Building A Sales Organization In Manufacturing Firms (4.0) Through Salesforce

Published on
August 17, 2016

This is my second blog in the series which began with ways in which Salesforce can prepare Manufacturing firms for Industry 4.0. As we progress through this one, I will mostly talk about the digitalization of the Sales Function, which in today’s world, is essential to cope with the widespread disruption of data that is happening all around!

One of the biggest challenges for Senior Executives in manufacturing firms is to push their product into the market and position it in all the channels. This is essential to ensure that a customer gets familiar with the brand image and one has enough time to judge the product by its usage and subsequently, by its functionality. In the practical world, this process is always extremely time-consuming and should be carefully managed by the senior executives by continuous monitoring of sales and marketing performance & capabilities.

However, this tedious process becomes a tad bit easier with the Salesforce Sales and Marketing cloud which is a robust digital tool and empowers the respective functions to build relationships with the customers and bring whole new results to the senior executive's desk. It is also a boon for the Sales Team since it gives them relevant insights into the customer’s lifecycle, which helps them cross-sell and upsell much more easily.

While the Sales team uses it for their Sales effort, these clouds are also a must have for the Top executives who can take a date-driven approach for making decisions which are delivered through the Reporting and Dashboard features, and helps them monitor their product performance in their targeted markets.

Digitalization is no longer a choice anymore; it is indeed the need of the hour. Major Management consultancy, McKinsey has conducted surveys and studies which indicate that digital tools help organizations to become a high performing Sales Organization. I envision the Salesforce Sales Cloud as the perfect digital tool for the manufacturing leaders to embrace if they intend to build a robust high performing sales organization within their firms.

Measuring product performance and understanding customer needs, market response is inadequate without having a high class Open innovation ecosystem. Open innovation ecosystems help organizations to bring outside knowledge from different geographies & cultures and ideas from intellectuals all over the world to build new business and products. A manufacturer needs to create this kind of ecosystem to practice open innovation and also to engage with the stakeholders.

Here, I am talking about the Salesforce Community Cloud, which serves more like an open innovation platform representing Partners, Employees and customers fostering innovation. While the community’s main goal is to exchange ideas, provide feedback about products and its functionality, it also serves as an efficient platform for knowledge sharing and for initiating discussions about the products and its services. Salesforce Community Cloud is the best solution to manage factories using various communities having constant dialogues between departments and functions and stakeholders breaking Organization silos.

CRM was once treated as the last piece of software to invest by manufacturing firm’s IT leaders and it was less important when compared to MES and ERP. But this ideology among the industry was radically changed by Marc Benioff’s efforts by bringing the digital transformation to the manufacturing sector on one platform, forecasting Industry 4.0. Probably the best part of Salesforce is that it is everywhere, even on mobile and it can integrate with the legacy IT systems like ERP and other Business Software's. The recent CRM Awards 2016 yet again proved that Salesforce is indeed the Market Leader in the industry.

Sales was ignored or given less importance by Manufacturing leaders across the First to the Third Industrial Revolution, but as the Fourth Industrial revolution is approaching and it is inevitable for CXO leadership to embrace the data and data intelligence platforms to build a high performing sales organization within their manufacturing firms. Companies looking out for adopting to these groundbreaking Salesforce technologies can reach out to us at for Implementation, Integration, Custom Development, Administration and Support Service and as always, we, at AppShark would be happy to help!

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