Salesforce Lightning Improves Data Visibility

Salesforce Integration Customer Story

It wasn’t the first time it had happened. A team from one division of a leading provider of regulatory and compliance solutions for the finance industry, went to see a major client. As the team members waited for the meeting to start, the meeting before theirs ended and the participants walked out of the conference room. To everyone’s surprise, the previous group was a team from another division of the same company. Both teams realized that the experience was a symptom of a bigger issue, and it was time to make some changes.

The Problem
“The Client started as a general compliance services group founded by former SEC regulators. Then, over time, the company expanded to 12 divisions through a series of acquisitions. It was fast-growing and increasingly more diversified in its product offerings. But with such fast growth came fragmentation,” explains the lead Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce Consultant. “The divisions were not able to talk to each other because they didn’t have a single platform through which to do that.”

The Client approached us to solve that problem. The AVS Salesforce consulting team reviewed the Client’s systems and recognized that the company didn’t have a universal sales or marketing process in place. Every division essentially worked independently, and the company as a whole was not taking advantage of the opportunity to cross promote its products to customers. The Client needed a way to bring all of its efforts under a single platform so every division in the company—from cyber security to performance—could see what the other divisions were doing.

The Solution
The Client did have an existing data system in place, but it was difficult to use, and employees were not invested in learning how to make it work better. Ad Victoriam Solutions started from the beginning, encouraging the Client to create a paradigm that identified what products each division offers and to whom the company sells. The AVS team built out a robust data solution based on the information using the cloud-based Salesforce Lightning CRM; the objective was to open up the lines of communication between the company’s divisions, increase data sharing and visibility, and by making workflow more intuitive.

To further streamline the Client’s cross-sell initiatives, Ad Victoriam suggested that the company select one account representative from each division to be notified by the system anytime a product or service is sold and added to an account. Previously, multiple people within a division would receive e-mails regarding sales activity, making it difficult to follow any back-and-forth interactions among team members and divisions. However, Salesforce’s functionality allows all communication to be tracked in one location, and with one designated point person per division, it ensures that the status of an account will be accurate. “It automated the mundane,” the AVS Salesforce Consultant observes.

Ad Victoriam developed a unique structure in Salesforce Sales Cloud for the Client, working closely with the Client to discover and create business processes that it didn’t have and provide a framework for best practices. The system is now up and running, and the Client’s more than 200 employees have grown to understand the power of the Salesforce CRM platform, including its ability to provide real time feedback on reporting and the opportunity to automate document, proposal and contract generation in the future. The solution keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that everyone is always aware of the latest data, it’s a new level of transparency. Ad Victoriam Solutions incorporated the latest features of the Salesforce Sales Cloud into the system, allowing the solution to be enhanced as new tools became available.

“We used features that were released in the middle of the project. We could do that because we understand Salesforce Lightning and use it in the way that it was intended,” AVS Salesforce Consultant says. “We created a single system that’s scalable - customized at just the right level for the Client so it doesn’t require constant intervention from us, while enabling the solution to evolve as business needs change. Now, the Client knows what it can do to enhance businesses processes, and the company’s divisions can work really well together for many years to come.”

 

About
Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce Consultants work as a dedicated, innovative team of problem solvers, taking on your technology challenges. We are Salesforce cloud and data consultants who customize our approach to suit your processes for increased efficiency, accelerated productivity and scalability.

If Salesforce Sales Cloud is not empowering your business the way you need it to, or if you are interested in leveraging the power of Salesforce Lightning, you need an experienced partner. Ad Victoriam is not only a Salesforce Gold Partner, but we also earned the Salesforce Lightning Masters designation. Contact us to learn how we can help empower your business. 

 

4 Deeply Insightful Salesforce Metrics Your Company Should Be Using

Businesses that are able to maximize efficiency – accomplishing the most tasks with the least amount of resources (namely time and money) – generally come out on top.

And data and analytics metrics provided by Salesforce CRM is the answer to many businesses’ quests for efficiency. Salesforce metrics  give you the power to manage your big data to make it work for you, leading the charge to your success.

Here are a few of the most important Salesforce metrics a CRM can provide to your business right when you need it.

