What would you do if you weren’t afraid? That’s the question at the heart of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, the best-selling book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. After its publication in early 2013, Lean In sparked much-needed conversation around gender inequality in the workplace. To keep the conversation going and drive real-world change, Sandberg also founded LeanIn.Org, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to empowering all women to achieve their ambitions. Since its launch in March 2013, the organisation has grown to a community of nearly 700,000 members. Moreover, more than 25,000 Lean In Circles — small peer groups that meet regularly to learn and grow together — operate in 130+ countries worldwide.
In addition to growing its large thriving community, LeanIn.Org’s leadership team also partners with businesses and nonprofit organisations as a critical part of their efforts to eliminate gender inequality. LeanIn.Org has more than 500 partners who rely on the nonprofit for world-class programming for their women’s initiatives. Lean In Circles remain the nonprofit’s #1 partner program, and they work. According to LeanIn.Org, 85% of Circle members are more likely to tackle a new challenge or opportunity with the support of their Circle. Through the partnerships program, company-sponsored Lean In Circles are driving measurable change at businesses worldwide. Large organisations also have the opportunity to compare their gender diversity metrics to industry benchmarks by participating in Women in the Workplace, a comprehensive annual study of the state of women in corporate America produced by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company. While LeanIn.Org’s team sees nurturing these partner relationships as vital to its mission, it also can be a big task for a nonprofit with fewer than 15 employees.
As LeanIn.Org moved into its second year of operations in early 2015, it became clear that the organisation needed better tools to manage and sustain its growth. “We were thrilled that the partner community was constantly growing, but we are a small team. We needed a better way to ensure our contacts, activity, and communication were in one place,” said Ashley Finch, head of partnerships. Because every minute is vital when you’re a small team on a big mission, Finch and her colleagues had little bandwidth to log partner interactions to a traditional customer relationship management (CRM) system.
SalesforceIQ offered Finch a way to hit the ground running with intelligent partner management, minus the heavy lifting of manually logging historical partner data. “We uploaded our spreadsheets of partners into SalesforceIQ, which allowed us to see our communication history with our 500+ partners all aggregated into one place,” she said. From there, SalesforceIQ gave her entire team the ability to collaborate, share tasks, and keep full histories of interactions with new partners as they move from a “potential” status to an “active” one.
In their first year using SalesforceIQ, Finch estimates her team saved 2–3 hours each week just by eliminating manual data entry. SalesforceIQ’s predictive intelligence saves the team even more time, suggesting relevant follow-ups to customer interactions and keeping Finch’s team on top of partner needs as they come in via email.
“SalesforceIQ allows us to focus on what matters: our partner relationships and our programs to encourage female leadership,” Finch said. By leveraging relationship intelligence, the team at LeanIn.Org spends less time wrangling data and more time changing the lives of women around the world.