Beyond CRM: Salesforce1 Connects “Internet Of Customers”


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What’s the best way to tap the “Internet of Things” to better market, sell and service your customers?

Going forward, look to the Salesforce1 Customer Platform to manage these connections. That’s the vision statement from, which is looking beyond CRM as we know it today to determine how businesses will connect with customers, Internet-connected devices, customer data and more in the future.

Beyond CRM: How Salesforce1 Connects

Salesforce1 promises to double down on the increases in customer connectivity experienced by businesses that have already adopted Salesforce. Dedicated wealth management firm AXA Wealth, for example, found after adopting Salesforce — with the help of Cloud Sherpas — that its agents could spend more time connecting with customers, thus building better relationships.

Meanwhile, Cloud Sherpas has helped City of Hope — a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases — adopt Salesforce, in part to collect patient data using mobile devices rather than mail-in forms. Using Salesforce has helped City of Hope not only mobilize its data management, but also cut related costs and reduce timelines — for gathering crucial, cancer-related data — from months to days.

New Business Opportunities From Connected Devices

That’s just the start. Going forward, businesses will have many more opportunities to connect with — or in the case of City of Hope, improve life for — their customers in never-before-seen ways.

These customer relationships and outcomes will be bolstered by the business’ ability to connect not just with customers, but also with Internet-connected devices and products. That could go for almost any type of device — large or small, mundane or otherwise:

  • Crockpots: Slow-cooking aficionados can remotely reset dinnertime

  • Refrigerators: Track product levels so your grocery delivery service knows what to replace and when

  • Sleep sensors: Relay information from babies’ sleep patterns to both parents and physicians

  • Pacemakers: Allow implantable medical devices to relay vital signs and device diagnostics to your heart specialist

  • MRI machines: Communicate device usage — together with equipment diagnostics and supply levels — directly to the manufacturer for better servicing and uptime, while also relaying imaging directly to doctors or insurers

Google’s Nest Play

Even large players like Google have been investing in the Internet of Things, per the company’s recent $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, which makes Internet-connected thermostats, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Already, the Google Now app for Android can simplify your routines by learning your route to work and suggesting alternate driving directions if it detects traffic congestion ahead. Now, imagine if Google Now knows when you’re returning home from work — later than usual on a hot summer evening — and only sets your air conditioning to ramp up 20 minutes before your real-time arrival. Very quickly, the long-term energy savings costs of this approach could become significant for consumers.

Connect With Big Data

Beyond just devices, however, businesses can also avail themselves of big data, for example by combining information from disparate, Internet-connected sources. Music-streaming service Spotify, for example, says that it can predict some people’s purchasing habits based on the type of music to which they listen.

Likewise, last June Facebook released a tracking pixel to help advertisers better understand which advertisements — as well as types of ad placements — lead to more clicks, “likes” and sales and to refine the demographics they wish to target. With a little trial and error, some advertisers have reported substantial increases in revenue thanks to having this data at hand.

Internet Of Things 101: Start Preparing

How can the Internet of Things boost your business? Of course, that’s the million-dollar question, and the answer will vary based not only on your industry, but also on your business goals. But the important first step to capitalizing on these possibilities will be to pose that question.

The advantage will go to first movers. You don’t want to be the “Internet of Things” equivalent of a financial services institution being the last online bank to offer mobile check deposits.

Also expect related recipes for success to continually evolve, as cutting-edge technology brings new opportunities for both connecting with customers and increasing sales. Witness the success of New York startup Olapic, which is helping retailers boost sales by 5% to 12% via tie-ins to photos — especially selfies — taken by customers that include their products. This trend has been bolstered not just by social media, but also by the picture quality afforded by the latest generations of smartphones.

Actively Manage The Internet Of Things

The Internet of Things — including two-way communication, the ability to automatically discover devices and connected-device user interfaces — can also bring with it some new types of complexity. That’s why tapping a dedicated platform to manage these interactions will be essential for mitigating any related challenges.

No Internet-connected device maker, for example, will want to be associated with a spam email campaign that was traced not to PCs, but rather to a bunch of Internet-connected devices. Supposedly, at least one refrigerator has already been involved in attacks. For preventing — and, when necessary, mitigating — those types of problems, businesses will want to have strong connections already in place with both their devices and customers so they can quickly and directly resolve any issues.

Foster Stronger Customer Relationships

As the Internet of Things matures, working with a trusted provider — such as — will be essential. That’s because businesses will need to manage their interactions with many different types of devices that connect via the Internet of Things, including the underlying infrastructure, spanning everything from technology and connections to customer data and multi-vendor coordination.

Above all, however, these Internet connections help to better connect businesses with customers and prospects. So as the Internet of Things evolves, the businesses that can create and sustain the best-built and most-connected customer experience stand to win.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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