At the end of May 2017, more than 1500 Salesforce professionals visited Stockholm to attend the Salesforce Essentials tour. It was a really inspiring event with lots of speakers, great keynotes, and positive surprises. One of the keynotes was delivered by our customer St1 - they presented a story about how they managed to make their customers happier and their employees more efficient. After the talk, we had a chat with Jenny Regnér, Head of Digital Customer Solutions at St1, and Katarina Viklund, CRM Solution Manager at St1, on the topic of customer experience and customer satisfaction in the new digital era.
Are you struggling with long offer lead times, high sales support, invoicing costs, or complicated and error-prone sales-to-delivery processes? Or are you just searching for ways to further automate your invoicing process? CPQ might be the answer.
CPQ is currently one of the hottest topics around CRM. Increasingly many companies are improving their operational efficiency by streamlining their lead to delivery processes with CPQ and Quote to Cash solutions. Regardless of the benefits, CPQ investment process often takes a long time, mainly because CPQ is not merely a tool for sales – it’s connected to e.g. product management, sales, delivery, and accounting functions.
CPQ markets have been fluctuating lately, with Oracle first buying Big Machines for 400m$ and more recently Salesforce acquiring Steelbrick (becoming Salesforce CPQ) for 360 m$. This demonstrates the business potential of CPQ. The reasons behind these acquisitions are evident: for example, Salesforce as a platform has expanded its reach from creating demand with Marketing Cloud applications all the way to taking care of the customer life cycle with Service and IoT Clouds. CPQ as a part of Sales Cloud ties up together both ends - bringing product knowledge to CRM, and enabling seamless offer making with the same user experience sales reps are used to when managing their sales cases. That’s the experience and the use case outline, and then there are the numbers: Gartner predicts that CPQ markets are going to grow 20% per year until 2020.
It's time for the ultimate question: can you really not jump on this train? At this point, CPQ can still provide competitive advantage, but most likely after some years you will just have to have it.
What is CPQ and what can it bring to your organization?
Configure, Price & Quote – that’s what's included. Additionally, the term Quote to Cash extends functionality to also cover order and invoicing processes. CPQ applications provide the product & pricing knowledge and automate quotation generation, so the people creating quotes wouldn't need to be product experts. What’s better, CPQ with guided selling features can guide users towards the right configuration by asking questions and automatically fetching information from customer characteristics. The following graph from Salesforce demonstrates the Quote to Cash process, the tools for which are provided by the Salesforce platform.
You might ask “So what, this can be made in existing applications?” That’s true, but the benefit of the CPQ is that all this information is located in the same system – and further, when CPQ is part of the Salesforce, all the information is usable in reports and transferable through existing interfaces.
User experience and fast configuration (also available on mobile) are already outstanding benefits of CPQ for sales reps, but from the business point of view CPQ means, for example:
...and much more. For example, for high volume and low complexity products the benefits might not come from preventing mistakes in configurations but automating order handling and invoicing, thus saving time and effort. For other benefits, check this article by Forbes that explains results from CPQ adoption study made by Accenture. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2016/04/17/five-ways-cloud-based-cpq-increases-sales-effectiveness-and-drives-up-crm-adoption/#4c19bf6072e5),
CPQ Implementations – what can make them successful?
How to approach CPQ projects? They offer huge possibilities, but set extensive requirements as well. One approach is "Think big, start small". If one wants to build a CPQ system that will stand the time and at later date be flexible enough to meet all the requirements of the company, one needs to consider all the required use cases and preferably create a roadmap to the desired state. However, when it comes to implementation, one – and often the most agile – way is to start from the smallest piece, which really makes a complete business case and is as profitable as a stand-alone CPQ solution.
In a greenfield project, everything starts from defining the sales & delivery process steps to which CPQ is related to, and, afterwards, the use cases around the process. When replacing existing systems, processes might be readier, but naturally the nest system gives an outstanding possibility to rethink them. All in all, implementation processes are different depending on the current state of process & product knowledge of the customer:
At Fluido’s CPQ team we are naturally emphasizing both technology knowledge and sales & product management process expertise. This allows us to take a larger role in configuration & maintenance, if desired.
