Nowadays, the future of every medium and large company depends on the investment and good use of modern technology. The “Information Generation: Digital Business Transformation” report confirms that 95% of companies with technological innovation have strengthened their position on the market and have gained new customers. According to a study published in the “BI & Analytics Platforms 2017”, Gartner estimates that by 2020, 80% of business processes will be automated and will completely change their appearance. All thanks to concepts such as social media, Big Data, business analytics, mobile devices, cloud data, CRM and finally, SalesForce. Technology at the forefront of the Internet is changing the rules that have so far dominated companies.
Let’s go back to the report “Generation of information: digital business transformation”. According to researchers, 46% of respondents think that the basic tools they use in their work such as the Internet, mobile applications, e-mail, CRM systems significantly increase their productivity. Network access facilitates communication and management of a large group of people that are often spread across the globe. One of the most popular tools for business process management is SALESFORCE.
Imagine for a moment what a courier company looked like in the fifties and sixties. Most activities involving receiving, cataloging, collecting and transmitting information and this was all done manually by employees. This was a very slow process, therefore most of the packages and shipments took weeks to reach their recipient. With the advent of the personal computer era and finally the development of the Internet, the time spent on delivery and waiting for letters decreased significantly. Today, if we purchase a product online, it usually takes less than 48 hours to be delivered. This is all thanks to constantly evolving technology. Who would have thought that the sizeable satellite phones would be replaced by small, pocket-sized smartphones. Modern solutions also find their supporters in the world of business. Companies often invest in interesting IT solutions to make their work easier and more efficient.
Salesforce is the clear leader in this area. Within the span of 18 years of operation (SalesForce was created in 1999), this software is consistently in the forefront of the best CRM solutions.
Due to the development of innovative technologies, much has changed in the way people work. It is not always effective to sit in the office in front of the computer screen for eight hours a day. Companies often sign contracts with freelancers who set up their own working time and responsibilities. What is also popular is the phenomenon of team leasing, the leasing of external staff to companies. Employees are also more mobile, meaning they have access to job-related information 24 hours a day. In the 21st Century, people can do overtime can be made up for by working at home and we do not need to resign from sending out reports due to lack of access (or poor access) to the Internet at the hotel. A complete set of cataloged data can be found on our smartphone or tablet. Everything is simple and easy to use with SalesForce, which works well in browser windows and in a mobile application.
According to the rankings of many technology-related websites, cloud computing is the most commonly used business tool in 2016. Undoubtedly, it has influenced the nature of working in many companies, but also people’s private lives. Today, our documents, photos, movies and music can all be stored on the network. Public clouds are also gaining popularity as they offer up to a few hundred gigabytes of storage space. The most popular vendors of such services are Microsoft (OneDrive), Google (Google Drive) and Dropbox.
Researchers distinguish three types of cloud computing: public, private, and hybrid. They can be treated both as a complete whole or as two independent entities.
PUBLIC CLOUD – the supplier makes certain IT resources available over the Internet and charges a specific payment (eg Microsoft Azure) for that service.
PRIVATE CLOUD – similar to public cloud but its supplier is often part of the organization.
HYBRID CLOUD – is a combination of both of the above types of cloud computing, usually part of the application data is available in the private cloud, and part in the public.
In order to understand and explain clearly the essence of SalesForce, it is important to focus firstly on the concept of business process automation. Business processes can be any activity that takes place within a company’s business operation. Years of research confirm that the most effective type of work is in a group. However, it is not always easy for employees to communicate with each other quickly and efficiently. This is where technology comes into play. Workflow (Business Process Automation), which directly refers to software, is about defining employee procedures in different situations. It is like a chain where different people give each other information, documents or tasks in turn. As we automate most business processes in our company, we will achieve much higher efficiency, flexibility and optimal utilization of company resources. Leaders in the deployment of workflow include corporations such as Ultimus, IBM, Oracle TIBCO, and Microsoft. The benefits of automating business processes include:
• lower operating costs,
• increased profits,
• shortening of time taken to complete a task,
• greater business efficiency,
• improvement of customer relationships,
• improvement of relationships with employees,
• greater competitiveness,
• opportunity to expand the business / services of the company.
