This is Part 2 of a two-part Q&A series with Salesforce Area VP Jim Rich. Daniel Rodriguez, VP of Marketing at Seismic, proposed the following questions during a recent webinar. Rich elaborates on the direction of Salesforce, as well as how to boost overall sales efficiency.
Daniel: How do you make customized experiences worth the time, effort and money?
Jim: “It boils down to the tools you give the salespeople. If you’re going to spend the money to go sit face-to-face with a customer, you better have the right tools to make that meeting effective and move the deal forward.”
D: Do you agree with the idea of a content hub, especially in financial services where there are mountains of data that people have access to?
J: “If you look at some of the acquisitions that Salesforce has [made] over the past few years, we’ve really focused on content, again evolving the CRM from being a place where you manage contacts and accounts to really being an information source for everything a salesperson needs. We have the ability to integrate content, structured or unstructured data, presentations, etc.
You can put it into Salesforce whatever way you want – but it doesn’t always make sense to take all data into Salesforce. There are times and places where it makes sense to keep data separate. That’s this whole notion of being able to integrate data from multiple sources, whether it’s Salesforce, but then being able to pull data from other sources into this content hub to make it usable.
I always say we aren’t faced with a data challenge – salespeople have too much data. Turning that data into usable information is really what the key is, so determining what data you’re going to pull from Salesforce and external sources is the key to being successful.”
D: Where is Salesforce going?
J: “My favorite phrase is ‘Making technology is really easy, but making technology simple is really hard.’ We’ve spent the past 15 years making the user experience really simple and if salespeople struggle with getting information or its too hard to use, they won’t use the tool. That’s our primary focus – simplifying the sales experience is key.
Security is [also] paramount for us, that’s where are whole business started. And then single sign-up – back to some of the investments we’ve made – [is about] helping customers [and accepting] the realization that we’re not going to have all of the data that the salesperson needs in Salesforce – that doesn’t make sense. Enabling that ease of use or ease of access to other systems through single sign-on is somewhere we’re still focused.
Lastly, the mobility aspect [is an area of focus]. It continues to evolve. It used to be that you had a browser on your iPad to be able to get out information, which is kind of cool, but it’s not what people expect. With Salesforce1, you have a native iPhone 5 [app] leveraging that factor to really help people get to that information much more quickly and securely. That’s where we’re headed.”