Salesforce Winter ’18 Release: Top 40 – What You Need to Know

To continue to drive our customers’ value in and use of Salesforce.com, the Rainmaker team compiled a list of 40 highlights from the Winter 18 Release notes that we believe can have a positive impact on your business.

The Winter ’18 Release Top 40

Note: Keep in mind that the page numbers listed are subject to change.

Lightning Conversions

1. The Lightning Experience Readiness Check (p. 52)

•  Business Impact: The readiness check has been updated to provide more return on investment (ROI) and level of effort (LOE) insight into the transition from Salesforce Classic to LEX. It now includes more accessible content, like graphics, estimated productivity gains, and LOE estimates for migration.

2. Visualforce (p. 533)

•  Admin Impact: Use the LEX Visualforce check to generate a report that flags pages that need changes before they’re ready for prime time in Lightning Experience. The Visualforce Report looks at all the pages that your organization has used within the past 90 days and identifies features that aren’t available in LEX.

Lightning Upgrades

3. Dynamic Lightning Pages (p. 437)

• User Impact: For years, customers have asked, “Can this field only be visible if this other condition is met?” Now, the answer is, “Yes!” If you switch to LEX, this is now possible.

4. Lightning Console Apps (p. 62)

• User Impact: Lightning Console Apps enable a user to more easily navigate between records and view multiple “panes” of information within the context of a related record. In this release, Salesforce added “favorites,” enabling users to bookmark records, dashboards, etc. that they use most often. Custom navigation also provides the ability to automate certain console behaviors, like opening a contact as a sub-tab of an account, to produce a better user experience.

5. Lightning for Gmail (p. 124)

• User Impact: Users of Lightning for Gmail can now access templates that were created in Salesforce Classic, a feature that was not previously available. Admins no longer have to recreate templates in LEX manually, and there is no more switching to Salesforce to add or check off items on daily to-do lists. This change applies to both LEX and Salesforce Classic.

6. List Email (p. 109)

• Business & User Impact: Sales reps can curate a list view of targeted contacts, leads, and person accounts, and then customize individual emails by using email templates and merge fields.

7. Duplicate Records (p. 122)

• Admin Impact: You can now use duplicate record sets in LEX. When the Report option is selected in a duplicate rule, Duplicate Management creates duplicate record sets of duplicates found by the rule. You can also create duplicate record sets, adding any records you like as duplicate record items. In LEX, you can even use duplicate record sets to merge items on the same object.

8. Cloning List Views (p. 115)

• Admin Impact: It is tedious to create the same list view for different team members, ensuring that all the right criteria are selected to filter and display. Now you can just clone a list view – just like you could in Salesforce Classic.

9. Emojis (p. 388)

• User Impact: Emojis are now available in Chatter posts and comments in LEX. Emojis give organizations more creative ways to engage their team members and audience in communications.

Einstein Enhancements

10. Einstein Lead Scoring in Salesforce Classic (p. 89)

• User Impact: Einstein lead scoring is now available in Salesforce Classic. It uses historical data to make predictive recommendations about lead prioritization and score. In organizations with a heavy reliance on leads, this could help sales reps to more easily prioritize their efforts, focusing on the best leads first. This is also a glimpse into LEX capabilities for those still leveraging Salesforce Classic.

11. Einstein Automated Contacts (p. 91)

• Business Impact: Let Einstein add contacts and contact roles for you. This new automated feature allows your sales reps to spend time doing what they do best: selling.

12. Analytics Data Integration (p. 277)

• Business Impact: Data integration has never been easier with improvements to the dataflow editor, dataset edit page, and replication setup page. The new upload wizard lets you view and change file properties and file attributes before you upload data.

Community Improvements

13. Audience Targeting (p. 341)

• Business & User Impact: Your audience is comprised of every partner who consumes your content. New functionality allows you to change what your audience sees within your community based on criteria such as city, company name, or title.

14. Dynamic Branding (p. 336)

• Business & User Impact: In communities, you can now create a single community and tailor its appearance and style to your audience. Using branding sets, there is no longer a need to create individual communities for each customer or business need.

