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On what method does a normal Salesforce Enterprise Edition works? Is it a B2B or B2C? What is the difference in Salesforce cycle between the two. Can we use both methods (B2B and B2C) in one Salesforce environment? Kindly suggest

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Salesforce is primarily set up using a Business to Business (B2B) model as compared to a Business to Customer (B2C) model. It uses Accounts to represent a Business and Contacts to represent individuals both in terms of it's B2C customers, it's B2B customers, it's partners, it's employees, service providers or any other purpose. There's a feature called contact roles that can be enabled which associates who the primary contact for an Account is along with other contact roles within companies an org may do business with. This associates Contact records in the SF database to their role within the Account Record (note: use of the term role here is distinct from Salesforce User Roles).

Salesforce can be modified to enable what are called person accounts. What this means is that every contact iq essentially also an account. This is something an org must specifically request that Salesforce enable for them. Its not something one should do without having very good reasons for implementing the feature. You may want to look at Implementing Person Accounts.

There's also what's called the Non-Profit Starter Pack primarily used by non profit organizations. It has a number of relationships that have been added in to allow for Households and individual person accounts to co-exist with organizations (the equivalent of business accounts). The Households feature allows the NPSP to group spouses, children and all those living at the same address into a Household. The NPSP also has the ability to make other connections such as to family relatives. There are a number of different elements to the NPSP and not all of them need to be installed. Recurring donations would be an example of one of it's elements. I believe there are a total of 5 elements to the latest version that's available. For a sales model, the issue with using the NPSP is that it's based around fund raising and donations for Opportunity rather than a sales model however the Relationships feature would have advantages for a B2C sales organization.

To answer your question of Can we use both methods (B2B and B2C) in one Salesforce environment?, the answer is "yes". What most companies do is create an Account for each B2C contact. That contact becomes the primary contact for the Account which has the same name as the contact. What they also do is use a different record type for those Accounts/contacts than they do for their B2B Accounts/contacts. This differentiation by Record type is what helps keep the two separate and more easily managed. As with most orgs, their Users/Employees also have a unique record type assigned to those contact records as well.

Leads

The flow of Leads can be highly customized in SF. Last weekend I took my first "deep dive" into leads when I set up the leads processes for a local charity the Dallas Developer's User Group stood up an Org using the NPSP during Dallas Give Camp. Computers for the Blind (CFTB) takes donated computers/laptops, strips the parts it can use, builds machines with assistive software installed for the visually impaired and ships them to clients around the US, all for a very nominal fee.

I enabled Web to Lead for them to handle "hot donation" leads for individuals and corporations who had computers available they wanted to CFTB to pick-up. Leads that come in from other sources went into a queue and had unique record types to distinguish between individuals and local corporations for their Donations Coordination Team to develop and qualify.

Leads remain as leads in SF until they're "qualified" according to the criteria an Org sets. They're also "rated" to help prioritize them. The point at which a lead is "qualified" as being valid, is when it's converted into an Account, Contact, and optionally an Opportunity is created.

Since CFTB also serves Visually Impaired Clients, I set up a separate lead process for Client Leads. Those leads have a unique record type and go to a separate Client Lead queue for follow-up and processing. Client leads go through a different qualification process and are handled by a different team than donations of hardware. Client leads first need to qualify to receive a computer from CFTB; primarily in that they need to be able to learn to use the special software or visual aids. Once they qualify and the charity receives a check for the amount they charge a client for a computer, CFTB converts a Client Lead into an Account, Related Contact, and Opportunity. Opportunity is used to track the client's order through the build process until their computer is finally shipped. There's also a separate web to lead form for client leads as well that feeds leads into a Client Lead Queue.

In SF, Leads can be assigned to Sales in many different ways that are defined according to the rules a developer creates, either using point and click or visual flows. Leads can go to a queue where they can be "checked out" and returned. They can be assigned ownership to a User who's a member of the queue on a first come basis or according to a variety of criteria ranging from product type, geographic location, B2C, B2B, or any combination of criteria a developer creates. Its simply a matter of what best fits the Org's requirements. For more on this, I recommend you look at the Lead Management Implementation Guide.

There are a number of free Apps available on the App Exchange that can help with setting up Lead processes and the lead conversion process. Ultimately, its a matter of creating a customized process that fits your business process rather than trying to adapt to something someone else has already created. One resource I found helpful to me was a book titled Salesforce.com Secrets of Success, Best Practices for Growth and Profitability which looks at what's involved in converting business practices to the Salesforce Platform from a "higher level" view. You might think of this as an "Architectural" type of resource.

  • Thanks for the valuable information. In addition to he above, is there any different in the lead flow of B2B and B2C methods. – Salesforce Learner Oct 21 '14 at 6:59
  • See my edited answer above and also note the reference I've added to Implementing Person Accounts. – crmprogdev Oct 21 '14 at 14:59

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