Widely recognized as the global leader in customer relationship management (CRM), Salesforce has made plenty of headlines in the corporate space over the past six months. Most recently, the group announced its new Sales Cloud Partner Relationship Management (PRM) app that will further extend the company's famous CRM platform to equip resellers, distributors, and partners with the resources and tools needed to make sales faster and easier. The new system comes as an upgrade to the archaic and rigid PRM software of the past, building upon the already robust and easy-to-use Salesforce Platform.
Traditionally, PRM systems have been separate from CRM and many of the solutions are sub-par or generic compared to what Salesforce is now offering, which is to be expected considering the company's current position and investing power. The move marks the first time an organization of this magnitude has focused on PRM and its integration with other critical operating areas, so Sales Cloud has a promising future as the potential go-to PRM solution for businesses.
Unifying ERP, CRM, and PRM
Despite all of the separate abbreviations, all of these branches of Salesforce really come down to one thing – business management. Bringing enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management, and partner relationship management together under the same umbrella was practically inevitable considering the rate of integration in cloud-based software and online services. Compatibility has become the name of the game, as third-party software companies and even CMS developers are focusing on ways to bring ERP and CRM under their wing (i.e. - the recent Magento ERP integration from Celigo).
The unification of these once separate schools of management is increasing productivity and streamlining critical processes for business and their customers, clients, employees, associates, affiliates, partners, distributors, and marketing teams. In essence, the entire corporate ladder benefits when essential tasks are made easier and are brought together under one roof.
Giving Partners the Ability to Utilize Salesforce
For large companies with extensive partner channels, it makes sense to want to give those partners access to the capabilities of Salesforce. After all, if a business is a loyal customer to Salesforce, then its partners should be able to use the platform to sell that company's products or services in a more efficient manner. The new Sales Cloud PRM gives partners 24-hour access to lead management, product resources, deal registration, and partner support, all under the same Salesforce interface that companies are already using to manage their customer bases.
Sales Cloud is being launched as a turnkey app solution that makes it easy for Salesforce users to bring their partners on board the platform for a centralized selling community that can collaborate and execute more effectively. By arming partners with the tools and skills needed to sell more, companies are increasing their bottom line while also eliminating software clutter that hinders workflow.
Salesforce Trailhead Providing Learning and Employment Opportunities
In 2014, Salesforce introduced Trailhead, a guided learning platform that teaches anyone vital Salesforce skills for free. Students can earn badges to show proof of job skills that will increase their appeal to prospective clients and employers. The program has handed out more than 2.5 million badges since its inception, giving people the skills and credentials needed to succeed in the Salesforce Economy, which is expected to create 1.9 million new jobs and generate a remarkable $389 billion in revenue during the next 5 years.
Salesforce has had a tremendous impact on the enterprise IT market, with an ecosystem that is projected to generate about $272 billion in GDP worldwide by 2018. With such an expansive employment opportunity, it's hard to find a company that is providing as much value on both sides of the playing field as Salesforce. The Trailhead learning platform is a key component in meeting the demand for new skilled workers within the Salesforce ecosystem. Anyone with marketing, programming, sales, or other relevant experience could find themselves landing a very lucrative job after earning a few badges and applying themselves within Trailhead.
Cloud Computing Providing ROI in 13 Months or Less on Average
According to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the majority of Salesforce cloud investments are fully returned to the investor within 13 months or less. The report included a Salesforce Economic Impact Model, which showed that over a 4-year period the ROI can be as much 4-5 times the initial investment. The return typically comes in the form of additional revenue driven by new clients and better client retention.
With such a reliable and generous rate of return, many analysts expect Salesforce to eventually account for more than 5% of the total $2 trillion IT industry within the next 5 years. In fact, the percentage could be higher than that if the trend of Salesforce being the corporate standard continues as it has been during the past 5 years. Of course, the group is no newcomer to the cloud, having launched way back in 1999, long before today's industry was built around buzz terms and software-as-a-service providers.
Plenty of Room for Growth in the Cloud
Despite public cloud spending surpassing $50 billion worldwide in 2016, it still only accounted for less than 3% of total IT spending. Surprisingly, about 70% of IT budgets are still being bogged down by traditional legacy systems, so a considerable majority of the market is still yet to upgrade. Experts predict that there will be a widespread abandonment of obsolete corporate technologies, leading to a global adoption of cloud-based services as the status quo by 2025.
These statistics indicate that there is still plenty of potential for growth in the cloud computing sector. As we approach 2020 and beyond, it won't be surprising to see the industry encompass one tenth of global IT spending, which would put cloud spending at about $200 billion worldwide. Since the Salesforce revenue extends past the cloud and even into the field of offline sales, the estimated revenue for the overall ecosystem is set to be even higher than the value of the company itself.