So, I must admit I have rung in the new year spending time with family, and trying to leave the work stuff aside for a bit. I have also, however, continued my new love affair with Twitter by reading, posting and pretty much figuring out the best way to use this tool to learn and to share. I am still in neophyte mode, but have met and read some excellent tweeters/tweets.
I have noticed a great amount of chat and questions around what 2009 will bring, and of course, the “what ya think will happen” questions. My simple answer for this – not a clue! If there is one thing I can predict, it is that I am in no way, shape or form, an expert in any field to predict or trend. What I do have though, are thoughts and beliefs in how xLerate can act to continue to grow, while also helping our clients succeed. And with that, I hope to accomplish a triple win – where our clients, our selves and us as a whole gain.
So, what are these ideas? Glad you asked…
1). Time to focus
We are a Salesforce.com consultancy. This statement in itself is much like saying I am a man. It really doesnt focus on what we can do for clients, and need to do to grow and succeed. As such, we here have spent a good portion of December focusing in on a strategic initiative to let us all know where we are heading, what we need to do along the journey and where we will be at the end. Simple thought, eh? Throw in the day to day operations of clients, running a company, talking with new prospects into an 8 (or 10, 12, 14) hour day, along with personal lives and sleep and it no longer is easy. So, often we are worried about walking that we forget, or refuse to plan where we want to go. Without the focus of a goal, and a plan to achieve, the risk of spinning your wheels corporately increase. The spin on the planning here at xLerate is our mimimalization of the long term plan. Thanks to the elephant in the room, also known as recession, we have plotted a series of goals for 3, 6, 9 and 12 months to keep a short leash on our focus and our adherence and variances.
2) Salute your solution.
Those who know me personally know my love of music, so the use of such a great song as a title make me giggle with delight. However there is much truth to the line as well. Not only do we help others with Salesforce.com but we use it ourselves. As such, a good hard look at our own CRM. After setting our goals, a major area of focus this year for us is our support packages. The next step was for us to ensure our technical solution would allow us to measure and assist us in out focus. As such, we have rewritten our customizations within the service and support module of salesforce, and creating new reports and a dashboard to measure our actions and goal attainment. Now, whether you use salesforce, or another tool, know what it can do for you, and utilize it. You’ll be squeezing out the most on your dollars spent on your CRM, and helping yourself acheive success.
3) Know when and what you can do.
We are all busy people – case and point. When looking at xLerate’s client list every single one of them has a Salesforce Administrator who has another major job activity, whether it be customer service, operations or sales. This is fine, but it can lead to a CRM initiative falling to the wayside, especially in busy times, or when money is tight. I am no exception to the rule. There are many things I would like to do to help us via our CRM – whether it be new reports, new customizations, or even creating new applications to add on. The fact of the matter is though, there is only 24 hours in the day and we all have other important factors which equate to our day. What we have done here at xLerate is prioritized these new features and functions, and laid out when and how we will accomplish this. Only by doing so can I ensure that they get done. And, for areas that are not the focus of expertise, we will need to utilize outside help. In this way, we control our costs (both through internal time and external fees), and have a set date for completion.
So, there you have it, folks. Three areas in which we have laid out plans and goals to accomplish what we need to do. Now, the proof in the pudding is in completing them. But, I have it on good authority that we here at xLerate will know exactly where we are come the end of the year after using these goals to meet our end game. Hey…that does sound quite a bit like a prediction after all, doesn’t it…