A key to fluent CPQ implementations is starting with a definition phase, which brings the customer and supplier closer together in terms of product and technology understanding. This is an iterative process: when supplier learns more about customer’s products’ they are better able to define how the customer’s needs could be tackled with the platform-provided functionality. One possible approach to CPQ projects is as follows:
What's outstanding in Salesforce CPQ is the way it offers comprehensive features out of the box. When complex product modelling (for example, for the manufacturing industry) is needed, it’s also possible to extend the solution with Tacton Salesforce Extension.
We are able to create a working proof of concepts in a short time to demonstrate e.g. user experience and configuration & pricing possibilities. This is something that really helps showcasing to users and management whether the CPQ is something that company needs. Furthermore, it provides a flying start for the actual implementation project.
Find more about CPQ products from here!
CPQ & Sales Cloud
Lightning experience has gone a long way since its first release in 2015 and now we feel that it’s so good that most companies should migrate to Lightning! Here are our favorites for the lightning enhancements:
Global picklists became generally available in Winter’17 and there are some nice enhancements to this feature already! They really make life so much easier and now in Summer ‘17 it’s possible to change restricted picklists to global picklists!
You can now get the Opportunity Stage History as a Related List in Lightning Experience and with this, you can review changes to an opportunity’s amount, probability, stage, and close date right on the record.
Also, Field History Related List is now available in Lightning! Finally, we can track and display the field histories (changes, old value, and new value) for standard or custom objects, regardless of the Salesforce interface you’re using. If you have added the History related list to objects in Salesforce Classic, you can now see them in Lightning Experience as well. You can also set up a field history related list in Lightning Experience directly. This change applies to Lightning Experience, Salesforce Classic, and all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.
Lightning Sync for Google
The two-way sync is generally available. You can set up contacts and events to sync between your G Suite account and Salesforce and manage all this from both Lightning Experience and Salesforce Classic!
Last but not least a marketer’s life in Lightning Experience has just been improved! You can now add members to campaigns directly from reports and from accounts! You can also view the campaign influence related list on the campaign object in Lightning Experience, how great is that?
There’s something in beta that helps you Analyze and Improve Community Performance. The Salesforce Communities Page Optimizer analyzes your community and identifies issues that impact performance. It is a free plug-in available from the Chrome Web Store
Einstein is literally everywhere now. In this version, Einstein Vision is now generally available. To receive 1000 free predictions per calendar month you can sign up for Einstein Vision. Also in Einstein vision you can now create a dataset from a .zip file located on a local drive or upload from a public URL. Without it, making a nice dataset was a one to two days challenge for a laptop.
Social Customer Service
How about Social Customer Service then? There is now a great new feature where we can send a link in a public Twitter feed suggesting to continue the conversation in private message. This is a Twitter feature and is now supported by Salesforce.
Our developers came up with their favorites for you as well. They picked some of their favorite features, including new and changed Lightning components:
Lightning Data Service (Beta)
Lightning Data Service is now in beta. Use Lightning Data Service to load, create, edit, or delete a record in your component, without using Apex code. Lightning Data Service handles sharing rules and field-level security for you. Lightning Data Service also improves performance and user-interface consistency.
With the move to beta, force:recordPreview has been deprecated and replaced with force:recordData. If you’re using force:recordPreview, you must refactor your components to use force:recordData.
Override Standard Actions with Lightning Components
Finally, you can override four of the standard actions on objects — View, New, Edit, and Tab — using Lightning components on both standard and custom objects. What this does is it allows you to customize your org using Lightning components, including completely customizing the way you view, create, and edit records.
Platform Events & Enterprise Messaging Platform
With Platform Events, you can increase business productivity and efficiency through integrations via events. Event message bus can make it easier for you to build new integrations and simplify existing integrations using a publish/subscribe model, and reduce the number of point-to-point integrations.
Retrieving and Deploying Metadata in Apex code
Previously, accessing metadata required using the Metadata API, but you can now use classes in the Metadata namespace to access metadata components from Apex code.
