Salesforce Data Extensions

Practical Tips for Success with Salesforce Data Extensions

In the marketing technology landscape, Salesforce Marketing Cloud is one of the most powerful tools for marketing optimization. A critical component within this platform is the Salesforce data extension, a feature that helps manage and leverage your organization’s data. In this blog post, we’ll unravel the concept of data extensions and provide practical tips on harnessing its full potential.

Understanding Data Extensions

What is a Data Extension?

At its core, a data extension is a customizable table within Salesforce Marketing Cloud that stores your data. It allows you to organize information for the individuals you want to connect with in a way that aligns with your particular business needs. It provides the foundation for everything from a simple email distribution to a responsive customer journey.

Why are Data Extensions Crucial?

Data Extensions serve as the backbone of personalized marketing efforts. By housing and organizing customer data, businesses can customize campaigns, segment audiences, and deliver more relevant content. In basic terms, data extensions hold the information for your marketing audience. We have a few tips about using data extensions to help you enhance customer engagement and drive revenue.

1. Data Structure

Lay the Foundation: Before you start with Data Extensions, collaborate on a clear data plan. A data plan represents your strategic and well-thought-out approach to managing and utilizing data within the platform. So, first, you’ll start by identifying the types of data you need and then work with stakeholders to coordinate the data to support your marketing goals. 

Simple Naming: Maintain a simple and consistent naming convention for your data extensions. The more you use Marketing Cloud, the more data extensions you’ll need. It’s helpful if you have an easy way to highlight where the data is coming from so you can quickly distinguish the details from each other. Otherwise, you’ll spend precious time searching for the data and hoping you send it to the proper data set.

2. Efficient Field Management

Prioritize Essential Fields: Data extensions allow you to bring in important data that helps define an individual prospect. The fields could be anything from a phone number to the contact’s business role. But be careful not to overdo it. Keep your data extensions streamlined by including only essential fields to optimize system performance. A clean navigation and manageable data set improve the user experience as well.

3. Automation for Data Maintenance

Scheduled Imports: Set up automated processes to regularly update the data extensions you use for recurring projects. Take advantage of the automation and filtering tools to make the process seamless. Automation ensures that your campaigns are always running with the most current and relevant information, thereby reducing manual effort, keeping the data extension folder clean, and minimizing the risk of outdated data. 

Explore Data Extensions

Salesforce Data extensions hold the keys to unlocking the power of personalization within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform. Using data extensions starts with strategically planning your data structure, optimizing field management, and leveraging automation. By addressing these building blocks, you’ll be one step closer to propelling your business toward marketing success. 

Revenue Ops LLC is an experienced team of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals committed to helping clients maximize their revenue. We apply our deep knowledge of CRM systems like Salesforce to optimize sales potential by stimulating and tracking customer interactions.

If you’d like to hear more or have general questions about Salesforce data extensions, schedule some time to talk with one of our experienced Revenue Operations specialists.

Purge Your CRM

Purge Your CRM: Unmasking the Spooky Secrets Lurking in Your Data

Welcome to a Halloween-themed journey through the mysteries of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system! It’s no secret how important a well-functioning CRM is to your business, but do you ever get the eerie feeling that something is amiss within it? We’ll explore five chilling challenges that cause problems for your whole team, haunting the day-to-day operations. With a few practical solutions, you’ll be well-prepared to banish these dementors and enjoy a smooth and efficient data management experience. Let’s purge your CRM!

The Phantom Data Entry

Do phantom records plague your CRM? Duplicate entries, missing information, and data inconsistencies can frighten you. These ghoulish errors don’t just waste time; they can lead to costly mistakes and a prolonged sales cycle. Implementing rigorous data entry protocols is the key to fighting these data monsters. Have a plan in place on how you input data into your system and also how you update and maintain it. This way, your CRM will be free from the ghostly grip of bad data.

The Poltergeist of Poor Integration

Have you ever experienced the hair-raising frustration of incompatible software? Data silos and miscommunication can be as disruptive as a mischievous poltergeist. They cause delays in important communications and likely cost your business customers. To put these integration issues to rest, consider comprehensive CRM integrations. You could implement a third-party API integration tool or work with a developer to build a custom backend solution. Seamlessly connecting your tech stack will ensure a smooth data flow and scare off all inefficiencies. 

The Zombie Accounts

Are there accounts that seem to be stuck in perpetual limbo, never progressing? These zombie accounts can drain your resources (sales reps’ time!) and weigh down your sales pipeline. To breathe new life into them, devise personalized nurturing strategies that utilize a series of targeted messages. The goal here is to be creative and resourceful in how your team can efficiently connect with potential buyers. Don’t be afraid to test personalized messages at different intervals to optimize response. Re-engaging with dormant leads can eventually turn them into valuable clients who are more Laura Croft and less Walking Dead. 

