Category Archives: Salesforce

Enterprise App Store Difference

af89387fcab3e2678bf0d29eb67478b0 100x100 Enterprise App Store Difference

Online app stores have exploded onto the technology scene over the last half a dozen years. More recently enterprise app stores have become a thing. As a result, millions of people download and install applications onto their mobile devices, laptops and desktop computers every day. Apple‘s App Store is the largest and highest profile app store, but it wasn’t the first major online app store when it launched back in 2008. That title …

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Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for Admins

 Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for AdminsI started my career at Salesforce as a Success Manager, where I spent my days working directly with customers, helping them boost adoption, optimize their implementations, and ultimately get the most value out of their investment in Salesforce. And when it comes to getting value, nothing is better than getting something helpful for free, which is why I always loved talking to my customers about the AppExchange. Out of the 2,600+ apps on the AppExchange, 44% are available free of charge, and many are reasonably priced and deliver exceptional value.

In this five-part blog series, we’ll highlight Apps for Admins as we dig into some of the key challenges Admins face and the AppExchange apps, mostly free (and a few paid), that have made some of my customers more successful.

Houston, We Have a Problem … A Data Problem

Picture this: You’re at your desk working through your carefully prioritized backlog of requests when the phone rings. It’s your Sales Ops Director and she says, “We need to stop allowing everyone to create new leads. Can you make it so only managers can create leads?”

As an Admin, you know the answer is yes, and you could just update a few profiles and return to your backlog. But you also know that your role is not just some order taker, but a trusted Salesforce advisor to your company. You’re the Salesforce expert!

And that’s why it’s so important to ask questions, because sometimes a business user will come to you with a solution rather than articulating *why* she needs it—and that *why* is key! Once you know the why, you can use your creativity and expertise to come up with the best solution, which may or may not be the one originally requested. (See this podcast featuring Kevin Richardson and this blog from MVP Brent Downey for more on this topic.)

In this example, asking questions leads us to the real problem: The sales team has found a number of duplicates in Salesforce and it’s hurting their productivity. Now you can really dig in with additional questions, like:

  • What makes a duplicate a duplicate?
  • Are you using any Web-to-lead forms or doing data imports?
  • Do you want your users to be alerted to potential duplicates at the point of entry? If yes, do your users also use mobile?
  • Are you planning to merge records? If yes, what fields will you use to determine a match?
  • Do you want your users to be able to merge duplicates?
  • Which objects are affected? Leads, Contacts, Cases, and/or other objects?
  • Do we need to clean up existing data?
  • Do we need to back up our data?
  • Is there any budget available to solve this issue?

The great news is, for every answer to these questions, there are fantastic apps on the AppExchange to help Admins, including duplicate alerting and blocking, data cleanup, imports, and integration, plus there are free and paid options for each scenario. Read on to discover some of your options.

Block It

When you have a leak, it’s important to start with the source. The same is true with duplicates. Explore these apps to stop the flood by blocking duplicates right at the point of entry.

Are duplicates being created directly by users? If yes, are any of them being created via Salesforce1? If you’re looking to stop users from creating duplicate records, you’ll want to check out these free options:

  • Salesforce Duplicate Management Functionality: Not an app, but native functionality, currently scheduled for the Spring ’15 release. This will allow you to block leads at the point of entry. Bonus: It also works with Salesforce1!
  • DupeCatcher: Empower your users to identify, block, and de-dupe records at the point of entry. This free app works for Leads, Accounts (business and person), and Contacts, but does not have Salesforce1 functionality as of yet.

Are duplicates coming in from Web-to-Lead or Imports? If yes, you’re probably going to need a paid app. Check out these options; note that both also feature functionality for users at the point of entry:

  • DupeBlocker: Block duplicates coming in through Web-to-Lead. This paid app also features functionality to block duplicates at the point of entry.
  • RingLead Duplicate Solutions: RingLead offers solutions for Web-to-Lead and list imports, as well as data cleansing, diagnostics, and point of entry. Check out the listing for a complete overview of the options available. The diagnostic app is free, but the rest are paid.

