Many companies are looking for an integrated solution for managing customer data. Salesforce makes this possible through native integrations of marketing automation, CRM, eCommerce, customer service and field service platforms as well as the ability to integrate with other applications using Salesforce’s open API.
Implementing an integrated solution for marketing, sales and operations allows these teams to work more efficiently and to provide a better experience for the customer. Some companies approach this through Salesforce alone–implementing Pardot marketing automation, Sales Cloud, CPQ, Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud. Others integrate platforms from other vendors with Salesforce.
Using Marketing Automation to Convert and Nurture Leads
Salesforce’s marketing automation platform, Pardot, has a close integration with Salesforce Sales Cloud (CRM). Contact and lead records sync continuously between the systems, ensuring both databases remain consistent.
An integrated marketing automation platform allows leads to be automatically assigned to sales team members. The point at which leads are assigned varys for each company. It can depend on a target score or action like submitting a demo form.
These factors define the criteria for assigning leads from Pardot to a sales rep in Sales Cloud. Identifying all entry points for leads and establishing a system for assigning prospects to sales keeps opportunities from slipping through the cracks. This process also brings the marketing and sales teams into alignment.
Integrated sales and marketing platforms can also improve reporting. Sales opportunities can be tied back to marketing lead-gen campaigns, allowing the marketing team to report on ROI.
Tracking Opportunities at Each Stage in the Pipeline
As leads move through the buying process their funnel stages are updated in Salesforce. This allows managers to access a holistic view of the pipeline. Each stage can be customized to align with your sales process.
Establishing a sales process through defined stages also makes it possible to calculate metrics like velocity and to identify points where deals tend to drop off. Building a sales funnel in Salesforce also helps with forecasting.
The marketing team can leverage this data to build content for each Opportunity stage. This is often referred to as a content journey.
Connecting eCommerce and CRM
An eCommerce platform can improve customer experience while reducing manual tasks for the sales team. eCommerce allows customers to manage their subscriptions and billing information within an interactive portal.
Salesforce Commerce Cloud syncs with Sales Cloud, allowing account managers to have full visibility into customers’ activities. Customers’ experience within the portal can also be customized based on data in the CRM. Account-specific pricing displays custom rates based off customers’ contracts. Only specific products or add-ons can be made available for certain customers as well.
eCommerce can also help facilitate renewals and auto-payments. Through Commerce Cloud, customers can choose to be billed through a credit card, purchase order or ACH.
With eCommerce the challenge isn’t just automation but understanding how the platform can be combined with human interaction to streamline the customer experience.
Customer Service Teams Benefit from Simplified and Automated Support Processes
After a purchase, customer service teams can have full visibility into customer data stored in the CRM. Service Cloud is a native app in Salesforce, resulting in a seamless integration.
Access to CRM data allows service teams to more effectively onboard and support clients. Each customers’ interaction history with sales, quotes and orders can be accessed through Service Cloud, giving agents the proper context before they engage with clients. This allows them to more quickly address customers’ questions without asking them to repeat information.
The close integration between Sales and Service Cloud allows automated workflows to be triggered based on actions in the CRM. For example, a case can be assigned to a service rep when an Opportunity is closed in Sales Cloud, accelerating the onboarding process.
As Opportunity stages can help managers monitor deals in Sales Cloud, milestones can be configured in Service Cloud to track tickets as they move through the process. This can allow managers to monitor how quickly tickets move from one stage to the next and the overall volume at each step.
While data syncing from Sales to Service cloud can benefit service teams, syncing service data the other direction can give account executives a better understanding of the health of an account. Account executives can view service tickets, their status and the team members assigned to each request. This allows the sales team to stay up to speed on service-related issues and to draw upon this information when calling upon clients.
Implementing a fully integrated, end-to-end enterprise software system helps streamline internal processes and improve customer experience. As internal teams grow more aligned, they’re able to more effectively market, sell, onboard and support. Data is shared between teams, facilitating management and more effective decision making.