If your company has an indirect sales channel such as a dealer network or agents who resell your products and services, Salesforce Community Cloud is a compelling tool to collaborate with partners on opportunities and share resources.
Community Cloud, along with Sales Cloud CRM and Pardot, enable sales and marketing activities at your company to sync with those of your indirect sales team.
Historically, it was nearly impossible and quite costly to build a system that facilitated easy communication and collaboration between a company and their indirect sales channel. This created a lot of inefficiency when it came to registering and following up on leads; sharing marketing resources; sharing product knowledge or purchasing insights; reviewing opportunity status; and general collaboration between teams that facilitated success.
Fast forward to 2013 when Salesforce unveiled its new Communities platform, now Community Cloud.
Salesforce Community Cloud is a framework for a modern Intranet portal that is automatically mobile enabled and integrates easily with Salesforce CRM. You can read more about the benefits of Salesforce Community Cloud here.
“Traditionally if businesses wanted to build a portal, you needed custom development using Java, PHP and .NET. That includes a lot of effort to develop the integration, reporting platform and mobile component,” said Matt Dillon, Nuvem Co-Founder. “By using Communities, you get to take advantage of the standard Salesforce database, reporting engine, mobility platform, and collaboration platform (Chatter).”
Partner Communities are cost effective and priced in a predictable SaaS model. Salesforce Partner Communities can be deployed in as little as 30 days and feature a roadmap that aligns with the Salesforce Platform.
Community Cloud + Pardot + Sales Cloud = Sales and Marketing Power
If you’re using Salesforce and Pardot, Partner Communities represent a compelling opportunity to engage with partners like never before and effectively close the loop between sales and marketing. Read more about Salesforce and Pardot integration here.
Let’s say you sell products through thousands of agents worldwide. As a marketer, if you want to run a campaign in one specific area, you would want all the leads converting from that campaign to route to the appropriate agent. However, if your agent doesn’t have access to Pardot or Salesforce, they can’t view, edit or manage lead data in a quick and easy way. Nor can your marketing team monitor the process and see which of those leads converted into customers.
Not only does that make it difficult to allocate priorities and resources, but it also makes it difficult to prove marketing ROI.
“Without a partner community, you have no way of knowing if you have monetized a campaign into business revenue,” Dillon said.
Pardot can also be used to extend the value of Sales Cloud beyond the internal organization. For example, Pardot can be used to score leads and alert agents when a lead has surpassed a certain score that signals they’re buyer ready.
Community Cloud also can be used to add value in other areas of your business requiring collaboration and easy access to information such as employees and customers.