How Does Salesforce Extend the Value Chain? - dummies

How Does Salesforce Extend the Value Chain?

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Salesforce.com understands that you already rely on existing tools for parts of your business. Such tools might include your e-mail, your word processing and spreadsheet programs, your public website, and your intranet. Salesforce.com isn’t naïve enough to think you’re going to stop using these tools. In fact, you can readily integrate Salesforce with many of the tools you use today to interact with your customers.

Integrating with your website

For many companies, their public website is a primary way to communicate information to their customers. You might use your website as a channel for visitors to request information or to log customer service issues.

When you use Salesforce, you can generate leads and capture cases from your website, route them directly into Salesforce, and automatically assign them to the right reps. No more stacks of e-mails to info@yourcompany.com cluttering up one poor person’s inbox before he or she has to reroute them to the right people.

And Salesforce’s assignment rules can make sure that incoming leads or cases get to the right reps in a timely manner. With minimal effort, you can even offer self-service options in the form of a public knowledge base or a private portal, enabling customers to help themselves.

Connecting to social sites

As part of your job, you might regularly use websites for tasks such as researching potential customers, getting driving directions, and getting the inside scoop on your competition. Your customers, like your own company, probably have a presence on networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Salesforce makes it easy to find a business’s or contact’s profile on any of these sites, where information is often visible to the public, or only a few degrees of separation apart. Accessing your intranet, populating a web form to provision a demo, creating and propagating a Salesforce record — all these tasks are within reach. And all this means time saved for you.

Integrating with other applications

Your company might have other applications that contain critical customer data — financial and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications are just a few examples. Many applications provide unique and indispensable value to your organization. Your company isn’t going to retire them just because you’re using Salesforce.

But, based on company objectives, those applications might need to integrate with Salesforce. Because of Salesforce’s open architecture, your company can integrate applications if you have the right technical assistance.

Managing other business processes

When you log in to Salesforce, you see several tabs, grouped into tab sets called apps. Salesforce.com prioritized the visibility of those tabs based on core CRM functions. However, depending on your business needs, you might require apps that have different functionality for teams that may or may not have anything related to sales, marketing, or support.

With salesforce.com’s Force.com platform, your company can now easily build or download these custom apps to fit your specific business needs. You can now use Salesforce for more than CRM and ultimately manage a significant portion of your business online.