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    The Salesforce Advantage Tour 2015: What’s in it for your business?

    • What’s coming up in Salesforce 2016? SalesFix goes to the Salesforce Advantage Tour

      SalesFix attended the recent Salesforce Advantage Tour at Melbourne’s Crown Towers. While we loved the inspiring presentations from some of Salesforce’s most senior marketers plus the free-flowing espresso coffee, snacks, and wine, what we were most interested in was what is coming up for business owners in 2016. Here are some of our highlights.

      New Lightning Experience

      On the back of the October 2015 Dreamforce in San Francisco, Senior Manager, Salesforce Product Marketing Vincent Cotte introduced the brand new Lightning Experience. Updated for only the second time since 1999, this highly user-friendly interface is touted as ‘automatic relationship intelligence’. It allows you to seamlessly integrate all functions on one screen, from forecasting to account insights, history, filtered lists, sales pipeline and customer record pages.

      We believe this re-envisioned desktop experience will be welcomed by users. It saves navigating all the tabs on their desktop and has an appealing interface. Keep your eyes peeled around May 2016 for the second or third upgrade which will include even more features and functionality that may not be available in the initial release. This is really just the beginning with Lightning Experience, as new features are planned to extend to service, apps and much more. The Lightning Experience can be easily toggled from Salesforce Classic view to the new Lightning view while you become used to the new version.

      “A PA in your pocket”

      Salesforce also announced the new Salesforce IQ for Small Business version, as well as the Sales Cloud version for email and calendar integration. While the Small Business version is a basic introduction to the CRM for entry-level users, we think the updated Salesforce IQ for Sales Cloud looks terrific for SMEs.

      Salesforce IQ for Sales Cloud drastically cuts down on admin time for users. Touted as ‘a PA in your pocket’, in simultaneously working from email, core CRM data, and phone it allows users to be far more proactive in how they enter and follow up on data. Teamwork is facilitated with all meeting notes, events, and comments centralised in one feed, and the Sales Cloud Chrome App integrates with your calendar to include all attendees and agenda. This enables users to propose an update meeting times as they happen – rather than the familiar email chain.

      Focus on small business

      We were pleased to see the strong emphasis on small business throughout the event. Salesforce acknowledges the huge impact of disruption across a wide range of different industries, and in turn how this means SMEs will now have a much bigger seat at the table.

      Marketing Manager at Small Business ANZ Ginger Kidd introduced the marketing automation tool Pardot, which looks perfect for low volume, higher value sales organisations. Pardot allows businesses to target their best leads with strategic campaigns and high lead engagement. Users initially create a dynamic list from their database, then use a schematic that enables users to zoom in and click on the relevant parts of a sales campaign. Email campaigns are checked to render across all devices and to ensure nothing gets trapped in Spam. Then users can track how the campaign travelled (in real time), with hints and tips offered on how to improve. For clients who hadn’t yet read the email campaign, options are available to add event invites from Eventbrite. Finally, after a sale is made from the campaign, Pardot suggests other products the customer might like, to create nurturing trails for long-term relationships.

      It was easy to get carried away with the excitement of the Salesforce Advantage Tour. Its ‘big picture’ ideas, seamless presentations and outstanding business case studies from the US were overwhelming at times. But looking past the bells and whistles of this big event, we found there was a lot to get excited about for business owners in 2016.