As the world continues to depend on the digital landscape to make ends meet, there’s no disputing the fact that numerous technologies (from cloud support services to AI) are all here to stay. If you’re a business owner, your customers are your priority – including where they spend most of their time, and can therefore be approached.
Working with your software development company shall therefore be a long-term partnership and one that will help you adapt your business’s digital standing to changing times. Partnerships with a leading cloud service provider (such as being a dedicated AWS partner, for example) can also go a long way, as any capability can be configured at scale.
As more and more customers dwell within the various digital spaces that dominate our world today, businesses are in fierce competition with one another to stand out. With endless streams of content via social media, display ads, and email marketing, customers are accessible, no doubt – but winning their attention is more difficult than ever, thanks to so much clutter and noise.
This is why it is imperative to go back to the basics; as old-fashioned as it may seem, providing great service to your customers can go a long way in winning new business while retaining an existing one. Digital technologies have once again uplifted customer service to cutting-edge Customer Experience (CX), which aims to offer a seamless journey for prospects from start to finish. By incorporating the right tools to make it happen, excellent CX can therefore make all the difference between whether a business is noticed by prospective customers – or is barely noticed amidst flicking social newsfeeds.
Sales and service clouds from Salesforce are two high-performing applications that have been built for the very purpose of achieving CX that doesn’t just delight customers but also contributes to your business’s bottom line. Albeit being distinct from one another (since each caters to specific tasks and operations within the revenue-generating process), Salesforce sales and service clouds also complement each other, thereby offering a powerhouse of capabilities to transform any business’s sales and service teams.
Here, we outline what Salesforce sales and service clouds are, what they offer, their benefits, and most importantly – which use cases are ideal for each.
The Salesforce sales cloud offers a variety of tools to help sales teams identify the right opportunities, plan revenue goals, and meet targets – while improving productivity at each step. Starting off, capabilities such as contact management ensures sales teams are able to profile every single interaction in one central location, so every team member has access to the valuable context that has been gleaned from past experiences when required to serve customers in the future. Furthermore, programmatically scrape insights from customers’ social feeds to gain additional insight pertaining to what they’re saying about a product or service, to tailor offerings better.
On the other hand, opportunity and lead management make sure every prospect is monitored with real-time updates, so that deal closes can be maximized as best as possible. Avail a detailed timeline of your prospect which includes key details such as deal status, but also highlights any other details that may be critical for closing a deal successfully. On top of that, being able to automatically score leads and assign them to the ideal sales agent can ensure prospects are contacted as soon as possible, in order to avoid any possible losses of interest that could occur with the lapse of time.
As for reporting and analytics, it is part and parcel of the Salesforce sales cloud, as every function within the application can be evaluated to provide useful insights. However, Revenue Intelligence takes things several notches further by infusing AI to reveal valuable insights that can aid with business decision-making. Start with pre-built models to forecast sales trends, and feel free to customize them over time – especially once you have sufficient data to dig deeper for trends and patterns. What’s more, keep track of every aspect pertaining to your pipeline, by using the sales cloud’s comprehensive reporting tools to forecast trends – especially if KPIs change.
Workflow automation is another key capability of the sales cloud; from generating email alerts to assisting sales agents while interacting with prospects, plenty of opportunities exist for automating mundane and/or repetitive processes, so sales teams are free to focus on matters that require their strategic and analytical thinking. Depending on a prospect’s preferences or requirements, quotes can be automatically generated and sent from Salesforce with minimal effort.
On top of that, the conversations that sales agents have for qualifying customers, or determining what the next steps of a particular deal are, can all be guided by relevant pre-built workflows. With Process Builder, simply drag and drop to create even the most complex workflows as and when required – so your sales teams can tailor their workflows in order to adapt to any changes, be it due to demand, seasonality, or any other circumstance.
Ideal for sales teams that need to nurture and generate leads over a length of time in order to build revenue, the Salesforce sales cloud is therefore highly resourceful for B2B companies that need to create strong rapport and partnerships with their prospects before any deals can be expected to close. This can be particularly valuable within a highly competitive marketplace, since being able to understand your prospect’s concerns in order to tailor a relevant solution can make all the difference between closing a deal, and having it passed to a competitor.
The Salesforce service cloud offers a range of powerful tools to serve customers end-to-end, making it a holistic yet scalable customer service solution. Empower your customer service teams to attend to every inquiry with complete information, as well as the context that is relevant to the situation. From comprehensive knowledge bases to response recommendations, agents have a plethora of tools in their arsenal to support their efforts, so that every interaction isn’t just timely – but also precisely meets the needs of customers. For common queries, self-service can be deployed so that customers can get answers with only a few clicks, and without having to wait for an agent’s response via phone or email.
