$14 Mill Profit from CRM Implementation

Its often the case that when you start digging around that un-expected benefits show up.  Sometimes a lot of success &  very profitable business can allow us to overlook money lying on the floor. This is the story of one such case. While working with a client in the consumer support business on a large CRM implementation I discovered a data gap that turned out to be a $14 Million Dollar hole in the Bucket…! (Note: Identifying information has been changed & approximated to protect the clients privacy.)

My assignment was to map the data fields from the home grown consumer service data base to Objects and Fields in Salesforce sounds simple, it wasn’t.  It took a lot of leg work to find out who the guru was for the old data base and then get a handle on what needed to be mapped, what didn’t and where each piece of data needed to go. Then I needed to make sure that the data had a place to go with enough space and was the right type & format to go into Salesforce. For example if you try to put 140 characters of text into a 50 character field the first 50 characters go in and the remaining 100 get chopped off, or if you try to put text into number fields etc.  This is the meticulous process of due diligence that can make or break any CRM implementation.  Along with this we needed to make sure the right data was mapped to the correct place in Salesforce. In addition I had to match up the accounts in the legacy data base with the accounts in Salesforce.

We were going from a home grown database to Salesforce CRM. To do that we needed to do to reconcile the consumers accounts between the two. There where many thousands of consumers some had been put into Salesforce others had not. I determined who the most recent (last 3 yrs or so)  consumers were and made sure they were in Salesforce. Next I compared that with the list from the home grown database, they did’t match.  We extracted the key identifying consumer data into Excel and after a lot of filtering, VLookups, and sorting narrowed it down to a difference of several thousands active consumers. Still not good enough too big a delta. I then suggested that we compare these two data bases with the Account Data from our Accounting Dept Software, I got curious looks, why ? what could they add to the picture? Well I said: As someone once said “Follow the Money” good advice where the money is there will be someone watching it…… guaranteed.

As I have found out though experience the accounting department will have a strong interest in keeping good records. They are my go to for certain key data, like Consumer Address, key billing contacts, sales closed won, sales history, active accounts and most importantly who has paid and who hasn’t. The folks in accounting kindly shared a high level list of active paying consumers. When comparing this list with our list of “Active Consumers” in both Salesforce and the Home Grown Data base there was a big difference.  As we were just in the process of implementing Salesforce we expected some minor difference. The team was very surprised to discover that the home grown data base was well, way off.

After yet more sleuthing we were able to determine that 15% of consumers with an active account in the legacy data base where no longer paying us ouch! Grinding though the numbers that worked out to be about $14 Million in lost revenue.

Recommended Solutions:

My approach for critical path items it to triple down. That is have at least 3 plus independently redundant methods of validation.

First we added a field for agreement expiration date to the Consumer Account Object, and a check box = Active/Inactive Consumer Account, then limit data access via user profiles, so that service was only provided to paying consumers.

Second set up a workflow to warn both the sales team & the accounting team 7, 30, 60, 90 days in advance of the contract expiring based on the Agreement Expiration date field

Third a workflow that would un-check the Active Account box on the account after the contract expired date had passed, this would prevent our service team from providing support.

Fourth set up an API connector between Salesforce and the Accounting software to un-check the consumer account active box if the customer was seriously past due on payments and/or their agreement expired.

We also added field level security to the check box so only authorized management members could extend the consumers agreement, with field history tracking and a time limit. We also decided to create an approval process that allowed Sales management to give the customer some breathing room during extended negotiations.  This also prevented folks from well “Helping out” a consumer at the companies expense.


Through follow though and meticulous data mapping won the day. Saving $14 million by closing a 15% hole in the bucket for consumer services.

You probably never run into this type of situation in your world, if you want to avoid this type of loss it may be worth a quick conversation. phil@salesforcemaven.com or 949-636-5286

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Corona Virus Opportunities ?

First I am not suggesting hustling your neighbors by selling them $10.00 rolls of toilet paper or charging $50.00 for a jug of hand sanitizer.  In every situation there is an opportunity to improve your situation. My guess is that some folks will see this as an opportunity to slack off at work and use the Corona Virus as an excuse. For others this is a great opportunity to do what Steven Covey author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People suggested we should always be doing. What is that …? well he told it as a story.

