Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help organizations manage all their interactions and relationships with clients and prospects. Used to the fullest, a CRM increases profitability, as users can do more selling and less administration.
CRMs accomplish this by consolidating all of an organization’s data in one place and making it easily accessible and meaningful. Think emails, phone calls, social media, websites, and events. When you roll it all together and add intelligence, the CRM can make predictions and identify warmer opportunities.
Powerful CRMs like Salesforce have so much to offer. And they can do a lot more when you customize them to fit your business processes.
Most organizations can get so much more out of their CRM. The problem is not the CRM itself. What many forget is that technology cannot succeed by itself. It needs two other things: people and processes.
Get the biggest bang for your CRM buck by doing these four things. They will pay for themselves and then some.
1. Adopt Salesforce Throughout the Organization
Salesforce adoption begins at the top. When C-levels and managers want to see reports from Salesforce, it compels employees to use it. Make it a part of the company culture. Organizations that have successfully adopted Salesforce embrace it from top-down.
Companies that do not use Salesforce to the fullest have employees who keep using spreadsheets for reports. Salespeople may not be recording information because it takes too many clicks. Management can turn this around by requiring reports and data to be in Salesforce.
Besides, the too-many-clicks excuse is gone thanks to the refreshed user interface in Lightning Experience.
2. Invest in Salesforce Training
One component critical to increasing Salesforce user adoption is training. Employees are not likely to take the initiative to learn a CRM on their own. They need formal training to show them what is possible. Yes, training can take time away from duties. However, the payoff for your investment in time is a knowledgeable, skillful staff, rather than a sales team stumbling their way around the CRM and missing a lot of valuable features.
You get the most for your money when everyone uses Salesforce to the maximum. Think about it this way: Salespeople who have been trained on Salesforce enter all sales-related data. They will not be flailing, playing guessing games, or missing out on features.
Another major benefit of Salesforce is that it tells the sales team which opportunities have the highest percentage of closing. Instead of wasting time on opportunities less likely to convert, the sales team focuses on the ones with the greatest chance of converting. They close these faster and boost the organization’s revenues. The sales team knows how to do this because they had the training to show them how to enter data and act on the information they get from Salesforce.
Management benefits from the sales team’s data entry because they can easily pull up dashboards and reports to see the sales team’s progress. These reports can make predictions and pinpoint areas for improvement.
3. Customize Salesforce to Meet Your Needs
One of the superpowers of Salesforce is its ability to be customized to accommodate your organization’s processes and way of doing business. Any organization that uses Salesforce with zero customization is not getting the most from their CRM investment.
Salesforce reports may provide enough information for management to function adequately. But add customization and they gain valuable insights that help them make faster, smarter decisions. Most organizations have several mission-critical systems. When you integrate Salesforce with those systems, productivity will soar.
4. Add a Salesforce Administrator
The right Salesforce administrator (SFA) knows the CRM inside out. The SFA takes care of Salesforce as if it were the company’s child. After all, the system holds something no one else has: the company’s irreplaceable data. If the system dies and no one knows how to save it, the company cannot simply go out and buy a replacement – this is not merely office equipment.
The SFA does more than making sure Salesforce is in tip-top shape and create useful reports. When anyone has a question or problem with Salesforce, the admin is the person to call. It may be tempting to give the role to someone in IT. But this role is not pure IT.
Take everything you know about systems administrators and throw it away. Salesforce administrators are a unique breed. They are a cross between a business analyst and a database administrator.
A customer-oriented Salesforce administrator devoted to all things Salesforce can help bring everything together for your business. Anytime anyone has a question, the SFA stands by ready to answer. If something is not working right or you want to create a new report, the administrator can take care of that, too.
The good news is that you can either hire or contract a Salesforce administrator. The route to take depends on your needs.
If you have a CRM that is collecting dust, try these four things. Not just one or two, but all four. And your CRM will thank you by doing its job and delivering beyond expectations.