In current times, it’s critical to be running a data-driven business. Data serves as an increasingly important source of competitive advantage for modern companies.
Salesforce is an essential SaaS application for companies to run a data-driven business. CRM is the system of record at the center of your business, and the right usage of CRM data is critical for high-performing go-to-market teams. Given these factors, Salesforce is commonly one of the biggest line items in an IT budget.
The many features of Salesforce can translate to a rather complex pricing model. There are multitudes of different products, each with their own unique pricing structure and license tiers, from the most ubiquitous function-specific tools (Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud) to the platform tools (Platform, Force.com) to the bundled giveaways (free Chatter). The list goes on.
As an IT leader responsible for negotiating and managing the tool, you do your best to ascertain which license tiers different users within your organization require, but Salesforce cost control can quickly get messy and confusing. Just as Marketing, Sales, and Customer Success need to run data-driven organizations, IT needs to be able to make informed, data-driven business decisions.
What you’re paying for, and how much you’re paying for it, is just one side of the all-too-important ROI equation. Beyond controlling your Salesforce costs, you’re also trying to determine what the return is: are employees actually adopting and using specific license types as intended?
Chances are you’re trying to measure both sides of the ROI formula in the weeks and months leading up to your next renewal. But it’s not enough to understand your Salesforce ROI right before your renewal. These ad hoc analyses are not only manual and time-consuming, but they’re imprecise and ineffectual. You need to be measuring Salesforce ROI in three ways: continuously, precisely, and dynamically.
Measuring Salesforce ROI continuously
Most Salesforce customers are on annual or multi-year contracts, so measuring Salesforce ROI tends to be an annual project, at most. But that post hoc, reactive analysis leaves significant value on the table. As your organization constantly changes with new employees being hired and existing employees changing or leaving roles, so do your Salesforce licensing needs. Are you getting maximum value from Salesforce at all times throughout the year?
The good news is that the “R” side of the ROI equation isn’t fixed. Real-time usage trendlines enable you to drive better returns by doubling down on enablement where needed. Perhaps usage is dipping – be alerted of that so you can quickly activate the sales enablement team to drive usage back up.
Meanwhile, on the cost side, maybe you’ve overprovisioned on Sales Cloud licenses leading to some teams having access to expensive functionality they don’t actually use. Continuous usage monitoring means you can quickly re-allocate certain licenses to a less-expensive license type as a way of better balancing your existing licenses. Salesforce cost control needs to be done continuously in order to avoid expensive and unbudgeted true-ups.
Productiv’s leading SaaS Management Platform enables you to easily see Salesforce usage trendlines, get notifications on weekly or monthly changes, and set adoption goals to drive up the value your organization is getting and drive down the dollars your IT budget is wasting.
Measuring Salesforce ROI precisely
Salesforce licensing gets complicated, fast. Most enterprises have multiple license types and tiers within their organization, and it’s difficult to figure out whether the right people have access to the right licenses. Most likely, you are forced to make generalized guesses on what types of employees need specific features.
Measuring activity down to the feature and action is critical to ensure you have the optimal Salesforce licenses provisioned to the right people. This is all too important in your ongoing Salesforce cost justification efforts: are provisioned users actually using the premium features they’ve been given access to — and that you’re paying for?
Productiv’s engagement analytics enable you to precisely see Salesforce feature usage down to specific actions like who accessed and edited leads, opportunities, cases, reports, dashboards, and more, so that you can make smarter renewal decisions at the license type level.
Measuring Salesforce ROI dynamically
Are you able to look at your Salesforce activity by all the dimensions you’d like? By team? By office? By location? By cost-center? Can you easily compare adoption across these parameters?
To go through this exercise, most IT teams have to go through a messy exercise of hunting down data from different sources, cleaning up and joining the data, and then creating pivot tables on pivot tables on pivot tables. Even at the end of all this, they’re left with an incomplete picture that becomes outdated the moment it’s done.
Being able to drill down where you need is critical. Dynamic filters enable you to pinpoint gaps where you may not be getting maximum value out of Salesforce, and identify specific areas where Salesforce cost control measures can be taken. For example, perhaps your Operations team can edit Reports and Dashboards and is indeed editing frequently (great!), but your Customer Support team also can edit Reports and Dashboards but clearly doesn’t need the editing functionality (let’s downgrade those licenses).
With Productiv, you can easily compare Salesforce engagement by team, down to the feature and user actions. Understand usage patterns across 1, 7, 30, 60, or 90-day timelines to see which teams are increasing or decreasing adoption.
Given the importance of Salesforce and the magnitude of its spend, measuring your Salesforce ROI is too important to do ad hoc on an annual basis, especially when you’re relying on incomplete and imprecise data.
Salesforce is critical for data-driven Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success organizations, just as Productiv is critical for a data-driven IT organization. Productiv’s SaaS Management Platform allows you to measure application ROI the way it should be done: continuously, precisely, and dynamically. Customers like Uber, Okta, Zoom, Equinix, and Apttus use Productiv to measure and drive ROI across their entire SaaS portfolios.