Kathy O'Shaughnessy, Co-foundersBusiness savvy companies often choosean industry-leading, reliable software tool like Salesforce for customer relationship management (CRM) believing that by selecting a best-in-breed solution they will be successful.The truth is, unless the business has knowledgeable skilled resources on staff and available, they will also need help from a Salesforce expert to ensure their success.
Kathy O’Shaughnessy and Jeff Bohanek went from being Salesforce customers to Salesforce partners when they founded Yellow Brick Systems in 2010. Their vision is to partner with customers to be their Salesforce experts. Every business faces its own challenges. One size does not fit all. Bringing both business and technical skills to the table, Yellow Brick delivers solutions that fit. “We are a small company committed to listening to our clients and working with them in a collaborative and iterative way to help them get the most out of Salesforce,” says O’Shaughnessy.
Based on their personal career experience in both Media and Higher Education, many of their clients are in these categories. “When we begin working with a new Media or Higher Ed client, they don’t need to teach us their business before getting started. We’ve been there, on their side of the table. We know what it’s like to work in those organizations. It really jump starts the process and enables us to dig in to the details of their specific problems,” she adds.
Yellow Brick has consistently maintained a track record of success and is frequently recommended both by Salesforce and satisfied customers. In one instance, a media company had reorganized their sales staff and combined several groups. Some sales staff used Salesforce and loved it, some refused to use it and some had never seen it.
To be a valued partner over the long term, you need great listening skills and the ability to react flexibly and quickly to your partners ideas
The challenge here was to redesign Salesforce for the newly combined team and bring everyone up to speed on the new process and systems. “Change management and training are key in many projects,” say O’Shaughnessy. Yellow Brick creates and delivers custom, classroom style training for most of their clients.
Sometimes a client has a business problem that, on the surface, seems far removed from CRM and an unlikely candidate for a Salesforce solution. In one example, an organization needed better visibility when on-boarding new staff.Many different departments may play a role -- Human Resources, IT, Facilities, Business Office, Public Relations. Yellow Brick Systems used Salesforce as a platform for a new On-Boarding System that enables everyone involved to track their tasks and share that information seamlessly. “Salesforce can be used as a platform to solve many business problems. If you currently use FileMaker, Access or Excel to manage data, consider using Salesforce instead,” says O’Shaughnessy.
Yellow Brick’s clients become long-term partners when engagements end with a support agreement. “To be a valued partner over the long term, you need great listening skills and the ability to react flexibly and quickly to your partners ideas,” concludes O’Shaughnessy.