This led the company to look into the CRM solutions available on the market. “Salesforce is inherently customisable and can be tailored to a company’s particular needs. Given our desire to constantly evolve and change how we work, we knew it was right for us,” said O’Donoghue. “Constantly disrupting ourselves and the industry we work in has been a mantra for us since day one, and Salesforce supports that ethos. It provides a foundation that you can add all kinds of capability to as and when you need it.”
Social Talent has been using Sales Cloud since March 2016 to help it get to know its customers better. “With Salesforce, we can understand the volume of leads coming in, conversion rates, and trends in sales,” said O’Donoghue, “And having a single source of the truth is hugely important when it comes to sales metrics and customer information – it frees up a lot of time for our sales team as they no longer need to ask around to find out what’s going on with a particular account.”
Salesforce dashboards don’t just show the current sales pipeline, but also display forecasts for the rest of the year. This wider field of vision helps employees to meet their targets and identify areas that need more work. “We’ve seen a shift in behaviour since we started using Salesforce,” said O’Donoghue. “People are more focused on long-term goals, and they’re so much more confident in delivering on objectives. The result of this has been a far higher sales achievement, and in many cases a doubling of the sales number that our team can deliver.”
Since using the solution, Social Talent has also cut book-to-bill time by 50%. “We had a situation where we lost time between booked sales and invoiced customers, which was significantly hitting our cashflow. Now we’ve integrated Salesforce with our online accounts system using an app from the Salesforce AppExchange, which allows us to report in real time on all uninvoiced sales and clear any backlog quickly,” explained O’Donoghue.
Using apps like this from the Salesforce AppExchange has helped Social Talent to automate other processes too. For example, using an app to enable a simple and consistent approach to how the company sends quotes to customers has reduced the quote-to-cash timeframe and provides invaluable data around the sales cycle. “Salesforce Salesforce Platform mimics consumer life – whatever we need to do, there’s an app for it,” said O’Donoghue.
More leads, more customers
Social Talent has now extended automation to lead management. It’s using Pardot to proactively nurture leads with more potential customers. “We create a vast amount of content, and we have a big audience, but what good is it if it doesn’t translate into more sales?” said O’Donoghue. “With Pardot we can analyse how people are engaging with content and turn that information into something our sales team can work with.”
With a clear view of what works and what doesn’t, Social Talent’s marketing team can focus on the activities and content that drive engagement. It also brings its target audience into the spotlight. “Pardot means we don’t waste time on low-impact activities. We can create more relevant content that drives leads into the sales funnel and helps close more deals,” said O’Donoghue.
And Social Talent is creating more leads from former satisfied users with Community Cloud. “Pardot’s ability to nurture prospects inspired us to think about how we can keep the leads coming,” said O’Donoghue. “Our answer was to create communities to keep people engaged with us. Two years from now, someone who is currently receiving training might be heading up their own team and we want them to think of us when they want to up-skill them.”
Maintaining long-term relationships with customers isn’t the only benefit of the online community – it also encourages peer-to-peer learning to ensure customers continue to get value from their training investment.
Better service insights
Another key factor in turning previous trainees into future customers is service quality. Service Cloud keeps support tickets, customer history, and outcomes in one place. This single view of the customer is invaluable for securing renewals. “If a sales rep is preparing to meet a customer they can see any outstanding issues. Forewarned is forearmed, and while we don’t have too many unhappy customers it’s best to have the full picture before entering into renewal and expansion conversations,” said O’Donoghue.
As well as using traditional channels such as telephone and email, customers can also engage with the service team via web chat using Live Agent. By analysing service data to identify trends, Social Talent has more insight into what customers are struggling with, and how they’d like the service to evolve. “Now we know what matters to our customers and we can make sure we’re meeting those needs,” said O’Donoghue.
As the company has grown, perfecting its processes and enhancing efficiency has been a huge part of its success. “Salesforce has made us think about everything we do. Our tag line is ‘work smarter, live happier’ and with Salesforce, we’re doing just that,” concluded O’Donoghue.