Merge It and Clean It

If it’s determined that users should be able to merge their own Accounts, Contacts, and Leads, there is native functionality available in Salesforce, and you can simply enable those permissions. If you need to merge en masse, there are free and paid options available:

  • Duplicate Check for Salesforce: This free app allows you to run a batch process to clean up your org, de-dupe records at the point of entry, or take advantage of advanced fuzzy matching to find duplicates with different spelling. There are limits on the amount of records available for free; check the AppExchange listing for more details. Note: it does not have Salesforce1 functionality as of yet.
  • DemandTools by CRM Fusion: De-duplication, mass loading, and robust data cleansing features. Paid app.
  • Cloudingo: Cleanse import files, identify duplicate records, and merge and convert records automatically or manually. Paid app.
  • Case Merge Premium: Specifically for the Cases object, this paid app allows you to merge cases and their related records.
  • RingLead Data Cleanse: Identify duplicate records, and merge records automatically or manually, up to 1,000 records at a time. Paid app.

Load It Up

There are a number of free data loading tools available on the AppExchange, including Jitterbit Cloud Data Loader, Informatica Cloud Data Loader, and dataloader.io Data Loader for Salesforce. Salesforce also offers a native Data Import Wizard for importing up to 50,000 records. Call me old-fashioned, but I still use the standard Data Loader you can download from Setup at Data Management | Data Loader.

Back It Up

Now that you’re blocking, merging, and cleansing, it’s probably a good time to think about your overall data strategy and decide if you need regular data backups. Salesforce offers a free export service, either on demand or scheduled. I also think it’s a good practice to download the Setup Audit Trail twice a year, so you can retain your setup history.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution for backing up your data, check out Backupify. With this paid app, you can back up data and metadata, from production and sandbox environments, and the data is all searchable and accessible via a self-service portal.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for free functionality to prevent duplicates at the point of entry or a robust paid solution for overall data management, there’s an app for you to explore. So ask questions, get those requirements, and check out what the AppExchange has to offer.

Stay tuned for the next installment in our series as we continue with Apps for Admins. Up next, Analytics!

Check out the AppExchange and all the apps mentioned here: Apps for Admins

Chris Duarte is the Managing Editor of Trailhead, Salesforce

 Clean Up Your Data the Expert Way with Data Management Apps: Apps for Admins

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Here are the Five Metrics That Will Kickstart Your Sagging B2B Sales

Depending on your price point, business-to-business (B2B) sales cycles can be long. And sure, it probably will take your reps longer to sell a marketing automation system than a TV — much more is at stake. But I can say with almost 100% certainty that your sales cycles are longer than they need to be.

In my experience, the number one reason that sales cycles are overly long is because managers lack insight into where deals are getting stuck. In fact, according to Marketing Sherpa,  68% of B2B organizations have not identified their funnel. But tracking the right pipeline metrics enables you to gain a clear view of where deals are getting stuck.

Sales Acceleration Here are the Five Metrics That Will Kickstart Your Sagging B2B SalesI’m recommending five metrics that B2B companies should be tracking, as well as offer some actionable advice about how to leverage these metrics to unclog your sales funnel. By tracking these metrics in Salesforce, you can help your team close deals faster than ever this year.

Time to First Contact

What this metric tracks: How long it takes a rep to reach out to a lead.

How it can shorten your sales cycle: Whether your reps are tasked to follow up with inbound leads from marketing campaigns, or are powering through lists of leads, it’s important to know how long it’s taking reps to reach out to leads. The longer reps wait to reach out to new leads the longer it will take your team to close deals. It pays to ensure that leads are being contacted early and often.

Outbound Dials to Accepted Opportunities

What this metric tracks: The percentage of outbound dials that actually result in sales-qualified opportunities.

How it can shorten your sales cycle: I encounter a lot of companies that are tracking the number of outbound dials that their sales development reps are making each day. Sure, it’s important to track activity metrics like dials. But at the end of the day, I’m more concerned with how many qualified opportunities reps are sourcing. If an SDR is making a lot of dials but not sourcing a lot of opportunities, it could mean that they’re just not not selling efficiently. Perhaps they’re not following up enough times. Maybe they’re dialing leads at the wrong times. Perhaps their pitch just needs more work. Either way, this metric can help you quickly identify which SDRs are propelling leads through your funnel and which aren’t.

Opportunity Win Percentage by Rep

What this metric tracks: The percentage of opportunities that turn into deals.