He says two lumber jacks decided to have a competition, one was a big tall husky fellow that other a shorter thin guy.  The big guy was sure he was stronger and would win easily. On the first day the big guy sawed twice as much wood as the short guy. By the second day the short guy had caught up. By the third day the big guy decided he was going to start early work harder and win. On the third day the short guy cut twice as much and won the contest. The big guy was shocked he said to the short guy how did you do it, I worked twice as hard for twice as long as you did, and every day you took a break at noon and rested in the woods. The short guy said ya I rested in the woods but I also sharpened my saw twice a day so it stayed sharp!

So are you going to sharpen your saw by learning something new ? or see the Corona Virus as an opportunity to let rust to accumulate on your skills?  These days there are more opportunity’s to learn new skills online than ever.  A few of my favorite suggestions are below:

“Finally, our team has created a publicly-available Trailmix on Trailhead Trailmix Link with tips on how to work from home and maintain personal well-being during this time.” Mark Benioff CEO Salesforce.

Learn Salesforce for Free at: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/home

Salesforce Trailhead Free Learning


Here’s another suggestion you know that list of cold calls that you’ve been meaning to work on. Well now is the time.  With travel restricted what better time to catch people who are normally hard to get a hold of!  Want a refresher ?  Try this recording: Sandler Cold Calling Webinar Recording

To sharpen those sales skills there is Sandler Online Free Content Library (Podcasts, Blogs, Whitepapers etc:  Sandler Sales Online Resources


“The world is moving so fast that you have to run just to stay in place….! ” Tom Peters

Not sure if any of this is relevant in your world on the off chance it is you may want to contact me for a quick conversation.

Phil Sallaway


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The State of Sales from Adult Hot Lines to Industrial Suppliers

According to the US Department of Labor Statistics in 2015 there are 14.4 Million people employed in Sales. That number includes inside and outside sales people from the person in the blue shirt at Best Buy to the top performer in the Armani Suite. Taking a closer look according to Indeed.com the average sales salary is $57,422 as of Jan 2020, which is  better than the average salary over all of $48, 252 per the Social Security Admin.(2019)

One of my business connections owns a Sales Training & Coaching company. From time to time I do some consulting for his company. One of the most interesting things I have done is to do Mystery Shops, where I will contact a company and act like a prospective customer to learn about their sales process.

I have Mystery Shopped a wide variety of companies from:  Weight Loss Clinics to Industrial Suppliers and even a Adult Companionship Hot Line, yup I have heard it all. Been hung up on by customer service folks, ignored, promised a call back, a price, a quote and never heard a peep. Probably the most shocking was when a VP of Sales supposedly with 25+ years in sales who said he didn’t feel comfortable making cold calls on internet leads… Yea that’s right afraid to make cold calls after 25 years of calling himself a sales person. Sorry if you can’t or won’t make cold calls you are not a Sales Person you are a highly over compensated order taker, if that fits your business model and you are growing well I am a fan of what works keep on keeping on.

What is consistent is well the lack of a sales process, and what little they do to sell is well predictable.  A pitch and a quick offer of a discount. Apparently they are all mind readers who knew what I wanted with out even asking about my situation. At first it was rather surprising, that people who say they are in sales but don’t qualify, present, close or even get my contact information so they can follow up. Yet many had at least some training. The true benefit of a sales process it two fold it is first repeatable and second it is trakable.                                                       SampleLightningDashbord

A repeatable process can be taught it is a system for success. The inputs are known as is what the output will be. You know if you make 100 calls to get 20 appointments that result in 5 sales how many calls you need to make to hit your numbers. The goal of tracking is not to rack up high call count rather the opposite. To learn what works and what doesn’t. So you can do more of what works and lower you call count and get more sales.