The Curse of Inefficient Workflows

Inefficient workflows are like the house that hands out toothpaste to trick-or-treaters on Halloween – it prevents your team from having fun (productive). Identifying bottlenecks, automating repetitive tasks, and streamlining processes are the main avenues that will free your team from these shackles. Even though your team may be very busy, be sure to include key stakeholders in this critical mission. Doing so will ensure that your CRM is no longer haunted by time-consuming and frustrating workflow issues, thereby empowering your team to focus on strategic tasks.

The Specter of Analytics Paralysis

Are you drowning in a sea of data, unable to make sense of it all? The specter of analytics paralysis can really be overwhelming. Not only does this limit the insights your team is able to compile, but it’s also likely means you’re missing relevant data points hidden within the mess. Now is the perfect time to simplify your reporting, take advantage of data visualization techniques, and make data insights more accessible. As a team, make a push to clean up the reports you’re using and determine the specific information that is really useful in evaluating performance. Organizing your data can banish the chilling effect of information overload and ensure that your CRM becomes a valuable source of insights.

Keep Calm and Maximize On

Don’t let the lingering phantoms of CRM issues spook your revenue operations any longer. This Halloween season, embark on a mission to uncover and resolve the problems that may be haunting your system. From ghostly data entry to mischievous integrations and even zombie accounts, each challenge has a solution. As your team addresses these problems, you’ll realize improvements in how the group operates, so take the first steps to ensure a more productive, data-driven, and efficient future for your business. Bid farewell to the CRM ghosts and enjoy a fright-free experience as you explore the possibilities that await.

Schedule your free consultation to see how Revenue Ops LLC can help you exorcise your CRM today. Happy Halloween!

CRM is Critical to Effective Revenue Optimization

CRM is Critical to Effective Revenue Optimization

Effective revenue optimization means that your business is doing everything possible to increase revenue. It starts with thoroughly analyzing your data – sales, marketing, customer experience, etc. Then moves to a rollout of new tactics and strategies based on the improvements identified during the discovery. 

The idea is that your team pulls out all the stops to bring more money in the door. The responsibility doesn’t just fall on the sales team; it’s an approach that should include all functional departments.

The CRM Factor

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) originated from the need to store information on potential and current customers. For the most part, it was a glorified spreadsheet that the sales team primarily used. While customer data storage is still one of its principal purposes, the technology has evolved to accomplish much more. Modern CRM systems can break down information silos, connect departments, and provide real-time reports on customer trends. It’s a tool that lives at the center of your organization, which every team member can access and leverage. CRM is a crucial component for revenue growth when implemented and managed effectively. 

CRM Criteria

Your CRM should fit like a bespoke suit; it must fulfill your operational requirements and complement your organizational value propositions. Nowadays, how a company provides a product or service is more important than what it sells or provides. So, it’s helpful to customize your CRM system to fit your unique processes and workflows. These are a few attributes that we look for in an effective CRM system:

Interconnected

You should be able to integrate the essential applications your company relies on with your CRM. Connecting your applications saves countless hours of toggling back and forth and provides comprehensive real-time reporting efficiently, among other benefits.

We like to think of the CRM as the hub of the technology system, with other technology, like your marketing automation platform and sales enablement systems, acting as the spokes of a wheel.

Easy to use

Ideally, a CRM streamlines your business processes and presents a clear path for selling your products and services while managing daily operations. However, the system’s efficacy largely depends on its setup and the functions applied. Underutilization will be counterproductive, so you should take advantage of as many of the system’s features as necessary.

Regulated

Your CRM should facilitate a way to administer the system efficiently. Managing users and privileges should be relatively easy. In addition, automating processes should be a fundamental function of the system. Data validation rules and other advanced security features would also be helpful.

Choosing a CRM

Whether you’re finally deciding to move off of Google Sheets or just looking to expand or upgrade your CRM technology, you must consider these factors during your decision process:

Growth

Scalability is an important consideration where technology is concerned. You not only need to think about your present circumstances but your future plans as well. And growth applies to both business sales and users. Ideally, your selected CRM system will expand and evolve with the business.

Price 

Obviously, a robust CRM system can be costly, but hopefully, the returns make the investment worthwhile. Usually, the more advanced functions, automation capabilities, and native integrations the system offers, the more you will pay. In addition to the software costs, there will likely be startup and development costs to migrate and implement existing data and frameworks. 

System Demands

Make sure the tool you choose fits your current process. Getting caught up in all the upgrades and integrations is easy, but you’ll just be frustrated and upset if you don’t use them. It’s best to start simple, satisfy current needs, and build from there. 

Effectively Optimize Your Revenue

Effective revenue optimization is crucial for growth and business sustainability. With that comes the need for a CRM tailored to your unique needs. Hopefully, the above points encourage your team to look intensely at your current tech stack and provide you with some tools to start thinking about the next phase of CRM development or how to evaluate a potential change for your organization properly. When done correctly, a well-implemented CRM system will be the lynchpin to help your organization make data-driven decisions and help you optimize your revenue.

