Though Salesforce Dreamforce 2015 ended a month ago, it is time to look ahead and see how we can best utilize the newest product and solution offerings that were unveiled at the mega conference.
This year Salesforce laid ample stress on the benefits of Salesforce and its newest products for SMBs. While the Small and Medium Business Keynote elaborated on showcasing customers who have successfully used Salesforce to expand their business and gain new customer insight, a host of new releases and demos targeting the small and medium business sector have paved the way for building a unique relationship between Salesforce and SMBs.
Given the versatility and scalability of its products, SMBs across the globe can consider adopting the six following offerings unveiled at the Dreamforce 2015:
- Trailhead – A brand new interactive learning suite from Salesforce, the innovative new offering connects with Salesforce’s free development edition (DE) in SFDC and helps newcomers learn Salesforce in a simple way that is easy to understand and offers a host of trail projects, learning materials, courses, tutorials and tests etc.Trailhead opens up endless possibilities for admins, developers, beginners and users who can teach themselves how to use or extract the maximum benefit out of their Salesforce. From hands-on experience to guides and insights into the SFDC org and even community forums, Trailhead is the ideal learning platform for SMBs who are looking to train in-house employees to become Salesforce experts/consultants. The best part is, Trailhead is available completely free at https://developer.salesforce.com/trailhead
- SalesforceIQ – Both SalesforceIQ for Small Business and SalesforceIQ for Sales Cloud together comprise Salesforce IQ, a new way of looking at the concept of customer relationship management. Calling it the world’s first ‘Relationship Intelligence technology,’ Salesforce describes it as a new kind of CRM where data from daily business can drive ‘improved communications and productive outcomes.‘ The SMB line of Salesforce IQ is targeted at first-time Salesforce or CRM users with an unbelievable starting price of $25 per month. Since it does not require much configuration, small companies will find it easy to set up and deploy. There is a free trial version for those who wish to familiarize themselves with the product before investing in a license. The SalesforceIQ for small business is already available at http://www.salesforce.com/salesforceiq/overview/
- The SFDC Marketing Cloud – This year’s Dreamforce unveiled a new offering – an integrated marketing cloud called the SFDC Marketing Cloud with impressive features like DMP functionality, ad-serving and targeting, A/B testing, email marketing, inbound marketing (listening and engagement) etc. The new product showcased both in product keynotes and in the cloud expos shows an innovative solution poised to change the face of automated marketing solutions. By making it more intelligent, Salesforce has given SMBs a way to utilize the power of predictive analysis to drive customer engagement and ultimately ROI, the primary goals of a small business. The new cloud based tools can be utilized to create optimized experiences for customers via email and offline campaigns etc., which will then reflect in the conversion rates. Depending on their requirements, companies can choose to start with targeted email, mobile and web marketing at a base price of $400. Businesses can check out the new SFDC Marketing Cloud from http://www.salesforce.com/in/marketing-cloud/overview/
- Salesforce1 Lightning – This year Salesforce has upgraded its Salesforce1 platform by adding a brand new offering called Lightening, a unique collection of Salesforce1 related tools and technologies like – Lightning Design System, Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components – to build and customize versatile enterprise apps both standalone and on Salesforce1 Mobile. With tutorials available on the newly introduced Trailhead (described above), users can learn to build apps from scratch or create custom components with the Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components. Designers, on the other hand, have a choice of a varied UI library, CSS framework and useful style guides to create the best apps possible with Salesforce1 Lightening. The Developer Edition is free; get a detailed overview and experience of Salesforce’s newest offering from https://developer.salesforce.com/lightning
- Collaboration with Microsoft – Putting an end to old rivalries, Salesforce and Microsoft joined hands in bringing together Salesforce and Microsoft products in a harmonious collaboration. Both Salesforce and Microsoft have reiterated that the joint integration is seamless and aims to simplify things for businesses. For small businesses, this joint collaboration is of immense importance as it eliminates the need for maintaining separate systems in the company. With this, Azure will henceforth support SFDC IoT Cloud while Office 365 can be integrated effectively with Salesforce, and Salesforce contacts, leads, accounts, opportunities, cases, and users can be viewed in Outlook. For detailed information on the features and benefits of this partnership, please visit http://www.salesforce.com/campaigns/microsoft/
- Salesforce App Cloud – Another Salesforce1 innovation, the new Salesforce App Cloud is a platform as a service (PaaS) which offers simple point-and-click tools for businesses to build the custom apps they need for their organization, but also unifies Heroku and Force.com providing developers a greater field for coding great apps and connecting business and customer engagement apps. For small businesses with limited resources and developers, this is literally a boon in the form of app development tools and best of all, developers can learn all about the process of app building on the Salesforce App Cloud from the free Trailhead (described above), tutorials, demos etc. Priced reasonably at a starting price of $25 per user, per month, the Salesforce App Cloud can be viewed in greater details at http://www.salesforce.com/in/platform/overview/
Salesforce has just offered us a bonanza in terms of practical, feasible and pocket friendly offerings for small and medium businesses. If you haven’t already thought about it, it is time to give your business a boost by trying some or all of them.