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Salesforce has become one of the leading customer relationship management (CRM) apps available today. It's probably best known for its capacity to store customer and prospect information, centralize data, and to take advantage of communication opportunities and touchpoints. While Salesforce is a powerful tool for establishing and maintaining customer relationships, one thing it doesn’t offer is the messaging content that's used in your communications.

While CRMs, like Salesforce, provide customer profiles, as well as other tools that offer insights into customer preferences and behavior, they can distract you from a critical component in the process that is all too easy to overlook—the quality of your content. This is where integrating Salesforce with customer communications management (CCM) enters the scenario.

We all know too well that a corporate organizational chart can act as an unmovable obstacle to developing positive and long-lasting customer relationships, because most day-to-day operations are performed by separate internal departments. While this does allow for operating efficiency, it also tends to create those isolated data silos we keep trying to overcome.

To add to that struggle, marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, and other departments typically have their own separate libraries for CCM content messaging. Different teams manage these separate corporate functions and may also use different communications tools—creating the challenge of accessing product and service information quickly and easily from a centralized location.

For example, your customer service representative may recognize an opportunity to promote another product or service while speaking on the phone with a customer but can’t quickly retrieve and send out relevant information that’s stored in the marketing silo. Salesforce provides the customer contact information to send this information to, but it doesn’t link you directly to the messaging that the marketing department has already developed and approved.

On the other hand, if your CCM solution is linked to the Salesforce Cloud and both sit behind your firewall, your customer service reps can use Salesforce to call up a CCM message or document and transmit it instantly through customer-preferred communication channels. In addition, you can also send customer communications on a new product launch to a whole list of prospect contacts that you have stored in Salesforce. Your investment in both has just been optimized.

Since your CCM system can support a communications strategy that has multiple touchpoints, integrating it with the Salesforce Journey Builder, a feature in the company's Marketing Cloud that supports cross-channel customer interactions, also gives you a link to managed print and email communications that can match and promote your Journey Builder steps. Having the ability to combine that system with Journey Builder lets you add sophisticated messaging and variability to communications without having to call up multiple templates and then having to circulate your content for approvals.

Your chosen CCM system is meant to give you ready-made and corporate-approved messaging on tap, so to speak. Deploying this content through Salesforce connects your content with customer decision points, connects on-demand and interactive print and email touchpoints for Salesforce end users, and connects email and print touchpoints to automated customer journeys. Combining these applications can increase the power and the impact of both.

Look at it this way: Finding a way to integrate Salesforce with your CCM strategy connects your content with opportunity.

Patrick Kehoe is Executive Vice President of Product Management for Messagepoint, Inc. Patrick has more than 25 years of experience delivering business solutions for document processing, customer communications, and content management. Prior to joining Messagepoint, he held the position of Worldwide Head of OpenText Exstream. For more information, visit