Why You Need To Center Your Business Around Your Customers

Center Your Business Around Your Customers

As businesses and cultures worldwide eagerly transition into a digital-first marketplace, seamless online customer experiences have become paramount for any company in the world to survive and, subsequently, thrive. With customers becoming the heart and soul of any organization, more companies are accelerating their shift to digital business by simultaneously reducing costs and improving online experiences for both their customers and employees. Centering your businesses around your customers will not only give you an edge above others but help you build a loyal set of customers. 

At A5 we specialize in guiding industry-leading organizations through complex digital transformations of their Campaign-to-Cash processes. Attempting to adapt to ever-changing market conditions and buyer demands, our clients often struggle to manage multiple, segregated business applications that create inefficiencies and reduce go-to-market agility. Our mission is to help optimize business processes and align the appropriate technology solutions to increase scalability and drive additional revenue through unifying the Marketing, Sales, Service, and Revenue operations. A5’s full-service model provides our clients with unparalleled domain knowledge and systems expertise across all industries.

Why is Salesforce the World’s #1 CRM?

Salesforce has developed its offering to support all areas of businesses and enable digital transformation, and this is unlike any other CRM on the market. Regardless of industry or size, the power of the Salesforce platform can be easily unlocked. Over 150,000 companies, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, flourish on Salesforce’s secure, scalable cloud platform to manage their customer relationships. According to a Salesforce-reported customer survey in 2018-19, on average, customers using salesforce CRM have witnessed a 38% increase in decision-making speed, a 25% increase in revenue, and a 35% jump in customer satisfaction. A founding principle of Salesforce is Customer Success, and this fuels all the innovation that revolves around each solution. Connecting Salesforce’s CRM to every part of the business provides the single, unified customer view that companies need to deliver success to every customer at every stage of the company’s growth.

But, why does this matter? Because the collected data can be utilized for specific strategies within each individual Salesforce Cloud. For example, if part of an organization needs customer information for a specific purpose within marketing, sales, or service, the ultimate goal becomes successful because everyone on those teams has access to the most accurate, up-to-date data.

Enhancing the User Experience

We are always excited when we are able to help our clients execute their data strategy so they can leverage customer insights to sell better and serve better. The outcome is always greater engagement and growth. Using Salesforce, we are happy that we can help create the perfect personalized and informed experience that customers expect all the time.

Centering your business around your customers is no longer a new thing, as most businesses have started adopting the idea of “customer first”. What is more important is how you use the data your customers provide you with every day to help serve them better. Personalization definitely doesn’t mean just adding a person’s name to communications but creating a personal experience at every moment of the customer’s journey. From the first interaction with the brand, beginning at the search point, to the final point of purchase and every moment of the journey in between, brands can tap the power of Salesforce CRM to create those hyper-personalized memorable experiences.

How the Transformation Transpired

The key to strong digital transformation is upgrading capabilities in a structured manner, where organizations look to improve the areas which have the most business benefit whilst grouping related changes together. A good CRM drives digital transformation because it’s the data warehouse of the organization where important numbers are stored and processes originate. Our services are built around helping our customers succeed in their digital transformation, and Salesforce is the most powerful tool in our tool belt. While many of our customers are at different phases of their digital journey, they all realize the importance of digital transformation to their clients and the future of their business.

There are numerous CRM platforms available, but Salesforce offers services that are versatile and diverse. The platform is easy to use and requires not much technical knowledge. The ability to better manage time with Salesforce allows a large number of companies to increase their ability to provide various levels of customer service. When properly implemented, Salesforce helps companies sell and market better using customizable channels. Salesforce also permits companies to examine specific details that are connected to specific leads and even provides companies with numerous details before approaching a consumer.

Companies can organize customer profiles using Salesforce, making it far easier for management to understand the customer lifetime value (CLV) and deliver details that satisfy that person’s needs.

