I recently posted a poll on the Dreamforce Chatter Community to better understand what data points were most important to create a 360-degree of respondent’s clients: I was surprised by the answers.
Typically when we’re working with our Financial Services clients on a Salesforce.com implementation, a 360-degree view of the client is centered around financial data: account balances, historical sales, positions, households, etc. As it turns out, Sales and Pipeline information blew away the other options. This surprised me for two reasons:
- Salesforce is fantastic at providing real-time, out-of-the-box sales data and can be used to report on sales trends using Analytic Snapshot.
- On a Client/Customer record, financial history and profitability is a key data point in the segmentation and cross selling process.
My hope is that the respondents to this poll are using Salesforce to the full capacity to understand their pipeline. Often times we see standard reporting get complicated when organizations are looking to drill down past the native capabilities of Salesforce reporting. We typically solve for this by leveraging the standard data model and designing with reporting in mind. Or in cases where a more advanced data model is required, solving for complex, multi-object reporting with VisualForce or third party tools depending on our client’s needs. We often see client’s who have gone about building out a data model without the reporting goals in mind get frustrated here.
My other hope is that as organizations move towards a more customer-centric structure, that a 360-degree view expands past just sales and service. In order to completely understand your customer, and to effectively engage them, that full view must include information that allows your marketing team to make data driven campaigns, provide the right cross sell opportunities and the relevant context for sales to win pursuits. Expanding that view into financial data, propensity modeling and displaying data from a data warehouse rounds out the view of your customer and enables the sales, service and marketing processes. Bottom line – organizations that currently use Salesforce or other CRMs to track contacts, relationships and pipeline only, are leaving money and wallet share on the table.