It’s always possible to increase your Salesforce benefits. Our customers have proved it time and time again.
And every business wants to maximise its’ Salesforce benefits in 2016. But how will you do it?
Here are five ways our customers achieved this in 2015. See which ones apply to you.
1. Measure sales against target in Salesforce
Every sales team needs to track sales performance against target. It’s fundamental to effective sales management. But there’s no target tab in Salesforce. This means many businesses export data out of Salesforce to measure performance against target.
But they don’t need to. Here are three ways to measure sales versus target in Salesforce.com. You can:
- Use a simple dashboard gauge. This measures revenue against a pre-determined target number.
- Use the Forecasts tab. This is an advanced management tool and provides strong forecasting functionality.
- Use a custom solution. Simpler and more automated than the Forecasts tab, this automatically links Opportunities to a target at the User, Account or Product Category level.
How to measure 2016 sales targets in Salesforce explains the three options in more detail and tells you when each is appropriate We also have an accompanying webinar recording that demonstrates the three options in action. And Is Your Sales Funnel Big Enough To Meet Your Sales Target explains how to create an accurate sales forecast in Salesforce.
2. Add Products to Opportunities
Do you use Opportunities in Salesforce? But you don’t use Products? Then you have the chance to further boost your Salesforce benefits.
But that might not be your first reaction. Not every business uses Products. Here are five reasons why customers initially don’t use Products:
- “We’ve too many Products.”
- “We sell large Products configured from multiple smaller items.”
- “We sell our Products as bundles, not individual items.”
- “We don’t sell Products. We sell intangible services such as consultancy, training or support contracts.”
- “We sell items we purchase from third parties e.g. telephony companies that sell products and services from end manufacturers.”
We provide simple ways to overcome each of these perceived obstacles. And the benefits of using Products in Salesforce are significant:
- Improved visibility of the sales funnel.
- Improved accuracy of Opportunity Amounts and values.
- Increased potential to identify up-sell and cross sell possibilities.
- Improved control over pricing and discounts.
- Streamlined business processes including automated quote and proposal production.
If you’re new to Products then Learn the basics about Products will get you started in understanding how to achieve these benefits. And using a product selection wizard makes it easy for sales people to add products to opportunities.
3. Build great Salesforce dashboards
When a Salesforce.com sales executive demonstrates Salesforce to potential customers, guess what’s the first thing they show? Dashboards.
There’s a reason for this. Improved visibility of the sales funnel and sales performance is the single biggest benefit that Sales Managers gain from an effective Salesforce environment. And the way to get that visibility is dashboards.
Yet so many executives don’t have the dashboards that allow them to manage the sales team effectively. That means they can’t take the proactive steps needed to drive revenue growth.
A well-constructed sales dashboard allows managers to answer the question, “Where do I need to focus attention in order to increase future revenue?” To do this, the dashboard should focus on five key areas:
- The size of the sales funnel.
- The quality of the sales funnel.
- The trend in the sales funnel.
- The sales performance against target.
- The lessons from historical performance.
The good news is that poor dashboards are easy to fix. Doing so will lead to a step change in your Salesforce benefits. 12 examples of the charts that should be on your Salesforce dashboard gives great examples of how to get started. Download the accompanying Powerpoint if you want to use it for future reference.
And if you’ve a set of good quality Salesforce reports, configure your dashboards to make the information easily accessible. 10 best practice tips for awesome Salesforce dashboards contains excellent advice on how to do just that.
12 Must-Have Charts For Your Salesforce Dashboard
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4. Clean up your Salesforce data
Poor data quality bedevils sales people. If you’ve three versions of the same Account – or the same Contact – how do you know which one to record an Opportunity against? Or update a phone number? Or log a call?
And if you’re preparing for a meeting, where do you look?
Duplicate data usually isn’t the only problem. Very often essential data is missing. Or old data needs to be updated.
Just thinking about how to address poor data quality can bring on a headache. But if you go about it in a structured way, it’s not as daunting as you think.
You can improve existing data by exporting it to Excel, cleaning it up and then re-uploading the data to Salesforce. 10 tips to prepare your Salesforce data gives good advice on how to improve your data. The post refers specifically to preparing your data in readiness for the initial import, but the data improvement principles are exactly the same for existing data.
What about duplicates? We wouldn’t merge data in Excel using the Find Duplicates function. You’ll lose any data that’s related to the records you merge. Instead, there are essentially two options for merging data within Salesforce.com:
- Use the standard buttons. Click on the Accounts tab to find the Merge Accounts link. It’s over on the right at the bottom of the page. The Merge Contacts button appears on the standard Account page layout, just above the Contacts section. Both of these functions are a little slow – you’ve got to search for the duplicates record by record – but for manageable volumes of data they do the job.
- Use a third-party tool. There are plenty on the AppExchange. These tools use advanced technology, including fuzzy logic, to search for duplicates. They also make the job of merging the duplicate records a whole lot easier. On the other hand you have to pay a license fee for using the application.
Here’s where you can find data cleansing and de-duplication applications on the AppExchange.
5. Use Chatter to work more effectively
Hands up if you think Chatter is like Facebook? Well it isn’t. It’s a whole lot more useful.
Here are five examples of the way our customers gain benefit from Chatter:
- Get automated updates on Opportunities and the sales funnel.
- Collaborate more effectively during the sales process.
- Share important information on customers, prospects, partners and competitors.
- Help resolve customer service issues and problems quickly and easily.
- Drive Salesforce user adoption by encouraging useful dialogue within the application.
Chatter doesn’t replace email. But for those organisations that use Chatter effectively, it certainly cuts down on the flow and volume of email. And Chatter provides a much quicker and easier way of sharing succinct and relevant information amongst people within a business.
However there’s more to successfully using Chatter than simply switching it on. Use these 10 tips for a successful Chatter roll out to boost Chatter benefits in your business.
So there you have it – 5 compelling ways to increase your Salesforce benefits. But there’s more. Watch out next month for 5 MORE ways to increase Salesforce benefits.
Of course don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to discuss how any of these ideas can be implemented in your own business.
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