This is Part 1 of 2 in our Q&A series featuring Jim Rich, Area VP of Salesforce.com. The questions were proposed by Daniel Rodriguez, VP of Marketing at Seismic, during a recent webinar that focused on leveraging existing sales tools. Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!
Daniel: With Salesforce.com in financial services, how are people supposed to be better utilizing their existing technology? What do you view as underutilized technology?
Jim: “I would say in general that until Salesforce1, mobile was very underutilized. The tablets as well as the iPhone were very underutilized. Now you can have Salesforce that goes out with [professionals’] iPhones and actually access pretty much any content you need for your sales process. You take the tablet on top of that and couple it with Seismic, and now you’ve got a real useful way to use that iPad as a living, breathing device and show customers exactly what it is that you’re trying to sell in a very consistent fashion.”
D: When Salesforce gets brought in, is it being brought in as a sales enablement initiative or is that need being defined differently?
J: “The term ‘sales enablement’ has evolved over the years. CRM started out as just managing contacts, accounts and opportunities. It’s really evolved into interaction with your customers and making salespeople more effective.
The first thing on the list here is workflow automation. Most of our customers leverage workflow and workflow capabilities in Salesforce to make their lives easier. That’s what sales enablement is all about. It’s about helping sales people more effective and not get bogged down in manual processes, simplify their lives, make that workflow automation flow seamless so they can spend more time selling.
I also want to talk a little bit about company-sponsored mobile apps and tablets. The world is going mobile. It’s one of the reasons why Salesforce has rewritten its entire platform with Salesforce1 – to be mobile. We are focused on mobile first because this is a mobile workforce. Your customers expect you to be mobile. They expect your applications to be mobile. It’s really important for you to have that technology that allows you to be on the road and where you need to be.
Lastly, the sales content hub and CRM are no longer just about accounts and contacts – they’re about data and sales content. When you’re talking about sales enablement, it’s great to have the ability to manage the opportunity process, but then you get to a certain point where you need to provide content to these salespeople to help further their sales. How do you make that really effective so that they can get that content, turn that massive amount of data into useful information and push that deal forward?”
D: When you’re going into a prospect meeting and they don’t have CRM or Salesforce, which of these items do you use to say ‘This is how we’re going to help you, this is how we’re going to solve your pain point’?”
J: “Cycle time is absolutely critical. The whole goal of CRM and sales enablement is to help sales people sell faster and get to a deal much quicker and eliminate some of the noise involved with the sales cycle. I’d also say cross selling is a key area as well. Helping salespeople determine the white space. We have customers building white space reports – they have multiple products, they can see across their customer base and what they should focus on selling. At the end of the day, I think it’s really about client experience. Taking the data in your CRM and making it really usable and something that will enhance the client experience and your salespeople’s experience.”