Revenue Ops LLC is an experienced team of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals committed to helping clients improve performance. The ultimate goal is to streamline workflows so our clients can make data-driven decisions that maximize revenue. We apply our deep knowledge of CRM systems like Salesforce and sales enablement tools like Salesloft to optimize sales potential by stimulating and tracking customer interactions.

Are you looking for some help and guidance through this process? Our certified consultants are ready to talk with you!

Revenue Operations Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

Revenue Operations Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

Revenue operations (RevOps) has become an established discipline within organizations as companies strive to connect with customers and provide them with the product and services they want. Since RevOps introduces its own set of vocabulary and acronyms, we thought it would be helpful to identify and define some commonly used terms that you might hear or see in your cross-functional interactions. So, we hope our revenue operations glossary will serve as a guide.

 

RevOps Terms

Automation: Automation frees up your employees’ time by replacing tedious or repetitive tasks with software to complete those tasks on a schedule or based on changes made within the system/triggers.

Accounts: An account represents any business entity or household you want to track, including companies, organizations, consumers, partners, or competitors. Accounts are considered Standard Objects in Salesforce. Accounts can be linked or connected to many other objects within Salesforce, like contacts and opportunities, allowing you to easily access the information you know about the entity the Account represents.

Build: Customization of your technology system to meet the specific needs of your business. The build comprises the time it takes from initial implementation to launch.

Cadence: A set schedule of customer interactions that are usually automated. It’s a formula for when an email should be sent, a call should be made, social media outreach should be done, etc., that will maximize the opportunity for successfully engaging with a prospective customer.

Contacts: The individuals at a customer’s organization (Account) with whom you interact and conduct business.

Fields: The containers in Salesforce where pieces of information are held within an object. Names, individual pieces of contact information, and currency can be fields. Salesforce has some standard fields, which are included in every instance out of the box, and also allows you to create custom fields specific to your Salesforce instance and business needs.

Flow(s): The visual representation of automation that happens within your Salesforce system. It contains the trigger and criteria for what should be evaluated when the flow is supposed to run and the automated actions that should take place in your Salesforce org after the flow has been completed.

Instance: The collection of interconnected data that makes up your organization within Salesforce. It’s your individual Salesforce organization that is unique from all others.

Journey: Used in Marketing Cloud, it’s a series of automations that send a specific email communication or text message to the prospect based on certain criteria. Specific criteria determine whether the prospect should enter the journey and their actions while in the journey determine the path the automation takes and the customized interactions they will have with your company.

Leads: Leads are people who have expressed interest in your company but who we haven’t yet gathered enough information for to qualify as legitimate sales prospects. 

Lead Source: How a lead wound up in your system. They could be direct from your website, or you meet them at a trade show, etc.

Marketing Automation: Using software to schedule and initiate personalized engagement at scale with clients or potential customers. The marketing automation platform can be used for mass communication, like sending an email newsletter, or for personalized one-on-one emails triggered based on prospect interaction.

Marketing Cloud: A Salesforce marketing automation platform that allows users to automate and monitor customer engagement. It is primarily used for B2C marketing communications.

Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (Pardot): A Salesforce marketing automation platform that allows you to automate and monitor customer engagement. It is primarily used for B2B marketing communications.

Marketing Operations: The function of overseeing marketing activities, technology, communications, campaign planning, and strategic planning for the organization. Generally, this team owns the marketing technology stack.

Objects: Objects are digital tables that allow you to store essential data and information in Salesforce. Salesforce comes equipped with some Standard Objects like Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and Leads, but it also gives you the option to create custom objects to reflect your individual organization’s needs better.

Opportunities: Categorization that allows you to track potential deals from first contact through completion. You can upload contracts and SOWs, make notes and track invoices within opportunities.

Revenue Operations: The function of overseeing revenue activities, technology, communications, and strategic planning. Generally, this team manages the sales and marketing technology stack.

Sales and Marketing Funnel: This visual representation maps the journey from lead/prospect to customer and what stage those prospects are currently in. 

Sales Cloud: A cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system that maintains sales, marketing, and customer support efforts. It allows companies to be more efficient in their sales and marketing efforts and brings transparency regarding company activities to the team.

Sales Operations: The function of overseeing sales activities, technology, communications, and strategic planning for the sales team. Generally, this team owns the sales technology stack.

Service Cloud: A cloud-based Salesforce product that allows an organization to offer service activities to its customers while providing the company with a 360-degree view of customer, service, and support activities.

Statement of Work: This document outlines the scope of work to be completed for a contract with a breakdown and description of each piece, the hours allotted for completion, and the project’s total cost.

Systems/Applications/Products (SAP) Form: This is a Marketing Cloud-specific form to submit information to set up a domain and reply mail management.

Trigger (Apex Trigger): A piece of Apex code that initiates actions when records are changed or created within Salesforce.