15. External Files (p. 367)

• Business Impact: Previously only available in Salesforce Tabs and Visualforce communities, you can now access external files in your LEX communities using Files Connect. Get files from Quip, Google Drive, SharePoint, Box, and OneDrive for Business.

16. Libraries (p.368)

• Business Impact: In communities, library managers can now create, rename, and delete folders in libraries, and move files between folders. They can also create multiple levels of subfolders. Every user who has access to the library can see the folders.

Partner Relationship Management

17. Channel Programs and Levels (p. 372)

• Business Impact: As a channel manager, you need to provide a customized community experience for your different channel partners – based on your relationship. Now, you can organize channel partners and provide access to resources and features based on their program level.

Key Fixes

18. Salesforce for Outlook Upgrade (p. 130)

• User Impact: Avoid Salesforce for Outlook upgrades with Lightning for Outlook and Lightning Sync. These cloud-based products are automatically upgraded when updates are available. Most features are available in both LEX and Classic.

19. Dashboard Tables (p. 217)

• Admin Impact: New to LEX, Lightning tables can show up to 200 records and 10 columns from the fields available in a source report’s report type.

20. Case Comments (p. 170)

• User Impact: Previously in LEX, users could not add Case Comments. Now, a feature native to Salesforce Classic is back and available in Lightning.

21. Mass Inline Editing (p. 116)

• User Impact: Sales reps can now update up to 200 records without leaving a list view. This feature eliminates redundant manual processes and makes changes quicker and easier.

22. List Data (p. 438)

• User Impact: With the Related List Quick Links component, users can view multiple related lists in quick succession just by hovering over a link. They can also complete actions – like header actions, mass actions, row actions, and text wrapping – right from within the hover pane.

23. Sharing Calendars (p. 118)

• User Impact: With this new feature, sales reps can now share their calendars with each other. Meetings can be added directly to a shared calendar, avoiding wasted time exchanging emails or voicemails.

24. Syncing Events (p. 126)

• User Impact: Sales reps can now save time and unnecessary data entry by setting up events to sync between Google Calendar and Salesforce. Reps can create and edit meetings from either application.

25. Support Macros (p. 201)

• User Impact: Macros improve efficiencies, letting users perform multiple case process steps at one time.

26. Tracking Milestones (p. 200)

• User Impact: Milestones – which capture the progression of a Case against Entitlements – are now available in Lightning and Salesforce1. Support agents can view active, completed, and violated milestones from the Case.

Other Highlights

27. Lead Conversions (p. 98)

• User Impact: The new lead conversion process lets you relate a lead to existing account, contact, and opportunity records that match the lead based on your duplicate management rules. You can view details of the matched records and create follow-up tasks all from one screen.

28. Opportunity Forecast Categories (p. 106)

• User Impact: Not possible in LEX or the Salesforce1 mobile app previously, you can now fine-tune forecasts by changing an opportunity’s forecast category – regardless of its stage.

29. Private Notes (p. 117)

• Business Impact: Confidential information about clients and their businesses can now be saved with access reserved for certain team members.

30. Private Files (p. 396)

• Business Impact: Keep attachments private, if desired. Previously, anybody with Read access to a record could view the attachments or files associated with that record.

31. Out of Office (p. 392)

• User Impact: Set dates and custom out-of-office messages that will appear next to your name in Chatter – and almost everywhere that your name appears.

32. Custom Big Objects (p. 602)

• Business Impact: Custom big objects allow you to store and manage vast amounts of data on the Salesforce platform, providing consistent performance when working with one million to more than one billion records. Salesforce is becoming a true business intelligence (BI) tool.

33. Apex Code (p. 540)

• Admin Impact: Avoid errors down the road. All of your Apex code is now recompiled automatically before completing a metadata deploy, change set, package install, or package upgrade.

34. Starting a Process (p. 456)

• Admin Impact: Instead of being restricted to triggering a process when records are created or updated, you can now create a process that starts when a platform event occurs.

35. Adjustable Search Results (p. 56)

• User Impact: On the search results page, users can now adjust column widths and text wrapping, and sort results more easily.

