A decade ago, Salesforce was a small, disruptive player in the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space. What set them apart from their competition was that they were a Software as a service or SaaS. It was important to Marc Benioff (founder, Chairman and CEO of Salesforce) that this application be “clicks not code.” A solution that did not require infrastructure management and reduced the technical expertise that was typically required of companies to configure and set up CRM solutions.
Today Salesforce accounts for over 18% of all global spend for CRM software vs around 12% for SAP, 9% for Oracle and 6% for Microsoft. With offerings that include a sales cloud, service cloud, marketing cloud, the Force platform and several other services, they’ve moved well beyond the realm of just a CRM tool. It’s now being used for HR solutions, recruiting, project management, agile management, vendor management and much, much, more.
It’s hard to believe that organizations leave a lot of these new options untapped. Many companies are still using Salesforce to just run their sales, marketing or customer service centers, which is kind of like purchasing a membership to a country club. It’s REALLY expensive if you only used the club to play tennis, but it’s a great value if you utilize all of the club’s facilities such as golf, tennis, the pool and its other amenities. Likewise, if you’re paying for Salesforce licenses but only running your sales team in Salesforce then you’re not receiving your full return on investment (ROI). By carefully leveraging the variety of licenses that Salesforce offers, you can create a high-value, company-wide business management solution that, when developed correctly, easily integrates into other key systems like your ERP or back-end finance system.
If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to review the costs of consuming and maintaining several different licenses that could potentially be absorbed by Salesforce. Ask questions like: how is your data quality? What does adoption look like? How efficient is your licensing plan? Etc. Take the time to analyze your current situation and consider developing a consolidation and architecture plan that maximizes the potential of Salesforce as well as your other corporate sub-systems. And remember, just because the implementation consultants have left, it doesn’t mean that the project is complete. On the contrary, it needs to be proactively managed because your Salesforce journey is really just beginning.