1. Lead Conversion

Wouldn’t it be nice to see where you may be wasting money and where you’re getting the biggest bang for your IT buck?

The information gathered by the Lead Conversion metric can help ensure that your funds are going towards the marketing efforts which are bringing you the highest return or the most leads. That equates to less time and money wasted.

Additionally, this is key in partner scenarios to enable effective partner relationships while minimizing time on those that do not grow business.

2. Sales Cycle

Speaking of time wasted, do you know the average time it takes to close a deal right now in your organization.

If you’re able to spot areas where it seems that the amount of time put into a sales effort is outweighing the time it takes to close a deal, it may be time to look at and revise your sales cycle processes.

Additionally, detecting and minimizing leakage at varying points in the Sales Cycle is key to determining appropriate sales opportunity velocity and indicators that may keep fewer deals from being lost.

Salesforce analytics can show you this data quickly and drive actionable insights that are business-appropriate.

3. Pipeline

Understanding the sales funnel is key for forecasting and tracking performance of your business. It’s therefore important to be able to easily measure and communicate pipeline trends, and Salesforce’s pipeline metrics allow you to do just that.

Salesforce supports both weighted and unweighted pipeline to give you additional insight as well as support for annualized revenue as pipeline.

Using the pipeline, you can track your lead nurturing efforts, and see if they’re working.

4. Open Opportunities

As you track your leads through the pipeline, it’s also good to know how many leads you may be juggling at once. The Open Opportunities metric will let you know that number.

Salesforce natively allows you to segment this on stage, last activity, probability, and owner. This allows for quick insights into the pipeline health, areas for focus (both for potential and coaching) and gamification through leaderboards to promote effective sales behaviors in accordance with key business strategies.

For more information on the many other Salesforce metrics in your CRM and other data analytics solutions for enterprises, contact Ad Victoriam Solutions.

Customer Success Stories: Salesforce Data Migration Services for Edgenet

Logo courtesy of http://www.edgenet.com/

Overview

Edgenet is a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) company that helps suppliers put their products onto a retailer’s website (i.e. Lowes). Edgenet formats the products in the correct form for the retailer’s to use.

  • # of Employees: 200-500
  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Industry: Computer Software
  • Go Live Date: 6/1/2016
  • Website: http://www.edgenet.com/

Edgenet, a leading computer software company, approached Ad Victoriam Solutions with the need to migrate their current CRM (Zoho) over to a new Salesforce environment. Zoho was not meeting Edgenet’s business process needs due to limited functionality. Salesforce, however, could offer this functionality.

Read this case study to find out how our certified silver Salesforce consultants were able to help.

The Story

In terms of functionality, Zoho as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution just wasn’t cutting it for Edgenet. For starters, they weren’t able to correctly identify the relationships between retailers and suppliers due to the indefinite numbers of how many there were.

When Edgenet discovered that Salesforce had a junction object setup capability, they decided to make the switch. They hired Ad Victoriam to lend a helping hand and ensure a seamless Salesforce data migration.

“Our company has worked with Ad Victoriam over the past 6 months for Salesforce implementation, data migration, and add-on integrations with HubSpot, AskNicely, Eventbrite, GoTransverse, Wave Analytics, TalkDesk, Glance, etc.,” said Dana Becker, Director of Customer Success at Edgenet.

The Challenges

  • Edgenet was unable to track and visualize how their retailers and suppliers connected within their current CRM (Zoho).
  • Zoho had limited reporting and tracking capabilities.
  • Edgenet wanted to connect retailers and suppliers in a more scalable way and gain the ability to add records as they grow. Zoho locked them in place and they couldn’t effectively manage the system.

