Our karma

    On September 10, a mini-revolution took place in the North American office of Kaspersky Lab. Instead of the previous electronic system for managing relationships with customers and partners, through which all transactions, analytics and communication went, a new one was launched - KARMA (Kaspersky Relationships Management), created on the powerful CRM platform Salesforce.com. Why did the project team work around the clock and what prospects are now opening up in relations with American partners?

    Why do we need KARMA

    - The project for the development and implementation of KARMA turned out to be as complex as revolutionary. The purpose of the system implementation is to globally standardize business processes throughout the entire corporate business of the company in order to ultimately receive a completely transparent set of data on partners and corporate clients of Kaspersky Lab.

    The company realized the need for a new CRM system a long time ago. Regions with developed markets (Western Europe, the USA and Canada) are extremely heterogeneous in structure, therefore, until recently, we did not have a single sales scheme and marketing process. On the one hand, it was good, since we were very close to the “fields”, on the other hand, it was bad: when you had to change something, you had to do it ten times, and each of them was different.

    The new CRM system should simplify the work of our sales and marketing departments. Communication with customers will become easier, more efficient and less time consuming.
    Until now, we have used Microsoft Dynamics, but today we have grown out of it, it no longer helps us solve the main problems. A Salesforce tool has proven to be a better alternative.

    How the system

    works The basis of the KARMA solution is the Salesforce CRM system, which automates sales planning, reflects the fact of sales, provides a comparison of the plan and the fact, accumulates information about our customers and partners. The second major component is an open Internet portal for our partners, where they leave their applications for potential sales. Orders fall into the same Salesforce, and on their basis our managers build their sales forecast.

    The third component shows the actually executed orders for our products and services. The system has functionality for comparing a transaction previously registered by partners (intent to buy our product) and an actually placed order. Thus, we understand how planned sales relate to actual ones.

    By the way, Salesforce is very convenient in that you can buy various functional components to the base system. For example, one of these utilities helps to create and send quotas to our distributors based on a commercial offer with just the click of a button! Now the last settings are on, and in the near future this functionality will be launched.

    One of the main tasks in implementing the system is adapting the standard Salesforce functionality to the needs of our business. The functionality included a huge number of opportunities to optimize the daily work of users, taking into account all the specifics of the sale and promotion of our products in the highly competitive software market.

    Actually, KARMA is the result of customizing Salesforce to our needs.

    Why KARMA is useful

    The new solution has several advantages. So, in order.

    Saving time and effort
    KARMA makes life easier for our marketing and sales professionals. They no longer have to take ten steps that can be “packaged” at the touch of a button. Now they take 1-2 hours a day for administrative work “manually” - this is too much. Our task is to simplify and speed up the activities of employees in the system, to automate what previously had to be done "on the knee", to minimize the risk of input and calculation errors.

    Now we can be compared with a person who drives a car at a speed of 200 km / h, but at the same time looks at the road only in the rearview mirror, and his windshield is black. We also look mostly backward (at reporting and so on). And for good sales, where you need a quick reaction and the ability to anticipate the required volumes, this is not enough. The situation is similar in marketing: it is very difficult to calculate what the concrete results of our actions will be. For example, what will bring more revenue: an exhibition with a budget of $ 100 thousand or an online campaign worth $ 20 thousand? KARMA will allow us to be smarter.

    Partner Stimulation
    There is not a single client left on the market who does not have any anti-virus or anti-spyware protection. So every time we sell a new product to a customer, we push someone out of the competition. And the easier it is for partners to do business with us, the more they love us and more often offer their customers to use our products.

    With the KARMA system, partners will receive a convenient and quick interface of interaction with our sales specialists and marketers, they will know what their current statuses and sales volumes are. And we, in turn, will see what deals the partners are working on, and we will be able to help them in time to bring the matter to the conclusion of the contract.
    It’s great that now we can take a look at the whole process. If the manager and partner agree that in a certain year his sales should amount to $ 1 million, determine the quarterly breakdown of income based on the partner’s sales, then we will not waste time again discussing the figures. These numbers will be in the system, and we will decide how to optimize the work in order to increase them in the future. We will not only see how partners conduct sales, but also whether their promises correspond to how they work.

    Chatter Function
    This is a kind of social network that provides informal communication within the company on issues related to the work of Salesforce. The function makes it possible to turn to some colleagues around the world with some kind of question, and there will always be someone who has experience in solving such a question.

    What's next?

    Of course, there are still enough problems, and this is absolutely normal for a solution of this magnitude. During the training, we gradually teach people how to use KARMA tools. There are certain issues regarding data cleanliness because Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce use slightly different models for them. But this moment is also being decided.

    One way or another, on September 10, we “turned on the switch” for the USA and Canada, stopped user access to Microsoft Dynamics, activated Salesforce. Real deals have been going through the system for a month and a half already.

    Now we are negotiating with several company offices in Europe and the UK: we are discussing in which regions we will launch KARMA further, demonstrating the overall flexibility and scalability of the selected and implemented solution. In North America, we are still working to stabilize the system, complementing the already implemented functionality and fulfilling the new user requirements. It always happens: when people dive deeper into the product, they begin to express their wishes more actively. All this is fixed, nothing was wasted. For example, it is planned to further develop the functionality for marketers: within its framework, a separate solution will be introduced that will improve the process of collecting information about future customers.

    Tell us what you think about Salesforce and what CRM solutions you find meeting the requirements of companies of our scale?

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