Recommendations For Small Businesses Implementing Salesforce – Part 1
Our main office is in Atlanta, GA – The home of a vibrant B2B small business and startup community. With big corporate entities just around the corner (Abby’s, UPS, AT&T, Coke and more), there is a growing number of entrepreneurs who are trying to capitalize on the B2B energy in the air. In fact, we’re just a stone’s throw from Atlanta Tech Village – An incubator for small and startup B2B companies. As these businesses attract customers and start landing big sales, they immediately begin to think about scalability, not only in their services but also in how they do business. The first area most businesses focus on: Their CRM (or lack thereof). And the most scalable CRM is Salesforce. After working with a lot of different clients, our Salesforce Consultants put together a list of our recommendations for successfully implementing Salesforce. These recommendations are very much 101 and focus on small businesses that want to implement Salesforce quickly and within budget.
1. Know where your data is and get it in one place
If you’re a small business, then you probably have contacts/leads in emails, Excel spreadsheets, written in a notebook, jotted down on a used napkin and/or in a pile of a thousand business cards labeled, “we should contact these people.” Having your contacts/leads info all over the place is, well, not scalable and a terrible idea. Thus, as you get ready to implement Salesforce, get all your data into one central spot, labeled correctly and consistently. We usually recommend a CSV file. Note: This might take a lot of time, but it’ll be worth it.
2. Make sure your email platform integrates with Salesforce
If you’re using an email provider that doesn’t integrate with Salesforce, then you need to find a new one. The most common email services that talk with Salesforce are Google Mail and Microsoft Outlook. Integrating these into Salesforce will be fantastic when you start to create user-based rules and alerts to track/follow-up with leads. Also, if you’re doing email marketing, make sure your email marketing service also integrates with Salesforce. MailChimp, Constant Contact, Pardot, Hubspot and many more have Salesforce compatibility.
3. Decide how new leads/contacts will be entered into Salesforce
This is a big one. If you’re leads come from email forms on your website, then you need to make sure your forms integrate/push to Salesforce. If most of your prospecting occurs offline, then make sure your Excel database is consistent, secure and easy to add to. Salesforce should make adding prospects and tracking them easier, not harder.
4. Define one simple sales/marketing/workflow process that needs fixed
Salesforce is very powerful and very customizable. We recommend that small businesses define an area that really needs streamlined/focused and then make sure that the first round of implementation has this feature built-in. We call it an “easy win,” which will show the team just how great Salesforce can be as a tool.
5. Define 2-3 notifications you should get if XYZ isn’t accomplished
This is a fun one. Let’s say that once a lead/prospect is entered into Salesforce, that you want to make sure that lead is followed-up within 2 days. You can then create a rule in Salesforce to alert you if this does/doesn’t happen. Or maybe you want to be notified when new lead entry falls below a certain level. Perhaps you’d like to identify which rep is sending the most emails and opening quotes in the system. Define these “if X then Y ideas” and implement them quickly.
6. Phone leads convert 10-12X
How could we miss this!!! When you are all set to implement Salesforce, you could be missing on an important lead source – your phone leads. For small businesses, chances are high that you close many deals over your phone and it’s one of the most convenient ways possible for your customers to contact you. But having them go through a voicemail or not being unattended means you’re losing a potential customer. Phone leads have the potential of 10-12X for a lead to be converted as a customer. Ensure you deploy apps that are compatible with Salesforce platform and let you get back to your customer promptly as it does not go through a voice mail. End result – You don’t miss any leads! And there’s Part 1 of our Salesforce recommendations for small businesses/startups moving to Salesforce. We’ll complete this series soon. In the meantime, if you’re looking for some Salesforce Consultants to help you with your Salesforce success, then give us a ring! We can’t wait to hear from you.