 

RevOps Acronyms

API: Application Program Interface

ARR: Annual Recurring Revenue

CPQ: Configure Price Quote

CRM: Customer Relationship Management

CQC: Certified Qualified Consultant

DML: Database Manipulation Language

KPI: Key Performance Indicators

MPH: Managed Package Hours

MSH: Managed Service Hours

SaaS: Software as a Service

SAP: Systems/Applications/Products

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

SFDC: Salesforce dot com

SFMC: Salesforce Marketing Cloud

SMB: Small and Medium Businesses

SOW: Statement of WorkRevOps

 

About Revenue Ops LLC

We are an experienced team of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals committed to helping clients maximize revenue. In a nutshell, we help organizations streamline workflows so they can make data-driven decisions. We apply our deep knowledge of CRM systems like Salesforce and sales enablement tools like Salesloft to optimize sales potential by stimulating and tracking customer interactions.

Learn how we can help you implement a strategy to improve revenue operations and maximize your growth.

CPQ for Manufacturing

CPQ for Manufacturing

Are you a manufacturing company whose quote generation process is painfully slow? Are your sales representatives generating quotes that are missing key product details or are priced incorrectly? Do all of the estimates generated by your sales team look different?

Every sales process is unique. Depending on the sector and product offering, getting to a closed deal will take different journeys. But one thing tends to be consistent, quote generation. Your prospective client needs physical evidence of the details of this relationship. And timeliness is not discretionary; clients expect it. In the manufacturing field, quickly creating a customized quote is a big hurdle – price book changes, discount approvals from a manager, client edits, etc. If this sounds too familiar, a Configure, Price, Quote, or CPQ solution may be just what you’re looking for. 

In manufacturing, quotes can become quite complex as different products are needed to meet the clients’ specifications. Some items should be bundled or have specific options that can be selected, impacting the price. How can your sales reps remember all of those different options? Read on to learn how to speed up, streamline, and automate your sales workflows with CPQ for manufacturing.

What is CPQ?

Let’s start with the basics – CPQ is a sales software tool that enables teams to generate accurate quotes for orders quickly. This application usually runs in tandem with or is native to your customer relationship management (CRM) system, which facilitates a seamless transfer of all relevant information. Also, since it’s programmed ahead of time with your company’s rules and quoting policies, reps can effortlessly build accurate quotes in no time. So where before the sales team might make costly errors and spend valuable hours producing bids, a CPQ application solves this problem. Sounds pretty good, right?

A good CPQ program will also help generate consistent-looking quotes at the click of a button. For example, do you have collateral that must be attached to every offer your reps send? Then, you can automatically attach those assets to all relevant quotes from your sales agents. This automation ensures that you’re always sending the proper documents to your prospective customers.

Are you interested in reducing the time it takes to send a document for an electronic signature? And, when a document is signed, how is it uploaded to your CRM? Your CPQ instance can also integrate with many eSignature tools, and the integration can automatically upload documents to the appropriate CRM records. So your sales reps don’t have to spend time on those manual tasks.

Where does RevOps come in?

So you decided you’re interested in CPQ software, but what about implementation? CPQ implementations are generally complex, so you should bring in a Revenue Operations (RevOps) consultant like Revenue Ops LLC to lead the next phase. This team should not only have vast experience leading implementations but be able to equip your business with the skills to take advantage of a CPQ solution as soon as possible. When working with Revenue Ops LLC, excellent communication and trusted experience are two things you can count on. Our specialists will take care of all the technical setup and ensure you’re comfortable with the software. 

Get Started

If you’re interested in streamlining and automating your sales process or would like to discuss CPQ for manufacturing, or any industry, we’re happy to help! Contact us today.

The Benefits a FinTech and CRM Integration

The Benefits of a FinTech and CRM Integration

Blind spots cause problems. Not just while you’re driving but while you’re trying to navigate the information superhighway. How can you decide where to go when you don’t have the correct data? How can you avoid an accident if you can’t see what’s hiding out of sight?

Integrating your financial technology (FinTech) system with your customer relationship management (CRM) system is critical to get a 360-degree view of your clients and all their interactions with your company. And not just their financial exchanges but all their actions overall.

Did they call customer service? What products have they purchased lately? What is the Lifetime Customer Value? These are critical questions to consider when making the best decisions on how to move the business forward.

FinTech and CRM Together

An incomplete picture of your business is both unhelpful and potentially dangerous. The lack of clarity means your decision-making is missing something. How do you actually know your growth is sustainable? Are you making decisions based on reality or your perception of reality? 

These questions highlight the importance of having clean data in one place – particularly within your financial numbers. Accurate and centralized data creates easy access to real-time insights and breaks down the typical info silos among departments. The best way to do this is to integrate your FinTech and CRM, in addition to all of your other corporate sales and marketing technology. That way, you can see a comprehensive picture of your entire sales and marketing funnel through the retention process and analyze both pre-sale and post-sale metrics to see what’s working and what’s not.

