Are you at the point in the decision process where you’ve come to the realization that Salesforce is the right CRM software for you and your company, but are completely overwhelmed by the thought of attempting to select the right offerings to build the proper system? Or, have you recently inherited an existing Salesforce instance and have been tasked with improving the architecture and efficiency of the system and don’t know where to begin?
In all honesty, you’re not alone. Salesforce has a solution for literally everything. But you’ve come to the right place. Roycon Technologies does this for our clients all the time, so let me help guide you through some of the complexity and explain how to go about selecting the ideal platform for your organizational needs.
We will start at the broadest decisions that need to be made and work our way through to the most specific decisions. However, keep in mind that, based on the complexity of your business processes and the number of teams within your company that will be using Salesforce, you may need more than one of each of the solutions mentioned below. We also don’t have enough internet available to us to discuss EVERY Salesforce offering, so I will focus on the most popular. Salesforce.com is a great place to find information about some of the more niche offerings.
Salesforce Clouds & Editions
Salesforce separates its platform app offerings into what are called “Clouds”, where you will build your process automation and create seamless workflows. This will be your first decision – which Cloud or Clouds to base the entirety of your instance on. Based on the Cloud(s) that your company uses, various pre-configured features, capabilities, and add-ons are available to your users.
Once you’ve determined which Cloud or combination of Clouds will give your company the greatest utility, it’s time to decide which edition of that Cloud(s) makes the most sense. Like most software, each edition offers you greater customization opportunities and additional features over and above the prior edition, but also costs more per user per month. Let’s dive into the most prolific Clouds. Compare the features that are available within each edition, and determine which one makes the most sense for your business needs.
Sales Cloud is the very popular cloud-based application designed to manage the sales process from lead acquisition through to closing out deals that have been won. Following the natural progression from a CRM to a truly interactive tool, Sales Cloud is geared to help your sales team sell “smarter” and faster by becoming your single source of truth for customer information and sales force automation.
Your salespeople can log their interactions with leads and customers in one place, create accurate quotes, automate everyday tasks, and seamlessly work with their entire team on opportunities. This equates to your team spending less time on administration and more time focusing on bringing in revenue.
For Sales Managers, Sales Cloud offers real-time visibility into their team’s activities, accurate monitoring of their pipeline, and forecasting of sales. Managers can also develop and empower their teams with integrated onboarding, training, and coaching.
Sales Cloud Editions:
- Essentials – All-in-one sales and support app. Includes Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity Management, Email Integration with Gmail or Outlook, and Salesforce Mobile App.
- Professional – Complete CRM for any size team. Includes everything Essentials includes as well as Lead Registration and Rules-Based Lead Scoring, and Collaborative Forecasting.
- Enterprise – Deeply customizable sales CRM for your business. Includes everything Professional includes as well as Workflow and Approval Automation.
- Unlimited – Unlimited CRM power and support. Includes everything Enterprise includes as well as 24/7 Support.
Service Cloud is the equally popular customer service cloud-based application built to offer your service team a 360-degree view of your customers and enable them to deliver smarter, faster, and more personalized service. Service Cloud enhances your ability to deliver all-digital customer engagement through service process automation, streamlined workflows, access to a customized knowledge base, and multi-channel customer connections.
Your Customer Service team can unify all of your support channels on one platform, and your Service Agents can connect one-to-one with every customer, across multiple channels, and on any device.
Service Cloud Editions:
- Essentials – All-in-one sales and support app. Includes Case Management, Service Console App(s), Knowledge, and Telephony Integration (CTI).
- Professional – Complete service CRM for teams of any size. Includes everything Essentials includes as well as Service Contracts and Entitlements.
- Enterprise – Customizable CRM for comprehensive service. Includes everything Professional includes as well as Web Services API.
- Unlimited – Unlimited CRM power and support. Includes everything Enterprise includes as well as 24/7 Support.
