Salesforce goes SMB – again

Salesforce goes SMB – again

The News Last week, on July 24, 2019 Salesforce announced adding conversation channels to its Salesforce Essentials offering with the goal of giving small businesses more personalized ways to interact with their customers. As usual, you can read the press release below or directly on the Salesforce web site. In a nutshell, Salesforce adds the ability to have conversations with Facebook Messenger, to get notifications when customers comment to posts and videos on Instagram or Youtube, and native phone support. All this can get set up with the help of simple guided walkthroughs. The overall goals are to speed up the setup and to offer a path for growth. The latter being offered by the fact that Salesforce Essentials is built on the same platform as Salesforce’s enterprise applications and is essentially an entry tier for small businesses. Still, talking to Melissa Meli, Director of Product Marketing for Salesforce Essentials, the emphasis is on easy.   Salesforce Adds New Conversation Channels to Salesforce Essentials, Giving Small Businesses Personalized Ways to Interact with Customers    With Salesforce Essentials, small businesses can easily adopt the world’s #1 CRM platform— designed to scale and grow with them   New social, chat and phone capabilities in Salesforce Essentials empower small businesses to communicate with customers on their preferred channels—and can be deployed in just minutes    Customers like G Photography, Mission.org and PepTalkHer rely on Salesforce Essentials to reimagine and grow their business   SAN FRANCISCO—JULY 24, 2019—Salesforce [NYSE: CRM], the global leader in CRM, today delivered new conversation channels in Salesforce Essentials, the all-in-one CRM solution built specifically for small businesses. Salesforce Essentials empowers every small...
CRM is 30 and Salespersons still hate it

CRM is 30 and Salespersons still hate it

We are now almost fourty years after the first CRM tools were introduced, initially as helpers for the sales force, but then with an ever increasing scope. We have seen ‘CRM’ systems start as point solutions that morphed into suites – and back to what is called ‘best-of-breed’ to witness the rebirth of the suite. We have seen CRM as a strategy, as a tool. There has been social CRM, and more recently we have seen customer engagement management (CEM), even customer experience management (CXM). Regardless of the name and scope, the goal has always been to help businesses and their representatives on one side and customers on the other side to build lasting and profitable relationships. Amazingly, many users, especially salespersons, still hate CRM. Why? And how can this be overcome? A little history of CRM In the early days we have seen activity management tools, contact management tools, and account management tools, the latter as a kind of shared electronic rolodex. One of the important tools at this time was Goldmine, that successfully combined activity-, account- and contact management for teams, as a first of a kind. Amazingly, founded in 1989, Goldmine is still around. Salespersons used some of these tools and hated the fact that they weren’t integrated. They had to use and live with many different tools, which improved some aspects of their lives – or not. As a consequence we have seen the emergence of sales force automation (SFA) tools that targeted at integrating and streamlining sales processes from lead to order and to establish a common repository of data that could get used...
Salesforce Customer Service Solution becomes Botty

Salesforce Customer Service Solution becomes Botty

The News On June 17, 1019, Salesforce announced an enhancement of its customer service abilities by adding further channels for customer service and adding chatbot capabilities to these channels. This has the goal of offering the ability to create a more seamless service experience by offering engagements on the channels that consumers use. For your easier reference here comes the announcement. Expanding our Digital Customer Service Capabilities with New Channels and Bot Innovations Author: Meredith Flynn-Ripley, VP of Digital Engagement, Service Cloud   Disconnected customer service experiences are still far too common. Almost everyone has had to repeat basic information during routine interactions with companies, or found themselves unable to get answers to fairly simple questions on the channel of their choice. In fact, only 16% of consumers say companies excel at delivering connected experiences. I am happy to report times are changing, for two reasons. First, companies are realizing service can be their main competitive differentiator, and second, today’s empowered and vocal consumers refuse to tolerate bad service. 57% of customers will stop buying from a company not because they don’t like their product, but because a competitor provides better service. Today’s customer demands service on their terms, uses an average of 10 different channels to connect with companies — including messaging, chat, social, email and phone — and expects a personalized and consistent experience across all of them, every single time. Salesforce empowers companies to deliver on these expectations, with a complete customer service platform that powers connected customer experiences across channels from one central console. And today I’m excited to announce new innovations in Service Cloud...
From Personalization to Customer Experience

From Personalization to Customer Experience

As it is the case for most of my colleagues I regularly get pitched by businesses about customer experience news that they want to talk about and that normally are pretty interesting. So, also a few days ago, when I got pitched by AR relations of a major European bank that wanted to talk about a new partnership and “what personalisation tech can offer in terms of a way to side-step legacy tech barriers to provide meaningful customer engagement that goes far beyond “Dear Joe” but that provides customers with what they need, when they need it”. The backdrop of this story is, of course, the advent and rise of fintechs like Revolut, N26, or Monzo. These are the ones that got named in the pitch and that are representatives of many more fintech companies that are disrupting traditional banking. We could add some more like Weltsparen, Transferwise, and other services that target at disrupting one or the other part of banking. And banking is surely an interesting sector of B2C as well as B2B business that is highly regulated, often very conservative, and burdened with legacy IT systems, to name but a few challenges facing banks. All these topics are making them an interesting target for nimble companies that, amongst others, are engaging with their customers in a highly personalised manner. This is very much in line with the research report by Epsilon that got quoted in the pitch. Consequently, personalisation is a very good start. However, there is more. The model of the quoted fintechs is not only to provide a high degree of personalisation.  They are...
Nimble Goes Blue

Nimble Goes Blue

The future of Nimble is blue – Azure blue. The News This is not about the colour of hope (which is blue, at least, if you are a German, like me), but about the long pending final migration of Nimble to Azure. The company announced on May 22 that it has successfully migrated its leading SaaS Social Sales application from Amazon Web Services to Azure. According to the press release this migration was accomplished in less than four weeks without impact on Nimble customers or, as the press release stated “without a hitch”. With this move Nimble can now “tap into Microsoft’s world-class Azure platform and partner ecosystem to scale”. According to the press release the company reports that, Microsoft being “a global Nimble reseller, and promoting it as the simple CRM for Office 365, demand for the easy-to-use CRM for small workgroups is surging”. Then there are two further interesting pieces covered in the press release. For one: with this move Nimble also “accelerates the delivery of its upcoming 5.0 release using the Azure Platfrom as a Servce (…) and by integrating Common Data Services, Power BI, PowerApps, and Flow”. Nimble 5.0 shall deliver a “company wide team relationship manager that unifies contacts from siloed departments in sales, marketing, customer service, and accounting for Office 365 and G Suite users”. The release of Nimble 5.0 is targeted for June 2019. Second, Nimble emphasizes on the power of ecosystems by putting a spotlight on Nimble being the only ISV on Microsoft’s CSP Cloud Solution Provider marketplace that uses CSP to build a global distribution channel. Nimble does this by...