SalesforceMetrics (2019_10_13 20_29_39 UTC)One CEO I had coffee with told me I was the only other person he ever met that tracked my calls and know how many call backs I got from my messages, how many calls to and appointment and then to a sale. If you want to be a real success in sales track what works and what doesn’t, it can be in a CRM, on a note pad, in Excel be a scientist of sales. I happen to like the Salesforce CRM and the Sandler Sales Seven Step Sales Process. On the off chance you want to learn more go to http://www.Lrn2Sell.com.SalesForce714

Trackable makes it possible to change coarse as needed and hold people and yourself accountable right away rather than at the end of the: month,  quarter, year. You have to track what you are doing if it isn’t measurable you don’t have a system. No system and there is no way to improve it. Not sure who said it first but: Things that get measured tend to get improved. Tracking leads to accountability personal and company wide. I don’t suppose any of this makes sense in your situation if it does I can be reached at phil@salesforcemaven.com


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The New Calf Consumer Data Privacy Act CCPA casts a broad net don’t get caught..!

The Irvine Chamber of Commerce hosted a lunch event on the New Calf Data Privacy Act aka CCPA. This Act was forced upon and through the Legislature by the threat of a Ballot Initiative. As a result it is about as well written as a 2nd graders what I did this summer essay. IMG_7139

(Authors Note) It’s a confusing pile of spaghetti to say the least. I will do my best based on my humble notes and the great slides & information presented by the US Chamber of Commerce to give you all the basics.


Ok now we know it’s a dumpster fire piece of regulation and it has gone into effect. Now what, well the good news is that it appears that the Attorney General does not expect to enforce the act until July 2020. Also how it will be enforced is still up in the air as the Attorney General has not drafted guidelines for enforcement. (as of the time of this presentation) (Authors Note: as with any new regulations there will be court challenges and as cases resolve we will get a better idea of the full impact of the CCPA. We will also see how  aggressively the Attorney General (AG) enforces the law and how the courts rule and create case law. It in common practice for AGs to find and easy target with deep pockets to make an example out of them)

Who does it effect more businesses than most folks realize. For example: 50,000 transactions divided by 260 work days a year is 139 transactions, so a food truck that a uses mobile device driven credit card reader could easily get ensnared by this Act.  IMG_7143

The CCPA is vague as to what is privacy. In addition it is up to the Business to determine how to “Verify” a consumer request. As well as prevent non-public information being given to scammers posing as a consumer. Talk about being caught in the middle, you have to verify it is the person they say they are or face civil action And prevent sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands which also can lead to legal sanctions.


The CCPA definition of a sale is based on a different definition than usual ie. Sharing a data base (CCPA) rather than the generally accepted definition,  based on an exchange of goods or services in return for a monetary value.

It will be costly to provide data to consumer and right to opt out of their data being sold, if you sell do sell data you Must have a Do Not Sell Button for them on your website.

You can not discriminate against customers who opt out or exercise their rights ie customer loyalty programs if yo are a franchise of a larger org or biz your are considered to be a part of the bigger org – biz and the rules apply.

General Exceptions HIPPA GLBA (Gramm-Leach Bliley Act for Banking & Financial data)

The Consumer must be provided with their data if they make a verified request  consumers have the right to be forgotten and their data deleted: Exceptions apply see slide below:IMG_7145

There are exceptions for Employee data.

For those that use Salesforce CRM there is a Trailhead Module (Free online class – training) on US Privacy Law Basics here: https://trailhead.salesforce.com/content/learn/modules/us-privacy-law-basics

US Privacy Law Basics Trailhead Badge

There is also a Saleforce Traihead badge on European Data Privacy aka GPDR at:


European Union Privacy Laws Trailhead Badge


Some of these exemptions expire 1/21/21 unless extended.


The presenter noted that when the European Union instituted their consumer privacy regulations aka GPDR it was was ushered in over a 2 year transition period. By all accounts the transition was not perfect but a reasonably smooth one.

The Cost to Business & the Calf Economy is estimated to be at a minimum $55 Billion dollars hit. IMG_7154

This does not include the hidden lost revenue due to the hours of time spend in compliance  internally by sole proprietors and businesses .  There is no Safe Harbor – Good Faith exemption either, which opens the door to predatory practices by Attorneys and others to abuse the CCPA much like was done by some using ADA (Americans With Disability’s Act) to threaten & bully small business with compliance lawsuits over minor violations unless the settled with them for thousands of dollars.

