Salesforce is one of the oldest and most popular CRM tools available to businesses today, and with good reason. With multiple services that specialize in different things within the CRM world - like services targeting customer service and marketing campaigns - as well as the AppExchange platform and Force.com that put the power in your hands, you can mold Salesforce to meet the majority of your CRM needs.
One thing is certain - when used correctly, Salesforce is a formidable tool that can multiply your business returns and team efficiency in a matter of months. The problem here, though, is that it’s very easy to get it wrong or to not be able to use Salesforce to its full capacity. You wouldn’t be the only person who got CRM software just to use it as a glorified phone book!
Let’s talk about what Salesforce can do and then move on to how you can make sure you implement Salesforce right the first time.
What are CRM and Salesforce?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. Suppose that you just started a new business and have five customers. For now, it is pretty simple to keep track of them and provide them with support related to your services to them and to maintain a relationship with them that retains them as your customers. Your goal now is to make sure they keep buying from you and that you don’t lose them to your competition.
After it has been a while since you started your business, you might have 100 customers. It’s harder for your customer service team to keep track of them and cater to their needs if you’re using things like excel files. With the help of CRM, you can have all past and present customer data at your fingertips whenever your customer support team needs it.
Not only this, but CRM can help you keep track of how likely a client is to make a purchase (which helps you decide where you want to focus your marketing efforts to ensure conversion into actual sales). You can handle marketing campaigns, provide better customer service, automate processes that help customers along the sales funnel, and so much more with CRM.
Now that we understand what CRM is let’s talk about Salesforce. It is probably the oldest and most successful CRM software in the market, and the reason for that is its usefulness and effectiveness. From specialized packages for a business’s unique needs to the ability to cater to the highly unique and diversified clients it has, Salesforce is a force to be reckoned with.
Define your goals
The most important thing you need to do in order to make the most out of Salesforce is to define your goals. When you know what results in you wish to derive from the use of the software, you will be able to better leverage its capabilities and the services Salesforce has to offer.
Do you want to improve customer service?
Do you want to automate your marketing process?
Do you need data management?
Do you want to take advantage of lead scoring to make your sales team more efficient?
Given all the possible ways you can implement Salesforce (or pretty much any CRM software) in your business, you’re better off knowing the answers to these questions so you can focus your energies in the right places.
Bring over experts
You might not have used Salesforce before, but it’s important that you have a CRM expert on your team when you do. Salesforce might be marketed as an easy-to-implement tool, but companies cannot afford to fail to take full advantage of the software. Most companies should aim to produce outstanding results and make the most out of this investment, especially after allocating time and resources to implement its usage in the workplace.
This is best done with the help of a qualified expert with ample Salesforce experience, so they can guide all relevant marketing and customer service representatives and ensure proper usage.
The qualified experts will also help and guide in selecting the best Salesforce edition (Essential, Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited), depending on the size of the business and the team. These editions have some similarities, but differ in features and price. It is very important to carefully consider the complexities of your organization and business processes beforehand, along with any customization requirements. We usually advise our customers to start by adopting the basic edition and as they expand, move to more advanced editions with additional features and functionalities to address their growing needs.
With all the things Salesforce is capable of handling and automating for you, organizations can often get carried away, but this is hardly the best way to make the most out of Salesforce. It will only make your marketing and customer service teams distracted and uncoordinated, and you will most likely fail to produce the results you wish to see in time.
It makes more sense to focus on one thing at a time and ensure proper implementation before moving on to the next process, especially if you’re unsure you have enough manpower to handle the change. You also need to keep your goals consistent to avoid frustration within your employees.
Integrate other platforms into it
Salesforce offers users the option to integrate other software like Mailchimp into it to create a cohesive tech stack and a seamless user experience for organizations. No matter what tools your organization used before, you can most likely integrate them into Salesforce along with all the data inside them. This eliminates the need for you to start building your data from scratch and makes the migration from other systems to Salesforce easier.
This will help you optimize what you get out of each software that you use, and you’ll see a quicker growth in sales.
Keep all your data in one place
Salesforce is a data management platform that uses incoming data from customer purchases, calls, consumer habits, and much more to help sales and marketing teams perform better. It also uses all of the data it has to score leads, guide customer support services, retain customers, and much more.
This is why it’s important to supply all this data to the software and to use it to its full effect once it’s set up properly. Fortunately, you can easily import data to Salesforce.
Proper employee training
Proper employee training is crucial even in the simplest of changes in the office, and it becomes essential when you’re planning to implement a major shift in the workflow. The most important thing in your efforts to make your Salesforce implementation successful is proper employee training.
Employees need to be educated on what Salesforce is, its capabilities, and the ways in which Salesforce can help them improve their performance and make their jobs easier. Many employee concerns might need to be addressed as well, but having your employees on board is essential for your success.
Trial and error
If it all goes as planned, you should have your Salesforce up and running in time. You need to be ready for all possibilities in case the worst happens or something changes. In case you fail to produce the results you hoped for or an external variable in your plan changes, you should be prepared to regroup and figure out a new game plan.
Take a look at what you did and what you can change to get better results, hire some CRM experts to help you, and try again.
Salesforce can seem complicated and intimidating at first, but the actual usage is simple enough that it will soon become an integral part of your workflow. Keep clear goals insight when working with Salesforce so you can track progress and performance and make sure your employees know what they’re doing. This can be achieved by guiding them in not just what they have to do, but why.
If you would like help to ensure you implement Salesforce right the first time, give us a call or email us at email@example.com.