Great post on the Salesforce blog about how to close more Sales. We all sell something whether you are a for-profit or not-for-profit organization. This applies regardless if you sell a widget, a mission to do good, a service, yourself......
Putting the customer's needs above the desire to sell is really the key to improving your sales. It establishes trust and shows the customer that you know your believe in what you are doing.
Take a read
We have all had horrible customer services experiences and hopefully those experience reshape the way you as a business owner or leader interact with your clients. I just read a great article and true story of amazing customer services from--GASP!—An Airline.
Take a read.......
This formula creates a link to FedEx, UPS, or DHL shipment tracking websites, depending on the value of a Shipping Method custom picklist field. Note that the parameters shown in this example for FedEx, UPS, and DHL websites are illustrative and do not represent the correct parameters for all situations.
CASE(Shipping_Method__c, "Fedex", HYPERLINK("http://www.fedex.com/Tracking?ascend_header=1&clienttype =dotcom&cntry_code=us&language=english&tracknumbers= "& tracking_id__c,"Track"), "UPS", HYPERLINK("http://wwwapps.ups.com/WebTracking/processInputRequest?HTMLVersion =5.0&sort_by=status&loc=en_US&InquiryNumber1= "& tracking_id__c & "&track.x=32&track.y=7", "Track") , "DHL", HYPERLINK("http://track.dhl-usa.com/TrackByNbr.asp?ShipmentNumber=" & tracking_id__c,"Track"), "")
Here are a few little tricks we did for a client. If you want to change your fields to be something more striking and graphical. You can do a few quick formulas and your get some real improvement to usability that can be eye catching!
This formula displays a green, yellow, or red traffic light images to indicate status, using a custom picklist field called Project Status. Use this formula in list views and reports to create a “Status Summary” dashboard view.
IMAGE( CASE(Project_Status__c, "Green", "/img/samples/light_green.gif", "Yellow", "/img/samples/light_yellow.gif", "Red", "/img/samples/light_red.gif", "/s.gif"), "status color")
Change ‘Project_Status__c’ to your picklist name, and ‘Green/Yellow/Red’ to your picklist values.
This formula displays a set of one to five stars to indicate a rating or score. Use this formula in list views and reports to create a “Customer Value” dashboard view.
IMAGE( CASE(Rating__c, "1", "/img/samples/stars_100.gif", "2", "/img/samples/stars_200.gif", "3", "/img/samples/stars_300.gif", "4", "/img/samples/stars_400.gif", "5", "/img/samples/stars_500.gif", "/img/samples/stars_000.gif"), "rating")
Change ‘Rating__c’ to your picklist name, and ‘1/Yellow/Red’ to your picklist values.
Salesforce Summer ’13 is coming! The release notes were just recently disclosed, and the consulting team at Incarni Partners could not be more excited about the new features! The thing is–there are a LOT of them. These release notes are some of the largest ever, at 258 pages. We bit the bullet and went through the update for you, picking out the best bits. Here’s the quick-and-dirty about the newest edition to the SFDC family:
Chatter - Communities are available to all and out of beta! That means no more Customer/Partner Portal, as Communities brings an unprecedented level of interaction (no logging in!). Additionally, even more features are available through Chatter email replies–now users can Bookmark, Follow, Unfollow, Like, Unlike, etc. Perhaps the most exciting update is Chatter Actions, which allows users to create records directly in the feed. All in all, the updates to Chatter subtly further Benioff’s vision of the interface becoming the primary one for SFDC.
Opportunities - The new Opportunity Splits feature allows users to “split credit”–either as revenue splits or overlay splits. Revenue splits provide credit to team members who are directly responsible for revenue that an opportunity generates, while overlay provides credit to those indirectly responsible. Both increase the usability and flexibility of SFDC, as any opportunity can be split (as long as it adds to 100%).
Reports/Dashboards - With Summer 13, Reports and Dashboards can be set to Viewer, Editor, or
Manager access. It’s not revolutionary, but certainly needed to be done!
Touch - SFDC Touch has received many updates–there’s a new activity pane to show all open tasks one one screen, and a generally easier interface. Visualforce Tabs are also supported in the new Touch, allowing users to better organize their mobile interface.
Service Cloud - Last year’s Service Cloud addition, Live Chat, is further upgraded–including more advanced session reports, an “Over the Shoulder” feature for managers, and formatting features like a multi-line input box. Additionally, the Service Cloud Ideas platform is being improved in Summer 13. Just like Communities, Ideas now has a Reputation feature, giving posters incentive to interact and influence.
