Salesforce is powerful, right out of the box.
In fact, the average return on a CRM is $8.71 for every dollar spent.
So why do so many salespeople dislike their CRM?
Here’s the thing.
Without proper setup, organisation, integrations, automation, ad-ons and know-how, salespeople will often spend ages updating their CRM, without much payoff.
This is why you need to optimise your Salesforce instance. You don’t want to be working for your CRM, you want your CRM to be working for you.
We spoke to an expert in Salesforce and sales to find out exactly how it’s done.
Mindi has 11 Salesforce Certifications and over 5 years’ experience implementing and managing Salesforce instances.
Over the years, Mindi has developed a deep understanding of Salesforce, and an ability to explain complex technology with clarity and precision. We were lucky enough to discuss Salesforce with him.
Scroll ? to find out exactly how you can optimise your Salesforce for B2B sales. Or use the menu below to skip to a section.
What are the benefits of using Salesforce for sales teams? | How can sales teams get the most out of Salesforce? | How should sales teams organise their dashboard? | Salesforce apps | Cognism’s Salesforce app
What are the benefits of using Salesforce for sales teams?
Having helped a vast number of sales teams get the most out of their CRM, Mindi often encounters the same key benefits.
You’ll notice that most of the points in his list boil down to the same couple of themes.
When used to its full potential, Salesforce will reduce the distance between your teams, giving a large company that start-up flexibility.
And it’s going to save you time.
Every sales team has someone in the office whose computer is covered in post-it notes. Salesforce is basically the most advanced post-it note you’ve ever used. Everyone can see it at once, it’ll give you reminders, and it’s able to store vast amounts amount of information.
Here are the key benefits.
- Eliminated data silos
A data silo is a pool of data that is only fully accessible to certain members of a company. These are pretty common, especially in larger companies with more teams.
“Salesforce gives you a place to hold all of the information about every customer or prospect. From the first interaction to the last. This means that whoever they speak with at your company, the information will be captured and they can have a tailored customer journey throughout.
“It saves the customer and the employee a huge amount of time.” – Mindaugas Savicius
- Automated tasks
Salespeople want to spend their time selling.
This is why salespeople can feel put off by their CRM. It can look like a chore. Automated tasks in Salesforce will help combat this, giving salespeople more time to do what they do best.
“Salesforce has a lot of automation elements already present, but you can further customise to make it a better fit for your company.
“The automations that you need will vary depending on your goals and processes, so it’s worth considering the actions that take you time, and trying to find a faster way of completing them with automation.”
- Metrics and reporting
This one’s all about development.
Without quality metrics and accurate reporting, you’ll find it a challenge to build a more robust sales strategy.
“A lot of sales teams live in their inboxes and phones. Especially at SMEs. Sales teams can’t expect to know what’s really happening when there’s no shared information.
When reports can be generated and shared with other teams and management, you’ll be able to build a better picture of what’s happened, and what’s going to happen next.”
- Consistent branding
“Sales teams want to ensure their communications are clear and align with the brand image. This is often not the case when working directly from spreadsheets and your inbox.
“Salesforce offers full visibility and customisable templates. It saves time and will help you build a recognisable brand.”
- Keeping outbound in step
Sales is all about supporting the customer journey. The best salespeople don’t convince customers to buy their product, they help them reach that decision themselves.
“Salesforce will suggest different actions to keep salespeople on track. You won’t have to remember what your next step is, because the system will guide you. This is made clear with their visual representation called Path.
This is more important now than ever, with so many companies moving online.”
How can sales teams get the most out of Salesforce?
This is a balancing act.
To get the most out of Salesforce, you need to make adjustments. This can mean adjusting your Salesforce to fit your processes, but also adjusting your processes to fit Salesforce.
In sales, there’s no such thing as perfection. Getting started on a new CRM is a good reason to look internally and review your approach.
“The best sales leaders know when to pivot and make the most out of a new situation. This means looking objectively at data and running reports to see which stages of the sales process aren’t effective enough. Salesforce can give you the information you need to make these changes.”
“You don’t want to be updating Salesforce every time you have a touchpoint, you should set up a Gmail integration to do this for you.
If you’re doing a lot of cold calling, you can also set up a telephone integration. You can make cold calls from Salesforce, which will transcribe and build reports. It’s one less step for salespeople to take manually.”
