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Every year, IBM compiles an exhaustive report on the state of Salesforce. The State of salesforce 2020 highlights report mainly details what IBM thinks about the present and future of Salesforce, the primary aim being to identify ways organizations can utilize the Salesforce platform to drive business outcomes.
2020 was not different. Based on 107,000+ data points collected from 1,300+ global respondents and 15+ hours of interviews with global enterprise executives, the Salesforce experts at IBM have prepared a special edition report that revisits last year’s trends and explores opportunities for Salesforce-reliant organizations as we walk through 2021. The following are five key takeaways from the report;
In the State of salesforce 2020 highlights, most digital brands’ top priority was building a 360-degree view of the customer by integrating data to create a unified customer profile. While this will remain important even in 2021, it appears that goals have shifted slightly, with most businesses likely to prioritize trust over the next 12 months.
Trust is critical to customer loyalty and retention. If customers don’t trust the company to meet their digital, mental, physical, and even emotional needs, they’ll leave. Therefore, as others pursue stability and growth, industry leaders are set to prioritize digital transformation initiatives in Salesforce that can help them get closer to their employees and customers.
Of those polled, 68% said their top Salesforce priority in 2021 is improving IT collaboration with the business to build customer loyalty and trust.
So, what are the opportunities for trust-building within the Salesforce platform? Fortunately, there are several. The first step is to align IT and business processes better to meet customer needs. Another possibility is to leverage technologies built into the Salesforce platform (such as Vlocity and Salesforce industries) to identify and jumpstart high-value customer experiences.
Finally, organizations can also enhance the customer journey with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Salesforce Customer 360.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed enterprise AI front and center as organizations seek ways to remain supported and connected while apart. As a result, Salesforce customers are no longer dabbling in AI; they are no longer testing waters. Instead, everyone is keen to implement full-spectrum AI to survive and grow beyond the pandemic.
This trend is captured in the exponential growth in the number of Salesforce users using AI. In the State of salesforce 2020 highlights report by IBM, only about 19% of enterprises were using enterprise AI in 2020. One year later, at least 48% of respondents use enterprise AI, a 150% increase.
The most popular AI solutions on the Salesforce platform include the Salesforce Sales Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Salesforce Service Cloud, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud.
The people who use these services most frequently are sales, HR, and service teams. Sales teams need intelligent lead scoring and next-based action to create target customer lists. Meanwhile, HR teams depend on AI solutions such as Tableau’s Covid-19 Data Hub to predict risks and manage customer and employee safety.
Service teams also need AI to improve customer response times and free up agents while marketers make use of AI solutions to recommend relevant products and services at the right time to increase sales.
As you implement AI solutions, it’s imperative to remember a few things. First, not all AI assistants are created equal. You need to find products that meet your needs. Secondly, always start small, launch early, and fix continuously. Finally, keep in mind that business design is the foundation of successful AI implementation.
Finally, another key takeaway from the State of salesforce 2020 highlights report is the need for organizations to invest more in their employees’ safety and well-being. The lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic teach us that employees need more than mobile capabilities and the remote office. With a significant portion of the workforce shifting online, workers and field employees will need unique support, protection, and data safety to do their jobs.
The best organizations are turning to Salesforce to meet some of these needs. Many are turning to the like of Salesforce’s Work.com and IBM’s Disruption Recovery Insights to create a health and safety preparations command center.
Such command centers allow organizations to track employee wellness more closely. The AI-powered solutions also offer insights about risks, regulations, and behaviors that may affect the business, allowing organizations to pivot quickly in the face of internal and external challenges. This level of preparedness can positively affect the employee’s willingness to return to work.
Another step many organizations are considering is taking most employee interactions online. Everyday business interactions, including face-to-face meetings, employee lunches, and industry conferences, though vital, create a health and safety issue in the face of pandemics such as Covid-19. Salesforce and similar platforms provide deep employee engagement, but digitally, eliminating inherent health and safety concerns.
The three above are just some of the main takeaways from the IBM State of Salesforce 2020/2021 report. The report also discusses the widening gap between the digital “haves” and “have-nots” and offers valuable insight into how we can integrate the front and back office to attain a data-driven culture. Get the whole report here from where our State of salesforce 2020 highlights has been adapted.