I was introduced to salesforce.com in 2003.  Back when the term “cloud computing” probably meant you were sitting in your cubicle dreaming about computing somewhere else.  The company I worked for at the time was hiring an inside sales team and needed a way for all employees to efficiently communicate and share information between prospects, customers, and individual sales reps.  I had been learning about “on-demand” and “software as a service” applications and discussed implementing salesforce.com with our VP of Sales and Marketing.  We quickly decided to move forward.  I was chosen to lead the charge, customize and build the application to support internal processes, and train all users.

Fast forward to 2005.  A manufacturing client I was working with at the time, IRD Glass, had a need to track sales efforts and consolidate marketing activities.  Guess what application I chose for implementation?  Salesforce.com.

Fast forward to 2006 and a new opportunity with my current employer, Krengel Technology.  I was tasked with selling and marketing a new product the company was launching – today’s best selling RPG-XML Suite.  At the time Autotask.com was being used to track timesheets, to log trouble tickets, and for some light project management.  But when it came time to manage sales opportunities, track sources of leads, deliver variable data email communications, and other key sales and marketing functions, a void existed.  Guess what we use today?  Salesforce.com (and no I don’t hold any stock in the company).

In 2008 I met an existing client, CLEAR Scoliosis Institute, for the first time.  They have a rocking mission – to treat the severe condition of scoliosis through 100% chiropractic practices.  Scoliosis is an incredibly dehabilitating condition of the spine that many times unfortunately results in surgical metal rod implantations throughout the spine.  You can imagine the life-long impact a spinal rod implantation has on the life of a 15 year old girl.  CLEAR trains chiropractors how to reverse the curved condition of the spine chiropractically and restore proper spinal function without invasive surgery.

Dr.Dennis Woggon is the founder of the CLEAR Scoliosis Institute and highly regarded today as a pioneering scoliosis chiropractor and educator.  The first time I met Dr.Woggon and his wife Brenda was to discuss the marketing practices of CLEAR in an effort to add value in supporting their mission.

The first question I asked was something along of  lines of:

“So, when Joe Blow chiropractor wants to start treating the condition of scoliosis, how do you start the engagement with him”?

Brenda’s response:

“Well, we don’t call him Joe Blow, for one”.

Now’s the part where I smack my forehead as only Chris Farley could do while screaming internally, “You idiot”!  

But guess what?

Last week I started customizing an online CRM (customer relationship management) application for Dr.Woggon and his clinic to utilize in an effort to more efficiently manage their sales, marketing, and follow-up processes.  And guess what they’ll be using?  Salesforce.com.

So if you hear the popular buzz words of “cloud computing”, “software as a service”, “on demand applications”, or whatever the next guy dreams up to make improving your sales and marketing processes seem like a technology hill you can’t climb, remember any Joe Blow can get started with just a couple small steps.

Just don’t use that name with your boss (or your client).

What technology do you use to manage your sales and marketing processes?

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