow up and update the customer with relevant information and coordinate resources on an ongoing basis. In the long run, it increases productivity within the company and gives the customer more transparency and greater control, something that is increasingly in demand.
Which industries is it suitable for?
Salesforce is suitable for large and small companies and is used in a number of different industries, for example in the manufacturing industry and MedTech.
What are the benefits?
The most important benefit of Salesforce is, in our opinion, the close relationships you can build with your customers. All customer data, all interactions, orders and matters are in one place, where you can easily access and use it.
But there are other benefits to Salesforce as well. It is, for example, user-friendly, as both interfaces and processes can be adapted to your unique wishes and your organization. Flexibility is also a clear strength and it is easy to make changes. If your company grows and gets new needs, it is thus easy to expand with other clouds and applications and adapt to the new needs.
Something we also notice in our customers is that Salesforce leads to increased productivity among employees and users. Because it is both user-friendly and has all the information gathered in one place, it is easy to provide the right information at the right time. This makes it faster between, for example, questions and answers or ordering and delivery.
The fact that all data is in one place and available to those who need it can also increase sales. Of course, how much sales increase also depends on what the original situation looks like, but a well-functioning CRM system definitely provides benefits. If your fellowship has a need to grow, it is therefore something to invest in.
Salesforce also has some technical benefits that reduce administration:
- The applications are cloud-based, which increases security and reduces the need for constant updates.
- You get three large releases per year, which means that the administration is reduced.
- The applications are constantly renewed with the features that are in demand, and Salesforce implements updates based on new trends and the needs of the industries.
Another advantage is that we at Columbus have developed an industry-unique best-practice, which means that you can choose a standard solution if you need a quick implementation at the same time as it is adaptable.
Are there any disadvantages and what should I think about?
So there are many heavy benefits to Salesforce, but also some things to keep in mind before choosing it as a CRM system.
There are two main things you need to keep in mind:
- If you do not do the right thing from the start, it is difficult to maintain high data quality. When implementing the applications, you need to bring with you experience and knowledge on how to avoid bad data and how to integrate various functions.
- Adaptation can be difficult for end-users. As with any change, it is important to bring the entire organization with you from the start and communicate on an ongoing basis. You need to have knowledge of what pitfalls there are and have humility in fact that it will be differently difficult for different people to absorb the change.
To avoid the disadvantages, you, therefore, need experience, technical competence and a good understanding of the human factors in implementation.
With an experienced consultant, you get all the benefits and avoid the pitfalls. We tell you more about it in this article.
How to set up Salesforce
Deciding on a CRM system is just the first step. Now the difficulty begins: You need to decide exactly what features and applications your company needs.
Setting up Salesforce is not difficult, but you need to do it in a structured and thoughtful way. To succeed, you need to devise a plan before the implementation starts:
Start with Salesforce in 8 steps
Step 1: Analyze your business needs through workshops.
Step 2: Make a plan of all your needs and match them with the features of Salesforce.
Step 3: Configure and develop functionality based on the agreed backlog in Salesforce. Now you need to start creating fields, adding values, creating processes/flows, automation, integrations and more.
Step 4: Set up user rights, including roles and profiles.
Step 5: Create reports and think about what data you need to follow up and how it should be followed up.
Step 6: User test the whole solution and solve any problems.
Step 7: Create other users.
Step 8: Time for launch and to give all users access.
This happens after the implementation
If you have followed all the steps, you should have started with Salesforce and got all the features you want. So what happens now?
After implementation, there is usually a handover to management and a "hyper care period" where the project team continues to be active. If despite previous tests, there is something that needs to be fixed, the team can fix it. The administration is now taking over with the previously agreed support process to provide continued support.
In the final stage, there is a follow-up with both management and the key users: Everyone who has been involved throughout the project. Did everything work as expected? What effect has the implementation had?
The effect Salesforce has depends on many factors - such as how mature the organization is for a change. But we see that as soon as the users have adopted the system and feel comfortable in the new way of working, the results will be visible in the near future.