To further confuse  matters 15 other states have pending or planned legislation.IMG_7160

There are roughly 4 models: California Model which we have been discussing. Washington State Model, Fiduciary Model, Florida Model.


The US Chamber of Commerce has set up a website and done a short video links below:


The US Chamber of Commerce has been active on Capital Hill seeking a Nation Wide Solution to avoid a patch work of competing regulations.


The US Chamber of Commerce has created model legislation and is advocating for a National Standard. This makes total sense because the internet is not local it reaches across the whole country and the world.  With elections pending (Nov 2020) it is unlikely much will be done until 2011. They suggested contacting your Senators and Congress people in writing to express your concern about how this will effect all of us on the web.

Authors Conclusion: As the CCPA evolves one can only hope that the Attorney General take a proactive – education based approach towards good faith attempts at compliance.





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OC Trailblazer Event with Peter Coffee

2/10/2020 Vizio kindly hosted our packed event “A Night with Salesforce’s Peter Coffee”. IMG_7084 - Copy

Peter started the night going over the changing demographic of our society. The fastest growing group is the over 60 yrs olds. Our population segments used to look like a pyramid, nor it is more like a rectangle the narrows a bit at the top. The single largest group entering the workforce is women over 55 yrs old. Especially in technology this is causing HR Depts to melt down as their traditional approach is not finding the right people. He pointed out that what we learned in High School is out of date. Learning in Technology is out of date with in 2 years, so by the time you finish a college degree half that knowledge is out of date! He says Recent & Up to date Certifications that are derived from actual work based learning are becoming more valuable than a 4 yr degree. IMG_7081 - Copy

The paradyne is changing in the past it was very incremental. He used that example of how steam engines replaced horses. Then the electric motor replaced the steam engine. Yet it just wasn’t that simple, because if you just replaced the Steam Engine with a big electric motor you only got an incremental improvement. If instead you re-thought your factory and process you got an order of magnitude improvement. Because now you can power each machine individually with an electric motor, that can be turned off or on as needed and controlled to be most efficient for that machine and that process. Not only that you can re- do your whole process as machines can be moved to where they best fit in to an improved process. The whole process can change to much more efficient.IMG_7087

We are just beginning to see this applied to software. Don’t start by just doing what you were doing just now using better software instead think what can the software do and how can we build a whole new business process. If we could do anything what would that be. Not a better way to do old things try to improve. You can design this process with all the tools we now have. Take your current 22 step process and what steps can we get rid of using our technology rather than think how can I make each of the 22 steps faster.

“Fall in love with the problems you solve and have a job for life.”IMG_7096

Thanks again to Vizio and Peter Coffee for sharing your great insights.

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Ben Franklin Forum Presents: 2020 Economic Forecast

(Feb 3, 2020) The Ben Franklin Forum Presents: 2020 Economic Forecast  – Hosted at the Center Club of Orange County, CA 

Presented by Dr. Mira Farka, ECONOMICS – ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR  Co-Director, Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting

Authors Note: This article is base on my notes and best recollections of the event. I apologies in advance for errors because I am sure there are some. The slides and presentation are the work of Dr. Mira Farka, the notes and Authors Notes are by Phil Sallaway.

Dr. Mira Farka joined the Department of Economics at California State University, Fullerton in August 2005. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from Columbia University, New York, in 2004 with concentration in financial economics, monetary policy, and applied macroeconomics


We are in the mist of the longest expansion in history so folks are worried about just how long can it last…? IMG_6861

To set things in perspective we took a tour of current and past events. Starting with how the Corona virus affected the Asian Markets which took the biggest hit at  8%. This has reverberated through global market sentiment.  Putting that in perspective: looking at SARS, 1st month drop 1 month .2 to 6% in various markets. Ebola Swine flu estimate  off world GDP.  MERs, H1N! She expects Corona Virus to reduce Global GDP by .4 – .5 % Mostly due to travel restrictions & reduced travel.

The Global consensus for economic 2019 forecast for was 3.7%. According to the International Monetary Fund it ended up an estimated 2.9% year end, and projected to be 3.3% in 2020 and 3.4% in 2021.

