Sure, companies are focused these days on improving their customers’ experience as a way to build loyalty.
But a new report from global business consultancy Bluewolf — the 4th Annual State of Salesforce Report — finds that improving the Salesforce experience for employees is now a top objective among the 1500+ companies that were surveyed online.
When employees are engaged with their Salesforce tools, the report points out, a better experience can help create happier customers, because those employees are working more efficiently. A key area: making sure Salesforce mobile sales apps are tuned to the needs of sales reps.
Of course, it’s in Bluewolf’s interests to promote the benefits of Salesforce, since it specializes in strategy and implementation for that popular marketing and customer management platform. The New York City-based company said Salesforce was not involved in any way in this report, however.
At any rate, the annual report provides a few insights into the top issues for Salesforce-using marketers, many of whom will be gathering in San Francisco next week for Salesforce’s big Dreamforce conference.
One new theme to emerge from this report is that email messages from the platform to customers and potential customers are not as relevant and personalized as many marketers would like. Only 20 percent of marketers thought that they were.
The problem: reconciling data from different systems across sales, marketing, and service, and dealing with inconsistent or low-quality data. The report notes that 60 percent of responding marketers cited poor or inconsistent data and lack of access to the right data as their biggest challenges overall.
With so much different data coming from so many sources, getting useful insights is a constant challenge for marketers. Almost 70 percent of these marketers will be spending more on analytics in the coming year, the report says, taking actions such as signing up for Salesforce’s Analytics Cloud.
Bluewolf also contends that companies with “an effective data governance strategy” — that is, clear rules about how data should be categorized and managed — are three times more likely to report that their marketing messages are sufficiently personalized because the data is better. It should be noted that Bluewolf helps companies set up such an organizational strategy.
Other trends in the report:
- Well over half — 64 percent — of customers are apparently happy with the platform, since they intend to increase their Salesforce budgets next year. Eleven percent will increase it more than 50 percent. Nearly half use two or more Salesforce clouds, like Service Cloud or Community Cloud, and 22 percent employ more than three.
- The percentage of companies that enhance their Salesforce with modifications at least once monthly increased by 20 points, from 44 percent last year to 64 percent. Bluewolf cited this as part of the trend toward making the platform work better for employees.
- Nearly three-quarters of Salesforce users have to enter the same info into multiple systems (including ones outside of Salesforce). The report says that 59 percent said their lives would be easier if they could just put it all into Salesforce. More than 60 percent said that it’s an improvement for a process to move into Salesforce.
The world presented by this report is one in which employees and companies prefer to use Salesforce’s many incarnations for as many tasks as possible, because it simplifies processes and data management.
Like the days when using Microsoft’s software for as much as possible was the easiest path forward, this Salesforce orientation undoubtedly holds true for companies of various sizes, since the report included enterprises as well as small-to-medium sized firms.