Our Solutions

By integrating the following solutions, Ad Victoriam sought to address Edgenet’s challenges and concerns:

Sales Cloud Lightning Experience

  • We developed opportunities for Edgenet to track new business and renewals – yearly subscriptions to customers
  • Added greater visibility into “pipeline”
  • Lead conversion over to opportunity
  • Combined objects that had two lookups per account – Retailer lookup and Supplier lookup (account types)

Service Cloud

  • We setup console with quick actions to help increase efficiency
  • Automated email to case setup and configuration that gets sent to multiple queues based on criteria

Community Cloud

  • Created a Customer Community stand-up where retailers can login and notate tickets and issues

Einstein Analytics (Formerly Wave Analytics)

  • We built two dashboards:
    1. Sales Pipeline and Actuals Dashboard (Sales % of quota)
    2. Service Dashboard (Cases tracking)
  • One dashboard was able to provide what multiple reports would do
  • We developed centralized data reporting and apply filters as opposed to going into multiple reports to do that.

Training

  • We performed multiple end-user training sessions to ensure team members understood the value of Salesforce and obtained a competency level they felt comfortable with.

The Value/Results

  • We increased efficiency with Einstein Analytics (formerly Wave Analytics) reporting metrics
  • We implemented better analytics due to lack of reporting functionality in Zoho
  • We deployed quick actions for Service Cloud console in order to accelerate productivity
  • We added visibility into relationships between the supplier and retailers, helping Edgenet better visualize their entire business as whole

According to Becker:

“Our primary contact, David, has been exceptional. Our company is growing quickly, which forces our projects timelines to be tight. David has helped us meet and exceed aggressive dates on complex data and integration projects. He takes the time to train our team on admin tasks so that we can be self-sufficient, which is not common for most consultants. David understands our business model and has provided process and product recommendations that have helped our company (especially sales and support) become more efficient. I would highly recommend Ad Victoriam for any Salesforce-related projects.”

Thank you Dana and the Edgenet team for your kind words. It was our pleasure partnering with you and we look forward to helping your continued success down the road!

If you’d like to see what our Salesforce Gold Partner consultants and data migration experts can do for your business, contact us today.

Customer Success Stories: How We Helped a World-Class Game Development Studio Leverage Custom Data Solutions

Overview

A world-class independent game development studio hired us to help equip their team with the right data solutions that would allow them to create new standards for their respective genres as well as groundbreaking original IPs.

  • # of Employees: 51-200
  • Location: Plano, Texas
  • Industry: Computer Games
  • Go Live Date: 3/31/2016

A world-class computer games development studio based out of Texas recently had a need to migrate their analytics solution to something that more tightly integrates and scales with their business, so they reached out to us.

Read the case study to find out how we were able to help provide effective long-term data solutions.

The Story

When this computer games development studio had a need to migrate their analytics solution to something that more tightly integrates and scales with their business, they called us.

In addition, the company needed guidance on Analytics Tool selection for internal and external analytics that would allow self-service for a majority of analytics needs.

The Challenge

The company’s existing analytics solutions leveraged MongoDB and was relatively difficult to extend and leverage as their product grew. Additionally, they leveraged a custom-code solution for reporting and analytics that required development resources to create new reporting artifacts or satisfy on-demand information needs.

Our Solution

Ad Victoriam Solutions designed and built a custom solution leveraging Amazon Redshift for data storage. This provided a data warehousing solution that could scale with their business and allow costs to scale as their needs grew.

Additionally, we delivered a series of Proof-of-Concept (PoC) dashboards in Klipfolio to provide initial analytics and self-service capabilities.

Finally, we participated in the tool selection process with the game development studio to find a long-term self-service analytics tool. Tableau was the final selection for this process to meet their long-term analytics and reporting needs.

The Value/Results

Analytics can now be developed outside of the product release schedule. Additionally, as the games go-live and release new capabilities, analytics can be performed near-real-time and on-demand to answer new question and gain new insights in a nimble and self-service manner.

Ad Victoriam Solutions is thrilled to partner with companies from all types of industries, including world-class computer game development companies. Let us solve your data and technology challenges through innovative custom solutions built for your business in mind. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

How to Visualize Sales Goals by Adding Targets to Salesforce Reports and Dashboards

sample Salesforce report: Ad Victoriam Solutions Salesforce blog

It is no secret that visualization plays a key factor in one’s path to achieving their goals.

Robert Collier, an inspirational writer and author of the bestseller The Secret of the Ages (1926), once said “Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin to build it.” In order to accomplish any goal that you have for yourself, you must know where it is you are trying to go in order to successfully get there.

