What CRM Modernization Means to You

The past few months I have focused on the ROI and costs efficiencies on modernizing your CRM program. These were based on actual survey results from users having made the switch to Salesforce from their legacy, on-premises system. The comments I received from this centered on how users received these lofty returns on their technology investments in the various customer facing cloud apps. The answer is simply not technology deployment but alignment with the business functional areas within the organization. It’s easiest to look at the functional areas of sales, marketing and service to understand what a modernized CRM system can do.  

Core Sales Force Automation on its own is often the first area looked at for updating and migrating to the cloud and justified by greater adoption and a simplified user interface. However, migration to the Salesforce platform provides extended benefits for sales transformation than just core opportunity and contact management applications. One example is the fast growing contract lifecycle management (CLM) and configure, quote and price (CPQ) apps available on the very same code base with seamless integration to SFA. The execution of the sales cycle is greatly dependent on how quickly Sales can respond to clients with proposals, particularly with complex orders with numerous SKU’s and part numbers. Removing this bottleneck in the process builds client confidence, improves turnaround times and accuracy which goes a long way to improving customer experience and odds of closing a deal. Organizations looking for transformational benefits to the sales organization cannot accomplish this without these additive functions and compounds the value of a cloud-based SFA system. The growth of this market has spurned the existence of multiple vendors for clients to choose from in the Appexchange ecosystem with Apttus and Model N among the main players in addition to Steelbrick, recently acquired by Salesforce.

Marketing traditionally yearns for a CRM system tied to SFA for the benefits on integrated campaign and email management. This alone reaps ROI for the investment made but only scratches the surface on what a modernized approach can bring. Customer Experience is becoming a bigger driver for adoption of marketing automation and the marketing organization needs to collaborate with CX leadership on governance, segments and key touch points as articulated by Gartner’s Augie Ray in his recent webinar. This is where an investment in marketing cloud and its journey-mapping features compounds the value of the investment beyond integrated functionality with SFA and to be more transformational to the organization.

For some time service organizations have become BFF’s with marketing as service issues can often be profiled to a segment of users that marketing can drive specific campaigns with. Now the advent of social listening and service becoming more prevalent these conversations can be mined on an ongoing basis to provide a regular source of customer data to pre-empt potential issues and proactive nurturing to prevent client attrition. The capabilities of Service Cloud when integrated to a contact center in the cloud solution like Odigo for Salesforce provides just this functionality from a single source and platform while lowering infrastructure costs as a bonus. The Solcal Group improved customer experience with a 360o view of their clients where you can read for yourself in the link provided.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on how modernizing your CRM to Salesforce provides a host of ecosystem apps beyond the basic CRM functionality. Each of the customer facing areas need to collaborate around the emerging customer experience differentiator and we now have the tools and accelerators available to comprise an end-to-end solution.

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