Global Crisis Readiness Guide: Optimize Operating Costs With Salesforce
While working on 2024 strategies for their companies, the top management must recognize the risk of another global recession shaking the global economy. Crisis-related risk management inevitably leads to securing revenue streams and expenditures optimization. This article guides decision-makers in Salesforce-using companies who thoughtfully evaluate risk in advance and take practical measures to go through the storm.
In most cases, well-structured sales and service processes are equal to impressive operating costs. So, when it comes to budget optimization in terms of risk management due to economic turbulence, experienced decision-makers consider reducing operating costs in the first place.
Operating costs are the ongoing expenses on day-to-day activities that ensure a business running. They include both costs of goods sold (COGS) and other operating expenses—often called selling, general, and administrative (SG&A) expenses. In some cases, marketing is also included to the list. Common operating costs, in addition to COGS, may include rent, equipment, inventory costs, payroll, insurance, and funds allocated for research and development. (by Investopedia)
Operating costs, spent on routine tasks, are mainly fixed costs, paid on a regular basis unless a company changes its client engagement and service approach.
So, where is the area of impact for Salesforce? And what are the Salesforce features to focus on?
Sales Cycle Optimization with Salesforce
No matter how long your sales cycle is, it certainly requires your people to maintain repetitive tasks and deal with a lot of typical data (like client profiles and deals). Hours and hours are spent on manual work of filling in the contact & deals profiles, assigning meetings, writing emails, and related bureaucracy. Based on our experience, up to 40% of sales reps' time is spent organizing work but not actually working. Organization and data management is essential, but should it take so much? Surely, you can imagine the related number in the line for the cost of sale.
How to reduce the cost of sales with Salesforce
When reducing the cost of sales, it’s obvious we are speaking about reducing the number of actual billable hours spent on routines.
Consider it too risky to jump into automation too hard? Consult with your sales team on their needs and establish the priorities. Try semi-automated options: peak features that reduce the manual generic routines, releasing precious time on quality communication and complicated tasks like revealing clients’ needs and building trust and human connection.
Let’s have a look at the checklist to start from.
Routine Automation with Salesforce
Lead capture, nurturing, management, and conversion;
Custom workflow automation;
Daily to-do-lists and notifications;
Calls log-ins and scheduling;
Repetitive operations automation;
Automated order management;
Custom opportunity management flows;
Email Automation with Salesforce
Scheduling and running follow-ups;
Advanced email templates;
Salesforce products and tools for Sales Optimization
Impact on your Income Statement (P&L)
Firstly - your salespeople would be relieved to have less dull routine work, which drains energy and distracts them from ambitious challenges and inspiring tasks. Sales representatives, supported by smart automation and AI, have more time and moral resources to perform as actual salespeople, not data-management-monkeys. When their workflow is well structured and transparently managed, the number of steps from the beginning of the funnel to contacting (deal cycle) will reduce, as no follow-up is lost, and quotes and proposals are sent in time - which is the key to better-converting sales. And, what is as much important is that you as a company demonstrate discipline and care to each customer while keeping pace.
Client Service and Support Optimization with Salesforce
Successful marketers know the post-purchase phase is as important - or even more - as the purchase itself. Customer experience is hard to evaluate and measure; some even say NPS is no longer representative, and customer loyalty is a fiction in the world of brand-switching (by Byron Sharp). It’s a long story to argue about, but what we know for sure is that LTV, retention, cross-sales, and reference selling are measurable and weighty.
But delivering excellent (and reconverting) service is costly, especially in the world of consumerism, where customers’ expectations grow constantly and drastically.
The signs there is space for service cost cut without concessions in its excellence:
The business model and customer base remain the same, but your customer support department is still growing by leaps and bounds. It is a clear sign that you hire people to do tonnes of manual work.
Case management KPIs fail to meet the expectations no matter how much you invest in internal training. There is a huge possibility your support team drowns in work and lacks the tools to deal with it at scale.
Your service team must switch between various software solutions to communicate with clients and manage the cases. This is a sign of your client data being incomplete and smashed, and you have no single customer view with a complete interaction story.
You fail to plan the labor force for customer service despite well-known and year-to-year repeating seasons of peak sales and service loads.
How to reduce the cost of service with Salesforce
When speaking of optimizing service expenditures, we focus on time, as it is the basis for most service KPIs: response time, average resolution time, tickets solved per hour, etc. Hiring more people, training them, and pressing to hurry up with cases makes no sense. Moreover, you risk burning your teams by simply drowning them with work.
What Salesforce has to offer here is to provide easy-to-use tools to manage cases at scale, reduce manual work on repetitive tasks - and still deliver personalized service. Let’s have a look at where to start from:
Workflow automation (manually or with pre-built templates available on the AppExchange);
Self-help tools and easily managed FAQ;
Case Management (Classification, Routing, Wrap-Up..);
Third-party API Integrations
Customer Care (FreshDesk…)
Team management (Microsoft Teams...)
Salesforce products and tools
Impact on your Income Statement (P&L)
Service excellence is a key to reconversions and higher LTV, and surely to positive references, which stays one of the most powerful channels to gain new customers (with no additional cost on customer acquisition!).
According to the Salesforce 2022 Customer Success Survey, companies that integrated CRM with their service team reduced support costs by 27%.
For your post-purchase service and support cost less, make sure you have a comprehensive view of customer information and effective case management supported by relevant automation and third-party integrations.
Invest in your resilience
The wise men say: never waste a good crisis. Starting to work smarter is always on time, as well as keeping the risks in the eyesight. Salesforce is a powerful tool for process management and cost optimization for various industries. We are here to consult you on technology strategy and Salesforce development.