36. Salesforce App Development (p. 495)

Business Impact: With a focus on source-driven development, the new features of the Salesforce Developer Experience (Salesforce DX) make it easier for developers to build together and continuously deliver. These features can be used with open and standard tools, including Git, Selenium, VS Code, and Eclipse.

37. Debugging Log Events (p. 557)

• Admin Impact: Debug processes and flows that subscribe to platform events with the latest debug log events.

38. Proxy.salesforce.com Retirement (p. 474)

• Admin Impact: Proxy.salesforce.com usage with SAML Single Sign-On has been retired with the Winter ’18 release. You may need to take action to prevent disruption to your Salesforce service.

39. Quip Documents (p. 394)

• User Impact: Quip lets you create, share, and collaborate on documents and spreadsheets in Salesforce. There is no need for an external file provider, and you can create Quip Documents that are record-specific.

40. 131 Encryption (p. 131)

• Admin Impact: Protect more of the personally identifiable information (PII) in standard fields on accounts, contacts, and leads. This feature is available in LEX, Salesforce Classic, and all versions of the Salesforce1 mobile app.

Salesforce Winter ’18 Release: Overview

To help our customers gain more value from their investment in Salesforce.com, the Rainmaker team delved into the vast amount of Winter ‘18 Release documentation to help determine the biggest and most impactful aspects of the update. From a business-value and user-adoption perspective, there are many improvements that are note-worthy and exciting.

What’s New for Winter ’18?

Within this winter’s release, Salesforce.com spent its time and energy making enhancements to three foundational pillars:

  • Lightning – There are new elements as well as fixes to existing functionality. Salesforce.com really focused on improving the Lightning Experience (LEX) and helped to define LEX’s value to enterprises who have not yet converted.
  • Classic – New functions within Communities boost the user experience. It’s all about tailoring what your partners see to drive adoption and gain insight.
  • Einstein – Upgrades allow sales professionals and management to focus on those leads which have the best chance to convert to business.

Here’s an overview of what the Winter ’18 Release brings to the table:

New Lightning Experience Features

  • Readiness – The Lightning Experience Readiness Check provides newly published content that helps Classic customers determine why – from a business perspective – converting to Lightning may makes sense.
  • Lead Conversions – Sales reps now have the ability to match leads to existing account, contact, and opportunity records, driving greater productivity by allowing users to create follow-up tasks from one screen.
  • Fun – Emojis are now available in Chatter posts and comments in LEX. This addition gives organizations a creative way to engage team members and clients within communications.
  • Fixes – There are many fixes to Lightning in this release, and we have a couple of favorites: Lightning for Outlook and Dynamic Lightning Pages.
    • Lightning for Outlook – You can now use your Salesforce Classic email templates – in text, HTML, or custom formats – in Lightning for Outlook.
    • Dynamic Lightning Pages – For years, customers have asked whether or not a field can be visible if a certain condition is met. Now, the answer is “yes.” Control what you see with filter conditions and logic to make it easier to drive value and adoption.

New Features for Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience

  • Partner Communities – If you deal with multiple channel partners, you can now use Channel Programs and Levels to organize them based on your relationship. You can also grant access to resources and features based upon the level to which you classify them, allowing every partner to receive a unique experience. This upgrade helps drive adoption – resulting in better, more concise data. Examples of this new functionality include:
    • Audience Targeting – Your audience is comprised of every partner who consumes your content. New functions allow you to change what your audience sees within your community based on criteria such as city, company name, or title.
    • Dynamic Branding – You can use branding sets to stylize the appearance of community pages for each audience without having to set up individual communities.

Einstein

  • Einstein – Both Salesforce Lightning and Classic users can now get a taste of Einstein Lead Scoring, where sales reps can see their leads’ scores and prioritize them – helping reps concentrate their efforts on the leads with the best potential to close.

 

To date, the Salesforce notes on the Winter ’18 Release include more than 620 pages of compelling information. Is your organization ready to take advantage of the newest innovations? Contact Rainmaker today for more details.