Integrations help us to connect the data from these disparate systems into a unified platform so that we can analyze the data and create a single source of truth upon which we base our business decisions. As a result, everyone evaluates the same data in a single system, thereby eliminating the need for manual manipulation and making it possible to create data visualizations that tell the story about what’s happening in the business through the data.

Integration Options

There are a few different integration options depending on your CRM and FinTech applications. It’s also important to consider your short-term and long-term business objectives when deciding which integration path to take.

You can use a pre-built integration app to connect your FinTech system to your CRM. This app has been developed and vetted by software companies to ensure that no malicious programming code is lurking somewhere within. Therefore, you can feel confident in the security of the integration, and it should be reasonably quick to implement. The drawbacks to this approach are that customizations are limited, and subscription fees are usually required for the duration of the integration app’s usage.

Another option is to work with a developer to build a custom integration between your FinTech and CRM. Custom app development can be expensive but accommodates full customization and flexibility around your business processes and needs. Subscription fees may not be associated with this approach. Still, your system will likely require regular maintenance to ensure that the integration consistently meets the stringent guidelines outlined in the FinTech industry for managing data. 

Finally, some FinTech solutions offer a built-in or native connector to link directly to the CRM. This option provides the least amount of customization. Usually, it requires you to purchase a specific tier of your FinTech solution package to gain access to the ability to use the native connector. This solution works best with lightweight FinTech programs that don’t pass a large volume of data from your financial platform to the CRM.

Integration Steps

Integrating your FinTech with your CRM sounds good, so how do you start? 

The key is to find an integration partner who is familiar with both your FinTech system and your CRM. They will help you create a list of potential integration methods that can be utilized with your particular tech stack and can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each approach.

Here are three things you can do to prepare for the integration process.

Document the essential pieces of information you wish to sync between systems and key KPIs you’re looking to report on once the two systems are integrated. This list of requirements will help the integration partner understand the end goals for the integration and ensure that the synchronization captures the appropriate data for reporting purposes.

Determine a budget that you’re comfortable with for the integration. Understanding what funds you have available for this integration will help the partner propose potential solutions suitable for the tech stack and your budget.

Discuss a reasonable timeline and project plan for the integration with your integration partner. In addition, creating a post-integration support plan to maintain the system would be prudent.

Get Started

Revenue Ops LLC is here to help you with your integration needs. We have experienced experts on staff who can help you connect your FinTech systems with your CRM so that you can eliminate your company’s blind spots and surface those metrics you need to make the right decisions at the right time. Contact us today to set up a discovery call so that we can learn more about your business and your integration needs.

How To Develop a CRM Strategy

Why Develop a CRM Strategy

Customers are central to everything you do in your business, but if you don’t have a strategic plan in place for everyone in your organization to connect with your clients, you’re missing a critical opportunity. If you’ve made the move to invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you’re definitely ahead of the game – but it’s only the first step. You need a CRM strategy to tie it all together and ensure success. 

More than ever, the customer lifecycle has become more circular than linear, with buyers regularly bouncing between your marketing, sales, and customer service teams. Once you’ve implemented CRM technology, all of these teams have a way to access critical information about each customer, including the products they’ve purchased, service tickets opened, etc. In the current environment, more and more customers expect tailored solutions that meet their unique, individual needs, and your CRM system can help your business deliver that – but not without an overarching strategy. So, where do you start? Once again, it’s a circular process, but one that’s well worth your time.

Step 1: Define success

It’s hard to track progress without a roadmap, so taking a step back to assess how you define success will help you determine what’s most important to your business. Convene your leadership team and ask some soul-searching questions.

  • What does your business look like five or ten years from now in a perfect world?
  • What are your expected growth engines?
  • Who is your target customer? What do they demand from you?
  • Will client retention overtake prospecting in importance?
  • How will your business shift and adapt as a result?

All of these answers will help you shape a vision for your company’s future – and what it will take to achieve it.

Step 2: Determine the most important metrics

We’ve all heard of KPIs or key performance indicators. However, they shouldn’t all share equal importance. Take a moment to think about your core customer base. Are they avid users of social media? Do they listen to the opinions of influencers? Are they consumers of thought-leadership content in your industry? All of these questions lend themselves to answers that will lead you to the best metrics to measure the success of your business. And keep in mind SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals – for example, one of your SMART goals might be to increase marketing email open rates by 10% before year-end. Try to determine the goals that seem most relevant to your organization and your target customer and use those guardrails to determine your big-picture goals.

Step 3: Gather the right data

Tap into the appropriate tools to ensure you have all the right information to assess your progress. Revenue Ops LLC can help you do this based on your unique goals and KPIs as well as your CRM system. Existing technology can help you more accurately measure the success of your email campaigns, your targeted customer outreach, and your client contacts. However, this can quickly turn into a jumble of meaningless numbers when you don’t understand how to prioritize the data and align it with your organizational goals.

