Salesforce by Performa IT catapults green energy innovation hub towards efficient stakeholder and process management

Energy Systems Catapult Statistics

  • Independent, not-for-profit bid and grant-awarding body
  • Connecting industry, government, academia, research
  • 170+ staff at offices in Birmingham and Derby
  • Champions of innovation in the clean energy sector
  • 115 full access Salesforce licences and 8 platform licences

Value added by Performa IT

  • Engaged in 2018
  • Rebuild and relaunch Salesforce platform
  • On-going BAU support, maintenance and customisation
  • App integrations for streamlined process management

ESC’s Background with Salesforce

Energy Systems Catapult brings together numerous stakeholders from industry, government and academia to collaborate on projects and developments in the clean energy sector. Their main objective is to open new markets for green and renewable energy innovations.

As a Salesforce customer since 2017 Energy Systems Catapult worked historically with an incumbent consultant to embed the platform into the operation. However, with the onslaught of pandemic-triggered remote working, and the arrival of new members of staff, the opportunity to optimise Salesforce deployment became more urgent.

Here ESC’s Commercial Support Officer Charlotte Adkins describes how Performa IT are transforming the organisation’s use of Salesforce, and the important benefits this is delivering.

ESC’s Challenge: stakeholder duplication and process inefficiencies

“With multiple teams serving a variety of stakeholders there was a quite a lot of duplication of account and contact information held locally on spreadsheets,” Charlotte explains. 

“This meant that it was difficult to determine who was talking to who about what, and there was some confusion with communication crossing over.

“The picture became more complicated once the information necessary for the opportunity pipeline was added to the mix. It was difficult to keep track of the different stages of the bid and tendering process.

“Either opportunities were being tackled from different angles at the same time, or we were running the risk of missing them altogether,” says Charlotte.

ESC’s requirement: ‘Single source of the truth’

ESC’s key requirement was to close the gap between implementing Salesforce and driving value from such a powerful platform.

As Charlotte explains: “Our best-case scenario is to get everyone using it every day, and interacting with contact, opportunities and project records held in one place.

“Ideally we want everyone to be able to run reports from the platform, and to identify common engagements and opportunities,” says Charlotte.

“Getting away from the information silos is crucial to improve efficiency and enhance collaboration.

“We are a new team right at the very beginning of this journey, learning together how best to use Salesforce and promote it to the rest of the business.

“But we are confident that Performa IT will get us to where we want to be.”

Why Performa IT?

In 2018 Performa IT took part in a tender process for an initial one year contract. Three years later ESC have secured Performa IT’s services for a further four years.

Commenting on how well Performa IT work with ESC Charlotte says: “Performa IT have an excellent understanding of ESC and have been very supportive for me as I’ve settled into my role.

“Remote working has been an extra challenge but Performa IT are very friendly and professional. They have given me great guidance in the platform so I can now represent user requirements to them and act as a liaison.

“We have a great working relationship,” asserts Charlotte.

Performa IT implementation approach

“Whenever we have a new requirement Performa IT attend meetings with the users to understand what they wish to achieve,” Charlotte explains.

“They engage with the business all the way through the development process and help with training in new functionality. They also help with skills transfer, and have taught me the on-boarding process to add new users and licences, as well as some custom coding techniques to change page layouts and develop processes within the platform.

“Everyone in ESC is aware of Performa IT and what they do for us, and this helps ensure good engagement from the teams.”


Data Wizard

“Performa IT helped us to update our data quickly and efficiently. This was a significant step in developing our ‘single source of the truth’ which is so important to bring teams together,” says Charlotte

Bid Management Customisation

Describing how Performa IT streamlined the bid management process Charlotte says: “We identified a paper form that we wished to integrate into Salesforce using its functionality.

“Performa IT implemented validation rules at different points in the process pipeline. The form now pops up to fill in on screen, and then triggers email alerts for people who need to be involved in the approvals process.

“This has been a good driver for engagement with the platform as the teams have to use Salesforce to progress their workflows.”


“Performa IT helped us get to grips with the information we need to report out of Salesforce and to configure the dashboards we needed to deliver the information in the best way,” says Charlotte.

Benefits of Performa IT’s implementations

Greater efficiency

“The whole process of managing and tracking projects through every stage – from investigating, developing, and submitting tenders, and either awarding or rejecting bids – now happens in one place,” says Charlotte.

“Performa IT have helped us streamline and automate the process from start to finish which helps to make us more efficient and accurate.”

Better clarity and communication

“Having a clean and consistent information database in place enhances our confidence in the platform and gives us a good start-point for collaboration,” observes Charlotte.

“We are able to carry out regular spot-checks encouraging business users to ensure the accuracy of their data.”

Improved stakeholder support

“Thanks to Performa IT’s holistic approach to our processes, we have a more complete view of projects all the way through their life-cycle. We can also continue to monitor the progress of a piece of work after the bid is won.

“The increased visibility and monitoring ability that Performa IT’s customisation of Salesforce enables enhances our role as an innovation hub supporting our stakeholders.”

Improved insight

Commenting on how Performa IT have harnessed Salesforce’s reporting capability Charlotte says: “On a monthly basis we can understand the status of bids, projects and revenue by stage and by business group. 

“As a result our leadership team can identify patterns and similarities between winning or lost bids. These are powerful insights that help to inform decision-making.”

Improved communication and engagement

“Performa IT are definitely positioning Salesforce as a tool that helps our users do what they need to do. Our teams are staring to see the value and impact of the new functionality.

“We are regularly sharing hints and best practice tips through newsletters and updates. This is helping people to appreciate the potential of the platform within our organisation. It’s no longer perceived as just a place to add accounts and opportunities.”

New Possibilities arising for ESC from Performa IT’s Salesforce expertise

Improved segmentation of information

“We’re looking forward to driving greater value out of Salesforce’s reporting capability by drilling down into record types for opportunities.

“Not all pipeline stages are applicable for all types of opportunities, so introducing record types will help us get greater visibility and insight for different opportunity approaches.”


“Prior to joining ESC I worked with Salesforce as an end user in another organisation that managed the platform in-house.

“It can be a daunting platform at first, especially when the business tries to change its practices to work with Salesforce.

“Performa IT have the knowledge and understanding to help shape the platform around the business, and this makes it more accessible for users. They take their time to get to know their customers and what they are trying to achieve.

“They play a huge role in helping to tailor the system to work for our needs. And they bring an awareness of how other organisations are using the platform, which is not possible for an in-house team.

“The solutions Performa IT propose always have in mind the configurations we’ve already got and how we’re using it. I would definitely recommend working with them to get the most out of Salesforce.”

Performa IT says

“It’s a pleasure to work with an organisation who are dedicated to getting the most out of their investment in the Salesforce platform, and who are constantly delighted with the potential of the tool to help streamline their processes.

“Energy Systems Catapult serves a broad stakeholder audience so it’s vital that their CRM and process management work smoothly and clearly.

“We look forward to continuing to support ESC as they work towards their important energy innovation goals.”