5 Reasons to Use Quip With Your Team

5 Reasons To Use Quip With Your Team

1. SAY GOODBYE TO TEAM EMAILS

Tired of using email to share and discuss work with your team? Quip eliminates internal emails so there is less work about work. No more long email threads, context switching, or version control with crazy_file_naming_conventions_FINALv8.doc. Create, share, and discuss your work in one place where there’s always context and every document is the latest version.

2. RUN PROJECTS WITH COMPLETE TRANSPARENCY

Quip’s documents and spreadsheets are perfect for building and sharing project plans. Everyone on your team has visibility, access, and the tools they need, like @mentions and tasks, to stay aligned with your project.

3. @MENTIONS TO NOTIFY AND ASSIGN

The ‘@’ key is Quip’s most powerful tool. Add images, files, spreadsheets, tables, and link to Quip documents in a single keystroke. But the real magic that comes from using Quip with your team is when you @mention a teammate to call their attention to a document, spreadsheet cell, inline comment, or message. @mentions fire off an immediate notification so your teammate can promptly join in on the action.

4. SPARK DISCUSSIONS IN CONTEXT

In order to work faster and make better decisions, context is everything. When you have to jump between an email and a file it slows you down. In Quip, you can give targeted feedback and ask questions about specific words and cells in your work. @mentions are an effective way to bring your teammates into conversations where there’s context so it’s easy to jump in and contribute.

5. CENTRALIZE YOUR TEAM’S WORK

Don’t you hate it when you can’t find something you’re looking for? Most of the time that’s because work is scattered across different systems and email. Quip has a concept of Group and Shared folders. Group folders are for documents that the entire company has access to like policies and procedures, helpdesk articles, and general information docs. Shared folders are great to organize work for teams, departments, or projects.

 

This article was derived from Matt Bennetti’s article published on September 29th, 2016 and was retrieved from Salesforce.com blog

View the original article at Quip is Revolutionizing Productivity at Salesforce

Why Businesses Have Embraced the Cloud

Some 40% of all CRM software sold worldwide in 2012 was software as a service (SaaS) based. In addition, 50% of all enterprises in North America and Europe were expected to set aside budgets for cloud investments last year. Many businesses find cloud-based systems to be an ideal choice because they are more affordable when comparing equipment, installation, and maintenance costs.

Cloud-based CRMs do not place limitations on the availability of critical business information. And with more businesses operating in more than one location, cloud solutions offer key players access to information from anywhere. Cloud-based CRM is accessible anytime by anyone approved within the business to use it, including on mobile devices.

How Cloud-Based CRMs Works

A cloud-­based CRM system is managed digitally via the Internet by an offsite team of experts. This solution is also referred to as SaaS, because it does not require a software installation or an IT department for management purposes. Instead, you simply log in online and begin using it.

Even for businesses with an in-house IT team, a cloud-based platform may be a better choice because it allows the team to focus on innovation for the business, rather than maintaining an on-premise system. Cloud-based systems also integrate well with existing business software and workflow.

How On-Premise CRM Works

On the flip side, an on-premise CRM is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a CRM system housed at the place of business that uses it. This can mean the CRM is kept in a dedicated server room, or even in a closet. Generally, an on-premise solution requires the business to buy either a server or a computer that can act as a server. Once this takes place, the CRM software can be installed on that server, usually by an in-house IT department.

The Pros and Cons of Both

Cloud-Based Pros

• Accessible 24/7 by anyone approved within the organization.

• Accessible on the road via mobile devices

• Minimum investment needed.

• Do not require server maintenance and upgrades are often automatic.

• Scalable and secure to keep up with business growth.

Cloud-Based Cons

• Cloud based systems rely on your Internetconnection. If your Internet service goes down you may experience downtime.

On-Premise Pros

• In-house IT teams have greater control over equipment, security, and data.

• It may be all smaller businesses need for the time being.

• They are easily customizable.

On-Premise Cons

• Outages can cause major delays in using the system.

• If using as a customer service touchpoint, outages can be especially damaging.

• Can mean extra expense if IT expertise must be hired for setup and maintenance.

