Two decades ago an idea took flight from Telegraph Hill. It wanted to deliver enterprise software that was as simple to use as a website like Amazon.com.
Fast-forward to the present day and Salesforce has moved far beyond its original vision of a SaaS CRM and continues to chart completely unexplored territory.
Bear in mind that Amazon was created as an online bookstore, Tiffany & Co was originally as stationer and that before Facebook there was Facemash…
Salesforce is no longer a CRM, long live Salesforce.
Where do you go after becoming the world’s #1 CRM by a country mile – or at least for the last five successive years?
A good indication might lie in their recent acquisitions and the fact that the way we engage with customers is evolving.
It has to, because of the way the connected customer now engages demands it.
Bigger than a CRM
Last year Salesforce made their biggest ever acquisition in a $6.5bn purchase of MuleSoft – a cloud integration for third-party technology.
Their acquisition of Rebel and Datorama has allowed them to overtake and extend their lead on Adobe’s market share in the marketing cloud.
To me, it suggests that Salesforce intends on growing its ecosystem to create a seamless end-to-end journey that supports the entire customer lifecycle.
Whether that’s in Salesforce or outside.
It’s perhaps the most valuable metric to businesses. The lifetime value of the right customers.
The more useful information going into Salesforce means you’re able to identify the right customers and provide a better experience.
Our soon-to-be-released Salesforce Usage Report shows that people are actually spending less time in the CRM, but using it far more in their engagements.
Salesforce now comes with you.
It’s the cornerstone of every customer engagement. It allows you to move closer to them and understand how to service them better.
Whether that’s identifying prospects, customer acquisition or continuing on to deliver lifetime value.
An investment in data
The future of Salesforce sits in its past relationship with data.
Rewind a few years and everybody was in a rush to collect mass amounts of data. Because big data meant big opportunity.
CRMs became activity counters, glorified call lists, stick beaters and bragging rights for teams to talk about how big their prospect databases were.
Now, we’re left with a sobering realisation that big data offers a lot less value than useful data.
To turn your CRM into an activity indicator it takes a lot more refinement then simply capturing and qualifying a lead.
Business decisions are made by individuals which are built on relationships. Which means marketing, sales and CS have to become synonymous. It becomes a flywheel.
One of the biggest insights from our report is that little to no companies are able to attach revenue to the prospects in their CRM.
Because they don’t understand the value in their data!
Salesforce’s future is in connecting the information between sales, marketing, CS and every arm of a business to deliver helpful, informed and contextual engagements at the right time.
Data is your greatest asset and Salesforce are acquiring the means to communicate that into action.