- Use Salesforce for onboarding
“Traditionally, when a salesperson leaves a company, it can be hard for someone to take over their accounts.
With Salesforce, previous conversations can be reviewed so the person taking over can quickly get up to speed with where they are in the customer journey, and the approach they should take to carry on where the previous employee left off.”
- Get recommendations
There’s a new feature in Salesforce that can give users more guidance.
“Admins can create recommended actions and trigger when they come up. It could be a reminder to follow up with the prospect, or offer a particular deal. This is a dynamic feature, so different recommendations can be set up for different regions, teams and people.
This is also useful when onboarding new salespeople, as they can get more help, without having to ask their manager.”
“You have a ‘favourites’ bar at the top right of Salesforce Lightning. It allows you to favourite outbound leads, opportunities and reports. Then you can quickly jump between the most important pages in your Salesforce. It’s a simple trick but it can save you a lot of time.”
This is a Salesforce messenger feature.
“There are a couple of key benefits here. Firstly, it’s Salesforce native, which means you’ll be having conversations with your team without leaving your CRM.
Secondly, you can reference particular cases, accounts, profiles and leads within Salesforce. It’s much faster than trying to describe which page you’re referencing by email.”
How should sales teams organise their dashboard?
Mindi refers to a term called ‘analysis paralysis’.
It’s something that most CRM users have felt at some point.
An overload of information.
This is why dashboards need to contain all of the important information, and nothing else. It’s easy to drown in the available metrics and reports. Precision should be at the forefront of your mind when designing your dashboard.
Here are a few considerations you should make when setting up your dashboard.
- Always answer a question
This is a great way to ensure you’re only placing relevant reports on your dashboard.
“Each report on a dashboard should answer a specific question. It needs to be aligned with your company goals, and it needs to be dynamic. As your company goals change, your dashboard should be updated to answer the new questions you have.”
- Personalise your dashboards
One of the benefits of Salesforce is that you can have multiple dashboards. People can use a highly relevant dashboard that will better reflect their performance.
“Ideally, each rep or team should have their own individual dashboard. You want to be able to review your own performance rather than your whole team’s. This is especially relevant for sales teams, who want to be goal-oriented.
You can also have shared reports, which is great for having a bit of competition across your sales team.”
- Use graphs
You want your dashboard widgets to answer a question. A graph can often do the best job of this.
“A dashboard full of statistics can look quite cluttered. Sure, you’ll have the answers you need, but they require more interpretation than graphs. A graph can clearly demonstrate how close you are to reaching your targets.”
Salesforce is one of the most popular CRMs on the market, which is why there are a huge number of available apps.
Here are a few of Mindi’s favourites.
- CPQ – configure, price quote
This add-on will transform the way that you quote and configure your proposals.
“If you have a lot of different products at different price points, it can be a nightmare putting together a proposal. With CPQ, you can manage a lot of different pricing models by adding them to the system.
You’ll then be able to quickly build accurate proposals with branded templates.”
- Sales Cloud Einstein
This is a collection of AI-powered features, which will score leads and opportunities based on previous sales statistics.
“Sales Cloud Einstein will review previous closed deals and analyse them. Based on this information, it’ll predict how likely future opportunities are to close. This kind of analysis can be done by humans, but not with the same degree of accuracy and speed.
You can also get dynamic recommendations to upsell, cross-sell and more. It’s a real game-changer.”
- Tableau CRM
This gives you a way of creating more powerful reports.
“There are some limitations to Salesforce reports, especially for larger companies. Tableau CRM allows you to stitch multiple data sets, which can give you a 360 view of multiple Salesforce instances.
Basically, it takes data from other platforms and Salesforce instances and allows you to combine it with existing data in your Salesforce instance. It can make Salesforce the central hub for your business, no matter the size.”
Cognism’s Salesforce app
Everyone knows that a great CRM needs to be fueled with great data.
This is where the Cognism Salesforce app comes in.
It’s a Salesforce-native prospecting application, bringing together Cognism Prospector and your own CRM. This will help you build a central hub for your sales and marketing efforts.
What’s more, with access to over 400 million B2B profiles worldwide, you can be sure that your pipeline will stay stocked.
To speak to one of Cognism’s Salesforce app experts today, click the link below. ?
Written by Oscar Frost, in collaboration with:
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