Customer engagement is the No. 1 priority for companies in 2014 according to Bluewolf’s annual “The State of Salesforce” report.

Customer engagement is the new bottom line, according to the report: 60% of customers ranked customer engagement as their top priority.

“Every employee must be empowered to recognize a customer engagement opportunity and act on it at any touch point,” the report says. “In the new customer engagement economy, no longer is one department responsible for serving the customer.” 

The report, which was based on data collected and analyzed from global salesforce.com customers, found that companies are waking up to the opportunity to use Salesforce for more than just CRM -- it has become an enterprise-wide platform that can unite sales, service, marketing, and the back office

These findings indicate that customer experience is now at the forefront of business strategy, and salesforce.com’s apps and platform have become established as a technical anchor inside enterprises.

According to the report, 73% of organizations will re-deploy budgets from on-premise applications toward cloud initiatives in the coming year, and the percentage of companies increasing their Salesforce budgets has more than doubled in the past year.

“We developed this report with MIT to benchmark how global clients are using the Salesforce Platform, and to separate market reality from marketing hype,” Eric Berridge, co-founder and CEO of Bluewolf, said in the report. “Customer-obsessed organizations are winning, and they are spending on more flexible customer engagement cloud solutions that reach into all parts of their business. Bluewolf helps companies get closer to their customers because businesses have the potential to double revenue if they double customer engagement.”

Here are some key global trends identified in the report:

How the best companies use Salesforce is emerging: 47% of customers have a comprehensive adoption strategy for their employees. The majority of customers deriving value from Salesforce today are providing end-user training, and cloud governance is key to accelerating innovation – 75% of customers with a governance board perform releases at least monthly. 

The mobile enterprise is a reality: 52% of customers already have or are planning to build a custom mobile application that integrates with their CRM platform. An enterprise mobile strategy is critical for increasing employee and customer engagement, and the leading companies today are thinking outside of the desktop.

Bluewolf’s annual review surveyed more than 450 business and technology leaders in North America, Europe, and Australia. The respondents were employees in very large enterprises (more than 1,000 employees), large enterprises (up to 1,000 employees), and medium to small enterprises (fewer than 500 employees). The study was conducted via online survey from August to October 2013. Data collection and analysis was done in collaboration with the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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