• Difficult to scale and upgrades can be costly.

For much more info to help you make the decision on which CRM is best for your business, download Salesforce’s free e-book.

This article was derived from Laura Fagan’s article Why Businesses Have Embraced the Cloud, published on April 28th, 2016 and was retrieved from Salesforce.com blog

View the original article at Why Businesses Have Embraced the Cloud

How Lightning App Development Can Accelerate Your Entire Business

Check out this blog from Salesforce and boost your business!

Apps are the key to competitive advantage and industry disruption — and everybody interested in a successful tomorrow needs to be in the apps business today.

But building and maintaining apps is often challenging for organizations. Development cycles are lengthy, and there are no assurances of interoperability with other key enterprise systems.

By pairing powerful and intuitive development tools with the world’s most trusted enterprise cloud, the Salesforce Platform makes it possible for any company to build modern Lightning apps at the speed of business. The Salesforce Platform allows developers, admins, and business users to build Lightning apps visually with drag and drop ease using Lightning App Builder and Lightning Components, all the while retaining full governance and oversight by IT.

An independent IDC white paper shows that Lightning cuts the time to release new applications and features by 59%, and speeds the application development lifecycle by 50%. The ability to create better apps faster helps businesses address day-to-day challenges — and redefine their industries. Here’s how Lightning empowers all users.

Lightning accelerates the development process

Lightning was specifically designed with a “build now” mentality that starts with getting developers up and running quickly. It doesn’t take months of training or weeks of orientation to work in Lightning, just start on the Lightning Trailhead modules over Monday morning coffee and you can be building apps by Tuesday at lunch.

Instead of a code-heavy environment, Lightning is designed with drag-and-drop ease, which opens up the power of Lightning development to a wider audience. In a typical app development process, coders work with minimal real-time input or participation from admins or end users. Lightning shortens app development time by bringing stakeholders into closer collaboration.

In Lightning, developers focus on creating fundamental custom modules, which admin-level users can combine with out-of-the-box components to assemble into apps. This division-of-labor approach helps make Lightning 38% more efficient than typical IT infrastructure, according to IDC.

And you don’t need a UX expert on your team to ensure a great end-user experience. Resulting apps automatically inherit the responsive look-and-feel that fits seamlessly into an existing Salesforce environment or can be deployed as a stand-alone app.

Lightning won’t create a heavy shadow IT burden of ongoing maintenance. As part of the Salesforce platform, Lightning apps are future-proofed, and won’t be broken by automatic platform upgrades.

Lightning accelerates user participation

Lightning brings the user community closer to the development process in a way that feels like contributing, not coding. Your business analysts keenly understand the problems your apps are trying to solve. Lightning brings them into the app assembly loop, where their insights can improve and enhance your apps not as a bug ticket or feature request, but a hands-on, drag-and-drop fix.

Any business user can get involved, for instance, Lightning Process Builder empowers everyone to respond to business needs by creating custom workflows that automate complex business processes in a matter of minutes. Like the rest of Lightning, Process Builder creations are design-once, deploy-everywhere, with no need to re-engineer for different roles or devices.

Social collaboration is automatically embedded in Lightning, making it easy to share files, insights, and activities in applications and across the entire Salesforce experience. Expand that connection beyond the organization with Lightning Community Builder, which lets you design and publish engaging content and experience for a wide network of partners and customers.

Lightning accelerates analytics

Schema Builder makes it easy to create and modify data objects, fields, and relationships in a visual manner. For developers, that translates to less time spent wrangling with database concepts and constructs, and more time refining and improving your world-changing app.

Business users need more than apps. They need new ways to slice, dice, and interpret the data that drives their responsibilities and ambitions. Lightning helps answer the growing business demand for deeper real-time analytics with a UI designed for powerful reports and flexible dashboards, all created with drag-and-drop ease.

Lightning accelerates deployment

Because the Lightning platform deals with data management and storage, third-party integration, version control and more, your development teams get to focus on the capabilities that matter most to your business.

With streamlined, one-tap deployment for mobile, you can roll out stand-alone apps or deploy the same functionality through the Salesforce1 Mobile App. This flexibility gives your organization complete control over the mobile experience and frees users to work when and where they’re most comfortable.

