Why Integrating Salesforce E-Commerce Software Into Your Site Will Improve Your Business
Top design agencies that are familiar with integrating Salesforce CRMs will be able to activate customer service and retention features quickly and easily, assist in combining existing information with the new platform, and help you use every aspect of a program to its fullest.
Salesforce has various platforms and features aimed at improving customer service, but their most well-known application may be the customer relationship management (CRM) service. Several Salesforce programs can track consumer calls and interactions, manage customer data, and even streamline support requests from both employees and users.
One of the most useful applications of Salesforce programs is the ability to generate leads and collect data. This information can then be utilized to inform marketing initiatives, improve website designs, and all in all increase conversions and revenue.
While this feature is paramount to growing a business, certain forms don’t come with automatic error checking. This is when a great Salesforce e-commerce and CRM company becomes incredibly useful! Expert consultants can integrate the system and ensure every form works properly and sends information to the correct internal location for employees to access and use.
Top Salesforce consultants can help transition your business from paper-based to cloud-placed efficiently, granting greater confidential and consumer information security. These great agencies have dedicated experts in place to assist everyone from small businesses to large corporations in going digital, and are equipped to provide more attention to detail and ensure that the integration is painless.
Deciding where to store your business’s confidential decision is difficult, and it can be hard to place your trust in completely digital cellars that claim to keep them safe. However, cloud-based storage is actually quite secure. In fact, 90 percent of businesses feel confident in the care of their digital information.
In the digital age, being able to access important information anytime, anywhere is key -- especially because 3.7 million Americans work remotely at least half of the time. But Salesforce has programs that enable team members to access data from a cloud-based server.
This quality makes collaborating with the best Salesforce integration company effortless, particularly because brands are no longer bound by geography. Businesses are now capable of find the agency that will fulfill their needs and achieve their objectives, because consultants and account managers will still be able to fully collaborate digitally.
High-Tech Web Elements
The best Salesforce e-commerce and CRM companies have a team of experts in place to maximize more advanced features, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and personalization.
These features may help create a more user-friendly experience for your consumers, which studies show can drastically increase conversions. In addition, high-tech features generally provide better insights and recommendations for future business-building initiatives and streamline content for employees to organize and decipher easily.
Questions to Ask A Salesforce E-Commerce & CRM Agency Before You Hire Them
When you enlist a top Salesforce agency, you’re really hiring a team of curated experts who will work closely with your brand to reach specific business goals. Therefore, you need to feel comfortable with everyone who will be collaborating on your project. Ask the questions below to learn about each team members experience and work history.
- Who will be working on our project?
- How dedicated will they be to our account?
- What experience do they have working on a similar project, what was their role, and what was their outcome?
Salesforce solves dozens of business and marketing problems with several features and platforms. But can every agency expertly work with the programs you need? The following questions will separate the best Salesforce e-commerce and CRM companies from those that you should skip over.
- What Salesforce platforms and programs can your company work with and in what capacity?
- How long have you been working with them?
- How many people are dedicated to each program?
- What programs outside of Salesforce that you can successfully work with?
- Are there any platforms that you can’t currently implement or work with, but plan to in the future? How soon will that be available?
Studies show that setting specific goals makes you more likely to achieve them -- and the best Salesforce partners enact this theory in their collaboration with clients. Ask the questions below to determine exactly how agencies create timelines, determine goals, and track success.
- How do you determine specific client goals?
- How do you track them and how often do you report on them?
- Do you have a team in place to facilitate integrations? Do you require information or employees from us to facilitate this?
- How long will this project take and how do you plan to keep it on track?
An agency’s previous work is telling in whether or not they can meet your expectations and deliver the results your business needs to grow. The questions below will inform you of a Salesforce company’s actual ability to complete tasks expertly.
- What similar projects have you worked on and what were the outcomes?
- What projects have had a disappointed end result and what did you learn from them?
- Do you have any ongoing partnerships with clients? If so, what are the projects?
- Could you provide a few clients’ contact information who might be willing to act as a reference?
Before you sign on the dotted line, ask any potential agencies exactly what their design, consulting and implementations will cost. Although you should stick to your budget, keep in mind that sometimes, a higher upfront cost can lead to a better return on investment in the future. The questions below will give you a stronger understanding of how particular agencies price their services -- and whether or not they’re worth them.
- Do you charge by partnership, by project, or by hour?
- How much do your specific implementation services cost?
- If we want to add additional platforms and features, how much will that cost?
- How much will additional team members cost?
How To Choose The Best Salesforce Ecommerce & CRM Company
A great Salesforce e-commerce and CRM consultant won’t just help you serve your customers well -- they’ll take care of you -- their client -- too! Top Salesforce companies have a team in place to fully understand your pain points, business goals and areas for growth, then will work with you to ensure you achieve them.
Make sure you find a company that has an account management team and point of contact in place that is prepared to speak with you, familiarize themselves with your brand, and integrate every platform and features smoothly and easily. It’s important to note that smaller agencies may be better equipped to provide personal attention, so don’t write an agency off just because of its size -- judge them by their services and work.