Successful CRM Strategy

Step 4: Deliver to your customers

If you use Facebook or Instagram, you’re well aware of the power of personalized advertising. Have you ever thought to yourself, “How did my social-media platform know I was looking for exactly what their ad just delivered to my page?” Aside from suspecting the eavesdropping Alexa device in our homes, the truth is that we as consumers are increasingly expecting a more customized experience from advertising. So you’ll need to use the data you’re gathering in your CRM to gain a clear picture of your customers and their expectations – and a much better understanding of how to service them. 

Step 5: Get feedback

Surprisingly, one often-overlooked element of a CRM strategy is collecting real-time feedback from your customers and prospects. Consider using tools ranging from quick surveys to phone interviews to glean more information about customer satisfaction and awareness of their needs and perceptions. All of this information is critical for informing your teams and your CRM technology about how to measure client satisfaction (and likely retention)!

Step 6: Track your performance

Take the feedback from your research and technology and apply it to the goals you set in Steps 1 and 2. Remember that these data points at any given moment are simply snapshots in the bigger picture. You’ll need to collect this information over time to get a truly accurate view of your progress and strategic success. 

Step 7: Share your information

The data you’re gathering is so important – don’t forget to share it with key people across your organization. Your colleagues in marketing, sales, customer service, and even leadership will have ideas on improving the metrics going forward. Be generous in sharing the information and don’t discount the input provided by all of the stakeholders in your organization. Some of the best ideas are those that bubble up from the least-expected places.

Step 8: Strategize again

While all of the steps outlined here are important for your overall success, a great strategy isn’t created in a vacuum. Instead, it relies on consistent input and evaluation. So, at regular intervals, take a step back, assess your metrics and your progress, and gather input from stakeholders across your business. Although the strategy is a critical component of any successful business, it’s a living, breathing entity that needs your constant attention, assessment, and re-evaluation to be truly effective. 

Would you like some help with creating or evolving your CRM strategy? Schedule your free consultation to see how Revenue Ops LLC can help you improve your customer relationships today using tools like Salesforce. We help businesses like yours increase revenue by enhancing technology, improving processes, and optimizing reports and dashboards so that you can make data-driven decisions to drive your business forward

Sales Enablement Software for your Sales Team

Consider Some Sales Enablement Software for your Sales Toolbox

An effective sales enablement strategy requires a team effort to optimize revenue by providing timely, personalized resources, such as valuable content and relevant educational materials, to potential clients or customers throughout their buying journey. In addition, your enablement team may be responsible for creating deliverables such as case studies, sales scripts, and onboarding programs, so you’ll want to equip them with the right sales enablement software to serve your clients’ needs best.

A wide variety of sales enablement tools are readily available, but you’ll want to evaluate several options to ensure a good fit with your sales team.  

Zendesk Sell

Key features

  • Offers contact, content, and performance management capabilities as well as content delivery and presentation tools.
  • Automatically tracks customer interactions.
  • Minimizes administrative works by managing tasks such as logging sales activities, organizing and storing contact details, and coordinating lead follow-ups.

Integrations: Slack, Squarespace, and Mailchimp

Pricing: Monthly subscription model

Users: Companies with 20 to 250 salespeople

Seismic

Key features

  • Systematically recommends relevant content to sales reps so that they can leverage the most effective materials at every phase of the buying process.
  • Customizes collateral according to the sales rep’s position and the products they sell.
  • Offers archiving, automated publishing, collaboration tools, content delivery and discovery, audit trails, and more. 
  • Great mobile experience.

Pricing: Monthly subscription; prices vary

Users: Large companies; clients include IBM, Verizon, American Express, and Philips

Highspot

Key features:

  • Organizes large volumes of content to share internally.
  • Offers content management, full-text search, text editing, collaboration tools, performance management, presentation tools, and more.
  • Provides sales and marketing leadership with insights into content usage and tracks closings by asset.
  • Recommends key content to reps so the most relevant resources are utilized in the buying process.
  • Features an email help desk, 24/7 live support representatives, phone support, videos, and in-person and online training.

Integrations: More than 50 platforms

Pricing: Subscription-based

Salesforce

Key features:

  • Offers its own cloud-based apps — innovative software as a service (SaaS) solutions, like Sales Cloud, which provides various tools to assist in content management and performance analytics.
  • Helps with workflow creation, contact management, opportunity tracking, customer engagement tools, and a mobile-ready dashboard.
  • Equips marketing teams with unique features, including social media integrations, marketing leads monitoring, and email integration. 

Integrations: More than 2,500 other software options

Pricing: Several pricing plans are available based on required services

Users: Large and small companies

HubSpot

Key features:

  • Provides marketing automation software, email marketing, customer service tools, and more.
  • Features an intuitive user experience.
  • Offers free CRM software and other tools to sales teams.

