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5 Guiding Tips When Implementing Salesforce for Your Business
Work with a local implementation partner
Your Salesforce CRM is going be a long-term investment in your business, and for this reason, working with a local implementation partner is going to mean having an expert at your side that can guide you and ensure you get the best value and outcomes from your investment.
When it comes to selecting a partner, there a number of areas to consider:
- Is my partner locally based? Having a local Perth partner means more face-to-face time, which helps conveying more complex project requirements, and ensures a more consultative approach.
- What qualifications does my partner have? Salesforce is a wide ecosystem, with a number of solutions that require expert knowledge and experience. Look for partners with key certifications across Sales Cloud, Marketing, and Configure Price Quote (Salesforce CPQ), as this knowledge will come in very handy.
- What experience does my partner have? Partners like CRM Online have experience across a number of areas, including government, private, and the not-for-profit sector. Specific industry experience is also important, and so look for a partner with demonstrate-able experience in your industry.
Plan but keep it simple. Start small, and engage your staff.
Planning is important when implementing any new system. However, it's also important to keep your planning relatively simple to start off with as there is sometimes the tendency to 'over-plan' and over complicate your rollout. Rather, map out the big picture at a high level but plan in phases, keep it simple and start small.
The benefit of starting small and gradually introducing new CRM processes into your business is that it's a much more effective way of ensuring your staff are on-boarded well and avoid information overload. Throughout the process it's also a great idea to keep staff involved and informed on the key areas you're focusing on and how this will benefit them.
This approach is a more 'agile' approach and means you can iterate quicker, and gain the quick wins you need, before expanding your use cases.
Focus on areas likely to gain the most ROI first.
Business is about making decisions that will generate you the best ROI. By taking the same approach when implementing your CRM, you can ensure you cover your investment while at the same time improving your information management and customer management processes.
It's often common to start at the very beginning, and at the very end: Your customer acquisition and retention strategy. How can CRM improve your acquisition? Well, you may want to focus on improving your "conversion rate", the percentage of business that after enquiring, proceed to paying for your services. You might do this by using your CRM in tandem with an email marketing platform, that sends tailored, relevant information to your prospects when they engage with your staff, or even your website for that matter. By doing this, you are keeping top of mind, while engaging with customers when they are in the research or buying stage. With Salesforce, there are a number of solutions that can achieve this.
What would your total ROI be if you converted just 10% more customers per year? It could cover your investment 5X. If you are looking to improve your renewal rates, perhaps it's important to nurture your customers throughout the year by implementing an account management process, and entering them into a marketing journey when they are coming up to their renewal. These strategies help build your relationships when paired with human touch points. It's not about replacing traditional channels of phone and face-to-face, but supporting those channels, and covering all bases.
Build a data-driven business - focus on reporting and insights.
There is a very famous saying that goes something like this: "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" - Peter Drucker, renowned management thinker.
Any good CRM system will have a more than decent reporting module that will allow you to report on any data that you capture. By putting your reporting requirements at the forefront of your CRM journey, this will allow you to think about the inputs you'll need to consider and the best way to get this information. Do you need to understand how long it takes to win a deal? If so, it will be important to configure in a field that measures time from qualified to time to deal won so that you can report on this, and understand which of your staff are statistically more consistent. Do you need to know what the most common reason for losing a deal is? If so, perhaps it's worth defining a list of values that a sales person can select from, and start reporting on this.
Reporting is also a great way to build healthy internal competition. Why not set-up a dashboard with everyone's sales performance clearly highlighted?
Define your success measures upfront.
One of the most important parts of starting on your CRM journey is understanding exactly what outcomes you want to achieve. In order to do this, and guide the key focus areas of your adoption, it is a good idea to define your success measures.
Some examples of measures you might want to achieve could be:
- We want to automate a series of emails to our customers when they submit an enquiry, or have shown interest in one of our products or services. This way, we can nurture them throughout the buying process.
- We want to reduce our administration effort of preparing quotations and reporting on sales metrics, by centralising these tasks for better visibility across the team.
- We want to be able to measure our support metrics, and understand how responsive we are at solving issues, thus improving our service levels. You might even want to empower our customer with self-service tools and a knowledge base of articles to troubleshoot common issues. This will reduce case numbers and free up your support resources while providing customers with answers quickly.
At the end of the day, CRM is about the journey - a journey of improvement, of better servicing your customers.
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