How it can shorten your sales cycle: This is a great metric because it allows you to identify two important things. First, it lets you see which of your account executives (quota-carrying closers) are best at winning deals. Secondly, it lets you see which SDRs are sourcing opportunities that actually turn into deals. Obviously if you have account executives that aren’t closing enough deals it can be a huge indicator of a problem. But it’s just as important to ensure that your account executives have quality opportunities to work. If an SDR is creating a lot of opportunities that don’t turn into deals it could indicate that the SDR needs some guidance into how to better qualify leads. Clearly, some deals are going to take less effort and time to close than others. It’s important to ensure that SDRs aren’t clogging your pipeline with leads that are going to offer good ROI.

banner sales metrics Here are the Five Metrics That Will Kickstart Your Sagging B2B Sales

Percentage of Deals Without Competitors

What this metric tracks: The percentage of deals in which prospects aren’t actively looking at competitors.

How it can shorten your sales cycle: Generally speaking, competitive deals are harder to close than deals without a competitor. You have to spend time discussing ways that you exceed the competition. And you often have to wait for prospects to finish a trial or pilot program with competitors. So if a high percentage of your deals are competitive, then it could be clogging up your sales funnel. So it tends to be a good idea to keep this percentage as low as possible. One of the best ways to lower your percentage of deals without competitors is by being “first in.” In one of our recent eBooks, sales expert Craig Elias shared some data that being the first vendor into an opportunity raises your odds of winning a deal to 74%! Simply getting to a prospect before they’ve had time to research your competitors is probably the best way to gain an increase in those valuable non-competitive deals.

Won Deals by Campaign

What this metric tracks: This metric tracks which marketing campaigns drive the highest percentage of leads that turn into customers.

How it can shorten your sales cycle: Some campaigns are going to generate more sales-ready leads than others. The last thing you want is Marketing investing in campaigns that generate unqualified leads that either don’t close or take forever to close. This metric is so important because it helps Sales and Marketing get on the same page. by knowing which campaigns deliver the most won deals, sales managers can work to ensure that marketing invests more in efforts that are proven to not only drive calls, but actually generate revenue.

Want to learn some more essential B2B sales metrics? Check out our eBook 14 Top Sales Leaders Reveal Their Most Essential Sales Metrics for some insight from industry-leading experts including Jill Konrath, Craig Elias, Matt Heinz and more.

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4 Trends That Will Shape IT App Dev

 4 Trends That Will Shape IT App Dev

Technology is changing everything about how organisations do business today, from the front office interface with the customer, to back office systems and to supply chain partner relationships. Nothing is immune from this all pervasive revolution.

At the core of this revolution are the applications. In the US, for instance, comScore found that the growth in mobile app usage between June 2013 and June 2014 was as much as 52 per cent.

With an ever demanding user base, IT departments are under increasing pressure to keep launching and improving mobile apps that keep customers and employees alike engaged. There is a huge opportunity to connect with customers through mobile, even with simple point-and-click apps. This new eBook – 4 Tech Trends That Will Shape IT App Dev in 2015 – examines the key trends that drive innovation in the marketplace so app developers can keep pace with that change. This is how the eBook is structured:

1. Demand

With a smartphone in the hand of almost every Australian, the way we operate is changing rapidly. Every user expects to do business with companies using a device in the palm of their hand; while employees equally expect to be able to do their work while on the move. “There must be an app for that” is a phrase we use for every operation or transaction and so the opportunity for disruption is massive.

2. Constant Iteration

Mobile apps must be on a constant feedback loop and iterating daily and weekly, not annually. There is no such thing as an app that is perfect and finished. It must adapt and evolve on a permanent basis. You will notice this from the best apps we use everyday such as Facebook, Pandora, eBay and so on. Ever changing, ever improving.

3. Democratization

Today everyone can be an app developer! The latest generation of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) tools provide business users who might not have sophisticated coding skills with the ability to develop apps quickly and easily – mobile and social from the outset. These apps can be developed in any language and for any device without a great deal of know-how – creating a new app can be easy as working in Exel!

4.  Actionable Data

Vast amounts of data powers everything we do. Massive amounts of data can be quickly and easily made available to users through mobile apps; while at the same time those same apps can glean even more data from consumers that organisations can learn from to improve their systems, products and services. Real-time data is possible and it is this real-time immediacy that users expect – both inside the organisation as well as on the outside.

