Like many of you, Lockdown has brought many opportunities to indulge in some binge-watching. For those who love Star Wars, May 4th is one of the most exciting days of the year and another great excuse to indulge a little.

While it may be easy to get lost in the milieu of Star Wars movies, a true fan knows how to navigate this universe and avoid some of the real Bantha fodder created in the wake of the first trilogy.

In honour of May the Fourth, we’re bringing you a Star Wars/Salesforce perspective on business growth and will help you avoid the dark side of CRM and the Bantha Fodder.

Data surrounds us, penetrates us and…

Obi-Wan Kenobi explains the Force to Luke as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.” While a Jedi knight is taught that by harnessing the power of the force, he’ll be able to do amazing things to help others and be a force for good in the galaxy. in much the same way, data is the true force running through your business. 

Data, like the force, is all around your business. It penetrates, surrounds and binds the business together, connecting sales and marketing, operations, production and customer service, finance and management. But it must be respected and done in the right way.

The Dark Side of Data

While the Jedi and other Force-sensitive species have cultures developed around using the force for good – other species, like the Sith, evolved into an order of dark-side users. 

A Jedi is taught how to avoid the Dark Side of the Force by shunning negatives such as fear and hate. And, just as using the Force in anger can turn a Jedi to the Dark Side shunning good data management practices can turn your CRM into the enemy.

“Like the Opee that lurks in the abyss of Naboo, bad data is a silent killer. Without taking the necessary actions your business will suffer.”

Duplicates, incomplete records, and just plain wrong data can waste time, money and not to mention cause Sales and Marketing confusion and disconnect. 

Time and resources cost your business money so use them wisely. Don’t allow your team to be lured into bad habits of entering data quickly, incompletely and inaccurately. Your teams time is a valuable commodity which can be harnessed for the good if used correctly. Good practice ensures they don’t get drawn into unnecessary battles with bad data.

 Ask any Salesperson – nothing is more demoralising than cranking out an epic email only to get hit with an autoreply that the email address is incorrect. 

A CRM can’t help you do great things if you fill it with bad data and allow it to turn to the Dark Side. 

Help me Pardot! You’re my only hope!

The lessons from Star Wars don’t just centre around your CRM data. When we first meet the heroes in any of the Star Wars films, none have discovered their true destinies yet. It usually takes a meeting with a ‘Force-sensitive’ individual for the journey to really begin.

Within Salesforce you have the opportunity for your own meeting with a version of the Force in the form of intelligent lead generation, behavioural mapping and digital advertising solutions. Right now, you may not really know much about where leads come from or have the power to generate the quantities your desire, but with Pardot you can use the Force to find and nurture them through AI-powered marketing. Through audience segmentation, lookalike audiences, and smart lead nurturing you can make your search for new padawans more efficient (and save galactic credits) by suppressing ads to existing members of your Jedi Order of customers.

Droids in the System

Star Wars has delivered some robots that are universally known in the shape of R2D2, C3PO and more recently BB8. Though, in reality, none of these robots – or as any Star Wars purist will refer to as ‘droids’ – come even close as ideal coworkers. 

C3PO will quiver away as the salespersons make cold calls or will walk in the opposite direction through sheer stubbornness when tough choices have to be made. R2D2, while more affable can only communicate in a series of beeps and whistles and BB8 similarly communicates in a simple ’binary’ language, referred to as “Driodspeak”.

Fortunately for you, the ‘droids’ in the Salesforce system have far more power. Take a look at Sales Cloud and Einstein, for instance, and you’ll have a better sense of what the combination of these technologies really looks like. 

Einstein, your Salesforce AI assistant is like your own personal robot that brings forward great ideas, recommendations and insight. In many ways, it’s like Yoda and a supercharged BB8 rolled into one and yet even more. It’s there to help reps get more out of their CRM, and thereby help the entire team meet a company’s revenue or other growth targets. 

Lead and Opportunity scoring during pivotal points in a reps selling cycle allowing reps to better prioritise their efforts.

With predictive forecasting Einstein can look at historical win rates and the various factors that contribute positively or negatively to a company having a great quarter, thereby removing the pain of unforeseen surprises.

It helps marketing manage data, communicate more effectively with the audience and deliver more impactful, fluid reports in an instant. 

Marketers have their own helpful ‘droids’ — artificial intelligence software like Einstein. Instead of existing in a robot-like body as in Star Wars, real-world artificial intelligence lives inside your marketing automation platform, Pardot or Marketing Cloud. Just like in the droids in Star Wars, though, artificial intelligence can help you successfully navigate difficult marketing moments, by powering account-based marketing initiatives and delivering strategic insights based on aggregated customer data.

Leave a Legacy

So much of Star Wars is about family, teamwork, and carrying on the legacies of others.

At a certain point, we B2B marketers need to trust that sales teams can pick up our most important projects and continue them with less input from marketing. Just as in Star Wars, you’re never really gone from your relationships with leads — but seamless sales and marketing alignment through Engage campaigns, real-time alerts, and activity tracking can ensure that your legacy will continue.

Remember the scene in Star Wars: Episode IV when Obi-Wan Kenobi stops the Stormtroopers from finding R2D2 and C3PO? With a wave of his hand, Obi-Wan tells them exactly what he wants them to say and they mindlessly repeat “these aren’t the droids you are looking for,” and then let him through the checkpoint.

You can use its powers in your business as well. Through the use of Salesforce and a suitable range of applications configured for your business, you can help your customers make the right choices at the right time. See how cloud computing can help your business fight against the dark side.

We hope these little stories help you and inspire you even if you’re in a galaxy far, far away…

May the 4th be with you!