Marketing Cloud is Salesforce’s cloud-based application focused on assisting your marketing department with delivering uniquely tailored, personalized journeys across multiple marketing channels and devices. Including integrated solutions for customer journey management, email, mobile, social, web personalization, advertising, content creation and management, and data analysis, Marketing Cloud is designed to enable your marketing team to deliver the “right message at the right time” throughout each step in your customer relationship. With AI-powered interactions and analytics, your team can better get to know your customers and engage with them in new ways to inspire action and loyalty.
This Cloud is a bit unique from Sales and Service Clouds as it’s more a la carte, ensuring that your company selects the marketing tools that are applicable to your tailored marketing strategy. Available applications include enterprise-level email, marketing automation, digital advertising, data management, marketing analytics, and more.
Marketing Cloud Editions:
- Salesforce CDP – Salesforce’s customer data platform enables marketers to capture, unify, segment, and activate all their customer data, creating a single source of truth for every customer to help personalize experiences across marketing, commerce, service, sales, and more.
- Loyalty Management – Easily build, deploy, track, and manage your customer loyalty program across teams, organizations, and partners.
- B2B Marketing Automation (Pardot) – Grow faster with the marketing automation edition that fits your business.
- Email, Mobile, and Web Marketing – Personalize and automate email, mobile, and web journeys for every customer at scale.
- Social Studio – Listen, engage, and publish via a powerful all-in-one social media marketing and management suite, and connect enriched social data to your marketing with sales and service.
- Advertising Studio – Leverage your customer data and manage your advertising at scale.
- Datorama Pricing – Use one platform for all your marketing data, investments, KPIs, and decisions.
- Google Marketing Platform – Purchase Analytics 360, Optimize 360, and Tag Manager 360 from Salesforce.
- Interaction Studio – View, track, and manage experiences in real-time.
- Marketing Sites & Content Pricing – Deliver connected content and digital experiences.
Commerce Cloud is the world’s leading B2C and B2B e-commerce solution. Commerce Cloud is a multi-tenant, cloud-based commerce platform that enables your company to quickly create customer-tailored, unified buying experiences across all channels, including mobile, social, web, and store. For simplicity’s sake, think customer-centric online catalog and shopping cart that allows your customers to interact, buy, and receive via their favorite channels.
Leveraging the power of cloud computing, Commerce Cloud can help you craft innovative customer experiences that drive conversions and inspire brand loyalty. Salesforce’s artificial intelligence enables 1-to-1 personalization without the need to build countless experiences. Convert more customers with personalized buying experiences. Drive revenue and stand out with relevant, AI-powered customer insights and unified customer data.
Commerce Cloud Editions:
- Salesforce B2B Commerce – Create online buying experiences made specifically for business customers. There are three tiers: Starter, Growth, and Plus.
- Salesforce B2C Commerce – Convert more shoppers with AI-powered digital experiences for mobile, social, web, and store. There are three tiers: Starter, Growth, and Plus.
Salesforce Communities (Now Experience Cloud)
Experience Cloud helps you to deliver connected digital experiences by reinventing the customer experience in the social ecosystem. Experience Cloud drives customer engagement and accelerates growth across any industry and multiple channels. Via Salesforce’s digital experience platform (DXP), Experience Cloud is designed to engage any audience with custom-tailored experiences for each user type, utilizing CRM data to define audiences and target users with personalized content on interactive sites, apps, mobile applications, and portals.
Since DXP is built on the Salesforce platform which houses all of your data in one place, you’re able to deliver personalized content fast and make it easy for community members to access their own data and take action. It is also possible to integrate data from any source, such as Salesforce, third-party, or legacy sources. Experience Cloud is also built to scale with a broad ecosystem of easy-to-use tools, powerful AI, and a plethora of world-class apps.
Following are a few of the most common uses for what used to be known as Communities:
Allow customers to find answers to common questions themselves, on their own terms and time frame, via a knowledge base, a self-service portal, or a forum. This is most commonly utilized for building connected customer portals, service communities, and help centers.
Focus on improving partner relationship management and boosting partner sales by creating a complete channel management solution for you and your partners with a complete, dynamic, channel management solution.
