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Essentials for Small Business: Q&A with Meggie Palmer of PepTalkHer

Meggie Palmer, Founder and CEO of PepTalkHer, wanted to find a way to help women supercharge their success and close the gender pay gap. She created the PepTalkHer App, a coach in your pocket that helps women track career wins and provides data to back up pay raise and promotion conversations.

As a small business owner who is always looking for ways to save time, Palmer needed a technology and automation system to do the work for her and keep track of leads and potential revenue, so she turned to Salesforce Essentials. We caught up with her for an interview on her business and to hear how the PepTalkHer team uses Salesforce every day to help grow its community and empower women to reach their full potential.

How does PepTalkHer use Salesforce Essentials?

There is a funny story here. I signed up for — I’m not joking– more than a dozen CRM trials as I was looking to find the most intuitive system. For PepTalkHer, I needed a system that was mobile-friendly since I’m always on the road speaking at events or with clients. A desktop-only solution was simply not going to cut it. I felt completely lost and talked to a friend who is the head of sales for a Fortune 500 company. Her advice was: "Look. There are lots of different options. Ultimately, as you grow, all roads lead back to Salesforce." And that advice has always stuck with me.

As it turns out, the automation capability of Salesforce and certainly the digital nature of the product were what was key for us. Today we use Salesforce Essentials primarily to track all of our email traffic with clients and to manage the different events or brand partnerships and engagements.

Salesforce recently announced new conversation channels in Essentials. Web chat, social and phone for small businesses. Is this a game changer?

Businesses these days use Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter — all these different channels. For PepTalkHer, as we were building our communities of women who are often professional but aspirational career women, 25 to 40 years old, the predominant way that we engage with them is via social media. So the fact that the Salesforce Essentials product has evolved to include a social aspect, makes a lot of sense. In terms of being able to manage all of those different programs and communicate with clients from the one platform, it will be a great time saver.

What piece of advice do you have for small business owners who want to adopt a new CRM?

When it comes to evaluating a CRM, I would say think about when and where you’re going to be using it. Who is going to be using it? Does it need to be easy enough that an intern can pick it up and use it? What does your sales team want to do with it? It’s about getting everyone on the same page and centralizing things. That’s what I like about Salesforce. We can have saved responses from interactions with our users so when we next interact, anyone on the team can engage and be up to speed on the latest conversation.

I would also say it’s best to choose a tool that will allow you to scale and grow. A lot of people say, "I don’t use a CRM. I’m not big enough and I can’t afford it." But the thing is, to save maybe a couple of hundred dollars a year, if you get one more piece of business out of that, then surely that pays for that piece of tech hardware. For me, it always comes back to my time. What do I value my time at per hour? It’s a no-brainer to invest in that technology to help me scale the business and save me time. I’m about time-saving wherever I can.

Looking into the future, what are some of the technology trends that you think will impact small businesses?

Two things come to mind: security and artificial intelligence. With the PepTalkHer app, women use it to track their successes at work, and then use that data to advocate for themselves for a raise. So how do we implement the best technology security system to insure that the data that they’re storing is watertight safe? How do we make sure that they can trust us 110 percent with their data? We’re very happy with the solution that we have, but I’m always reevaluating that, just to make sure that we’re ahead of the market.

And then the other thing that I would say is going to impact businesses going forward, is artificial intelligence. I think that that is going to be a great thing, and again, it’s going to be a time-saver, a key priority for being in business. I think it’s going to help us save time with the technology advances that are coming out and API options that we have to plug into our existing technology model.

What’s next for PepTalkHer?

We are excited to be bringing in capital. We’ve been fully self-funded since day one, but we’re now in the process of building an enterprise product to help companies retain their female talent, which has been super fun. We also have some exciting brand partnerships and we’re seeing a lot more events for our community across the United States. A lot of good stuff going on!


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