You know that the platform can accelerate your business, but where do you even start?
When you made your investment in Salesforce, it was likely because you were convinced that it was a powerful tool that would help your business. And you weren't wrong.
But like any powerful tool, Salesforce can be overwhelming, which can be challenging when you want to see a return on your investment as soon as possible. You know that the platform can accelerate your business, but where do you even start?
Getting the most out of your Salesforce investment requires focusing your efforts on a few key areas. Once those areas are solid, you can expand your focus and your usage. It's hard to pull back on the reigns, directing your thinking to only a few key areas, but these three will give you a huge bang for your buck and set you up for successes with your CRM.
The most productive place you can spend your time is on customer development. According to Siimon Reynolds, author of Why People Fail, getting qualified leads, converting those leads, and getting those customers to purchase again are crucial. As he says in his Forbes article, "If you just got these three aspects of your business running magnificently, imagine how much wealth you could create."
Let's be honest, though - it's a standard piece of advice that limiting your focus can accelerate your ability to reach your goals. For applying that logic to your Salesforce implementation, tackling a few key areas that refine how you do those three essential tasks - get leads, convert leads, and get customers to purchase again - will have the most significant impact.
Rapid upscaling of all the teams in your business that deal with sales, support, and customer success isn't an option for every business. Small to medium organizations need to be smart about using their resources, and customer information management is the smartest way to make customers happy.
Customer information management empowers teams with the information they need to provide customers with a superior experience. According to Salesforce research, 66% of customers will pay more for a great experience, while 73% report higher expectations of other companies when they receive an excellent experience from another.
Getting your customer information correct is paramount to providing excellent experiences. Salesforce helps you collect, organize, and store customer data so you can be responsive and offer that next level of service.
The adage "Garbage in, garbage out" is true with customer data. The best practice is to commit the time and resources needed to get customer information into your Salesforce platform accurately and thoroughly from the beginning. Doing so ensures that everyone with customer contact has accurate information on each customer and can offer the best experience possible.
Doing this requires clean, accurate data to be entered into the platform, defined data governance and sanitation procedures, and training of your users to prevent bad data from infiltrating the system.
While an important tool in your tool chest, Salesforce is only that - a tool. Its purpose is to support a great customer experience and accelerate opportunities through the sales process. But if you don't have a defined sales process, Salesforce won't make selling easier or more effective.
Each organization's sales process is unique, and successful sales organizations have created a repeatable, efficient process that can take leads from the phase of "interested" to making a purchase. Mapping your sales process - those discrete steps taken to achieve a purchase - will highlight what your teams are doing well and where the process might get bogged down in paperwork, approvals, and communications.
With a defined, documented, and supported sales process in your Salesforce platform, it becomes easier to understand where things may slow down along the path to a sale. Performance through the process can be identified and optimized, including leveraging Salesforce's automation functionality to streamline bottlenecks and slow downs.
Reports are the quickest way to answer your questions about the health of your business and the activities that support it. What is your best-selling product? What products only sell with a discount? What territory is delivering the most sales? What are the customer accounts coming up for renewal?
Salesforce understands that growing a business requires answers to these questions and many, many more. The answers are vital to ensuring that teams are on the same page about what is going on within the business and offer visibility and clarity that anecdotal reporting simply can't provide.
That understanding led Salesforce to create reporting easy to use straight "out of the box" and incredibly customizable and extensible. Beyond standard reporting, Salesforce can provide dashboards that drive deeper insights by viewing multiple elements and dimensions of business data with easy-to-digest graphics.
While the Salesforce platform makes it easy to create and customize reports, be cautious about jumping right in. To get the most out of your Salesforce reports, start by defining what you and your team want to know. List important questions you need answers to in order to make critical strategic decisions and give day-to-day direction.
This exercise will start your report creation process on the right path and prevent "analysis paralysis" due to too much information. Once you know what you need to understand, you can explore Salesforce's standard reports and determine what customer reports you'll need.
Report analysis and creation is an iterative process. As you review reports, you may have more questions. As you add teams or products, you'll need more answers. Don't consider reporting a one-and-done activity but be ready to revisit reporting again and again.
Using Salesforce can be like strapping a jet engine to your business's growth. But getting to lift off requires creating a solid foundation within the platform. Creating clean, well-formed customer data, outlining and refining your sales process, and setting up reporting that gets you the answers you need are vital areas that must be addressed early to get off on the right foot with your CRM.
When you're just starting with Salesforce, this can seem like a lot of work. Six Consulting can help. Our expertise in Salesforce - from architecting solutions to creating integrations to developing custom reporting - will help you get the most out of this powerful tool and rapidly see a return on your Salesforce investment. Contact us today to discover how we can help you accelerate your business growth and revenue realization.
“If you just got these three aspects of your business running magnificently, imagine how much wealth you could create.”
will pay more for a great experience...
of other companies when they receive an excellent experience from another.
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