Most VPs of Sales and VPs of Marketing love Salesforce.com! It immediately places their teams in a best practices sales and marketing environment. The Salesforce reporting engine enables company-wide visibility into your marketing campaigns, leads, opportunities, support cases and much more customer information. Additionally, with the relatively high rate of turnover in sales, most new hire candidates have used Salesforce in previous gigs, which theoretically reduces their ramp up time. Finally, Salesforce is just “cool”! Great company. Great software. But is your company maximizing the benefits of Salesforce?
Way too many companies buy Salesforce but never properly implement and maintain it. Few companies really maximize the Salesforce ROI. The companies that get the most value out of Salesforce champion its implementation and usage. Management inspires their teams to use it as a productivity and management tool. Management uses it to make informed marketing and sales operations decisions. The better the data, the better the decisions.
Salesforce shines when used as a productivity tool. Here are some sales management suggestions:
• Reinforce the idea that as a sales rep or sales manager, there is no better place to manage your leads, accounts and opportunities. It is a best practice environment.
• Let them know that management relies on Salesforce to make decisions.
• Track leads by status by sales rep. Make sure your reps are getting through all of their New leads (preferably daily).
• Set pipeline creation targets (preferably weekly) then share their results. This can be a good indicator of hustle and promotes competitiveness.
• Make sure your sales reps are assigning meaningful tasks to every opportunity. What does it take to move the opp forward?
• Challenge your reps to keep Opportunity Stages, Close Dates accurate.
• Hold formal sales forecasts meetings (preferably weekly). Use Salesforce for the data, not Excel.
• Make sure your sales reps have quotes tied to the higher probability opportunities. Your customers can’t buy without a quote.
• Look at Last Modified Date and Stage Duration for each Opp. Identify stagnant opps and coach them on how to move them forward.
• Communicate that “if it didn’t happen in Salesforce, it didn’t happen”.
• Reward your reps for good usage behavior. Ironically, using Salesforce the right way results in better sales and higher commissions.
Promote the ease of use and benefits and hold people accountable.
Once your team is using Salesforce productively, run reports regularly. Examples include:
• Marketing Campaign Effectiveness
• Leads by Rep by Status
• Pipeline Creation by Rep by Week
• Pipeline by Rep by Stage. Weekly, monthly and quarterly.
• Opportunities without Tasks
• Opportunities without Quotes
• Opportunities with Expired Quotes
Configuring Salesforce to serve as a productivity will help your sales reps do their jobs better. Over time this will have huge benefits on management’s ability to focus on the right marketing campaigns. It will help management quickly evaluate the sales reps. It will give management better deal management and better forecasting.
I love Salesforce because I have seen it enable all of the things discussed above.