Sales teams share their knowledge and practices so that each sales person can access the resources to close deals and convert prospects. Hitherto this sharing was restricted to sales teams, and in some cases, within organizations. With Salesforce communities the opportunity to share resources with other teams and organizations has opened up new vistas on the sales front. Sales personnel can now share not just resources but insights from others who have closed similar deals. Salesforce communities can be effectively used to enhance customer relationships and convert prospects. Here are some of the key features of Salesforce communities:
- Contact Management: Salesforce communities enable sales teams to create customer databases and communication logs. Sales reps can view a complete profile of their customers along with all communication with that customer before making decisions on the next step. You can also get information about lost deals, campaigning history and other useful information about the customers.
- Tweets and Tweaks: Salesforce communities offer you an opportunity to pull in the social data of your customers and view their tweets and comments about products and services. You can then provide solutions to the customers’ problems and issues with your products and services.
- Deal Tracking: With Salesforce communities you can store all data relating to all deals you have cracked or lost. You can see at a glance where the deal stands, the costing, pricing and other details. With chatter you can get updates on your customers’ activities and opportunities for new deals. With this information you can successfully close the deals within a short time.
- Quick Quotes: Your Salesforce community offers you all information about your products including costing and pricing data. You can match customer data to product data and create quick quotes, which you can email to your customer within minutes, offering them the alternatives they are looking for.
- Chattering: Using sales chatter, you can get information from other sales reps about customer activities, opportunities, deals, and recommendations. You can even download documents and other files from the feedfirst Salesforce1 app. In this manner you can stay up to date on what is happening in your world.
- Team Performance Management: If you are a sales team manager you can monitor the performance of your team, laud success and salvage failures on the go within Salesforce communities. You can showcase the activities of your top performers to guide the newbies and motivate the others. You can create goals and monitor progress. By providing feeds to team members you can keep them up to date on the happenings both within the organization and within the industry. You can focus on sales, while Salesforce takes care of the administration.
Salesforce has a lot more to offer than just team and information management. Data from any system can be easily brought into Salesforce. Members of a community can create and update records. You can get customer feedback and even rope in their tweets and tweaks on social media. Members can recommend groups that have similar interests and experts can visit to give advice and guidance. Team members can send personalized feeds to customers with content gathered from within the community. You can rank and laud your high flyers within the community to serve as a motivation for others to improve performance. Members can recommend one another as experts, rankers, and top performers thus encouraging the whole team. You can create leaderboards reflecting the performance of the team.
Company at your Finger Tips
Using the capabilities offered by Salesforce, your sales teams can literally have the company at their fingertips. Information about costing, pricing and budgeting is only a click away. Inventories, stock, defective batches, and other information can be available within the community. Creating a lively community is the key to a vibrant sales team. Motivate your team and support them with the information and resources they need. Then watch them go out and rope in the customers. All this and more can be easily achieved using Salesforce communities.
Another feature of Salesforce – the opportunity genius – matches opportunities to needs. Sales personnel can locate deals similar to their own and gather intelligence to help them close it. Armed with information about customers’ responses to sales pitch, documented material, and insights from sales personnel, a sales rep can meet his customer with confidence born from knowledge.
Bob Thompson of CutomerThink says that the biggest features of the sales cloud are content management and collaboration. These features will help sales teams pool resources and enhance sales experiences by recognizing the consumers’ needs and being ready with the products, costs, and features. The contemporary customer has no time to waste waiting for quotes in the mail. They demand prompt answers to the questions they ask. Contemporary customers are decision makers who want information promptly to help them decide quickly. Salesforce communities provide the information to reps along with the tools to present the information in the form desired by the customer. The reps can use this information to satisfy the customers’ queries. Deals are closed not just by providing information but providing the right information in the right way. Salesforce communities empower sales teams to do just that.
Coming out first with the service cloud and then the sales cloud, Salesforce has opened the doors to new ways of conducting business. With improved connectivity between the various activities and processes within an organization, the sales teams have been empowered with new ammunition to make sales pitches and satisfy their customers. Sales teams are surging forward towards a new horizon where every demand of the customer is met with up-to-the-minute information and solutions. Sales services have been enhanced to include not just selling a product but educating the customer about the products available and presenting comparisons, costing, and pricing statistics,. On a cautious note, however, Bob Thompson of CustomerThink warns that the output from the sales cloud is only as good as the input. The spirit of the community and team work must be upheld for the sales cloud to be fruitful.