succeed with Salesforce

5 Salesforce experts and Commercient partners offer us their free advice on salesforce.

Salesforce software is here to deliver all its capabilities and improve processes, workflows, customer management, and a lot more. But how do you get there? How can you bring the vision to reality and get the most out of your Salesforce implementation? How can you make Salesforce work for your business? 

Commercient asked some of our most trusted partners for their expert advice, to provide actionable tips and tricks to make any Salesforce implementation as smooth as possible. They have a proven track record of successful Salesforce consulting and software implementation, and now they’re happy to help you with recommendations that have helped their own clients as well.

If you’d like to see how Commercient SYNC has made a positive impact in our clients’ processes, sales, operations and customer service, click here to read customer success stories

Especially now, businesses are trying to find ways to maximize their investments and resources. If that’s your case, here are expert tips & tricks to get the most out of Salesforce. Some offer business/strategy advice, while others provide a more tactical approach, but all the advice compiled in this article intends to help your business to improve and optimize your Salesforce implementation. 

Where to Start 

Chad Anderson – CEO of Cirrius Solutions 

Certified Salesforce Business Architect

  1. Start with a strong discovery process

Discovery is the single most underrated phase of software development, and maybe the most important. It’s easy to focus mostly on the actual implementation, but execution without planning won’t help your company in the long run.

  1. Map out the customer journey

A good understanding of the end-to-end customer journey is key to ensuring your field service process provides the ultimate experience. Commercient SYNC provides the missing link to create a seamless customer journey, giving the business a full view of their data pushing ERP info back into Salesforce.

  1. Create an implementation checklist

It is very important to simplify the complexity by starting with a strong implementation checklist to outline the critical components of the implementation and keep everyone on the same page.

  1. Use declarative workflows where possible: 

80% of the platform features can be created using point and click workflow. These are very useful to eliminate the need of maintenance down the road. 

  1. Build Key Performance Metrics

What is measured can be improved. Provide executives with insights to make smarter, real-time decisions based upon key performance analytics. In order to have access to numbers useful for decision making, it’s useful to bring historical data (last week, last month, last year) to compare current performance and projections. With SYNC, that data is one click away. 

Data And Documentation Are Your Friends

Josh Monson– President, One Point One Group 

  1. Get your arms around your data

Use tools like RingLead, Field Trip to understand what is being populated, what is not (and why) so that you can improve the user experience. 

  1. Document your core business processes

Use tools like Lucidchart, PowerPoint or Visio so that you can focus conversations on the business process in Salesforce and have everyone on the same page.

  1. Bring in critical information:

Not just data, but meaningful information that may be aggregated before it goes into Salesforce, in order to bring more value to your users for decision making. Commercient SYNC brings to Salesforce historical data from the ERP, so managers and employees can compare numbers and make informed decisions and adjustments to the sales strategy.

Optimize Your Sales Process And Pipeline

Rob Diefenderfer – President, Rithom Consulting 

Making critical information available is key to any department, but for the success of the inside and outside sales team is crucial. That’s why Rithom Consulting recommends Commercient SYNC integration to seamlessly integrate your Epicor (or other ERP) data into your Salesforce CRM.

Here are their best tips and practices for Outside Sales teams:

  1. Let your Quote team (Inside Sales) know to generate a quote in Epicor when an Opportunity is Closed Won = Email Alert or Task assigned to Inside Sales.
  2. Another alternative is to use list views to easily find the latest updated/created Quotes.
  3. They can also use Tasks on the Home Tab to access the Task, follow up to completion, send a Quote.
  4. Outside Sales can review in Salesforce information such as Quotes, Sales Order, and actual sales numbers. This way, they can see if a quote sent has been accepted, for example.

For Inside Sales teams, here’s what they recommend:

  1. Inside Sales creates Quotes in Salesforce via CPQ, which is then synced to the ERP.
  2. The Inside Sales team creates tasks in Salesforce to request Outside Sales team members to follow up with a client when necessary. For example, when they need to verify quantity or pricing.
  3. If the prospect hasn’t closed yet, set up a reminder to follow up on a quote sent by a certain date, and see if they are ready to move forward and become a client.
  4. On Quote acceptance, generate a Sales Order. With Commercient SYNC, that order generated in the ERP will be synced to Salesforce. This will help to keep everyone on the same page.

Using a data integration platform such as Commercient SYNC with Salesforce brings benefits to Management as well. They are able to review reports for: 

○ Overall Tasks assigned

○ Staffing workload

○ Sales numbers

Don’t Overlook Admin Stuff

Kirby Colette – Business Analyst, CrossPeak Solutions 

Ok, now that the implementation is done, how can you ensure the data in Salesforce is not only stored -like it would be in a spreadsheet- but it’s up-to-date and useful for decision making and day-to-day operations? Here are tips recommended by Kirby Colette from CrossPeak Solutions:

  1. Always create Record Types. 

Whenever you set up a new instance you should create a Record Type for all Records your users are going to be working with. The most obvious advantage will be for inline editing; your end-users will be able to take advantage of in-line editing on filter list views through your instance. This will also set you up for continued success as you scale. 

