Technology & Operations

Salesforce is a powerful CRM tool; however, clients need expert guidance in order to fully optimize its performance.

To get the most out of the Salesforce platform, you need experts who understand the requirements of the philanthropy industry and who possess the technical knowledge to customize Salesforce to meet those requirements.

BWF has a team of dedicated data scientists, marketing professionals, strategy architects, and software professionals with the knowledge and experience to help clients understand what Salesforce can—and can’t—do for them.

Here are a few things you should know about Salesforce before go live.

The difference between the Salesforce platform and other CRM products.

Because Salesforce is an open-source product, it represents a different philosophy about software and its value. Most other CRM solutions are more closed products that were developed to solve a single set of problems for a fee and are thus not inherently easy to connect to. Salesforce is designed to be customer- and connection-centric.

It’s important to keep in mind that a platform is a set of software, as well as the surrounding ecosystem of resources that helps you grow your business. A platform enables growth through connection, and its value comes from its own features and its ability to connect external tools, teams, data, and processes. By proactively preparing your team with training and perhaps organizational changes, you will be far more effective post go-live and will be self-sufficient sooner.

How open-source platforms enable the ability to adapt to change.

Whether you’re incorporating new business rules and processes or integrating new technology, tools, or applications, platforms deliver value not only from their own features but also from their ability to connect external tools, teams, data, and processes.

We use and teach best practices and leverage out-of-the-box Salesforce functionality first because custom development is more difficult and costly to maintain. BWF experts understand the AppExchange store and third-party applications that can integrate with Salesforce. Not all apps are created equal, support isn’t always included, and monthly license fees and other hidden costs need to be considered.

Salesforce, or any CRM, is part of an overall application ecosystem.

In Advancement, the CRM is just one of many systems, applications, and tools necessary to run the overall business. While it plays a crucial role, it must interact effectively and seamlessly with all systems in your environment, now and in the future. Like any CRM, Salesforce is just part of your overall data strategy that should include data storage, movement, enrichment, reporting, and analytics. It’s also important to keep in mind the flexibility that Salesforce brings to your organization will amplify the need for data governance.

A well-conceived implementation is never “over” and go-live is never “the end” of the process. Rather, a well-planned implementation establishes a foundation for effective collaboration to support the constant change and growth in your business. Because your business is constantly evolving to meet your clients’ needs, it’s important to ensure your systems are dynamic and ready to go post go-live.

To learn more about BWF and what our experts can do for you, contact us today.