Learning the ins and outs of your CRM software is essential to making sure you maximize ROI and boost user adoption across the enterprise. Yet, at the end of the day, though you may know all the technical features your solution has to offer, sometimes even greater insights can be gained by learning how the most successful companies are leveraging their CRM investments, leading to new applications and usage scenarios that you may not have even thought of before. To this end, a new industry leading report has identified several key trends shaping the CRM environment—specifically the Salesforce platform—for this year and beyond, and examining some of the highlighted findings can prove immensely helpful when strategizing new and innovative CRM deployments for now and in the future.
According to the report, leading companies are using Salesforce to perform a variety of business tasks, with an emphasis on improving both internal and customer-facing operations. In fact, 57 percent of companies attribute Salesforce to helping them achieve efficiency and productivity gains; 46 percent are using the solution to increase collaboration; 43 percent are seeing increased visibility; and 32 percent are using their software to improve the customer experience their company offers. More identified trends include:
Leading Companies Remain Agile and Responsive in Their Environment
In this digital era, there’s more potential than ever before to stay innovative and creative with your CRM application. Last year, 44 percent of companies released changes to their Salesforce instances at least monthly. In 2015? That number jumped 20 percent—with three times as many companies making changes at least weekly. One way to achieve this type of release frequency is to deploy a cloud governance board in addition to Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools to stay on top of new releases and help train users on new applications. In fact, the report found companies that utilize both of these tools are three times more likely to realize revenue growth and two times more likely to improve their customer experience as a result.
Leading Companies Cater to the Employee
Even the most impressive tool can be rendered unhelpful unless users are fully trained and up-to-date on its functionality. Realizing this, one-third of companies named an employee-facing initiative as one of their top three Salesforce objectives for next year. Such dedication appears to be paying off—according to the report, 59 percent of users claim it’s easier to use their company’s Salesforce instance today than it was 12 months ago, 62 percent agree that when their company moves a process to Salesforce, it’s an improvement, and 75 percent say Salesforce makes it easier to do their job.
Leading Companies Leverage CRM to Boost Customer Outreach
For sales and marketing teams, CRM provides an unparalleled opportunity to glean insight into how customers are interacting with their brand. As 2016 approaches, companies are seeking to increase and improve the ways they use Salesforce to boost efforts across the sales cycle. Specifically, 81 percent plan to use more predictive analysis tools; 79 percent want to provide their sales reps with greater opportunity to deploy the solution on their mobile device; 93 percent plan to integrate their disparate marketing campaigns to provide a more seamless view of the customer journey; and 94 percent plan to streamline data and visibility across sales, marketing, and service.
From improved reporting capabilities to a steady increase in adoption for the Salesforce Community Cloud, the way companies are using Salesforce changes daily to encompass new and exciting applications. As this year creeps to a close, though changes are on the horizon and plans are being laid for an even more successful 2016, one mainstay will continue to hold true: Defining business growth and success is an entirely personal and unique journey for each company—and CRM is the linchpin that helps ensure such strategies are supported.
“2015-2016: The State of Salesforce Annual Report,” Bluewolf.