If your organization is thinking about choosing a new association management system, you are probably awash in jargon. You might be inundated by terms such as:
- Databases and datacenters
- CRMs and ERP
The technical elements of an association management system, or AMS, certainly are important. But it’s not where your focus should be.
Instead, step back and ask yourself one simple question: Will this AMS allow me to spend less time worrying about IT and more time serving my members?
Member focus is one of the true strengths of an AMS built on the Salesforce platform. In this post, I will cover the ways a Salesforce-powered AMS can liberate your association from IT hassles and allow it to serve members better.
Relieving the Burden on IT
An AMS built on the Salesforce platform comes with a wide variety of advantages. Most of them stem from one fact: Salesforce operates in the Cloud.
For starters, that means associations don’t have to lease space in a datacenter, nor purchase, maintain and administer servers, routers, firewalls and other networking equipment to run the AMS.
They also will get AMS updates three times a year automatically — they deploy seamlessly without involvement by the association.
An AMS built on the Salesforce platform also allows associations to leverage Salesforce’s low-code/no-code capabilities. That means the association can implement complex business logic without engaging expensive and hard-to-find developers.
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The Salesforce platform also saves IT resources if you decide to customize your AMS. With other customized systems, an upgrade can get complicated — the customizations might not work with the upgraded version of the AMS. The IT resources required to address non-compatible customizations can be extensive (and expensive).
Salesforce, on the other hand, allows only customizations that will be forward (and backward) compatible with new releases.
Similarly, Salesforce makes integrations with other enterprise IT systems smooth. Your AMS can seamlessly integrate with:
- Accounting and finance solutions
- ERP and fulfillment solutions
- HR solutions
- eCommerce solutions
- Learning Management Systems (LMS)
- Custom solutions developed in-house by the association
Finally, Salesforce is relentlessly focused on security and threat mitigation. That’s one fewer worry for your IT team.
Add up the advantages listed above and it should be clear: A Salesforce AMS solution will reduce the load on your IT team.
Focusing on Membership
Once you’ve eased the burden on your IT staff and budget, the question becomes what to do with the savings.
The obvious answer is using it to improve member experience. And an AMS built on the Salesforce platform excels at just that.
The core capabilities of a Salesforce-powered AMS make it easy for an association to capture and report on each interaction a member or prospective member has. Understanding that allows you to offer members more content, events, and opportunities that they desire, building a deeper relationship. Long-term, that will result in increased retention and lifetime revenue.
Salesforce also enables you to seamlessly extend your AMS — and connect with members — with industry-leading solutions for:
- Marketing automation and email marketing
- Member services/help desk
- Social media marketing
- Member portals
Finally, simply visiting your website — on desktop or mobile — becomes a better experience for members with a Salesforce AMS. Members will get a modern user experience (UX), with modern web and mobile user interfaces (UI). That state-of-the-art usability means they will be more likely to stay on site longer, view more important content and complete more valuable actions.
In the end, associations are about their membership. That’s why you need to make sure that your next AMS takes the burden off your IT staff — and allows you to truly prioritize members.