By: Lisa Rau, CEO of Fionta
Old habits are hard to break. In the past, when you implemented a new enterprise software system, you made a big initial investment – the initial purchase and then setting up the software and training users. That initial investment was followed by smaller maintenance and support payments for the lifetime of the system until it was retired or replaced.
With Salesforce, this old model no longer applies. And it is not just because Salesforce is software-as-a-service (SaaS), with subscription fees every month. No, the real opportunity when you have made an investment in Salesforce is…to make more investments!
The old “Set and Forget” operating principle for software no longer works in the age of rapid technology innovation and change. Salesforce’s thrice-yearly software releases, and the Nonprofit Success Pack’s (NPSP) semi-monthly releases are packed full of improvements. And every year, the company releases substantial new functionality, expanding the scope of what Salesforce can do. The value proposition, to have one central, integrated system, only increases as more data and functions are put under Salesforce management. Salesforce also offers the ability to customize the system down to the individual level – enabling productivity improvements on a one-on-one basis that collectively return on any investment in tailoring. As users gain confidence and familiarity with the platform, they generate concepts for further automation and use – creating additional opportunities for investment and continually increasing productivity.
In our 16+ years of working with over 1,000 nonprofits, here are some of the “next things” we have seen nonprofits do with Salesforce:
- Implement advanced analytics. With clean and complete data in one system, organizations are making use of the Salesforce Wave Analytics business intelligence system. Analytics can inform actions and assist in identifying the big picture view of the organization’s performance.
- Extend usage from Sales Cloud to Service Cloud. Track constituent requests, member inquiries, help desks, and provide scalable support options to a subset or all users.
- Adopt the Marketing Cloud. Advanced, multi-channel marketing is not just possible, it is required to advance to the next level in effectiveness. Creating conversion pathways – whether from prospective donors, members, or clients – increasing the success of all kinds of campaigns.
- Build an approvals workflow. Cover the creation and processing of documents requiring approvals, such as contracts, grants, letters of inquiry, abstracts / submissions, applications, and more.
These are just a few ways nonprofit organizations have grown and expanded their Salesforce ecosystem and there are myriad others that can also return value. Talk to your Account Executive about what (else) Salesforce can do for you.
Fionta is sponsoring and attending Expedition Impact along with a dozen of Fionta’s top-tier clients, next week in Washington, DC. This event is designed to inspire existing Salesforce clients and includes a keynote on “Breaking Down the Orthodoxies that Hold your Organization Back”. Follow @SalesforceOrg on Twitter for great insights from Expedition Impact and check out the free Expedition Impact e-book on conquering Nonprofit Program Management challenges.
About the Author
Lisa Rau is the Chief Executive Officer of Fionta, a woman-owned and operated Salesforce.org Impact Partner. Fionta is focused on implementing Salesforce for nonprofit organizations and has over 16 years and 1,000 clients worth of experience.