Salesforce.com – What’s In It For You?

So, your company has bought Salesforce.com. It’s long been heralded as the next coming. It will make sales reps more productive. It will help sales managers accurately forecast. It will lead to better sales pipeline management. But to make it work, the sales force needs to enter their every move into the system. You may not see the benefit at first, but you’ve been promised there is a benefit. So what is it? Here are 5 tangible benefits to be had from Salesforce.com for your sales team.

1. Know who’s talking to your customers and what they’re saying before you go in.

Salesforce isn’t just a sales tool. It can also be a support tool where your service team logs notes as well. It can integrate into other systems to do cool things like – give you access to PDFs of your old deals, see if there’s any outstanding, critical support issues, have instant access to price books to create quotes, generate and send deals, see the actual email sent by marketing and read the content. The reason Salesforce created all this integration is so that as representative of the company, when you walk into an account, you are fully versed on all interactions with other employees. You won’t be caught off guard. The right hand will know what the left hand is doing. You will seem more knowledgeable and credible, making it easier to build relationships with prospects and clients.

2. Know more about your customers and prospects.

Salesforce, as we mentioned, is designed for use by multiple departments. The beauty of this is that data collection is not just on your shoulders, but can be spread around to others. If customer service is speaking with a client and finds out they hired a new controller, no problem, they can add the Contact and you’ll see the update. If you need to tag team with inside sales, you can see their notes on their progress selling smaller, add-on products as you sell the bigger stuff.  Your notes are shared both ways. It’s even more powerful when coupled with a list purchase strategy, where your company can buy details like when was the client founded – so you can send them a happy anniversary message; phone numbers and addresses – so you have instant access to contact prospects without having to hunt and key in data.

3. Know who you should be targeting first.

Every sales person has a feeling in their gut as to who are the best types of prospects to target. But how aligned is your gut with the views of Finance? What Salesforce.com does, is it gives your organization a way to analyze prospect and client data, and to give every prospect a “score” based on potential revenues, profitability and retention rates – info to which you don’t readily have access. So the company does the analysis, scores the prospects, and they magically show up on your screen in the order of most important to least important. Usually this hierarchy corresponds to how you’re paid, so when you close high scoring prospects, you’ll make more money. This scoring also makes it easier to manage your sales funnel since every prospect account is scored. And we know that every account is important, especially when you have a relationship with each, but the scoring system also helps you to see the value of a troubled account to the company, to help you decide the priority and attention needed to keep/save them. A prioritization that proves valuable when you’re short on time.

4. Know your sales standing immediately.

No more waiting until month end to figure out how you rank in the standings. Real-time sales reports let you review your performance against plan at any time during month, and see how your performance stacks against your team, your region and the entire sales force. You can also see sales trends. If you’re working on product A and struggling, and everyone is closing product B, there might be a reason. You can see these trends before month end and adjust. Plus, you don’t have to print off reports to see these results. Most of these results are available in easy-to-read, easy-to-access dashboards. Did we mention these dashboards are available on your PC and on your mobile phone? Well, they are.

5. Get rid of all the paper and folders.

This is probably the biggest benefit. All info about every account and prospect is stored digitally. Instead of lugging around a box of files, access everything on your laptop, or better yet, on your smartphone. If you’re looking for specific info, no more rifling through boxes and folders. You can execute a simple word search to pull up specific information in seconds. Every note, every call, every email is archived in one spot. Not just your efforts, but also the communications of everyone with access to Salesforce.com who touches your clients and prospects is logged. All this info is great as a seasoned rep, and a dream as a new rep, or an existing rep that gets a territory change, who knows nothing about any of the accounts. You have a whole vault of info on what your predecessor did, so you can continue where they’ve left off.

Authored by Yvette Montague, Marketing Director at SalesForce Training.

SalesForce Training & Consulting is a Salesforce.com training and Salesforce Management consulting firm based in Toronto, with training centers in Boston and Chicago, helping sales teams get the most out of Salesforce.com.

by   Mark Christie