Sales representatives, by nature, are some of the most goal-oriented users of Salesforce, since their primary role as an employee is to reach their respective quota. These quota amounts and types can be different for each individual based on their role within the company.

 

So how do you go about tracking and displaying all of these various values as targets in Salesforce?

There are a few ways you can apply these targets to each individual User Record in Salesforce depending on what these targets relate to, and the relationship between the Users that share the same specific target values:

Unique Targets:
No Established Relationship Between the Target Values and the Users They Are Applied To

To add unique targets to reports and dashboards in Salesforce you must first start by creating a custom field with the Currency, Number, or Percent type on the User object. It is best to use the “Number” field type if you plan on adding a target to a report where data is measured by record count. It is also helpful to specify the timeframe for this particular target within the field name of these new custom target fields (i.e. Field Label: # of Activities Completed (Monthly), or # of Activities Completed (Weekly)).

You can then populate these newly added target fields with values for each employee on their User Record page, or through the data loader. Once these fields are populated with their specific target values, you can then reference these targets by creating a formula field on the object which the target is intended to track against. So if a field is intended to track the # of Activities Completed for the month, you would create a Custom Activity Formula Field of Number type which references the value specified for this target from the related Owner (User Object) fields.

Once the field that captures the target (on User Object) and the field that references the target (Object you want to include target in reports for) have been completed, you are ready to add them to any report where applicable. In order to show these values on a chart or dashboard component, you must summarize the report by the record owner and also summarize the target field column with the MAX function. This will then allow you to plot these targets against the actual performance of the User by either using the “Combination Chart” function in the Vertical Bar Chart specific to the report, or the Vertical Bar Chart dashboard component.

Correlated Targets:
Targets Apply to Users Based on Role or Other Segmenting Fields

If this is the case, then we can actually use a custom formula field on the User Object and specify the target values using an IF or CASE function which matches the targets based on their respective Role or other segmenting field value within the User Object.

Aside from this difference in the construction of the target field(s) on the User Object, all other steps are the same as above in order to add your targets to reports and dashboards in Salesforce.

We hope these simple Salesforce tips help you visualize goals and achieve success. For more in-depth sales knowledge, read up on Salesforce Solutions for Businesses 101 and contact our Salesforce consultants today.

Stepping Stones Toward a Data Governance Framework, Part I

Salesforce administrators play a special role in companies: you have the opportunity to bring teams together to focus on what is most important to them – the customer.

Just one problem – How can we focus on the customer if we don’t know who the customer is?

You would be surprised how many companies cannot easily pull a list of their customers from Salesforce because of poor data quality. If this pain is all too real, let us help you. After years of research, meetings, Dreamforce® sessions, not to mention trial & error, we can get you pointed in the right data quality direction.

Step 1: Do your Homework

You are not going to be able to solve this issue yourself, but before your company dedicates resources to the data quality problem, you need proof that one exists. Let’s look at some tools to help you build your business case…

Data Analysis

There are a number of apps on the AppExchange® that can be used to run an analysis of your Salesforce data. Use an app, like Data.com Assessment, to capture important metrics needed to call your company to action. How many records are duplicated or incomplete? If the results aren’t enough to make your stakeholders scream, try converting the numbers into dollars. This slide deck, The Cost of Bad & Clean Data by RingLead, will help you put the problem in terms your stakeholders will understand.

 

Data.com Assessmeent dashboard: Ad Victoriam Solutions Data & Analytics Blog

Field Trip

Qandor™’s Field Trip, a free app on the AppExchange, will show how often your Salesforce fields are populated. Based on your results, group fields into three buckets: keep, investigate, remove. If a field is populated 70% or more, keep the bucket. If a field is populated 30%-70% of the time, investigate bucket. If it is less than 30% populated, remove bucket. Don’t go deleting fields now, remember we are just gathering selling points. We will discuss what to do with these field buckets in other sections.

