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6 Key Reasons To Customize Your Salesforce CRM

author

Geraldine Gray

July 8, 2013

CRM implementation is a key strategic business decision. Some organizations choose to “turn on Salesforce” by assigning licenses and issuing passwords but this usually leads to a low adoption rate, grumbles from users and ultimately a lack of return on your important investment. If any of the points below ring a bell for your organization then it’s time to personalize, configure and customize your Salesforce setup.


1. You’ve not achieved the benefits hoped for
When you made the collective decision to purchase Salesforce licenses you were sold on the idea that all your data would be in one place, manual tasks would be reduced, users would be be able to work collaboratively and transparently and ultimately that your team could close more deals faster. Your CRM should enable the team to find and share information faster, help each other to close sales based on similar experiences and time spent on reports should be minimal because interactions are created on the go. If this isn’t happening it’s time to look at your Salesforce setup and ensure appropriate customizations have been made.

2. Users are working outside the system
If you are not running your sales or service team meetings out of Salesforce because users are not recording information it’s time to find out why they aren’t working out of the system and discover what you can do to help overcome this. There can be no data transparency if team members are entering data in Salesforce; in the service department this can lead to miscommunications between team members and customers which causes dissatisfaction and within sales teams it can add unnecessary steps when progressing a deal.

3. The system doesn’t reflect your business processes
The problem with “turning on Salesforce” without customization is that the system is not setup to work the way your team works. If you manage opportunities using BANT or other sales methodology but there’s no modifications to the system your users are forced to shove square pegs into round holes which leads to frustration and ultimately the abandonment of Salesforce.com. Instead you should be able to pull a view or report indicating which opportunities are missing “budget” or “need” so that you can help the salesperson overcome these hurdles and move the deal forward.

4. There’s no single view of the customer
Do you know where your business is coming from and do you have one place to understand the lifecycle of your customers from prospect to account management and the activities surrounding each milestone? You should be using a form of Salesforce CRM that matches your needs to track the time and activities it takes from introduction, to closing the first deal, to managing ongoing client communications; this information should be available at a glance and you should see patterns that indicate what makes a relationship more likely to succeed so that you can apply these best practices to every deal every time.

5. Reporting’s sporadic
Once an inquiry arrives your CRM should be tracking the number of times your team touches that potential customer by drip marketing, personal email, call, meeting or social media. Track the number of times a rep engages in meaningful activity with the customer and relate these activities to converted leads and ultimately closed opportunities so that you can use activity reports to drive good behaviors that increase closed sales.

6. No one’s using Salesforce mobile
Salesforce comes with free mobile access so that the sales team can update their deals on the go, record visits and calls, look for customers nearby they can drop in on, stay connected to the people and records that matter most; they should walk into a customer meeting confident that they have their finger on the pulse of late-breaking business developments.

Final Thoughts
Business practices vary and so do the CRM solutions that serve them and, whatever the size of your business, challenges always exist. Between your teams there are hundreds or thousands of contacts and interactions to track, deals to manage, and existing customer relationships to cultivate and maintain.

Whether you’re on your own, maintain a modest staff, add new employees every month, or run a large multinational operation Salesforce.com has a CRM solution to help you keep the customers you have, win new ones, and drive business growth. If your organization is not getting value from your Salesforce CRM and data contact us so that we can help you drive more business collaboratively and more efficiently.

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