Now you’ve seen how Lightning accelerates your entire business, it’s time to get started. Download your detailed guide to all that Lightning has to offer and start building an app with Lightning today.

Get a detailed guide to Lighting at: Lightning e-book

 

This article was derived from Jon Sigler’s post How Lightning App Development Can Accelerate Your Entire Businesspublished on March 14th, 2017 and was retrieved from Salesforce.com blog

The How-To’s of Cloud Computing

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Most people seem to think that, from a technology adoption lifecycle perspective, cloud adoption is in the Early Majority, possibly even peaking to the point of being ready for the Late Majority. What that means for most companies is that there are lessons to be learned from those Innovators and Early Adopters who came before them so that cloud usage can be maximized. Here are some essential tips for different functions within cloud usage to keep in mind as you embark upon your own cloud journey.

Be SaaS-tastic with Table Stakes

Here is something no one says: “Our competitive advantage is that we have better email than everyone else.” Similar statements can be made about Customer Relationship Management, Human Resources Management, collaboration, and many other pieces of software that any company simply has to have in order to efficiently function in a 21st-century economy. The days of an internal IT department custom building or even operationalizing off-the-shelf software in a private data center are probably gone since there are companies out there that already provide Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), pay-per-use consumption for all of this.

So, go all in on SaaS for the table stakes applications. They’ll save you money since your expenses on them can match your growth and allow you to focus on your own custom application development that adds value to your competitive advantage.

Protecting Your Custom Application Investment with Cloud Portability

Most modern custom application development ends up running on virtual machines in either a public or private cloud. From the application’s perspective, it often doesn’t matter where that hosting takes place so long as a load balancer can connect to the IP addresses of a set of web servers, which can then connect to the IP address of a database server, etc.

From an operational perspective, it can be useful to use a Cloud Management Platform (CMP) that provides a single pane of management glass across multiple back ends. The Gartner Market Guide on CMPs suggests that reducing cloud lock-in is among the key reasons for using a CMP, and they do so by making it much easier to deploy an application to one cloud, whether private or public, and migrate it someplace else when something in the cloud market, your business priorities, or anything else changes in such a way that you need to alter your hosting strategy. Using a CMP is a way of future-proofing those decisions so you have easier-to-implement choices later.

What Runs Where, Part 1: Data Sensitivity

Now that you have your table stakes application needs being met by SaaS and your custom applications are deployed through a CMP, how do you know which cloud should host what application? What should run where?

The first part of that question has to do with your data. While fears over public cloud security are mostly a distant memory, some people are still uncomfortable having key pieces of data outside walls they own. In other cases, there are regulatory constraints that prevent certain data from resting in a public cloud. Other situations force applications to be on-premises because of latency with other applications. All that said, there are still legitimate data reasons that would lead you to deploying a particular application in your private data center.

What Runs Where, Part 2: Workload Demand

Another part of the question at hand has to do with the demand of the workload. If it doesn’t vary a whole lot, the case for private cloud improves since, especially at scale, private infrastructure can be cheaper over the long term. However, if your workload can be turned off or scaled down frequently, the public cloud is difficult to pass up given its per-hour or even per-minute pay-per-use model.

What Runs Where, Part 3: Benchmark, Benchmark, Benchmark

If data sensitivity and workload demand guidance don’t leave you with a clear hosting choice for a particular application, the tie-breaker may be to run a mini bake-off with a series of benchmark tests. Any top CMP should give you the ability to run application throughput testing for different instance types on a specific cloud or even across clouds so you can get a price/performance comparison to guide your hosting choice.

For example, suppose you had a three-tier web application that used a load balancer, a web server, and a database server. Using a CMP, you could run throughput tests on different sized virtual machines on different clouds. On the following graph from one such test, throughput is shown on the Y-axis and approximate cost per hour on the X-axis:

This set of tests ran a throughput analysis on 2, 4, 8, and 16 CPU instance types across three different clouds and shows, for this specific application, that throughput peaked at the 4 CPU instance types and that AWS was both faster and cheaper than competitors.

