Engineering: leader della Digital Transformation

CRM - Customer Relationship Management

Five questions to...
Alessandro Plebani

The CTO of WebResults tells us how the Customer Journey is changing and how Salesforce is revolutionizing the world of CRM, redesigning the relationship between companies and consumers.

1.

IN THIS PAST YEAR, THE PANDEMIC CRISIS HAS CAUSED A STRONG ACCELERATION OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, CHANGING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND COMPANIES: HOW HAVE CRM SYSTEMS REACTED TO THE COVID-19 SITUATION?

The pandemic crisis has prompted a strong redefinition of the various stages of the Customer Journey and rethinking the customer experience to meet the needs of social distancing and remote working. For example, many retailers have been challenged to offer an alternative experience to buying in-store, while still providing the same security and personalisation for each customer. Let us also consider the education and training segment, which has undergone a radical change in the way its users enjoy its content.

Customer Relationship Management systems have taken on a fundamental strategic role to understand and analyse customer buying behaviour and purchasing habits, helping managers to take pondered decisions based on real data. Those companies that had already implemented a agile and flexible CRM of the last generation, have been able to expand their business potential and increase their competitive edge; as we have written in our Instant Paper on the topic of CRM>, this is an ongoing challenge for which companies are expected to invest 96 billion Euros on CRM software in 2025.

A cutting-edge CRM system in the PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) mode makes it possible to bridge the gap between customers and businesses, creating new strategic and operational paradigms and integrating innovative functions, quickly and with scalable ready-to-use solutions. Salesforce, a global leader of CRM solutions in cloud computing, succeeded in adapting its customer-focused offering in a very short time by providing digital solutions in the sensitive context of the pandemic crisis to support protection, training and tracking for the safety of its employees. At WebResults, as one of the first Italian providers of the Salesforce solution and boasting more than fifteen years’ experience in the sector, we have similarly developed to offer our customers consistent responses to their new needs, at any time and in any format.
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2.

NOW THAT IS IS NECESSARY TO LOOK AHEAD AND CONSTRUCT NEW BUSINESS MODELS, ALSO IN VIEW OF THE LESSONS LEARNED THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC, WHAT ARE THE 3 KEY STEPS FOR INNOVATING CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IN SUCH A WAY TO INCREASE BOTH CUSTOMER SATISFACTION AND CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT? WHAT ROLE DOES SALESFORCE PLAY IN THIS PATH TO INNOVATION?

Integrating new channels and new ways of interacting with consumers requires not only a new business model, but also an agile and efficient system that can offer a complete and unified omnichannel experience. Using Salesforce's innovative technologies, companies can follow 3 fundamental steps to improve the shopping experience:

1. Get to know the customer at 360°

In order to create a solution tailored to each customer, you first need to get to know them, shifting the centre of gravity of marketing activities from the product to its final recipient. As we mentioned earlier, this need has only increased in recent years, making it not only important to make accurate predictions about your customer base, but also to meet their needs across the board in a personalised and omnichannel way. Salesforce's Customer 360° solution brings together all sources of customer lifecycle data, from marketing to sales and post-sales, in one easy-to-monitor central location. In addition, using Mulesoft, the innovative API integration tool, it is possible to connect applications, data and devices to streamline the various processes and create connected experiences.

2. Analysing real data

Having a unique and centralised database allows us not only to monitor and improve the efficiency of business processes, but also to have information on our relational activities aimed at potential and existing long-term customers. Although it may seem easy to read this type of information, it is one of the strengths of an efficient CRM solution, which is able to combine data from several different information silos, making them easier to analyse and use. With the integrated artificial intelligence of Einstein and with the recent acquisition of Tableau, the market leader in Business Intelligence, the whole company has a powerful tool to process these data with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience and increasing productivity.

3. Adapting solutions

The adaptability of solutions, at a time when digitalisation has accelerated so significantly, is the last characteristic of a good CRM solution. Salesforce's typical cloud-based PaaS model, supported by a standardisation of processes, allows both developers and end users to implement and use applications quickly and easily, based on point and click tools that can be adapted to the needs of their business segment, thus minimising time to market.

3.

WEBRESULTS IS THE BENCHMARK FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF CLOUD APPLICATIONS BASED ON THE SALESFORCE PLATFORM: WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SALESFORCE COMPARED TO OTHER SIMILAR SOLUTIONS THAT HAVE ALLOWED IT TO BECOME A LEADER IN ITS SECTOR?

Salesforce has undoubtedly revolutionised CRM through cloud architecture, increasing accessibility to customer data at any time and from any device, simplifying business processes, and improving the way companies can interact with their consumers. The many innovative applications and tools hosted on the Salesforce platform allow companies to access valuable insights, so they can take marketing and sales actions based on reliable information.

Improving the customer experience is an ongoing process. It requires strong adaptability both in decision-making processes and in the supporting systems that must be enabling, designed to evolve rapidly and be constantly updated. Salesforce guarantees constant innovation, with easy and fast updating of its functionalities. All this is done without the need to buy and manage any hardware components or install and update any software, as it is harmonised through the Cloud.

Salesforce seamlessly combines all its marketing, sales, support, services and IT activities into a single platform, continuously redefining the customer experience and anticipating technological innovations. In its role of trendsetter in the cloud-based CRM solutions market, it caters to a wide and diverse variety of businesses, from start-ups to large corporations.

At WebResults we have been involved in Salesforce for over 15 years: CRM and Cloud are the foundations on which we develop our projects. Over time, we have achieved our goals through significant and continuous investments in training programmes to obtain the certifications necessary to achieve expertise in the use of CRM itself.
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4.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR CUSTOMERS IN APPROACHING A PLATFORM LIKE SALESFORCE SO THAT THEY CAN ACHIEVE THE BEST RESULTS IN DIGITISING AND OPTIMISING THEIR BUSINESS PROCESSES?

A well-built CRM requires a deep understanding of Salesforce tools and business processes, taking into account every aspect of the business as a whole.

As part of Engineering Enterprise Solutions (EES), Engineering Group's competence centre, we contribute to the digital transformation and integration of CRM within the existing application architecture of a company, adopting the logic of best-fit technology and a hybrid approach.

We follow the Best Practices of the Salesforce platform and combine the power of its solutions with the EES (Digital to Evolve) strategy, allowing customers to maximise the use of standard solutions and in keeping with the low-code approach.

We guarantee not only the reuse of components but also greater efficiency in the composition of modules and their respective integration, increasing the ability to adapt quickly to the context, with a faster and more effective time-to-value.

5.

HOW IMPORTANT IS THE CLOUD AS AN ENABLING TECHNOLOGY FOR A 360° CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE INNOVATION?

Today, making business processes flexible and dynamic is an absolute must for any company that has to respond to changing needs. Cloud technology helps to manage and process data efficiently, securely and quickly. The adoption of Cloud Computing services, for example in the retail sector, not only helps to significantly reduce IT costs and simplify workflows, but also allows marketing to utilise advanced cloud-enabled analytics functions to enhance the shopping experience for the end user.

The flexibility of the cloud is essential to innovate the customer experience, from optimising every point of interaction with the customer to integrating personalised and virtual experiences in order to better understand the needs, wants and preferences of the end users of various products.
Alessandro Plebani

Alessandro Plebani

Alessandro has been technical director of WebResults since the early 2000s. He was the founder of the Salesforce.com practice more than 15 years ago, completing numerous successful CRM projects both nationally and internationally.

Always passionate about Cloud, in his projects he uses this technology as an enabling driver for the digital innovation of customers' processes at 360°.

Alessandro is one of the authors of the Instant Paper "CRM".

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