Download the eBook!

4 Tech Trends That Will Shape IT App Dev in 2015 looks into these four dynamics in much more detail to help you understand how app development will evolve in the next twelve months. But at its core, this eBook provides the secret to that burning question: what is the secret formula to innovation in the enterprise. Why not download it now?

 4 Trends That Will Shape IT App Dev

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7 Unexpected Things I Discovered About Customer Experiences

 7 Unexpected Things I Discovered About Customer Experiences1. The definition of customer experience is:

Multifaceted

When I started researching customer experience (CX), I expected to find a standard definition for the term pretty easily. I figured I’d read a few blogs and immediately understand what Customer Experience is. Actually, I thought I already knew what it was, to some degree. My definition of CX was the overall experience that a customer has while shopping, and that experience came down to two strategies, both of which are ingrained in the core values of almost every company out there today: customer service and user experience.

Certainly these are both a part of what makes up the overall CX, but as I’m finding out in my research, there is so much more to the story. According to Harley Manning, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, customer experience is:

“how customers perceive their interactions with a company along each step of a customer journey, from discovery, to purchase and use, to getting service.”

So, CX covers the customer’s perceived experience from beginning to end, at all touch points within a company. UX deals mainly with digital touch points, such as web and mobile user interface, and is a subset of CX. Customer service is just one part of the entire shopping experience, which also puts it in the subset category.

Ambiguous

The definition of CX varies with each company, and with each customer. Every company’s process in dealing with customers is different; so one company’s definition of a good CX may not be another company’s definition of a good CX. Another key word in Manning’s definition is “perceived.” A company may perceive to have given a good overall customer experience, but that’s only one side of the equation. A customer’s perception is what really matters. No matter what kind of experience you think you gave a customer, they may have perceived something entirely different. This makes the definition of CX – and its metrics – not just multifaceted, but also ambiguous.

2. There are people who “do” customer experience.

I didn’t realize that CX – like UX and customer service – was actually an entire discipline, equipped with scientific research, data, metrics, experts, thought leaders, etc. I was surprised to find out there are people who “do” this for a living, mainly because it seems like it would be very difficult, based on the ambiguous and multifaceted nature of the discipline.

I must say, when I started reading blogs and following some of the experts in this space on Twitter, I was highly impressed, and a little overwhelmed. I don’t expect that feeling to disappear anytime soon, but as scary as it is, it’s also kind of exciting. I know I’m going to learn a lot.

3. Employee Experience and Customer Experience are equally important.

This was a revelation that I really connected with, because I’ve worked at companies that claimed to be “customer-centric” and “employee-centric,” but somehow still seemed to miss the mark on both accounts. It makes sense though. In fact it’s business 101: keep your employees happy and they’re going to keep your customers happy. Any company that prides itself on having a good CX process in place should also have happy employees who understand and implement the company’s core values and overall CX strategy well. Their experience will determine whether your customers have a good experience.

4. Customer feedback isn’t always a reliable metric for evaluating CX.

Surveys are a very popular method for finding out what customers want. But rarely is what you think you want what you actually need. That’s what Walmart found out when a new CX strategy to reduce clutter in their stores – based on a customer feedback survey – backfired. If you can’t rely solely on feedback to figure out what customers need, then what else can you rely on? 

5. A good Customer Experience Strategy saves companies money.

This concept itself did not really surprise me. What does surprise me is how few companies implement a strong CX strategy as part of an effort to save money. Customer experience drives customer loyalty, which cuts down on the budget needed to attract new customers. So often, companies that need to save money will immediately slash marketing dollars or lay off employees – both of which probably result in quick, short-term, measurable results. But the long-term impact may be detrimental. Instead of cutting costs, perhaps the solution is to implement a strong CX process that helps retain customers, motivate employees, and reduces the marketing budget naturally, over time.

6. Customer Experience is not always a top priority.

Many companies tend to focus on User Experience or Customer Service – both of which are strong subsets of the overall Customer Experience – and both of which only make up a very small portion of the whole story. Other companies choose to focus on profit, with little consideration given to what their customers need and how that fits into their profit goals. The more I read about CX, the more I began to realize how important it is that we understand customer needs and perception. It surprised me that some companies devalue or even neglect the CX space altogether, and I’d like to learn more about why that’s the case.

