Blog post

Why Coaching is the Key to Salesforce ROI

Kayleigh Collins
February 14, 2020

In the photo above, Connie on our OpenTent team shares a virtual high-five with Jackie and Julie at GatherDC! Over the past three years GatherDC has brought Salesforce into their weekly team meetings, run their own Salesforce staff trainings, learned to launch their own integrated forms and managed their own migration to Lightning. We are proud to continue to support their journey to Salesforce sustainability and success.

So your organization invested in Salesforce!
What a powerful step and certainly a big undertaking for your team. What was your organization’s goal for embarking on this journey? Maybe to:

  1. Engage your constituents in strategic, impactful ways that serve your mission; 
  2. Surface + share compelling stories in your next social media campaign or grant proposal; or
  3. Minimize staff time analyzing data to include in your next annual impact report or KPI review.

Achieving your Salesforce goals is about more than the tech. What do you need to achieve these goals? The right systems, absolutely. But without one crucial ingredient those systems will become dusty and outdated: you need engaged staff - staff who feel activated to do their work with your constituents and your systems as a way of driving their personal goals and your organization’s mission.

Salesforce is like a puppy. You can bring it home for free but pretty soon you’ll need to buy it food, bring it in for check-ups and provide it with a ton of guidance and love. We’ve seen nonprofit organizations often realize they are unprepared for the costs of maintaining and scaling their Salesforce org. And the commitment that most often surprises nonprofits has nothing to do with software: it’s about engaging your staff, particularly your Salesforce Admin, through training and coaching. 

The problem: finding and retaining a Salesforce Admin with highly-specialized tech and people skills and deep organizational knowledge is a challenge everywhere in such a competitive labor market - but especially within nonprofit organizations. Do any of these problems sound familiar?

  1. Your staff isn’t using your Salesforce, or at least not consistently. You have a sense of why, but the problem runs deep and you have 2-3 other jobs to do. 
  2. You don’t have a Salesforce Admin or maybe you’re paying consultants to do this work who could otherwise be contributing more value.
  3. Your Salesforce Admin left for a bigger growth opportunity, or maybe you don’t know how to get started with finding and developing a Salesforce Admin. 

The solution: engaging your Salesforce Admin through professional coaching. At OpenTent, we’ve seen incredible success with engaging Salesforce Admins through 1-1 coaching (listening, goal-setting and skill-building support) toward building a culture of feedback and growth at both our company and client organizations. Staff coaching is a commitment to both reorienting mindsets and your organizational culture.

According to the latest Engaging the Nonprofit Workforce Report, when asked what benefits were most important to nonprofit employees, the most common response was the opportunity for professional development. If you think your Salesforce Admin could benefit from stronger professional development opportunities, we’d love to help. In our next blog posts, we’ll describe our coaching philosophy and the packages of services we offer our clients.

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