In my Salesforce days, the most memorable description of the platform I got came from Mike Rosenbaum (EVP of Platform). He described Salesforce as a platform of building blocks very similar to Legos. This resonated with me because as a young kid, building elaborate Lego structures was my favorite pastime. I had about 20 different kits that I received as gifts over the years and I enjoyed building them, taking them apart, and then integrating them together to form what I saw as perfection. Below is a picture of what my Millennium Falcon should look like and what mine would have looked like.
I reminisced on this concept recently when I had a few friends and professional acquaintances ask me how to get their sales reps to better adopt Salesforce and religiously keep data up to date.
This is a unique challenge every business faces. Since Sales is regarded as the most respected revenue center in a business, management will often take a lax approach to enforcing SLA’s, clean/up-to-date data, and taking time to train and implement the expensive software that they bought with the hopes to be better. The problem is (in the best case) that even if the sales team is effective it’s still incredibly difficult to have an accurate view into your forecast, drive accountability within your organization, and leverage data/work with cross functional teams to plan for the future if Salesforce isn’t the single source of truth.
My four recommendations are below:
Use the Salesforce Platform for what it is:
- You’ve implemented Salesforce. Great! That means you’re done with what came on the picture of your “Lego set”. Now it’s time to learn what works, what doesn’t, how you want things to flow and what holes (data disconnects) exist (there are many).Implement other “Lego kits” (via engaging professional services, AppExchange products and industry experts) to help solve the specific disconnects that exist and really go full circle (pun intended!)
- Customize the user interface for your people by role. Find out what sales reps need from Salesforce and configure a specific user interface for them that excludes all things irrelevant and distracting.
- Continue evaluating and customizing your super “lego” as you go. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back because you are effectively building and fine-tuning your business’s operating system.
Align Management to this new single source of truth:
- Create Management dashboards and enforce review of the dashboard during executive meetings.
- Utilize list views and dashboards for teams and individuals to be reviewed during 1:1’s and forecasts.
- Foster an “If it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist” culture.
- Make compensation dependent on reports in Salesforce
- Make sure you are training all new employees on exactly what reports you care about, how they are derived, and their role.
- Since every Salesforce deployment is a highly customized platform, never assume someone who has used it in a previous
- job will understand your unique combination of “Lego kits.” Train everyone the same way.
- One-on-one trainings with experienced Salesforce users helps ease woes of Sales reps that may be overwhelmed with a new system.
Enforce & Reward:
- Base compensation on reports and dashboards in Salesforce fosters a culture where Salesforce becomes the “single source of truth.
- Create contests that are tracked via reports and dashboards.
- For SDR’s – Data cleanliness needs to be part of their plan. Keep them accountable to SLA’s and complete data. These are your future AE’s in training so getting them drinking your Salesforce Kool-Aid will set you up for success down the road.
So to recap – In order for Salesforce to be the operating system of your business, you have to fix and solve the various disconnects that come out of the box, align management on the benefits of having a clean and predictable business, train everyone sufficiently, and enforce that Salesforce is the single source of truth / system of record for your business. The benefits will be endless.
Contact us to learn more about how Full Circle has helped companies align sales and marketing and fix problems like full funnel closed loop reporting, marketing to sales handoff (& vice versa), SLA tracking/deal velocity reporting and campaign attribution to revenue. All within Salesforce.
Artem previously worked as a Corporate Accounts manager at Full Circle Insights and the AppExchange partnerships division at Salesforce.com. He attended San Jose State University for his undergraduate degree where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with emphasis on Marketing Strategy and a minor in Decision Sciences.