7. There will always be more to learn about Customer Experience.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, CX is a multifaceted discipline. I’ve explored the space for a few months and still don’t think I’ve even begun to scratch the surface. The more blogs I read and the more links I click, the more I realize how incredibly vast the world of CX really is. As technology evolves, a customer’s perception of the shopping experience will continue to change. As such, there will always be more to explore within the space, and I look forward to learning something new with each study.

Want more customer service best practices? Visit salesforce.com or download the free e-book.

 7 Unexpected Things I Discovered About Customer Experiences

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Make These 3 Commitments if You Want to Nail Your Number in 2015

 Make These 3 Commitments if You Want to Nail Your Number in 2015The average full-time U.S. employee works 47 hours per week, and for most enterprise sales reps and managers, that number is much higher. As resolution season comes to a close, it’s time to hunker down and make those long work hours the most productive they can be. 

2015 is the year savvy sales reps exceed their quota, despite the depressing stat that new deals have only a 30 percent chance of closing. How? They’ll use data to determine which deals are likely to close and what strategies work best. My team and I huddled around to determine the most important factors to increase the likelihood of a deal closing. Here are three New Year’s resolutions sales execs should make to nail their number in 2015:

1. Welcome Your Competitors to the Party

When a competitor enters the battle and reps find themselves in a bake off, their first reaction is often fear of being knocked out. Conventional wisdom says competition is a threat. But in reality, our data shows competition in the game is a good indicator the prospect is serious about buying. Encourage sales reps and managers to consider competition as a positive sign that budget is allocated and the prospect is committed to making a purchase. Competition means it’s time to double down and make sure you’re the one who gets the order.

2. Cozy Up With At Least 3 Customer Contacts

Closing a deal doesn’t just depend on “gut and golf” anymore, but there’s still something to be said for having a beer with your customer. Especially if it’s a group affair. Our data shows reps are most successful when they receive support from at least three customer employees or execs. It’s rare that someone acts as a sole decision maker. That finding alone may not shock you, but have you resolved to use it to your advantage? When it’s happy hour, don’t just invite your go-to contact — invite the whole team.

3. Call in Exec Cavalry

When a sales rep gets signals a deal is at risk, it’s time for action, but what kind? Most reps are independent and prefer to handle issues themselves rather than ask for help — particularly from their boss. Unfortunately, a go-it-alone tendency puts deals at higher risk. Yet it turns out inviting a company exec to join a rep at a pitch is the number one thing that moves a deal from yellow to green. Plus, it feels great to have your manager doing something other than asking for a forecast update. Both rep and execs benefit from windshield time, and they’ll close more business together.

Across deals, sales teams, and individual reps, these three sales strategies work. How do you add strategies to this list, specific to your customers and your team? Make sure you have tools making it easy for managers and executives to distill data from your deal history and uncover hidden insights.

About the Author:

 Make These 3 Commitments if You Want to Nail Your Number in 2015Andy Byrne is the CEO of Clari. Andy brings over 19 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and management to his position as CEO of Clari. Prior to Clari, Andy was part of the founding executive team at Clearwell Systems—Gartner’s highest ranking e-discovery company—which he helped grow from pre-product & pre-revenue in 2005 to $ 100 million run rate until its acquisition by Symantec (SYMC) in Q2 2011. Prior to joining Clearwell, Andy co-founded Timestock, Inc., which was acquired by Computer Associates (CA) via the acquisition of Wily Technology. Before Timestock, Andy was VP of Marketing at Desana Systems, and VP of Product Management at Lucent Technologies.

Research has shown that “challengers” win more deals. Are you a challenger? Find out by downloading the free e-book. 

 Make These 3 Commitments if You Want to Nail Your Number in 2015

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The Future of the Customer Journey for Digital Services Providers

 The Future of the Customer Journey for Digital Services ProvidersThe evolving digital ecosystem presents new choices to consumers on what services (and how) they would consume. We are also observing new and disruptive ways for service creation and delivery by service providers. Since connectivity and communication are the backbone for delivering any digital service, it is only natural for service providers from Communications, Media and Utilities (CMU) industries having a lead in service delivery.

