When Salesforce burst onto the scene nearly twenty years ago, it was light-years ahead of the curve. Customer relationship management (CRM) was on the brink of entering a new era, poised to embrace and develop cloud-based technologies.
Starting the race well ahead of any competitors, Salesforce established itself as an industry leader. It created a one-stop shop for companies on the hunt for a go-to sales solution.
A worldwide challenge
The task can be a sizeable one.
Globalisation has increasingly raised the stakes in terms of demands for organisational connectivity, making the challenge of connecting with customers an often herculean task.
However, one of the features of early market leaders is that they can quickly become stuck in a rut, consumed with their own model.
A loss of creativity?
Being stuck in a business-model rut can reduce creativity and innovation, resulting in a situation where customers aren’t always offered the edgiest deals, or, in the worst case scenarios, where their needs are not met.
Whilst 90 percent of customers may feel happy, there is always the ten percent who will be left out of the loop.
Furthermore, times change and customers evolve.
As organizations seek the unique angle that will gain them a competitive edge, they increasingly demand flexibility, leaner budgets, and more personalized connectivity.
It’s therefore no surprise that competitors have stepped in to fill some of Salesforce’s gaps.
Take Zendesk, for instance. In a social media driven era where customer support can make or break a company’s online profile, Zendesk is all about upping response times and opening up effortless communication pathways.
Alternatively, companies such as Marketo specialize in helping to retain hard-won personalized
It is this kind of personalised data gathering that salespeople thrive upon.
After all, a salesperson does not only need to traverse that razor sharp edge on a daily basis, they need to be able to reach that edge in the first place.
Forewarned is forearmed, as the ancient adage reads.
The art of streamlining
For others, the key is streamlining. Infor CRM is one such system. Acting with velocity more at home in the rapids of the Colorado River, Infor promises proactive forecasting.
This is ideal for growing a new customer base.
For a more immersive experience, NetSuite CRM+ promise to give organisations real-time access to the lives of their customers.
With recent changes to data privacy laws, being able to watch a customer’s every move is increasingly rare.
However, NetSuite CRM+ use complex psychological and sociocultural patterning to create behavioural analysis algorithms. This is ideal for learning how customers behave in the ways that they do, and streamlining the response to match.
It’s all in the prediction
A trend that is visible here is that newer companies are highly predictive and specialised.
Whereas Salesforce offers a somewhat clunky, one-size-fits-all solution, others are focusing upon lead-management and individuality.
Watching the emergence of new competitors does not necessarily show that Salesforce has had its day.
Rather, it increasingly reveals that salespeople are demanding more from their CRM.
The resultant diversity reflects a valuable industry that has optimization as its clear goal.