Salesforce Sales Cloud – Task Tracker or Business Streamliner?

Salesforce sales cloud tasks

You’re not alone if your company is using Salesforce Sales Cloud primarily for tracking tasks. Tasks are one of the simplest features and are easy to learn. They help users stay on track of open opportunities, larger projects, increase transparency and much more. Reports and dashboards can be built to show a high-level overview of users’ tasks tied to a specific opportunity, useful to review during project meetings. Companies that use Sales Cloud mostly for tracking tasks could get much more out of their current investment. Salesforce started out as a task and opportunity management system but has grown tenfold since then.

  • 41% of Sales teams use Sales Cloud only for tracking tasks, where 35% say it streamlines their work. For other users, 27% use it for only tracking tasks, where 52% say it streamlines their work. (State of Salesforce). Other users are those in marketing, Service, IT, Finance and more.

So why are Sales teams not using Sales cloud past these initial features? Simply put, businesses aren’t keeping up with the new Salesforce features that are released. Sales cloud has released hundreds of updates that help deliver innovation to their customers. Users need to customize it to their unique selling experience in order to get more out of the platform than just tracking tasks and opportunities. Doing so will help pinpoint their customers’ individual needs, assist in their buying journey, and guide customers to contract signature. The best implementations extend the core functionality with solutions that assist sales users with everything from scoping and closing deals. We’re going to walk through the many ways us Salesforce users can streamline businesses beyond tracking the bare minimum.

Boost Sales Productivity

Each Salesforce cloud eliminates busywork so reps can focus time on what matters most. For Sales Cloud, it’s giving sales reps time back to focus on selling. Less time is spent updating multiple systems, tracking down information, and trying to find an old email – it’s all in one place in Sales Cloud. Sometimes, acquiring a new customer comes down to who contacted them first. A lead can visit 5 competitive companies and whichever one contacts them first gives them such a compelling pitch that they are favored. Chances are, the company that contacts them has a CRM, and it could be Salesforce Sales Cloud. Not only can it help companies engage leads quicker, but it also helps identify those potential leads, up-sell opportunities, and even sell to repeat customers. Some of these results aren’t from just one feature that can be turned on, it takes strategy combined with these features. With each strategy being different, knowing which system features to use is crucial.

Increase Efficiency

A profit increase isn’t the only ROI that should be tracked. Increasing your team’s efficiency is one way to help add to increased sales. Users can view important notes and documents that can help speed up the sale, helping the customer as soon as possible. For example, if a lead is looking for a few documents about a product, their sales rep can send the content to the lead, tracking, and logging when they open the content. They can accomplish this on their phone even as they’re heading out of an onsite meeting with a prospect. They can update fields and next steps so that those back in the office can move forward without having to wait. It doesn’t stop there with Sales; that’s right, Sales Cloud is for your entire company. A case can be automatically tied to a contact in Salesforce, recording the appropriate information and alerting the customer service rep. The rep can then record this and send a replacement if needed, which automatically alerts the Finance team. Your customers will appreciate the immediate responses and attention to detail that your company provides.

Implement Company Wide

From those measured in a Bluewolf survey, 45% say using one Salesforce cloud provides a cohesive experience. 55% said using three or more clouds provided the most cohesive experience. Implementing more clouds allows companies to onboard more departments onto Salesforce, helping the company stay on the same page. The clouds integrate seamlessly with each other, showing real-time information so there’s no more waiting around for someone to push an update. It also helps teams to be proactive, sending alerts when certain processes are triggered. For example, when a marketing lead reaches the criteria to become sales-qualified, the sales owner instantly receives a notification, prompting them to strike while the iron is hot. If engaged in a competitive sales environment, being first is key and sometimes even one day can cost companies a large deal.

Streamline The Entire Business

The moral of the story here is to think about processes that can be automated by Salesforce rather than become overwhelmed with what it has to offer. Find out from each department where the gaps are, and use the system to help better them. Salesforce Sales Cloud is a great way for a company to stay on top of its business and ahead of their competitors. With such a diverse system, it can be overwhelming to try and learn all of the features to know which ones are the most efficient to use. In no way is Salesforce a system that new users can set up themselves. There are too many features, and to properly learn the entire system in addition to one’s day job would take years. Expert help is always recommended, if not required to successfully implement Salesforce. Corrao Group’s Salesforce consulting business dates back to 2008 and has helped over 850 companies customize Salesforce to their business. Visit our Salesforce services pages to learn more about what we do, and how we can start the conversation of helping Salesforce streamline your business.

