How do you get the most out of your Salesforce investment? We provide several tips – from implementation to adoption – to help you maximize its value.
CRM Systems and Customer Relationships
Implemented appropriately, Salesforce can be a valuable customer relationship management asset for your business. But if you aren’t leveraging it to its full potential, you haven’t just wasted spend. You’ve missed out on the revenue your CRM can help you generate through better customer engagement, a 360 view of customers, personalization, and more.
To help ensure Salesforce is working at the highest level for your business, we’ve provided several tips in this article.
Ensure Company Alignment
In order to maximize Salesforce’s potential, you need to be sure that there is alignment across the company as to how it will be used and who will use it. Consider taking the following steps:
Secure buy-in from all departments who intend to use Salesforce. Understand what their needs are and ensure that the system is set up to meet those needs.
This could involve creation of customized dashboards or ensuring they have access to expanded features and third-party software. Your marketing team may use certain systems that will need to integrate with Salesforce. The sales team may require additional software to ensure they can work efficiently within Salesforce while maintaining sales productivity. IT may have questions about security and permissions they’ll want addressed upfront. And you may have developers on staff that can configure Salesforce to meet specific needs.
On the Salesforce website, you can explore solutions by business type, role, need, and industry. This information can help you identify how Salesforce is going to support each department and encourage conversations about what will matter most to them.
Open discussions will help decision makers ensure the right tools for success are in place, and make stakeholders feel their needs have been heard. The more these needs are addressed up front, the more likely departments will adopt the use of Salesforce and use it effectively.
Include Training When Onboarding
Any new program requires some amount of education to get users up to speed. If you launch Salesforce without ensuring users are trained, they may either neglect to use the program or won’t use it as effectively. Even worse, they could take a lax approach to working in the system and unintentionally introduce errors into the database.
Start off on the right foot with thorough training. There are plenty of online resources from Salesforce that will help users expand their knowledgebase and access new features as they become more familiar with the system.
Have a Plan for Data Governance
The saying “garbage in, garbage out” has never been truer than for data. Without accurate data being entered, you cannot expect quality information to flow from those data sources. Have a company standard for data consistency, integrity, and security to ensure quality data sources are being entered into Salesforce.
Plan for Appropriate Access
All employees may not need to access Salesforce or may not need access to the same data. Have appropriate permissions in place.
Establish Role Clarity
Role clarity will help employees accomplish their tasks. Make sure each employee understands what actions they are responsible for within Salesforce, such as adding information and editing information.
Provide Support to Get the Most Out of Your Salesforce Investment
Establish internal technical support. If your company doesn’t have dedicated IT support with Salesforce expertise, designate a select group of employees as Salesforce champions. In most companies, this will likely be your Salesforce admins, who bring a wealth of information and experience to your company that can set you up for success.
Providing support will help ensure employees know who to turn to as they navigate the system and will limit the number of employees reaching out to Salesforce directly.
The above steps should help ensure a smooth rollout of Salesforce across your company, and set the stage for how each user can maximize Salesforce’s potential [webinar video].
You’ve successfully launched Salesforce. Now what?
Rolling out the software smoothly isn’t enough. You need to ensure that your employees remain up-to-speed on new developments from Salesforce and that they continuously refine their skills. Encourage your employees, especially the Salesforce champions, to engage in the following:
- Follow the Salesforce blog and consider signing up for the RSS feed to ensure no important updates are missed
- Subscribe to blogs that provide a wide range of information on CRM technologies, solutions, and tips, including the Validity blog
- Look for software that supports the main objectives of your marketing, sales, data management, and customer support teams
- Explore third-party CRM software available for Salesforce users on the Salesforce AppExchange
- Refer to Salesforce guides and articles, including the Trailhead learning support provided by Salesforce
- Sign up for Salesforce webinars or watch them on demand
- Visit the Validity Resource Hub for special reports, on-demand webinars, white papers, and more resources that can help each department get the most out of using Salesforce on a daily basis, and your company get the most out of your Salesforce investment
- Join and become active members in the Salesforce community by joining groups and attending events
Salesforce also offers premier support services you can consider if you don’t have internal resources to dedicate to these efforts.
Benefit from Third-Party Apps
One huge benefit of choosing Salesforce as your CRM system is the plethora of third-party apps available on the Salesforce AppExchange. These include essential business tools that integrate with Salesforce, expand its native capabilities for greater sales and marketing success, and more. Some to consider:
- DocuSign, which allows you to sign documents electronically
- MailChimp, which streamlines email marketing communications
- FF-Secure Cloud Protection, an advanced antivirus and analytics tool for files and URLs
- GridBuddy, which increases the productivity of sales teams and simplifies complex CRM processes
- Validity for Data Management, a solution suite that streamlines how you clean, standardize, compare, import, and merge records, verify emails, and more
Continue to Get the Most Out of Your Salesforce Investment
All the tips above should put your business on a solid path to maximizing the potential of Salesforce – but don’t forget to get feedback! Your employees will have important insights into what is and isn’t working with the system. Getting feedback regularly will help you pinpoint new or changing needs. This way, you can take action quickly to ensure you continue to get the most out of your Salesforce investment.