Last Wednesday, July 19th, the ICT.io team went to the first Salesforce event organized by Spoon Consulting. We discovered the new trends in cloud computing and CRM at the Hennessy Park Hotel.
What is Salesforce?
Do you know Salesforce? Founded by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff and Parker Harris in 1999, the company is now considered the originator of “SaaS”, or software as a service. It is an online service hosted and managed on the servers of a provider.
Salesforce’s service helps users manage their business needs while building customer loyalty. The application allows, for example, to manage marketing campaigns, store customer data, communicate in real time or manage the after-sales relationship. The actors involved can cooperate more easily. Present on 5 continents, the company considers that it is not necessarily necessary to be a computer scientist to manage the computer tools allowing a good management of their CRM.
What is CRM?
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, refers to the methods and tools that ensure effective management of customer or prospect relations. In the age of the customer, connecting with them and keeping them over time is vital for every entrepreneur to have a good ROI, or return on investment. Did you know that it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a customer than to keep one? Retaining customers is therefore the main objective of many companies. The mastered CRM allows to create solid relationships with its customers, and thus to reduce marketing expenses.
For example, making good use of the data collected on your site or via surveys allows you to strategically direct certain products to an appropriate customer. In addition, CRM can increase the productivity of a company, especially through the automation of tasks: if team members have to manually enter data and then search in different files, they will lose time. If this task is automated, they will be able to find this information sorted in one place.
Salesforce, developed in the cloud
Since its inception in 1999, Salesforce has taken the risky step of launching cloud computing and basing its CRM services on it. You can think of cloud computing as a virtual hard drive. This involves hosting data on several geographically distant servers.
Salesforce has been instrumental in the development of the cloud and allows businesses to access digital services without having to invest in heavy hardware that would be housed on their premises. This allows companies to access their data from anywhere, as it is stored not on their devices but on remote servers. Security is obviously a must for Salesforce. The company does everything possible to give its customers (especially banks) peace of mind. They have obtained the best certifications in the field such as SysTrust or SAS 70 Yype II.
For example, they have developed :
- Service cloud, a customer service application to manage requests and maintain the relationship with customers,
- Community cloud, a platform designed to connect a company’s employees, partners and customers.
- Marketing cloud, allowing to create personalized and multi-channel marketing campaigns (e-mail, mobile, social networks…).
To help everyone master these tools, Salesforce also created Trailhead, which refers to the starting points of hiking trails. It is an interactive training platform for developing skills with a badge/reward format for each skill acquired.
A professional app store: AppExchange
Business applications are the other specificity of Salesforce. Just like on your smartphone, you can enhance the functionality of the basic tool by installing applications or programming new modules.
For example, you can install an electronic signature module, or pdf that will make your CRM application a fully customizable solution. The AppExchange is the world’s leading enterprise application marketplace: with more than 3,000 developed applications, solutions for every business are available.
SPOON Consulting adds the first image hub to the AppExchange
Spoon consulting, a major Salesforce player implementing its solutions for businesses in multiple countries including Mauritius, has developed its own application on the App Exchange based on a simple premise: a picture is worth a thousand words. The need for an image manager in the customer relationship seems to be obvious.
SharinPix allows you to store photos, create albums, share and tag photos automatically using advanced artificial intelligence technology: Machine Learning. For example, in case of an accident, SharinPix allows an insurer’s customer to simply send his photos to a platform and avoid a long and tedious report.
Thanks to these modules and the development of Artificial Intelligence, CRM and Cloud computing are constantly improving. The mastery of these tools appears necessary for companies that must adapt to their customers and know how to evolve quickly to remain competitive.