Many companies have discovered that Salesforce is well-suited to numerous business models and can provide detailed reports that are specified to the company’s needs. Due to these details, companies can create a fully automated system that can function on its own. The comprehensive accessibility and scalability of Salesforce help many companies grow and improve their business operations to serve their customers better.

Accelerating the Shift to Digital Business

B2B customers have come to expect the quality of their business experiences to mirror their day-to-day consumer experiences. By unlocking customer-centric growth, A5 was able to personalize these exchanges, using more robust digital channels, and generating seamless end-to-end connections.

Digital transformation is forcing companies to change the way they have been operating. And this change has been initiated by the customer. Today’s customer expects relevant content about what they are doing anytime, especially in the format or device they pick.  Salesforce enables a seamless experience that can unify the pieces of the customer puzzle with the back-end systems of sales, compliances, disbursement, and other teams.

The Data Approach

Salesforce is the tool that can power customer insight and enable businesses to better serve their customers. This powerful tool helps businesses respond quicker and gain insights that enable them to stay relevant. It can integrate with most state-of-the-art apps and help make more informed calculations and get a holistic view of the organization and its overall business performance. In some cases, integrated third-party software can even be controlled directly within the Salesforce ecosystem, thereby reducing the time restraints of continually being logged into two separate systems.

Accelerating the Shift to Digital Business

The transition can be overwhelming, and that’s the main reason companies rely on the team of experts at A5 to implement Salesforce as their global CRM tool. When talking about the strategy fuelling the approach of A5, Bryan Musto, VP, Digital Experience and Financial Services at A5, commented, “The 5 A’s of our systematic approach – Audit, Advise, Align, Attain, Assist – help us connect to our clients across their customer journey. This is one of our bets tried and tested ways to help our clients center their business around their customers”

Take the First Step in Unlocking Customer-Centric Growth

Salesforce CRM has helped businesses find the right customers, build more sustainable relationships, improve sales efficiency, boost sales effectiveness, increase upsell, cross-sell opportunities, uncover referral businesses, as well as reduce time to close. Furthermore, we have also seen it increase team productivity by automating mundane tasks and giving them more decision-making authority. It has also been able to offer better customer service and improve the customer experience. Our clients use Salesforce to leverage their data so they can better understand what is important to their customers and provide a more relevant experience across all brand touchpoints and interactions.


Interested in connecting your teams on a single platform to strengthen customer relationships? Want to know how we have helped our clients center their business around their customers? Click below to learn more about driving business speed, scale, relevance, and reliance all with the world’s #1 CRM.

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Brion Schweers, Board Observer

Brion Schweers is a Senior Vice President of Product Management at Salesforce, currently managing the Revenue Cloud Solution Excellence team. During the past 30 years, Brion has assisted enterprises around the world in transforming their business by focusing on their Product-to-Cash processes. Prior to joining Salesforce Brion was VP & GM, CPQ at Apttus, VP, Sales & Success at A5 Consulting, served on the OAUG ConfigSIG Board and spent 15 years at Oracle in various roles related to their CX and CPQ products. Brion is also the executive Sponsor of Vetforce – Carolinas and is actively involved in the Salesforce Military program where he mentors Veterans and their spouses with actionable, personalized career advice.

Joseph Truhe, Board Member

Joseph Truhe has over 20 years of investing experience. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital in 2013 Joseph was a Portfolio Manager with Whitney Bank in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he oversaw the company’s Trust accounts and served as the Energy sector analyst for the Hancock Horizon Funds. Prior to Whitney, Joseph worked as an analyst and member of the investment committee at HFR Asset Management, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund platform in Chicago, Illinois. There, Joseph reviewed and maintained investment discretion over the firm’s Event Driven and Asia-focused hedge fund allocations. He was also responsible for the expansion of the firm’s Asia-focused fund offerings.  Joseph holds a BA in Economics from Yale University.

