Are you shifting business priorities and how you communicate because of the current environment? Now is a good time to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Salesforce Sales Cloud investment.
I’ve had many recent conversations with sales leaders regarding their use of Salesforce. A lot of them are uncertain about “selling” right now. No one wants to come across as insensitive in the current business climate. So, many shifted their business priorities and changed how they communicate.
But, what should sales leaders do with their Salesforce Sales Cloud investment in the meantime?
If your company has had Salesforce Sales Cloud for several years, one important thing you can do now is, conduct an assessment to ensure you obtain the most ROI out of your Salesforce investment.
Key Considerations for a Salesforce Sales Cloud Assessment
Make sure the person who conducts the assessment carefully considers the following five critical areas :
1. Vision and Roadmap
First, your assessor should compare your current Salesforce environment to any defined vision or roadmap for Salesforce in your organization. For example, the company roadmap may include implementing Salesforce Einstein soon. If your review shows users don’t capitalize on standard functionality and you have currently compromised date, it’s not a good time to add Einstein or any other solutions that rely on accurate data to function appropriately. An assessment brings areas to light that you need to address before your organization moves forward with an additional purchase.
2. License Types
Have you ever heard of a platform license? What about limited use licenses? How about third-party applications that can deliver reports without a Salesforce license? Monitoring use cases, login frequency and object access can affect not only the license type but also the need for a license in general, affecting your Salesforce cost. The assessor should be able to navigate your instance and conduct interviews to discover the best possible solutions for your organization.
3. Object Usage
During the assessment process, consider all objects and their usage, or lack thereof. You will evaluate underutilized, standard objects, such as campaigns, cases (yes they are in Sales Cloud, too), and the ability to create custom objects.
4. Feature Usage
Salesforce has three releases per year, offering new features that administrators and users can take advantage of immediately. The most recent releases, Winter 2019 and Spring 2020, offer improvements for account teams and task assignments. I love the new “Where is this used?” button for administrators. This handy button now appears on custom fields for system administrators and shows where the field appears in flows, processes and more. The button allows the administrator to manage changes and deletions when necessary effectively. Because Salesforce is such an innovative company, keeping up with their ever-changing platform can be a challenge.
5. Third-Party Applications
Do you have redundant applications installed in your instance? Companies that have recently migrated from the Classic UI to Lightning may now have functionality that makes older applications obsolete. Also, an assessor should consider the use of all applications, their cost and their usage to determine if the application is necessary or allocated appropriately.
Another important part of the assessment process is interviewing stakeholders to gather information that will help prepare themselves, their teams and their organization for future success. Responses often reveal a misalignment between the goals of marketing, sales, and customer service. If your organization does not have a clear vision, you need to document this fact. You need a vision and roadmap as part of the deliverable. Your revised or newly created roadmap should identify quick wins you can take advantage of immediately and the financial or time investment required to achieve them.
When to Conduct Salesforce Sales Cloud Assessments
Beyond the current crisis, remember to consider Sales Cloud assessments at key junctures, such as new application integrations or new cloud acquisitions.
In addition, these are helpful exercises at each stage of your CRM maturity model. Maturity modeling typically consists of five phases: Initial, Repeatable, Defined, Managed and Optimized.
- Initial: This phase contains CRM customers who recently implemented Salesforce. Typically, users encounter a few mandatory processes, and managers attempt to utilize the solution to make decisions.
- Repeatable: In this phase, users understand the idea of adding leads, opportunities, and activities in Salesforce, but they haven’t defined their processes, and outcomes are not present. Companies in this stage often find users stumble through the system and complain that it is not intuitive.
- Defined: Now, users have defined processes for the usage and management of marketing, sales, and customer service activities, but they are not necessarily basing decisions on the data provided in Sales Cloud.
- Managed: Users managed their processes, defined as stated above. The management team makes decisions based on the data provided in the solution.
- Optimized: The processes and solutions are central to the business and its success.
Other areas of consideration are training and change management. If adoption has been a concern for your organization, take the opportunity now, while things may be slow, to train and educate your staff and prepare for the bounce back. Revisiting critical areas of Sales Cloud—such as lead, and opportunity management, forecasting, account planning, reporting and territory management—can help create a more stable platform for future use.
A trusted partner, consultant or an internal administrator can provide the assessments, but if you choose an internal administrator, choose one who is newer to the organization. A current but long-time administrator often skews the assessment.
Whether you are new to Salesforce or have used the software for years, the current slowdown can be a time for taking stock of our digital assets as we take stock of everything else in our lives—family, friends and more. We can find opportunities for renewal and preparation for what comes next regardless of, and sometimes because of our current environment.