Recently I was asked to speak at the Salesforce World Tour on the topic of how Versature leverages Salesforce to improve our business processes and communication. As the VP of Operations at Versature, keeping the activities of the Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Onboarding, and Support teams optimized and connected is one of my top priorities.
How Versature Uses Salesforce
Like most Salesforce clients, we started off using the Sales Cloud to generate quotes and related funnel metrics. This takes us back almost 10 years ago, and our biggest challenge then was ensuring we were using the same lingo and entering the data consistently and completely to get the best value from the platform. This took some time and team commitment to creating a very rich data source for reporting and adopting additional components of the Salesforce platform.
Rolling forward a few years, as Versature continued to grow, adding both staff and clients, it became clear that the legacy back office systems and tools could not keep up. The assumed path was to build another custom solution but after much discussion and review the decision to go with a single platform for all teams by deploying Salesforce’s Service Cloud was made. Moving forward both key customer services teams could seamlessly pass information back and forth while staying on the same page.
Since this change, we have rolled out a Salesforce-connected billing platform in Zuora and finally, in the last 6 months, have added Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud in the form of Pardot for marketing automation. We are now able to track our adspend, campaigns, landing pages, and test new content much more efficiently than ever but most importantly tie billing and marketing back to the existing sales and customer service data for 360-degree visibility.
Firms who are looking at this combined solution always ask about how this deployment worked. With each rollout, we had to combine more data and align customer records between Salesforce and the new data. As each component is added, it is a great time to audit and clean up customer data.
Challenge: User Adoption
If you are looking to increase adoption, as with any solution, it’s all about involving the users in the process and decisions. Many executives I speak with don’t get involved enough with their Salesforce planning or implementation. Your organization should have an executive-level champion who can not only advocate the solution but get their direct reports and other teams involved in mapping out the business processes so they can understand the art of the platform. This really makes a difference in terms of the way the solution is developed, having the right workflows and fields ensures it makes sense for all teams and departments. Having an executive team who thinks the Salesforce deployment is a task for IT is missing all the upside.
Like the Apple App Store or the Google Play store, the Salesforce AppExchange is a vibrant community of independent developers solving niche problems and big enterprises integrating external platforms. Time spent exploring the AppExchange and watching the product demonstration videos to see what the apps can really do can be eye-opening, and not only for technical staff. Demonstrating the latest trends in gamification, process simplification, or even electronic signatures can be found in the bowels of the AppExchange.
At Versature, we use many such applications but two important ones have been to support e-signatures as well as building proposals and quotes. For these tasks, we use Docusign and Conga, both listed in the top-10 AppExchange applications and are game-changing when applied to your business. There are so many apps available on the AppExchange that can transform your business just when you thought you had milked everything from your Salesforce deployment.
Finally, I recommend becoming part of the Salesforce community. Versature is part of the local Salesforce user group, so we are able to hear what other people are doing, best practices, and what new products are available. There are hundreds of user groups and often more than one within driving distance. Most meet at least once a month and in addition to sharing experiences, helping each other, and networking, they often include speakers and demonstrations of the latest features and apps.
Outside of local user groups, Salesforce supports a healthy ecosystem through events such as the Salesforce World Tour and of course Dreamforce in San Francisco which is now the second largest technology conference in the world behind only the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas each year.
Integrated Business Phone with SalesForce
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention our team has even integrated our own Hosted PBX solutions with SalesForce to help customer service operations, call centers, and sales teams be more efficient. Our integration allows users to quickly and easily make outbound calls at the click of a button, receive inbound calls via a pop-up window with associated Contact and Account details, and log call activity using a single interface within Salesforce.com. Having an intimate knowledge of how Salesforce works based on our internal use of the tool enabled us to combine our Cloud-based business phone solutions with Salesforce to create a powerful offering for our clients. Learn more about our integration and how it could work for your team here.
Is Versature right for your business? Heck yes! Our clients range from two-person shops to large call centers. Versature grows with your business, so whether you’re a small startup that just needs a few phones and the ability to work from anywhere or a large corporation needing to improve your current system – Versature is right for your business. Learn More!