Customers often ask why Salesforce.com? The quote from the Facebook CIO goes a long way to answering that question. Ultimately the biggest danger of implementing noncustomizable off the shelf software is that you commoditize your offering to the marketplace. Even worse you align your value proposition with your direct competition offering no differentiation. The result when an agency falls into this trap is that the only differentiation left available is price, and we all know there will always be someone with a lower price.
Now not every organization comes close to having the resources of Facebook. But by avoiding the herd mentality of the vast majority a forward thinking agency can execute like Facebook. Most people think of Salesforce.com as a CRM application when in fact over the past five years Salesforce has transformed itself into a highly customizable development platform. The built-in workflow design tools combined with what many believe to be the most developed API infrastructure of any platform out there today provide businesses the opportunity to focus on redefining their business processes to make them in the words of Tim Campos "better, more efficient, faster."
One real world example of where we work with Independent Insurance Agencies to drive results is in the area of pipeline management. Too often agencies allow Producers to make it up as they go without requiring them to adhere to certain best practice minimums. By actually wrapping best practice process around their producer pipeline management process the agency will almost certainly increase close rates and visibility and it is that increase in visibility that ultimately drives up-sell and cross-sell as well as customer retention.
Salesforce.com being a platform rather than a commoditized application allows the technology to follow best practice process rather than the other way round. By working with the client, we can customize Salesforce.com to ensure that what the Producer sees in the system mimics the process. This approach increases speed and efficiency while eliminating excuses for nonadoption.
Of course to get this right execution is critical. Salesforce.com's ease of customization belies the complexity that comes with any enterprise platform. This is where choosing the right partner is crucial.
At PSAdvisory, we specialize in helping insurance focused organizations implement SalesForce.com. We find that our knowledge of the industry and its culture enable us to align quickly with the goals of the client without having first to understand the notion of a renewal. This enables us to deliver immediate value.