Salesforce audit for an EDI solutions provider

Salesforce audit for an EDI solutions provider

Itransition carried out a Salesforce CRM audit and compiled a document with suggestions and best practices for automating data transfer processes and improving data quality.

Table of contents

Context

Our customer, Data Interchange, is a UK-based company that has been a pioneer in data communication technologies and EDI solutions for over 35 years. They employ over 100 specialists across Europe and work with some of the biggest automotive brands in the world, helping them to optimize their supply chains by providing cloud-based and on-premise solutions alongside managed services.

The company utilized Salesforce as a CRM solution to manage leads and contacts, track the progress of opportunities, run reports, make proposals, generate documents, and track the delivery of work to clients. The system was integrated with Pardot for email campaigns management and leads generation as well as with PandaDoc for creating proposals and contracts at the end of an opportunity lifecycle.

After some time, the customer realized they hadn’t been using their current CRM system efficiently, as the teams working with it reported lack of visibility, poorly functioning third-party integrations, and processes involving duplicate and obsolete records needing improvement.

This is why Data Interchange were looking for a reliable technology consultant that would review and optimize their CRM system configuration and integrations. The company chose Itransition due to our ten-year experience in Salesforce consulting and a proven track record of creating customized and enterprise-scale Salesforce CRM solutions. Our Salesforce Certified Partner status and certified Salesforce experts on board also played a crucial role in the customer’s final decision.

Solution

Audit

Itransition’s business analyst began an audit of the customer’s Salesforce CRM system with a series of interviews with stakeholders from Marketing, Account Management, Pre-sales, Sales, Finance and other teams, aiming to understand how Salesforce is used at the company across different business processes. The outcomes of interview sessions were documented and stored in Confluence. After completing the interview stage, Itransition’s BA was to come up with a full picture of Salesforce functioning across the company’s many departments.

Next, the customer provided Itransition’s team with access to an isolated Salesforce CRM sandbox to help us understand how particular processes function. The customer also provided us with the existing Salesforce CRM documentation and descriptions of the main sales workflows together with the list of user complaints, system gaps, and issues they had compiled themselves.

Within the audit, our team also assessed system architecture and system configuration using the following categories:

  • Current automation processes and workflows
  • Integrations with Pardot and PandaDoc
  • Data validation and data quality (potential duplicates, “empty” leads or contacts)
  • Data access and currently implemented reporting
  • System optimization based on current home pages, list views, dashboards, and page layouts
  • Known complaints and issues from system users

Suggested improvements

After the customer’s employees articulated their vision and requirements, our BA worked closely with Itransition’s technical consultant to assess the feasibility of collected requirements from a technical point of view and decide how to implement them. Together, they elaborated possible implementation options and deduplication criteria and defined whether custom implementation is needed to realize a particular functionality or if it could be implemented utilizing Salesforce’s default functionality. In case some requirements weren’t technically viable, they suggested alternative options.

As a result, our BA drafted a document summarizing employee feedback and containing the list of improvements:

  • Implementing several additional fields in Opportunity, Orders, and Accounts records to improve understanding of the order and sales types, inform users about the reasons for losing an opportunity, and provide additional info on accounts.
  • Improving operations with documents and their versions by linking an external file storage with the record form.
  • Separating record notes into several types, such as general, technical, financial, etc. to make it easier for users to work with the information.
  • Applying stage control for won opportunities.
  • Adding the ability to filter opportunities that aren't being actively worked on.
  • Implementing automatic notifications about new opportunities for the presales and service delivery teams.
  • Creating a dedicated tab with necessary fields and logic for contract documentation to simplify search.
  • Improving billing logic by enabling automatic fields filling with aggregated data from contracts and clients. Additionally, enabling linking between various entities to fill in fields automatically and reduce manual input.
  • Implementing automatic rules for converting a prospect from Pardot to a lead in Salesforce.
  • Implementing data synchronization between Salesforce and Pardot to improve the marketing team's outcomes.
  • Implementing automatic pulling of opportunity data into the corresponding fields in a commercial agreement and pulling back the defined data from a commercial agreement received from the client into the corresponding fields of an opportunity.

Reports and dashboards

Our team held a series of meetings with different Data Interchange employees and gathered feedback about the reports and dashboards they need. In general, they expected dashboards to reflect the current work situation for departments and each employee and be based on key performance indicators. Dashboards also had to be tailored to each department’s and employee’s needs, with users able to customize them.

After analyzing employees’ feedback, we offered the following solution:

  • We added the necessary main reports and dashboards for each department to the existing system’s Reports and Dashboards tabs according to their requirements.
  • We conducted dedicated training on creating reports and dashboards for the company employees who use reports and dashboards.

Data analysis

The main issue with data in the customer’s system was related to duplicate records. To reduce the number of duplicates, we suggested setting up duplication rules to show users potential duplicates or restrict creating new accounts and contacts if a duplicate record is found in the system. These deduplication rules can also be used for finding duplicates.

To improve overall data quality, we also recommended highlighting and leaving only important fields as mandatory for Leads and Opportunities records. The customer's sales and account managers teams can help set up mandatory fields and possible validation options for them.

Results

To improve CRM processes at Data Interchange, Itransition's Salesforce team carried out 20+ interviews with 15+ process owners, including heads of various departments. As a result of our four-week audit, we compiled a document with suggestions and best practices aimed at simplifying some of the tasks performed by the customer's employees and automating the overall data transfer process. The document also contained requirements for preparing necessary reports and dashboards for various company departments as well as advice on data quality improvement.