3 Aug 2013

How did that happen?

Having successfully delivered 50 enterprise level Master Data Management projects with Salesforce as the central application we can reflect upon the first 3 scenarios that have led customers to our door.... I'll be doing more.

We share no names to protect the mostly innocent and we fixed them all.....

1. Marketing fashions

A situation we've come across a number of times are changes in 'fashion' in B2C marketing.

If you're a customer facing B2C brand you will try many ways to reach your end customer, for example you might have a new loyalty card, give away scratch card, create a new web campaign or even collect data at the Point of Service, you'll probably end up doing all of these and more over time.

To put these new schemes in place is often done quickly and not within the business IT framework and so often underlying the campaign is a brand new database.

One of our customers found themselves in just this position, it had got to the point where to simply send an email or text message to their customer base required a 2-4 week manual scrape and cleanse using a spreadsheet, human pattern matching and the delete button.

2. Multiple Salesforce instances

We have carried out a number of projects where creating a new Salesforce instance when a business opens a new country, region or wants to create a focused team on a new product seems like a good idea at the time.

This can also of course be a product of vigorous M&A activity.

For one of our customers it had simply become impossible to manage their business and in this globalised world, organisations by and large don't operate in one country.

The organisation in question ended up with 30 regional Salesforce Orgs and simply seeing pipeline from a management perspective had become impossible and supporting multinational customers had become fuddled and inefficient.

3. SaaS the stealth application

One of the biggest advantages of using a SaaS solution is that it's inexpensive to start using often well below any sign-off level in an organisation and because they're so great they mushroom within an organisation. Pretty soon everybody's using it.

As the software has not been considered strategically at the outset, few controls were considered for those revenue hungry salespeople, that for them chasing the dollar is much more important than creating great data.

What do you get? Massive duplication; contacts with question marks for forenames and periods for surnames; no addresses and xx@xx as an email address and because the sales-team has grown to 1,000 folk, the issue is now humongous and is damaging rather than supporting the sales process.

We've dealt with this situation in 9 out of 10 customers.

We'll get some more scenarios to you in the coming days, if you want us to?

Martyn Leman


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