Salesforce Sales Cloud: New features on their way
Sales Cloud users have been given an early preview of Salesforce’s CRM features planned for release throughout 2022. These included new details on Slack integrations, sales enablement, and revenue intelligence subscription management.
According to Bill Paterson, Salesforce executive vice president and general manager of CRM applications, the features when taken together help both managers and sales reps stay connected across different locations. This is particularly useful now that many sales reps will find themselves working remotely, while before the pandemic it was generally an office-based job.
Forrester Research analyst Kate Leggett said that combining Slack and Salesforce Sales Cloud helps bridge the distance between managers and colleagues. Furthermore, it goes on to address the reality that large sales deals are requiring more and more collaboration between the customer’s buying team and sales teams.
Leggett referenced a recent Forrester survey of 957 businesses across the world where respondents said the average number of interactions between the buying and selling teams grew from 17 (2019) to 27 (2021). The length of time it takes to close a deal is increasing as well. Back in 2015, only 19% of deals took four month or more to close, while in 2021 that number has risen to 32%.
She goes on to say that Slack channel integrations with Salesforce Sales Cloud could make those deals move more efficiently. It may not be the most exciting technology, however all CRM platforms need to drive online collaboration, as is the case with Microsoft that has done so by linking Teams and Dynamics.
“There are more stakeholders that need to communicate and collaborate during a sales cycle. Deals are taking longer, involving more people. It’s a no-brainer to bring CRM and collaboration together to make it easier to get energy around a deal,” said Leggett.
E-commerce was a lifeline for a lot of consumer businesses at the heigh to the pandemic. In-person shopping was no longer a thing, giving way to online ordering and home delivery or even curb-side pickup, for businesses that evolved their operations to keep up with them.
Those businesses that were caught on the wrong foot, are now trying to figure out how to drive revenue with e-commerce too, by making their products into subscriptions. Salesforce Sales Cloud will have self-service features for users’ buyers to manage their own subscriptions across various touchpoints including web, in-store and mobile apps.
B2B deals such as large machinery and its related service contracts may prove too complex for such features according to Leggett. However, software companies, media companies, telecommunications providers and consumer brands that send and bill recurring home deliveries would find these Salesforce features highly useful.
Patterson said, “It’s really going to help businesses plan their transition from products to services [via] subscriptions.” He added that hardware technology companies have also embraced the idea by adding monitoring, service, and security subscriptions to their products. “We’re going to make it easy to create direct-to-customer subscription lifecycle solutions directly inside the products and services themselves.”
Salesforce Sales Cloud will target revenue intelligence tools that add Einstein Deal Insights to measure a deal’s health with AI; analytics for more precise sales forecasting; and manager tools that examine why top reps are successful, to give other sales team members insights to help them achieve their targets.
When it comes to sales enablement, Salesforce is aiming to release tools at the end of 2022 which will analyse sales calls and give contextual feedback to sales reps on how they could improve, or point them to materials to bone up on sales or product education. Other features in this group will enable onboarding for sales reps and give managers a dashboard view of how sales enablement efforts are boosting revenue.
According Patterson, taken together, these features will help both sales reps and managers work better remotely. “The process of selling – and sales as a function and as a discipline – has completely changed.” He continues, “It used to be, you would sell a product by cementing a relationship over dinner, or even doing something as simple as shaking someone’s hand to say ‘Yes, we agree to business terms with one another.’ In the pandemic, you really haven’t seen people congregating together and physically interacting. So some of the most primitive – and human – elements of what has made up sales now has to go to this all-digital metaphor.”
You’ll be able to find out more detail about Salesforce Sales Cloud during the Dreamforce at the Sales Cloud Main Show on September 21 from 1-1:30PT. Registration is free.
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