Salesforce announces new Sales Cloud platform features

6 Sep 2018

Salesforce logo decal. Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Salesforce has unveiled several big advancements in the Sales Cloud platform, including flexible billing and intelligent marketing automation.

Major customer relationship management (CRM) platform Salesforce has today (6 September) announced brand new Sales Cloud platform features, which it claims will allow companies to complete the entire sales process, from marketing and sales to billing, entirely within Salesforce.

Adam Blitzer, general manager of Salesforce Sales Cloud, said: “By extending our Sales Cloud platform with faster prospecting, flexible billing and intelligent marketing automation, we’re providing our customers with a comprehensive and unparalleled lead-to-cash platform.”

According to the company, the average inside sales rep spends just 32pc of their day selling. A new feature called High Velocity Sales helps inside sales reps with tools and insights, reducing the amount of busywork they need to do. There are two major new features within this new option.

What you can find in High Velocity Sales

The first feature is Sales Cadences, which allows managers to build customised activity sequences for their sales teams. Best practices can be built into the CRM to help guide reps through the prospecting process. This ranges from telling them when to email, to flagging that a phone call might be the better option.

The second feature, dubbed Work Queues, can create a prioritised email and call list inside Sales Cloud. This list is based on insights from Sales Cadences and Einstein Lead Scoring, which uses machine learning to scope out the leads with the most potential. This will allow reps to build a stronger, more resilient pipeline.

Salesforce Billing

Salesforce Billing is a new feature, powered by the Lightning platform. This new addition will allow for automated renewals and adjustments. Usage-Based Pricing will enable companies to give their customers more flexibility, automating changes and applying them to customer accounts immediately.

Evergreen Subscriptions automatically renews customer contracts. Opportunities, quotes, payments and revenue reports will update at set intervals. Salesforce said this will make for faster order completions and timelier revenue reports.

Flexible invoicing allows companies to automatically bill customers when predetermined milestones are achieved. Companies using this tool can now handle invoices based upon the delivery of goods and services. “For example, if a roofing company is re-roofing a commercial building, they are able to send invoices to the building owner monthly or quarterly, or as each stage of the project is completed,” said Salesforce.

Pardot has new powers

Pardot, Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation tool, is now powered by its business intelligence AI, Einstein, as well as its Lightning platform. According to Salesforce, this collaboration will help sales teams liaise with their marketing counterparts in a more effective way.

Einstein Campaign Insights will help marketers drill down into engagement driven by the power of machine learning. Einstein Behaviour Scoring will spot prospects most likely to convert. It will do this by leveraging engagement history within Pardot to determine which prospects are most likely to turn into a customer.

When will these features roll out?

  • High Velocity Sales, including Sales Cadences and Work Queues, will be generally available in February 2019.
  • Salesforce Billing, including Flexible Invoicing, is generally available today. Evergreen Subscriptions for Salesforce Billing is currently in beta and will be generally available in October 2018. Usage-Based Pricing for Salesforce Billing will be available in beta in October 2018 and generally available in February 2019.
  • Pardot in Lightning will be generally available in October 2018. Einstein Campaign Insights and Einstein Behavior Scoring for Pardot Einstein are currently in pilot and are expected to be generally available in February 2019.

Salesforce logo decal. Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects