January 23, 2014

TOP SECRET SALESFORCE: How Salesforce Consultants Use Salesforce

TOP SECRET SALESFORCE: How Salesforce Consultants Use Salesforce

The Not-So Secret Tricks We Use At Endiem

Like your selling skills your Salesforce CRM solution should be powerful, functional, intuitive and logical with a spoonful of your secret sauce. Here’s what we do at Endiem – we change our Salesforce setup to match our business processes when our processes change.

Data collection and workflows that seemed like a great idea at the time become burdensome and a pain to manage when they no longer match how we work. We don’t want our consultants who love doing Salesforce as a job to loath using Salesforce as their tool-set so we embrace change. We also use tools that suit our purpose; especially if they are AppExchange tools or integrate with Salesforce.

1. Opportunity Management
As the year was closing and the new year starting we had a flurry of sales inquiries which was super exciting. However, it quickly became clear that we were spending the huge amounts of time to close deals we probably didn’t have a chance of winning as the competition was too fierce, it wasn’t really a project that suited our skillset or the potential client was just “consultant shopping” by price and already knew who they really wanted to use. You know how it works. How did we account for this? We continued to track every deal BUT we added a new picklist value to Opportunity Reason Lost of “Failed Smell Test“. Super simple. We use the same sales methodology to qualify the deal but every business development person knows in their gut when their wasting your time; now we can account for it and quickly move on. WHAM!

2. Time Tracking
Most of our projects are Time & Materials and we track our time religiously so that clients are not over billed. We’d outgrown the fantastic functionality of Freshbooks so we moved on to Harvest. We hate to see Freshbooks go as they are innovative, responsive, and lovely to work with BUT we needed a more nuanced solution for time management that better suited our more complex, longer projects. KARATE CHOP!

3. Stop Automating Tasks
It was a great idea to set reminders and automated tasks when the company first started to ensure everyone followed the same processes but we’re grown ups now and no longer need to be automatically reminded to do our jobs. Now we only create reminders or automated tasks for the IMPORTANT activities and meaningful interactions such as face-to-face meetings instead of generating painful busy work. BUH-BYE!

Final Thoughts
Your Salesforce needs change with time and it’s important to keep your CRM functionality as up-to-date as your business processes through minor configuration changes or with new tools. Like your secret and not-so-secret selling skills your CRM should be powerful, functional, intuitive and logical. You should also consider arming your team with integrated new tools that will make them even more effective at closing deals faster and keep them in the system such as Xactly Express or BigMachines Express.

Salesforce should not be difficult. It should match your everyday business processes and it should be easy for newcomers to pick up. If your team is jumping through hoops and bending over backwards to cram data into Salesforce don’t suffer in silence and endure the painful effects – contact us so that we can help you drive more business collaboratively, more efficiently and pain-free. Work Delivered.

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