It is important to keep in mind that each application runs slightly differently on each cloud provider, so results per application will vary significantly, but the graph illustrates the point of how important benchmarking can be in making workload placement decisions. And when something changes, like a vendor announcing new pricing or a new instance type, a test can quickly be run from the CMP to see if it makes a difference or not.

Conclusion

Enough lessons have been learned by Early Adopters of cloud usage that some solid tips are now available for those who are still at the beginning of their journey. Making extensive use of SaaS for table stakes-type applications allows a focus on custom applications that add value to a business’ bottom line. Using a CMP gives flexibility and future portability of those custom applications that act as an insurance policy against changes that will come later. Private cloud is best for applications with sensitive data or steady workload demand. Public cloud excels for hosting applications without as much sensitivity to data and varying workloads.

When in doubt, benchmark using your CMP. Put all that together, and you can maximize your cloud usage to your benefit.

 

This article was derived from Pete Johnson’s post T

 

The Ins and Outs of Sales Cloud PRM

The Sales Cloud PRM app is a huge leap forward and brings a modern, CRM experience to  PRM. Check out this blog from Salesforce before its release!

The Partner Relationship Management industry has changed. Once focused solely on lead distribution, now companies must deeply engage with partners to drive channel success. The average company gets one-third of its revenues from channel sales and that figure tops 75% for manufacturing companies. Partners are essential to growing your business and increasingly, they’re expecting a great partner experience that gives them the tools, content, access–everything they need to be successful–in one centralized place. Or put more simply, it’s time to blend PRM with CRM to deliver an exceptional partner experience.

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is meeting with our customers. Companies typically ask me three questions when it comes to engaging with their partners:

  1. How can we deliver a modern, compelling user experience to partners? Many partner portals today are using antiquated systems that are cumbersome and slow and not mobile ready. Companies want to provide a consumer-level, app-like experience to their partners that is sleek, fast, mobile, and branded.
  2. How do we know what our partners are doing and need? Most companies I talk to with extended partner sales have 100+ partners, spanning multiple geographies and industries. For the ones that have partner portals, they’re often black boxes and the companies have no idea how (or even, if) the partner is actually using it.
  3. How do we control who sees what? Everyone is drowning in information. Companies want to make sure partners get the right information for their industry, market size and partner tier – no more, no less.

That’s why I’m excited today to announce Sales Cloud PRM – it brings the world’s #1 CRM directly into a turnkey PRM app to make it fast and easy for companies to provide partners with everything they need to sell–all in one place.

The PRM app empowers companies to:

  • Create a modern, compelling user experience for partners: The Guided Setup Wizard and Lightning CMS Connect make it easy for companies to provide a customized, personalized partner experience. Guided Setup Wizard lets channel managers seamlessly configure lead distribution, deal registration, marketing development funds, assign partners into tiers, provide targeted promotions and pull in AppExchange components. With Lightning CMS Connect, admins can simply drag and drop existing website content, videos and graphics – ensuring it has the same look and feel as the company’s website.
  • 360-degree view of partners: Sales Cloud PRM comes with real-time dashboards which give companies an easy, powerful way to see what every partner is doing – where they’re excelling and where they need help. The dashboards are dynamic, responsive and provide companies with a 360-degree view of partner sales activity, making it easier for channel managers to co-sell.
  • Get the right information to the right partner: Sales CloudPRM leverages the world-class sharing model in the Salesforce Platform. Meaning that companies can easily control what partners see, giving them the right access to CRM data, providing them with a personalized experience.

But wait, there’s more. Sales Cloud PRM also has Einstein Content Recommendations which use machine learning to surface relevant files and Channel Marketing Automation which extends the power of Marketing Cloud to partners, enabling them to build, track and analyze email campaigns to deliver 1:1 customer journeys.

 

This article was derived from Mike Micucci’s post 

Salesforce App Cloud

Salesforce Connect links your back office to your front office – so you can build apps for every department – and make your business more mobile, social, and agile. Find out what it can do for you in this quick video from Salesforce.