Salesforce.com For Dummies
If you're new to Salesforce.com or an existing user looking for the latest tips and tricks to maximize its potential, this friendly guide has you covered.
Salesforce.com For Dummies
Customer Relationship Management at a Glance
IN THIS CHAPTER
Looking at the fundamentals of customer relationship management
Understanding how customer relationship management helps you manage your business
You may not realize it yet, but every time you log in to Salesforce, you're accessing an extremely powerful lever of change for you, your group, and your company.
Sounds like a tall order, but consider this: What value do you put on your customer relationships? Your partner relationships? If you're a sales rep, it's your livelihood. And if you're in management, you have fewer assets more valuable than your existing partner and customer base. What if you had a tool that could truly help you manage your partners and customers?
That's where customer relationship management software comes in. Customer relationship management (CRM) is an umbrella term for the parts of your business that are "front office," also known as those that have direct interactions with your customers and prospective customers. The CRM life cycle encompasses business processes and associated applications that help businesses better track their leads, manage customers, track opportunities, resolve cases, and more.
The more you and your team adopt a CRM system into your work, and you determine how you want your business process to be reflected within the technology, the more information you'll have at your fingertips to deepen customer relationships and improve your overall business.
In this chapter, we establish a common understanding of the CRM life cycle. Then we describe areas where a CRM system can improve your business.
Introducing the Customer Relationship Management life cycle
Within the world of CRM exist additional processes focused on specific areas of the life cycle. You may hear the phrases marketing automation, sales force automation, and service and support. These are front-office areas of your business that vendors (like Salesforce.com!) work on to make your front-office teams more efficient and productive.
Understanding your customer's customer
How can you sell to and retain customers if you don't understand their needs, key contacts, and what account activities and transactions have taken place? A CRM system allows you to track all your important customer interactions and data so that you can develop solutions that deliver real value to your customers, which in turn should mean higher customer satisfaction with their customers. Whether people are in marketing, sales, or customer support, they should all have the ability to access the same source of truth about your customer. After all, how can your company serve its customers well if you're not familiar with how your products and services help improve your customers' customers' (no, that's not a typo) experience?
Centralizing customer information under one roof
How much time have you wasted tracking down a customer contact or an address that you know exists within the walls of your company? What about trying to find out which sales rep owns the relationship with a subsidiary of a global customer? A good CRM system lets you quickly centralize and organize your accounts and contacts so that you can capitalize on that information when you need to.
Looking to Customer Relationship Management to Solve Critical Business Challenges
We could write another book telling you all the great things you can do with Salesforce, but you can get the big picture about CRM systems' benefits from this chapter. We focus here on the most common business challenges that we hear from sales, marketing, and support executives - and how a CRM system can overcome them.
Expanding the funnel
Inputs and outputs, right? The more leads you generate and pursue, the greater the chance that your revenue wi