In the Salesforce world, a lot of attention gets paid to configurations and customizations. While having a properly set-up and maintained Salesforce org is essential, it’s really the data that is critical to your business. Specifically, your customer data. The degree to which an organization understands their customer data determines how readily they can act on it. Questions like these, for example, can make or break a business:
- What factors cause customers to leave?
- Which customers might be interested in a new product or service?
- Who are the key contacts at accounts, and what makes them happy?
Customer data challenges
Of course, leveraging the customer data companies collect is challenging. When the business world first started implementing CRM systems, the major challenge was often just getting data into the system. But now, with the increasingly digital nature of business, the problem has flipped to where businesses have too much data to handle. And as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more mainstream, the data volume problem is going to move from an irritation to a crisis.
Another data challenge is an economic one. Salesforce is great at facilitating relationships with customers, but it’s not an economical tool for storing large amounts of data. Many companies have large stores of data about customers, but not a readily accessible, cost-efficient place to put it.
And a final challenge companies face is in getting more value out of the various systems with which customers interact. We like to imagine a world where all data resides in Salesforce (or at least the cloud), but the world is often more complicated than that. For example, a prospect might first interact with a company on their website, then become a lead in Salesforce. The lead will move to a closed-won opportunity, then the fulfillment of the order might be on another system (like Oracle or SAP). Going forward, the customer might be using a mobile app to interact, an online community, calling or emailing for help and questions, or most likely, some combination of all those things.
Heroku to the rescue
The reality of the customer journey can often grow beyond what makes sense to handle in Salesforce. If these data problems are familiar to you, it’s time to check out Heroku. Acquired by Salesforce back in 2010, Heroku is a cloud application platform that can be used to help you get the most out of your customer data. The secret that connects your Salesforce org with the powerful PaaS capabilities of Heroku is a service called Heroku Connect.
Here are 3 ways connecting Salesforce to Heroku can help you get more from your customer data:
Offload large-scale transactions
Salesforce is great for handling customer and contact data, but for large-scale, transaction-heavy use cases, it makes sense to add Heroku. IoT data and customer interactions can produce such high volumes of data that a separate platform is needed to manage these transactions. Heroku gives companies a place to handle these large-scale operations and transform them into usable information for their CRM system.
Archive Salesforce data
Old data may be valuable, but at the same time, it can clutter up your Salesforce org. With Heroku, old Salesforce and customer data can be stored in an economical, yet universally accessible database for storage and enrichment. Data is stored in Heroku on Postgres, a world-class, open-sourced database.
Utilize all of your data
Heroku gives organizations the ability to build apps that utilize data across one or more Salesforce orgs and external sources. Imagine looking at an account in Salesforce, and having access to near real-time access to all of the interactions with your company. And in addition to traditional data types (e.g., integers and varchars), Heroku can store complex data (e.g., timestamps with time zones, a range, or geo-spatial data types). Combined with Salesforce, Heroku can give managers a chance to utilize data in ways they’ve only dreamed of.