Salesforce is a surefire way to advance internal business operations and external results, but only when used properly and not made optional. Adopt this winning Salesforce mentality, and you are well on your way to achieving a new-and-improved business infrastructure packed with endless opportunities.
Here are 6 ways to be more successful with Salesforce:
1) Make it part of your business DNA
At Nuvem, we like to think of Salesforce as a vast ocean. If you just dip your toes in, you’re wasting time. Instead, make a splash and milk it for all it’s worth. Salesforce is flexible, and thus is specifically designed to accommodate your company’s unique business processes and needs. Heightened usability features foster productivity and efficiency but only when opportunities are maximized. Make Salesforce a key element to your company’s culture and success by implementing the right customizations, integrations and 3rd party AppExchange apps; mobile optimizing and providing Salesforce training to your team. Also think about ways you can innovate by developing your own custom apps or connecting your CRM to a product with the Internet of Things.
2) Understand what it takes to have highly engaged customers
While solidifying Salesforce as an internal component of your company’s operation is very important, it is equally important to monitor the external impact it has on your company. Are you providing maximum value to your customers? Are you doing all you can to drive high levels of satisfaction? If not, what needs to be done for this to be achieved? In essence, what you’re doing with Salesforce internally should impact what’s happening with your customers. If you’re falling short of this goal, revisit how your Salesforce org is set up. How can it be optimized to serve customers better?
3) Adopt a continuous improvement mentality
Evaluate internal and external results with Salesforce to discover what can still be made better. There is always room for improvement. Embrace a set approach to process improvement, stepping through each part of the operation so everyone is on the same page. We suggest taking a full 360-degree view of your customer lifecycle from lead to cash. This includes reviewing how you generate leads, convert leads to sales, deliver to customers, provide customer support, invoice customers, and collect cash from your customer. Use our simple Salesforce process improvement map as a way to identify what can be improved and how Salesforce could accomplish it.
4) Consider and prioritize integration
Do your teams have a full 360-degree view of your customer? It will be difficult to achieve the previous three success factors without integrated systems. Often, data sits in disparate systems used by different departments. Usually, it’s difficult to discern what data is considered the “Source of truth.” Data for the same contact could be more complete in one of your systems, or it may be incorrect in one system altogether. Your teams may also be entering the same data in multiple systems, which undoubtedly decreases productivity and efficiency. Remember – Salesforce has an open API, which makes it possible to integrate just about anything. It may take some ingenuity, custom development and/or a middleware tool, but that’s nothing a strong Salesforce integration partner can’t handle.
5) Enforce leadership buy in
Lead by example. If business leaders don’t drink the Kool-Aid, nobody will drink the Kool-Aid. Organizations that do well with Salesforce have strong support and adoption from their leadership team. Giving your executives action items and specific ways they can encourage adoption may help. Prioritizing their training and rolling out the system to the leadership team first will drive a culture that says “if it’s not in Salesforce, it didn’t happen.” Executives should require that data be stored in Salesforce. Using alternate systems to store data or build reports such as email or Excel decreases the company’s ROI with Salesforce.
6) Make it easy
Our sixth and final tip to being more successful with Salesforce is easy. Well, that’s the goal at least. Despite Salesforce’s attempts at improving usability, it’s still very “techie.” And for many people, that word alone stirs up bad vibes. Regardless of what changes you make to your business via Salesforce, they must have clear and concise processes – processes that people are willing to adopt, understand and respect because they are easy. Yet they must be effective enough to make everyone’s lives much simpler. If the system is too complex, or processes are unclear, that will decrease adoption. Your team won’t trust that the data is accurate or meaningful, which in turn has a domino effect on the way managers compile reports to help them make business decisions. Managers shouldn’t make decisions based on bad or incomplete data!
Our 6 ways to be more successful with Salesforce are certainly not the end-all solutions to Salesforce problems. However, we have found that these steps lay the foundation for a winning recipe to a sensible and successful Salesforce strategy.