Reduce administrative workload and empower your accounts by giving users a responsive portal where they can access articles, update their accounts, and create and manage cases and claims.
Build Your Own
If the pre-built Experience Cloud solutions don’t meet your needs, via the Experience Builder, you can create a custom-tailored solution for your unique business.
After determining which Cloud or Clouds to build your Salesforce instance upon, you may realize that you need extra capabilities that don’t come standard with your Cloud(s). Salesforce is prepared for that inevitability and offers a suite of app solutions that can be integrated into your instance for an additional cost. These apps, although they cannot stand alone without a Cloud platform, once fully integrated, can boost productivity, enhance efficiency and offer immense value add to your Salesforce users.
The full list of available apps is truly breathtaking and would require this article to be hardcover bound, so let’s focus on a few of the more commonly integrated applications. Again, you may want to visit Salesforce.com to view the full portfolio.
Designed to be the B2B marketing automation tool that turns leads into customers for life, create meaningful connections, generate more pipeline, and empower sales teams to close more deals, Pardot automates many of the marketing tasks that used to be manual. With countless features included under the Pardot umbrella, a few of the more noteworthy benefits include:
- Accelerate your sales cycle by giving sales reps the ability to identify their best leads, track engagement with campaigns, and improve follow-up speed.
- Fill the funnel with high-quality leads using custom landing pages and forms, running highly targeted email campaigns, and personalize the buyer’s experience from click to close.
- Take the manual labor out of lead management by putting your most common marketing and sales tasks on autopilot. With automated lead qualification and nurturing, you can free up sales to focus on bringing in new business.
- Track campaign performance with customizable dashboards to better understand which programs are working, how your teams are contributing to success, and what ROI you’re seeing from your marketing efforts.
- Intelligently nurture leads by automatically sending emails and performing marketing tasks based on triggers including time, user interactions, and other custom parameters.
- Use data to personalize the customer experience, display targeted offers, and seamlessly develop nurturing and email paths with dynamic content.
- Integrate SEM and SEO programs to determine the ROI of your campaigns and perfect your marketing strategies.
Salesforce Field Service’s optimization tools have been built to increase online and offline productivity, schedule onsite support seamlessly, improve safety, increase agility, reduce costs, and improve the efficiency of your company’s field service. Once plugged into Service Cloud, Field Service automates and optimizes many of the time-consuming tasks that are part of managing field service, such as scheduling, workforce allocation, updating customers, and managing agents, dispatchers, and technicians. Some of the main benefits of Field Service include:
- Scale your field service and reduce in-person visits with remote assistance. Allow customers to instantly book phone and video appointments through a customer portal.
- Leverage automation to prioritize essential jobs and save employees time by intelligently assigning the right workers to the right projects based on skills, location, and business rules. Increase efficiency by giving dispatchers full visibility into the mobile workforce and every job on a single screen.
- With Einstein Vision, mobile employees can use image recognition to immediately identify assets and parts in images. Ensure the right product part is fixed or replaced to increase first-time fix rate, eliminate confusion and additional trips back to the office. Based on an image’s classification, you can automatically prescribe the right setup steps for technicians, so they can provide faster, smarter service.
- The Field Service mobile app helps your team efficiently manage essential work from anywhere. Keep your mobile workers up to date on the latest policies and procedures with step-by-step instructions and safety checklists. Customize the app by attaching relevant specs, knowledge articles, timesheets, and inventory before workers enter a job site.
- Use Field Service Analytics to give your managers and dispatchers real-time visibility into operational performance and KPIs, from any location. Drill into all your data from multiple systems and even track safety protocols, all in one app.
CPQ (short for “Configure, Price, Quote”) is a sales tool that integrates into Sales Cloud and provides accurate pricing for any product configuration scenario. When simple Products and Price Books don’t cut it for your product or service offerings, CPQ takes into account optional features, customizations, quantities, and discounts, and allows sales reps to quote prices quickly and accurately.