Why Manufacturers Need a CRM

Many manufacturers don’t feel the need to have a CRM due to the fact that they are usually touted as being tools for sales and marketing teams. One of the great features of a CRM, such as Salesforce, is the ability to integrate all departments and vendors while creating a seamless connection between employees and customers. Salesforce goes beyond the sales department to streamline customer service, marketing, finance, partner management, logistics and everywhere in between. In order to keep up with the incredibly personal and attentive world that a flexible CRM creates, you must hop on the bandwagon! If you’re still unsure about how a CRM could benefit your team, keep reading to see the top reasons why every manufacturer needs one.

salesforce chicago

CRM Benefits for Manufacturers

  • Inventory Management, E-commerce, Finance

A CRM is not only great for basic communications between a company and its customers, but it’s also an invaluable tool for managing your inventory, finances, and e-commerce processes throughout your company. Integrating your ERP with CRM allows for full-spectrum visibility across all valuable KPIs for your business. With insight on your finished inventory as well as your shop floor, a CRM provides invaluable information for field sales, manufacturer reps, vendors, order processing, and manufacturers to asses ways to improve the inventory turns and the net availability of products in stock.

  • Customer Support

Since CRM provides data for all aspects of your business processes, it can be used as a tool to better support your customer’s needs while communicating with your sales staff. Your customer will be able to access knowledge based articles to self-diagnose resolutions as well as getting real-time status on open trouble tickets. Another way your CRM will transform your customer support is through the data regarding past purchases and interactions. From customer communication to product launches, your CRM will provide next-level engagement with your customer, enticing them to further support your business.

  • Increased Sales Pipeline Visibility

A CRM such as Salesforce provides real-time information for availability and ship dates, as well as updates and alerts for problems that need resolution. Having visibility into your entire sales pipelines will allow your manufacturing team to work seamlessly with sales in order to resolve issues and predict trends for the future. Integration with ERPs will also tie the complete supply chain with the forecast and show actual sales in real-time.

manufacturing crm

  • Company-wide Collaboration

Along with sales, your manufacturing team can benefit greatly from the collaboration across departments, whether that be with marketing or project management. Salesforce provides a tool named Chatter, which can provide a space for internal communication about new product releases for example, and other general conversations. Having a collaborative environment is beneficial for manufacturers as they now have insight into the way products are being sold, and are able to connect with teams across the company about data present within the CRM.

  • Vendor Management

A CRM allows you to stay connected to your vendor to ensure the highest quality products and on-time delivery through real-time communication. In today’s business world, ensuring that your vendor supports your business needs requires an integrated solution to ensure an efficient process is in place. Allow a tool like Salesforce to schedule and grade your vendors for you, in order to allow your staff to be as efficient as possible.

  • Customer Feedback

Ensuring your customer’s satisfaction is critical in today’s business world of social networking. As customers go through their evaluation, purchase, and receipt of products, you can capture and analyze areas for improvements, as well as using the feedback to socialize on your corporate channels.

salesforce consulting services

How Corrao Group Can Help

We have been optimizing business processes since 2002 and have continued to work with numerous clients in fields from manufacturing to finance. We have worked with large and small companies, new and seasoned companies, and everywhere in between. We know how it feels to have a business process in disarray, and we strive to create customized plans for each company that allows them to grow.

Working with Salesforce since 2008, we’ve have seen the invaluable benefits that a CRM can have for companies, especially those in the manufacturing industry. Salesforce allows for streamlining and company-wide visibility into all business processes. With tools such as custom reporting and forecasting enablement, data can be analyzed effortlessly. Salesforce consulting services have been just as important to us as business process optimization, and we strive to help businesses maximize their investments into their CRM.

To learn more about our the benefits of Salesforce and our Salesforce consulting services, visit our Salesforce Services page.

