Earlier this week Bluewolf in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management published their third annual The State of Salesforce report. Bluewolf is a global business consulting firm with expertise in cloud technologies including Salesforce.com. While certain areas of the survey are designed to attract prospective Bluewolf clients, there are several interesting, impartial take-aways they’ve provided in the report too. I’ve never worked with Bluewolf or Salesforce as a consultant and neither have ever been a client.
The survey is based on interviews with more than 1,000 active Salesforce.com customers, the study found that top line revenue growth and improved customer experience were cited three times more often than any other business challenge that are guiding technology investments.
The entire study and its methodology can be downloaded here (free, opt in).
Key take-aways from the report include the following:
- 89% of Salesforce customers are already using Salesforce1 mobile solutions, and 45% of customers are increasing their investment in mobile initiatives over the next 12 months. 46% of enterprise companies have or plan to build custom mobile apps on the Salesforce1 Platform in 2015.
- 54% of Salesforce customers use two or more Salesforce clouds today. In terms of current adoption, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud dominate today. The following graphic provides an overview of Salesforce Cloud adoption:
- Efficiency and productivity gains (66%), improved customer experience (34%), revenue growth (32%) and cost reduction (21%) are the four most common business outcomes realized by Salesforce customers according to the survey.
- 70% of Salesforce customers interviewed are diverting budget from on-premise infrastructure to fund cloud-based solutions. This investment growth and expansion is having a direct impact as 46% of C-level executives say that Salesforce has measurably improved their customer experience.
- 14% of executives interviewed are investing in industry-specific AppExchange solutions, with high tech and financial services leading early adopters. The following graphic provides an overview of adoption of products and clouds by industry.
- Sales Intelligence, Contract Management and Geolocation are predicted to be the three AppExchange categories that will see the most significant adoption increase in 2015.
- 60% of Salesforce customers have between 1 and 5 AppExchange applications installed, 16% have between 6 and 10, 7% have 10 or more apps and just 17% have no applications installed. The following graphic provides an overview of Salesforce AppExchange application adoption:
- 63% of Salesforce customers don’t have a single Salesforce dashboard to measure all marketing activities. The majority are using native Salesforce functionality to gain insights into their market strategies. 56% of marketer’s tools today are outside of Salesforce. The upside potential for marketing analytics applications provider will only accelerate through 2015 according to the study. The era of the Chief Marketing Technologist has arrived.
- 71% of Salesforce customers will increase their investments in analytics, with 20% forecasting the spending in 2015 will be substantially above existing budgets. 88% of sales teams are using Business Intelligence (BI) or analytics tools followed by marketing (76%), operations (56%) and services (47%).
- 65% of marketers have a marketing automation tool synced to Salesforce with just 7% saying they are extremely satisfied with their existing marketing automation app.
- 46% of C-level executives interviewed say Salesforce has measurably improved their customer experience and 34% say that ongoing innovation is their top technical challenge.
- 51% of Salesforce customers say using Salesforce has improved their top-line growth and bottom-line savings.