Mar 10, 2021

Evaluating Salesforce Usage

Overview

The client, which manages assets for some of the world’s largest institutional investors, has client portfolios that include investment-grade fixed income, derivative overlay, and index-like equity investments. ​

The client had been using Salesforce, but wanted to get more value out of its CRM. The manager engaged Cutter Associates to evaluate its current usage of Salesforce for both core and non-core functions and to provide recommendations on how it could optimize its use of its system and improve data quality. Cutter deliverables included the following:

  • Description and evaluation of current state usage of all core and non-core functions in Salesforce​
  • Assessment of appropriate use of functions in Salesforce​
  • Assessment of the firm’s client, account & product (CAP) data model structure in Salesforce​ to increase data quality (e.g., completeness, accuracy, and consistency)
  • Identification of gaps, pain points, inefficiencies, and risks with the current use of Salesforce

The client places a high priority on nurturing existing relationships and used its CRM system predominantly for managing service activities rather than sales activities.

Cutter Solution

We first benchmarked the client’s use of core CRM functions in Salesforce versus its peers, including Client and Contact Management, Interaction Management, Marketing Automation, Prospecting and Sales, Employee Assignments, and Reports/Dashboards. We suggested using more of the core CRM functionality as one way of increasing value of Salesforce, including the following:

  • Expand the Salesforce client data model to include other entity types such as consultants and OCIOs to improve the management of these relationships
  • Build out notes functionality to improve search
  • Identify additional use cases for reports and dashboards
  • Leverage Salesforce Mobile App to encourage higher levels of adoption across client services

Next, we evaluated the non-core CRM functions that were more oriented toward client servicing and maintenance, including Account Onboarding and Maintenance, Benchmark Assignments, Client Reporting, Invoicing, Cash Flow Notifications, Task Management, Vendor Management, and Portfolio Management functions. We assessed the fit of the function within Salesforce and interviewed business users and IT to determine the level of satisfaction users had with the functionality. We also provided information on how peers were using Salesforce for these non-core CRM functions, noting that the client was leveraging Salesforce and other systems for the entry, storage, mastering, and consumption of client, account, product, employee, and benchmark data. Some of Cutter’s key recommendations for non-core use included the following:

  • Implement controls and governance around Salesforce and other technology that support client services
  • Move tasks that don’t have a client-facing component off of Salesforce

By following Cutter’s suggestions, the client was able to improve its client meeting preparation process, draw additional insights about potential leads, and improve decision-making around IT solutions. The client increased the value of its Salesforce usage and transitioned non-core functions not suited to Salesforce to more appropriate solutions, all while improving data quality of the client, account, product, employee, and benchmark data domains.