Take a look at our film, walking through the last 10 years (don't worry, it's the short version!)
We have learned a lot along the way about what it takes to make a successful Salesforce business
*Spoiler alert* It’s not all about technology!
We asked CEO and founder Geraldine Gray to tell us about her journey since 2012, building Endiem from the ground up into the largest independent Salesforce consultancy in Houston. And here it is, pared down to ten key points.
by Geraldine Gray
“I didn't want people writing checks to Geraldine, so we had to come up with a name.”
It’s no secret that Endiem began by accident. After a successful tenure at Appirio, I was looking for a bit of time out. Well, that didn’t happen! Businesses immediately approached me with requirements and Salesforce was our second customer.
Clearly, I wasn't going to get away with not being a bona fide business and when Houston marketing agency Adhere Creative asked for my input on their clients, they were the obvious choice to build out the new brand. They came up with the name ‘Endiem’; I loved it, and the rest is history. It was an investment at the time, but it’s paid off. When it comes to building a brand, do it right, and you only need to do it once. You can continue to innovate and develop who you are and what you do, but creating a solid foundation gives you a marketing platform and the tools you need from the get-go.
We are super lucky because we still work with the team at Adhere and, incredibly, even have several mutual customers, including Mustang CAT and ENGIE NA. A coincidence or a natural byproduct of working with great teams and great customers?
I have always maintained solid relationships with folks at Salesforce, and I’m not just talking about the Account Execs either. I’ve worked with all the teams - Product, Marketing, Strategy, you name it, but my true love is the AppExchange team. I still have fun every month on the #Appy Twitter chat.
Being a 13x Salesforce MVP has put me at the heart of an incredible network of international friends and partnerships. It’s a community like no other, and it makes us all successful!
Even better, hire them.
If you want to know the main perk of being an MVP, I would say, hands down, it’s the other Salesforce MVPs. I’ve learned so much from this network of legends and trailblazers at the top of their game.
Having these guys in my little black book has greatly boosted our customer projects. Over the years, I’ve called on the specialist superpowers of fellow MVPs time and again.
No one individual knows everything about Salesforce, but with the hive mind of the Salesforce MVPs and my old colleagues at Appirio on call, Endiem is pretty damn close
Nobody should approach Salesforce as a vanity project. A great Salesforce implementation and launch should be a huge business-wide success. This is not about individuals and their Linkedin profiles; it is about transforming operations and, in turn, the bottom line.
This brings me neatly to my next point…
This is how our customer Cory Birch, Marketing General Manager at Mustang Cat, launched Salesforce to his team last year. It highlights the responsibility that we have to deliver ROI to our clients.
Partners must never lose sight of the fact that digital transformation has to drive more dollars for their customers. Whether it’s increased sales, operational excellence, better customer service, more profitable field services, or faster time to value, Salesforce has to deliver on its promise to transform profits.
We have a hashtag we use a lot at Endiem, #dogoodwork. It’s pretty simple: do good work and get the good projects. Get the good projects, and you get to the kind of good work that brings the customer value, over and over again.
95% of Endiem’s business comes from repeat business, and it all starts with us doing good work. When one of our CIOs, CFOs, or CEOs move company they typically take us with them. They know we have their back.
That’s why we love it when we get feedback like this from our clients:-
“Endiem is truly an extension of my team; that is the value they deliver to me. I can almost get to the point of being hands-off!”
At the heart of Endiem and the Salesforce community lies a belief that people should give back and be a positive force on the planet. Build this into your business philosophy, and we all get to live in a better world.
Founding the Girly Geeks (aka Women in Tech), making regular donations to charity, supporting Endiem employees to deliver community projects, hiring non-traditional team mates, and pursuing diversity in the workplace - are all initiatives that I am proud to lead.
The reward? Good business karma. It’s just the right thing to do.
Sad and true story. There was once a business that implemented an ERP and invoicing solution badly. They couldn’t send out an invoice for six months. They had to revert to paper invoices and manual stock-taking. No one knew what was in their inventory. No one had any idea what their revenue was. It nearly broke them, and to this day, almost five years later, they are still not fully recovered.This was not an Endiem client. We know that an invoicing system is the beating heart of the business, and that’s why we approach it like a life or death situation. You must not take their project if you can’t promise your client a zero-risk invoicing rollout. End of story.
Running a business means being there for your customers 24/7.
It’s a tough gig, and it’s not for everyone, but the truth is that when you start running your own business, you just don't get to turn it off again. I have fantastic customers, and I am truly grateful for them, and with that comes responsibility. I have fun, I go on vacation for sure, but do I switch off my phone? Almost never.
Mistakes will be made. And you will have to execute against them.