Salesforce.com — What You Might Not Know

So, you’ve made the plunge.  Your organization has decided to upgrade its CRM to the world’s most powerful, most customizable, most dynamic CRM tool available, Salesforce.com.  Perhaps you’ve replaced an existing CRM program, like ACT, or Maximizer, or you’ve simply moved past simple Excel spreadsheets, realizing that in order to stay competitive in today’s markets, your sales team really needs to advance the technical aspects of tracking each and every client or prospect interaction.

Good for you!  Salesforce is an awesome tool, and your team will benefit when they understand how it works and they start to leverage it to their advantage.

Now – What You might Not Know About Salesforce.com

This is not an inherently easy program to understand.  On the surface, sure, it is relatively straightforward to understand how Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities function and how they relate with one another.  But beyond that, lies the real power of Salesforce.com.  And unless you know what you are really doing, your organization is likely to miss out on the true advantages this program can deliver.

Take away the technology for a second.  Ask yourself – what is our company’s sales process?  Is it documented?  Has it been validated?  Does each sales rep and manager understand it, let alone follow it?  While Salesforce.com is wonderful, it remains somewhat limited if you haven’t developed a sales process outside of this program.  Because, one of the great things about Salesforce.com, is that it enables the sales team to stay on top of the process, and hence, allows for managers to better track where each rep is within each lead, opportunity and account.

And that’s just one area.  Because frankly, there is just so much information around what Salesforce.com can, and should do, for your business.  And each year, Salesforce.com makes three new upgrades, with continuous features and applications.

So, when you’re planning your budget for CRM upgrades, ensure that you also budget for initial implementation, training and ongoing admin support for this tool, otherwise you simply won’t be getting what you really need.  A good rule of thumb is about a third of the annual licensing costs, a third for initial implementation and training the sales team, and about a third for annual Salesforce.com admin costs.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a professional coaching and training firm that specializes in helping companies navigate their way in a Salesforce.com environment. SalesForce Training is based in Toronto, with trainers in Boston and Chicago, providing sales coaching, sales management consulting, Salesforce.com training and Salesforce.com Admin support, sales training and sales personnel assessments.

by   Mark Christie