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How to use Salesforce.com for non-revenue purposes

How to use Salesforce.com for non-revenue purposes

Do you want to utilize Salesforce.com or another CRM system for fundraising, job recruiting or PR campaign tracking? Here are some issues to explore first.

To make things simpler, Salesforce.com has created special configurations of its CRM system for Private Equity and Non-Profits. These configurations are actually more complicated than the standard sales, marketing, and customer support applications, because they have to track more relationships. But they make a big difference to the efficiency and smoothness of a fundraising operation.

CRM for Recruiting

Even though HR systems have very little to do with CRM systems, the recruiting function bears a resemblance to sales development. There are people you are trying to track, they work for companies, and there's a clear sequence of communications and activities that lead to an outcome (selection and employment, or not). It's not much of a stretch to use terms like leads, contacts, tasks, and companies when discussing recruiting. And the process is fairly systematic, with events, workflows, and approval cycles.

For reasons similar to the fundraising function, it's usually best to not use your main CRM system for the recruiting function. It can be done, but it requires more care and complexity than running the recruiting system as a separate CRM instance.

Where a recruiting system needs some special attention is email templates, alerts, workflows, and approval cycles. The system should send automatic acknowledgement mails to each candidate submitting a resume. Alerts should be created for scheduled meetings, to make sure that expectations and deadlines are being met. And an approval cycle should be set up to automatically monitor:

o interviews completed o candidate ranking memos submitted o offer letter written o offer letter approved o offer letter accepted o lack of response to offer letter

Salesforce.com hasn't done a special configuration for these features, but there is a free plug-in in the AppExchange that provide the core objects, page layouts, reports, and workflows that the recruiting function would need.

CRM for Public Relations

There are dedicated applications for PR and analyst relations, and they provide some real innovation in tracking reporter, editor, and analyst writings and opinions. But these applications are overkill for many organizations: the main thing they need to do is manage press contacts, track communications, and foster collaboration between spokespeople and the PR agency. Does this begin to sound like a CRM function to you?

The setup for PR is simpler even than for the recruiting function, and there is a free plug-in on the AppExchange. The main thing to think about in advance isn't the CRM system, but how much content and reporter output you want to track-and where you want to store it. Most firms just store the links to the articles, rather than filling up disks with their own copies. But this limits the searchability of the content, which may be critical to the PR management function.


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