Salesforce CRM versus Spreadsheet
Using spreadsheets for keeping business information is fine. However, spreadsheets have a lot of limitations when it comes to function. And the more platforms you use in business, the more complicated life gets behind a computer screen. This is why SalesFix encourages business owners and managers to use Salesforce, a CRM that could connect every part of your business in a single intelligent platform, where you can keep and update all your information in one place.
Jason Lawrence, CEO or SalesFix, answers the most frequently asked questions about Salesforce CRM and why businesses need it:
- What are the problems encountered when information is kept on spreadsheets?
- Why does SalesFix works exclusively with Salesforce?
- What can a business expect to do better if they have a system like Salesforce in place?
- What packages does SalesFix offer to businesses for Salesforce implementation?
- Examples wherein Salesforce can be integrated with other business systems.
- Does Salesforce make email easier to manage?
- Is Salesforce the complete solution for managing businesses?
Wayne Bucklar: My guest today is Jason Lawrence, CEO and founder of SalesFix. Jason, welcome to the show.
Jason Lawrence: Hi, how are you doing today?
Wayne: Really well. Jason, you’re an expert in CRMs. Tell us first of all, what a CRM is and why does a business need one?
Jason: Yes, certainly. CRM is short for Customer Relationship Management, but I think it’s more than customer nowadays. It can be a supplier or anything – relationship management – any sort of personal company building a relationship with. Why does a business need one? Well, most businesses probably already have something. It might be a box of business cards sitting on their desk, it might be Outlook with a list of contacts in there, it might be an old actual Goldmine database with a listing of contacts and the tasks that they’ve recorded against those contacts.
Wayne: Going back to Goldmine, that’s the trip to the past. Jason, what’s wrong with just having the information kept on spreadsheets?
Jason: So one problem is accessibility to other people. Now that’s being reduced with the use of Google Sheets and Office 365 online. But how that data is related to other sets of data, how a contact is related to a company or an organisation in Salesforce speak and account, on how those contacts related to each other, and where’s that being stored and kept? Let known all of the other information that is related to that contact, the emails that have been sent, the phone calls that been sent, the tasks reminders for doing something in the future, and how they relate to or that contact is relating to sales opportunities, pipeline or even case management solutions, customer services solutions like cases and ticket.
Wayne: Jason, SalesFix works exclusively with Salesforce. Why do you only work with Salesforce?
Jason: It’s a great question. The original answer to that was that I used to work for originally P&O Ferries that had Salesforce, and then moved to organizations to Laing O’Rourke and did a pretty extensive review of online CRMs, this was back in about 2008. So I looked at SAP, Sage, Microsoft, Siebel, and Salesforce. Salesforce, even back in 2008, came out heads and tails above the rest. That’s how I’d first decided Salesforce was the best place to go. Nowadays, it’s about really knowing the product and being an expert in I’d say one system, but Salesforce is so many different systems now. Being an expert in one suite of products, I think, is key for us and also it’s the best in the market. It really is in the top right-hand corner of the Gartner’s Magic Quadrant of a number of items and it’s a lot more than a CRM, it’s a total business process platform.
Wayne: Let me peek into that idea of a total business platform for a moment. What then can a business expect to do better if they have a system like Salesforce in place?
Jason: So by having a lot more of your processes on a single platform or at least minimizing the platforms, so quite often people will have their finance or their ERP on another platform. That said Salesforce has a number of Finance and ERPs built on Salesforce but having all of the other processes around marketing, event management, sales, contact management, contracts management and customer service along with back-office processes, you get a couple of synergies. Firstly, everyone can see what’s going on with that one contact across the business whether that’s finance or sales or marketing. The other thing is that you get some consistencies in skill sets, so once you know how to create a report for a marketing dashboard, once you’ve learned the data, you can easily transition that skill to creating a report in sales or customer service. This system administration function becomes easier and easier.
Wayne: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense because the more and more platforms you have, the more and more complicated life gets behind a computer screen. Jason, one of the things that I guess everyone worries about is cost. It’s always a critical factor, particularly when you’re talking about back office systems where there’s not a direct correlation between income and outgoing money. How do you address that concern?
Jason: It’s all about the end-customer experience. One of our end customers (not SalesFix’ customer, the businesses that we are implementing Salesforce for), it’s all about their customers’ experience – improving the engagement between the business and the end-customer. The better experience they have, they’re more likely to provide testimonials and referrals and the customer is also more likely to repeat-buy and even the opportunity for upselling. But making the customer is the key with the business that we work with and that’s our end game.
