I’m sure that we’re all pretty comfortable with what a CRM is and that primarily the sales department keeps all their customer data stored in there.  There is probably another third of CRM users that even know how to use the CRM and get some value from it.  Finally, those in Sales management, probably know how to create reports to help assist with knowing what’s in the pipeline and what are your top potential deals this month. But that’s about where it ends for most of us, and the biggest reason why it stops there, is that most everyone thinks that all of the data in their CRM is only as good as the sales reps that typed it in. Although for most companies that’s true, it can be so much more with integration.

Integration is equivalent to plugging into new data sources. What data sources you ask? That is the key question that you must answer first, to realize the value. Would plugging into the national weather service data feed be of any value to you?  If you were a professional surfer, it sure would!  So what data feeds do you need to improve your business?  If you’re not sure, by knowing what features and functionality Salesforce can deliver, you can think about what data would be useful or needed to be affective. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

Salesforce Key Features:

  • Campaign Management – Centralized collateral bank for all your campaigning needs: Analytics, Initiatives, Campaign Strategies, Etc. What products are most viewed on my site? How long do users typically spend on my product pages? Do they prefer videos versus text?

  • Email Marketing – Automated Response and Email Tracking for your Email Marketing Campaigns. Strategize and efficiently execute campaigns to your target audience and consumers.

  • Search Marketing – Utilize Google AdWords to manage and measure SEO Marketing: Access your search engine campaign analytics directly, complete control and visibility over SEO marketing investments and projects.

  • Auto-Response Emails – Automated Email Responses; Personalized and Tailored to the nature of the customer’s inquiry. It’s only tailored, because the integration lets Salesforce know where they registered or came from.

  • Lead Management – Manage leads both effectively and efficiently: Optimize leads, track prospects and opportune leads, and seamlessly route qualified leads. How? By tracking and gathering as much information from as many sources as possible – how many times did my customers log in this month? What was their last purchase? How much have they spent over the last quarter? All good questions and easily answered with data integration.

  • List Management – Efficiently access your customer, leads, and contact information: Manage, Organize, Capture, and segment consumers and prospects into target groups.

  • Marketing Analytics – Easy access to analytics of your marketing campaigns: Analyze efficiency and impact of target campaigns, measure and track marketing budget, and discover top revenue generating campaign.

  • Dashboards – Custom Tailored dashboard with real-time tracking of your data and analytic: Critical Metrics, Trends, Charts, Etc.

  • Data Quality Management – Maintain and manage data quality through an easy management tool. How do you manage the quality you ask?  With integration, instead of your sales staff re-typing in other’s information, prone to many mistakes, we gather the information directly from the user typing in their own name, address, phone, etc. during checkout, purchase, download registration or whatever activity we can integrate to gather data.

  • Workflow Automation – Automated workflow customized to individual marketing processes: Greater control, elimination of redundant tasks, track routine activities, etc.

  • Sales Communication Management – Centralized collateral of templates for emails: Customizable templates that are tailored for individual inquiries and situations.

  • Collateral Management – Access to up to date versions of marketing and sales collateral: Centralized collection of campaigns, documents, marketing material, etc.

  • Asset Management – Manage, analyze and organize assets: View sales opportunities, broaden market share, track competition, etc.

So you can see that Salesforce has a ton of capabilities, and that with the right data, can transform your business in many areas. Most of the time that it doesn't work well, it's because we're relying on your sales reps to find and manually enter the data needed, which is the least affective and most prone to mistakes. Integrating into real data sources, your eCommerce platform, registration forms, communities, address validation services and more are just a few ideas to make your Salesforce integration implementation improve your sales staff’s ability to convert.

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