SalesForce is the answer to increasing market needs and business process automation. This software was firstly fully functional in cloud computing. Just a few years after its launch in 1999, SalesForce has become a global leader in CRM (customer relationship management). Additionally, the authors of this software did not slow down their work. Each year, SalesForce introduces new features and enhancements. Only Internet access and a browser like Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Opera are required to use the technology. You do not need to install additional software. In addition, with the use of tablets or smartphones, the easy-to-use, low-cost mobile application SalesForce is available.
SalesForce is a multifunctional system. In addition to the basic use, that is, customer relationship management and business processes it also offers applications that fulfill other tasks. Here are some examples:
• SERVICE CLOUD – an application that manages the service desk (department or group of IT support staff);
• SALES CLOUD – sales management application,
• MARKETING CLOUD and PARDOT – marketing applications and its automation,
• HEALTH CLOUD – an application for communicating with doctors and managing relationships with patients.
Versatility and flexibility are some of the key features of SalesForce. Thanks to continuous development of the system every year, additional functions can be added to its application. Here are some key features of this software:
• transfer, cataloging, storing of information – data is the biggest treasure of every business; the efficient transfer, logical sorting and safe storage should always be at the top of each task to be performed; SalesForce will greatly simplify this task by limiting employee interference to a few clicks with the mouse or the touch of screen on a mobile device;
• inventory and production control – this significantly minimizes employee stock and staff costs; An efficient inventory control allows for quick replenishment and consequently, more efficient execution of customer orders;
• Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – a core Salesforce component related to the process, Without this, no business would be able to function properly. CRM automation with SalesForce will allows us to acquire new, satisfied customers;
• Receiving, processing and analyzing orders – this will streamline communication between departments in your company, allow you to create sales reports, and allow you to execute orders more quickly for your customers;
• analysis and forecasting – collection, sorting and storage of data will allow for a more thorough analysis of the company’s current situation;
• planning and control of work
Entrepreneurs are often reluctant to implement new technological solutions into their companies. The fear of experiencing a big financial loss, and consequently the dissatisfaction of customers and employees that would follow is far greater than hoping that the entire project will end up being a success. So it is worthwhile to plan your entire SalesForce deployment process in advance. This can be done in several steps:
STEP 1. Analysis – Before you decide to introduce SalesForce into your business operations, you first need to conduct a thorough analysis of both the financial condition of your business and the activities of each department. In the first place, you should know the strengths of your business and then find out what problems it has or which business processes it is not coping with. Only after thorough analysis of these issues can you decide on a suitable variant of SalesForce software.
STEP 2. Consultation – You should consult your plans with specialists, both those who have been working in the company for years and those from outside the company. Many companies offer consulting services in various fields. Professionals who have not had a great deal of business experience will be able to introduce a “fresh” perspective on difficult to solve problems.
STEP 3. Plan – Once we get acquainted with expert opinion we can move on to the next step of deploying the SalesForce system, which is planning. The planning phase comes down to:
• Calculating how much time employees need to get to know the system,
• check what possible problems the company may encounter
• Market analysis, decide when to plan changes.
By creating a meticulous plan of action unforeseen situations and trivial problems can be avoided. Also, employees will not have experience the feeling of chaos in their work.
STEP 4. Training – the average SalesForce training time for a medium sized company takes about two weeks. Remember that in this period you should be more understanding with employees and turn a blind eye to their possible slip-ups in carrying out tasks, as everyone has the right to learn and make mistakes ;-).
STEP 5. Implementation – the time has come for the implementation of previously planned activities; The implementation date of the SalesForce system should be well thought out and should not interfere with other important events in the life of the company, such as launching a new advertising campaign.
STEP 6. Further analysis – if all the steps have gone as planned, the situation should continue to be monitored. Additionally, the deployment of the SalesForce system into the company’s operations will help management staff in the future. In the case of subsequent upgrades we can avoid any mistakes made.
To learn about the functions of the SalesForce system, you should know exactly how to use it (see several lines above). Here are the most important ones:
SalesForce Mobile application
Developers of the SalesForce software do not just restrict the technology used to desktops or laptops. It is all about minimizing and increasing the contribution of mobile devices in the IT market. For smartphones and tablets, the SalesForce application is available for most business processes to take place without leaving home.