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Does anyone use "Salesforce"

Does anyone use "Salesforce"

(OP)
At work we've had access to the Salesforce platform for a few years. I've never really paid attention to it because the company has never explained what we're supposed to do with it. I've looked at the Salesforce website but it's all flowery gibberish to me. I'm just wondering if anyone uses it and if so what do you do with it?

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

I used to work with.
Sales indicate the projects and opportunities there, they forecast and monitor the projects as well (e.g. request for quote received, bid submitted, etc.). They include also the various competitors and add comments.

During the life cycle of an opportunity like I said they also forecast when an order will land, rating from less probable to highly likely and status (live, postponed, cancelled, etc). Of course the value of projects ($$) is also tracked there. This is used by management to take snapshots on the pipeline of opportunities and to have overview of the situation (very famous for weekly sales meeting etc).

A lot of statistics and performance metrics can be derived as well based on that system and the information it contains. Let alone the use marketing makes of it.

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

[quote]...life cycle of an opportunity...[quote]
[quote]...statistics and performance metrics...[quote]
[quote]...relationship management...[quote]
[quote]...primarily useful for a sales function...[quote]

Oh my goodness. I can't believe you both answered BridgeBuster's question with even MORE flowery gibberish!
You two are usually so clear and concise in your answers. And have called out the gibberish yourselves.

Bridgebuster:
The Salesforce software is a database intended to track whether your company and employees are satisfying the needs of their customers.

STF

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

(OP)
SparWeb - thanks for the response. On the Salesforce page on our intranet there are probably three dozen or more icons, which seem mostly related to updating our resumes.

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

BB,
You will never know how much other text I wrote and deleted and wrote and deleted, before trimming it all down to one sentence and hitting "Submit".
The subject seems to have pushed some of my buttons, too!

STF

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

We don't use it, but a CRM is a very useful tool for people in business development. If a BD person is doing their job, they are making a lot of contacts. Every contact requires a follow up...and then another... and another...etc. Different contacts have different levels of importance for follow up. Every contact is a unique ongoing conversation. In almost no time, you will have hundreds of these conversations that you can't possibly keep in your head. If you are on a team, you don't want to overlap your efforts on one client, for obvious reasons. But your team mates also have hundreds of ongoing conversations that they cannot keep in their heads either. So, this is where a CRM program comes into play. If you are doing mostly engineering PM work, and not rainmaking, then the burden of the data entry into the CRM is likely not worth the benefit. Though your sales department would probably like to know whether or not they are being redundant upon your own limited client relationship development.

In my opinion, the below description is quite a good and concise one:

[quote]...life cycle of an opportunity...[quote]
[quote]...statistics and performance metrics...[quote]
[quote]...relationship management...[quote]
[quote]...primarily useful for a sales function...[quote]

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

(OP)
Looking at the Salesforce page on our intranet, it's mostly a database for projects and resumes. No client feedback or survey results. In looking at some projects, it seems we don't bother to survey our clients (maybe that's a good thing wink). There is a feature called Chatter for posting verbal diarrhea.

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

At a former employer, we engineers were required to start using a CRM app.
It was interesting to look at occasionally, but it did so much 'updating' that it brought my CAD computer to its knees.
I demanded and got a second computer, just for the CRM and other administrivia.
Eventually, the CRM was removed, probably because the demo period was over, and hardly anyone used it as it seemed to be intended.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

...and Mike promptly returned the spare computer to the IT department...
right?

STF

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

There are plenty of reasons to use a system that does what a CRM does, though whether it is considered 'CRM' or not can be up for debate.
A lot of the problem is that people consider such software to be the next step forward for their business without considering how it might be used or what it can be used for.
Deltek Vision has a whole heap of different functions that can be useful for a business, although at a previous employer it was universally derided as the 'Accounting tool'.

Even something as simple as a central contact management tool, with the ability to track last email / letter or whatever can be incredibly useful. How many times have people had to ask their colleagues for their client contact's phone number (or email address), as opposed to being stored centrally so its accessible?

Of course, if its not implemented correctly, or it takes more effort to use than the benefit it provides, then its going to be a pain. Kind of like having to fill out monthly status spreadsheets, and then enter the same information into the CRM, or entering timesheets, and then having to keep a separate spreadsheet of the projects worked on, because your boss can't use the reporting tools available.

EDMS Australia

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

Uh, yeah, I would have returned that spare computer if asked strongly enough, but it was too old and slow to be of much use as anyone's primary machine.

... and then the company shrank rather a lot for unrelated reasons, and most of my department, including me, was let go.

... and then it shrank rather a lot more, and most of the people I had known retired or were let go.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

We use Microsoft Dynamics which is a competitor of Salesforce. I find it staggering how slow and clumsy it is, coming from a relatively well-known software company :) but that's another story.

Yes it's for business development. All the potential business is supposed to be in the database.
Of course it can show you only the data you entered. So there is a lot of data entry for sure, but then the tool centralises everything that was previously in various spreadsheets on various personal drives or (for the old school sales cats) scribbled down in notebooks or just not logged at all.
The tool then can sort and group and extract data in such a way that you can construct a sales budget and follow it up.
It gives a BD/Sales team a vehicle for a much more systematic approach and team work. It is also a great tool for the sales director to monitor what the heck his people are doing out there. With some good prioritisation, which is really what the tool aims at, the team can become so much more efficient.

The tool will not actually manage the relationship with your clients for you, too many buzzwords indeed. You still need to play golf and drink beer (bugger!)

If collaboration is your thing, the system allows you to Like whenever the guy in the office next to you closes a deal. I think we did that a few times during the first week :D

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

We use MD also, every contact with a customer, former customer, or potential customer is logged.
While 85% of the use is by sales our technical and QA people also have access.
In this way everyone is on the same page either with new opportunities or following up on previous issues.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, Plymouth Tube

RE: Does anyone use "Salesforce"

We use Salesforce, mostly for big clients. Some of the features still misunderstandable for me, but as robust solution to keep your clients and leads base fresh it fits perfectly

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