Today, businesses have a wealth of terrific choices when it comes to applications and platforms for both sales and service, including commercial products from software vendors, as well as applications that have been built in-house. Many businesses have tackled optimizing their sales process with cloud software at one point in time, and the tools for the customer support department at another. The result? Silos in process and technology that often create disconnected customer experiences because businesses lack the 360-degree view they need of each individual customer to deliver the kind of experience that customers expect.

When considering a cloud platform as your next solution to connect sales and service, you need to find a platform that serves both business and IT interests: both sides are essential in keeping your customers happy. To find the right fit, you must keep in mind a variety of factors.

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1. Trust

As with any technology, security, availability, and performance are essential factors when choosing a cloud provider. Ensure that the cloud solution you choose is built around a robust and flexible security architecture. Speak with providers about how they will protect your data and give you visibility into system performance and security.

2. Customer Success

When choosing a cloud platform, find one that prioritizes your own success. Your cloud provider should offer robust training, success services, and community resources to ensure you’re making the most of your investment.

3. Innovation

Cloud computing has gained critical mass in the marketplace, which means it’s easier than ever to find a cloud platform solution. But this doesn’t mean you should just go with anyone – choose a cloud provider that’s market-tested and delivers innovation often, future-proofing the technology and your investment.

4. Multitenancy

Multitenancy is a fundamental technology that true cloud platforms use to share IT resources cost-effectively and securely. When every customer’s apps are built on the same code base, it not only leads to massive cost savings, but also allows customizations and new apps to be created at lightning speed.

5. Ability to Scale Fast

Not all cloud platforms will give you the ability to customize, extend, and scale according to your business needs. You need a cloud platform that can innovate without ever losing your business’s unique customizations or integrations. Salesforce is the only company that provides three major innovation releases every year, to all customers, without ever losing customizations or integrations.

6. Customizable – Extensible with Your Own Apps

It’s not just about the cloud platform — it’s also about what you can do with it. Find a cloud platform that will empower your team to build apps fast, and you’ll set up your IT department to add value through rapid innovation.

7. Open Ecosystem

Once you move to the cloud, you’ll realize you’re not alone. Hundreds of thousands of companies use cloud solutions, so your provider should help you connect with a community of experts and partners who can help you extend the power of your platform and innovate faster.

8. Complete CRM

When it comes to managing customer relationships, the best cloud solutions connect your entire business around the customer, from sales, service, and marketing to communities, IT, and analytics. Choose a cloud provider that sees the big picture and can help get you there.

Want to learn more about how businesses can go for growth with connected sales and service? Download the free e-book.