Trade wars most impact was to Manufacturing – Production due to high exposure plus recession fears.IMG_6864

Everyone expected a Bear Market in 2019…. but that did not happen, it was very good year.


In a Wall Street Journal pol in Oct 2019, of the respondents: 48% predicted recession in 2020, and 27% predicted  a rescission in 2021.

She when over the four main causes of recession and where we are at risk wise for each of the four reasons. (Fiscal Tightening Reduces Lending, Unforeseen Economic Shocks, Fiscal Imbalances, Fed Over Tightening). IMG_6887

No Overheating, fed has played its hand well not to tight not tool loose Inflation & labor markets tame.  Financial Imbalances: in terms of  Banks and Households are in good shape. Expansion is one of the Slowest Low growth less than in the 1960s Slide

Indicators Risks compared to the past only the Production – Manufacturing and the Yield Curve indicate caution. Manufacturing & Production represent only 10% of the economy, and 9% of  the employment  and weakness her s may slow things a bit but with 90% of the economy being in services it won’t be all that much. IMG_6922

The Yield curve is a concern but not an Alarm. Slide the long rates are 60 basis points below where it should be. She suggested due to QE 1 & 2 . Can Revert and did in the past where the Fed Stopped Tightened which improved the cure in the past.

Goldilocks economy Labor market strong Layoff rates are the lowest  ever since they started recording some 20 years ago, Quit rate up as well. Improving Trade Situation  will help manufacturing an energy the most. Lower Mortgage rates 1.5 millions homes demand for new housing demand is over that , if demand is below there is surplus. Service Sector outlook Job growth.  Unemployment, there are currently  224k  new unemployed,  if rises to 250k month it will be an issue and  the start of a change.

The economic cycle globally and where each major economy is in the current cycle. QuadrantsForcast2020

Consumer positive but Biz and fiscal policy is pessimistic.IMG_6918

Business is feeling cautious about 4th qtr 2020 or 1st qtr 2020 Boeing knocked or will knock of .4 -.5 off US  GDP plus .5 off Global GDP from Corona Virus.

Risks….. Elections can create risk, there are highly polarized feelings about both politics and about the economy. The Conservatives are as pleased 77% positive, with the economy as the Liberals are displeased at 61% negative.


Radical differences in the issues from healthcare to Taxes, Businesses are concerned about things that can change taxes, redistribute wealth cause uncertainty or result in new winners – losers in the business world change the rules they planned on or play by.

On one end of the spectrum you have Trump and to some extent Biden with:  More or less or Moderate on Taxes and Moderate Healthcare changes in the middle is Butigig an on the other end is Warren and Bernie Sanders who propose Higher Taxes, Expanded Healthcare and Spending increases along with Student Debt forgiveness (adding a large amount of debt).

We are seeing a bit of a slow down, mostly in the manufacturing sector and to some extent across the board. Yet there is not a recession predicted in most forecasts. It looks like there will continue to be growth, slow but none the less growth.


Authors Note: “n the United States, the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index provides a measure of the prices paid by people for domestic purchases of goods and services, excluding the prices of food and energy. The core PCE is the Fed’s preferred inflation measure.” The central bank has a 2 percent target.

Orange County, CA followed the national trends., in job creations She forecasts a 1% job growth in 2020.photo (2)

Housing construction has slowed and prices are up but treading water home price growth has slowed and is moderation expect a 1.2% growth  due to lower mortgage rates. It was observed that Debt and quality & Quantity of Borrowing Good

She measured Optimism as good per her home grown index

IMG_6961 (1)

Biz expectations are good, 60% expect profits to increase, 32% feel they will stay the same, and 8% see a decline. Their view on Sales it that 68% expect and increase, 32% expect flat sales, and 8% expect a decrease. Hiring is flatter 42% see an increase, 48% expect no change, and 10% see a decline in hiring.  Interestingly enough only 27% plan on increasing investment in their business, 67% will keep it the same, and 5% plan a decrease.

Biggest perceived treats are Political turmoil at 46% Tariffs & Trade agreements 32%  8% China 6% Interest rates IMG_6964BiggestThreats&Probibilitis2020

Per executives polled, only 6% think there is a greater than 50% chance of a recession.  76% see a less than than 20% chance of a recession by the end of 2020.

