When first Implementing Salesforce Sales Cloud it is important to discuss more than a sales process. Your implementation needs to be aligned with your organization’s overall strategy as well as communication channels so you can effectively adopt the platform. Below are a few items that should be taken into consideration during your initial planning along with process evaluations.
1. Define your goals: Where do you want to go?
Are you a privately owned operation that wants to become more hands off in the next 2-3 years? Are you losing customers and not sure why? Are you growing and not sure why? Are you a funded startup that needs to scale quickly? How fast do you need to scale? Etc. etc.
Your organization can be in a particular phase of the existence curve, but key stakeholders must be on the same page to strategically make forward leap decisions and truly understand what areas of the business need to be addressed immediately. When you’re in the beginning stages of digital transformation it’s important to not boil the ocean. Salesforce does not make decisions for you but it helps you avoid emotional decisions not backed by data. Whether it is preparing to become more hands off, preparing for acquisition, solving the puzzle of finding your target customers, or providing a better experience for your employees; Try to rank the objectives you want to reach by level of relevance/urgency and develop a timeline in order to complete priorities and advance through the priority path. Suggestion: Follow this cycle:
Exercise Team Discipline
Follow Up – Coach
Reward & Celebrate Successes
2. Sales Cadence
How are you currently running your sales cadence? As a leader/manager/sales director what is currently required from your team to track sales progress/goals etc. A solid understanding of your sales teams duties adds tremendous value to your salesforce implementation. A key mindset to establish here is that we will not only be selling through salesforce but MANAGING through salesforce. If you don’t have a current cadence schedule set up for your sales team – create one. It can be as informal or formal as needed to fit your culture but having some type of interaction on a scheduled basis is a huge value-add to using the system. Salesforce will provide enough information and click-analysis for your cadence to be meaningful, targeted to KPIs and backed by individual and team data.
3. Internal Communication
Are you sending out weekly emails with some type of announcement? Are you emailing your sales team directly to follow up on big deals? Sit down with your team and define:
The areas where you seek communication,
What you plan to communicate to the team, and
What you expect in return.
Consider all types of communication from sales tracking, coaching, and team/building. When we think of “digitizing” your business, we need to consider digitizing any type of conversation that may drive adoption towards the platform. Salesforce has various tools that may be able to facilitate these conversations.
4. Sales to Back Office Relationship
What does the process look like for your sales team to book deals and pass them over to the back office team (pre-Salesforce)? Ideally, your back office team gets integrated into Salesforce at some point, but sticking with the theme of “crawling before we walk” it will help to have a meeting to see exactly how this “pass the buck/deal” is typically done. Perhaps it’s just an email? Maybe it’s a sequence of emails and an entry into a different platform? Whatever the process is, we want to take this into account when first implementing Salesforce for Sales team members. If we want Salesforce to be the system of record for Open/Won/Lost Sales, then we need to build this process into our plan of implementation. Without addressing this, your sales people will be left with extra manual work and a poor user experience in order to get deals officially closed/won.
5. Be Patient
Be patient. Chances are that if this is your first CRM implementation or perhaps your migrating from a less robust platform you do not have the most actionable data. You may ask yourself: “so what do I gain” by switching to Salesforce. Like anything, getting good at any skill takes time. Dumping data from excel into Salesforce will not immediately solve your problems. The data that will become the fruit of your labor WILL help you solve problems and open new doors for growth and opportunity. Data has recently surpassed the value of GOLD, so it’s worth taking the time to understand that you will build this over time. After a quarter of Salesforce use, you will start to see data that will help guide innovative and impactful decisions.
Are you struggling to implement Salesforce Sales Cloud? We can configure Salesforce to match your business processes and make it easier to drive adoption among your sales team. Contact us today.