As a Salesforce Admin, I understand the importance of data and reporting accuracy in the CRM. At Seismic, we use Salesforce for keeping customer records, forecasting and analysis. While I live and breathe in Salesforce, I fully understand that sales reps have much more to do each day besides entering data and customer information into the CRM. So here are five of my favorite Salesforce features and add-ons to help your sales reps easily and efficiently use Salesforce, which should also help to drive CRM adoption and usage.
- Salesforce for Outlook: Most companies nowadays are roped into the Microsoft universe of applications for their email and calendar needs. For those companies, Salesforce has developed a free application which integrates Salesforce Contact, Opportunity, Account and other Object information into Outlook and pushes Outlook information into Salesforce.com. The app can automatically sync your tasks, events, and contacts between the two systems, or you can select which to include if not all of your events are relevant to Salesforce. This is one of the most important and useful add-ons from Salesforce so far.
- Chatter: We have all heard of it and likely used it before, but few really know the power of Chatter. With the correct implementation of Chatter into your sales team’s workflows, sales interactions and information can be shared nearly automatically and instantaneously to anyone interested. Chatter is not just for instant messaging and group chats, but can be used to follow records in Salesforce, such as opportunities and accounts, and have certain fields trigger chatter notifications automatically when adjusted. Combining this with your own Chatter feed of information is the real meat and bones of Chatter’s usability.
- Dataloader.io: As an admin, the life I live within Salesforce can be tedious and require many manual tasks. But there is one online tool that can really help me avoid these menial processes that sometimes come with admin responsibilities: Dataloader.io. Dataloader.io helps with data export and import, and can reduce admin tasks to just a few minutes. It also helps facilitate lightning-fast movement of records and information when the sales folk need help with or access to something quickly.
- Efficient Email Notifications: This is somewhat straightforward and typically covered when companies first implement Salesforce, but definitely should never be overlooked. Email notification automation and workflow is key to an effective Salesforce implementation and will easily gain the appreciation of a sales team once employed. Utilizing time-based email notifications is a great plus as well, because real-time notifications can be a distraction to some and a notification roundup can make sales teams more productive.
- Effective Page Layouts: This feature is relatively simple as well, but is highly effective if done right. If you have separate teams using Salesforce with separate profiles, each with very different use cases for the same Objects, implementing multiple page layouts can help save all users lots of frustration and confusion. For example, a particular Opportunity may have a sales user with the fields they need, and an implementation or sales engineer user with different fields that they need. Rather than mucking up one layout with all the fields, sales organizations can avoid confusion with separate layers.
These are just a few features that can help sales reps excel within Salesforce. Double checking that your sales team has implemented and adopted these tools will help them be more productive, effective and will increase your sales team’s Salesforce usage and adoption.