Businesses often purchase Salesforce as a panacea for all their sales ills; when it doesn’t deliver the results right away, executives and managers are often left with an enterprise-level solution without the enterprise results and tragically low Salesforce adoption
If a company is going to budget to use Salesforce, those involved in sales management and operations need to plan how to adopt Salesforce as their CRM in a timely and financially effective manner.
The following 5 adoption hacks are ideas that businesses have used to successfully implement the CRM and improve Salesforce adoption revenues and sometimes even decrease costs.
Some organizations use innovative training tools to make Salesforce work for them. This can include cross-training employees to the entire sales and customer service environment or using a hackathon to get an entire team excited about the possibilities of Salesforce. Other organizations use integrated sales tools to ensure that all sales data can be effectively managed for sales whether employees are using Salesforce or are on the phone, or are doing research on the web.
Employees need to understand how to use their software and how to engage leads in order to convert them into customers and engage customers in order to convert them into brand advocates.
As you will see, the following 5 ideas just scratch the surface of how your business can use innovative training and comprehensive software to make Salesforce save your business money while increasing salespeople’s efficiency.
Top 5 Salesforce Adoption Hacks
1. Have a Salesforce Hackathon
What is a hackathon?
It is a technique developed by software companies to take a few days to get everyone on the team familiar with the software and find out how to get the best use out of it. For developers, this is important to set the goals for development. For a sales team, a hackathon provides reps a safe place to experiment with how to use the software and integrates team members from different departments like inside sales, customer service, outside sales, and so on.
The most simple idea behind a hackathon is that a large group of people come together for an intense period of time to experiment with software and find out how to get the best use of it. For a basic primer on organizing your own hackathon, see Tips for Organizing a Hackathon. Management can use a hackathon as a one-time tool to get people used to the feel and customization of Salesforce. You might also use hackathons to regularly (annually or quarterly) re-engage employees on how to use Salesforce to get the best results for customers.
Many employees who participate in a hackathon see different uses of the software and come away from it excited as to the benefits the software provides them as an individual within the organization. Often team and business leaders enjoy the innovative uses for a software system that come up at a hackathon; different uses for the software come out of hackathons because of the diverse viewpoints of people who are not normally using the software.
2. Discover Your Sales Process
How much does each new customer acquisition cost? How many interactions does it take before a customer decides to purchase the first time? How many interactions before they reorder? What is the customer lifetime value? These questions and their answers are fundamental to building a map of the entire sales process.
If you do not have the lead lifecycle and customer engagement cycle mapped out, any new CRM will be difficult to use. Employees need to know where they are at in the sales process and how to interact with leads, engaging them towards a sale. If you have experience managing legacy sales teams you know that the worst thing for sales is a new rep who has no sales template nor the experience to make her own. She may make up for it in excitement and persistence but a sales template based on the experience of other reps increases the efficiency of each sales call and presentation.
In the same manner, a CRM cannot be used as effectively as possible if the employees do not know the standardized steps to nurture a lead into a customer and a customer into a brand advocate. As you are adopting Salesforce, consider how leads are collected (website, outbound sales, inbound marketing, social media, etc.). Then map out how that lead is contacted both as they progress towards a sale and if they show a definite lack of engagement. This map will help with planning out Salesforce tracking, specific activities of various employees and departments, and what integrations Salesforce will need.
Take time to walk over the sales map with customer service reps, internal sales people and outside sales reps. Any group who interacts with customers needs to have their input into the sales map if you want to ensure adequate service and Salesforce integrations. This map can show which activities need to be tracked and will significantly help your Salesforce vendor or internal development team create the system that provides the best ROI.
3. Train to The Whole Sales Environment
With a map of how the sales process works in your company, you will be able to train employees on how to use Salesforce and other business tools to their best advantage. Many employees will get stuck on specific parts of the sales process, focused on closing sales or prospecting new leads. One of the tremendous advantages of a CRM is the systemization of the sales process so that there are no bottlenecks slowing down the flow of revenue.
In order to create a smooth flowing Salesforce system, you will need to track activities and manage employees so that specific activities are getting done as needed. That means that a sales person needs to be able to enter leads into Salesforce, close them, and track customer engagements towards upsells, even if he is an outside salesperson whose main job is prospecting.
Every user on Salesforce should receive training on Salesforce and other tools used in the sales process (email system, calendar and appointment setting, VOIP phone system, etc.) before they receive detailed training on their own portion of Salesforce. In order for team members to visualize their part in the sales process and get the most use out of Salesforce, train them to the whole sales environment.
Finally, management should regularly pose as customers or have others pose as potential clients in order to identify areas in the sales process where bottlenecks are happening. Do leads receive follow up emails when they sign up for a demonstration? Do sales people have a clear presentation of the service/product your business is offering? Training is not just a one-time thing, you must assess the sales process and people and retrain them to the software and sales map as needed.
4. Integrated VOIP Phone System
Tracking inbound sales calls is difficult; tracking outbound calls is even more difficult. With a VOIP (Voice over internet protocol) phone system, a business can integrate much of the sales calling and tracking with Salesforce. Rather than having a separate system for dialing out, an integrated phone system will track any sales made on-site within Salesforce. Integrating calling databases with Salesforce means that the sales team has better tracking on interactions with leads and customers as well as faster data entries, increasing Salesforce adoption.
Rather than having to remember the details of the conversation until they have opened up the Salesforce app and entered in the time and date for the call (how many times do employees get distracted in this process?), an integrated VOIP system enables call recording and tracking from within the app and sales calls from within Salesforce.
This GetVOIP post has a valuable table of 15 VOIP service providers who integrate with Salesforce and other CRMs. If you want to get the most out of your Salesforce adoption, consider adopting one of these VOIP providers or integrating it within your Salesforce system if your team already uses one of these to manage telecommunications.
5. Intelligent Relationship Analytics
Analytics are only as important as the relationships they help facilitate. All the data does no good if salespeople and management are unable to see how the interactions and data are working towards improved customer relationships. Salesforce data is comprehensive and robust, but many businesses find that an additional analytics tool designed to facilitate communication and relationship building significantly helps ROI.
Relationship analytics looks at the 360 degree view of customer interactions, integrating email services and Salesforce to provide clear, actionable analytics on each customer account. With the focus on relationship, an analytics platform will give employees the ability to update customer records from within Chrome so that they can do customer research and easily update Salesforce information without switching between programs.
A application like Ebsta will provide your business with the information to engage customers and keep them engaged across the sales process. It also provides tools like engagement scoring to combine engagement signifiers so that sales reps are focused on customers and leads who are most likely to purchase right now, not continually following up with leads that are going nowhere.
For a demonstration of Ebsta and to discuss how we can help your business quickly and affordably adopt Salesforce as a sales enablement tool, please request a demo for Ebsta Team today.