As legacy industries make the move towards cloud-based solutions, CRM software giant Salesforce is positioning themselves to be the company that these entrenched entities can turn to in their time of tech-need. In recent months, the software provider has rolled out several software products specifically designed to serve individual business verticals and its Consumer Goods Cloud and Manufacturing Cloud are the latest offerings.
The thought behind building specialized industry solutions is that while the CRM process shares certain characteristics across industries – there are unique challenges that come with how sales are overseen and clients are served. For example, both consumer goods and manufacturing are resource-intensive undertakings with individual silos operating for those working with the inventory; to those distributing the goods; and those processing sales. Not just in physical location or job function – but also in software used.
“In the manufacturing industry, changing customer and market demands can have a devastating effect on the bottom line, so being able to understand what is happening on the ground is imperative for success,” said Cindy Bolt, SVP and GM, Salesforce Manufacturing, in a statement. “Manufacturing Cloud bridges the gap between sales and operations teams while ensuring more predictive and transparent business, so they can build deeper and more trusted relationships with their customers.”
The Consumer Goods and Manufacturing Clouds are designed to gather data from different sources so those in operations and accounting have a complete picture across the full sales agreement cycle. In addition, the accounts-based forecasting function breaks down departmental barriers and provides sales, finances, and operations teams with more accurate insights into their company’s inner workings.
Salesforce launched its Einstein artificial intelligence platform in 2017 and offers this customizable analytics solution as part of its Manufacturing and Consumer Goods Cloud options. Also, the San Francisco-based company has introduced Einstein Vision – a set of APIs designed to help developers incorporate image recognition capabilities into their CRM software – and is also provided within their industry-specific cloud products.
Einstein Vision, for example, can serve Salesforce's retail customers in numerous ways. A recent VentureBeat article points to how “reps… [can utilize] image recognition and detection [technology] for inventory, planogram, and merchandising compliance checks, which they can use to snap pictures of shelves to check if they’re arranged correctly.”
“Retail execution remains one of the most important pieces of a consumer goods brands strategy, but so much opportunity is wasted if the field rep doesn’t have the data and technology needed to make smart decisions,” said John Strain, GM and SVP, Retail and Consumer Goods at Salesforce, in a statement. “Consumer Goods Cloud provides those field reps with the tools they need to be successful on the ground while helping build both business opportunities and stronger relationships with their retail partners.”
Salesforce also provides industry-specific solutions for the financial services, health care & life sciences, retail, and communications & media market segments. The company was founded in 1999 by Marc Benioff, Halsey Minor, and Parker Harris and is currently the leading customer relationship management software provider in the industry. With over 150,000 client companies on their roster, the CRM provider helps them engage customers, grow sales, and make more accurate projections.