It would not be farfetched to assert that Salesforce is synonymous with the rapid development and uptake of SaaS CRM products.
After making a humble beginning back in 1999, the company has come a long way indeed in the CRM domain, combining marketing with execution extremely successfully. Let’s face it; here is a company that knows exactly what it’s doing and where it’s heading.
Salesforce is also one of the fewer visionary companies to have undertaken appropriate and timely measures to make the transition from a SaaS (software as a service) player to PaaS (Platform as a Service) provider.
It has done that by continuing to focus on and launching new CRM applications while also packaging complimentary tools to attract non-users.
Sales Cloud is a part of growing number of Salesforce product suites that are literally ‘on the cloud’. These include Service Cloud, Chatter Cloud, Data Cloud, Social CRM, etc.
The Sales Cloud gets you everything that you need on your fingertips: be it contacts, social accounts to mobility, collaboration and analytics.
This cloud application lets users get access to their information wherever they are, as long as they have a connected PC or an internet-based cell/mobile application. It also allows you to manage, control and track campaigns, sales performance, inventory movement and other key information using the same application.
Sales Cloud entails the use of SFA (Sales Force Automation) module, which is not substantially different at the first glance from other CRM solutions.
However, there is always more to it than meets the eye when you’re talking about Salesforce products and Sales Cloud is no different. Its penchant for doing complicated things in a simple manner is what you get to experience in this product.
This information sharing application provides you with a fulfilling user experience through simple yet elusive features like a neat UI (which is a rarity in itself), uncomplicated settings, intuitive tools for enhanced productivity,mobility and other consumer technologies.
Sales Cloud successfully includes the PRM (Partner Relationship Management) to expedite real-time communication between the brand makers and their indirect channels, thereby helping them develop brand awareness through direct as well as indirect mediums. It is an outlet to share ideas, communicate and execute orders with your partners on a real-time basis.
The provision of PRM on the cloud obviates the partners’ need to make huge investments on costly software/hardware and indirect channels while dealing with their brand owners.
Okay, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty’s of its functionalities.
Sales Cloud lets you remain connected on the move, no matter where you are. You can make and record phone calls, create leads, explore new opportunities and gain 24/7 access to your dashboard.
Thanks to intuitive connectivity applications like Chatter Mobile and Salesforce Mobile, you can connect to any mobile device (including the good old PC), avail information through live feeds, and collaborate with your team conveniently.
It’s all about working with what you’ve got. This feature integrates the email applications that you use on a daily basis without forcing you to change anything.
In other words, Sales Cloud achieves integration with the existing email platform being used by you and your team members.
Leverage the power of unity through this intelligent connectivity tool that allows you to create a full-fledged social media platformcomprising of your business team.
Share information, give status updates of the tasks, secure leads, monitor progress, create more resources, and keep your colleagues updated on all of the above.
You get access to quick information about the various nuances of the projects your team is working on. This includes bidding prices, quotes, competition strategy, and tactical communication, among several others.
You get real-time feeds through Chatter Mobile on these developments, even as you are on the move, taking other decisions. This is multitasking at its very best.
When it comes to procuring key data about company profiles from top sources, Sales Mobile helps you proactively.
It saves your time by letting you connect quickly with game changers, plan strategies, and devise sales and marketing plans. Also, it draws out the target lists to help you prepare accordingly while creating a marketing campaign.
This is one of the most productive aspects of Sales Cloud because it provides you with all the insightful information that you need to take business decisions.
The 24/7 access to real-time dashboard always keeps you abreast of the bigger picture where your project stands as of now.
Secondly, you can do brainstorming sessions on reports created by your team to discover hidden pointers on customer service, sales, applications and third party data.
Customising and editing reports are now possible just by a simple drag and drop. Create tables, charts, fields and groups- and make sense of it -using the Analytics tool.
One shortcoming however, is that most of the advanced features are available on Enterprise Analytics, which is expensive because it is primarily targeted at medium-to-large enterprises.
Accurate forecasting is something that not many product suites can boast of. Through Sales cloud, you’re able to access features like in-line editing, customizable forecast categories, multi-currency support, not to mention a real-time access to your forecasts.
Making vague predictions is one thing; using intelligent forecasting methodologies is another, and it’s the latter that really matters.
You can now create and maintain marketing campaigns, handle leads, and monitor the impact of your marketing investments on the company’s bottom-line through the Marketing and Leads feature.
Also, get to know how many business deals have closed through your investments and where are the target areas you should be focusing at.
This lets you automate approvals, workflow redundant tasks. It also provides you with a greater access on real-time for approvals (via Chatter feed), discounts, product details, and proposals.
Design and operate any process by drag and drop. The end result is higher deal conversions and better productivity.
The pricing of Sales Cloud varies from $5 (Contract Manager Edition) to $250 (Unlimited Edition) per month. Meanwhile the price of Group, Professional and Enterprise Editions are $25, $65, and $125 per month, respectively.
Suffice to say that while the prices are definitely on the higher side for smaller businesses (which is why they’re not recommended for them), the solution more than compensates with the sheer value it adds to your own business in terms of productivity, collaboration, connectivity, ease-of-use and better decisions.