Learn how Salesforce CRM technology can drastically improve customer experiences (CX) and success, and find out more about our new CX and Success Management microcredential.
Customer experience (CX) has become one of the key differentiators between modern organisations. CX refers to the art of providing a personalised, relevant, and targeted experience to each current and prospective user. With so many voices vying for the modern consumers’ attention, CX is central to customer retention.
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are the software that facilitates this, keeping track of any given customer’s history with an organisation. Salesforce is the best-known and most widely adopted of these.
The Customer Experience and Success Management with Salesforce microcredential is designed to help those concerned with delivering CX to understand its core principles, why it is so important, and how to ensure that business strategy works to deliver it.
This will be underpinned by exploring how Salesforce can support CX goals, with learners getting the opportunity to gain practical skills, and Salesforce Administrator certification to prove it.
Salesforce is the world’s best-known and most-used customer relationship management (CRM) platform.
CRM is an approach through which a company’s relationship with individual consumers can be managed.
Everything from social media engagement and purchase histories to data gathered from website signups goes towards building up a picture of each consumer.
The organisation can then use this information to provide the best customer experience by catering to their individual needs. It can also be used to anticipate future opportunities for engagement, and for the automation of certain processes (one defined action triggering a follow-up, for example).
The ultimate goal is to improve customer retention.
Salesforce provides an integrated service, intended to give all departments a single-view of each customer in order to provide a joined-up, customised service. It is a cloud-based service, allowing companies access to CRM solutions instantly and at a much-reduced cost compared to the previous high levels of spending required to build in-house CRM systems.
As of 2019, Salesforce commanded a 19% share of the $50 billion global CRM market. This is more than twice as much as second-place SAP. It reports over 150,000 customers, including 83% of Fortune 500 companies.
Using Salesforce can help companies to grow, contributing to wider economic growth, according to a study commissioned by Salesforce. This report predicts that the CRM platform and its network of partners and customers will contribute to $1.2 trillion of economic growth in the years 2019-2024, and the creation of 4.2 million jobs globally.
Of this, the Salesforce economy is predicted to bring $71 billion of growth, and 144,000 jobs to the UK, and $26 billion and 42,000 jobs to Australia.
The US will see the lion’s share of both, with $514 billion worth of growth and 869,000 new jobs (with a further $20 billion and 33,000 jobs in Canada).
Competition for customers is fiercer than ever and takes place over multiple channels. Businesses and other organisations must do everything they can to bring in and retain customers.
CX is at the heart of this. By providing a personalised, targeted, and efficient service to consumers, organisations can gain a market advantage. Failure to draw up a coherent CX strategy, on the other hand, is likely to end up in user attrition.
The Customer Experience and Success Management with Salesforce microcredential is designed to help strategy, product, marketing, and business development professionals, as well as customer success and experience managers to deliver great CX, supported by Salesforce’s CRM platform.
Learners will have the option to gain Salesforce Administrator certification to evidence this.
Enrollees will learn how to design and implement CX, how CX should influence business decision making and strategy, and how to best use Salesforce to support these goals, gaining hands-on experience.
The microcredential is broken into two six-week courses. The first of these will be available from 13 July 2020 and is called Customer Experience (CX) Design for Customer Success. This covers the fundamentals of CX design, exploring why it is so important and developing CX-related skills.
The second course, available from 7 September 2020, is called CRM Fundamentals and Practice. This part of the microcredential focuses on how CRM technology can be used to drive customer success. Learners will explore how to establish and customise CRM platforms that align with business goals.
The course is most suitable for those who have gained some work experience in a relevant field, and have some understanding of CRM, customer success, and/or CX.
Completing the microcredential entitles learners to sit a separate test to gain Salesforce Administrator certification. This test is administered by Salesforce. The cost of taking this test is included in the course fee for the microcredential.
The Salesforce Administrator test covers “the breadth of applications, the features and functions available to an end-user, and the configuration and management options available to an administrator across the Sales, Service, and Collaboration Clouds,” according to test administrator, Trailhead.
CIO is a little more specific, stating that holders of credential demonstrate that they can manage users in Salesforce, have an awareness of data security, know how to build customised reports, dashboards and workflows, and use the Sales, Collaboration and Service Cloud applications.
This is an entry-level qualification, designed for those who have experience of using Salesforce but would like to get more out of it and find new opportunities to employ it.
Those who would like to develop their understanding of Salesforce further can go on to gain the Salesforce Advanced Administrator certification. Other Salesforce certifications are available, related to marketing and consulting, as well as those of a more technical nature.
The microcredential is accredited by Coventry University, who have provided quality assurance that the course is of the standard of a UK postgraduate degree. The microcredential is worth 15 UK postgraduate academic credits, and learners can combine the course with others to build a custom degree.
It does, however, stand as an academic credential in its own right, for those who simply want to gain skills in one area as part of their continuing professional development or to get a job in a specific field.
Job opportunities for those with a solid working knowledge of Salesforce are anticipated to be numerous and lucrative in coming years.
Jobs requiring skills related to the CRM platform pay more than $70,000 on average (£55,000) according to a study carried out by Burning Glass.
Talent International identified CRM skills as among the most in-demand over 2020.
We have also seen the emergence of a category of jobs which are not only supported by Salesforce but built entirely around the platform, as businesses focus increasingly on CX. This pool of jobs was described as “small but growing” by Burning Glass.
This microcredential would be particularly relevant to customer success and experience management professionals.
In 2018, LinkedIn identified customer success managers as one of its top-10 most promising jobs, mapping 91% growth in opportunities. The median salary for these roles stood at $82,300 (£64,600), according to this analysis.
Payscale sets the average starting salary of a customer experience manager at $49,000 (£38,500) rising to $57,000 (£45,000), after 1-4 years, and $65,000 (£51,000) in the 5-9 years’ experience bracket, and eventually to over $75,000 for highly-experienced professionals (£59,000).
The microcredential could also be a springboard for early-stage professionals seeking to move into CRM consultancy roles. As businesses seek to get more from their CRMs in order to deliver better CX, this is a field which is likely to see increasing demand.
Salaries here can rise to in excess of $100,000 (£78,500), with early-career salaries in the region of $60,000 (£47,000) in the US.
In the UK, figures are a little lower, starting at £32,000 ($41,000), rising to £52,000 ($66,000) at between 5 and 9-years’ experience, and up to £63,000 ($80,000) for those with a decade or more of experience.
Business development and sales professionals can update their skillsets by gaining a better understanding of using a CRM to improve CX.
According to Salesforce data, 72% of buyers expect vendors to personalise engagement to their needs. Knowing your way around a CRM can certainly give you an advantage in doing this. Sales roles that require Salesforce skills pay 8% more on average, reports Burning Glass.
Business development managers with Salesforce skills stand to make from $50,000 (£39,000) to $75,000 (£59,000), depending on the career stage.