How One Leading Test Prep Organization Saved Costs and Improved Morale Changing from Salesforce to Kintone

This article is a use case featuring one of Kintone’s clients. At the request of our client, their name will not be shared.

  • Decreased software costs by 90 percent
  • Fast startup time (up and running within 30 days of buy-in)
  • Improved team morale as a result of platform’s ease of accessibility

In 2015, a company that offers preparatory courses for medical school students, sells study materials for the National Examination for Medical Practitioners, and sends instructors to medical schools adopted Salesforce as a CRM tool to track students registered for their programs. At the time, the company had no systems department to handle the onboarding process, so it was managed by the sales department.

The lack of technical expertise in the sales department, combined with the complex interface of Salesforce, left the company with a large sticker price and limited functionality.

“Many of our operations were created on Salesforce via trial and error,” said Sales Department Manager. “There was less strategy involved in our designs and more ‘we need this, so let’s just see if we can make it.’ At any given time, we probably only used around 10 percent of the available functions in Salesforce.”

While the platform worked well for managers who needed to quickly review sales results and overall data trends, it left sales staff members less than satisfied. Many struggled to properly input information or adapt the platform when process problems occurred. “My team had a hard time trying to input items such as business deals, estimates, and invoices,” Sales Department Manager (SDM) said. “Salesforce was too complicated for most everyone on my team, and it hurt both our results and our overall morale.”

When their subscription came up for renewal, the SDM decided to re-evaluate the system’s usefulness against its costs. The results left them looking elsewhere.

The company first learned about Kintone through their business partner. Following an introduction, the SDM found himself attracted to Kintone’s low cost, speed, and design simplicity. With the help of their partner, the sales team, and the systems department, he set out to navigate the implementation and onboarding process of Kintone.

Not only were running costs reduced by 90 percent, but maintenance became significantly easier.

The SDM made the decision to move forward on January 15. Thirty days later, the teams were running operations in Kintone, having already defined their process requirements, reviewed and designed the applications for their needs, and transferred all their existing data from Salesforce to Kintone. This included almost 20,000 paper documents the company had pertaining to approval applications, business trip applications, and instructions.

The company saw immediate results to their processes following the switch. Not only were running costs reduced by 90 percent, but maintenance became significantly easier. The sales and systems departments were able to easily customize and implement process changes without requiring the help of additional developers or platform specialists.

Over the first three months, the Sales Department only needed to talk to Kintone twice about platform implementations. Everything else they handled themselves.

Morale also improved as the sales team began to take control and manage everything from operations to sales administration without difficulty. Daily reports became a breeze with Kintone’s mobile app, which let the on-the-go team add updates and reports from any location.

Currently the Sales Department is working together with Kintone to build improvements to Kintone’s form printing functions.

Other businesses that use Kintone’s Education functionality:

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