From accounting to consulting, professional services organizations must contend with a number of unique challenges. Consistency, for instance. In an industry like manufacturing, automation makes it easy to ensure product uniformity. Professional services, on the other hand, is subject in a much larger way to the human element — every advisor/consultant/accountant is different, and holding those different people to the same standard is tough. Given the differences among client projects and the inexact methodologies used to measure performance, how are you even supposed to compare one person to another?
With these challenges in mind, it’s no surprise that professional services companies of all kinds use Salesforce to ensure that their teams have access to the resources they need to operate at their best. Check out the examples below for some unique industry success stories and key takeaways to benefit your own organization.
Financial Services: Calamos Investments
Who they are: Calamos Investments is an investment firm with a global focus, featuring a team of more than 65 investment professionals across offices in Chicago, New York and London. For over 40 years, Calamos has served both individuals and institutions, offering discipline-specific advising.
How they use Salesforce: When your business involves handling what could amount to a significant portion of an individual’s or company’s wealth, there’s an extra pressure to execute. The service you’re providing, after all, has a direct and significant effect on your customers’ livelihoods. Which is to say that investment firms have an extra incentive to make sure their advisors have every possible resource to ensure their success, and Calamos knows this well.
In order to make sure their full team of investment professionals is able to serve their clients with the best possible information, Calamos created an online portal “containing information on available funds, white papers, blog posts and videos.” Unfortunately, this portal suffered from — regular readers of this blog can probably guess what I’m going to say — low adoption. The advisors weren’t returning to the site on a regular basis.
So what did Calamos do? Realizing the best way to get advisors to log in to the portal was to provide personalized, relevant content, Calamos turned to Marketing Cloud’s Personalization Builder, leveraging its Predictive Intelligence features to deliver exactly what their people were looking for. Now content could “be populated in real time based on the firm an advisor works for, the content viewed by other similar users, or even an advisor’s unique browsing behavior.”
Key Takeaway: Professional services organizations that rely on their advisors/consultants to become — and remain — subject matter experts would be wise to personalize the resources they make available to their team.
Staffing: Kelly Services
Who they are: Originators of the very idea of a staffing service, Kelly Services is a “global leader in providing workforce solutions.” As a company, Kelly Services is committed to providing solutions tailored to business’ individual needs.
How they use Salesforce: Since the days of the “Kelly girl” back in the 40s, Kelly Services has continued to grow. Today, the company has a team of more than 7,000 spread across a global network of branch offices, and in 2017 they helped place more than 500,000 employees. This growth has created a need for new ways to connect consistently across distances and divisions. In particular, the company needed to make sure they could “present a consolidated offering to multinational clients.”
To solve this problem, Kelly Services turned to Salesforce technologies to create a private, company-wide social network that gives employees the power to connect in meaningful ways. “This type of instant communication through the entire organization gives you a small company feel,” said Carl Camden, President and CEO. “You can actually begin to engage with everybody.”
Key takeaway: Professional services organizations that depend on providing a consistent experience across branches or teams need a way for those different teams to stay in constant communication. And even if you’re not ready to go with a custom solution, Salesforce Chatter offers this same functionality.
Consulting: Virtual Causeway
Who they are: Founded in 2001, Virtual Causeway is a Canadian firm that provides B2B sales and marketing services to companies around the world.
How they use Salesforce: Every B2B business needs leads. But a company whose purpose is to provide leads to their customers? They need a lot of leads.
As Rick Endrulat, President of Virtual Causeway, notes, “we had a lot of challenges with data early on.” Frustrated by how incomplete the lead lists they were paying for were, the company turned to Data.com — a Salesforce product that gives you “instant access to millions of professionals, leads and company lists” — to find the contact information they needed.
Key Takeaway: Professional services organizations that have a need for the same services that they provide should invest in robust technology solutions that can support double outcomes without double the work.
Know of other ways professional services organizations are using Salesforce to solve industry challenges? Let us know in the comments!