Salesforce: Supercharged CRM for Political Campaigns
People frequently ask me, what is a CRM? The simple response is a varied statement about Customer Relationship Management or Consumer Relationship Management. However, that inevitably invites the next question…what does that mean? The truth is, it means a lot of things. Look no further than the Salesforce.com website, the CRM leader, and their annual mega event Dreamforce to begin to understand the constantly evolving nature of CRM. This is, of course, by design. Mark Benioff intrinsically understands the need for innovation and flexibility, and fortunately for us, his team has built that into all aspects of the Salesforce platform. I will defer to Salesforce for all things CRM, but along those lines, lets focus on the role of CRM in politics.
Having built and/or worked in hundreds of databases and campaigns over the last 20 years, I firmly believe that Salesforce is the future for all things political management. If, like most campaign professionals I know, Nation Builder does not solve many of the issues you face on a day to day basis, consider something more dynamic.
What makes up a great CRM?
- Sensibly Manage Relationships – One platform that manages all data points on Voters, Volunteers, Donors and Social Media profiles.
- Connect the campaign and the relationships – LEARN about them, their interests, issues affecting their community, their personal lives. A good CRM should collect this information, store it to their profile and allow for easy segmentation.
- Disseminate Information – Once you connect, keep the conversation going via multi-channel communication, i.e. Emails, Block Walking, SMS, Phone Calls, IVR’s, website forms, digital polls, chat bots et al. Good communication is a 2-way street. Put out the message and collect what comes back. In its simplest form, politics is marketing…don’t believe me, ask our President.
- Live & Learn the Social – Social networks encompass the modern world and give people a relevant voice in their communities and the world at large. A good CRM should automatically capture these conversations and sentiments. More importantly, a good CRM will LEARN from them.
- “Show Me the Money” – A thriving donor database must be a key component of any campaign operation, and this data should be integrated with the campaign at large. I believe the Salesforce platform provides the most effective and flexible fundraising database in the political marketplace, and it’s not even close.
- Hierarchy, Hierarchy, Hierarchy – Multiple users, multiple profiles, multiple views. People have defined roles in a campaign, their access to data should reflect those roles. Likewise, there interactions should be easily logged and monitored so the campaign can LEARN and improve efficiency.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Seems that everyone is talking about AI these days. Used properly, a CRM should leverage AI to enhance the user experience and LEARN from every interaction with a campaign. Products like Salesforce Einstein allow us to automatically gain insights from the data we collect. We are currently testing a Beta version of Einstein in campaigns.
- Connect the dots – Learn from the information you are collecting. If you are not going to LEARN from the data…what is the point of collecting it? Good reporting and dashboards are critical to measuring the success of any campaign. Leverage these insights for more success.
A good CRM allows campaigns and advocacy groups to combine these tools under one virtual roof. The problem with most CRM’s built for the political space is that they only do one or two of these things well. Furthermore, they depend on constant code and platform updates to make customizations and take advantage of new technology. Campaigns must adjust on the fly, their CRM’s should too.
Customizing a CRM should be a simple task. When choosing a campaign CRM, think about these 3 principles: Flexibility, Customization and Service. These three principles are not mutually exclusive, but to maximize success, they must work in tandem with one another.
The final product is a dynamic CRM, built on the Salesforce platform, that works in over 80 spoken languages and is readily available for campaigns all over the world.
Contact our sales team today for a free consult, we would love to help you architect, implement and innovate.
Built for today, flexible for tomorrow. Evolve with us: cfbstrategies.com
Trace Anderson is the Co-Founder and President of CFB Strategies
CFB Strategies platform “Campaign Cloud” is a four-time 2017 Pollie Award Winner.
CFB Strategies is an ISV partner of Salesforce.com, headquartered in New York City, their campaign cloud platform is used in campaigns around the globe.