New Admin UI – The Admin Setup gets a facelift and is organized in a much more intuitive fashion. I could make a joke that it’s finally organized at all, but it’s nice to see it re-done a bit. Veterans will probably need to get used to it, but it’s not too different. In addition, the user settings area gets updated as well, which makes managing your user settings – like Chatter, Email, etc. – much more intuitive (See below). Finally, for the developers, the developer console has also been re-done.
Salesforce for Outlook Updates – It’s great to see the steady improvements here as well. Summer 13 adds Shared Activities which allows a user to add an email to multiple Contacts. Probably won’t be used a ton, but it’ll be very handy when needed. We also get the ability to manually sync Calendar Events, Contacts and Tasks. Great to have the flexibility there. Finally, the sidebar now has the ability to see Cases related to a Contact and also can search related Custom Object and not just the Standard objects
Visualforce now supports CTI – This was an annoyance we ran into a couple of times where if you had a visualforce section that contained a phone number, the click to dial would not work for that phone. There is now a VF component that enables click to dial, solving this issue.
Do you have unanswered questions about Salesforce Summer 13? Are you not sure whether or not you want to update? Give us a call, we’re ready to listen.
In my Salesforce.com and CRM career, I have spent most of my time scoping, designing and creating systems that encourage a collaborative and process oriented way of working for evolving businesses, the 360 degree view that Salesforce.com claims is not just a clever marketing message, it's an target that you can achieve with the right planning and vision, but building and deploying the system is only half the battle.
How many of you reading this get critical information that you need to run your business from a spreadsheet that "someone threw together a while ago" as a temporary workaround? How many of you know where the data comes from that goes into that spreadsheet?
Imagine the scenario: you've just paid out for Salesforce.com licenses, your implementation partner has come in and configured, customized and set up your org so that it’s now doing what you need it to do and three weeks after the launch you still receive the spreadsheet on Monday Morning with the sales
figures for the previous week. What went wrong?
Change Management is a vital piece of the puzzle when implementing new technology, an old axiom springs to mind when I write this "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink". While this is true I'm hoping my audience doesn't consist of horse trainers or my next statement won't make much sense. You are not working with horses! You are working with intelligent people who want to do their job well. Change Management is not a “stick” you use to beat people into compliance, it's collaborative, it's informative, it's a way of educating people to see the benefits of doing things the "new way". It's a vital component of any project where people are being asked to modify the way they work. You need to
create some “carrots” for them to use the system and realize that their job will be easier and more effective if they embrace the change.
We get asked pretty regularly the question “How do you remove the "firstname.lastname@example.org; on behalf of" in an email?” so we figured we would write a quick post.
With system administrator privileges you need to go to Setup and under Email Administration | Deliverability, uncheck Enable Sender ID compliance. That should take care of the issue.
All too often, companies that adopt Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategies do not realize their full potential in achieving enduring customer loyalty. One of the reasons they fail to be completely successful is because they are not able to view their customer interactions from the perspective of the
customer. Many organizations apply CRM solutions based purely on the customer’s economic value to the organization. This approach can focus too much emphasis on the outcome the organization desires from the customer, without appropriately considering the outcome the customer expects. Not all interactions with high-value customers present valuable opportunities to affect the customer relationship. A lack of focus on interactions that matter to the customer can have devastating consequences, leading to an ineffective CRM solution being applied to a set of customer interactions. Customer-facing operations need to focus on interactions that matter, since customerfacing operations powerfully impact a customer’s experiences with an organization and thus affect their continued interest in doing business with that organization.
The ideal CRM strategy employs a blending of processes and systems to optimize both efficiency and effectiveness in customer interactions but, in reality, most businesses have neither the resources nor the type of organizational structure that will allow this approach to work successfully. Most companies plan their CRM initiatives to influence customer behavior, but the process or technology enhancements put into place actually focus on internal behaviors. Yet a sound CRM strategy should not mandate process or system improvements unless these improvements can be demonstrated to affect customer behaviors in a manner that is desirable to the business. The intent to influence customer behavior to build and sustain a
profitable relationship with the business is the foremost differentiator of a sound CRM strategy.
Implementation of CRM solurtion can follow several different paths depending upon whether the desired emphasis during a customer interaction is on efficiency or on effectiveness. When the emphasis is on efficiency, the idea of operational CRM is employed. This type of CRM focuses on improving operations through the standardization and optimization of business rules and processes that affect the way business is conducted. This type of CRM frequently incorporates tools that manage workflow or improve the speed at which interactions can be executed.
