How to Determine if Salesforce is a Suitable Solution
Deciding to go to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can feel like a big decision for any business. There are a few common signs that will help you determine if a CRM system like Salesforce is a good investment for your company.
Are You Struggling With Information Organisation?
When you started your business, it is likely that you could keep up with your contacts, notes, and other valuable information. After a while, managing all that extra data can become difficult, especially if notes are misplaced or become buried under other information or clutter.
A good CRM will help you keep all your information in one place and allow you to access it from both your computer and your mobile device. This way, all your information will be at your fingertips so that you can make sure that your business processes are handled correctly.
Do you want to improve Customer Relationship Management?
If you’ve noticed that your customer service isn’t on par with where it should be, a CRM system can help you and your sales team to perform better overall. Salesforce keeps track of all of your customer data, including their likes and dislikes, so that you can give them the customer service they deserve.
As your methods improve over time, you’ll be able to implement more of the many tools Salesforce has to offer. You and your team will find new ways to work with your client base that will keep them satisfied, while you find new customers.
Salesforce will also help you manage valuable long-term accounts with customers to help them feel valued and appreciated by your company. You can automate the system to remind you of important dates and milestones related to the customer so that you can contact them with appreciation notices or special anniversary deals.
Poor Communication With (and Between) Sales Members
Without proper communication with your team of salespeople, customer concerns can fall through the cracks, resulting in a poor experience. With the ability to quickly update information on a customer’s account (even from a mobile device), other team members will be kept up to date with the customer’s needs and expectations.
Another common problem among small businesses is that it takes too long for the salesperson to make their reports. Some companies require them to fill out forms each time they interact with a customer. Much of the paperwork details information that the company already has. With a customer relationship management system, you can streamline the process and only report necessary information, saving time for your team to do what they do best: sell.
Are You Looking To Automate Everyday Tasks?
You can automate some solutions to import information into Salesforce. This implementation can save you many valuable hours over time, allowing your sales team to focus on other ways to build relationships with your client base. You can also automate Salesforce to periodically cleanse your files of duplicates or fill in any missing information about your customers.
Are You Struggling to Keep Up with Leads?
If clients are knocking at your door, but you have no way of implementing the resources necessary to help them, you definitely need Salesforce. The system will enable you to sort the leads by priority so that you can meet their needs and turn them into long-term clients.
How Long Does Salesforce Implementation Take?
Depending on your specific business requirements, implementation could take as little as two weeks for a quick, out of the box start. Every business is different and it could take longer depending on your specific needs. The time it takes to implement depends on the user adoption and retention of the different aspects. For an estimate of how long it would take for your company, speak to one of the Salesforce consultants.
When the implementation is complete, your company will have a better grasp of how to meet your customer’s needs while finding and nourishing new leads.
How to Implement Salesforce
Step 1 – Hire a Salesforce Partner
During implementation, a Salesforce partner will work with you to review your current sales and business processes. As they understand your company goals, they will recommend specific modifications that will improve your workflow without compromising your values.
A consultant will train you and your sales team how to create and modify new custom fields, objects, reports, and other variables within the system. They will teach you how to create and modify page layouts, add permissions, track activities throughout the CRM and more.
Step 2 – Determine Who Will Be Your Project Lead (Executive Sponsor)
After you have hired a professional consultant, you must select a project manager from your company. The individual will actively participate in every stage of the implementation process and may need to be in charge of passing Salesforce knowledge on to your sales team.
Your executive sponsor should fully understand your business processes in order to work with the consultant on improving both your current workflow and data quality. They should be a trusted member of your staff who retains knowledge easily in order to assist in the user adoption of the system. The best sponsors have a keen interest in the success of the implementation project.
After implementation, the sponsor may be responsible for making sure your staff is using Salesforce correctly. They might also need to be in charge of prioritising new Salesforce projects according to your business objectives.
Step 3 – Set an Estimated Timeline for the Process
Work with the consultant and the sponsor to create a timeline for the Salesforce implementation. Decide on a start date and estimated dates for key milestones such as switching your database and going live. To help your Salesforce team to stay on track, you can use a management system (such as Trello or Smartsheet) to process tasks in a timely manner.
Step 4 – Determine Key Decision Makers
Look through the members of your organisation to select decision-makers. Bear in mind that every member of your company may need to use Salesforce in a different way and for a different purpose. It is a good idea to get representation from all aspects of your business to make sure that you can ultimately give your customers a better experience.