Wayne: Is it a complicated process to start? Is there a quick way into Salesforce?
Jason: That’s a really difficult question to answer. It really does depend on the organisation and the initial requirements. SalesFix has packages for what we call a QuickStart Implementation starting at about $10,000, but we also do new implementations of a $150,000. So it really does depend on the outcomes and what the phase one release of an implementation needs to look like for an organisation – how many users, what do you want to do about training – all these factors need to come in and integration that’s another key bit. We’re happy to continue with a swivel chair technique, swiveling from Salesforce CRM to my Finance ERP or do I need a single integrated solution? So there are so many different factors to decide on what the cost is. We’re also very conscious on making sure that there’s an ROI or Return on Investment for that cost. So we will push back and say, “Look, let’s not do the integration for this piece of work because you’ve only got a couple of users doing this in a couple of times a month. It’d be quicker and easier and cheaper to do that manually versus if there are lots of users doing something lots of times a month.” Then we might suggest there is an ROI on spending a significant amount of money on getting that integration right now.
Wayne: You mentioned integrating Salesforce with other business systems. Can you give me an example or two – what do you mean by integrating?
Jason: Yes, definitely. So I mean if we think about the sales process, the first point of integration might be a web form, a Contact Us form on your website that needs to instead of going to an email address to be managed, that can be changed into a Web-to-Lead form and that form is, that submission is then put into Salesforce as the Lead. Once it’s inside Salesforce, we’ve got some automated processes we can apply, including Assignment rules, auto-response emails, notifications to a new business owner, and tracking a traceability of how many and where they came from. So that’s just the very first point of integration, but other integrations might include out to a finance system so sending an order to MYOB or Xero something like that any Financing ERP back to bringing invoices into Salesforce and then integrating to third-party, but also people talk about integrating within Salesforce. We use Mission Control as a project management tool. We don’t call it integration within the Salesforce world because there it built in the Saleforce platform, but others might regard it as an integrated application because it’s a separate application to the core fundamental CRM.
Wayne: One of the things that I think everyone struggles with these days is the email. Does Salesforce make email easier to manage?
Jason: No, I would say the short answer to that is no it doesn’t and the reason is that there are so many different types of email. Are we talking about an email between two individuals in the sales process that generally is still managed in Gmail or Outlook? If it is, then yes we can make it easier because both of those two applications integrate to Salesforce so that we can push that email into Salesforce or semi-automatically. So there’s much greater visibility of who said what, when, whether that’s the original person having the conversation or somebody else involved in the deal at a later day. Next type of email that I talk about is more automated workflow styling email, so that is when something happens on a bit of data, send out an email. So for us for example, when we close-win an opportunity in our instance of Salesforce, an email automatically gets sent to the customer saying, “Thank you very much. Can you just fill in these extra bits of information as you’re a first-time buyer?” So things like letting us know who the finance team is, where to send invoicing. And then the third type of email is Mass Email, so integrating with MailChimp or Vertical Response or Campaign Monitor – mass email tools – so that’s a lot easier because the data is integrated seamlessly between Salesforce and that mass email tool and back again as well.
Wayne: Jason, it does sound like Salesforce can tie together all of the bits and pieces of a business. I understand it also can do things like purchasing, tracking, and other areas of the backend. Has it become the complete solution?
Revised Question: Has Salesforce become the complete solution for managing businesses?
Jason: So some organisations, yes. Some organizations are definitely using it all the way through from Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, converting through to sales and opportunities, managing complex quoting mechanisms through CPQ (Configure Price Quote) tool through to order tracking and invoicing an ERP through a solution like Salesforce FinancialForce, which is a finance application.
Wayne: Jason Lawrence from SalesFix, it’s been a pleasure having a chat with you again today. I love the way you explain things, it makes an awful lot of sense when I have an expert tell me about it.
Jason: Great, thanks very much and glad it’s making sense to you.
Wayne: And for people who have been listening, if you want to reach out to Jason and SalesFix, you can do that via the website at www.salesfix.com.au
Revised: Reach out to Jason Lawrence of SalesFix via their website at www.salesfix.com.au
Jason: Right, thanks very much indeed. Great speaking to you.