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CRMD Blog

The State Of Salesforce, 2016 – 2017

CRMD Blog Photo

Interesting insight from Bluewolf on the State of Salesforce. Their fifth annual release, based on surveys with Salesforce customers, identified some key information on how companies are using Salesforce to change and attain business goals.

Key Trends:

  • 61% of companies will be increasing their Salesforce budgets next year—13% by more than 50%
  • 75% of companies increasing investment in analytics can cite revenue gains as a measurable business outcome attributable to their use of Salesforce.
  • 96% see innovation potential
    with Salesforce

Read more from Bluewolf’s fifth annual State of Salesforce study.

Salesforce Announces Lightning Partner Community

Lightning Partner Community is the latest addition to Salesforce Community Cloud, an online social platform the CRM giant rolled-out in 2013. The company announced on Thursday, Nov. 3rd, that its new tool will help businesses increase sales and close deals faster. It is available starting Friday with a Partner Community Cloud license.

via ZDnet

According to the CRM giant, Lightning Partner Community is designed to help businesses and their partners accelerate sales. Essentially, the Lightning Partner Community extends the sales, CRM, and AI tools a business is using to its resellers, franchisees, and channel teams.

For instance, businesses can now offer customers a branded user experience across devices via Lightning, access to artificial intelligence services via Salesforce Einstein for partners, and extend CRM records for sales opportunities.In June, the Community Cloud underwent a makeover to make its tool more user and mobile-friendly.

This is a great addition to Salesforce’s Community Cloud, which underwent a platform makeover in June ’16 to enable a more mobile-friendly and personalized user experience. Real-time collaboration with Chatter, file-sharing, and record-view makes it ideal for businesses searching for self-service solutions for employees and customers.

Share us your thoughts, or book an instant meeting and trial Salesforce Community Cloud for your business at CRMD.io.

U.S. Companies Added Fewer Employees in Last 5 Months

Data released from the ADP Research Institute last Wednesday revealed U.S Companies added 147,000 workers in October, the fewest in five months. American firms have cited a lack of available high-skilled workers in the talent pool as a contributing factor of the hiring cool down. Policy-makers at the Federal Reserve, however, remain optimistic about job growth and progress in the labor market.

Per Bloomberg Report:

“-Construction payrolls dropped by 15,000 last month, the biggest decline since May

-Factories shed 1,000 workers

-Employment at business services firms rose by 69,000 and payrolls increased by 38,000 in leisure and hospitality

-Companies employing 500 or more workers added 64,000 jobs; payrolls climbed by 48,000 at medium-sized businesses, or those with 50 to 499 employees; small companies’ staffs grew by 34,000

Read the full report and other insights at ADP Research Institute.

3 Reasons Why Your Company Should Be Using Social Media

social media for business crmd

Are you wondering about what else you can do to grow and manage your business? Below are 3 reasons why is the time to spread your wings as a social media butterfly.

It creates brand awareness

Text and images on a feed form a representative mosaic, which can become synonymous with a brand. For example, a preppy apparel brand may choose to post photos of a recent sailing regatta on their Instagram to appeal to their demographic. Utilizing social channels can also help consumers learn ways in which to use products or the benefits of a service. A recent study said 53% of people who follow brands on social media are more loyal to those brands. Concerned about what your brand’s reputation is like on Facebook? Salesforce is a great tool to make sure the most flattering snapshot of your company gets shared to your followers. So if you haven’t hopped on the social media bandwagon yet then now may be a good time.

It connects you to your users

People follow the brands they love and they’re certainly not quiet about it. Nielson’s 2012 Social Media Report tells us that nearly 50% of consumers use social media to ask questions and to leave positive or negative feedback. Through responding to comments you can easily do damage control to address a negative remark or thank a loyal customer for saying something positive. Use social media as a way to prove that your customer service is on point. Feeling scattered? Using Salesforce is an easy way to connect with your customers through all social channels easily all in one place.

More opportunities to convert

Every post is a chance for a call to action. Use this as an opportunity to post a link for a contest or to simply drive the traffic back to your website. Adding links to see which posts performed best are an added plus to repeat what worked well. Brand following doubled within two years and nowadays, with the costs of utilizing social media being so low, there’s definitely more to gain than to lose.

The social landscape is constantly changing so stay tuned for more ways staying social can help your company.

DREAMFORCE SESSION: Salesforce Communities Strategy

Implementing Salesforce Communities can be challenging without guidance or experience, especially as a new tool in the Salesforce.com arsenal.  I’ll share with you, my simple recipe for success in using the Salesforce Community Cloud.

1. Put the customer back at the center of your brand’s experience.

This means implementing a design process that is built from the customer-in, rather than from the product / department / technology-out.
What’s important to them?
Is it a quick check to see the status of their purchased products?
Is it an effortless experience to open a case with your customer success team?
Diluting your Community’s home page with a little piece of everything you want to share with your customer can cause confusion and leave a bitter taste.  Give them what they need, first – then share a bit of what else is available above the fold.

2. Understand the Community platform’s capabilities.

Next to anything is possible with Communities.  You can now achieve the branded experience your customers expect to receive.  But, how do you do this?  There are a few different avenues you can take.

The first option is to configure the Community with the Salesforce Community Builder (formerly called Site.com).  The Community Builder CMS (content management system) is a user-friendly approach to building Salesforce pages without requiring a coding background to maintain or update.  The drawback to this approach is the rigid structure of the CMS.  Reusable widgets would have to be coded using Force.com, and much of the out-of-the-box widgets are a bit buggy.  There are also a few limitations in exposing internal CRM content to the externally rendered pages.

The second option is to build the Community using the Force.com platform.  This will enable your developers (or ours) to code highly customized pages using APEX code contained in Visualforce pages.  While some knowledge of APEX code will be necessary to maintain the pages created here, the training is straightforward to do so.  This approach will take you the least amount of time, and yield the greatest results.

A third approach is to build the pages using Force.com as the container while the Community Builder CMS is used to manage the content.  This is a bit tricky to configure, but the bonus is that you may update the content without needing to modify code, while also being able to more easily marry internal Salesforce CRM content on the Community pages.

If you’d like to learn which approach is right for you, or find out more about the Community Cloud’s best practices, please attend our sessions at Dreamforce this year:

  • First Session: Salesforce Communities Strategy: A Simple Recipe for Success (Theater)
    10/13 Monday, 4:30 PM – 5:10 PM
    InterContinental San Francisco
    Grand Ballroom C
  • Second (Repeat) Session: Salesforce Communities Strategy: A Simple Recipe for Success (2)
    10/15 Wednesday, 5:00 PM – 5:40 PM
    InterContinental San Francisco
    InterContinental Ballroom C

Hope to see you there!