  1. Create a custom update quick action for your Account Object.

Update the layout to include the most important fields for your users to see at a glance. Once you have finished the actions go to your Contact & Opportunity object and Create a Quick action on each, that Creates a New Account Record. Navigate to the Lightning Page Layouts for both the Contact and Opportunity Drag the Related Record component to the Page Layout, choose use “Account” on the Right pane, and Choose the Update Action you created and the New Action. Now, when your users are on Records that are children of the Account, they will be able to update the Account Record and view the most important information without leaving the page! This can be applied to several other objects!

  1. Now that we have created the Quick Action Update Account let’s use it on the Account as well. 

Navigate to your Lightning Record Page drag the Related Record Component onto your Page Layout. In the Properties on the Right-hand side of the Record Page Manager select ‘Use this Account’ and select your Update & New Actions. Publish your page. Now the most important details that you want to be able to edit on the account page layout while viewing something else on the Lightning page –like your chatter feed– are visible and editable. Rebuild this on any other page!

  1. Set up Path for Lead & Opportunity, and ALWAYS Celebrate.

Everyone loves to celebrate their win, so let’s make sure they can. Go to Setup > User Interface > Path Settings. (Enable if not already Enabled). Select the path for the object you need to edit or create a new one using an Object + Picklist field. Edit each value so that fields that are needed during each stage are added as well as notes of encouragement or reminders for that stage. Save your path. Return to Path Settings and Activate your path, then click Edit. Select Next Until you are back on the Page to turn on Celebration. and Turn it on and click always! 

  1. Avoid Multi-select Picklists whenever possible.

Reporting on these is no fun for anyone. The more efficient reporting is, the less time it’s going to take, and the easier it will be to make informed decisions.

Last but not least, an integration such as Commercient SYNC is highly recommended to get the most out of a powerful solution like Salesforce. This way, Salesforce users can enhance their experience and workflows having key customer data right at their fingertips, among many other benefits.

Mike Speer – Salesforce Practice Director, Plus Consulting 

If you want more tips to make Salesforce administration easier on everyone at your company, here’s valuable advice from Mike Speer, Salesforce Practice Director at Plus Consulting:

Tips for tools and features 

  1.       Use Google Chrome Extensions – The Salesforce user community continually builds extensions that bridge functionality gaps to make an admin’s job easier.
    • Salesforce API Fieldnames – this extension allows you to view the full name of the Salesforce custom field without leaving a record!
    • Force.com LOGINS – helps you to easily manage the usernames and passwords of the different orgs you may use, like a Sandbox and Production org.
    • Salesforce.com ID Clipper – Helps you get Salesforce.com Ids from records and links to your clipboard
    • Salesforce.com Quick Login As – Makes it easy to login as another user. Maintains the page currently being viewed.
  2.       Data Loading Tips
    • Be sure to turn off Validation and Workflow Rules when using import tools or you may fire off unwanted automation and updates will fail.
    • Exporting reports to Excel in .csv instead of .xls will speed up the time it takes to export and open the document.
    • When creating data for import, name column headers in your CSV with Salesforce field label names to allow auto-matching.
  3.       Leverage Login as Any User Feature 

Salesforce provides admins with the ability to login as a user to help troubleshoot issues without having to share passwords. Use this feature liberally. And make sure you disabled the feature Force re-login after Login-As-User so you don’t have to relogin when signing out as that user after troubleshooting.

 

Optimization Tips

  1.       Utilize Permission Sets over Profiles: 

One of the most difficult problems to correct is building too many profile to address minor differences in security.  By using permission sets, you can easily add functionality to users on an as-needed basis without altering profiles.

  1.       Dive Deep into Standard Lightning Page Components:

Within the past two years, Salesforce has released a ton of useful standard components that have extinguished old practices.  For example, having a different page layout for each record type isn’t necessarily the way to go if you want to customize the fields on a page.  By combining conditional visibility with standard components, you can highly customize Lightning Pages with very specific requirements.

  1.       Use the Description Attributes in Setup: 

The best place to create documentation is within Salesforce! Use those description fields to leave yourself a note EVERY TIME you create new metadata.  You’ll thank me in a year.

  1.       Keep Using Workflow Rules for Simple Field Updates: 

If you need to have a very simple field update or email alert, build it in workflow.  Workflow doesn’t count against any governor limits and will always execute. Process Builder is built on Flow technology and is subject to many of the same limitations. Commercient SYNC makes the data native on Salesforce to trigger different workflows, which reduces those limitations and increases Salesforce users efficiency.

We hope all these tips leverage your experience with Salesforce and help you to get the most out of the #1 CRM in the world. If you want to learn more about how Commercient SYNC enhances business processes connecting Salesforce with the ERP, contact us today.