How Salesforce Integration Accelerates Sales Cycles

It’s often the first sales quote that wins any given deal as prospects always have a strong sense of urgency to get their problems solved.

Being the fastest and most accurate at quoting wins new customers, renewals, and drives margins up. It is imperative to get past the constraints of legacy systems integration techniques including ETL if CPQ selling strategies are going to succeed. It’s time for more companies to move beyond the brittle, easily broken approaches to integration including data migration and field mapping. You must enable real-time Salesforce integration to drive more sales.

Accepting the Challenge Improving Salesforce Integration to Win More Deals

The challenge is getting CPQ apps integrated to legacy CRM, ERP, pricing and services systems that can react as fast as prospects expect. The most successful companies are always thinking in the timeframes of its customers. Waiting a week to send a quote to a customer may not seem like long time to a busy sales rep. But, to the prospect or customer, it can seem like an eternity.

Here are the most valuable ways Salesforce integration accelerates sales cycles and improves win rates at the same time:

* Enabling real-time integration between SAP ERP and Salesforce systems delivers contextually relevant data exactly when it’s needed during sales cycles – Using a service-oriented framework that can synchronously communicate between systems using a loosely-coupled series of web services is the future of Salesforce integration. Enabling real-time responses does make a big difference in closing more deals, as prospects expect accurate quotes delivered in their urgent timeframes – not when the quotes are convenient to produce.

* Beating competitors with faster proposals, special pricing requests (SPRs), quotes, and final approval and contracts – Only with a real-time Salesforce integration can a sales team hope to beat competitors who are also receiving edits and modifications to quotes and contracts as part of final negotiations. By having real-time access to SAP ERP data, teams using Salesforce can redefine, calculate and present quotes faster than competitors. Real-time integration provides greater quoting and pricing accuracy making responsiveness the new normal.

* Having a true 360-degree view of customers for the first time, complete with purchasing, pricing and service history – This is an invaluable aspect of improving deal win rates with real-time integration, especially for those sales reps using mobile devices. Being able to prep for a sales call in a customers’ lobby and having access to years of data right before a quote is due is powerful. The

360-degree view of customers provides insight into which factors led to successful quotes in the past and why. And the pricing history shows the best possible response to a current SPR as well.

* Enabling greater self-service options for pricing, delivery date, and return updates for customers using apps powered by real-time integration – The greatest compliment you can give any customer is exceptional responsiveness and attention. It shows a company respects and values its customers when processes are in place to get answers quickly. Add in mobile and web-based apps available 24/7 that provide real-time information they need, and the foundation is set for exceptional customer loyalty. Customers want to feel valued. Real-time integration supporting a variety of self-service apps provides that respect by delivering the data customers need, whenever they need it.

About the Author:

I am a Forbes contributing columnist, industry analyst and blogger, and serve as Director, Global Cloud Product Management at Ingram Cloud. Previous positions include product marketing at iBASEt, Plex Systems, senior analyst at AMR Research (now Gartner), marketing and business development at Cincom Systems, Ingram Micro, a SaaS start-up and at hardware companies.

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