In 2011, Professional Research Consultants (PRC) bought Salesforce.com’s Sales Cloud CRM product to help support sales activities and improve growth.
The new system was met with a “rocky start,” says Candace Quinn, Chief Operating Officer at the 900-person-strong healthcare market research firm headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I don’t think we did a great job training,” Quinn said. “We had a lot of turnover in the sales area over the last couple of years. We really didn’t have a strong client relationship management structure per se; we had a really big deep project management structure in which reps were assigned clients but it was about touching base with the day-to-day point person to get the research work done, as opposed to really cultivating the client in a more lasting type of relationship.”
In talking with their Salesforce Account Executive, Quinn learned that operations was one of the key business areas they could streamline with Salesforce and improve their overall ROI.
Salesforce recommended a local Salesforce Consulting firm, Nuvem Consulting, to help conduct the discovery and also work with their sales team on optimizing Sales Cloud.
PRC began working with Nuvem Consulting and Co-Founder Jack Pereira in 2014 starting with a rigorous discovery process. During the discovery, consultants sought to understand all technologies used by sales, marketing and operations, including legacy systems built by internal teams. This process enabled them to identify the changes required in Sales Cloud, the right AppExchange solution and integrations necessary to put in place end to end technology that fit their budget, timeline and goals to significantly improve the way they managed survey production, and managed sales and marketing.
Nuvem found that the survey management processes was often complicated by custom changes requested by clients. Without a single solution to manage surveys in the production process, these custom changes bogged down the process and essentially stopped the production line. This in turn led to confusion and delays.
“We really needed eyes on that production line,” Quinn said. “In talking with Nuvem, they said, ‘Yes, we can do that with Salesforce. In fact, we can do one better. We can help you find something in the AppExchange that will be your production line. Nuvem looked at our own business processes, our workflows and those places where work disappeared, and that’s when we started our work with ProcessComposer.”
Due to the complexity of the workflow and approval processes, ProcessComposer was selected as the primary tool for the project, which has greater functionality than out-of-the-box Process Builder in Salesforce. ProcessComposer is a Force.com process automation solution that supports repeatable, people-driven processes that execute over time.
Nuvem and PRC identified 15 core processes that would be improved with ProcessComposer and implemented those processes throughout 2015. Along the way, the team was able to identify further efficiencies by consolidating some of the processes through implementing Salesforce Cases functionality.
Streamlining work and being able to report on the survey “production line” has sparked a total business transformation at PRC.
“Probably the most exciting part about all of this is getting to appreciate Salesforce’s other possibilities,” Quinn said.
In fact, the impact of Salesforce on the organization has now been so strong that PRC is planning a Salesforce Communities implementation in the Spring of 2016. The customer portal will enhance the customer experience while improving the organization’s ability to engage with customers in new ways.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for us,” Quinn said. “We think it’s going to be yet another stand-out feature for our company, and we are happy that we can do this all through Salesforce and with Nuvem’s help.”
Working with Nuvem enabled PRC to take advantage not of best practices current to Salesforce and the IT world, but to innovation and implementing next-gen technologies throughout the organization that will take them well into the future.
“If you only chase the best practices you’ll end up at average,” Quinn said. “If the are doing best practices, then everyone is doing them. You are just average. You really want to know, ‘what’s the next practice?’ In talking with Jack and his team, he was good at saying, ‘this is where the industry is. but that’s not where you want to be. You want to be in the next place, and these are the ways you can get there affordably, quickly, and without sacrificing all that’s come before.’”
Nuvem’s expertise in Microsoft .NET enabled the team to create an integration to existing legacy systems that internal teams had worked so hard to create.
“Our internal team at PRC had always built everything we needed,” Quinn said. “We never bought anything off the shelf. We were a company that prided itself on creating all the solutions we needed. Jack was very sensitive to supporting all those legacy systems with easy solutions to have them talk to each other. The Nuvem team partnered with the code team to integrate ProcessComposer into our work and our efforts with Salesforce.”
Above all, Quinn has been impressed with the relationship she has built with Nuvem.
“I really respect having been a consultant myself the fact that it wasn’t about Nuvem creating a client forever but really about creating a client that would be a client when we need them,” she said.