Managers set the configuration rules and pricing for complex product sets/bundles, and sales teams and channel partners can then quickly configure, price, and quote complex solutions. CPQ automates discounts, pricing, and approvals to maximize revenue and margins, and then creates templated proposals to send to your customers. CPQ benefits include:
- Guided Selling helps reps select the right products and services with a step-by-step configuration wizard.
- The Solution Configurator creates rules and preconfigured solutions to streamline complex sales cycles and boost product add-on attachment rates.
- The Pricing Engine allows you to model different deal scenarios for complex quotes using predefined pricing and discount guidance, including one-time, recurring, and usage-based pricing models.
- Quote Generation creates accurate, branded quotes in one click, with options to hide or reveal discounts and quote lines.
Shield is a newer product offering from Salesforce meant to protect your enterprise with point-and-click tools that enhance trust, transparency, compliance, and governance across all of your business-critical apps. Salesforce Shield monitors app and data use, automates security policies, encrypts sensitive data, and runs compliance audits.
- Natively encrypt your most sensitive data across all of your Salesforce apps with Platform Encryption.
- Monitor, prevent, and mitigate threats to sensitive data. See who is accessing critical business data, when, and from where with Event Monitoring.
- Create a forensic data-level audit trail with up to 10 years of history, and set triggers for when data is deleted.
In a fragmented digital world, Salesforce created Digital Engagement to help you reach customers across every digital channel, including mobile messaging, web chat, social networks, and more, to provide a seamless service experience on Service Cloud. Utilizing Digital Engagement allows your company to connect with your customers on their preferred digital channels and deliver a consistent experience and faster service at scale.
Digital Engagement works with AI-powered Einstein Bots to increase agent productivity by deflecting routine customer requests, and, for more complex cases, reducing wait times by collecting and qualifying customer information upfront for a quick and seamless hand-off.
Valuable features of Digital Engagement include:
- Automate routine customer requests with Einstein Bots for SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.
- Automatically assign cases to the right agents with omni-channel routing.
- Deliver faster customer support with proactive chat invitations.
- Easily solve routine requests with an intelligent chatbot or route to an agent for more complicated issues.
- Address issues and build customer loyalty instantly by monitoring social networks and responding in real-time.
- Use Social Customer Service to seamlessly create, manage, and monitor cases straight from your social feed.
- Help customers quickly find answers on their own using a portal or self-service community.
- Keep customers on your site by embedding support options like knowledge articles and case management that they can access with a single click.
High Velocity Sales
Created as a flexible tool to train your sales team, increase efficiency and boost productivity, High Velocity Sales enables you to continually improve your sales processes, scale best practices and adapt on the fly. By automating daily tasks and streamlining sales processes, teams are guided through every interaction using scheduled, calculated outreach plans, improving the ability to reach the best leads, intelligently convert leads, and create new opportunities in one seamless workspace.
- Reach the right customers on the right channels in the Work Queue.
- Help your team stay productive by using Einstein Activity Capture to automate manual tasks and data entry.
- Respond to new buying behaviors by constantly improving your Sales Cadences.
- Equip your team with new messaging templates for every channel.
- Focus on improving customer connections by establishing team feedback loops, and enhancing rep coaching processes with Einstein Conversation Insights.
- Improve team efficacy and make data-driven decisions using KPIs, AI insights, and real-time information.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look into some of the more efficacious and useful solutions in the Salesforce repertoire. At the end of the day, selecting the proper combination of offerings will depend on your organization’s industry, the teams that will be utilizing the platform, and which business needs you are aiming to solve.
In summary, Salesforce has a Cloud and an app for every phase of your customer’s journey, from lead to loyalty. The more apps that you combine and the more teams or departments that you unite on their CRM platform, the greater the business benefits that you’ll reap.
If you want to discuss which apps are right for your business just let us know. You can learn more about us, we’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Thanks for stopping by the Roycon Salesforce blog, be sure to subscribe. Thanks for reading and as always, happy building!