As an IT company we love technology so much we often get consumed with new features and ideas. Sometimes we forget that customers want to use our products to save and make money.

Our fun space is S4S, our Sitecore to Salesforce integration. It's sold all over the world to companies of all sizes. Technically we think it's amazing but in reality, most customers don't want all the fine details of how it’s built. They need answers to questions like, "What are the financial benefits?", and "How soon can I recover my investment?" So let's look at the S4S integration from a financial perspective.

Where do I save this data?

Single Source of Data

Because businesses evolve their systems over time, many find themselves with poorly planned architectures that reflect the evolution of the company. This reduces flexibility, productivity, and ultimately slows down company growth. With multiple systems, the biggest challenge is sharing data so it is available to those that need it. Notice I've not used the word "sync" because that implies two things that should be avoided:

  • Having replicated data in each system which creates
    • Bad data that fails the CRATA test
    • Unnecessarily large storage requirements
    • The need for back-up and restore systems for each data source
  • Complex updating processes that attempt to share data updates to the other systems

And there you have it, a key advantage of integration is the ability to reduce the number of data sources. Of course, it makes sense that the customer data source is Salesforce, the place to go to find out all you need to know about your customer.

Employee Productivity

Productivity is about employees having a good workflow and maintaining context.

Workflow: Inefficient and disjointed processes cause errors, create frustration and distracts employees from more productive duties. S4S supports good workflow, for example, it eliminates the need to manually add website form data to Salesforce. S4S does this in real time, with validation and built-in rules such as options around how to handle duplicates.

Context: Employees lose context when they need to exit one system and enter another to get what they need. S4S minimizes exiting, for example, by pushing Sitecore analytics to Salesforce so operators don't need to leave Salesforce to learn about their prospects website behavior.

Reporting

When companies have multiple databases, it becomes a challenge to create reporting snapshots required to get an integrated view of operations. Significant effort is wasted trying to collate meaningful reports from unrelated, error-prone, and out of date information. S4S integration means Salesforce reports can be used to query key cross-platform data.

Customer Creation and Retention

Acquiring and keeping customers is paramount to any business. Having the ability to capture and control web experiences from inside Salesforce is a huge advantage when working with potential and existing customers. S4S gives Salesforce operators insights into website behavior which helps them better prepare for sales calls or tailor the website for the individual. After conversion, operators can also provide better post-sales support and followup.

Further, by using S4S to create a Sitecore portal, a wider team can have instantaneous access to key customer information in Salesforce, for no additional cost. This gives visibility to more resources that can help upsell and cross-sell to existing customers.

User Innovation

Integration efficiencies allow operators more time to focus on improving their processes. Rather than being derailed with data syncing demands, sales, marketing, and IT teams can focus on strategic initiatives. A great example of this is how using S4S List Builder to import Salesforce lists (reports and campaign members) frees up the Sitecore team to focus on marketing functions.

Conclusion

Managing disconnected systems hits the bottom line. Instead of focusing on essential business tasks, teams get bogged down in data migration and syncing challenges. Reducing the number of data sources lessens this redundant effort and introduces new ways to optimize daily business processes, increase sales, and then help retain existing customers.

Every business runs different applications with different needs, and therefore have unique challenges. Please contact us if you want to explore how we can help optimize your business in the Sitecore and Salesforce space.