However, with the rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) service providers (such as Facebook, WhatsApp), traditional service providers are forced to embrace the new reality that other providers such as Amazon can excel in service delivery – from physical assets such as books to digital content as movies. To keep up with this digital lifestyle, we now see many communication service providers (in partnerships with enterprises from industry verticals) offering rich digital services such as Connected Home, eHealth etc.

In this digital economy, CMU service providers should consider re-branding themselves as Digital Service Provider (DSP).The notion of DSP is not new. Lightreading defines DSP as any company that distributes media online. I think DSP can include any company that provides a service which can be distributed over the public data network (Internet). Obviously this broadens the landscape. And why not? Starbucks may be selling you coffee product, but they could be selling you a digital service providing “seamless connection” between the ordering experience and the in-store pick up, as pointed out by Adam Brotman, Starbucks Chief Digital Officer, in Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference. So, through this wide angle lens, Starbucks is as much of a DSP as any other provider from the CMU industries.

This broader definition only introduces more challenges for a service provider to define new processes for connecting with their customers – when, how and where? In her recent blog (2015: The Year of the Customer Journey), Lynn Vojvodich (CMO, Salesforce) discusses four ways on how service providers can embark on Customer Journey to enhance the experience of their customers. Inspired by her blog, I would like to highlight three key factors that would be relevant to a DSP, to shape the Customer Journey.

What Business Entities play a role in the Customer Journey?

A customer’s journey doesn’t happen in isolation within a DSP. Every touchpoint deals with a single or multiple Business Entities (BEs). A BE is usually characterized by specific attributes and how it relates to other BEs. Examples are Order, Bill, Usage, Service etc. BEs can be grouped hierarchically into functional domains (which we will not get into here), but the key point here is how do all parties involved in supporting the Customer Journey have access to the BEs that they need to service the customer. 

 The Future of the Customer Journey for Digital Services Providers

Salesforce1 platform provides the flexibility to easily align with the MDM (Master Data Management) strategy of an enterprise. We provide multiple options on what data should be mastered in Salesforce. Best practice recommendation is to have Salesforce serve as the master (and system of entry) for customer data. In other situations, where data is mastered in external systems, based on business requirements, external data can be brought over to Salesforce by leveraging the multiple batch data integration patterns. In other scenarios (where data needn’t be stored in Salesforce), visibility to external data can be provided through simple UI mashups. Since security is built into the data layer, a system administrator can configure what data would be visible/editable to different sets of users. Once configured, visibility and access to data is consistent across all channels.

Who are the players in the Customer Journey?

In the new digital services economy, a DSP has to rely on a broad ecosystem to be successful. It would include retailers, wholesalers, resellers, agencies, vendors, brokers and of course employees. Traditional communication service providers, operating in a vertically integrated product centric mode, struggle to connect customers, partners and employees in a cohesive fashion to drive business results.

Salesforce Community Cloud (Partner Community, Customer Community and Employee Community) provides a collaboration platform that is connected to the business data and processes, since Communities are built on the same Salesforce1 platform. In a typical Ordering and Activating process, where multiple players (e.g. retailers, workforce manager, contact center agent and customer ) play a role, each member can access, update and create Salesforce records (as their permissions allow) to support the process. This results in faster trouble resolution, higher sales conversion and finding the experts in much less time.

How do you connect with your customers during the Customer Journey?

In his opening keynote presentation for Dreamforce’13, Marc Benioff, CEO Salesforce, painted his vision of Internet of CustomersBehind everything put on the Internet, every device, every app, and every tweet, is a customer… We need to reassess how we connect to our customers in a whole new way. With multiple players and several touchpoints for executing a single business process (such as purchase journey), it is highly likely that the touchpoints will involve multiple channels – mobile, in-store interaction, contact center – phone or Live Chat, just to name a few. In a digital economy, a case (trouble ticket) can be registered from a machine (say your washing machine directly contacting n your behalf).

Omni Channel capability enables service providers to execute a unique and consistent customer engagement across multiple channels and provide a common view of all interactions during any business process. Salesforce Service Cloud provides a multi channel agent console (Live Chat, Telephony with CTI integration) and a social customer service that helps a provider listen and engage across multiple social channels. Self Service, provided through a collaborative customer community unifies case management, knowledge and social channels, resulting in a highly engaging customer experience. So, irrespective of which channel is being used, a user can get full 360 degree view of the customer (including the customer herself) in compliance with the data security rules configured within the system for that user.

