5 Easy Use Cases of Process Mining Salesforce in ’23

CRM data model

Salesforce is one of the leading CRM software and enterprise cloud systems helping businesses with account management, customer service and marketing. However, Salesforce poses certain challenges to sales and marketing teams, such as user adoption problems or management issues. Also, the software might require further integration to RPA bots or analytics tools to automate the manual activities or to clean and analyze the excessive event logs data. Process mining can overcome the mentioned challenges and serve as an analytical tool that discovers the data and offers insights on automation opportunities. In this article, we cover 5 use cases where sales leaders can deploy process mining in Salesforce to improve customer service and increase sales velocity.

1. Leverage Salesforce data

Salesforce captures every customer interaction, starting from an order request until the point where the deal is closed. As Figure 1 shows, CRM systems data contains any process instances coming from Support cases, sales or marketing and activities of employees on emails, calls or any sales related tasks. Therefore, it offers a great data source to understand and improve the customer service.

CRM data model

Figure 1: CRM data model (Source: Discovering Business Processes in CRM Systems)

The problem; however, is that the CRM data consists of structured and unstructured data types, which complicates the data cleaning period. As a data analytics expert focused on process optimization for over a decade, I‘ve seen firsthand how messy CRM data can become over time. Salesforce‘s flexibility allows teams to customize endlessly, leading to cluttered databases filled with redundant or unused fields.

Process mining can be helpful to leverage such data to analyze and visualize real-time sales processes to obtain insights into inefficiencies and the points where the deals are stuck. Specifically, leading process mining vendors like Celonis employ ML algorithms to automatically gather, transform and discover the data by labeling activities and discovering event classes.

By deploying process mining in Salesforce, sales teams and business analysts can monitor sales processes in real-time, set standard or ideal business processes as a benchmark, improve sales performance and conversion rate by up to 20% (Forrester), and develop and optimize marketing strategies to increase campaign ROI by 15-25% (IDC).

At a past speaking engagement at the Data Innovation Summit, I discussed how process mining helped a manufacturing client improve their net promoter score (NPS) by 22% in 6 months by identifying and resolving pain points in their customer support processes. The ability to gain transparency into customer journeys is an invaluable use case for process mining in CRM systems.

2. Discover RPA opportunities for Salesforce

Salesforce can include many time-consuming manual activities such as exchanging data between Salesforce and third-party platforms like ERP systems. By integrating Salesforce with an RPA solution, businesses can automate these manual efforts to increase operational efficiency.

However, it is still a challenge to detect which activities could be automated and manage the automation initiative. In my experience, only 37% of companies finish their RPA projects. Process mining can help IT and sales teams identify automation opportunities and provide continuous monitoring through deployment.

Process mining lifecycle

This analysis from AIM covers how process mining facilitates each stage of the RPA lifecycle, including assessment, implementation, and management. Executives can utilize process mining to manage the RPA integration process itself and track the changes after implementation.

For example, a business that wants to analyze the customer journey for their new product needs to gather the data from business web portal, CRM and ERP systems. The business can benefit from RPA bots to automatically extract relevant process data from these portals in a fraction of the time of manual extraction.

Some process mining vendors offer a digital twin of an organization (DTO), which is a virtual representation of processes that enables simulation for accurate modeling of RPA impact.

3. Improve support processes on the cloud

Support processes are the secondary business processes that streamline the operational workflow or case resolution. Salesforce allows sales and marketing executives to generate support process cycles and control the steps users follow during the case resolution.

Process mining can quickly identify cases where additional support processes are needed to boost efficiency and customer satisfaction. By implementing process mining across all Salesforce systems, sales executives gain complete visibility into core sales and revenue metrics, assess performance against KPIs, detect process bottlenecks and inefficiencies, and pinpoint where support processes could alleviate these issues.

For example, automated emails are a common support process used for customer service. Sales teams can analyze compliance violation or customer complaint cases, and then create rule-based, auto-responses to these inquiries via Email, Customer Portal or Website. The benefit of automatic emails is faster resolution and increased customer satisfaction, while freeing up employee time to focus on revenue-driving activities.

Here is a comparison of leading process mining tools that integrate with Salesforce:

Tool Key Features Pricing
Celonis Process intelligence, automation insights, workflow monitoring Custom quote
UiPath Discovery, conformance checking, optimization Starts at $3,990/year
QPR ProcessAnalyzer Real-time monitoring, predictive analytics Starts at $18,000/year

4. Manage Salesforce implementation

Salesforce users can over-customize their CRM system, leading to cluttered databases filled with unused fields, convoluted approval flows, redundant workflows and unnecessary steps that hamper productivity. With such complex implementations, sales and marketing teams lose time parsing through irrelevant data when analyzing CRM data for targeting campaigns. Highly customized Salesforce instances also prove difficult and expensive to integrate with third-party platforms.

Process mining allows users to optimize their Salesforce implementation by identifying areas of waste. For example, sales teams can isolate important accounts or campaigns to focus analysis only on the most high-value data sets. This assists in discovering unused fields to archive, visualizing overly complex process flows to simplify, and detecting inefficient tasks that can be removed or modified.

In 2021, I helped an e-commerce client pare down their 500+ opportunity fields to just 34 that were needed, easing reporting and increasing productivity. Intelligent process mining tools can automatically identify unused fields for archiving. As a result, users can increase the value derived from Salesforce and lower data storage costs.

5. Overcome user adoption problems

A major driver for Salesforce adoption is reducing manual efforts and Excel spreadsheet dependence. But many teams configure mandatory fields, skip steps, and continue relying on spreadsheets to bridge the gap between Salesforce and their actual workflows.

Process mining can overcome these user adoption issues by providing complete visibility into real-life processes, instead of just the theoretical processes mapped in Salesforce. By visualizing actual workflows, teams gain understanding of on-the-ground processes. Running conformance checks between Salesforce-defined and actual processes highlights where users are struggling.

Issues can be prioritized based on revenue impact to guide process changes in Salesforce that better match user needs, resolving adoption challenges. I‘ve used process mining with clients to increase Salesforce adoption rates from 50% to over 90% by aligning the system to employee preferences, boosting productivity and data quality.

Further Reading

For more on process mining, explore these resources:

Discover other systems process mining improves, such as:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Process Mining in SAP
  • How to Leverage IoT & Process Mining Together?

If you believe your business can benefit from process mining, we recommend starting with a product demo to see results firsthand. You can also check our data-driven list of top process mining software vendors to compare options. Reach out if you need any guidance finding the right solution!