Why have organizations selected Salesforce? Is it the Value?Category: Salesforce Posted:Jun 14, 2017 By: Serena Josh
Salesforce is a phenomenon that makes many people wonder if it is worth the considerable cost to its users. Since Salesforce comes with a premium price tag it is up to the globally renowned enterprise to justify its significantly higher cost.
Built on 17 years of high revenue growth, the Salesforce brand is very strong. It is known to be a market leader in various CRM and platform categories, commands a long list of passionate customer evangelists and fosters an enviable community spirit amongst Salesforce, its customers and partners as well. While Brand Value and strength may not by itself add tangible value to successful implementation, or save costs in any way, it will, however, reassure the customers of a quality product and that it will as a vendor company overcome any issues faced by its customers, or any technological hurdles that may crop up.
The long-term, sustainable brand that Salesforce has is because they have consistently shown –
- Success as an enterprise through business results;
- Success with customers so they progressively renew their services and receive value
- Spirit of collectiveness with customers and all stakeholders to shift the industry and the world forward for the betterment of everyone involved
The strong brand possessed by Salesforce means that it is often on lists that state successful enterprises under multiple metrics.
Customers of Salesforce usually purchase the product not just because of what Salesforce can deliver today, but also four years from now. The reason for this is the innovation that it brings out in its line of products and versions of the same. It is important to remember that the metric for innovation is not just vision statements from the vendor (in this case the vendor is Salesforce) but also the way the vendor company operates, or the values that are ingrained in the vendor’s organizational DNA. Innovation should be measured based on a track record of introducing innovations to the market over a period of time.
Conversely, something similar can be said about its customers (IT product and service companies). Only when the customer companies come out with new products and services in their own domain will Salesforce be able to innovate on the lines of the newly established product or service.
Salesforce is known to have a really robust track record for innovation:
- Salesforce is known for launching the first cloud-based CRM product offering when established vendors along with a few analysts thought they would never go beyond SMB customers.
- When Salesforce came out with Force.com it established the Platform as a Service (Paas) market at a time when everyone from conventional application development platforms and CRM vendors and analysts were highly skeptical about a cloud-based development environment ever supporting the creation of real-world applications.
- TouchForce which has now evolved into Salesforce1 was the first iPhone CRM app that was launched. The launch came at a time when vendors were struggling to grapple with the idea of a CRM app.
- Salesforce also was responsible for the first Social Collaboration app called Chatter with regard to a CRM application at a time when established vendors and analysts were highly doubtful of social technology being brought into enterprise CRM
- The rules concerning PaaS were changed when Salesforce launched AppBuilder which is a fully integrated no code – low code – code development environment.
- Trailhead is a game-changing educational tool that was launched by Salesforce which aims to close the supply gap concerned with highly needed development resources in the IT industry.
- The AI layer introduced to the Salesforce platform ensured that each product of Salesforce’s Cloud Offerings will be able to leverage all customer interactions into smarter ones, eventually bringing the benefit of AI to the masses.
The main takeaway from all the developments mentioned above is that Salesforce has pioneered all the said products, being the first to innovate with such impressive ideas. While Salesforce competitors initially criticized such ideas, they ultimately ended up implementing all of Salesforces product ideas a couple of years later. But it is worth noting that customers had access to such products way before Salesforce competitors.
Technology has been coupled with distinct Ignite and Spark services (being business innovation engagements) add to the complete innovation package that is presented to the customer. Such services are conducted before the initiation of any contract amongst customers in order for them to think in alternative ways for business transformation in their respective organizations. It’s not just about what is possible as an organization alone, but what is possible WITH salesforce. To sum up innovation, the measurement of such innovation is in terms of vendor track record and also with an adequate vision to unravel value for the customer.
Trust and Reliability
The trust and reliability component of Salesforce products is not as one would expect – coming from its availability and uptime, but it is more due to the seamless upgrades that are included in the product. Such upgrades are of great significance in the on-premise world since there is some amount of difficulty involved in upgrading software products which become a bigger problem for cloud application vendors. Cloud computing by itself is not able to solve upgrade problems as vendors providing cloud computing or versions of the same can still by bothered by upgrade issues.
Consistent and predictable release cycles are Salesforce’s unique contribution to its customers who can get upgraded to the latest version available in a really small time frame. They also have the ability to take on new features in an on-demand basis. Such new releases also won’t alter APIs or even customer customizations. Salesforce meets all the said requirements and more. Customers usually factor in the expenses involved with upgrades, and since Salesforce brings about considerable savings when it comes to upgrades, this will be included in the calculations for the Total Cost of Ownership for Salesforce products.
Customers are also known to appreciate that Salesforce adoption does not break an implementation from a customer perspective. This means that while the adoption of Salesforce by various organizations is not without minor hiccups, the real triumph for Salesforce is the fact that the level of regression during a release cycle for Salesforce implementation is either minimal or non-existent altogether. This is very impressive when compared to the competitors of Salesforce. Also as a metric for upgrade management, Salesforce is said to have an impeccable track record. This turns even more impressive considering the fact that there are three releases every year brought out by Salesforce.
In today’s market scenario, the focus is completely on the customer with the information and connections flowing in being rich and highly complex. This will need organizations to rehash how customer apps are delivered since the focus is not just on the functionality of the app itself, but the delivery of unparalleled customer experiences with every app release. And the release cycle these days is in terms of weeks and not months, as it previously was. Salesforce takes pride in its slogan of “Make the Complex, Simple, and Make the Impossible, Possible”. This is precisely what draws customers to the products of Salesforce.
The three key components customers would frequently state as Salesforce platform advantages:
- Meta-data model
- No Code to Low Code to Code Development Tools
Salesforce as a platform has an innovative meta-data model at its epicenter which most of its competitors have failed to do. At its simplest, nobody would want to deal with low-level database calls and interactions if there is no requirement to do so. Metadata allows for benefits such as accelerated time-to-market, and seamless upgrades. There are a few vendors who provide upgrade compatibility tools to ease the pain points in upgrading software products. This is totally eliminated in Salesforce products since the upgrades are seamlessly executed.
From a pure development tools perspective, Salesforce customers have consistently felt the stress on a range of development capabilities from low-code to no-code to code. This can, in turn, lead to an expansion of the collection of resources needed to develop and build applications that are highly valued aimed at helping to connect to the customer in a better manner.
When considering the subject of quick customer connections, Salesforce got the first crack at mobile facing strategies. This came at the time when the smartphone and tablet market was booming. Customers have also felt with the passage of time that, Salesforce has been in a distinct position in terms of handling both employees facing and customer facing mobile applications off of the same platform. Enhanced agility enabling companies to keep up with the speed of business is what was brought about by Salesforce. This is really important since most customers put a premium value on the same.
Customers comprehend that a single vendor can’t possibly deliver all the capabilities needed for the transformation of customer engagement process currently in use or the ones that will be in use at some time in the future. This is an issue which Salesforce has dealt with beautifully by using AppExchange to enable Developer across the globe add to development ideas and actual pieces of development. Salesforce can then take it from raw idea or product and refine it according to user requirement. The range of AppExchange Partners goes from a company with a $10 billion market capitalization to two people offering a utility for free so that others can benefit.
AppExchange has its advantages based on ease of navigation and stability. AppExchange is similar to the Apple’s App store which is a great way to deliver the expansion of the universe that deals with application possibilities.
Salesforce is a force to be reckoned with, as the name suggests. With seamless upgrades, accelerated time-to-market and overall product quality, Salesforce is definitely worth the price tag that it comes with.
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