Integrations: More than a hundred apps and web services

Pricing: Free tools on a limited capacity; subscriptions start at $50 per month and scale up based on business requirements

Sales Enablement Software Experts

This list represents just a handful of sales enablement software options that are currently on the market. We at Revenue Ops LLC are happy to help you navigate them and choose the right tool for your business. Let’s discuss your goals, obstacles, and vision to get started. 

Crafting a Sales Enablement Strategy

Previously, we did a deep dive into the differences between sales enablement and sales optimization. Now, let’s talk about what it actually looks like to flesh out a sales enablement strategy and how it can help your organization. 

As consumers become more informed, sales representatives have to be responsive and provide a personalized experience for their prospects and clients. A sales enablement platform should make it easier to minimize the amount of time the team spends on repetitive tasks and maximize the time spent on meaningful activities that drive revenue.

It’s helpful to create a customized plan to meet the business and technological needs of the sales team. These five steps are the key to a successful sales enablement strategy.

Analyze Your Goals

It’s crucial first to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with a sales enablement platform. What problems are you looking to solve, and would implementing a new technology help to bridge the gap?

What activity metrics are most closely aligned to the success of the sales team? For example, what activities are taking a lot of time to accomplish but aren’t driving ROI? Also, what constitutes a realistic bar for measuring success for the team? 

A good sales enablement platform will help decrease the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks and help your team reach the activity goals that have proven to drive revenue. Knowing what’s important to your team will lead you towards the type of sales enablement software that you should consider implementing.

Some different types of sales enablement software include sales content management and sales coaching/productivity software. Sales content management allows sales reps to easily access and share relevant content with their prospects, along with helping you to measure what content is driving prospect activity. Coaching and productivity software allows reps to accomplish more activities, but to do so while still personalizing their conversations and allowing their manager to offer guidance on how to have valuable conversations with prospects.  

To understand which type of software would be most helpful, you need to talk to your team. So that’s step two in this process.

Talk to the Team

Who knows better about the challenges that the sales team is facing than the sales team themselves? The reps have their boots on the ground, and they’re able to quickly identify the major pain points that are hindering their success.

Spend some time talking through the knowledge transfer gaps between the content that the marketing team is providing and how easily the sales team can find the content that they’re looking to share in a short amount of time. Is there software that can make sharing content and measuring effectiveness easier for both parties?

You can make a list of the pain points that the teams are facing and a wish list of items or functionality that the team wishes were in place. Next, you’ll use this information to create a set of requirements and use it to evaluate each tool’s capabilities.  

Create a shortlist of various software options that could solve the team’s issues and set up a demo for the team to get their feedback on the user interface and the technological capabilities. You want to be sure that you’re only considering software that fits within your budget requirements. It does no good for the team to see the capabilities of something that is beyond reach.

 

Crafting a sales enablement strategy: successful-professionals-looking-through-online-ideas-for-their-business-project

State Your Case

To pitch this investment to the Chief Financial Officer, you must show the value of implementing this software to the organization. Why is this software, tool, etc., worth implementing and integrating into the existing technology stack? 

To demonstrate ROI, you’ll need some hard facts. Research the software and put together a presentation that shows the expected outcomes and potential gains that could be realized by implementing this sales enablement software. You should consider qualitative and quantitative data, and leveraging those customer stories from your sales team that talk about the pain they’re experiencing will make a compelling case for taking action.

Discuss the current benchmarks for the team, and outline the plan for measuring the efficacy of this investment. Next, create realistic SMART goals that show the C-Suite that you’re confident in the tool’s capabilities and demonstrate the value it will bring to the company. Finally, present a realistic budget request based on the system that best meets the team’s needs and secure approval to move forward. Be sure to include the one-time implementation costs for the software, in addition to any recurring software costs in the budget proposal.

Once you confirm approval, it’s time for the implementation fun to begin!

Make an Implementation Plan

Once you’ve selected the technology you want to implement, work with an implementation partner like Revenue Ops LLC to develop a plan for implementation, integration, and training.  

A suitable implementation plan will allow time for discovery so that the implementation partner can learn all about your current processes and incorporate them into the new workflows that they’re developing for the team, including the new sales enablement software.  

The next step for implementation is the build phase, where the new assets are configured to meet the customized needs of the team. It’s prudent to solicit feedback after the assets are built to satisfy the requirements and the team’s expectations. After the building phase is complete and the new technology has been deployed, user acceptance testing ensures that the software works as designed and anticipated. You’ll want to iron out any bugs before going live.

Before going live, the users will be trained on the new software and processes and educated about how this will help make their jobs easier. Since they’ve been included throughout the discovery, selection, and implementation process, the team will hopefully be extremely excited about the changes and embrace the new technology.  

Finally, it’s time to go live and deploy everything to production. After the go-live, allow some time to monitor how the deployment is progressing. Make any changes necessary to smooth the process. After that, sit back and watch the magic happen!