Steve Swartzman, Board Member

Steve Swartzman is a Principal and co-founder of CPC. Previously, as a co-founder of C3 Capital, he helped originate and manage over 35 investments, including national brands such as American Apparel, Traeger Grills, and Grunt Style. Steve’s chief focus remains consumer brands and e-commerce enablement businesses, and he currently serves on the boards of Grunt Style, Accel Clinical Research, Spoke Custom Products, Warne Scope Mounts, and New World Natural Brands.

Prior to C3, Steve structured and managed subordinated debt investments at KC Venture Group, and he spent 7 years as a Vice President with Citibank in New York, managing client relationships for emerging markets clients and structuring over $1 billion in complex trade financings. He is a past President of the Midwest chapter of the Small Business Investment Alliance, and he serves on the board of the International Center for Music at Park University in Kansas City.

Steve received a MBA from Columbia Business School and an AB in History and Literature from Harvard College.

He resides in Kansas City, where he was raised, with his wife Evelina and two sons, Harrison and Zandy. When he’s not working, his favorite activities are fishing, golfing, and eating.

Charles Scripps, Board Member

Chad has over ten years of experience investing in dynamic, growing businesses in diverse industries and geographies. His private equity experience includes HIG Capital, which has over $12B in capital under management, and AEA Investors, which manages over $3B of invested and committed capital. While at HIG and AEA, Chad led diligence, structuring, and financial analysis of potential and existing investments, and completed transactions in the industrial products and consumer services industries. Chad also has experience investing in the public equity markets, most notably as a Managing Director at Fox Point Capital, a $1B fund seeded by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management. He invested across a number of industries, including industrials, financials, technology, and consumer products, and led Fox Point’s international research. Prior to focusing his career on investing, Chad was a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, solving strategic problems for the world’s leading companies. Chad earned an MBA with Honors in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with Distinction in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lester F. Alexander II, Board Member

Les Alexander is a partner with Jefferson Capital Partners where he provides mezzanine and equity capital for growth and buyout transactions. Mr. Alexander is a member of the firm’s investment committee and serves on the board of directors of several portfolio companies where he is actively involved in strategic planning and corporate governance. Prior to joining Jefferson Capital, he worked at Advantage Capital Partners where he completed several portfolio company investments and served on the investment committee. Before becoming a private equity investor, Mr. Alexander served as president of Ferrara Fire Apparatus, Inc., a leading fire truck and emergency vehicle manufacturer. At Ferrara, he was responsible for managing a workforce of 450 employees producing over 300 vehicles annually for its domestic and international customers. As an investment banker for 15 years with such firms as Howard Weil, Southcoast Capital, and J.C. Bradford & Co., Mr. Alexander completed over 50 public offerings of debt and equity securities, private placements, and merger and acquisition transactions totaling more than $7 billion for public and private companies in a variety of industries. Mr. Alexander is an adjunct professor at Tulane University and Loyola University where he teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in investment banking, private equity & venture capital, advanced financial management, investments, and entrepreneurship. He is also the board president for Benjamin Franklin High School, a public charter school in New Orleans. Mr. Alexander is the former Chairman Finance of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and served on the global Board of Directors. He is a founder of the Louisiana chapter of ACG and was a recipient of the ACG global Meritorious Service Award and the Louisiana chapter’s Outstanding Service Award. Mr. Alexander received his bachelor of science in Commerce from the University of Virginia in 1989 and his MBA from the University of North Carolina in 1993.

Patrick F. Healy, Board Member

Based in Kansas City, Mr. Healy is a co-founder of C3 Capital. He has been an active private equity investor since 1985 and was a co-founder of C3 Holdings in 1994. Prior to this time, he sponsored and structured equity investments in real estate. He gained extensive workout and restructuring experience as chair of the creditor’s committee of a $1 billion bankruptcy and from being called upon to rescue a publicly-traded company from a major fraud. Mr. Healy was a senior tax partner at Mayer Hoffman McCann, a regional CPA firm, for eleven years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Kansas.

