Bluewolf’s annual report, The State of Salesforce Report
Bluewolf, a global consulting agency, has released its fourth annual The State of Salesforce Report that evaluates how companies use and capitalize on the promise of the world's #1 CRM platform. Based on insights from more than 1,500 Salesforce customers worldwide, the 2015-2016 report explores companies’ focus on employee engagement and innovation as they position themselves for growth.
Download the full report here.
A third of companies cite employee-facing initiatives as one of their top objectives for 2016. In past years, companies have primarily focused on improving the customer experience to increase their bottom line. However, a focus only on the customer experience is an incomplete engagement approach. As customer expectations rise, so do employee expectations. Today’s modern-day employee was raised in a digital environment, where constant connectivity and mobile access are an inherent part of their lives. Every day, they are exposed to apps and products that make their lives easier, and are less tolerant of business processes and technology that don’t follow suit.
According to the report, companies are three times more likely to attribute measureable business outcomes to the use of Salesforce when employees believe that Salesforce makes their jobs easier. The more engaged employees become, the more value they can provide to customers.
“In today’s customer-driven market, it’s easy to overlook the employee experience. However, it is the very force that enables customer success,” said Eric Berridge, CEO, Bluewolf. “
The State of Salesforce Report shows that while innovation is essential to improving employee experiences, companies must combine it with data, design, and an employee culture willing to adopt it to see improvements across the entire organization.”
Bluewolf’s 2015-2016 The State of Salesforce Report uncovers several key trends tied to prioritizing employee engagement, including:
Know the customer, one cloud at a time — 64 percent of Salesforce customers plan to increase their Salesforce budgets in the coming year; 11 percent plan to increase spending by more than 50 percent. Additionally, 49 percent of customers are currently invested in two or more Salesforce clouds, and 22 percent of customers are invested in three or more Salesforce clouds.
Turn Salesforce from chore to choice — 90 percent of companies say improving the user experience of sales apps is key to their sales strategy in the coming year. Furthermore, employees state that they are two times more likely to say Salesforce makes it easier to do their jobs when they can access it from a mobile device. Mobile-optimized tools and applications are critical to selling smarter and faster with Sales Cloud, and supporting intelligent, relevant, and streamlined workflows to maximize productivity.
The customer executive is now the empowered agent — 59 percent of service professionals believe it’s easier to use their company’s Salesforce instance today than it was a year ago. Additionally, one in three companies have already invested in agent productivity apps; one in five are planning to invest. The best companies are leveraging Service Cloud to consolidate service channels and support a more informed and productive agent experience.
For marketers, data is their customer — 60 percent of marketers cite poor or inconsistent data quality and lack of data access as their biggest challenge. As a result, only one in five companies believe their marketing messages are extremely personalized. Data-driven decisions separate a leading marketer from the competition. This year, leading marketers need to focus on partnering with IT to support a mature data governance strategy.
Analytics is top of mind — 68 percent of companies will increase their investments in analytics in the coming year. In the past year, six percent of companies surveyed have adopted the new Analytics Cloud — and 14 percent plan to invest in the coming year. The best companies are moving up the analytics maturity scale by investing in predictive and prescriptive intelligence tools to lead data-driven insights and take the best next action.
Invest in ongoing innovation — Companies have realized the importance of investing in ongoing innovation and are embracing governance and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to produce high quality releases with increasing speed. Companies that have both a governance board and an ALM solution are three times more likely to attribute revenue growth to their Salesforce usage. This year, there was a 20 percent jump in companies releasing at least monthly and three times as many companies releasing at least weekly.
Bluewolf's annual report surveyed more than 1,500 Salesforce customers. The respondents were employees of very large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees), large enterprises (up to 1,000 employees), and medium to small enterprises (fewer than 500 employees). The study was conducted via online survey in the second and third quarters of 2015.