Based "Bowl of Clouds" by Kevin Dooley
In 2000, The Marketing Consigliere configured an application for a small startup’s sales group using a cool new tool called Salesforce.com. Most sales organizations were using spreadsheets and flat databases (and a lot still are) so the idea of what was known at the time as an ASP-based offering was very unique. The startup is long gone from this earth, but Salesforce has grown to be a billion dollar company in those ten years. And now they’re “in the Cloud.” What a wonderful, huge, awesome cloud that is becoming.Saleforce brought their “Cloudforce 2 Tour” to the Washington, DC area and their refreshing brand of sales and marketing evangelism. Included in this blog are pictures of some of the partners that were demonstrating their exciting apps which are part of the Salesforce ecosystem.
1. Consistent Sales Process – whether your organization has multiple, unintegrated random sales processes or an integrated formal process makes a tremendous difference. What creates deeper relationships over time are repeatable processes that allows customers to feel feel more comfortable, who need to see consistency in how they are communicated with and treated. Deeper relationships lead to more success for the seller. Salesforce itself has a distinct, 8-stage process they have incoporated into their own platform for building such relationships.
2. Align Sales & Marketing – Very close to The Marketing Consigliere’s heart, the alignment of Sales and Marketing is a keystone to success not just with Salesforce, but with any organizational endeavor. Learn to reallocate marketing budget to those activities that produce the best opportunities for sales. Demand generation is a growing activity that is proving its mettle.
Messaging alignment is hard for most enterprises due to poor content sharing – there are version control issues for things such as pricing lists, and there is no feedback loop to give a sense of content quality. Saleforce’s answer to that? With their content library you can combine the messages based on sales stage, and with a web 2.0 type of mindset (reviews, votes) you can select which content is best for you. Barry Holley, the Principal Sales Engineer at Salesforce demonstrated the new UI which is a little cleaner and crisper, slightly less busy but has the traditional SFDC look.
3. Track Performance – Track specific activities that matter. Don’t bite off more than you can chew: first, start with end goal and mockups; then learn the dashboard components; leverage AppExchange standard reports. You can use free Salesforce provided User Adoption Dashboard to measure adoption rates of various aspects of Salesforce within your organization.
4. Leverage the Cloud (But of course!) – The applications native to Salesforce have been emphasized for two years now and for good reason. The growing ecosystem is making it very tempting for enterprises to depend more and more on this cloud because so many benefits can be derived from it across the organization. They cited an IDC report that indicated that building apps in Cloudforce is 5 times faster and comes at half the cost of building a comparable app outside the cloud. This vision is perhaps not attainable by all at this time; cloud computing is still considered new, risky and requires a new mindset to adopt and exploit successfully in the long run. But why pay others to reinvent the wheel?
One of the “stars” of the afternoon was “Chatter,” a real-time collaborative enterprise application. This will require a separate blog in the near future. It’s been out a while, but The Marketing Consigliere must render his opinion to help you separate the truth from the chatter about Chatter.