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- 39% of companies that have integrated clouds say their data has become a competitive advantage or strategic asset.
- 34% of salespeople say they can run an entire sales cycle from their phone or tablet.
These and many other insights are from The State of Salesforce Report, Bluewolf’s fifth annual study that seeks to identify how companies are using Salesforce to attain their customer, revenue, and profit goals. The study is based on surveys with more than 1,700 Salesforce customers globally and was completed online during Q2 and Q3 of 2016. Respondents include employees of very large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees), large enterprises (up to 1,000 employees), and medium to small enterprises (fewer than 500 employees). This is the first edition of the report to rely on IBM Watson for advanced sentiment analysis of survey respondents. You can find the microsite presenting the study’s results here. The 29 page PDF of the results is downloadable here (PDF, free, opt-in).
- IT professionals (61%), Service (59%), and Sales (49%) see the greatest potential for innovation on the Salesforce platform today. IT seeing the greatest potential for innovation underscores how Salesforce’s efforts to promote and build an enterprise cloud platform are succeeding. The potential to capitalize on Salesforce’s many APIs, development frameworks, and tools to build out new apps quickly in response to internal customer requirements is one of the several factors driving innovation in IT departments. Competing more in the customer’s timeframes and achieving a higher level of responsiveness are expectations driving service, and the pressure on sales to continually find innovative new ways to drive revenue are reflected in these results.
- 65% of companies are investing to make their analytics more actionable. The majority of respondents are investing in analytics to gain greater actionable insight, intelligence to increase the accuracy and speed of decision-making. Sales, service, and marketing respondents are looking to analytics to accelerate their decision-making processes and generate sales faster. The following graphic compares the percentage increase in analytics investment by year.
- 76% of respondents who have increased their investments in analytics during the last 12 months are 3X more likely to see data quality as a competitive advantage. 72% who have increased their investments in analytics over the last 12 months see data as a strategic asset. 67% of respondent companies can access data from other departments. The bottom line is that the greater the depth and breadth of integration across Salesforce clouds, legacy and third-party systems the higher the potential Return on Investment (ROI) that a company can achieve by driving more sales and supporting new business models.
- Sales’ top challenges in getting more value out of Salesforce include accessing different types of data, including data outside Salesforce (30%) and poor, inconsistent data quality (25%). Data quality continues to limit companies’ ability to create more effective marketing and selling strategies. Reconciling data from different sources or across different Salesforce organizations (16%) is more prevalent than this survey suggests based discussions with companies attempting to merge CRM systems after a series of acquisitions and mergers.
- 34% of marketers are reactive, using Salesforce just for reporting or lead routing only. Given the proliferation of marketing automation, analytics, campaign management, lead generation and many other apps, the marketing technology stack in many companies includes 40 or more vendors today. It’s difficult to integrate these apps into a cohesive, unified platform that relies on the same data models and databases company-wide. Marketers who are running their entire technology stack on a unified platform have a higher probability they’ll be able to make use of intelligent, prescriptive and predictive marketing apps according to the study’s findings.
- 61% of service organizations are increasing investments in actionable analytics within Salesforce. Integrating systems, reducing duplicate data entry, and implementing more responsive customer service are high priorities for service organizations investing in analytics apps this year. Only 32% of service organizations, however, have invested in intelligent self-service, where applications automatically answer customer questions without agent involvement.