Salesforce Beyond CRM: The Complete Business Platform

Published on
June 29, 2016

As head of the East Coast sales for a technology consulting company, I spend most of my time traveling on the I-95. Because of this, not only did I need easy access to customers' information, but also to financial documents, quotations, and project status, along with client data. I'm a part of a new breed of sales reps whose principal focus is customer success rather than just on profits. This problem is a challenge for most of the business executives, but Salesforce has allowed me and millions of others to have all the crucial information at our fingertips.

Moving from Salesforce CRM to a Complete Business Solution

I was at a customer site in the Philadelphia suburbs, and it's fascinating to see how the customer is running all of its business operations from their mobile devices. The customer has grown Salesforce from a CRM to an entire business platform where they manage orders in a highly customized sales cloud, manage direct consumers on the marketing cloud, manage distributors and overseas factories on the community portal, and have a customer facing app on Heroku. They are also using Einstein Analytics for predictive analytics, which is the base engine for predicting a company's future.

At a time when other software companies are still jockeying to become successful players in a cloud-based CRM by building a counterfeit cloud, Salesforce stands at an important point in its history: It is transforming itself from a cloud-based CRM platform to a complete business platform. Now, Salesforce is more than a CRM. Rather, it's an entire platform for running your business.

Salesforce, along with the vast ecosystem known as AppExchange, has every solution for companies to run their business operations without existing Salesforce's ecosystem. There are other companies making tall claims about being a complete business platform. However, legacy systems integrations are often complicated, and only companies with the multi-tenant cloud can solve the complex integration challenges.

At a high level, this image illustrates how different companies can use the Salesforce platform for different departments. HR can manage functions like recruitment, employee support, and training. Operations can manage assets and facilities including the optimization of cost. Product management and supply chain teams can manage the product from initial stage of procurement to logistics execution.

The Shift in Doing Business

Consider the era where businesses used to hire multiple software vendors and, again, multiple implementation partners to implement several software systems to run the business. Except they find out that most of the systems don't fit into the company's processes and objectives. With the Salesforce SaaS-based subscription model, it's now easy to scale up without having multiple implementation partners, making Salesforce the heart of business operations.

There is also a paradigm shift in how companies interact with customers because they can connect with their clients at both the rational and emotional levels. When we started the Salesforce journey with a few of our customers, it was a sales tool for the sales teams. Now our clients' service teams use Salesforce for solving customer queries. The marketing team uses Marketing Cloud to manage the billions of interactions with consumers, personalizing and measuring every single touchpoint with the customer.

Today, customer reach is instantaneous as social media has expanded beyond industries, borders, and demographics. Thus, technology innovation is the most critical factor for succeeding. With a technology partner like Salesforce, customers can focus on growing their business. At the same time, Salesforce can continue making technological advancements and deliver the innovation derived to the customers. As a result, customers are prepared for today and a promising future.

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