Build chatbots and forums to serve this purpose, with Einstein AI – which is the service cloud’s very own AI offering. With an easy drag-and-drop interface, the low-code configuration platform enables teams that aren’t tech-savvy to build customizable applications in minutes. For omnichannel communication, a single, centralized console is available for both agents and managers, so there is no need to toggle between multiple applications when interacting with customers. Whether its voice, SMS, email, or social media, engage with customers from the same application, while receiving contextual recommendations for guidance, based on Einstein AI’s predictions.
Service cloud can also keep those out in the field connected, through functionalities such as intelligent scheduling and real-time monitoring. Assign jobs to field service workers based on skill or location, and guide them virtually through Einstein Vision – Salesforce’s very own computer vision offering. Workers can use Einstein Vision to detect individual components within images, so they know which parts to correctly work on while they’re on the job. From their own dashboards, managers can monitor their teams’ performance as well as any other KPIs with reporting and analytics tools, in order to maximize efficiency and resolve any bottlenecks. Further improve workforce engagement by also forecasting case volumes, so proactive measures can be taken to scale.
Of course, everything in the Salesforce service cloud is connected by automating workflows, whether it is with a pre-built template or a customized one. Data integration is also comprehensive with the service cloud, as any system can be connected to provide the most up-to-date results, particularly for 360-degree customer profiles. Another useful capability that the service cloud offers is a dedicated employee service component, which enables HR teams to monitor the productivity and well-being of their employees from the same platform. Improve efficiency and reduce downtimes by engaging your employees over customized workspaces, automating onboarding processes, and providing a real-time newsfeed of company updates such as internal job opportunities and workplace benefits.
With so many customer-centric capabilities available within Salesforce’s service cloud, organizations need not look elsewhere, be it for a digital business transformation that needs to be done from scratch, or for improving already established CX flows. Therefore, the service cloud is best suited for B2C companies that need to coordinate with customers day in and day out, with every step of a journey (especially after-sales) requiring real-time updates and attention from team members. This is particularly relevant for organizations that are experiencing rapid growth in the number of customers they need to serve, with customer service teams subsequently experiencing bottlenecks due to the sheer volume of inquiries that need to be addressed.
As many businesses move over to virtual channels (and also encourage their customers to reach out via the same) workloads have further escalated, thereby warranting the need for a unified solution that can eliminate silos between departments, automate workflows for repetitive tasks and provide AI-powered recommendations on how to interact with customers, in order to stay relevant in an otherwise highly competitive business environment.
Although sales cloud and service cloud sound similar on the outset, there are some differences that distinguish them from one another – and thereby help determine which product is best suited for unique business requirements. For one, sales cloud is a solution that is primarily compatible with sales and outreach efforts that need to be carried out over a prolonged period of time, with leads requiring some form of nurturing in order to generate sales and revenue.
On the other hand, the service cloud is catered to end customers who require precise and timely responses from customer service teams, once an inquiry is made. With many customers in a queue at any given point of time and limited agents available, the service cloud streamlines entire workflows – from the moment a ticket is first opened to when it is finally resolved. In between, numerous steps need to be coordinated, such as transferring cases to a specialist or technician to aid with troubleshooting.
Therefore, deciding whether sales or service cloud is ideal depends on the revenue source and model that your business functions on. Although choosing between the two products may be a question that can be answered relatively quickly, knowing which features to incorporate into the final product is something that needs to be addressed with a thorough assessment.
Gather relevant employees from across the organization (which also includes end-users of the system) and ask questions about objectives that need to be met, as well as current problems/bottlenecks being faced. Collect all feedback into a brief which can then be shared with your vendor, so that they know exactly what to incorporate into your customized Salesforce solution.
As businesses step up to attract the attention of potential customers in an ever-changing yet highly competitive marketplace, the level of customer satisfaction offered still remains a top priority for today’s masses. As a result, the sales and service cloud from Salesforce offers everything that businesses need to nurture prospects and attend to any kind of customer query, thereby making both products a one-stop-shop for anything and everything that pertains to customer service.
Irrespective of what a business’s revenue model and/or source is, the Salesforce sales and service clouds can accommodate any requirement. Incorporate sales cloud for B2B models, where gradual lead nurturing is required before quality leads can be generated. For B2C companies that operate customer-facing teams, the service cloud comprises tools that can offer a 360-degree view of any customer, while infusing Einstein AI to supply contextual predictions and recommendations so that every interaction is optimal – and customers don’t need to supply information that they may have previously already provided.
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