The best Salesforce e-commerce and CRM companies have access to the top experts who will design a user-friendly website that meets your objectives. And as with any agency, the people working on your project as just as important -- if not, more so -- than the company at large.
But beware -- less reputable agencies may have fewer full-time employees than you expect and outsource or offshore some or all of your project, which gives you less control over the final project. Before you sign a contract and commit to a Salesforce partner, determine exactly who will be working on your website, to what capacity, and if they are in-house experts.
Design agencies that are well-versed in Salesforce have strong experience implementing various aimed at achieving business-related objectives and growing a client’s overall reach. But Salesforce has many products, platforms and features that assist with sales, marketing, customer management and retention, website design, e-commerce and more, making proper implementation tricky.
While you may not need every Salesforce feature right now, the digital space is ever-evolving and you might want a platform down the road that some agencies just aren’t familiar with. Think long and hard about where your business is now, where you see it going, and the tools that will help you get there before you choose a partner.
Top Salesforce agencies have a rolodex of prior clients and success stories that they can share with you to prove their expertise. Ask them specific questions, particularly about implementations that you’re looking for and lessons learned.
Plus, current client references will give you an even stronger idea of what working with a specific agency will be like, so don’t be afraid to ask an agency for references. The process of choosing the right Salesforce design agency is much like a traditional hiring process. Feel empowered to vet potential agencies before you hand them the keys to your business.
Every top Salesforce partner firm has a different pricing structure, so make sure you understand exactly what your dollars are paying for. Do you have unlimited customer service? What will additional services cost? Are prices per project or by-hour?
After you learn exactly what their services will cost, create an airtight contract. While it may seem tedious, outlining timelines, deliverables, and expectations will eliminate any confusion throughout the duration of the project and ultimately make it more successful.
Top Value Propositions & Differentiating Factors Of The Best Salesforce Ecommerce and CRM Companies
Salesforce is one of the most influential and well-known cloud computing companies on the planet. Their cloud-based CRM solutions have made them a leading voice in the industry. The products Salesforce offers are incredibly powerful, but harnessing the full potential of these products requires a level of skill and experience that most companies do not already have in-house.
Working with a Salesforce partner company is the best way to ensure the implementation goes smoothly, and that the products you choose to implement are the right ones for your needs to begin with. Below we break down the products and services offered by Salesforce, and go into detail about which differentiating factors you should look for in a Salesforce company.
What Products & Services Does Salesforce Offer?
Salesforce is well-known for their CRM capabilities, but the company has much more to offer their clients, including marketing automation and cloud-based project management. Products and services are broken down into categories, and can be customized for small businesses, mid-sized companies, and enterprise. Salesforce product categories include:
- Commerce Cloud - Commerce cloud is the Salesforce ecommerce solution: “It’s a cloud-based software solution that empowers companies to unify the customer experience across all points of commerce, including web, social, mobile, store, and others. From shopping, to fulfillment, to customer service, Commerce Cloud delivers a 1-to-1 shopping experience with built-in predictive intelligence.”
- Sales Cloud - Salesforce’s CRM software that enables salespeople to track, contact, manage, and close leads.
- Marketing Cloud - Marketing automation tools that allow marketers to unify the customer journey and seamless integrate sales and marketing.
- Service Cloud - Customer service tools to deliver more personalized customer care across a wide range of communication channels.
- Community Cloud - Community Cloud is an online social platform designed to enable communication and collaboration between colleagues, clients, and customers.
- Collaboration (Quip) - Quip is a cloud-based collaboration tool that integrates document-sharing, CRM, spreadsheets, to-do lists, and chat all within a single system.
- Platform- Salesforce is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that “brings together all the tools and services that have made us the world's #1 enterprise cloud platform.” Business can build apps to deeply customize their use of the platform.
What Is The Salesforce AppExchange?
The Salesforce AppExchange is an app marketplace consisting of apps designed specifically for the Salesforce platform. Apps are developed by Salesforce developers and can add functionality and features to existing Salesforce implementations. Many apps on the AppExchange are free to use, though some require a monthly licensing fee.
Customers can also turn to the AppExchange to find qualified Salesforce developers and consulting partners (more on that in the following section).
What Is A Salesforce Partner?
Companies and developers who have demonstrated their skill with the platform can become official Salesforce partners. Partner status is tiered based on a Partner Value Score (PVS). According to CIO, “Each partner receives a PVS based on three primary categories: ACV (bookings), expertise (measured by certifications) and customer success (measured by satisfaction surveys). High scores in one category can compensate for lower scores in another.”
The partner tiers are as follows:
- Global Strategic: “Partners with global presence and top account influence.” Including companies like Accenture, Deloitte Digital, and Capgemini.
- Platinum: “Partners with a mature Salesforce practice and a global strategy.” Including companies like Atlantic Technologies, Infosys, factory42, and makepositive.
- Gold: “Partners with a regional strategy and a growing Salesforce practice.” Including companies like Nubik, Penrod, and Arxxus.
- Silver: “Partners building their Salesforce practice.” Including companies like Liric, 7Summits, and AppShark
- Registered: Including companies like Oktana and REI System.