In conclusion, as Digital Service Providers define their Customer Journey processes with their Internet of Customers, the main question that they have to answer is – when they should start this journey with their customer. The answer to the other piece of the puzzle – when it should end – is pretty much solved. It never does!!

About the Author

Abhi Sur is currently a Director of Cloud Practice at Salesforce. Sur is an accomplished Communications Industry Technologist with twenty years of experience in Technology Strategy, Enterprise Architecture and Design, driving large-scale Telecom BSS/OSS implementation projects. He is currently engaged in leading customer centric transformation for enterprises using Salesforce platform.

Learn about 4 tech trends that will shape IT development in 2015. Visit our website or download the free e-book.

 The Future of the Customer Journey for Digital Services Providers

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More Tech Entrepreneurs Inclined to Give Now Instead of Waiting #benioffwatch

 More Tech Entrepreneurs Inclined to Give Now Instead of Waiting #benioffwatch

Lynne and Marc Benioff gave $ 154-million last year. Mr. Benioff scoffs at money in donor-advised funds, saying, “What good is it doing now?” Lynne and Marc Benioff gave $ 154-million last year. Mr. Benioff scoffs at money in donor-advised funds, saying, “What good is it doing now?”

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Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

Ever since managed packages were rolled out several years ago, the installation process has been following a multi-step wizard. Though this process is interactive, ISVs and admins alike have been asking to make this simpler and shorter – much like installing an app to your mobile device.

All ISV apps are distributed as managed packages. Once an app clears Security Review, it can be publicly listed on the AppExchange for customers to download.

With the Summer ’14 release, we made this real. All publicly listed packages now use the simplified installer when you click onImage 1 ptlhbp Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes            and install it to an org.

OK, so you may ask: if this feature has already been there since Summer ’14, why am I only telling you about it now? Aren’t we closer to Summer ’15?

Hmm… that’s true. The reason I am writing this now is to tell you about a cool way you can use this for all package installations, whether privately listed or those which you directly install with the package URL.

I also want to tell you about couple more features of this simplified installer:

  1. Release Notes
  2. Post Installation Instructions

By using Release Notes and Post Installation Instructions, you can communicate with your customers in-the-app as opposed to sending follow-up emails.

So let’s get started.

Package Upload:

The package upload screen looks like this. So in one single page, you can provide links for both Release Notes and Post Install Instructions.

Image 2 xe1ice Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

And here is an image of the package post upload:

Image 3 xukey6 Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

Package Installation:

This is really simple. All you have to do is append the following to your installation URL – &newUI=1. (You don’t have to do anything on AppExchange with the URLs – installations originating from AppExchange will automatically redirect the user to the new simplified installer.) That’s it. Told you it was simple. And more good news – with Summer ’15, this will become the default installer so every package you install will follow this new UI by default.

You can see that the new installer reduces the 4-page installation wizard down to a single page!

Merged jpmvom Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

We want to make it easy for you to share release notes with your customers. In the screenshot above, you saw how you can provide a URL to release notes for the uploaded version. The release notes can be hosted anywhere you would like and customers can view it while installing the package.

This image below shows the link to Release notes.

Image 6 t1ippo Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

As your apps get more complex and you need admins to do some steps post installation, you need to provide a guide on how to do those. These could be as simple as modifying page layouts or more complex like creating approval processes, updating custom settings, etc.

With this feature, you have the ability to provide the installation instructions in two ways -

  1. As a URL
  2. As a VF page contained inside your managed package.

Best Practice

Use URLs for Post Install Instructions and host the page. This will help you maintain the page or make any appropriate changes. If you provide a VF page, you won’t be able to change it without uploading a new version and upgrading your customer to the new version.

Post installation, this is how it will appear to the installer. This example considers a VF page for instructions. URL would behave similar to that for Release Notes:

Image 7 owxmyj Simplified Package Installer with Release and Post Install Notes

The ISV team at Salesforce is constantly striving to build features to make our partners’ lives easier. We are hopeful that you will find these enhancements are taking us further in that direction. Please provide any feedback you have on the partner community.

Helpful links: ISV Force Guide, Spring’15 Release Notes

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
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