SalesForce has evolved dramatically in recent years. This cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform serves as far more than just a marketing tool focused on marketing, sales and customer support. Today, companies use SalesForce as an essential piece of enterprise software that includes traditional CRM tools, combined with additional toolsets, including human resources (HR) features, accounting capabilities and much more.
Incredibly, SalesForce claims that as of 2018, 99 of the top Fortune 100 brands used its CRM solutions. Worldwide, over 150,000 companies use their scalable cloud-based solutions. So how are companies using SalesForce in 2019 and how can this CRM—which has now turned into a full Enterprise Platform—impact your company’s custom software and mobile app development process?
What is SalesForce?
SalesForce is a cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) platform that’s a sort of “super CRM.” Its features extend far beyond the typical marketing, sales and support-related features that you’d see with a traditional CRM platform. SalesForce has several core SaaS offerings.
- Sales Cloud: A sales force automation platform.
- Service Cloud: A customer service platform.
- Marketing Cloud: A digital marketing platform.
- Community Cloud: A collaborative community portal that companies can use to provide data, documents, apps, tools and even interactions for a specific group.
- Analytics Cloud: A business intelligence and analytics platform.
- The SalesForce 1 Platform: A cloud-based app development platform.
- Financial Force: An accounting platform.
Beyond this, SalesForce also features full social media integration and a comprehensive help desk/support center interface that are integrated into the CRM.
How Are Companies Using SalesForce in 2019?
In 2019, companies were using SalesForce as more than just a sales and marketing platform. This cloud-based SaaS has evolved into an essential piece of enterprise software thanks to its diverse capabilities, its high-tech features and its scalability.
- Human Resources (HR) Capabilities: SalesForce has always been useful for tracking sales and leads, allowing companies to identify its most successful team members. But companies are now using SalesForce HR tools to accomplish much more. This cloud-based platform serves as a single stop for employee resources and documents, onboarding tools, professional development tools, ADP and benefits management and collaboration. What’s more, HR dashboards can be customized for each employee, while cloud-based community groups serve as a place where employees can connect, share ideas, ask questions and offer feedback.
- Accounting Solutions: It’s only logical that a platform designed to track leads and sales would be associated with accounting-related functions and features. But it wasn’t until the past few years that SalesForce began to include some fairly robust offerings in this regard, including payroll management, supplier relationship management (SRM), asset tracking and traditional accounting tools. Lots of the available accounting solutions are related to third-party platforms, such as ADP and QuickBooks. But these integrations are extremely important, as it reduces the amount of manual work required to track a company’s financials.
- Data-Based Predictions: SalesForce collects useful data that can be analyzed to arrive at business predictions and forecasts. These are critical for company leaders who are charged with making key decisions. SalesForce includes AI capabilities, but for companies that require more complex and comprehensive analysis, it’s possible to integrate SalesForce with a custom Predictive Analytics Engine, combined with Machine Learning functionalities.
- Process Automation: SalesForce gives companies the tools they need to automate a variety of processes within the sales and marketing funnel and beyond. Automation functionalities can also be enhanced with a custom Machine Learning tool that modifies and improves automated processes in a manner that aligns with real world data and trends.
- Social Media Monitoring & Management: Social media plays a central role in many companies’ marketing and sales equation. SalesForce has gone beyond the more simplistic social media management platforms such as HootSuite by offering a comprehensive range of solutions. For instance, a business can monitor social chatter surrounding their brand; marketing experts can then engage when it is most advantageous. Companies can also use SalesForce as a social media-based customer service portal, providing a centralized location where customers’ questions and concerns can be addressed.
Notably, this “super CRM” has gained such tremendous popularity in the corporate world that there now exists a fairly sizable library of SalesForce apps. Some are free, while others are associated with a fee (most paid apps range in price from $25 to $100 per month.) A large portion of the apps are designed to add features and functionalities. There are also dozens of SalesForce apps that connect the CRM to popular platforms, including Slack, ADP, RingCentral, MailChimp, LinkedIn, Dropbox and DocuSign.
SalesForce Integration into an Enterprise Software Platform
Despite the tremendous popularity of SalesForce, relatively few mobile app and custom software development companies have experience in the area of SalesForce integration. With the SalesForce CRM playing such a central role in a company’s operations, it only makes sense that a custom enterprise mobile app or desktop software platform would include some degree of connectivity to the CRM portal. There are even dozens of different SalesForce APIs that developers can use as they integrate with this CRM and other SaaS solutions.
It’s possible to create a custom software platform that pulls data from SalesForce, providing additional analysis and interpretation of that information. Developers can also establish a Data Lake that stows SalesForce data for future analysis. Data may also be pulled into a mobile app that offers custom features or functions, resulting in a one-of-a-kind solution to fit a company’s unique needs and is seamlessly integrated into the company’s platform.
Companies such as 7T provide consulting services as part of the custom software development process. Enterprise software development companies must understand the many ways that companies are using SalesForce; only then can developers architect a customized solution that meets the company’s exact requirements. It’s also possible to design a custom CRM platform that uses SalesForce as a reference point (i.e. build a CRM with HR feature A, but in addition to the functionalities seen on SalesForce, add Predictive Analytics (PA) capabilities and features X, Y and Z.)
At 7T, we specialize in custom software solutions and mobile app development, whether it’s building a one-of-a-kind enterprise platform from the ground up or addressing more specific issues, such as UI/UX design, app security or comprehensive app testing.
Our company is based in Dallas, Texas, with regional offices located in Houston, Austin, and soon, Chicago. Our clientele is situated worldwide, so if you’re seeking a custom ERP platform, CRM, enterprise mobile app or another piece of custom software, contact the team at 7T today.
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