How we used IndustryComplete for Salesforce during the COVID-19 pandemic to optimize our business strategy
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many industries hard. According to the UK Office for National Statistics, some of the worst affected industries such as accommodation, retail and food services shrank by as much as 90% in the opening months of the financial year 2021 (FY21).
Although the technology sector was less acutely impacted by the pandemic than many other industries, at ProvenWorks we have clients across the most adversely impacted sectors. It was important that we tailored our approach in FY21 in order to meet our customers’ needs. By using IndustryComplete for Salesforce, we were able to do just that!
In fact, we made FY21 our most successful year to date.
So what happened? And how did IndustryComplete help our business not just survive but thrive during COVID-19?
ProvenWorks before COVID-19
Before the pandemic, we based our renewals targets and forecasts on gut feel rather than data. We managed with this heuristic approach, despite our forecasts not always being as accurate as they potentially could be.
When notifying our customers about their upcoming renewals, we gave all of our clients the same notice before their licenses were due to expire, regardless of the industry in which the client operated.
The pandemic creates global business uncertainty
When the business world was shaken up by COVID-19 in early Spring 2020, many of our clients, particularly in sectors such as hospitality and retail, were understandably struggling with cash flow.
Suddenly, gut feel predictions based on clients’ previous purchasing behaviour were no longer sufficient to accurately forecast renewals revenue. Also, our blanket notice period before a customer’s license expiry date may have become inadequate for clients to gain purchasing approval due to procurement constraints.
As a consequence, we experienced fresh challenges in managing our own cash flow, quantifying the necessary investment in lead generation in order to hit sales targets, and assessing the time that renewal opportunities would take to close.
An industry data-enabled solution
We realized that the solution to overcoming these obstacles was right there — Salesforce industry data!
1. Our existing industry data was ready to work with
By ‘eating our own dog food’ and harnessing the power of IndustryComplete in our Salesforce org, we have always ensured that we have accurate and standardized industry values across our accounts.
Thanks to IndustryComplete, adding industry data to our accounts has been quick and painless. We have customised our org using the IndustryComplete component so that only those industries that contain specific keywords appear on the industry search. This way, when a member of our ProvenWorks sales team identifies a hot new lead and creates an account in our Salesforce org, they can be certain that they’ve selected the right industry value in no time at all.
2. We could quickly adjust and add additional industry values
What’s more, we have capitalized on IndustryComplete’s new feature of allocating a primary industry value to those accounts which operate in multiple sectors. This feature has been so useful during the pandemic as businesses are forced to diversify to survive. For example, we were able to re-prioritize the industry value for a firm that used to earn the majority of its revenue in the Retail industry, but now earns the bulk of its revenue in the Electronics industry. This account now appears with an industry value of ‘Electronics’ on our renewals reports.
3. We could predict renewals income based on exact industry distribution
We used our account industry data to more accurately forecast our customers’ likelihood of renewal and therefore our own guaranteed renewal income. Our greater understanding of our cash inflow meant that we could fine tune our budget across the business, including budgeting for acquiring new customers.
4. We could better support clients in struggling industries
We were able to alter our renewals approach for our clients in struggling industries, understanding that their purchasing processes may have been impacted by the pandemic. By giving these customers longer notice before their licenses expired, we were able to keep our renewal rate high and maintain our commitment to customer success.
Moving forward with IndustryComplete
As optimism starts to emerge in the business world once again, we plan to further utilize industry values in our reporting and analysis. Whether it be through investigating retention rates by industry, analysing sectors with opportunities for sales growth or identifying industries in which to launch targeted marketing campaigns, IndustryComplete has enabled us to shape our business strategy more concretely around industry data.
I’ve got a question about IndustryComplete?
Get in touch with us via email here! Our team is more than happy to answer any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
A little bonus…
If you made it this far… congratulations! Why not stick around for one more minute, enjoy your coffee and find out a little bit more about IndustryComplete? Watch our video.