 

Top 8 Reasons Why Your Company Needs an Internal Newsletter

When it comes to creating newsletters, you probably only think about the ones that go out to your clients. From product sales to social marketing updates, newsletters are a great way to keep customers engaged and coming back to your company for more. But, did you know that internal newsletters are just as important? We have compiled a list of the top 8 reasons why your company needs an internal newsletter so you can keep your employees as engaged as your clients!

Top 8 Reasons Your Company Needs an Internal Newsletter

1. Transparency across all departments

Employees don’t usually keep up with their coworker’s roles unless they happen to be working in the same department or team, which can lead to a lack of company knowledge. Having an internal newsletter is a great way to highlight important projects each department is working on and may encourage employees to reach out to one another for questions and collaborations based on personal experience.

marketing services

2. Company & Industry News

It’s important that everyone in your company is up-to-date on the latest company endeavors, as well as the latest news about your industry. An internal newsletter is a perfect place to provide links to new company products/marketing services, as well as updates on competitors or changes within the industry so all employees can be informed.

3. Introducing New Employees

Whether you have a small company or are as big as Google, it’s important that new employees and clients are recognized company-wide. When there is a new addition to the company, many employees get caught up with work and don’t take the time to get to know the person or their role, so welcoming them through the newsletter is a great way to keep everyone in the loop and encourage a conversation!

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How Does Artificial Intelligence Transform your Account-Based Marketing Tactics?

Did you know that 89% of respondents reported a higher ROI from ABM (Account-Based Marketing) than traditional marketing initiatives (ITSMA)? While ABM is a strategy best suited for long term growth and potential, new technology – specifically, AI (Artificial Intelligence) could be the critical difference in getting more leads and maximizing your ROI. Account-Based Marketing … Continue reading “How Does Artificial Intelligence Transform your Account-Based Marketing Tactics?”

Did you know that 89% of respondents reported a higher ROI from ABM (Account-Based Marketing) than traditional marketing initiatives (ITSMA)? While ABM is a strategy best suited for long term growth and potential, new technology – specifically, AI (Artificial Intelligence) could be the critical difference in getting more leads and maximizing your ROI. Account-Based Marketing tactics are improving fast, and with the help of technology, it is becoming a marketing plan that every B2B company should explore.

Account-Based Marketing tactics with statistic

Imagine being able to recognize a target account the moment they are doing their initial research. Today that is all made possible because of artificial intelligence, and AI is transforming the game in 2019 because of its ability to provide real-time feedback. AI can synthesize through millions of analytics in real time, delivering a list of potential targets. Naturally, this will improve identification rates, which in turn could make for better results for your company. Furthermore, it is now easier for companies to understand the early signals in regards to what an account is not only writing about but what they are searching for. In other words, AI is producing real-time intent, which is getting those early signals about what an account is searching for on search engines. This becomes an important step in the Account-Based Marketing process because the ultimate goal is to get them the moment they start their initial research into what their problems are and the solutions that are offered.

Additionally, AI is also improving account engagement which is following click behavior to identify in real time who (person, company) is on your website, while also recommending content that is relevant to their specific needs. Improving account engagement allows marketers to know who was on their company’s website and what they were looking at (issues they have). This provides sales and marketing to have faster conversion rates because they are already sending their hyper-personalized content to that specific person. Artificial Intelligence works so fast behind the scenes that it allows the sales and marketing teams to work together to best identify the company’s pain points and provide them with solutions to their problems. Ultimately, the old ways of marketing that manually crunched numbers over a designated period are over; AI immediately processes the data and allows marketers to sit back and focus on the bigger picture. Leveraging the ever-changing technology can lead to quicker conversion rates for your company. If you would like to learn more about the importance of artificial intelligence and account-based marketing tactics, please contact us.

4 Frequently Asked Questions about ABM 

  1. What is ABM?

A recent study by Alterra Group has found that, “97% of marketers surveyed said ABM had higher ROI than other marketing activities.” Account-Based Marketing is a strategy using B2B sales and marketing principles to target company accounts. It is designed for long-term growth, rather than quick short deals. Based on the ability to send hyper-personalized content to targeted decision makers, Account-Based Marketing tactics are a strategy that if it is managed right, can maximize your ROI over time.

