Before implementing Salesforce a few months ago, Andy Blaszak was managing his sales team, customer contact information and operations like many small business managers do – via spreadsheets and email.
But Blaszak, General Manager of Associated Fire Protection in Omaha, Nebraska, was growing frustrated with time-consuming manual processes that caused his team to lose track of leads, miss opportunities and accurately forecast revenue.
“We needed the ability to see sales vs. bills,” Blaszak said. “When we looked at the numbers, it was all after the fact. All we could see was what we bill in a given month. If we had a good February with invoicing, that doesn’t mean we had a good February in terms of sales.”
Blaszak was facing a common problem. He had a limited budget and limited resources to implement a sophisticated IT system that would help improve business processes and boost their competitive edge. He needed an innovative, cost-effective way to manage his business so their team could focus on what they do best – selling and installing commercial fire protection systems.
That’s when he turned to Sales Cloud from Salesforce. Cloud software such as Sales Cloud has leveled the playing field for small, mid-market and enterprise level businesses. It’s scalable, affordable and predictable – all crucial benefits to any business but small businesses in particular.
Blaszak knew Sales Cloud was the most powerful CRM on the market. He was most impressed by the custom reporting capabilities that would give him strong visibility over the company’s performance. Salesforce for small businesses is also scalable.
“We had good data but we didn’t have a database to support that,” he said.
Yet he was also challenged with knowing where to start and making sure the technology investment worked for his small user base.
He enlisted the help of Senior Consultants John Norman and Matt Schuett at Nuvem Consulting who helped build a Sales Cloud implementation strategy based on his primary goals. That strategy included system requirements, customizations and a product roadmap that would help guide the team towards deeper implementation phases as they became more familiar with the software. Their Sales Cloud implementation strategy also included two Salesforce custom training sessions for their sales team.
“There was tremendous value in bringing Nuvem in to help with the implementation,” he said. “It was affordable, and I was impressed with how much time they spent learning about what we do. It was good to be able to lean on somebody with experience to caution us if we started down the wrong path. We had no frame of reference for that and they were able to give us some examples from our industry that did apply.”
Blaszak reports there are still growing pains with learning a new system but he is already making use of lower level reporting features. He also tells his team to live by the mantra, “If it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.”
The Nuvem team also assisted Blaszak with bringing the Associated Fire website back online after it was hacked. The site was having issues with an unsecure server and the Nuvem web applications team was able to migrate the site to a new server.
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