Posts Tagged 'Customer relationship management'

Organizing your Salesforce Orgs

Does this sound familiar? You’re moving from an independent instance (or org) of Salesforce CRM to the consolidated corporate org.  While there will definitely be business benefits in terms of visibility, reporting, customer/prospect communication, support, responsiveness, enablement and general leverage of corporate resources, it still represents a potential loss of autonomy. But it’s the right strategy for your business. Or is it?

Whether you ended up with multiple Salesforce orgs through mergers and acquisitions, separate brands or divisions, or through organic growth: at some point your organization is going to need to determine what is the right approach to multi-org consolidation. Here is an overview of 3 approaches to consider.

The Benefits of a Single Customer View

social crm dissertation wordle

social crm dissertation wordle (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

The promise of a single customer view is nothing new to CRM. But is there a comprehensive list of the benefits that such a promise might be able to deliver? Today on the Informatica Perspectives blog, Dina Elsokari took a crack at not 10, but 12 benefits.  It’s also notable that she talked about single customer view benefits without once mentioning cloud master data management or any associated technology for that matter. Well done!

Here’s her list:

  1. Increase upsell and cross sell opportunities
  2. Identify your most valuable customers
  3. Higher customer retention
  4. More targeted product development
  5. Clearer targets for your marketing initiatives
  6. Increased ROI on marketing campaigns
  7. Credible forecasts
  8. Respected reporting
  9. Supporting data for a possible merger or acquisition
  10. A sales culture, not a data gathering and cleansing culture
  11. An increased adoption of Salesforce
  12. Controlled risk

Be sure to check out the entire post and provide your feedback here.

Cloud Master Data Management from Informatica

I’ve written about the topic of cloud-based master data management (MDM) in the past:

  1. 2012 Cloud Data Integration Trends
  2. What do Salesforce.com Customers Care About?

This week Informatica announced the availability of a new Cloud MDM solution for salesforce.com customers. Here are a couple of perspectives on the news:

  1. Will Salesforce be the Catalyst to Propel MDM to the Cloud?
  2. Mind the Gap: How Sales Operations Can Overcome Five Customer Information Gaps in Salesforce

If you’re new to the topic of MDM and want to learn why a cloud-based solution built natively on force.com is so relevant to salesforce.com customers, be sure to check out this video:

Salesforce Integration in Manufacturing: Getting Sales and Operations on the Same Page

I hosted a webinar this week with a CRM developer, Salesforce.com-focused systems integrator and cloud integration expert who provided a demonstration of Informatica Cloud. The focus of the discussion was the importance of data integration to CRM adoption and success in manufacturing. Here is the recording and the slides.

Integrating Salesforce CRM and SAP

SAP AG

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s a video of Informatica Cloud integrating Salesforce.com data and SAP.

Congratulations to the destinationCRM 2011 CRM Market Leaders

destinationCRMInterested in the evolving CRM market? Planning on attending Dreamforce this month?

If you answered yes to either question, you’re going to want to take the time to read the 10th Annual CRM Market Leader award summary over on destinationCRM.

Here’s a summary of this year’s winners by category:

  • Enterprise CRM Suite:  Salesforce.com
  • Midmarket CRM Suite: Salesforce.com
  • Small Business CRM Suite: Salesforce.com
  • Sales Force Automation: Salesforce.com
  • Incentive Management: Xactly
  • Marketing Solutions: Marketo
  • Business Intelligence: IBM (Cognos)
  • Data Quality: Informatica
  • Open Source CRM: Sugar CRM
  • Consultancies: Innoveer

The magazine also announced their CRM Influential Leaders. They are:

  • Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com chairman and CEO – A Ubiquitous Presence
  • Larry Ellison, Oracle CEO – The Deal Maker
  • Esteban Kolsky, Thinkjar Founder and Principal – An Analyst’s Analyst
  • Andrew Mason, Groupon Founder and CEO – A Group Leader
  • Clara Shih, Hearsay Social Founder and CEO – The Social Butterfly
  • Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn President and CEO – A Public Statement

Congratulations to this year’s winners! They are both impressive lists.  See you at Dreamforce!

What Do Salesforce.com Customers Care About?

Image representing Salesforce as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

I was asked a simple question yesterday: “What do Salesforce customers care about?” I found that after a lot of rambling and some whiteboard scribbling that my answer was not so simple. I thought I’d try it out here…and maybe get some input from some of you.

First of all, some background. I first became a Salesforce user back in 2005, while in product marketing at Business Objects (now owned by SAP and no longer a customer I suspect). At that point, I was primarily interested in customer analysis, customer references and  competitive intelligence (win / loss analysis and other sales reporting). In 2006 I joined Salesforce product management to work on developing an analytics product line. (This is when I discovered blogging – here are some early examples.) I spent a lot of time gathering input from customers about the types of dashboards and reports they’d like to see. (It’s nice to see that many of the requirements outlined here have now been delivered.) I also spent a lot of time with AppExchange analytics partners, before joining a SaaS BI start-up, where I became a CRM administrator for the first time. Since then I’ve spent most of my time thinking about leads, campaigns and opportunities, but I’m a huge fan of Salesforce Content and Chatter. I’ve also been involved in Eloqua and Marketo implementations along the way.