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Automating (More than) your Marketing with Pardot

Pardot or “to sell,” in Latvian, is, appropriately, the name of a marketing platform that ultimately serves to lead you closer to the sale. However, nurturing your prospects from initial touch to that sale is a delicate and often lengthy process. Pardot provides a number of tools that allow you to automate the marketing process from start to finish, but the open-ended nature of the platform can also lead to the confusion surrounding best practices. Below, we’ve put together a basic structure for you to follow while automating your processes in Pardot.

Tracking

Before your prospects are prospects, they could just be visitors on your website. A variety of tools in Pardot allow you to track visitor activity on your website and begin associating data with these future prospects right from the start. You’ll then be able to view all of their Pardot tracked activities once they convert from visitors to prospects.

pardot support

Converting

Forms on your web pages and landing pages act as the primary instrument for conversion from visitor to prospect status. Using Pardot forms or form handlers allows you to automatically update prospect records for use in sorting and customization as you start to develop your marketing campaigns.

Grading

The prospect grading process should really begin before you dive into the many features of Pardot. Automating a grading process for your prospects allows your team to capture information surrounding the suitability of each of the prospects in your system. You can significantly improve your conversion rates by marketing to prospects who will see the relevance of your products and services. The platform provides you with a default grading model that may serve as the foundation for your prospect grading strategy, but it also presents the opportunity to customize grading profiles for an approach that will more directly apply to your unique offerings.

pardot support

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Top 7 Email Template Designs for 2019

Digital marketing has evolved and stretched its fingers across nearly every digital platform imaginable. From the paid ads you see on Instagram, to the web pages that have fostered their SEO strategy enough to land on the first page of Google, your opportunities for reaching prospects are broader than ever. Despite the surplus of opportunity in the digital landscape, email marketing remains the most effective method of marketing to your customers. Before launching your next email marketing campaign, take a look at the top email template designs for 2019. Pardot HTML email templates have a broad range of capabilities, and between these 7 examples, you’ll be able to pick and choose ideas to adopt in your own emails based on your marketing goals.

1. Call to Action: InVision

Starting off our list of email designs is a template curated by an agency well-known for its design prowess. While we must give credit to the clean overall design of the email, we would like to highlight the use of a single call-to-action after the email’s body of content. Using only one CTA has proven to improve conversion rates since it erases any doubt about which path is intended to be taken upon review of your email.

Pardot HTML email templates

2. Mobile-responsiveness: Yesler

You’ll notice that many of the templates we are recognizing here utilize a single-column layout, and this is no coincidence. Your customers continue to rely more and more on their mobile devices for both their personal lives and work, especially when it comes to having email access both in and out of the office. A single-column layout can easily be optimized for mobile viewing, and Yesler provides an excellent example of how a content-heavy email can still be designed with mobile in mind.

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Piecing Together a Conversion-Driven Case Study

convert and engage

Getting Started

Determine objective of the case study

The extent of your offerings cannot be summarized in a single case study, so you’ll need to select a targeted focus for each one. While one case study could serve to highlight how your services had a direct impact on rebuilding your client’s strategy from the ground up, another may emphasize an instance when your team introduced a client to an additional process that contributed to their further success on an already effective system. However, all of your case studies should be curated to convert and engage, helping you to fill up your lead funnels and retain accounts.

Obtain permission from your candidate

You don’t want your clients to browse your website only to find an unfamiliar case study with their name attached to it. Obtaining consent from you candidate is necessary in order to build a case study that is verified by both parties and will open up the opportunity for direct quotes to add further validation to your case study.

case study

Improving your Case Studies

Target the Right Industry

When your prospects can relate to your case study candidate, they are far more likely to see how your products or services could, in turn, benefit them as well. This familiarity can be easily fostered by conducting your case study on a client within a particular target industry.

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Our Favorite Salesforce ’19 Spring Release Updates

We’ve attended the webinars, we’ve read through the release notes, and we’ve actually used the features. With our customers in mind, we trained our team on these new features to improve our Salesforce consulting services. In addition to the full release notes found at the bottom, here are some of our favorites.

