Salesforce is one of the world’s most popular CRM systems. If you own a small business, and you’re keen to maximize sales, increase efficiency and boost productivity, you may be considering joining millions of businesses worldwide and investing in CRM software. The capabilities of Salesforce are far-reaching, but to profit, you need to ensure that you’re taking advantage of its many features. Having the software there will provide instant benefits, but to really make a difference, it’s worth delving deeper to ensure you make the most of this innovative solution. If you’re new to Salesforce or you’re hoping to discover new depths, here are 10 tips for your small business.
1. Understand when simplicity is the best option
There are many companies that will automatically start adding tools and features to their CRM system before they’ve even had a chance to take a look around and work out how the software is actually going to benefit them. Before you add anything, get to grips with the basic layout and workflow, and use tools that are suited to your company. You may find that the simplest version is actually ideal for your small business. In some cases, all the bells and whistles are great, but they can also be counter-productive. If people don’t know how to use the newfangled system because you’re adding to it all the time, you’re not going to achieve the goals you set out to fulfill when you first invested in Salesforce.
2. Streamlining your system
The main aim of a CRM system is to improve productivity. To do this, you want to ensure that your team can achieve everything they want to with minimal hassle and stress. By streamlining the system, you can make sure that the features and tools they actually need are within easy reach and avoid providing unwelcome distractions. The aim should be to focus on what’s essential and provide your employees with everything they need to maximize sales.
3. Modify your list views
You may be perfectly happy with the standard lists provided by Salesforce, but have you looked at the custom options? If you’re looking at lists all day, every day, it’s worth using templates or custom views to tailor the platform to suit your company and your employees. You may find that people respond better to a broad view or a series of lists they can jump between. Try different options and take advantage of the flexibility to make your system bespoke.
4. Personalize your email templates
Email templates can save you time and effort, and they don’t have to be cold and clinical. You can use Salesforce to design your own custom templates, which promote your brand in a positive way.
5. Set up notifications
If you’ve got multiple users, notifications can be hugely beneficial. You can send out a message when new data is entered, or new leads are generated, ensuring that everyone is familiar with any changes and that each team member is up to date. Real-time access to data gives you the ability to prepare for sales meetings properly, and hopefully, it should stand you in good stead to convert leads. It’s very easy to send out email alerts, and you can customize the system to determine where notifications are sent and who they are sent to.
6. Make use of reports
If you’ve never used Salesforce before, you may look at a report and wonder where on earth to start. There may be a lot of information, and at first, it can be overwhelming. Reports may be difficult to digest if you’re unfamiliar with them, but they can also be incredibly useful. You can decide when to create and use reports, and they can help you in a number of different ways. A report may highlight issues that are taking a long time to resolve or enable you to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to generating and converting leads, for example. If reports do highlight the same problems over and over again, you can then take action to try and eliminate further issues, for example, providing training in specific areas.
7. Controlling access
As a business owner or project manager, you may work with large numbers of people. You may want some features to be accessible to all, but you might also find that there are settings or files to which you want to restrict access. You can do this by customizing your settings and ensuring that the right people have access to the right information.
8. Make use of automation
The primary aims of CRM software are to save time and effort at the same time as propelling your business forward. Automation is so useful when it comes to repetitive tasks. If you’re used to entering data manually during or after meetings or assigning leads or jobs to members of your sales team, consider the impact of switching to automated settings.
9. Listen to your sales team
If you’ve got a team of people using Salesforce on a daily basis, it pays to listen to them and find out what’s working and what could be improved. This is a programme that has endless possibilities and capabilities, and adjusting your settings in line with feedback from those use it most can make a real difference. Take ideas on board and explore opportunities to fine-tune the system to get it just right.
10. Go mobile
You don’t have to try and survive without your CRM system if you need to leave the office. Today, more and more businesses operate remotely. If you have a sales team out in the field, it’s worth exploring the benefits of accessing Salesforce on the go. With the Salesforce1 app, you can enjoy all the advantages of Salesforce regardless of where you are. Your team can update data on the move, and the app will ensure that they are always in the loop.
If you run a small business, productivity and efficiency are words that are probably etched on your brain. Using CRM software offers a host of benefits, but you need to make sure that you’re familiar with the inner workings of the system to get the best out of it. Hopefully, this guide will help you use Salesforce to take your business to the next level.