This year’s Salesforce Conference took place on the 22nd March in Sofia Event Centre. The event was organised by the leader consultant company – Next Consult, and the world leader in CRM systems and Marketing Automation, Salesforce.com.
For the fifth year in a row, the only CRM conference in Bulgaria gathered some of the biggest and most successful Bulgarian and foreign companies together. This audience was introduced to the latest trends in marketing, sales and service, as well as to the opportunities that new technologies bring to businesses.
This event also celebrates 5 years since Next Consult is a Salesforce partner, earning a Gold Partner status this year. Special guests at the event were Stanislava Atanasova, Sales Manager for Southeast Europe and Russia and Adam Bukkosy, Partners Manager for the same region. They told the audience more about the things Salesforce have planned, while Orlin Dochev, Managing Partner of Next Consult, presented the various solutions Salesforce offers for businesses.
The successful companies align their internal processes with the customer journeys
In line with the main topic of the conference – The client in the centre of the digital world – Orlin Dochev focused in the innovations in client management processes as well as the changing consumer in today’s dynamic world. Paying close attention to the importance of customer journeys and how they can be used to benefit the business, he demonstrated the importance of coherence and clarity in marketing communication. In looking after the customer and predicting their needs, a big part is taken by how well you know your customer and how quickly you can analyse whatever data you have about them. To entice and engage the customer, you need to know where to put various triggers to their buying behaviour. In today’s world, this is impossible without the help of agile software solutions.
Lots of the businesses in the country seem to lack any automated solutions, which leads to losses as there is hardly any accountability and trackability of both the internal and external activities, such as communicating with the clients, selling, service, etc.
Why is it important that strategy precedes system implementation?
In his presentation, Toshko Petkov (Partner Business Consulting at Next Consult and an experienced consultant in the fields of IT consulting, management consulting and Lean), talked about the need of a clear strategy that guides any software implementation, whether its CRM or ERP. This strategy will help prepare the company for the change and if it is missing, chances are there will be a confusion and misunderstanding regarding the project’s aims and goals. Trying to implement a new system without the necessary strategy to back it up can also results in automation of already inefficient processes, lack of traceability, unclear responsibilities, deadlines and budget – and all of these things could results in potential losses.
Choosing the right consultant is key for the success of the CRM implementation
Four companies took part in the event and they all agreed with Toshko Petkov’s presentation about the need for a clear strategy that supports any system implementation. The clients added that a strategy guides where you want to get with the help of the software system you plan to use. Senior managers from Dilcom, SOS Children’s Villages, Fadata and Bultex 99 shared their experiences in the process of CRM system implementation. They told the audience more about why they chose Salesforce, what issues they solved with the system and how it helped them be more successful. All of them shared the opinion that the key thing about implementing any system is the consulting partner that you chose. Even the best software system can fail if it hasn’t been set up by knowledgeable consultants who not only understand the technical side of things, but also the business’ needs.
‘The key thing when implementing any system is not only the consultants’ technical ability but also their knowledge about certain business processes’, said Miroslav Slavov, Sales manager of Bultex 99. Ludmila Stoycheva, CEO of Dilcom, told the audience about the many improvements that implementing a CRM system brought to the company – including reduced quote time, optimising the accountability processes and improved communication between clients and salespeople. Ivaylo Guyrov, Director of Fundraising at SOS Children’s Villages, said that they preferred Salesforce because of their proven superiority to other CRM systems on the market and they chose Next Consult because they were ‘the best Salesforce partner out there’. Lastly, Svetla Koleva, Sales Operations Manager at Fadata, commented on an interesting case at her company – firstly, they tried another CRM but weren’t happy with the results which made them change both the CRM provider and the consulting partner. She said they trusted Next Consult with the process of implementation because ‘they speak our language’.
65% if the Bulgarian companies don’t have a CRM system yet but 80% plan on implementing one
In the end of the Salesforce conference, Emil Vuchkov, Digital Marketing Partner at Next Consult, presented the results of the CRM survey that the company conducted. According to the results, almost 65% of the companies in Bulgaria don’t have an active CRM system. Most of them, however, do plan an implementation in the next 3 years. The companies that have a CRM system are IT companies (65%), Transport and Logistics (50%), as well as Service companies (40%). Details about the survey will be published later.
About Next Consult:
Next Consult is a leader management consulting, IT and digital marketing company. Apart from its operations in Bulgaria, the company also operates in the UK and Switzerland. Next Consult was established in 2010 by three partners and now it has over 40 employees. The company’s consultants have rich experience and are experts in the fields of business consulting, process management, implementing and support of IT solutions as well as digital marketing. Next Consult is a Gold Salesforce partner and a Silver SAP ERP partner, as well as partner of the Japanese Lean Methodology.
The most innovative company for 4 years running, Salesforce is the undisputed leader in CRM systems and business process automatization. Thanks to its constant innovations, the company can offer its customers the latest software solutions, thus making them more successful. Salesforce’s solutions are suitable for every kind of company and industry but the most important element is how they are implemented – with the help of a knowledgeable consultant.