Salesforce mainly known for its CRM dimension is today the SaaS business management platform serving the market's leading digital transformation. Through the various applications offered (for sales, services, marketing, etc.), Salesforce enables end-to-end customer relationship management.
Through a simplified adaptation - because of the many possible settings allowing to meet the specific needs of the different businesses - the platform can thus be quickly deployed within large groups such as mid-sized companies. But beyond the features available as standard in Salesforce, it is possible to extend the potential of the platform by resorting to specific development. And it is in particular by a fair trade-off between industrialized functionalities and tailor-made developments that companies will increase their performance and their competitiveness. So what technological choices should be made to take advantage of the best of both worlds?
Table of content
• Personalized engagement path
• Purchase tunnel and transaction modules
• Configuring the customer portal
Personalized engagement path
Thanks to its marketing tools, Salesforce makes it possible to communicate with prospects by distributing content on all the channels where they are present. Indeed, the solution's engagement platform makes it possible to create communication models (email, SMS, social media posts, etc.) without resorting to development. Once the content has been created, it is possible to set up a personalized marketing engagement journey according to the image that the company wishes to convey and customer preferences.
Thus, an individual who has logged on to a merchant site to fill his cart without completing his act of purchase will be able to automatically receive a follow-up email. If you want to establish targeting based on more complex rules, it will however be necessary to call on IT teams to develop certain additional components to the Marketing platform. Through the development of a specific algorithm, it will be possible to set up a scoring system.
In order to segment and qualify their target according to predefined criteria (socio-demographic data, online behaviour, levels of engagement, etc.), each customer or prospect will be assigned a score which will allow the message communicated to be further personalized for the purpose of maximizing sales.
Purchase tunnel and transaction modules
Via the settings, Salesforce allows you to customize different sales cycles (or purchase funnel). The commercial process is thus managed almost entirely on the platform, until the final step of finalizing the transaction. At the end of the purchase journey, the CRM tools will be able to indicate that the customer has given his consent.
Depending on the type of customers addressed (in particular B2B or B2C), this last key step can take the form of signing a contract electronically, sending an order form, or even paying online. It is then possible, on the Salesforce marketplace (AppExchange), to install an additional module offering the functionalities of electronic signature or secure online payment. But not all transactional solutions are (yet) on the AppExchange and the use of development is therefore necessary. Likewise, if Salesforce offers the possibility of creating a website, this online “showcase” does not have a payment module as standard (excluding subscription to the Salesforce eCommerce module).
Configuring the customer portal
Salesforce offers a standard version of a module giving access to part of the CRM to customers, prospects and partners. Via the configuration module and by relying on predefined models by Salesforce, it will be possible - without any line of code being necessary - to finely define the data set to be shared with an interlocutor as well as the Customer portal page allowing data to be made available.
This customer portal generated by Salesforce is natively accessible on all devices (computers, tablets and smartphones). However, it is possible to develop your own customer area in order to have a tailor-made portal that responds exactly to the desired brand image and the expected customer experience.
As we have seen, the Salesforce tool - by its great flexibility - makes it possible to respond to a majority of use cases through configuration as well as to more specific needs through development. It is therefore essential, as soon as the platform is implemented, to make trade-offs between configuration (sometimes complex) and specific development according to the needs of the company.
It is then - for each additional functionality - to identify upstream the advantages of a development, to check if there is a configurable model on the AppExchange, and to think about the way in which the maintenance will then be carried out. depending on the human resources available in the company or the chosen integrator.
These are all factors which, once considered, will make it possible to appeal to specific development in a relevant way and thus to take advantage of the full potential of the Salesforce universe. A tailor-made development which - although the platform is constantly enriched, like the Cloud Integration (API management) based on the acquisition of Mulesoft, and although more and more third-party solutions enrich the AppExchange - will remain possible in the future to meet future customer requirements, especially specific ones.
The Salesforce CRM Sales Cloud can be an excellent option to improve the commercial area and take your company to levels of sales and productivity never reached, all this thanks to its wide functionality that includes: Management of business opportunities, sales collaboration, lead management, sales projections, e-mail tracking and many others.
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