Top Salesforce Partners have Proven Results
Every company claims to be the best at what they do, and they each naturally have something that makes them distinct or competitive. The best Salesforce companies, however, are alike in that they all have case studies to backup their claims.
When choosing between potential Salesforce partners, you want to get a good sense of the work they’ve done before and the impact the implementations they’ve executed have had on their clients’ business. Look for details about the strategic approach and cold hard data that give insight into actual outcomes.
Top companies will also have references on hand when the time comes. Be sure to connect with the references provided and ask pointed questions about the company’s experience with the Salesforce partner.
The Best Salesforce Partner Companies Invest In Talent
Cloud computing is a complex and technical field. As such, it’s a field that requires a high level of skill and expertise. If you want to ensure the best outcomes for your project, you have to work with a firm that employs the best people.
Look for a Salesforce partner that hires and retains high quality talent. Partners that invest in building an open environment that encourages experimentation and professional development are more likely to attract passionate, intellectually curious talent -- exactly the types of individuals you want working on your account. Try to get the opportunity to meet as many team members as possible during the evaluation process, and don’t be afraid to ask the company to talk about their business culture and how it influences their work.
How Top Salesforce Companies Market Themselves
Achieving Salesforce partner status -- especially Gold, Platinum, or Global Strategic status -- is a major factor to standing out as a Salesforce company. Not only is it a selling point these companies can use on their own websites and in their marketing materials, it also gives them the opportunity to be discovered in a search of the Salesforce AppExchange.
Appearing in the search results on the AppExchange is important, but a presence in web search is also key. Salesforce companies dedicate a lot of effort to SEO initiatives, striving to achieve organic rankings for desirable terms. They also do PPC advertising for those same terms to gain an even bigger share of the search results and appear for terms they aren’t able to rank for organically.
Content marketing and Digital PR are also a major part of the marketing puzzle for Salesforce companies, as they are for any company operating in the B2B space.
Salesforce is a one of the most influential cloud computing companies in the world offering cloud-based software to power businesses of all sizes. Their CRM solutions put them on the map, and since then they have rolled out a number of other products that help businesses run more efficiently and achieve their goals more effectively. Partnering with a Salesforce company is the best way to ensure your business can make the most of the platform.
Key things to know when evaluating a partnership with a Salesforce company:
- Salesforce Products - Salesforce offers a range of products in a number of different categories including marketing cloud, sales cloud, commerce cloud, communications cloud, and more.
- Salesforce AppExchange - The Salesforce AppExchange is an app marketplace where users can finds paid and free apps that add useful features and functionalities to the platform.
- Salesforce Partner certification - Companies can become Salesforce partners, which means they meet certain criteria laid out by the company. Partnership operates on a tiered status basis.
- Proven results - Always look for a Salesforce partner who can demonstrate a proven track record of success for previous clients.
- Top talent - A Salesforce partner is only as good as the certified individuals they have working for them. Be sure to get a sense of the credentials of the employees, as well as insight into their level of experience.
Top Qualities Of The Best Salesforce Ecommerce & CRM Companies
The number one thing you should be looking for in a Salesforce partner is experience. Experience is what separates top Salesforce companies from mediocre ones. You should expect all the companies you meet with to have a strong portfolio documenting their experience doing implementations and customizations of the platform. Ask questions about their previous projects. What challenges did they face and how were they able to solve them? Do they specialize in a specific vertical? Have they worked with companies similar to yours in the past? Follow up by asking for and checking references. Asking pointed questions to previous clients can help you get an even fuller picture of the company.
Even if the companies you meet with send in their most experienced team members to meet with your company during the pitch phase, that may not be the team you end up working with on the actual implementation. That’s why it’s important to try to get a clear picture of the entire team, as opposed to only the top people who will likely be pitching you. Top Salesforce companies know that a well-rounded team is necessary to get the job done right. Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics on who will be actually working on your project once a deal is closed and on what the skills and experience levels of those people are.
Experience, expertise, and technical skill are all incredibly important attributes of a strong Salesforce partner, but don’t overlook the value of interpersonal skills. Working on a complicated implementation or product customization takes many man hours and a huge amount of collaboration between the technical team and the client team. If you want to ensure a smooth process, then you have to look for a company you know your team will be able to work with. Top Salesforce companies value communication and go above and beyond to develop close, trusting relationships with clients. Look for a partner who is committed to transparent communication and sets a regular check-in schedule to keep the project on track.
No project is without hiccups, but having documented processes in place will help minimize the number of mistakes and issues that arise and keep things running smoothly. Top Salesforce companies make having a documented project approach central to the way they do business. Documentation helps ensure that both the client team and the technical team are aligned and accountable. When negotiating a contract be sure to ask for a project schedule with established milestones.
Large companies may choose to have a Salesforce admin working in-house, but smaller companies likely don’t need that level of support. If ongoing support is important to your company and you don’t have the expertise internally, then look for a company who can partner with you long term. Many top Salesforce companies will be able to work with your team on an ongoing basis to ensure your implementation is managed successfully and you’re able to get the most from your use of the platform.