Microsoft Excel was first launched in 1995. Ever since, Excel spreadsheets have been best friends with business leaders and business development executives. They help track, manage and monitor leads and customers with a considerable amount of ease.
Despite its advanced features, like Macros and Visual based coding and the latest cloud-based collaboration, Excel and the likes of spreadsheet software suffer from inherent limitations; limitations which make them unfit to be used for advanced and real-time CRM (Customer Relationship Management) activities.
Also, there are other challenges that are plaguing small-scale business owners; like shortage of funds to deploy complicated CRM solutions, inadequate in-house talent to lead technological adoption and dynamically changing customer profiles.
Salesforce Essentials is all set to change that. Salesforce, the CRM pioneer calls Salesforce Essentials a trailblazer for every small business. By all means, that is a fitting title for the newest and most feature-rich CRM platform from Salesforce.
Salesforce has announced that Salesforce Essentials will help small businesses tap into the power of Salesforce apps exclusively for sales and customer service. These tools will redefine user-friendliness for managing the most complex asset of any business – customers.
In this blog, we will see in detail what Salesforce Essentials consists of and how it would make a difference to small businesses striving to perfect their CRM.
Introducing Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials
As a customer-centric platform that evolves with time and technology, Salesforce has been adding new features to the Salesforce CRM platform every four months.
Sales Cloud Lightning Essentials is the newest addition to the CRM platform’s ever-expanding suite. It would bring to the table the same powerful tools that earlier used to be the privilege of bigger companies. The motive of Salesforce Essentials is to empower small businesses to implement new technologies quickly and within a limited budget, without the worry of scalability.
Salesforce lists three main features of the CRM software:
- Einstein Artificial Intelligence
- Salesforce App
Built-in Einstein Artificial Intelligence
The built-in Einstein Artificial Intelligence will provide converged business information to users. Einstein will capture all information from the user’s calendar and email and also update customer information without requiring any manual interference. Thanks to cloud connectivity, you can view this information on any device, helping close sales deals on-the-go.
It combines and brings under a single interface all business information like calendar events, customer emails, and contacts, spreadsheets, reminders, etc. This would save several thousand manhours cumulatively that would otherwise be required for manual input of sales data. The time so saved can be effectively used to spot new business opportunities or draw patterns from customer data for devising new sales strategies.
Trailhead – A Gamified Learning Experience
Salesforce Essentials comes with an interactive online setup with gamification that will persuade sales personnel to gain more knowledge. Trailhead, as the gamified learning experience is called, comes free of cost and is tightly integrated into the Salesforce Cloud Lightning Essentials. It will give first-time users and also experts a heads up on the knowledge required for a quick setup of the CRM software.
Additionally, Trailhead will also serve users with a wider range of topics related to business innovation and team leadership. The courses are classified into Admin, Beginner and Business User categories for picking the right course that best suits the user preferences.
“Trailhead offers the guidance small businesses need to develop quicker leads and see results faster.” said Brent Leary, SMB analyst, CRM Essentials.
Salesforce App For Augmenting Selling Prowess
Sales personnel need to close deals quickly and easily without wasting time. Tools that make them go in rounds is a strict no-no. Salesforce App aims to position itself as a sales augmenting tool that will feed critical info like new leads, pipeline prospects, sales contracts, etc. The mobile app is also designed to render a customer-like experience which is intuitive and less demanding in nature.
Also, the CRM platform will give users access to endless apps on AppExchange. Apps like Dropbox, Mailchimp, Slack, HelloSign, and many others have already proven their expertise in enhancing workplace productivity. These tools can be integrated straight into the salesforce app for a full-scale selling productivity.
The Google Surprise: 3 Months Free G Suite Integration
G Suite provides a growing suite of collaboration tools that help enterprises work better and faster. It also helped Google to be named as the Leader of the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Salesforce has packed a surprise in the recent Salesforce Essentials suite by providing a free 3-month G Suite integration.
The limited period free integration is the result of the recent strategic partnership that Google and Salesforce have entered into for international infrastructure expansion. Other Salesforce customers (other than Essentials) will be provided a company-wide one year access to G Suite at no cost.
How Much Should Your Business Shell Out?
Salesforce Essentials was made generally available from November 7th, 2017 for a price of $25 per month. Given the enterprise-grade tools and cloud-based scalability, this is quite an affordable price for small businesses. Also, the price would differ if you want to sign up for more than 5 users. If you want to experience the power of CRM software before paying for it, there is a free trial period available on request.
SMBs that are consistently growing need a reliable CRM solution. Cost, scalability and technical sophistication are the challenges that are stopping them from investing in CRM platforms.
Salesforce Essentials breaks the mold by giving just what SMBs really need. Also, these services are further expandable in the future as and when the business builds in size and transactional volume.
Salesforce Essentials can be installed even by small businesses that do not have a dedicated team of IT experts. It provides them with all the platform facilities needed to turn leads into paying customers.