SOURCE: Bluewolf

November 11, 2013 09:00 ET

Bluewolf's Annual 'The State of Salesforce' Report Reveals Customer Engagement as Companies' Top Priority for 2014

Bluewolf Identifies Salesforce as the Customer Engagement Platform That Is Rapidly Expanding Across the Enterprise

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Nov 11, 2013) - Bluewolf, a leading global business consulting firm, in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management, today released the second edition of its annual survey that analyzes how companies use and innovate on the world's leading CRM platform.

The State of Salesforce report, based on data collected and analyzed from global salesforce.com customers, found that companies are waking up to the opportunity to use Salesforce for more than just CRM -- it has become an enterprise-wide platform that can unite sales, service, marketing, and the back office.

These findings indicate that customer experience is now at the forefront of business strategy, and salesforce.com's apps and Platform have become established as a technical anchor inside enterprises. Company budgets are now reflecting the Salesforce Platform's ability to accelerate innovation, ROI and customer engagement. The survey found that 73 percent of organizations will re-deploy budgets from on-premise applications towards cloud initiatives in the coming year, and the percentage of companies increasing their Salesforce budgets has more than doubled in the past year.

Companies are realizing they need to quickly embrace the Salesforce Platform to transform how they engage employees and customers across all departments. Bluewolf's survey revealed that a majority of companies believe there is substantial innovation potential with Salesforce, but most need help turning that belief into reality.

"We developed this report with MIT to benchmark how global clients are using the Salesforce Platform, and to separate market reality from marketing hype," said Eric Berridge, co-founder and CEO of Bluewolf. "Customer-obsessed organizations are winning, and they are spending on more flexible customer engagement cloud solutions that reach into all parts of their business. Bluewolf helps companies get closer to their customers because businesses have the potential to double revenue if they double customer engagement."

While last year's report focused on the rise of social, current priorities and growth trends, this year's report dives deeper. The expanded survey includes specific guidance on how the best companies use Salesforce to become customer-obsessed.

There are several key global trends Bluewolf's research has identified:

  • Customer engagement is the new bottom line: 60 percent of customers rank customer engagement as their top priority. Every employee must be empowered to recognize a customer engagement opportunity and act on it at any touch point. In the new customer engagement economy, no longer is one department responsible for serving the customer.

  • How the best companies use Salesforce is emerging: 47 percent of customers have a comprehensive adoption strategy for their employees. The majority of customers deriving value from Salesforce today are providing end-user training, and cloud governance is key to accelerating innovation. 75 percent of customers with a governance board perform releases at least monthly.

  • The mobile enterprise is a reality: 52 percent of customers already have or are planning to build a custom mobile application that integrates with their CRM platform. An enterprise mobile strategy is critical for increasing employee and customer engagement, and the leading companies today are thinking outside of the desktop.

  • Extend, don't start from scratch: 29 percent of customers currently have five or more AppExchange applications installed. Investment in the AppExchange is on fire and is expected to continue to grow rapidly. Whether you're building an application that replaces an existing on-premise or cloud app, integration with the CRM platform will be key. To further extend customer engagement across the enterprise, many companies are investing in new products like Salesforce Communities to provide a better way for customers, partners, and employees to connect.

Bluewolf's annual review surveyed 450+ business and technology leaders in North America, Europe, and Australia. The respondents were employees in very large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees), large enterprises (up to 1,000 employees), and medium to small enterprises (fewer than 500 employees). The study was conducted via online survey from August to October 2013. Data collection and analysis was done in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Berridge concluded, "Bluewolf is in a unique position to both produce and comment on the trends within this report. For the past 13 years we have been a thought leader in the salesforce.com ecosystem, which was recently validated by IDC MarketScape naming Bluewolf a worldwide leader."1

Click here to download the report.

1 Source: 1 IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Salesforce.com Implementation Ecosystem 2013 Vendor Analysis, doc #243620, October 2013

About Bluewolf
Bluewolf is a global business consulting firm. Companies across the world choose Bluewolf to help them engage their customers and drive more sales. As the first global business consulting firm born in the cloud, Bluewolf's strategic consulting, implementation, training, and cloud management services realize business outcomes in weeks, not years. Our proven Agile Business Transformation methodology helps clients rapidly innovate their business processes and technologies to get closer to their customers. And our people are recognized for having the competencies and entrepreneurial energy to shape agile, customer-obsessed enterprises that sustain profitable growth in competitive markets. To learn more, visit www.bluewolf.com or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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