Year in review: Top Salesforce industry trends from 2014

By January 26, 2015Salesforce, Uncategorized

As we enter 2015, it’s a fitting time to look back on Salesforce trends that emerged from 2014 that are sure to carry on into the New Year. Here are Shift’s year-in-review insights on Salesforce implementations by industry and operation.

Salesforce Industry Trends

Media

  • Last year saw the growth of end-to-end media business solutions for publishers, advertisers and ad agencies
  • Salesforce customization expanded to fuse all ad sales and ad ops – from ordering, to inventory management, to creative, to placement and forecasting – onto a single platform.
  • More media clients are connecting DFP to Salesforce, so digital advertisers and ad agencies can now achieve true data synchronization, where personnel from operations, creative and finance can all communicate and track production using Salesforce, without having to login to DFP.
  • Media leaders are going to turn the page on old models, with new solutions adopted to give ad sales, ad ops, creative, and finance an edge by uniting them under one workflow and one system.

Healthcare

  • Salesforce is betting big on healthcare, hiring key personnel and ramping up investment to replace outmoded medical industry infrastructure.
  • New, effective Salesforce-based health initiatives will require an ecosystem of applications that put a premium on data management and efficiency.
  • We expect Salesforce and ISV partners to respond with additional healthcare apps

Manufacturing

  • It’s much easier these days to integrate legacy systems and data to Salesforce and simplify complex processes.
  • Manufacturers continue to adjust operations based on rapid changes in demand, potential disruptions, and react to inquiries with informative helpful responses.
  • The pace of change has never been quicker. Those that can stay one step ahead of customer expectations will come out on top.

Business trends

Sales

  • 2014 was the year of sales teams matching the sophistication of the educated buyer.
  • Traditional sales tactics were replaced with insight-led engagement and better targeting of high-value prospects.
  • Sincerity and rapport: The best sales professionals went and found where the conversations were happening and chimed in with helpful feedback to earn credibility before competitors showed up.
  • 2015 should see a tighter alignment between sales and marketing, with today’s market research showing that the average customer is more than half-way through the purchase process (70% on the high end) before speaking with a vendor
  • Technology adoption has stabilized where new sales applications have either proven their worth or simply failed. Sales teams know how to buy and implement technology based on effectiveness and results.

Customer Service

  • In the age of the customer, companies had to deliver pain free customer service in 2014.
  • Customers expected a consistent service experience across all channels (voice, chat, and email), where they could start an interaction in one channel and complete it in another.
  • Last year also saw organizations adopt proactive, outbound communications and engagements that anticipated customer needs.
  • Customer data, coupled with consumer insight from other information systems can be used to proactively reach out to at the right time, when assistance is required.
  • Following the banking and airline industries, for 2015, text messaging will be further adapted as a tool to proactively service customers

Marketing

  • Marketing savvy companies saw marketing automation as a crucial investment for both marketing and sales.
  • Marketing automation vendors expanded their partner networks to respond to their clients’ need to access certified expertise, real world experience, best practices and staff augmentation.
  • 2015 will see the emergence of mobile first marketing, influencing marketing strategy considering tactics from a mobile approach.
  • Micro-targeting and personalization: this trend is about drawing from data and analytics to better understand the target audience – and responding in real-time with targeted messaging and content that is personalized to their specific needs at the exact time of need.
  • Predictive lead scoring and analytics: by scouring a host of sources from the web, social channels and even internal sources like CRM and Marketing Automation database to calculate a lead score that’s more predictive of actual buying intent.

By this time next year, 2015’s Salesforce trends should be no less packed with surprise, insights and learnings.

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