Implementing Salesforce Successfully

Things to Think about before Implementing Salesforce

Effective Salesforce rollouts require a well-crafted plan and careful execution. Implementations are intricate and demand a thorough knowledge of how the system works. As with everything, experience is vital to a smooth integration. This post is not meant to scare you but to equip your team for the journey ahead. Read on to learn more about what you should consider before implementing Salesforce. 

Salesforce is a powerful system that provides users with unparalleled capability. The tool is a must-have for any company looking to grow and stay connected. It’s so much more than your parents’ CRM – it’s a customer service tool, a help center, a marketing platform, etc. But as the saying goes, “with great power comes a great implementation.”

What Does Integration Look Like?

Like the kid in school who is friends with everyone, Salesforce plays well with external applications. From Dialpad to Adobe, you can easily access hundreds of apps through the Salesforce system.

Before you start the implementation, we recommend mapping out a complete list of integration needs. Make sure you know what you want and how the systems will communicate with each other. 

Pro Tip: Actual integrations take time and require technical expertise. While the DIY spirit is admirable, it usually doesn’t end well here.

How To Train the Team

Salesforce is not an autonomous vehicle; it requires someone to drive it. The driver here is your team, and as it takes time to learn how to be a good driver, Salesforce also has a bit of a learning curve. Therefore, helping users with best practices and terminology is crucial. The two questions you want to answer are:

  1. How are we going to train everyone? 
  2. Where can users go if they have questions?

It’s just as important to have an internal team trained and motivated to use Salesforce as it is to have the tool. Depending on your capacity, training can consist of anything from a series of teamwide meetings focusing on how the platform works to mandatory completion of Trailhead units. This Trailhead curriculum is a free resource created by Salesforce to educate users. It’s a great tool to introduce newcomers to the Salesforce ecosystem. In addition, training allows your team to get up and running on the platform quickly.

Your team should create a working vocabulary and an outline of best practices. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but an internal resource will help answer questions and reinforce standard operating procedures. It may sound like tedious work, but you’ll thank us later.

professional businesspeople

Internal Salesforce Resource

Who is going to be your Salesforce “person?” Who will be responsible when questions, problems, or recommendations arise? While Salesforce is an independent and self-sufficient application, you still need someone internally to oversee the day-to-day operations.

There are a few determining factors when assigning this responsibility. For example, an admin may be a good idea if you’re looking at running a large-scale operation with 50+ users. Admins usually come with a series of certificates and a wealth of knowledge about how the system should run. At the bare minimum, though, you will need someone internally who is comfortable setting up new users, editing fields, and ideally working with Flows. In addition, you’ll find an internal resource who can quickly troubleshoot and answer questions to be very efficient and productive.  

Choosing the Best Salesforce Implementation Partner 

Similar to the dating landscape, there are many options for finding a consultant to lead your implementation. On Google alone, you’ll find the names of 100+ businesses that say they are the best. This process can be confusing and frustrating unless you know what to look for in a partner. Arguably, experience and communication are the top qualities of a capable partner.

Has the company implemented Salesforce before? This is probably a good question when evaluating any business but so crucial here. A lot goes into implementation, and you really need to trust that the company knows what they’re doing. Before making a decision: 

  • Reach out to their references
  • Check their Salesforce Certifications
  • Read their case studies, if available

Communication is often overlooked, but it’s the key to any healthy business relationship. Because of the technical requirements and the level of customization of each Salesforce system, you must be comfortable with how the consultants communicate with you. For example, making sure the system works the way you planned and getting all your questions answered promptly are communication considerations. 

The Salesforce platform can transform your organization. But, before that can happen, the tool must be implemented appropriately. Getting to that place can be an uphill battle if you’re unprepared. Therefore, a comprehensive plan that outlines what happens before, during, and after the implementation is critical. In addition, working with the right consultant will make the transition as smooth and easy as possible. 

Our Revenue Ops, LLC team is committed to providing the best experience possible. We have a tried and true system for Salesforce implementations that starts with a complimentary discovery meeting to discuss your needs. Then we map out a plan with specific tasks and timelines to strategically incorporate Salesforce into your operations and tech stack. We take the time to review project progress and address any questions throughout the process.

If you want to discuss how we can help you to implement Salesforce successfully, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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.