Sales Cloud

Accelerate Sales with Cadences and Work Queues

  • Description: Cadences are custom sales processes that guide reps through handling prospects of all types. Create consistently scheduled cadences of outreach activities that alerts and helps reps nurture their prospects. Work queues prioritize the next steps reps should take with their prospects. The app provides them with approved email templates and call scripts to help close the deal.
  • Benefits: Shows which prospects are ready for each outreach in your sales cycle. Handle prospects in half the time than it took before. Ensure company-wide uniformity of sales best practices.

Pinning Feature

salesforce sales cloud

  • Description: With 5,000 votes on the Appexchange, this Salesforce update allows users to pin certain filters on modules. Have a custom filter on tasks for past due tasks only? When you navigate to the Tasks object, it may default to recently viewed tasks, but now you can pin custom filters to default to.
  • Benefits: Saves time navigating across multiple objects. Increases customization of the platform.

Custom Training Programs

  • Description: This Salesforce feature gives companies the power to set up custom programs with certain training links, per user. Links can include Salesforce articles as well as external links.
  • Benefits: Uniformity on training new and existing users with the ability for tracking. Maximizes the use of the Salesforce platform, users don’t need a separate system for training.

Visit our Sales Cloud services page to learn how we can optimize your sales processes.

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Salesforce for Project Management

 Salesforce integration best practices

Corrao Group uses Salesforce for everything from client profiles, internal & external project management, and everything in between; we’ve deployed the Salesforce platform company wide. We implement Salesforce integration best practices in order to make sure we get the most out of our Salesforce organization. Our project management team utilizes Salesforce as a tool to track projects, assess our budgets, and bill employee time for maximum optimization of the platform.

Before Salesforce

Before using Salesforce, Corrao Group used to run on a lot of spreadsheets and constant overseeing. We had to set up our internal projects differently than external projects to bill time, and it was difficult to determine how much time was needed to complete each task in a project. When we adopted Salesforce in 2008, we became both a customer and a partner in the same day. Our mission with Salesforce was to maximize not only our investment with the platform, but our clients’ as well.

Once we switched to Salesforce for our project management, we had to evolve with our clients and learn how to utilize Salesforce integration best practices for our business consultations. Larger projects required more technical knowledge, and as power users of the platform, we took it into our own hands to figure out a way to make Salesforce work for us.

With Salesforce

Salesforce has provided visibility into our entire business process and has allowed our Project Management team to work more efficiently. We have tailored Salesforce to work with our own management tools from sales to kickoff, and now have both internal and external projects set up the same way. A popular feature we created was the automation of project communications to both the Salesforce Account Executive and the customer themselves. Without having to track down their Project Manager, automatic updates are sent out with timestamps regarding how the consulting project is tracking.

The customization of Salesforce is endless. We are able to add important details into each project such as files, quip documents, or even chatter threads. We have also implemented advanced dashboards such as Skuid in order to prioritize tasks and streamline management by utilizing Salesforce integration best practices. It is now easier to help project managers reassess how to work efficiently with the wide visibility into their projects, as well the ability to optimize Salesforce to see each individual’s skill-sets.

salesforce integration best practices
Project Notes & Additions in Salesforce

Moving over to Salesforce for project management did not come easily without the education about how Salesforce would work in our favor. Our whole company has to work together to learn how to manage our projects and prioritize the most important ones. From internal to external projects, we have been able to utilize Salesforce throughout all of our business processes, and with every new feature added is another way for us to maximize our investment with the platform.

Future of PM

The future of using Salesforce for our project management is ever-evolving. We have experienced the infinite customization of Salesforce, and the perks of better visibility so that we can spend less time overseeing, and more time helping our customers. We have ongoing conversations about ways we can continue to optimize our processes, as well as reassessing how we budget out our time.

With integration tools, we are not only able to streamline our own processes, but we can help our customers do the same. Our mission is to maximize our customers’ Salesforce investment, but in the process of doing so, we have continued to maximize ours. The advantages of Salesforce are endless, and we will continue to evolve our project management as Salesforce evolves with us.