New Option for Parallel Testing
Use the @isTest(isParallel=true) annotation to indicate test classes that can be run in parallel and aren’t restricted by the default limits on the number of concurrent tests. This makes the execution of test classes more efficient because more tests can be run in parallel.
This annotation overrides settings that disable parallel testing by default. A test class that doesn’t have this annotation is restricted by the default limits on the number of concurrent tests.
PS: Lightning Locker service will affect only Lightning Components from API version 40 and above.
Pardot New Features
Finally, we wanted to highlight some of the new features launched in Pardot during the last couple of months. The first and the most important change that also requires action from all Pardot clients is an update for Pardot tracker domain security. Pardot has updated their domain validation to improve domain security. So make sure to follow the instructions sent to Pardot main contacts before the 10th of August to keep your links working! All links will be rewritten to being with http://go.pardot.com if the validation is not done by that date.
Pardot Engagement Studio was the one BIG thing that was released last year and has ever since been updated with essential and useful features. This summer we get to enjoy scheduled start and end times of engagement programs to make sure emails are not sent e.g. on public holidays or to stop invitation process after an event automatically. You can also use scoring categories more efficiently in Engagement Studio.
At the end of last year, Salesforce released the B2B marketing analytics solution which uses Salesforce Wave functionalities. This solution has now been renamed into B2B Marketing Analytics. In addition to a new name, there are also other improvements such as increased date range filtering and CRM IDs being included into datasets.
Account Based Marketing (ABM) is one of the hot topics recently introduced also by Salesforce. Pardot has launched the Einstein ABM which uses the powerful AI of Einstein to improve Sales and Marketing activities. This will be exciting!
We hope you will enjoy these new features and enhancements for Salesforce CRM and other products as much as we do!
Written by the Fluido Crew
Salesforce Xchange EMEA has just ended! This year, the event took place in the beautiful city of Copenhagen on June 12 – 14 and focused on Commerce Cloud, one of the latest Clouds of the Salesforce platform.
Many people attended the conference to understand better the latest trends in E-commerce, learn more about Salesforce Commerce Cloud, or simply network with their peers.
For my first participation, I went there with a single ambition: LEARN! I would like to share with you some of my key takeaways.
Cloud technology has transformed E-Commerce
There is a buzzword that you hear all the time around E-Commerce: Omnichannel.
Omnichannel is about harmonising the buying experience across different channels (e.g. social, mobile, online, in-store, etc.). Nowadays, customers can collect the product information in many different ways and buy at almost every moment. To remain competitive, brands need to serve their customers on all touch points and show some flexibility: “Buy anywhere. Fulfill anywhere.”
Several years ago, companies would be limited by the technology and have an E-commerce solution for the sole purpose of selling their product online. In-store and online transactions would be managed with different systems and most companies would not have a 360-degree view of their customers. Cloud technology has changed that! Salesforce Commerce Cloud is managing both the Digital and the Store transactions on a single platform making it possible to blur the line between various channels.
Mobile is the main traffic driver
In order for retailers to keep pace with the competition, it is essential for them to realise that mobile has become the main traffic driver. By the end of Q1 2017, more than 50% of the traffic was coming from mobile! *
In fact, mobile is not just simply driving the visit growth, it is also driving the order growth. Salesforce Shopping Index (Q1 2017 vs. Q1 2016) shows that the order growth on mobile was 85%!
As a brand, ask yourself these questions. Do you need a mobile optimised solution for your customers to purchase your company’s products? If you have one, can your customers purchase your products within a few clicks or do you make it difficult for them?
Artificial intelligence is here
I knew that artificial intelligence was coming. I probably didn’t realise how quickly it was coming! During the conference, I was given a simple demo showing how AI features can be deployed on the Salesforce Commerce Cloud platform. With a few clicks, you can enable AI and the machine starts learning and taking actions! Product recommendations and predictive sorts are some examples of the already available features.
From the conference, I felt that AI will rapidly become the key differentiator to select a Commerce platform in the future as it can help to boost online revenues significantly.
