Salesforce.com on Tuesday unveiled two new products: Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1. The company has a long history of product offerings in these areas, but these new iterations have been designed to address the radical changes in the sales and service space — namely, the emergence of social and mobile. They also are primed for action when the Internet of Things goes mainstream.
Another way to think of the new applications is that they are smarter and faster, Sarah Patterson, VP of product marketing for Service Cloud, told CRM Buyer.
“Customer expectations are changing in response to social and mobile technologies,” she said.
Developments in these areas have changed how customers expect to engage with and interact with the companies they patronize.
As a result, applications in this area “need to be smarter and more productive as well,” Patterson said.
As it designed the new applications, Salesforce.com looked to the consumer — as opposed to the enterprise — for inspiration, Sean Alpert, director of product marketing for Sales Cloud, told CRM Buyer.
Services such as Lyft and Uber are geo-aware and know who their customers are and where they are located, he said. “That was our inspiration.”
Another was Nest, which provides smart home automation products.
“These apps are only possible because of the cloud, and social and mobile technologies, ” Alpert said.
Smarter and Faster
Salesforce.com set out to do something similar with its next generation of sales and service tools for companies — that is, make them faster, smarter and ever more mobile.
Early indications suggest Sales Cloud1 and Service Cloud1 will achieve those aims, if a survey of customers using early versions of many of the new features in these apps proves representative.
Companies that have deployed Sales Cloud have seen on average a 39 percent increase in lead conversion, 40 percent increase in sales productivity, 45 percent increase in forecast accuracy, and 32 percent increase in sales revenue.
Companies that have deployed Service Cloud reported an average 42 percent faster case resolution, 40 percent decrease in support costs, an average 40 percent increase in agent productivity, and an average 40-percent increase in customer satisfaction.
The products work well with users because they have been redesigned to bring more process into selling or sales, so they are not so transaction-oriented, Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research told CRM Buyer.
“Vendors and companies like transactions, but customers expect a process,” he said.
Sales Cloud1 — a series of mobile sales apps delivered on the Salesforce1 Platform — comes with a new agreement with Thomson Reuters to connect sales reps to the content that matters to their deals.
Tools include Today, which is personalized for every sales rep and displays top tasks, dashboards, upcoming meetings, weather, news and more; Tasks, a to-do app that helps reps manage priorities and is connected to customer records within Salesforce; and Notes, a place for reps to jot down notes that then automatically link to contacts, or accounts and customer records within Salesforce.
Other features help reps schedule events, provide guided selling techniques through the sales cycle, and identify teammates who might have the specialized knowledge necessary to push a deal across the finish line.
Sales Data is where the partnership with Thomson Reuters comes into play, providing content on sales reps’ top accounts, contacts and industries.
Sales Cloud1 is now generally available and pricing starts at US$65 per user per month. Various features, such as Sales Path and Sales Reach, will be made available later in 2015.
Service Cloud1 offers similar features, albeit for the service environment. Offerings include SOS for Apps, similar to the Mayday button for the Amazon Fire Phone and Kindle Fire HDX tablet; a new Service Cloud1 Agent Console; and Instant Service Communities.
Service Cloud1 is now generally available, and pricing starts at $65 per user per month. Some of the features will debut later, such as Salesforce SOS for Apps, which currently is in private beta.