With the first month of 2017 now essentially in the books, yet also with the vast majority of the year still ahead, you may be reflecting on if your sales, marketing and overall company performance are on track and positioned to reach its goals. The good news is, there is still time to make a meaningful and positive impact. It is clear, that with the rapid pace of change and innovation in sales, marketing, and related enterprise applications and technologies, opportunities to improve and enhance your performance are seemingly everywhere, and determining the ones that will drive the greatest impact is more challenging than ever.
Thus, you are likely asking yourself if you and your team have the necessary tools and systems necessary achieve the performance you desire, and need, to succeed in this still new year. That is why we have produced a simple checklist of 17 strategies for the coming year that will help drive and deliver improved sales, growth, productivity, and ultimately enhanced overall performance.
The Checklist – Seventeen Strategies for Salesforce Success in 2017
1. The Cloud is everywhere and there is a reason why – new technologies and applications, particularly across the Salesforce platform, are providing the freedom to do business and serve customers where and how they want to be served, and this allows organizations to deliver value across every touchpoint along your customer journey.
2. Mobile, Mobile, and Mobile is where your team is and what you team wants – the Salesforce1 app is one of, if not, the top business application in the world, available across virtually any mobile or digital device providing instant and secure access to your critical customer and related business information on the go, which we know, is where you are.
3. Accountability and transparency still matters and is now actually possible – company executives are under great pressure to drive overall performance and results, while also maintain compliance and assurance at the same time, and Salesforce provides a built in framework that allows its uses to ensure that is possible.
4. A Platform that is flexible and allows your company to be nimble and grow – a platform for connected data, processes and applications across organizations that provides the safety, reliability, and scalability businesses need as they grow, change, and adapt over time, without the need for in house severs or traditional software.
5. Marketing automation matters and is turning email and social “Smart” – with Salesforce applications such as Pardot and its Marketing Cloud, you can connect your website, CRM system, email and social marketing, tailored to your unique customer journeys to gain critical insights to your most engaged customers, along with what they are interested in, all producing a “lead score” for more productive prospect engagement and conversion.
6. Communication and collaboration is real and in real-time – by utilizing the built in Chatter capabilities and functions within Salesforce, all users, and even non-users, across the business can connect, communicate, and collaborate on key insights, updates, announcements, documents, and more, from anywhere and at anytime.
7. Easy to use, simple and intuitive now accurately describe today’s CRM – from the updated ‘classic’ version of Salesforce, to its brand new Lightning version and its more streamlined, updated design, and more mobile friendly experience, specifically designed around how users work, tailored to them, to maximize user-adoption, which is clearly one of the keys to Salesforce success.
8. Automated processes help digitize the business to optimize efficiencies – whether it is intelligent rules-based workflows or calculations, Salesforce can be setup and developed to automate your specific and unique business processes across teams, departments, and systems that provide a faster, more productive, and valuable internal and external experience.
9. Search and find across the entire database – search functionality is as important as ever, and now even better than ever, as Salesforce provides flexible “universal” search capabilities that allows you to use a few simple keywords or search terms to find information across the entire application in one easy step, across the app, including accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, Chatter posts, and more.
10. Reporting on any data in the system – from the wealth of ‘out of the box’ available reports that meet and often exceed the needs of most businesses, to the custom reports specific to your individual reporting needs, Salesforce provides the ability to get to your data, in virtually any way you need or desire, quickly, not in hours or days, but realistically at the click of a button.
11. Dashboards for quick and meaningful views of KPIs – knowing the score, your performance, in real-time, in a visual, user-friendly way has never been more important, or more realistic, with the built-in capabilities of Salesforce and Pardot, Dashboards set up specific to your role and its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be updated and in front of you, essentially each and every time you login, providing you with intelligence and insight.
12. Forecast for better planning and greater accuracy – predicting the future is never easy, yet with Salesforce, and improved information in your system, management can now forecast results with greater accuracy, allowing executives to make more confident decisions and plan for growth based on actual data and pivot based on known trends gained from more insight.
13. Document, content, and contract management – store, track, update, find, and workflow key documents, contracts and more, within the Salesforce records themselves, or add on more advanced “apps” that focus on these particular areas and integrate with Salesforce for a more centralized, capable and streamlined experience.
14. Extended data objects specific to your industry and specific business – your business and your industry are unique, and so are your data management needs, thus Salesforce provides the ability to add custom data objects that you may need to track for your business that go beyond the traditional areas already built into the system, that makes your system, truly yours.
15. Customer service and personalization enhanced from a single data source – better data, all in one place, for all the key customer-facing personnel, helps you gain an enhanced 360-degree view of your customers, providing improved personalization, and ultimately customer success, which is what separates your business from its competitors, as your customers will feel better heard, known and understood.
16. Integration of other key business applications – implementing, utilizing, and benefiting from the Salesforce application is extremely valuable, and it is even more valuable the more systems, applications, and data sources you connect it to across the enterprise as it will allow you to digitize and streamline more processes, with improved data, creating a organizational ‘go-to’ single-source of the truth.
17. Quote-to-cash workflow capabilities – provide your sales reps and other key personnel to have access to ‘smart’ content, at each step of the sales cycle from customer quoting, proposals, pricing, discounting, invoicing and more, all systematically, automating each step until the cash hits the bank, which in all facets of organizations is critical, and exciting.
If you have any comments, questions, or would like to hear more about any of these areas, please feel free to reach out to us at CCP Strategies anytime, as these are just some of the key areas we help organizations with every day, helping them better connect with their customers, and ultimately deliver customer-centric performance. Thank you.