Tracking the Customer Journey in Salesforce


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Salesforce is a diverse platform with capabilities well-poised to transform business. One of the main attributes of the cloud-based CRM is its ability to decipher the customer journey.

Image courtesy of Five9
Image courtesy of Five9

Think about how businesses used to operate:

Marketing teams had databases that outlined all their campaigns and activities. They looked at views, impressions, open rates, CTR, etc., to generate baseline metrics for engagement

On the other hand, sales teams dealt exclusively with leads. They maintained their own database with prospects. They either purchased leads from other vendors and made outbound calls, or they fielded inbound orders and calls from websites and stores and pushed for additional cross-sale and up-sale.

Customer service teams also maintained their own reports, largely based on transactions and inbound conversations. A customer service agent might have been able to see what order was placed online and the associated email and phone numbers. However, the service agent had a limited view of the customer profile. They didn’t know of in-store transactions. They didn’t know what marketing efforts led to specific purchases, and they didn’t know the context of interactions made with sales agents.

Today, we refer to this type of business as silo’d. Departmental records are partially or fully separate. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. Marketing has little understanding of how they impact sales and vice versa. Customer service doesn’t intuitively know what customers like, want and need.

Salesforce bridges operational gaps and allows businesses to accurately map the customer journey.

It provides platforms for virtually all departments of the enterprise. Its Marketing, Service and Sales Cloud platforms share a repository of customer data and can use that data jointly. Also, as a multitenant and open API PaaS (Platform as a Service), Salesforce harbors a full ecosystem of applications that help fuel and interpret data. Contact center and ecommerce applications, applied to the platform, help automate the inbound and outbound collection of customer data. This data can then be interpreted via a number of applications to show customer paths, operational efficiency metrics and prescriptive action. As a result, companies are able to leverage a better understanding of the customer. They can make intricate customer journey maps and chart customer personas.

With complete customer journey maps, companies can identify common paths, dead ends, breaking points, gaps, etc., and enact changes that add operational efficiency and higher customer conversion. According to McKinsey, companies that improve the customer journey see revenues increase as much as 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve up to 20 percent.

So, how do you make a customer journey map?

Image courtesy of Five9
Image courtesy of Five9

In the four-step process of building an accurate customer journey map, a unified CRM is the MOST IMPORTANT. From that CRM, you can then extract data needed to populate a map.

Check out our example of a customer journey map and learn how to build your own with our most recent e-book, Five9 Explains the Customer Journey Map.

Customer journey maps are a popular way to determine how customers interact with your brand. For the purpose of this e-book, Five9 explores how you can effectively build a customer journey map with a combination of contact center and CRM technology. The document outlines examples of customer journey maps and key components. It also looks at best ways to apply customer journey maps to uncover systemic issues and develop better company practices.

Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area? Click here to join Five9, Salesforce, Altocloud and Aragon Research in San Francisco for a thought provoking session: Summer Briefing Series: Winning with Customer Journeys. Learn how Customer Journey Maps are being used to attract, nurture and ultimately win new clients and how the leading developers of customer journey experiences are driving innovation.

Ben Noble
Ben Noble is a Five9 futurist and thought leader. He specializes in contact center technology and has a deep understanding of inside sales and customer service markets. Topics of interest include: AI, IoT, CRM, SaaS, PaaS, UCaaS, cyber security, cloud technology and CX.


  1. HI Ben, while what you say holds true nothing of this is a distinguishing factor of Salesforce as compared to other CRM suite vendors. You, for example, could replace the name Salesforce with any of Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, most of the vendors that G2Crowd lists in their CRM quadrant and even the ones they list in their CRM All in One quadrant

    The relevant aspect is the suite that bases on a single database, augmented by an ecosystem of partners.

    So, acknowledging that Salesforce is the current market leader there is nothing special about them in this respect.

    2 ct from Down Under

  2. Hi Thomas,

    I completely agree that this is not exclusive to SFDC. They have a great grasp on the customer journey, which is why I use them for point of reference. You could very easily sub in other CRM vendors. This is a pretty entry-level posting for people who have just dipped their toe in the cloud eco-system. Salesforce is a recognizable brand. In the e-book, I talk about how their expansion on AI and analytics will lead to more advanced applications for enterprise companies who want to further improve the customer journey.

    Thanks for providing a more comprehensive list of vendors for readers not in the SFDC environment.



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