When effectiveness is the goal during a customer interaction, analytical CRM is the general approach, emphasizing careful measurement and analysis of current and historical customer and transactional information. This type of CRM relies on having the appropriate systems in place to collect data that can be fed into a database for later analysis and measurement. The results from these analyses contribute to
better decision-making during future customer interactions.
Another approach to CRM attempts to blend aspects of operational and analytical CRM such that customer-facing processes handle the interaction in both an efficient and effective manner. This CRM approach provides the capability to integrate and analyze data, feeding back the results in “real time,” so that a process can be modified instantaneously to improve the outcome of the interaction. Although this approach appears to be an ideal solution to the broadest range of problems, the organizational effort required to deploy these solutions at an enterprise level involves such a dramatic re-engineering of both systems and processes that the initiative is seldom seen through to fruition. The optimization of enterprise processes usually requires a breaking down of deeply entrenched organizational structures and, therefore,
can be met with considerable internal resistance. Implementation of this CRM approach across organizational boundaries also requires a substantial investment in both capital and resources that often delays the realization of the planned return on the investment.
Choose the best CRM solution to apply to the particular types of customer interactions you encounter most often, thereby ensuring the highest probability of continually attaining mutually favorable outcomes from these interactions. Take into account that the right solution to a problem is only relevant if it is the right solution to the problem at hand. Focuse on how your customer views the problem and the solution during an interaction with your organization.
An opportunity is defined as one or more potential revenue-generating events. It usually includes one or more accounts, contacts, products, decision issues, activities, and competitors. Looking at an you will be able to view opportunities and information about accounts, contacts, activities, products, decision issues, competitors, estimated revenue, probability of successful closure, and sales stage. Be sure to have a well understood and hopefully documented sales process with your sales stages well defined. Remember that your sales stages directly affect your sales pipeline and forecast.
A Close Date should never be in the past - The “Close Date” is your best estimate of when you expect to close the sale. This will change as you work the sale. It should never be set in stone as it affects your sales pipeline
Keep your opportunities up to date - An opportunity that has sat for a week or more without a firm follow up time set is most likely going to be lost. You should record at least one or more activities per week per opportunity, even if it is just an update email.
When using line item Products, be sure to utilize the Quotes feature. Send your customers Quotes with line items. This gives them something tangible to get their budget approved for the sale.
Update information about opportunities as they move through each gate of the sales cycle. By tracking the status of an opportunity through the sales cycle from creation to closure you and other team members will have a very good picture of where your deal is in the process.
Utilize the “Find Duplicates” button to avoid creating Leads which already exist in Salesforce. Before working a new Lead, use the “Find Duplicates” button, located in the Additional Information section of a Lead, to search all Leads, Contacts, Accounts, or Opportunities for duplicate information. By default
Salesforce will search every field you have populated in the Lead record. When you click on Search, Salesforce will show you ALL Leads, Contacts, Accounts and Opportunities that match any of criteria selected in the Lead. If a match is found you can use the Convert Lead button to covert the Lead with the appropriate Lead, Contact, Account or Opportunity. Following this process will prevent you from creating duplicate information as well as from working a lead that may already be in Salesforce!
The standard “Lead Source” picklist is normally used in conjunction with the standard “Campaign” lookup field when creating new leads either manually, from web-to-lead, or in bulk uploads. The “Lead Source”
would be the top category like Trade Show, Web, Mass Email, etc.
Then the “Campaign” lookup field can link the lead to the actual campaign when it is created. It is customary to hide the two fields in the web-to-lead form with pre-populated information (like Lead
Source = Web& Campaign = Mass Email Mar2013) so that the information is then reportable. You would use a different form for each source and campaign combination. When creating leads manually or bulk
uploading, these fields would need to be manually specified. If you use the same web-to-lead form on multiple pages for different campaigns, then the above model will not work. You will need to use a dynamic lead source with a custom field to track the data by URL or some other means. This would need to be passed through to Salesforce by either a 3rd party provider or by code on your web page.
General Things to consider
* Be sure to have a well understood lead conversion process in place
* Converting leads that are not properly qualified can actually hurt you more than help you You have
the option to create an opportunity when converting a lead
* There may be times when you need to convert a lead but are not ready to create an opportunity. Utilize
this option instead of creating an opportunity that is not valid
* Maintain your leads - Stale leads should be purged or followed up with so your list does not get too
As the founder of Incarni Partners, Ashley Porath, shares practical tips, trends, thoughts, links, ideas and tools for successful Cloud based CRM solutions.