Does your Salesforce CRM feel disconnected from your business processes? Do you feel like you have to use Salesforce because is telling you to, but you end up reverting to spreadsheets and sticky notes?

As Salesforce has been gaining momentum in the nonprofit community, many nonprofits adopt and implement the powerful CRM to manage their donor engagement and programs. Through our work with nonprofits at various stages in their journey with Salesforce, we have found that while their business processes may change and evolve to meet new demands, their CRM doesn’t always keep up.

Fortunately, there are a few telltale signs that indicate that an organization is using a CRM that no longer supports their business processes. If you see your staff seeking out alternatives to Salesforce, it may be time to schedule a business process review.

4 Signs It’s Time to For a Business Process Review

  • Shiny new tool of the day syndrome. We have found that when there is misalignment between the internal processes and Salesforce CRM, there is a tendency for staff to look for alternative tools that allow them to do their jobs outside of Salesforce. This can lead to a proliferation of various software tools that do not talk to each other and create silos of data. When you combine this with a certain level of staff turnover, you risk losing both information and knowledge of important institutional business processes.
  • Bringing back the post-it note. When staff reverts to old ways, like post-it notes and Excel spreadsheets, it’s a sign that Salesforce is not meeting the needs of the organization’s business processes.
  • Distrust of the Salesforce CRM data. Your staff may grow to distrust the data in your organization’s Salesforce over time, and consciously or subconsciously choose not use it all together. While we know that clean data in means clean data out, and we advise setting up data entry protocols from the get-go, we recognize that no matter how stringent your protocols are, incomplete and duplicate data will somehow creep into the system. To avoid this situation, we encourage organizations to develop a regular data monitoring strategy utilizing the powerful reports and dashboards of Salesforce.
  • Only the administrator is really using the system. The true value of the Salesforce CRM for nonprofits is when it is the one-stop shop for all organizational data, or the system of record. When only the administrator is putting data into the system and knows how to get data out of the system, the value of the CRM is greatly reduced. This is the time to step back and evaluate why is it difficult for staff to perform these tasks themselves, and put in place the coaching and training necessary to enable each staff member to be self-sufficient in Salesforce.

What can I do about it?

Just as an organization changes, grows, and adapts, so do its business processes. In today’s accelerated world where new technologies replace existing ones more rapidly than before, it is especially important that an organization’s Salesforce CRM evolve as well. A business process review can provide a great opportunity to re-evaluate the changes in the business process and re-calibrate your database accordingly.

During a business process review we recommend these strategies:

  • Involve your staff: Take stock by requesting feedback from your staff. Sit down with your team, watch them use Salesforce, and take notes on how they use the system. Keep staff engaged by starting a Salesforce newsletter that keeps staff informed of new features, screens, integrations and internal protocols.
  • Simplify the business process first: If you find that mapping the business process into Salesforce is too complex, maybe it’s time to re-think the business process itself. Time spent reevaluating how things are done may quickly result in a simplified implementation effort.
  • Find integrations: It’s inevitable that new tools will be created and adopted all the time, and they probably address some business process needs in special ways that cannot easily be matched by anything in Salesforce. If that’s the case, consider integrating these tools with Salesforce to prevent data silos from forming and work to keep information in one place.

How can we help?

Our team of DaizyLogik consultants and developers have experience working in partnership with nonprofit organizations to help guide the business process review. Through carefully crafted questions, staff interviews, and a Salesforce audit, we identify opportunities for improvement and simplification. We create a plan of action for the organization and guide them through their journey. Be prepared to make some changes, rethink what you thought could never be done differently, and enjoy the ride!