Field Trip report: Ad Victoriam Solutions Data & Analytics Blog

Ride Along

To understand data challenges, it is best to step into the end user’s shoes. You may not realize the content needed for a required field isn’t discussed in the first phone call, that the right pick list value isn’t available, or that the field name is confusing. Choose a handful of end users, in varying roles and skill levels, and observe how they use Salesforce. Ask the following questions:

  • What was the flow of their customer interaction?
  • What steps are cumbersome in the system?
  • What steps are easy that you could use elsewhere?
  • Did they use fields from the investigate bucket? Why or why not?

Finally, make sure to capture the opinion an end user has about using Salesforce.

Now, let’s pull together what we have learned to present a business case. First, show them the results from your data and Field Trip analysis to prove there is a problem with your data. Second, make recommendations to improve using your bucketed fields and ride along results.

data quality analysis: Ad Victoriam Solutions Data & Analytics Blog

In Part 2 of our blog series, we will discuss the next step on how to build your team of cross-functional data heroes that will be critical to your data quality success. Stay tuned!

Has IoT Outgrown Big Data?

As the price of technology continues to level off, it’s likely we’ll continue to see an increase in objects that users want connected to the internet. This flood of internet-connected devices will lead to even more information pouring into the system—and the kicker is, experts haven’t even begun to comprehend what to do with all of this information yet.

While more companies are embracing the importance of data analysis, they aren’t necessarily equipped to handle this influx of information. Not only do companies have to filter through the information they normally collect, but now they have to handle all of the information generated both inside and outside of their companies.

Some of the biggest names in the technology world recently met in San Francisco for Structure Data 2016. According to its website, Structure Data “is bringing together the world’s top computer scientists, software executives and business users to discuss how advances in data technology are already reshaping our world.”

Not surprisingly, one of the topics of discussion centered on the next big problem companies are likely to face in terms of the IoT, including:

  • The information generated by devices inside users’ homes
  • The impact the manufacturing sector is likely to feel from increased industrial internet
  • The challenges healthcare will likely face from baby boomers retiring and an influx of self-health apps

The source of these problems stems from how data analysis works. Prior to the IoT boom, once a problem was deduced, a data set was drawn up and loaded into software that analyzes the information. However, the data derived from IoT devices will easily overwhelm this kind of system. Unfortunately, many engineers are stuck in their old habits of how they’ve built data infrastructures in the past, which is unlikely to work for the potential IoT data of the future.

This means that opportunities abound for technological advancements as well as for analysis companies, developers, data scientists and engineers to break into the world of the IoT. While this may give the impression that there are not players in the IoT game already, in actuality some big IoT players are already hard at work.

For more information about the leveraging the Internet of Things for your business, contact the IoT consultants at Ad Victoriam Solutions. Based in Atlanta, we provide innovative and effective technology solutions for businesses all over the country. Speak to an IoT professional today. 

3 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Businesses

Whether or not you think you understand the Internet of Things (IoT), you’ve most likely familiarized yourself with it already. How, you may ask? If you own a FitBit (or any type of wearable that works alongside your smartphone) or another piece of “smart” technology (like an alarm system or thermostat)—you are a citizen of the IoT. If you don’t have one of these gadgets, chances are that within five years you will.

Use of the IoT is growing rapidly, and the trend is likely to continue. As a result, businesses (including those that churn out new gadgets) will continue to incorporate the IoT into their products. Experts feel that the IoT will work to change businesses in three major ways.

#1: Businesses will produce better products

What we really mean by “better” in this case is smarter. Cell phones are a prime example of this. Until roughly 10 years ago, the only expectation we had for phones was the ability to make and receive calls. Today, however, we expect them to be everything from our alarm clock to our calendar to our source of knowledge and entertainment. As the IoT continues to change our everyday lives, we’ll also start to become comfortable with the idea that these devices have the ability to control things like yoga mats and frying pans, and savvy businesses will jump on board this growing trend by producing integrated technology products at a faster rate than ever before.

#2: Data will lead to smarter decisions

While the newest smart devices are impressive, the real stars of the show are the sensors that make it all possible. Companies are now making sensors that can send back data by being attached to anything from an aircraft engine to a yogurt cup. The data gleaned from these sensors can (and will) be used to help make the products we use better in the future.

