Lightning. That’s about all anyone in sales, marketing and tech can talk about today. And no, they’re not talking about the weather, unless you consider the thunderstorm of UI greatness that is resonating from our friends over at Salesforce. Didn’t hear the news? According to Forbes, “Salesforce Gives Its Core Sales Platform a Long Overdue Facelift.”
But wait. Salesforce is the market leader in CRM. Its features are unparalleled. Its app exchange is second to none. But many would agree that, prior to this latest release, its interface was less than intuitive — especially for the growing base of millennial sales users.
I think IDC analyst Michael Fauscette put it best today:“IT and overall user experience is more important than ever for driving adoption and use of any tool.”
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Michael, you hit the nail right on the head. We completely agree.
Our own Director of UX Ryan Sherman was emphatic in saying, “People need to enjoy the tools they are using. Not only do they want to enjoy their software, but they will grow resentful if using their software is not a pleasurable experience.”
Bravo to Salesforce for taking the time to listen to their customers’ feedback before they redesigned their product, and incorporated three key needs:
Make it easy for busy sales people to get access to the most important data — faster.
Provide that data in a visual form to easily see (at a glance) what is most critical.
Give that interface a ton of flexibility with highly customizable features.
Our CEO, Scott Salkin, loves to tell people that we built Allbound “from the inside-out,” focusing on user experience, customer need, and how people engage with content and data. Then, we started coding.
Probably the most significant decision by Salesforce was to meet these needs by approaching its design with a responsive, app-like framework that delivers a consistent user experience on any device. This changes the game. Screen real estate as major as the main navigation now highly maximizes space and depth within the software. But, of course, while it’s app-like, it’s not an app. It’s a responsive web framework that requires nothing to download, nothing to install, nothing to update. Like any true SaaS product, the user hops onto the Internet via browser and device of choice, and gets to work.
But, hold on. What does this mean for my change-adverse sales reps who just barely got familiar with the old Salesforce?
If the UI is truly as good as everyone says it is, this will be a non-issue. Redesigns that are truly made to improve user experience should be intuitive. The goal from the outset of any UI-focused redesign should be to improve the experience so you don’t require training. Or, at most, perhaps some guided overlays could help point out brand new features, and daily emails might share tips and tricks for navigating within the software.
User Self Selection. Three glorious words that empower every single user to log in and decide for him or herself, “Do want to use the new platform today?” Because, let’s face it, sometimes we all have those days where we think, ‘I cannot take a single change right now! I need something in my life to stay constant!’
I’ll tell you this. Here at Allbound, we’re downright giddy. One of our core values is “We believe in simplicity and agility.” Salesforce’s new interface is just that. Simple. Agile. Results driven.
As one of our integration partners, we can’t wait to dive in and make our clients’ Allbound and Salesforce experience completely awesome.