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Salesforce is one of the leading business information companies specializing in offering business solutions through application services to various companies. It provides on-demand software and several other application services that facilitate online sharing of customer information by different organizations (Round Rock 2009).
In simple terms, the company specializes in offering customer relationship management services to any business entity requiring its services regardless of its size. The operational areas of the company are United States, Asia Pacific and Europe.
Over the years, the company has succeeded in helping organizations launch their products in the market and offers the relevant business advice to the concerned parties (Anon, 2000). The success of the company can be analyzed as described in the below brief report.
Saleforce’s target customers
As pointed out earlier, Salesforce Company provides on-demand software and application services to its clients. The latest revelations about company’s customers indicate it has over 72500 customers worldwide.
Once a customer has been provided with the desired product, he/she makes up down payment or professional fee that is followed by regular periodic subscriptions as long as the customer continues enjoying the company’s services (Round Rock, 2009).
The company’s target customers comprise of clients willing to use online mode in the management of their customers’ accounts, tracking their sales leads and provision of after-sales service. All customers interested in assessing AppExchange, an online directory that enables the clients to surf, test and if need be, install applications created on the Force.com platform can access these services from the company (Anon, 2000).
While developing any product, the company conducts thorough market survey to establish customer needs that match customer demands based on modern technology and changing consumer needs.
The geographical areas where the company offers its online services have reliable clients well known for extensive use of web and online-related services. The customer satisfaction can be confirmed from the increasing number of customers in the past few years, an indicator that their demands and satisfaction are adequately met (Kroenke, 2009).
The company has already secured itself a significant market position. It is among the companies recognized worldwide for the provision of on-demand Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions. The company has succeeded in provision of sophisticated, integrated and beneficial business applications to many organizations.
In the entire industry where the company operates, it has earned itself a reputable image due to efficiency provision of major CRM technology providers in larger capital markets (Round Rock, 2009). Salesforce.com provides excellent product strategies and execution.
In the year 2009, Salesforce.com won four different CRM market awards based on achievement and success from four different company perspectives. The company’s position in the market as a leader in the on-demand CRM increases its brand image as well as increasing the market competitiveness. Another strength of the company can be viewed in terms of its research and development (Kroenke, 2009).
The company has invested and devoted its resources substantially in technological development in the past few years.
The Research & Development (R&D) efforts have enabled the company formulate new proprietary services that have greatly improved the effectiveness and performance of existing service delivery. For instance, the unveiling of Salesforce Chatter in the year 2009 brought about excellent social development platform.
Besides, the company also launched Force.com visual process manager that since then has enabled many organizations to design and initiate business process in their applications without necessarily using software (Anon, 2000). More emphasis on R&D has helped the company retain its competitive position in the market.
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The company has so far maintained and controlled huge customer base in the market that can be linked to its goodwill. The customers have been increasing over the years. Some of the company’s customers include small, medium size and large enterprises.
For instance, the customer base increased from 29800 in 2007 to 72500 in 2010 marking a 34 percent increase. This increase is attributed to escalating demand for company’s products across the globe.
Stronger customer additions led to subsequent growth of subscription and support revenues. Consequently, the company’s revenues rose by 32 percent between the year 2008 and 2010. Strong customer additions contribute towards company’s strength since the company is assured of a large market share in the industry (Round Rock, 2009).
Despite much potential strengths that the company possesses, several weaknesses on the part of performance and marketability may affect its success. One of the major weaknesses of Salesforce is the concentration of its market operations in one country (Anon, 2000). The company has for the past years relied on Americas for the generation of revenues.
For instance, more that two thirds of the company’s total revenues came from America in the financial year 2010. Europe and Asia Pacific generated mere 17.8 percent and 11.4 percent respectively. In the financial year 2009 and 2008 the Americas contributed 72.1 percent and 74.5 percent respectively of the company’s total revenue.
This is a very dangerous and risk phenomenon since concentration of business activities in one geographical area is vulnerable to unforeseen economic and political uncertainties in a given market (Kroenke, 2009).
Further, the company’s global operations contributed less than a third of its total revenues for the financial year 2008, 2009 and 2010. Though global revenues have improved slightly in the recent years, their contribution is very minimal as compared to other competitors’ international operations.
This high dependence on a particular geographical area exposes business to severe risks and may restrict its growth opportunities.
Salesforce’s customer success with Dell
In 2009, Dell and Salesforce.com launched an application by the name Cloud computing in a move to enhance customer relationship management delivery via the cloud (Round Rock, 2009). The solutions helped business in the United States manage and control their customers and processes in an efficient manner through applying sales force automation with CRM in all the entire businesses.
This enables customers to manage their information /and other programs without additional software or hardware at lower costs. Some of the challenges involved in launching the application were the initial high costs incurred in the installation.
The other challenge was penetration of the newly launched application to the market due to its complicity in the use and adoption. However, the outcomes of the joint collaboration were so significant since customers benefited immensely as a result of the launch (Round Rock, 2009).
The specific users of the application could customize and integrate CRM to fit the specific needs of their organizations. The Salesforce.com provided CRM solution, while Dell, provided options for services migration between the customers.
Salesforce’s customer success with Symantec
Symantec is an international infrastructure software developer that facilitates interconnection between businesses and customers. Customers can protect their infrastructure and information through development of software and applications that reduce risks to security and performance (Anon, 2000).
Salesforce CRM was chosen by Symantec Corporation to facilitate the development of an application that could lead to better service delivery on the part of the company. For the purpose of scaling, the Salesforce CRM on-demand device was adopted by the Salesforce.com.
While Symantec IT department did thorough analysis and evaluation, its sales and marketing team were negotiating with Salesforce CRM due to superior productivity and goodwill. Following the successful launching of the application, Symantec could easily achieve its adoption objectives within a short period of time.
In addition, the shape and accuracy of the pipeline has improved since the Salesforce was incorporated (Anon, 2000). Symantec is now in a position to set sales strategy more effectively and move forward successfully.
The major challenge faced even after the successful merger was convincing customers the benefits associated with the newly created software bearing in mind that Symantec had previously tried other mergers like Veritas software and there were no success.
The success and performance of any company dealing with software applications and other related online products will depend on how creative and innovative a company is in meeting the consumer changing demands (Kroenke, 2009).
This will also be determined by the company’s ability to carry out extensive and comprehensive research about the consumer needs.
Any innovative solutions formulated and developed must always match with the consumer’s demands. Salesforce has been able to survive in the market due to excellent strategies adopted and the ability to produce a variety of products with varying functions thus having an access of large market area.
Anon. (2000). Salesforce CRM Drives Enterprise Success at Symantec: 3,900 Users, 40 Countries, and 11 Languages in 3.5 Months. Web.
Kroenke, D. (2009). MIS, 2nd edition, New York, NY: Prentice Hall.
Round Rock. (2009). Dell and Salseforce.com launch cloud-computing offerings for sonbs. Web.