This year, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) used the software platform Salesforce to distribute over $170 million to businesses adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Salesforce 360 Platform for Government played an integral role in providing the team the tools they need to manage the disbursement of relief funds, from origination to reporting, in a step-by-step process. During its global Dreamforce conference, Salesforce selected Utah GOED as one of a half-dozen case studies to share with worldwide Salesforce users.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of the state’s economy, and we want to help them,” said Ben Hart, deputy director of GOED. “We serve as the liaison between business owners and state operations, helping small businesses grow during good times and survive any storm brought on by bad times.”

GOED’s Business Intelligence group manages the agency’s Salesforce application. The director of the team, Kristen Jensen, shared four best practices from GOED’s work with the Dreamforce audience.

1. Recognize customers as customers
CRM tends to be the last piece of technology the government migrates towards because it doesn’t typically think it has customers. But we do. For GOED, our customers are the Utah business owners who rely on our services. 

2. Plan for a remote work environment
A cloud platform enabled us to transition to a remote work environment. We could not have done our jobs from home if our grants management process was still run on a paper-based system.

3. Put your data to work
GOED isn’t just processing grant and loan applications on its platform; it’s tracking and reporting and unlocking all kinds of data-driven insights that can help the team and the state improve future services.

4. Embrace a can-do attitude
GOED’s strategy allows the team to take a given program, pull the framework or “template” built into the platform to manage it, make adjustments for similar efforts, and launch those features accordingly. The result is that new programs go live faster because the team could reuse existing tools and leapfrog the development process instead of building each new workflow from scratch. 

“Our team became even more passionate about our work because we see the big picture impact,” said Kori Ann Edwards, GOED’s managing director of Operations. “We see how much it helps businesses, individuals, and the community when we can quickly deploy COVID-19 relief funding.”

Read more about how GOED used the software platform by reading Salesforce’s Utah GOED case study.