Can your company afford not to transform?
During the event, I spent a lot of time discussing with different companies who have already been engaged in some sort of transformation journey. I found that most retailers in the fashion industry were already at an advanced stage. In some other industries, companies were looking for additional information to clarify their strategy and were considering what would be their next steps.
How far are you in your journey? Have you started to transform?
After reading this blog, you might have the impression that everything has now become simple! In fact, it has not. Change is always painful and it requires people to modify their habits and learn new things. Technology is now available to support your transformation and Salesforce is a great platform to start with!
Sir Winston Churchill in his famous "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat" speech in 1940, warned the British people of the hardships to come in fighting WWII. I would not go that far when speaking about business transformation, but you should keep asking yourself a question: can my company afford not to transform?
Raphael Favier, Business Consultant – Commerce Cloud
Responding to a complaint on social media increases customer advocacy by up to 25%, conversely not responding to a complaint decreases customer advocacy by as much as 50%.
It is 2017, consumers’ expectations from companies are higher than never before. Customers expect to be served wherever they are, whenever they want and fast. And where customers are? Facebook has 1.86 billion monthly active users, Instagram 600 million, Twitter 300 million; in addition to the rapidly growing messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger with nearly 1 billion each. In the Nordic countries, 78% of the population use Facebook regularly, and 72% use YouTube.
Who uses Social Media for Customer Support?
You, your relatives, your colleagues, you children, we all are on social media and so brands. If we have a problem or question about a product, why would we go somewhere else? We search the company’s “fan page” and shoot them a question there, with 60% of customers expecting an answer within one hour.
Very often is believed the use of the latest technology resources is exclusive to younger generations, namely Millennials. However, for a long time we have seen what an increased adoption and use of social media across the board. Age is not anymore the key determinant factor, the behaviour is: the "Connected Customer" using social media and messaging apps spans along all age groups.
The clearest constant we at Fluido have seen in Social Customer Service projects, is customer preference for social media over other legacy channels to ask their questions or raise complaints to companies. We have seen as much as four times volume increase in social media requests, accounting for 20 to 40% of the total volume from all channels.
This trend goes perfectly in line with what Gartner already predicted a few years ago: "By 2020, 90% of the customer service will happen on social media". How are you getting prepared to change your processes and tools to address this imminent consumer demand?
The business case for Social Customer Service
Regarding productivity, Social Care teams have proved to be much more efficient than their counterparts using the phone, email or chat. Mostly due to the inherently asynchronous nature of social media, where one person can handle up to four customer cases concurrently. Making handling support cases in social up to six times cheaper than in the other channels. Thus, companies are seeing Social Customer Care as a definitive cost saver for their business, especially when connected with their rest of the support processes.
If you have not invested yet in Social Customer Service, it is time to do so because customers are demanding it. They find it so much easier and convenient to bring up questions and complaints via social media than through phone or email. Also, it is cheaper and more efficient for your company! The business case for Social Customer Service could not be more compelling.
Not sure where to start with Social Customer Service? Need help to optimise you existing capability and build a scalable solution? Let us know how can we help!
Senior Business Consultant
Social Customer Service
Fluido is growing like never before, with many exciting projects delivering great value to our customers. But to achieve this excellence we need more Superheroes to join our team across all the Nordics
A Cloud Superhero at Fluido is someone who does miracles everyday and has fun doing so. We are not afraid to challenge customers and we are always aiming at going the extra mile to give our customers the best possible outcome. Cloud Superheroes are not afraid to embrace the growth mindset - there's always something new to learn.
Solution Architect (Espoo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo)
Front-end or Back-end Developer (Espoo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo)
Commerce Cloud Developer in Espoo
Senior Developer in Copenhagen
Digital Marketing Expert in Stockholm
Because work must be fun we offer a relaxed, open and transparent environment with awesome colleagues, who go well beyond to help each other because friends don't let friends down, that's the #FluidoWay.
Are you up to the challenge? Apply today fluidogroup.com/careers
Know someone who is a true Superhero? Please share the love!
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