An Interview with Greg Symons, President and Co-Founder of Blueprint Advisory and Salesforce industry veteran.
In this interview, Alex Morton, product consultant at Place Technology, asks Greg about his extensive experience working within the Salesforce ecosystem. Greg describes how building true partnerships and leveraging the Salesforce AppExchange is fundamental to delivering value to customers.
Q: What is your background? What led you to found Blueprint Advisory
A: My business partners and I have over three decades of experience working in the Salesforce ecosystem. Before Blueprint, I was one of the first employees at Talent Rover, a Salesforce ISV app to manage the recruitment workflow for staffing firms. Selling Talent Rover in 2018, my business partners and I realized that there was a tremendous value that we could provide customers. In addition, being operators of a company built on the Salesforce Platform allows us to provide exact value in the Salesforce Ecosystem approaching all builds with an operator’s mindset.
Q: You are a big believer in the power of Salesforce – can you explain how aspects of a business such as finance which are normally siloed can be connected on the platform?
A: One of the best things about Salesforce is that it is a platform where you can achieve tremendous results. Many business leaders think about their front office (sales, marketing, HR, and so on) as separate from the back office (finance and accounting). But the power of Salesforce is that you can seamlessly join all these things up and put everyone on the same page. If you take finance and accounting functions and put them into Salesforce, as PlaceCPM does, that supports one of Salesforce’s most vital selling points: the customer 360 view.
When these functions live in separate siloes, it is difficult and time-consuming to get the information from one business area to the other. However, when you put the finance function inside of Salesforce, which becomes your business’s central operating system, it does give you tremendous insight into your business as a whole.
It also allows you to expose and share a lot of that information that typically lives within the finance ivory tower. But, instead, it lets you make that information available where it is relevant to non-finance people.
As a user of PlaceCPM, I can give my marketing manager information about the budget and start to track leads and generate ROI. With tools like PlaceCPM, I can leverage many out-of-the-box functionalities to speed up the time to value. In contrast, if I were to do calculations in Excel or some external application, I’d have a much more difficult time reconciling that data directly to a customer. Any time you have a single source of truth and have your critical business workflows within one system, it provides a ton of benefit for your business and customers.
Q: A big thing within the Salesforce Ecosystem is customization, how people do things differently in different businesses. How does having a trusted Salesforce Partner along with a product like PlaceCPM empower a company to perform different workflows?
A: Good question. Most companies have some notion of forecasting and cash flow analysis; it is not unique to one vertical or industry. What is different is what companies do, how they process it, how data moves from point A to point B within an organization. So for us, a big piece in our ability to partner with clients is to listen and understand each of the unique workflows that our customers have and how they manage today. Still, we also want to know what they want to do differently, now and in the future.
We need to understand how their business works. That’s the best way to help them to make fully informed decisions about how they go about using the power of technology.
An excellent example is, PlaceCPM. I have used many out-of-the-box functionalities, such as project rate cards, to help me create a very detailed proposal for a customer. Because that is native in Salesforce, I can leverage many other Salesforce tools like process builders or flows to create unique workflows for my business. So I think when your partners understand that, they will be able to leverage the power of Salesforce to make some very efficient solutions to what would otherwise be very complex problems.
Q: Small and midsize companies don’t have the same resources as enterprise companies to commit to this. Can you tell me how you build value for that market and give me an example?
A: Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to build trust. We build trust and an understanding of their business. Thus, allowing us to serve as true partners. We provide long-term value and keep current with what Salesforce is doing as a business. We also stay relevant with what other partners like PlaceCPM are doing in their business. These updates or changes can be implemented and positively impact the costumes we work with directly.
An example is a customer of ours; initially was skeptical about the value of the Salesforce AppExchange because of a poor experience with another vendor who severely overcharged them for some fundamental work. We could come in and accomplish what the other company said would take three in one week. That small project allowed us to build trust and rapport with the customer and demonstrate that Salesforce is a viable platform for running your business. That got them thinking about their business in a completely different way, much more strategic. That small project has cascaded into additional work, all because we did right by them.
That’s a wrap! Thank you, Alex Morgan, with PlaceCPM and Greg Symons, with Blueprint Advisory, for taking the time today. It is always an enjoyment diving into the Power of Salesforce AppExchange and the Value of working with a trusted Salesforce Partner.