I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jamie Domenici, VP of Product and SMB Marketing for Salesforce, as she relayed to me the three important pillars of sales and marketing and how it relates to their software. When I asked her what defines a company as "winning," she had this to add:
It is important to nourish relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle. Jamie believes that the most successful companies out there are the ones that bring their sales, service, and marketing together to rally around their customers.
In the modern landscape of business, companies are fighting to not only close the deal but also to own the customer experience. Jaime stresses the importance of monitoring the entire customer process from start to finish. It's not just how you meet people, but also how you win them over, and keep them throughout the entire journey.
3 Pillars of Sales and Marketing
Each customer relationship must be nurtured throughout the buying cycle, and there are three components to sales and marketing that every small business owner should know.
The first step in the process is finding the customers to connect with. A good sales and marketing team should be sending e-mails, positioning campaigns, following up on hot leads, and researching potential customers.
In order to achieve these tasks, small business owners generally need to employ a marketing automation tool. For example, Salesforce has partnered with a company called Pardot that allows for smarter lead generation with effortless marketing and insightful reporting.
Once you have located your leads, you need to influence them. SalesCloud is the original product by SalesForce, and it serves as the brain for the entire operation. Winning customers starts with keeping track of their information and communication. A customer relationship management (CRM) tool like SalesCloud is essential for analyzing detailed information on every customer—the more you know, the more easily you can win them over.
The most important aspect of marketing and sales for a small business owner is keeping their existing customers. As Jaime put it:
Part of doing that involves giving them the ability to self-serve. Build up a robust help center with informative articles and creative content. If customers have a problem, they should be able to look to your database to resolve it.
Salesforce offers an out-of-the-box solution for small business owners called desk.com that can assist with the customer life cycle, as well as the “find, win, and keep” process. To hear my full interview with Jaime on this subject, click the link below:
A CRM is an important tool when it comes time for a company to scale. It provides visibility on who is asking questions and what they are looking at, and it allows a business to address an issue in real-time.
CRMs are a type of technology that makes small business easier by putting everything into a system. Rather than solving different problems every day and multiplying processes, Jaime wisely advises:
Picking a system that can grow with your business, means less time wading through e-mails, and more time spent on building customer relationships. Jaime also stresses that when scaling your business, it is important to choose the right CRM solution.
SalesForce offers two types of platforms: those for small business owners looking to jump right in, and those building a framework for larger scaling.
- SalesForce IQ is a smaller version of their main tool. The out-of-the-box platform allows small business owners to start immediately, and only requires layman's knowledge of a CRM.
- SalesCloud is where you bring in business processes. At this point, in addition to knowing your customer and capture info, a business owner may need to see their pipeline. This tool can also be used for projections and forecasts.
Inevitably, business owners are joining what's called the "low-code/no-code revolution," which means they are looking for a solution that doesn't involve a developer or intense customization. Jaime cleverly used the analogy that you may be confident redoing a bathroom, but chances are you wouldn't be when adding an addition to your home. Being a good business owner is knowing when you need to call in the experts.
The Future for CRMs
When I asked Jaime what the future holds for SalesForce, and CRMs in general, her eyes lit up. "AI is the future," she stated. Two years ago, Salesforce was trending towards mobility, and now all of their current processes run consistently on mobile platforms.
Today's focus is leaning towards a program that can anticipate and do the work for you.
AI can help small business owners work smarter, faster, and more efficiently; while balancing a workload in the background. The main goal is to add to the productivity of your workforce. If companies spent less time maintaining a database and more time interacting with customers, it would have a huge impact on business.