The rising popularity of social media means there are more ways than ever to connect with the people who matter to your organization. Build relationships with the communities that can help you grow, and find ways to deliver your programs and services in innovative and efficient new ways. Salesforce.com has developed a platform that has the “ability to connect” very well embedded in its DNA.
We are solution providers and we never begin to explore alternative solutions until we have a complete understanding of our client’s requirements. However, with our experience of the non-profit sector, we understand the challenges social enterprises face and the goals that they want to achieve. We have implemented Salesforce CRM at a number of social enterprises and wanted to share with you the potential of Salesforce as a viable option for any social enterprise. Here are some of the most compelling reasons why Salesforce must be considered as a potential solution by all social enterprises irrespective of their size and sector they operate in:
- Flexible & Scalable It is a platform on which anything can be built, quickly and cost effectively
- Non-Profit Starter Pack Salesforce has developed a Non-Profit Starter Pack (NPSP) for social enterprises, making a quick start possible.
- Its Free Salesforce provides 10 free licenses to non-profits.
- Built in Functionality is ready to use The basic platform has so much functionality that not only it is likely to meet most of requirements but also provides ideas for doing more things.
- Platform built Bottom up The manner in which the Salesforce platform is built has given a new meaning to the term “User friendly”. This is what user friendly means, users with no technical knowledge in the areas of software development can make changes such as adding fields, making drop down lists, even creating new forms to capture a unique set of data.
- Development community A large community around the world is developing on the Salesforce platform. This has translated in to an “App exchange” similar to the Play Store if you use Android phone or iTunes if you are an iphone/iPad user. If you need to accomplish something unique, chances are somebody has already made an App for it. And it gets better, chances are that this App is available for free on the App Exchange. Click here and see for yourself what sort of Apps are available
- Salesforce facilitates Connections Salesforce facilitates creation of a social profile of customers (both internal and external) to enable more meaningful interactions between organisations and its customers as well as within the organisation.
- It is in the Cloud Built to be used in the cloud, it eliminates all worries related with hardware and data security.
- It can be developed & supported in the Cloud and this is one of the major advantages as it makes the entire development and deployment journey a complete joy.
A word of caution though, while Salesforce may have answers to all your requirements, it may still be not the right solution for you because of so many other factors that can be unique to your organisation. That is the reason we always stick to our methodology and start with operations modelling to develop an understanding about the business and create a Current Operating Model of the business. However, Salesforce is always considered as a serious contender in all our solution research options for social enterprises.
About the Author: Qasim Mahmood is a Business Solution Specialist with over 20 years of operational and project experience in a variety of verticals, defining, designing and implementing various types of information systems. More recently Qasim is concentrating on Salesforce.com based solutions for charities and small businesses with a goal to make technology work with the constraints of short time frame and small budgets. For comments or further information about any of the aspects mentioned in the post please contact Qasim Mahmood directly on firstname.lastname@example.org