Salesforce Content Bridges Gap Between Marketing and Sales

Posted taken from Ron Miller

Salesforce Content provides a way to manage sales documents in a simple manner. It uses Web 2.0 techniques such as tagging and rating to help users find the best documents for the job. New features let sales and marketing people collect documents and build a mini Web site for customers. But what makes it truly powerful is the way it integrates with Salesforce.com CRM tools.

Use It Out of the Box

Tony White, an analyst at The Gilbane Group, said that Salesforce Content is not terribly complex, so it’s easy to use and a good match for small businesses looking for a simple way to manage content. “The Salesforce Content module is much more like a simpler Web Content Management application that’s ready to go out of the box,” he said. “It’s especially good for small businesses, especially those who are already using Salesforce.com for CRM, because all of its features are pre-integrated with the CRM module and it does all of the things a small company would want from a Web publishing application.”??He said larger, more complex offerings might require customers to perform some customization, but you can use Salesforce Content out of the box.

Using Customer Data

White said that the Salesforce Content management component could be useful for marketing or sales. “It could do either [be a tool for marketing or sales]. Marketing could use it to power their multichannel marketing campaigns. For example, if customer X has a certain history [and] is on your Web site, and you are using the analytics application that is included in Salesforce Content, you can see what that customer is doing online, what they are reading, what they are consuming, what they are clicking.”

He added that this activity could trigger an email blast, or coupon, or you could change the content that the user sees. “So if they are interested in black running shoes, then an ad for black running shoes could appear at the next visit.”

Using Customer Content

Conversely, if a salesperson is trying to work a sale, if he or she has Salesforce Content, he or she could see the customer data and content relevant to the given customer. Salesforce Content also includes a content packaging feature that enables salespeople to build a collection of documents for a potential customer, generate a unique URL, then send it to a customer. The salesperson can use Web analytics tools to monitor which documents are most popular and this can help them target the right documents for a similar customer in the future.

What’s more, the two components give sales and marketing a tool in which to collaborate and share information. Marketing creates sales collateral documents that sales then uses to help sell the company’s products, and sales provides data that the marketing department can use to better understand customers and build campaigns that match actual customer needs. How much the two departments collaborate around this information, White said, depends how the departments are organized in a given organization, but these tools provide a way to integrate this information more smoothly than using separate tools for each function.??Companies who are already using Salesforce.com as a CRM tool can take advantage of the Salesforce Content module to make it easier for employees from marketing or sales to get the best information whether it lives in the CRM database or the Salesforce Content document repository.?

Source: Ron Miller