Breaking It Down in Three Acts Our next three Salesforce-centric blog posts will be offering insight into the world of Salesforce Experience Cloud (formerly Salesforce Communities). In this post (Part 1), we’ll be discussing why you should step through the looking glass into a community. Part 2 will break down the steps to moving seamlessly into a community and Part 3 will discuss our top seven favorite features about existing in the universe of Salesforce Experience Cloud. We hope you’ll follow along for all three parts! Build U-N-I-T-Y Within a Community Salesforce Communities—now known as the Salesforce Experience Cloud—are a great way to take your Salesforce instance to the next level. Communities are a great place for you to provide a branded digital space for your customers—external or internal—to connect, with you, with each other and with data. Since communities are rapid to set up, inexpensive to license, and inherently customizable, the use cases for communities are almost limitless. Some creative ones we have seen include: – Deal registration for partners, resellers and distributors – Knowledge base and peer-to-peer sharing for customers – Lead registration and data capture for BDR/SDR roles or sales interns A Rose By Any Other Name Yes, Salesforce Community Cloud is now called the Salesforce Experience Cloud, and has even more depth in features, but what YOU call your community is completely up to you! Since the community is so flexible and built on the idea of exposing data on one side or the other, you may call it a Sales Portal, a Help Forum, the HR Intranet or even Customer Success Site; you can dream up so many whys and ways to introduce the Salesforce Experience Cloud to your customers. So, why would you move this information into a community? Let’s say you have documentation that your external customers can self-serve from a web portal, and you want to keep it in one organized place. You can move artifacts, collateral, spec sheets, and tearsheets into your community, and allow your customers to access them. You can see who has accessed which files, and other information about those files, such as how many versions there have been and the dates associated with those files. You could open up features to allow your customers to interface with each other—to ask usage questions, or best practices—and allowing them to interact will let them learn from each other, and allow you to apply social listening to the voice of the customer. Or, perhaps you have an inside sales team that are prospecting and calling on leads that you import from a lead list database. You can use dataloader in your production org to bring the list in and use assignment rules to assign those leads just like you would in production, but send them to a BDR/SDR who has a community license. That’s an easy and inexpensive way to scale up your sales organization, allowing the inside sales team to email and call just like they would in the production org. However, instead of paying full license fee costs, you can keep them on a community license—and restrict them to just the data that they actually need to see. Licensing, Logins, Pricing … Oh My! Salesforce Experience Cloud pricing is really flexible to best fit the needs of your community. For example, Self-service pricing allows you to choose whether you should purchase licenses or logins. Here’s why this is so powerful. If you know that you have a close-knit and identifiable quantity of users who will log in to your community often, then you should purchase the member licenses. This means each email address has a seat license and they can log in to your community unlimited times. If, however, your community is fluid and may change often, the login pricing is perfect; you can set up self-registration and allow infrequent access to a larger quantity of community members. The Partner Relationship Management pricing, perfect for the deal registration example, and the External Apps pricing, perfect for custom portals to build brand loyalty, have similar pricing approaches with logins and licenses. One of the best ways for you to really determine which Experience Cloud approach is best for you is to write a concise user story. Your Salesforce AE and your Salesforce Partner can really help you here! The best user story template is simple: “As a user, I want ____” is a good way to start. So yours may be, “As an inside sales rep manager, I want my team to be able to work leads in a queue, send emails from a List View and log phone calls without seeing other Salesforce data.” Or, “As a UX marketing manager, I want my customers to have a portal to log into and see documents and ask questions of other customers to self-serve their user challenges.” Once you have defined your community user story, choosing the edition and licensing type will be a snap! The True 360° Experience With the September 2020 rebrand of Community Cloud to Experience Cloud, it’s clear that Salesforce sees the value in expanding the platform for unique internal and external use cases. Your customers will view your company in a new way, and you can view them in a new way as well, as you develop deep 360° insights that are drawn on the community approach. You can connect with them in a branded space that *feels* exactly like your organization and your creativity can really flow. From responding to their queries to giving badges using gamification, you’ll really look like a customer-centric organization that personalizes their approach to their customers. So, with these limitless possibilities, how do you get started? Our next blog post will cover best practices for exactly that. Until then, good luck with your user stories! We bet you’ll have a lot of them! Fostering Community Can Be A Challenge At Shift3 Technologies, we use a consultative approach to help you determine the best strategy to identify your challenges, implement appropriate solutions and enhance your systems. Need to rekindle your users’ love for Salesforce? Check out this 5-minute read. For a free consultation, click here. This post was written by Shannon J. Gregg, President of Cloud Adoption Solutions. Shannon is an aficionado of sales technology to increase efficiency in the sales process and an early adopter and adoption influencer for sales technology systems, particularly Salesforce and technology that integrates with the Salesforce platform. Shannon is known as a change agent, particularly in M&A environments (VC/PE), with a successful track record of integrating process, product/service pricing, pricing methodologies—and notably—global teams with cultural sensitivity.