So, the point of the background is to say that I know what I care about as a Salesforce CRM customer, but as I started down the path of answering what was meant to be a simple question, I realized just how much salesforce.com has expanded over the past few years. Here are a few of the bullets I jotted down, recognizing that much of this will vary by organization size and industry.

CRM administrators:

  • They care about user adoption, dashboards, business process, taking advantage of the latest features, data quality…and integration.
  • These days when I want to know what a guru cares about I read, A Force Behind the Force blog. It’s solid.
Sales Operations:
  • As above, but they also are responsible for sales enablement, forecasting, funnel management, quotas, compensation, bookings, billings…and integration.
  • I like this blog, but generally, I find sales operations are interested in anything to do with metrics. (Here are a few of my old posts on this topic.)
Marketing Managers:
  • Of course it depends on whether or not you work for a B2B or B2C organization and your role (demand gen, events, community, product marketing, corporate communications, etc.), but ultimately what marketing should be measured on is pipeline contribution: Leads that convert to opportunities that convert to closed business…that convert to happy customers…that convert to renewals, more business, etc.
  • There are lots of great AppExchange apps for marketers, but I do wonder when the Marketing Cloud will be delivered by Salesforce natively. The Lead and Campaign objects could use a refresh…
Customer Service and Support:
  • I’m no Service Cloud guru, but I do know the latest release was a big deal at the New York Cloudforce event in March and more and more organizations are moving to customer service and support in the cloud. Incorporating social media and gaining a single view of customer, products, etc. is also a key value proposition of cloud data integration and master data management (MDM).
  • Here’s a solid post on the Salesforce Service Cloud opportunity and a video on social media and customer service.
IT Roles: Architects, DBAs, etc.
  • I wrote a post recently called, Is Hybrid the New Black?  To me, it’s fascinating to see attitudes from this audience evolve from cloud skeptical, to cloud curious, to cloud first. It’s as if the Big Switch has been flipped and the so-called “Cloud Rush” is on in IT.
  • Look to see significant enterprise IT attendance at Dreamforce 2011. Salesforce has done a great job of gaining trust from CIOs and all levels of IT over the past few years. Clearly this is also an audience that understands the importance of cloud integration.
Application and Platform Developers
  • Force.com anyone? I must admit that I’m losing track of all of the evolving platform as a service (PaaS) components. Heroku remains a separate website, and it looks like they’ve gone back to the X-Force branding of 2005 (Appforce, Siteforce, VMforce, etc.).
  • What do Salesforce developers care about? If you want get into Apex Code and learn some great tips and tricks, check out the Force Monkey blog. Be sure to also spend time on the Developer Force community site.
So how did I do? Clearly it’s not so easy to summarize what Salesforce customers care about as the on-demand applications and platform have evolved and expanded. One thing I do believe is consistent across all constituents is that all Salesforce customers care about data, which is why data integration, data quality and overall data management are always such hot topics.

To me, what has remained the same is how passionate Salesforce customers are about pushing the boundaries of cloud computing and getting the maximum value from their investment. Salesforce.com has done a fantastic job of creating communities of evangelists and an ecosystem of partners….and the annual extravaganza is just around the corner.

See you @ #DF11. Oh, and here’s a video of Marc Benioff talking about his vision a few years ago…

Dreamforce to You Delivers in Orlando

I spent the weekend at a great Salesforce.com user group meeting in Orlando called Dreamforce 2 You. The event lived up to its name and did a great job of bringing the energy (and a few video highlights) from the annual San Francisco CRM and Force.com conference to the local community. The agenda was user-driven and I thought nicely representative of what’s top of mind for most Salesforce customers:

  1. Salesforce.com Success Out-Of-The-Box
  2. Data Management: There’s gold in them details (my session)
  3. Marketing Automation
  4. Deep Dive into Salesforce.com Reporting, Analytics, and Dashboards
  5. SFA: Automation = Automagical to you and your users
  6. Developing in the Cloud

Thank you and congratulations to the team who put the mini-Dreamforce conference together (Joshua, Jen and Jackie). It truly was the best Salesforce user group meeting I’ve attended with a great mix of customers, partners, Salesforce employees and of course content.

In the data management session, I focused on:

  1. The importance of data integration to Salesforce customer success
  2. The different data integration options available to Salesforce customers
  3. What to look for in a cloud data integration solution

Here is the first section of the presentation. Be sure to let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

 

Forrester: 6 Categories SaaS Will Impact the Most

CIO.com recently featured a summary of Forrester Research analyst Liz HerbertHow SaaS Will Impact 6 Key Software Categories.  They are:

  1. IT Management Applications
  2. CRM Software and productivity applications
  3. ERP and Supply Chain Software
  4. Business Intelligence
  5. HR Software
  6. Platform and Middleware Solutions

No big surprises here, but the article also provides some solid recommendations for source executives, “in light of increased SaaS adoption.”

Sourcing executives must prepare for a hybrid landscape where SaaS co-exists with on-premise and hosted solutions, with many new vendors in the overall software portfolio. To navigate this complex environment, sourcing professionals should consider weighing the valuable aspects of SaaS — such as functionality, community, and accessibility — with risk elements — like vendor viability, vendor lock-in, and security.”

The Benefits of Cloud Integration for Sales and Marketing

People often are surprised by the concept of “self-service data integration” or the fact that  integration can be managed directly by sales or marketing managers and not necessarily by traditional IT organizations. Here’s an example of cloud data integration in action:


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