BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
While customer relationship management systems are changing the way companies do business with platforms like Salesforce.com, CRM systems are also revealing new areas of struggle for enterprises. Issues such as data quality and analytics still loom large, as companies try to derive better insight from their data to understand their customers.
In a recent report by Bluewolf, a consulting firm, which surveyed more than 1,000 Salesforce customers, CRM systems have had positive impacts on navigating relationships with customers. But the data also indicates that there is still work to be done in the areas of data quality, predictive use of data and mobile initiatives. With Dreamforce 2014 on the horizon, the report provides a state of the nation on Salesforce.com's customer base and some of the challenges these customers will wrestle with over the next year or two.
Some of the findings are the following:
- Customer experience: 37% say that using Salesforce has "measurably improved" customer experience.
- Analytics: 93% of marketers are invested in analytics, but 56% use tools that reside outside Salesforce.
- Marketing automation: 65% of marketers have a marketing automation tool synced with Salesforce; only 7% of marketers are extremely satisfied with marketing automation.
- 360-degree customer view: 41% of respondents use Salesforce to gain a "single view" of their customers.
- Data quality: Data cleansing is the second-largest budget initiative; 70% of respondents will invest in a data cleansing tool from the AppExchange.
- Data quality: 38% are not confident in the accuracy of their instance's data.
- Mobility: 45% plan to increase mobile investments in 2015.
- Analytics: Only 19% say that predictive analytics is "mature" at this stage.
For companies taking the next step in CRM, data quality, predictive analytics and mobility are key points of evolution in 2015.