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Efficiency is a Moral Must: Driving Salesforce Adoption with Remote Staff

By March 16, 2015

By: Sara Wade, Development Officer, Possible

Possible on SalesforcePossible is a nonprofit healthcare company that delivers high-quality, low-cost healthcare to the world’s poor. We are pioneering an approach called durable healthcare, which brings together the best of private, public, and philanthropic models. Since 2008, Possible has treated over 235,000 patients in rural Nepal through government hospitals, clinics, and community health workers.

Since 2009, we’ve operated Bayalpata Hospital in partnership with Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population, growing dramatically in the last few years, scaling up our model at the primary clinic and community level. As a young, entrepreneurial team, we made do with Excel spreadsheets to track and manage funding and relationships. We quickly outgrew this system, and Salesforce was a natural fit for our next step.

With a team that spans over 7000 miles, keeping each other informed while we deliver care in rural Nepal presents a significant challenge. Whether coordinating to build one of Nepal’s first rural teaching hospitals, engaging with funders, or launching an innovative partnership with Venmo, Salesforce has given Possible the versatility to manage impactful relationships with all of its stakeholders and streamline investor relationships, data collection, and donor analysis.

Baby & Locu with Possible

Last spring, we began planning for a full transition from our less efficient donor database to Salesforce. With the support of a CRM expert, we began building our custom Salesforce application, planning remote and in-person trainings for our team, and fully integrating with Cirrus Insight (Google Apps), Classy, and MailChimp. We made it from our Sandbox to training and launch in two short months with only a few small bumps. We first launched in our NYC office, branching out to our teams in Boston and Seattle before turning to the biggest challenge of all: our Nepal-based leadership.

Initial adoption was, as predicted, a challenge. We’d shown the how of Salesforce, but not the why. The why was crucial, and adoption came from the development of simple custom use cases for our team that mapped out exactly how we’d engage with Salesforce, and most importantly, how it made their workload more efficient as we deliver healthcare in one of the world’s most challenging environments.

For example, here’s a use case we created for our CEO and Marketing Director:

Pret A Manger Foundation:

Pret has a new CSR department that has been vetted by the Development team as a potential lead. Mark sends a cold email from his inbox to get in touch with their Foundation team. He hears back from their VP that they’d love to invest in Possible & to build a mutually beneficial marketing partnership. Mark cc’s in Laura and introduces her to their Director of Marketing.

Laura sets up a contact record for the Director of Marketing in Salesforce, assigning it to the organization record for Pret A Manger. Mark will record all relevant interactions with the VP of the Foundation, Laura will record all relevant conversations with the Director of Marketing.

Here is an additional use case for our Chief Programs Officer in a pursuit for in-kind hospital supplies:


Nivea is vetted as a potential lead for getting in-kind supplies for Bayalpata Hospital. Duncan reaches out to Nivea to see if they will donate lotion to the hospital for patient care. Nivea responds that unfortunately that they do not provide in-kind supplies and will not cover shipping costs now or at any point in the future.

Duncan makes a note of this in the appropriate Asana task (Vetted for Development), but does not create a contact in Salesforce as this is considered a dead end.

You may be thinking, “How can a CRM really affect patients in a place like rural Nepal?” We’ve shown that by streamlining processes, analyzing data, and managing our investor relations more efficiently, we can focus more concretely on our number 1 rule in our Culture Code: solving for the patient.


Another important principle of ours is treating efficiency as a moral must. For our Marketing team, this means the ability to track campaigns through Classy and MailChimp in one central location. And our Development and Finance leadership is now able to pull detailed reports on our income in a matter of seconds. We can quickly look up the last correspondence with an important investor, which is key for a team that is traveling frequently. Custom use cases connected our team to the Salesforce Platform and led to a successful adoption within months of launch. As a result, we now integrate distinct use cases into the onboarding for all new team members, so that they live on the Platform from day one.

I’ll leave you with a quote from a member of our team, Laura Schwecherl, Marketing Director, “When I joined the team as Marketing Director last year, I was reaching out to connections we already had made, or frequently double checking with team members, since we didn’t have a robust contact database. Now I not only know who we do or don’t have relationships with, but I can see how much they’ve donated, which campaigns they’ve engaged with, and more. Not only does it streamline my own work so I can get more done — I can make smarter decisions when dealing with the different people and companies I converse with on a regular basis.”