Salesforce adds integrated order management system to its arsenal

Salesforce certainly has a lot of tools crossing the sales, service and marketing categories, but until today when it announced Lightning Order Management, it lacked an integration layer that allowed companies to work across these systems to manage orders in a seamless way.

“This is a new product built from the ground up on the Salesforce Lightning Platform to allow our customers to fulfill, manage and service their orders at scale,” Luke Ball, VP of product management at Salesforce told TechCrunch.

He says that order management is an often-overlooked part of the sales process, but it’s one that’s really key to the whole experience you’re trying to provide for your customers. “We think about advertising and acquisition and awareness. We think about creating amazing, compelling commerce experiences on the storefront or on your website or in your app. But I think a lot of brands don’t necessarily think about the delivery experience as part of that customer experience,” he said.

The problem is that order management involves so many different systems along with internal and external stakeholders. Trying to pull them together into a coherent system is harder than it looks, especially when it could also involve older legacy technology. As Ball pointed out, the process includes shipping carriers, warehouse management systems, ERP systems and payment and tax and fraud tools.

The Salesforce solution involves a few key pieces. For starters there is order life cycle management, what Ball calls the brains of the operation. “This is the core logic of an order management system. Everything that extends commerce beyond the Buy button — supply chain management, order fulfillment, payment capture, invoice creation, inventory availability and custom business logic. This is the bread and butter of an order management system,” he said.

Lightning Order Management 7 LOM AppPicker bezel

Customers start by building visual order workflows. They can move between systems in an App Picker, and the information is shared between Commerce Cloud and Service Cloud, so that as customers move from sales to service, the information moves with them and it makes it easier to process inquiries from customers about an order, including returns.

Ball says that Salesforce recognizes that not every customer will be an all-Salesforce shop and the system is designed to work with tools from other vendors, although these external tools won’t show up in the App Picker. It also knows that this process involves external vendors like shipping companies, so they will be offering specific integration apps for Lightning Order Management in the Salesforce AppExchange.

The company is announcing the product today and will be making it generally available in February.

Via Techcrunch

How Sales-Marketing Alignment Results in Better Lead Nurturing

What sets apart winning teams? When it comes to professional sports, it is not just the star players or superior coaches that ensure a team will win. Of course, these people can increase the likelihood of victory, but what matters is a unified group of people that is striving towards the same goal. Truly great teams seem to operate as one. Players seamlessly work together, throwing and catching balls, and following preplanned strategies that help them beat their opponents.

Building a Business Around Your Website: Going Live & Measuring Success

This piece is part of a series surrounding website development best practices as followed by Marketo’s web development team. You can learn about the pre-planning process, how to create an actionable plan, setting your team & project up for success, and managing your team throughout the build process in our previous posts. Now you’re almost at the finish line! Everyone on the team is excited. They are ready to see your hard work, explore the new site, and take it for a spin. And they’re already thinking about what can be done next.

How to Improve Your Conversion Rate with a Great UX

No marketing manager today is satisfied with his or her website. Whether the sticking point is usability or conversions, there is always room for improvement. Digital capabilities are becoming faster every day. With more to engage with, it’s no wonder marketers are settling for a site that’s just OK. They might not have the means to conduct effective testing and make impactful, informed changes.

Distracted by New Technology? You Probably Aren’t Giving Your Website the Attention It Deserves

Let’s face it: The marketing world moves quickly. So quickly that as you chase down the latest and greatest channels and tools available, it’s possible to lose sight of the very foundation that enabled you to get this far.

It’s important to position your brand where people spend their time, and having your marketing team experiment with creative new channels, such as new social media platforms, is vitally important. However, C-suite leaders must remain focused on the facts through all the fads and trends coming and going at top speed. And one fact is unwavering: A website is one of your most valuable customer-facing assets.

How To Measure Account-Based Marketing Success

What is it about your business that appeals to customers? You might think it’s the high-quality products you make. Another good guess would be the stellar services you provide.

In reality, it’s something else altogether: the unforgettable experiences you deliver.

Of course, measuring the effectiveness of your experiences can be difficult—especially when you’re collaborating with several internal teams, leveraging multiple tools, and engaging with prospects and customers across numerous channels.

But the success of your account-based marketing (ABM) strategy depends on it. For your ABM campaigns to truly thrive, you must be able to measure your efforts, analyze how they’re moving you toward your goals, and optimize your approach to boost results.

Here are a few helpful tips about gathering the insights you need to prove and improve the impact of your account-based experiences (ABX).

Success At Every Level

To ensure successful ABX, you can’t just measure your campaign’s success after deployment. You need to collect the right metrics at every stage of your campaign—and each stage demands different metrics for measuring success.

Whether you’re driving awareness using channels such as social and web personalization or developing leads with executive outreach and webinars, your ABM metrics should be tracked according to the type of marketing initiative.

Let’s take a look at what type of metrics are suited to each stage of the marketing funnel:

Top-Of-Funnel Metrics

In the awareness stage, it’s likely too early to be measuring ROI-centric metrics. Instead, your focus should be on accounts’ engagement with your widespread marketing initiatives.

This includes identifying how many people are engaging with your social activity, what effect web personalization has on your website visitors, and what kind of impressions and click-through rates your ads are receiving.

Using these metrics, you can identify areas to optimize your engagement channels and highlight which accounts to guide down the marketing funnel.

Middle-Of-Funnel Metrics

During this stage, you’ll develop leads and accounts captured by your awareness initiatives, so it’s critical you measure account penetration metrics on how accounts are engaging and what’s driving them toward making a purchase.

You need to identify which prospects are opening emails and clicking on the links within them, which users keep returning to your website, and which accounts are repeatedly engaging with your webinars, blogs, and other content.

When you use these metrics to identify what’s working, you can adapt your ABM tactics to continue driving success across your channels.

Bottom-Of-Funnel Metrics

At the final stage of your ABM campaign, you need to gather metrics that measure your overall success, including your campaign’s final ROI.

This involves metrics such as opportunities created and their value to your sales team, total revenue gained from new accounts, and a list of which marketing initiatives generated the most engagement over the course of your campaign.

With these account-level metrics identified, you can use the information to plan future campaigns, prove the success of your omnichannel ABM approach, and develop a strategy to retain the new customers you’ve secured.

Get Our Definitive Guide To ABM

Measuring success throughout your ABM campaign becomes simpler when you adopt a comprehensive ABM solution. With robust analytics and dashboards that give you full visibility of your omnichannel ABM strategy, you can drive greater engagement with your target accounts.