Salesforce.com has released a new mobile and cloud-based offering designed to make it easier for sales reps to connect with prospects and customers, track promising leads, and achieve sales more quickly. The company says the new solution -- called Salesforce1 Sales Reach -- will help salespeople generate more personalized campaigns and nurture relationships with prospects.
The Sales Reach system actually integrates several existing Salesforce tools, including Salesforce1 Sales Cloud, Pardot, and Communities. To begin, Salesforce1 Sales Cloud provides mobile sales applications, while Pardot is a centralized platform for B2B marketing automation and online sales campaign management. The third component -- Salesforce Communities -- lets companies create online communities that bring together sales reps, in-house experts, customers, and partners to share information and enable one-on-one connections.
According to Linda Crawford, executive VP and general manager of Sales Cloud for Salesforce.com, the new collection of tools is designed to help sales reps engage with prospects and customers in more personalized and "less transactional" ways. Salesforce.com says Reach will enable mobile, one-on-one campaigns with access to data-driven insights throughout the sales process. Salesforce1 Sales Reach is scheduled to be available in the first half of 2015.
Sales Reps Need New Ways To Connect
Why the new, more integrated app? Some say the old ways of generating leads and turning prospects into sales are no longer sufficient in today’s highly connected, mobile and information-rich business landscape. Michael Fauscette, group VP of Software Business Solutions for IDC points out that buyers now have easy access to far more knowledge than they did in the past about a product or service before they are ready to make a purchasing decision. That makes it more important than ever for sales reps to keep track of prospects’ online activities and connect with them quickly in personalized ways.
According to a report from Harvard Business Review Analytics Services, B2B prospects have generally completed 57 percent of their due diligence before they ever contact a sales rep. Furthermore, 72 percent of business leaders say their decision to buy is influenced by a sales rep’s ability to help them achieve their major business objectives.
This means sales reps must be able to do more of their own research, access and analyze more data on customer interactions, and use that information to pinpoint just when prospects are ready to buy, the report states.
According to Salesforce, the new Sales Reach app is designed to deliver such insights so reps can stay in touch with prospects and get them the information they need at the right time to increase their chances of winning a sale.
For example, Sales Reach will enable reps to quickly deploy a one-on-one email campaign when a prospect has just downloaded an e-book from the company’s Web site. It also provides pop-up, real-time notifications via the Salesforce1 Mobile App to, for instance, allow a sales rep to instantly send a special discount at the exact moment a prospect is exploring a web page about a particular product or service.
Sales Reach can also help reps view a 36-hour activity record of prospects’ online actions to spot trends and behavior patterns. It features 'Mobile Nurture Campaigns' that will allow reps to automatically send personalized emails about prospects’ specific interests as they get closer to making a purchasing decision.
Another feature of Sales Reach -- Salesforce Communities for Prospects -- will enable prospects to connect with one another online and share information to make better buying decisions.
GE Capital, for example, was able to use the solution to set up a customer community within just five weeks. Their online community allows mid-market CEOs and CFOs to exchange insights and discuss topics of mutual interest. Salesforce says this online community has helped speed up the time it takes to provide customers and prospects with the answers they need. That's the kind of benefit that can be useful for businesses of all types and sizes.