Measure the Outcomes

Simply put, track success. Constantly evaluate where there’s a visible improvement, successes and how to capitalize on those. Be sure all reps are adequately trained on the new software and processes, and monitor their usage to ensure proper adoption.

Create reports and dashboards to track those critical KPIs identified in your SMART goals, and communicate the results to your team and the C-Suite. Is the new software helping you to meet the goals you set forth? Since you’ve taken the time to vet the software properly, create the appropriate processes, and understand the actual pain points of the team, you’ll see some dramatic improvements after implementation.

Plan Your Sales Enablement Strategy 

Planning a sales enablement strategy will prove valuable to your business and teams, as it will help you increase productivity and maximize ROI. In addition, by removing barriers between the sales and marketing teams, new strategies will open new avenues between sales reps and content creators. 

These five steps are the key to a successful sales enablement strategy:

  1. Analyze Your Goals
  2. Talk to Your Team
  3. State Your Case
  4. Make and Implementation Plan
  5. Measure the Outcomes

Our team at Revenue Ops LLC are sales enablement software implementation and integration experts. We can help you analyze different software options for your company, understand your current practices and systems, and determine the best technological fit for your organization. Schedule a discovery call to speak with one of our consultants to get started.

What Is Revenue Operations?

What Is Revenue Operations?

Are you wondering, “what is revenue operations?” But, more importantly, are you curious about how revenue operations can help you improve your business productivity and maximize growth?

Listen as Heather Davis Lam explains how she transitioned from musician to revenue operations expert. Profiles in Persistence is a podcast that discusses the challenges and successes entrepreneurs and small business owners experience as they build their businesses. Guests not only share their real-world stories, but they impart nuggets of wisdom based on their areas of expertise. Learn how Heather’s company, Revenue Ops LLC, can help you streamline your operations to maximize your revenue.

Conductor of the Internet

Heather is a former musician who started a music business with no business experience. So, inevitably, she decided to go back to school to earn an MBA and a Masters of Science degree in marketing. Incidentally, she ultimately ended up in the technology space. 

As disparate as these two disciplines seem, it wasn’t too much of a leap for Heather. She applied the idea of music – a series of notes in a particular order and balanced by rules/conventional wisdom to strike a harmonious chord – to her work with technology. Her technical work involves the coordination of principles and best practices for processes to function and integrate. And, just like an orchestra, each ensemble member needs to know his/her part and the components of the entire system or band to contribute exactly what is needed at exactly the right time.

After working in various sales roles within different organizations for several years, Heather noticed a pattern. The sales team was generally in charge of the people, processes, and technology within a company. However, she believed that an independent team should manage the decisions for an entire operation instead of one particular group. As she researched this issue, she came across the term revenue operations (RevOps).

Composer of Revenue Operations 

Heather saw an opportunity with RevOps. It’s a relatively new concept, but she wholeheartedly believes in its efficacy. This strategy supports the alignment of the sales, marketing, and finance functions and the assignment of a neutral team of people who can review the operations from a systems-thinking perspective to make decisions that will drive revenue for the entire business. Hence Revenue Ops LLC was born. The team at Revenue Ops LLC helps other companies implement revenue operations tactics.

Change is what drives Heather’s business forward. Factors like COVID and remote work have impacted data accessibility and visibility requirements. Companies need to break down silos that create blind spots and operational inefficiencies. They turn to RevOps experts to help implement new technology, build new processes, and/or organize data and analytics so that teams can do their jobs more effectively and productively.

Heather plans to grow and scale Revenue Ops LLC while continuing to help her clients succeed. They practice what they preach. Expanding the technology stack, streamlining processes, and monitoring data to make strategic decisions is as much an internal goal as it is a client objective.

Experiential Advice

“If you’re doing things that are scary to you, you’re growing.”

Heather encourages aspiring entrepreneurs not to be scared of being scared. And, she encourages business leaders not to be afraid of failing. It’s important to try new things to continue to improve. You can use data and analytics to show your results and monitor your growth.

“If you’re properly measuring what’s happening and you’re using the right technology so that you’re spending less time on doing manual work and more time on actually working with your prospects, then you’re going to be able to really build your business and make it stronger and better and faster so that way you’re going to be able to bring in that revenue that you need to bring in.”

Learn more about what revenue operations is and how  Revenue Ops LLC can help you maximize your revenue.

 

About Revenue Ops LLC

Revenue Ops LLC is an experienced team of sales, marketing, and customer success professionals committed to helping clients improve performance. The ultimate goal is to streamline workflows so that our clients can make data-driven decisions that maximize revenue. We apply our deep knowledge of CRM systems like Salesforce and sales enablement tools like Salesloft to optimize sales potential by stimulating and tracking customer interactions.

Learn how we can help you implement a strategy to improve revenue operations and maximize your growth.