#3: Business will begin to evolve

Chances are, the IoT will begin changing the very models on which businesses are created – in fact, it already has begun. One such example is John Deere. John Deere has long been known for its tractors and other farm equipment. The company is now incorporating big data connectivity to its machines to allow farmers to keep track of their farm digitally.

The Internet of Things is bringing many technological changes to the world. In order to keep up with the changes or to help incorporate the IoT into your business, you’ll need the expertise and knowledge of an IoT consultant at Ad Victoriam Solutions to help get you on track. Contact us today to discuss your needs with us.

Facing the Facts: IoT Security Concerns and Solutions

The Internet of Things is without a doubt one of the most influential tools businesses can use to gather useful data and information, allowing for smarter business decisions and improved services for customers. However, as Uncle Ben said in the Spiderman movies: “With great power comes great responsibility” – especially when it comes to securing the Internet of Things from hackers and cyber threats.

Here’s a look at the security concerns associated with the IoT and what solutions businesses are providing to protect cloud devices from fraud.

The Problems

The most obvious weakness for the IoT is its massive size. Billions of objects have Internet capabilities, and that number is growing every single day. With more avenues for penetration comes the growing risk of breaching the security measures in place. Security threats are also easily projected onto the types of devices often associated with the IoT: smart appliances, home security systems or fitness trackers. These devices are not outfitted with proper security software, leaving them more vulnerable to threats.

To add to this, the Internet of Things is so new that there is no real agreement as to how its security should be handled. What steps or programs should be put to use to protect not only the data but the privacy of the business and the public? This question, as of late, has hardly any answers.

Potential Solutions

While there is no consensus on a solution to the IoT’s security issues, there are certain steps that businesses, and in some cases the public, have been implementing themselves to secure data and privacy. They include:

  • Updating or finding new security software that may better cover IoT devices
  • Expanding networks and staff assigned to network security
  • Integrating security concerns into IoT product development
  • Informing staff and customers about the security risks associated with IoT use

Many desire a standardized, widespread security solution for the IoT, and this may become a reality in the future once more companies and individuals put investment dollars toward the research needed. Until then, the Internet of Things will continue to provide an abundance of useful data for businesses despite its security holes.

For more information about the Internet of Things and how it works hand-in-hand with businesses and expanding technologies, check out our blog or talk to one of our professional IoT consultants today.

How IoT is Revolutionizing Healthcare

innovation technologies

The recent rise in the popularity of fitness technology (i.e. smart watches and Fitbits) is beginning to show the impact that the “internet of things” (IoT) is having on the healthcare industry. However, these devices are only the beginning of how technology is revolutionizing healthcare.

As it stands, any medical device that allows for the transfer of data – including data hubs, communication networks, microprocessors, etc. – is a driving force behind the intersection of IoT and the healthcare system. Given that confidential patient data is the connecting piece of the puzzle, privacy concerns and constraints remain a hot topic; however, the healthcare industry is still interested in exploring any opportunities to make the IoT work for them.

The ultimate goals of IoT integration in healthcare are to cut costs, ensure the ill/injured are cared for properly, and make healthcare professionals more efficient.

While those inside the healthcare industry seek to find ways to incorporate the IoT, patients are taking their health into their own hands. A rising tide of people are using wearable fitness products, apps and sensors to collect and analyze their medical information. Many industry experts feel that this is an essential first step in the direction of integrating this patient data seamlessly into the healthcare system.

As the rates of IoT-Healthcare technology use continue to climb, these types of IoT projects are only beginning. There is no shortage of ideas on how to incorporate IoT into the medical field and what’s better is that several leading enterprise technology companies stand ready to help.

With the backing of Ad Victoriam Solutions, an Atlanta-based IT strategy consulting firm, the healthcare facilities that wish to participate in IoT will be able to make themselves much more efficient and competitive. Additionally, they’ll have the option to easily share information, which will help increase patient quality of care, improve both internal and external communications, and more efficiently track medical supplies.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways IoT can be used to improve the daily operations of those in the medical field. Only time will tell what else will be dreamed up.

For more information about leveraging IoT technology for your business or practice, contact the big data consultants at Ad Victoriam Solutions. You can read up on the 3 Major Players in the IoT Space: Salesforce®Microsoft and AWS.