2019 is Coming to an End. Is Your Salesforce Budget Ready?

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It is that time of year again, budgets.  With that, we wanted to share a few ways to think about how to budget for Salesforce annually. 

To make this simple from the get-go, let’s break your annual budget around Salesforce into 4 buckets:  

  • License Fees
  • Strategic Initiatives
  • Ongoing Support
  • Employee Development

Before we get into what should go into each bucket, we thought it might be helpful to outline a few things that we think you should be considering.  

Proper Care and Feeding

Salesforce needs proper care and feeding, all year, every year. This is not just a Salesforce thing, all CRM solutions do. Why?  Glad you asked. Think about where the most innovation, changes in strategy and tactics happen. For most organizations, this is around customer acquisition and retention. Which is what most organizations have purchased Salesforce for. So the adjustment to your sales strategy midyear, the new process in customer support, the new vertical, the new product offering all impact how Salesforce might be set up and configured to support these new strategies. 

Costs vs ROI

If Salesforce is a cost that does not drive positive ROI it is time to ask why? Hundreds if not thousands of companies have seen positive ROI year after year from their investment in Salesforce.  Some of the items driving ROI are more effective and productive employees to realizing an increase in the acquisition of new customers as well as measurable reductions in custom attrition all of which can be traced back to a well-implemented and supported instance of Salesforce.  

Strong Foundation 

Most organizations, while maintaining what has already been implemented, tend to look to Salesforce to do more and more every year.  As organizations look to build out Salesforce it is important that the foundation is strong and has followed best practices.  

Things to consider:

  • Is your Salesforce solution healthy, aligned to process and being used? 
  • Have you been keeping current with Salesforce upgrades? 
  • Have you been taking advantage of the new features that have come out 3 times a year since you first installed Salesforce? 
  • Has your instance of Salesforce been updated and aligned to new strategies and processes over the years as your organization has changed over the years? 
  • Just as important as things have changed, have you removed configuration and data that supports old strategies and tactics?  
  • Does the staff talk ill of Salesforce and complain about it? 

The Business Needs

Talk with your department heads about changes that might be coming in their departments for the upcoming year. In addition to what they are talking about addressing in the upcoming year, ask them to them about the challenges and opportunities they face.  They might not know what is possible so may have never have thought to ask for it. 

Things to consider: 

  • If the department uses Salesforce, assess if any of the proposed changes will impact the current setup or require new configurations to Salesforce. 
  • Listen to what the department heads that are not currently using Salesforce are hoping to accomplish in the upcoming year. Do any of the items discussed impact any aspect of the current setup.  Can something already in place be leveraged to help this department succeed more quickly? Is there an opportunity to move any of the new strategies into Salesforce for the first time to leverage your existing investment in Salesforce.

Pulling it all together

Licensing Fees

Licensing fees relate to what you pay Salesforce to use their solutions.  

Things go consider: 

  • What solutions are your paying for? 
  • When do they expire?   
  • Are you using the solutions you are paying for? 
  • Are you over or close to over on any limits like file storage or data storage?
  • Do you have any other 3rd party solutions in place as a part of your Salesforce solution? 
  • Do you have the correct number of users today and do you think you might need more users this up and coming year?  

Strategic Initiatives 

This is really new things you want Salesforce to do for you.

Things to consider: 

  • Do any of your departments have any major changes coming with their exiting use and setup? 
  • Do any of your department any new initiatives for the upcoming year.  

Ongoing Support

Anything needed to maintain or do simple refinement to your existing solution should be considered support.  What you need to spend on support really depending on what you have implemented, customizations and data integrations in place.  

Employee Development

Abby Wambach, the leading scoring in Women’s Soccer would have never made this happen if she was just ok does not just get by kicking around a soccer ball.  A master carpenter does not struggle with how to use their hammer. To win the game of business your staff has to be masters of the tools their profession uses.  Business is hard enough, don’t lose the game because you skimping on the basics.  

Things to  consider: 

  • Does your in-house Salesforce Admin know everything they need to in order to expertly maintain your Salesforce solution? 
  • Do your managers know how to use Salesforce to do their jobs or are they still doing things outside of the solution in Excel? 
  • Do your end-users know how to use the solution to do their jobs expertly within the solution.  

Your organization investment in Salesforce for a reason.  Just like any large investment, it will last longer and provided better returns if it is taken care of.  Salesforce along with any technical solution requires proper care and should be up-to-date and refined as strategies and tactics change.  Just like any tool, these tools are only leveraged if people know how to use them.

Looking to include Salesforce in your 2020 budget? Contact us to see how we can help!

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