Authors Conclusions: The Death of this Expansion is pre-mature. It looks like we are in a Goldilocks economy not too hot not too cool, but just right. Because we are sitting in the middle of it, its kind of hard to recognize. The data suggests that 2020 to 2021 will be better than many expect, maybe not as good at 2019. There will be ups and downs, a correction or two, acceleration and de-acceleration yet over all it will be a good 1 – 2 years.

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Counting the Cost – ROI on CRM

In the past Marketing had to justify it’s place at boardroom table. “Show me how spending $30,000 on an ad will generate $300,000 in revenue…!” Barked my the VP for Sales & Marketing. In the past the connections between advertising and revenue was fuzzy at best.  With CRM & E-marketing tools like Pardot,  Hub Spot, etc. Marketing has the ability to track where the lead – person entered the sales funnel and trace there every step to sale closed won. How much each step cost and where the best leads came from.2020Goals

With the massive shift to online buying the ball is now in Sales court to justify their existence – place at the board room table.  The model has changed to where the inside team if you even need one is outselling the inside team and doing so at a much lower cost per sale.  There are customers that don’t want to see your outside person. They have done there research made 90% of their decision and now just need to tie up the loose ends. If they need to talk the phone or email is sufficient. Not all deals can be closed this way, yet this appears to be the trend, now how do we implement CRM – Marketing Automation before our competitor steals our markets.

Implementing a CRM is expensive justifying the cost can be difficult. One way to do it is to benchmark you current cost of net new leads to net new sales. Look at the cost of your sales & marketing segments: sales teams, inside, outside, cost of marketing. Then identify ways that CRM & Marketing software can either reduce costs or grow your business.

Several examples:

What was the cost of loosing a sales person in a $8 Million dollar territory ? usually the cost of a bad hire is 1.5 – 2 times there annual salary. (Per Lea Ask her) A portion of this cost is them taking their contacts and pipeline with them. So lets say it takes a new salesperson 3 months to get up to speed and they are only 50% effective. Lets do the math $8M / 4 = $2M x 50% = $1M in lost Gross sales. If you had a CRM with the Pipeline the new sales person could be 75% effective a $500,000 improvement.

Follow up, Follow up, Follow up… every sales person knows they should but do they? As I recall Tom Hopkins & Brian Tracy said 20-30% of Sales often occur after 5 -7 follow ups. Well CRM can lighten this load, automated email follow up and reports on customer buying activity can make Follow up easier for the sales person.

Customer service is another area where the connection between the Sale and keeping the customer. What is your customer turnover rate now? How much does it cost to acquire new customers? Reduce turnover and your margins go up. Find out what causes your customers to leave build the solution into your customer service process and use the CRM to manage it.

Reduce or Better Eliminate Manual Processes:

Sending out customer satisfaction emails was costing one of my clients $3,000 per year. Automating the process one time cost $400 the first year. Now year after year they save $3,000. Most any process that is routine is one that is a good candidate for automation. Just think of how many confirmation emails get sent out in your organization. With CRM automation even small businesses can automate much of their customer service process.

How many people are involved with order taking and customer service…? at what cost?Logging cases can be done using a customer portal. Where the customer logs in and securely creates a support case or even gives you business to service them. Twenty four hour service with automated confirmation. The product can even be delivered or the process of delivery can be automated as well. This is not only the realm of Amazon, small business has the access to these tools now.

One technique marketers frequently use is to count clicks & opens but only do it on a campaign level. Broaden your horizons and track it long term over years. This will help you show how marketing drove revenue by increasing engagement with prospects & customers over a period of years. Measure the reduced time from Lead to Revenue (Sale Closed Won) only 4% of B2B Marketers measure more than 6 months of impact according to DeDe Sabby at Roland DGA. She said by lifting the conversion of Leads by 1% she got a shift of 25% in revenue..! IMG_6796

The technology is here and available now, they only limit is your imagination. Not sure any of this applies in your world on the off chance it does email me at phil@salesforcemaven.com

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