We’re not talking about Star Wars—this time. We’re talking about a ‘force’ that took a bad situation and made it good, a force that spoke out when others did nothing, a force that changed the face of an industry. The name of this ineffable hero? Salesforce. In 2013 it was named the ‘Most Innovative Company in America’ by Forbes Magazine and Number Seven in Fortune Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ lists. With an HQ based in San Francisco, California and offices worldwide, it’s no surprise that it’s one of the world’s top ranking companies and has dominated the market from the off.
Who are they?
Fifteen years ago, www.salesforce.com was launched. Their main aim was to improve customer relationship management (CRM) using cloud technology. The previous infrastructure was clunky; using software that had limited number of ‘seats’ or ‘x’ amount of expensive upgrades released in a year involving large scale rep coordination was both expensive and inefficient for both large scale corporations and smaller sales teams. Salesforce revolutionised how business is done today by creating a way of integrating many essential business components under one umbrella and streamlining internal communications in companies more than ever before.
Bayer Pharmaceuticals has employed Salesforce’s services to great effect. As Dave Shum, manager of business solutions says, ‘Pharma is going social, and Salesforce keeps us connected.’ As on-board advocates for Salesforce, Bayer has already committed to a case study published on Salesforce’s website explaining the benefits of harnessing its capabilities for a traditional, 130-year-old business. And that is important: the fact that despite being a more mature business, Bayer has adapted and adopted new technology easily, and to great effect.
With Salesforce, they have transformed how how their reps spend time with doctors, who are notoriously hard to get hold of because of increasing restrictions (by the medical industry) on their time. By transferring all the data they need to the Sales Cloud they can automatically update iPhones and iPads that their sales team use with the latest information and sales tools. They can also pull up customised reports and share data in real time using apps built on the SalesforcePlatform1.
Additionally, using the Salesforce Chatter online forum employees can share information and work together to help customers. This approach streamlines the conversations brands can have with customers, as everyone is on the same page. Through this internal social network the conversations are kept private to the company but visible to all on the inside, which proves useful when bringing new employees up to speed. Shum says ‘. . . we’re using Chatter to share and collaborate across teams and more efficiently onboard new employees. The world is going social , and now Chatter helps us serve out customers in new ways.’
Bayer isn’t the only example of successful integration of Salesforce into pharma, as Accenture is also taking the helm and adopting the Salesforce Service Cloud, and in doing so, they have reduced client costs, increased efficiency and flexibility and are able to respond to their customers easily.
So what does this tell us about Salesforce?
It tells us that this 15-year-old company has the smarts to help businesses grow and connect better with their customers. Charming the ‘old boys’ of pharma with their new tech: it’s not a gimmick, it’s an ever evolving business. This evolution has also brought about a partnership with Veeva, a company that has built on Salesforce’s Force.com platform with a target focus on the life sciences industry and their specialist needs. Find out more about Veeva in a post coming soon!