As businesses grow, it is harder to keep track of information and data. Leads fall through the cracks. Salespeople don’t have access to updated customer information. By automating tasks in your CRM, sales reps avoid unnecessary manual entries, enhance their performance, and streamline workflows.
That’s why Commercient and Plus+ have joined forces: Together, we help businesses to successfully implement Salesforce and other CRMs, enhance their sales processes, and automate tasks flawlessly with a simple and cost-effective solution such as Commercient SYNC.
Plus+ is known for assisting their clients so that they can reach their goals through transformative solutions by closing the gap between business outcomes and the unknowns of technology. They have been operating for over 20 years providing in-depth expertise who delivers IT solutions that relate to Microsoft, Salesforce, Cybersecurity, Strategy, CRM, and Staffing.
The Plus+ experience goes beyond the implementation of technology: They provide consulting services to improve the sales process from many facets. Commercient SYNC is often recommended to their clients when the client’s sales team needs access to leads and customer data from the ERP and wish to improve quoting and sales process, just as it happened with Miller Plastic Products:
“To have that JobBOSS data in Salesforce via SYNC makes a world of difference for us trying to find things, and comment on jobs.”
Tim Zeliesko, COO at Miller Plastic Products
Jacob Guertin, Applications Consultant at Plus+, shares some of their best practices to automate tasks in the CRM:
When approached by customers looking to either implement or enhance their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, the conversation often centers on tracking the daily activities of their users. While you may be thinking, “Isn’t that the point of CRM?”, organizations often struggle with finding a balance in how to manage activities.
How often should reps create activities? What should they capture? Are they doing enough to move the sale along?
These questions can sometimes result in monitoring activity frequency or setting quotas.
Most organizations implementing or currently using CRM have mapped a process with stages that adhere to their Sales cycle. However, managing the daily activity within the stages is often left to the Sales reps. While reps should use activities for managing their day-to-day activities, and a lack of resulting records can be cause for concern, focusing only on the number of activities can produce misleading results.
Incorporating your activities into sales process planning can increase productivity by providing a foundation for automation. Automating activity management allows users to focus on the most important actions while closing those that are no longer relevant.
Prior to logging into CRM for the first time, it’s important to plan for what you build. This provides a roadmap, as well as a baseline, for the system. You can always add more, but undoing poor design is often more difficult than an actual build.
Once you have your high-level sales process mapped out, analyze your existing data (if available) and/or engage your sales team to identify the types and timing of touchpoints that lead to closed opportunities.
Consider factors such as:
- Are there any initial actions sales reps need to take upon the creation of an opportunity?
- Can activities be scheduled at any specific stage?
- Are you quoting? How long do customers need to review your quotes?
- Do you use approvals? Do users need to take certain actions following approval? At specific
- steps of approval?
- At what point do we “lose deals”? Early in the process? Late?
- Do other users need to take action on opportunities?
There are certainly others, but this thought process should result in the identification of key points creation of activities.
Once you identify the activity creation points, you must define specific criteria for triggering the action. This can be a stage change, the population of a field, creation of a child record, or any other change in relation to the object.
At this point, you can determine the appropriate automation tool and the automation cheat sheet is always a great starting point. Below are a few points I usually consider:
- While workflow rules do have the ability to create tasks, I generally use Process Builder for the future in case I get requests for additional logic or actions.
- If an activity should be created as a result of an approval process, they can also create tasks via workflow actions
- Flows can always do the job but have a higher learning curve. For our purposes, you shouldn’t need a flow, but if you require complex logic or need to create/update a record then reference that record, you may need to look at using a flow.
I recently worked with a manufacturer who was implementing CRM and integrating their ERP. Their ERP provided quoting functionality and they had a well-defined process up to the point the quote was sent to a customer. From there, it effectively disappeared. There was no tracking, no assigned follow-ups, no understanding of why deals were lost.
Once we integrated the ERP, we synced the quotes with their opportunities and created a process to generate a task three days from the current date upon a stage change related to quote delivery. The process looked like this:
We automated a few other tasks at a critical point, some based on incoming quote data from ERP.
To prevent tasks from remaining open if an opportunity was closed (regardless of win or loss), we created a process which set all tasks related to the opportunity to Completed when the opportunity IsClosed field changed to True:
When people hear “monitor” they often think of managers looking at reports, then communicating with their reports. While oversight is necessary, giving reps the tools to manage the tasks you’re now generating is just as important. The following actions can put key touchpoints in front of sales reps where they are most:
- Configure and train users on the Salesforce mobile app
- Enable the Outlook or Gmail integrations and train users
- It has Today’s Tasks built-in out of the box
- Configure home pages for users
- Teach users how to update their app navigation
- Configure types (and record types) of activities
- Engage users on a regular basis regarding task effectiveness
Activity management is an often-overlooked component when developing a strategy for CRM implementation. Incorporating these tools into strategy and automating their creation/closure can increase the effectiveness of your sales team while diminishing the all too common tension with leadership.
What do you think of these tips? If you want to start automating workflows and improving processes, Commercient SYNC and Plus+ are here to help! Contact us today to discuss your needs.