Driving Research & Innovation with Salesforce

The University at Buffalo Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships (BEP) office connects academia, industry, and entrepreneurs to collaborate on R&D, commercialize new technology and provide access to talent pipelines. The team builds public-private partnerships that support new discoveries and market opportunities that positively impact society.

THE SUCCESS SYNOPSIS 

The University at Buffalo’s BEP team members have embraced the new Salesforce org and it has become part of day-to-day operations. Adoption is growing each day as they see the focus shift from training and population of data to managing programs, tracking activities, and reporting. 

BEP’s team of users has increased from 20 to 50 which includes the addition of new business units, program managers, support staff, and management. Reports, Dashboards, and List Views are becoming an everyday part of meetings as users use them for reference and presentation.

Within two months of use, there were more than 350 active Opportunities and Engagements that increased to over 400 across all programs. BEP Team Members are also taking advantage of the new functionality offered by Achievements and Referrals. These tools allow users to share leads, milestones, and success stories completing the 360° view of clients.

UB BEP Quote

THE BEP CHALLENGE

The UB Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships office had Salesforce for nearly a decade. BEP offers many programs to New York State businesses and UB faculty, but assessing the quantity and quality of relationships under each program was impossible in their existing Salesforce org. The Salesforce org was used by only a few team members, BEP’s support partner went out of business, and the office was in growth mode: taking on new grants to administer, new programs to manage, and hiring and training new employees. The tool lay dormant to many until resourced internally with a CRM Admin, Executive Sponsor, and IT support. The growing organization needed to now manage over 10 programs and complicated business processes that involved cross-functional team members.  What the organization needed was a way to quickly build and revitalize the system to reflect their “new” organization and business processes. The initiative was positioned to support robust reporting and the ability to deepen industry partnerships and organizational relationships by leveraging data. Some of the key challenges were:

  • Inconsistent user adoption, data governance, and non-existent business processes 
  • Organizational growth (employees & programs) that led to issues with data capture, segmentation, and options for all programs and users including business development, marketing, and leadership.
  • A high volume of data capture existed outside the system and led to manual work each year for annual state-required reporting
  • Lack of defined business processes which overloaded the current system (For example, leveraging the opportunity record for both the sales process and program management)
  • Duplicated records
  • Missing data, requiring a high degree of in-person meetings to gather full context
  • Little to no visibility for leadership into the efforts of the new team members or the current status of BEP’s impact over the new programs and initiatives

Through the course of the project, Redpath worked with BEP to identify the key objectives of the Salesforce revitalization project. The objectives broke into two primary categories, external relationship management, and internal end-user success.

1 – External Relationship Management

  • All business and faculty interactions are recorded and visible in one centralized location
  • Segmentation that allows for summarizing external interactions
  • Track a “sales” pipeline and the conversion rate of initial conversations to closed contracts
  • Provide the BEP team with a 360˚ view of the constituent, including what programs they are engaged in, what contracts they have in place, who are they working with, and which events did they attend
  • Gain the ability to understand an industry partner’s or faculty member’s depth of engagement with BEP and what external achievements have they accomplished because of this partnership

2 – Internal End-User Success

  • Salesforce must improve the team’s work life. BEP really wanted their full team to love Salesforce and integrate it into their day-to-day activities, reporting and meeting updates
  • Users need to understand how Salesforce will help them accelerate their work and their collaboration with others on the BEP team
  • Reduce manual data entry and time-consuming conversations
  • Trust the data in the system 
  • Enhance team collaboration, transparency, and successes around the data in the tool

THE REDPATH SOLUTION

In collaboration with BEP’s subject matter experts, Redpath designed a 360˚ solution allowing for prospect and sales process tracking, program management, internal collaboration, and impact measurement. This included:

  • Sales Cloud implementation to manage the business development team’s engagement prospecting processes, with a high focus on a consistent set of stages across all programs for enhanced reporting.
  • Intellectual Property custom design and build to enable the larger BEP team to know what UB faculty had invented, what they were seeking to patent, and whether an industry partner was licensing that technology.
  • Program management custom design and build to allow BEP to track who is engaged in their programs, what resources they are taking advantage of, and the effectiveness of that engagement. This includes tracking financial transactions, achievements, compliance, and hours.
  • Customized activity tracking to understand internal and external referrals of faculty or industry to other BEP or external programs, including outcome tracking to measure effectiveness.
  • Customized inventory management for BEP owned space and equipment
  • Economic Impact and Academic Alignment design to allow for annual reporting and integrate with BEPs homegrown survey portal.

THE BEP RESULTS

BEP team members have embraced the Salesforce Org and it has become part of their day-to-day operations.

  • Streamlined business processes to increase end-user efficiency
    • Integrated Outlook to reduce data silos and manual data entry
    • Architecture designed to allow for easy system integrations in future phases
    • Automation to populate critical fields where manual entry can be avoided
    • Centralized location for all data tracking, eliminating weeks of manual data compilation at the end of every fiscal year
  • Data management strategy to reduce duplicates and provide better trust between end-users and data
  • Enhanced system capabilities to track additional BEP programs and resources, moving towards a full 360˚ view of constituents
  • Improved reporting capabilities to better drive operations and measure impact
  • Active users have more than doubled
  • Salesforce reports, dashboards, and list views support business meeting

YOUR PATH TO SUCCESS

Redpath has proven success methodologies to help you as your university teams evaluate digital strategies to transform Recruiting, Admissions, Student Services, Advancement, Research Innovation and Technology Transfer, and Marketing and Engagement. Reach out to us and we can discuss your best path to success.

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