Some decision-makers in your organisation may include members of your sales team, customer service representatives, IT specialists, marketers, general users, and business administrators.
Step 5 – Gather Insight From End Users
In all likelihood, Salesforce will affect the end users the most. They will be the ones that implement it into their everyday processes. Talk to them about the data quality of the new system and ensure that they fully understand it. Answer any questions or concerns that they may have (your consultant can assist with this). While it may take a little time for them to adjust to the new system, assure them that it will be more efficient over time.
In addition to the end users, communicate with your customers about Salesforce and ask them for insight into the new system. Observe their reactions and have them review their new experiences with their old ones. Depending on their feedback, you may need to further adjust your workflow.
Step 6 – Maintain the Data
Choose someone from the organisation (possibly the sponsor) to ensure that the data transfers correctly with the rights reserved for the company. Without proper maintenance, your data could be compromised and may become inconsistent or unstandardised. You may also find that you have a lot of duplicate data which could eventually result in poor customer experiences (which is what your Salesforce implementation was supposed to avoid).
Have a fall-back system in place in case something goes wrong and you need time to fix Salesforce. You can also take preventative measures by using tools that will protect, normalize, and clean your Salesforce data. Your consultant will also be able to help you check to see if the new system is working.
Step 7 – Launch in Phases
Don’t launch the system all at once. Many employees need time to adjust to new systems and could potentially be overwhelmed if you implement the processes all at once. Properly train them with each step and show them the value that Salesforce can bring both to the company and to their own efficiency.
Most employees receive a boost in their mood when they realize they can be more productive, but throwing an entirely new system on them at once can overwhelm them, decreasing productivity, and causing them to be resistant to change. Listen to their feedback through each stage of the process and answer any questions they have. As they see their workflow improve, most will see the need for Salesforce implementation.
Step 8 – Review the Implementation
Frequently review the implementation and your new work processes to see if things can be adjusted and improved. Salesforce won’t work if it isn’t used properly, so it is important to make sure your employees are comfortable with it and have their feedback heard.
There are likely to be some aspects of the workflow that were initially overlooked or need to be adjusted. Work with the consultant and manager to improve these processes to increase user satisfaction. Once your employees fully adopt the system, you should see better efficiency overall and happier customers.
How Much Does it Cost to Implement Salesforce?
It is important to understand the difference between the continuing cost of Salesforce and the implementation cost.
Monthly Salesforce Cost
Salesforce fees will vary depending on the size and needs of each business. The services typically break down into the following:
Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s basic system. Businesses can use this to store client records, find new leads, customer management and more. The Sales Cloud has been proven to increase leads, win rates, sales revenue, and customer retention.
Service Cloud allows you to access customer information from any device, allowing you to provide superior service on the go. It also integrates client records and customer data between Salesforce clouds. With constant access to client data, your team will be able to quickly access the information they need to make the sale or fix the customer’s need.
The Marketing Cloud allows you to create individualized marketing campaigns. You’ll be able to get to know the customer, personalize your marketing toward them, then analyze the entire project. The results of each project will help you develop better marketing tools in the future.
The Commerce Cloud will help you create satisfying web-based shopping experiences. Build personal campaigns designed with a target market in mind. Use customer information to connect them to the services and merchandise they want.
Salesforce Manufacturing Cloud allows manufacturers to access their entire book of business, allowing them to use unified forecasts to improve their predictability. This system will help you align your sales and operations through Sales Agreements.
Using any of the above clouds comes with a steep learning curve. To get the best Salesforce results for your specific organisation, a personal guide to implementation is crucial. This investment will lead to a smooth transition from your current workflow to a more efficient, cost-effective system.
The initial investment may seem costly but it will save you time and energy in the long run so you can focus on generating additional revenue for your company.
How SalesFix Can Help
If you are ready to start your journey into a more productive customer management system, we would be happy to sit down with you and discuss which Salesforce options may be best for your company.
SalesFix is passionate about helping Australian companies find better systems to meet their customer needs. Our Salesforce consultants are professional, trustworthy, and have the interest of your business at heart. We do everything in our power to ensure that our customers get exactly what they expect from their CRM partner. We are passionate about helping you improve your efficiency so that you can collect more profits.