Salesforce says Essentials will future-proof businesses in the rapidly evolving digital environment, and allow them to work smarter, faster, and focus on customers.
Small businesses are often hamstrung by the lack of technology. But when they do implement a strategy to start using applications such as CRM solutions they are confused about pricing and are stuck with manual inputting of client engagements and deliverables.
Salesforce, the $8.3 billion cloud-first business, is liberating small businesses from the burden of managing technology and is making them use technology to increase customer engagements. It has launched Salesforce Essentials, easy-to-use intelligent apps for small business teams. These “Essentials” apps are called Sales Cloud Essentials and Service Cloud Essentials.
“There are more than 125 million small businesses around the world all working toward one common goal—growth,” says Mike Rosenbaum, EVP, CRM Applications, Salesforce. “With Essentials, we’ve taken the full power of Salesforce and tailored it for the unique needs of small businesses.” The product will be priced at $25 per user per month.
What are the unique needs of SMBs?
SMBs have to be productive in managing business. But an SMB business spends quarter of the time doing mundane stuff. They get caught up in manual things like data operations, training, managing multiple spreadsheets, emails, contacts, and calendars. This mundane work is what Salesforce wants to break and get them into apps that directly pull all the details from conversations.
For example, a customer sends an email, it gets integrated into a CRM system straight away and the app asks the sales head to look into the customer’s needs on priority.
Sunil Jose, country head and SVP of Salesforce.com India, says: “India is the fastest growing market for us. We see 60-70 percent of the Indian SMBs going digital over the next three to four years, and Salesforce will essentially target their needs.”
According to Salesfore.com, small business teams spend 23 percent of their workdays on an average manually inputting data—time that should be spent finding, winning, and keeping more customers. “Essentials” helps small businesses save time with sales and service apps that are easy to set up, learn, use, maintain, and add new capabilities as their businesses grow.
“Essentials” takes advantage of all the Salesforce innovation and is the same CRM platform used by 83 percent of Fortune 500 companies, now optimised for small businesses.
With Essentials, small businesses can:
- Use the Trailhead platform: Sixty-two percent of small businesses (as per Salesforce.com) say that training would help them improve their operations, but they’re constrained by costs and time. Trailhead, which is Salesforce’s interactive, online learning environment, is free and guides “Essentials” customers through a fast, fun, and easy setup. In addition, Trailhead gives anyone, regardless of their education level or background, the opportunity to develop skills that span Salesforce products, app development, and even business skills such as public speaking.
- Work smarter with Einstein artificial intelligence built in: Essentials includes Einstein Activity Capture, which automates manual data entry to make sales and service reps more productive. When reps receive emails and calendar events, Einstein automatically adds messages to the appropriate record in Salesforce, freeing up the rep’s time to focus on engaging with customers. All the captured messages provide a rich history of engagement with each customer, giving all team members the context they need to make the next customer interaction more personalised and productive.
- Work faster with Lightning and the Salesforce Mobile App: Built on the Salesforce Lightning framework, Essentials has a consumer-like experience optimised for any device so customers can work the way they want, increasing productivity. Relevant information is surfaced in one unified console, modernising processes and making workflows more intuitive. In addition, users can easily customize their consoles by simply dragging, and dropping components most relevant to them.
- Scale as they grow with a complete platform: Small businesses often make technology buying decisions based on what they need now rather than what they will need in the future, costing them more time and money on upgrades and integrations in the long run. Small businesses don’t have to worry about outgrowing their CRM—they can add more advanced capabilities quickly and easily. In addition, customers can use the Small Business Hub on the AppExchange, the world's leading enterprise cloud marketplace for business apps and solutions, to access apps that integrate with Essentials, extending the power of the Salesforce Platform.
Sales Cloud Essentials
Sales Cloud Essentials enables small sales teams to get up-and-running fast, work smarter, and sell more. With Lightning Sales Console, sales reps have a complete view of their customers—including activity history, key contacts, customer communications and internal account discussions—in one place and accessible from any device using the Salesforce Mobile App. In addition, reports and dashboards make it easy to keep track of company performance. By increasing efficiencies in the sales process, reps will have more time to spend building customer relationships.
“Sales Cloud Essentials is a great place to start if you’re new to CRM,” said Kenny Hodge, Director of Business Development at Handstand Innovations, which uses Salesforce.com. He add, “The setup assistant was incredibly helpful, making the product feel intuitive, easy to customise, and powerful for sales right out of the box. Now we can turn our data into action and easily add new functionality as we grow.”
Service Cloud Essentials
Service Cloud Essentials makes it easy for small service teams to set up their helpdesks instantly and provide customers with faster, more personalised customer service. With the Lightning Service Console, service agents have a 360-degree view of every customer interaction in one unified desktop view, ensuring they’re equipped with the context needed to resolve issues faster, with greater accuracy and from a single location—whether customers reach out via phone, email, Twitter or Facebook. In addition, the Service Cloud Mobile app will empower agents to provide personalised customer service from anywhere.
“As a small business, our support team often needs to answer sales-related questions in addition to typical customer support questions,” says Justin Mauldin, customer support advocate at TrackVia, Inc, a company that uses Salesforce.com. “I really like that Salesforce Essentials provides a comprehensive view of customers, with sales and service data in one place, so that support reps can easily access the information they need to deliver fast and personalised service.”
“The adoption of new technology can contribute to bottom line growth, but for smaller companies, setting up a CRM can seem overwhelming,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP Research, Nucleus Research. “Salesforce Essentials will help small businesses accelerate time to value with an out-of-the-box sales and service CRM that makes it easy for them to get started fast and acquire, manage and service more customers.”