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Why and when businesses should implement Salesforce CRM, and how to do it effectively?

Why businesses should implement Salesforce CRM? 

To operate a business efficiently, management will need to employ the right tools and technology to eliminate manual works as much as possible, thereby saving time and improve employees’ productivity through automated business processes. One way to do so is to implement business management software such as customer relationship management (CRM) or an Enterprise resource planning software (ERP), solutions like Salesforce – the most popular CRM system – will help manage and improve your business processes to continue driving growth.

Salesforce CRM can help improve many aspects of your business, especially with sales and marketing functions such as: managing leads and contacts to automating sales activities as well as marketing campaigns and many more. If your company has yet to adopt a CRM system, or you’ve outgrown your current one and looking for a change, implementing Salesforce could be the strategic solution to take your business to the next level.

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When should businesses implement Salesforce CRM?

How does business determine and decide it’s time to invest and implement a new business management system?

Take a look at the daily business processes. How is your business running? What can you do to improve the processes and increase employees’ productivities? And would the new system enable that improvement? For example, consider the following points as indicators:

  • Your employees need to perform many manual tasks leading to lower productivity;
  • There is no central system to store and access key information about your business operations as well as database of leads, contacts and prospects etc.
  • Your business data is physically stored at the office instead of running on a cloud-based model;
  • Your employees cannot access business information outside of office;
  • There is no easy and efficient way for your employees to collaborate and work together across departments;
  • Your sales reps cannot access their account information via mobile while on-the-go or travelling;
  • Your business is operating on multiple systems and databases with no single source of comprehensive data record.
  • Keeping track of your customers’ information is difficult because there are many mismatch versions of records;

If your business encounters these difficulties, it’s time you looking for an upgrade in the business management system. Implementing Salesforce can help streamline your business processes, providing your employees with new technology and tools to do their jobs easier and better, thus improving customers’ experience, and help accelerate business growth.

Benefits of Salesforce CRM

In addition to eliminating those business challenges as listed above, Salesforce provide many other benefits with its cloud based system:

Cloud-based: Business will no longer need to use physical hardware for their CRM system, thus reducing the associated IT cost. Furthermore, with a cloud-based system, your employees can access the needed business information anytime, anywhere, allowing them to make deals and work on the go.

Powerful capabilities: Salesforce provide valuable insights to your business. For example: you can customize dashboard and produce reports according to specific business needs. Additionally, you can build new applications using point-and-click options instead of having to invest resources heavily into custom coding.

Scalable: It’s very easy to design a Salesforce solution matching with your plan of business expansion. As your business grows, adding new business users to your system is quick and easy.

Updates: Salesforce roll-out frequent updates for improvements several of times a year. Your employees will get access to new technologies and features automatically, on a fairly regular basis

Integration: Salesforce can be integrated with other systems (e.g. Accounting, Calendar, ERP etc.) and customized according to your specific business needs.

HOW TO IMPLEMENT SALESFORCE EFFECTIVELY

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Custom Salesforce Solutions:

You can customize your Salesforce instance according to your business needs. For example: if you are a B2C company and need to improve customer service with a better customer support ticketing system, incorporate Service cloud into your Salesforce instance would be a good idea. The possibilities are never-ending.

Integration/Customization:

As mentioned above, Salesforce provides the flexibility for companies to integrate many 3rd parties software with the Salesforce CRM system itself. Moreover, the AppExchange store offers plenty of add-on applications built specifically for Salesforce to suit with your business requirements. A reliable and experienced Salesforce consulting partner can help you with your integration/customization successfully.

A knowledgeable Salesforce consultant can demo exactly how upgrading would benefit your unique business model.

Planning & Preparing for Implementation

When your business is ready to make the transition into Salesforce, it’s important for you to plan ahead to ensure a successful switch. Planning will help the implementation carried out as smoothly as possible. Here are a number of main factors that you should pay particular attention to:

Internal Planning

Establish clear goal:

Before implementing Salesforce CRM system for your business, you should have a detailed plan of how implementing salesforce will help improve your business. For example:

  • You would like to increase sales up to a certain percentage?
  • Increase sales revenue through upsell and cross-sell by a certain percentage
  • Improve customer satisfaction with measurable results

This will help guide the implementation project scope and ensure your implemented salesforce system addresses your critical business requirements.

If possible, consider employing salesforce consulting service to have certified consultants assisting you with the implementation and customization of your Salesforce requirement. Ask your Salesforce implementation partner questions to make sure you will fully understand all changes that will take place such as how the sales processes, or contact management will be changed and improved for the better. Utilize salesforce to enhance your business process and drive growth.

Engage staffs with the implementation process:

Additionally, try to involve your sales, marketing, and customer-support staffs in the implementation process. Your Salesforce implementation will significantly change and improve the way the front-office staffs perform their jobs. It’s important to get them engaged in the entire process so nothing is overlooked.

Planning for the Tool

 Cleaning and back-up data:

One of the most important steps before implementing salesforce is to organize and create back-ups of your database from the legacy system. If possible, you should take time to clean-up data (de-duplicate, cleanse obsolete and irrelevant data etc.) and format them in new template. Also, make sure your data are formatted in accordance with the custom Salesforce required of your business. There are a number of Salesforce products and add-on solutions that you can implement and configure to suit your needs. Scope and determine which will work best with your parameters.

It’s helpful to create a test batch of database to import first to see if the migration carries successfully as expected. Once you have the confirmations that the process is set up successfully according to plan, you can perform the data migration on the rest.

Monitor the transition closely. Talk to your employees and customers to figure out where configurations need to be modified and if any additional training is needed.

Remember to discuss with your employees regularly to find out if the implementations need to be re-configured and/or additional training is needed.

There are a number of channels such as an online forum for Salesforce users. Administrators and developers, or a community user group of your peers for help and support so you can implement and use Salesforce to its full potential.

Training:

Training is an important step to ensure Salesforce CRM is adopted consistently across your team. It helps increase Salesforce adoption rate amongst your team, especially when your users are not familiar or never used a CRM system before.

Salesforce training for employees will help reduce the time it takes for your team to familiarize themselves with the new tool and process, thus maximizing the value they can achieve out of salesforce better and quicker.

End-note:

Implementing correctly, Salesforce will be a powerful system that can help take your business to the next level. Take time to carefully identify your business needs and understand how Salesforce can help solve your business challenges. In addition, you can also employ external resources such as an offshore outsourcing company providing Salesforce business consulting and implementation service to help you with the process. With experience from implementing previous projects, certified Salesforce consultants will be able to provide you the best implementation overcoming all the potential implementations issues.