Operational Efficiency Series: 4 Advantages of Implementing Salesforce - Archive of IC Blog

Operational Efficiency Series: 4 Advantages of Implementing Salesforce



Salesforce, the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, has a well-earned reputation as the best-in-class solution for sales, marketing and customer service. However, Salesforce’s reach extends far beyond traditional CRM. It is able to impact business units across the organization. Further, its popularity is a testament to its success in addressing the widespread operational challenges facing organizations today.

A successful Salesforce implementation can lead to significant advantages related to operational efficiency and business process optimization. This is the first article in a series exploring common challenges organizations are facing today: financing issues (AR, AP, access to capital, etc.); human resources (attracting talent, managing legal and personnel issues); sales (generating more leads, closing more deals, etc.); customer service (problem solving and creating extraordinary customer experiences that lead to long-term relationships); and so much more.

We will describe how Salesforce successfully transforms these challenges into opportunities and how Internet Creations practices what it preaches, achieving operational efficiency and continuous improvement by fully implementing the cloud-based CRM.

In subsequent installments of this series, we will explore other benefits of implementing Salesforce including: business process optimization, improved customer service and system enhancements (a.k.a. the AppExchange.)

Salesforce is More than Just Customer Relationship Management

Founded in 1999, Salesforce began firmly entrenched in Software as a Service (SaaS) and CRM. While the company’s customer-centric approach is still prominent, Salesforce’s focus has grown to encompass and empower departments, including Human Resources, Administration, Marketing and Accounting — across the organization.

The company also has continued to leverage cloud technology to promote growth and efficiency for large and small organizations alike. In particular, the company’s industry-leading Customer Success Platform has become the world’s leading enterprise cloud ecosystem.

Salesforce continues to rise in profit and prominence due, in part, to its rapid growth, successful strategic partnerships, and continued investment in its user community. Salesforce has been one of the fastest-growing companies, with over 150,000 customers and more than $5.3B (US) in revenue at the end of last year. Additionally, the CRM platform appears at #2 on Forbes’ “World’s Most Innovative Company,” and has topped the list three times since 2011. Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce users/developer conference, had 160,000+ registered attendees for the 2015 event.

A successful Salesforce implementation can lead to significant and valuable advantages for organizations. In turn, these favorable business conditions empower organizations to operate faster and more efficiently. Advantages include: system unification, business process optimization, customer service and system enhancements (a.k.a. the AppExchange.)

Salesforce and Operational Efficiency Provide High Return on Investment

Now, you may be wondering, “Does my company need this level of optimized efficiency?” A driving factor, for many organizations considering implementing Salesforce, is cost. Simply put, here is one good reason to consider this investment.

Salesforce enables organizations to experience high return on their technology investments by maximizing resources while reducing costs. According to a Salesforce report posted in Q2 of 2014, IT staffing and infrastructure costs were greatly reduced among companies that have implemented the Salesforce1 Platform: “On average, customers surveyed saved more than $100,000 per 100 users for both staffing or infrastructure.”

The speed of accomplishing tasks or having the menial ones completely taken care of means teams can focus on their organization’s’ bottom line. If an account executive gains just 15 extra minutes each weekday using Salesforce, that executive gains an extra 75 minutes per week that can be applied to client touches, sales demonstrations and overall client interaction. How many more customers could an organization add with about 60 extra hours a year, accomplished without adding additional employees?

In a recent article published in TechNews, penned by Internet Creations CEO Chad Meyer, Salesforce promotes automation throughout an organization, regardless of size. “Many companies subscribe to the notion that adding employees is their only option. What these companies do not recognize is that there is a better way to grow: you can focus on automation and streamlining processes to save time, boost productivity, and make your employees happier.”

Case in point: Internet Creations has grown 10x without the need to hire additional full-time employees in its accounting department, Meyer pointed out in his article, Three Ways Your Business Can Run Like a Billion-Dollar Company. “We automated credit management and collections and provided customers with a self-service site to access invoices on demand – all without common concerns like adding infrastructure and keeping up with manual software upgrades or security.” Accounting Seed for Salesforce is the app Internet Creations uses to handle financial operations. As the company has grown from five to over 30 employees, its accounting team has been able to remain one person strong due to the ease of Salesforce systems. Talk about ROI.

Salesforce System Unification Gets Rid of Confusion, Promotes Collaboration and Saves $$$

Many organizations are struggling to maintain business processes across multiple systems, with data confined to departmental silos. While Sales and Marketing may use the same system to manage leads and opportunities, this system is likely completely separate from accounting. The resulting lack of clarity breeds confusion, limits collaboration, and inhibits the free flow of information — leading to inefficient and costly processes.

However, by leveraging Salesforce, organizations can unify their systems in a central, functional hub. Although Salesforce started with the sales and CRM side of business operations, its offers have expanded to support teams and departments across the organization, including:

  • Sales Cloud to manage sales and customer relationships
  • Service Cloud to handle support and customer success operations
  • Marketing Cloud to manage the customer journey and to personalize marketing to target audiences
  • Analytics Cloud to analyze data and quickly provide insights

Every aspect of your business can, and (we believe) should, be automated and managed in Salesforce. There are many apps that enhance and broaden the capabilities of Salesforce such as Email to Case Premium (improves Email-to-Case), Case Flags and Case Merge. Other apps (there are more than 3,000 currently available on the AppExchange) help companies, like yours, automate functions such as accounting, marketing, HR, sales, IT and more.

As an added benefit, having all of your operations on one easy-to-use platform consolidates your efforts to be more transparent — something that is still difficult for organizations even in today’s uber-connected world. This eliminates confusion and frustration in-house, and promotes better customer relationships, as well.

Final Thoughts…

Running operations on Salesforce provides organizations with tremendous gains in efficiency. It reduces the time and effort required for organizations to clean duplicate and inaccurate data and ensure high data quality. It enables organizations to provide a stellar customer experience, with all departments aligned on each customer profile. Most importantly, it creates an environment that eliminates silos for more efficient collaboration and operation.

In subsequent installments of this series, we will explore other benefits of implementing Salesforce including: business process optimization, improved customer service and system enhancements (a.k.a. the AppExchange.)

Ready to learn more about how we can help your company grow through operational efficiency? Contact Internet Creations today for a consultation.

About Internet Creations

Internet Creations is a business technology and Salesforce consulting firm that empowers organizations to operate efficiently and accelerate success by aligning people with technology. We help our clients leverage the benefits of technology and avoid the perils by delivering innovative solutions backed by world-class customer service. With extensive Salesforce experience since 2004 and as a member of the Cloud Collective, we develop category-leading apps on the Salesforce platform that enable organizations of all sizes and industries to optimize their business processes. For more information, visit https://www.internetcreations.com.


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Series NavigationOperational Efficiency Series: Business Process Optimization
Steve Wood
Steve Wood
Steve is the Partner Liaison at Internet Creations.