Chris Waters, VP of Strategic Sales

As Vice President of Strategic Sales, Chris guides and influences all strategic sales activities at A5 , starting in presales activities, successful sales methodology, sales process, and continued revenue generation and expansion opportunities. Furthermore, he will provide oversight in strategic sales function for the company and develop strategic sales plans that will promote growth in sales and customer satisfaction. Chris has proven his commitment to sales leadership and organizational success through field leadership as National Sales Manager at Deluxe Corporation, Field Sales Manager within the Social / Analytics Cloud at Oracle, US Regional Manager for CPQ Major Accounts at Oracle and now as Vice President on Sr. Leadership Team at A5.

Keith Fox, GM Salesforce Canada

Keith Fox is a software and consulting veteran for the past 34 years. Keith started his career at EDS which was followed by 4-year stint offshore in Bermuda. Keith then returned to Canada where he held a number of progressive sales and technical positions with software companies such as Sybase, BEA, and Oracle. After his stint with Oracle, Keith founded Cloudware Connections, a premier Salesforce consulting partner. 11 years down the line, Cloudware was acquired by A5, and Keith joined as GM for Canada.

Tarun Sharma, Vice President Delivery

Tarun Sharma is Vice President Delivery at A5 and is responsible for customer success, project operations, recruitment, resource utilization, and sales operations functions for Oracle practice. As a business and technology leader Tarun helps businesses develop solution strategies to streamline the sales process and improve customer relations to drive revenues, profits, and build brand loyalty. Tarun has led customers through digital transformation journeys. He has commanded strategic and tactical initiatives to shorten sales cycles, increase deal values and productivity, improve brand awareness and help organizations become easier to do business with. He has helped customers modernize their sales enablement tools and present a single source of information to support an omni-channel sales approach. This includes global roll-out for multiple business units included multi-currency and multi-language. Tarun graduated from Texas A&M University with a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering.

Adam Rosenfield, VP of Salesforce Practice

As Vice President of A5’s consulting practice – Adam is responsible for both strategic alliances with partners and expanded sales growth through the entire portfolio of A5 services. With over 20 years of Sr. level management consulting expertise – Adam has worn multiple hats in his career including practice development, sales, and client advisory. He has sold & delivered countless enterprise transformational initiatives creating a measurable competitive advantage for his customers. In addition to various technical software certifications, Adam holds an undergraduate and master’s degree in Accounting & Information Technology from the University of Texas at Austin and resides in El Paso Texas with his wife and 3 children.

PJ Alfrejd, CFO

As the CFO, PJ is responsible for all things financial at A5. With over 20 years of experience in financial leadership positions, PJ has worn all the hats required of a growing tech business. His extensive knowledge of the consulting industry, experience with M&A, and strength in operational finance is another catalyst to take A5 to the next level in its growth trajectory. PJ is a CPA with a BS in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has held various finance leadership positions at Exodus/Savvis (acquired by Centurylink), Neohapsis (acquired by Cisco), and mFoundry (acquired by FIS).

Vinay Kruttiventi, President & CEO / Chairman of the Board

As the CEO of A5, Vinay plays an active role in all aspects of day-to-day business operations. He is also actively involved in establishing a strategy and vision for the company. As a true customer advocate with Salesforce and Oracle product development, Vinay is actively engaged in various industry user/special interest groups. Since founding the company in 2004, Vinay has grown the business into a leading Salesforce, and Oracle partner focused on multi-cloud transformations.

Vinay has successfully implemented and architected CPQ solutions and multi-cloud complex transformation projects for various Fortune 500 companies since 1996. He has a strong authority over industry, process, and technology in Configure-Price-Quote and ERP applications. Vinay graduated from Osmania University with a Bachelor of Engineering degree and JNTU (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University) with a Master in Technology degree.