What Salesforce Workflows Can Do for Your Business

After learning how you can boost your ROI 1000%, you can now see how powerful optimizing your CRM is and how important it can be for your business processes. Whether you are a new, existing, or a power Salesforce user, there are always ways to expand and optimize your current system in order to get the most out of it. With a lot of different moving components in your business process, it is challenging to monitor everyone’s progress. One of the ways to stay on track is through utilizing automated Salesforce workflows.

So what is workflow automation exactly? Workflow automation is a simple way to manage and drive your daily business processes through setting up automated actions and events without spending the extra dollars on additional systems or manpower. It provides you and your team the freedom and the time to be more efficient and not bogged down with day-to-day tasks. Many people get discouraged when talking about workflows, but don’t worry, workflows do not require any technical coding to be built. Before we talk about how workflows rules can be put in place to optimize your Salesforce, lets breakdown the 3 components:

Workflow rules are broken down into evaluation, criteria, and actions. Evaluation is how you determine if that record goes through the workflow. Criteria is where we match the records to predefined rules. Actions are what triggers the automation once the criteria is matched.

Here are some ways people utilize and create workflows for their day-to-day operations:

  • Alerts for Opportunities – Receive an email alert whenever an opportunity has been won or receive notification instantly of the reason why a deal was lost.
  • Send Tasks and Notifications – Using time dependent actions, you can trigger follow ups or reminders. This way you can ensure nothing gets lost, and keeps your team accountable.
  • Maintaining your Database – Standardize and streamline data inputs using field updates to maintain and validate data to ensure clean data. Having a clean database is required for effective reporting when viewing analytics.

Regardless of how long you have had the system, Salesforce workflows are just one of the many ways you can streamline your business processes utilizing preexisting Salesforce functionalities. By doing so, this allows you to save time but also helps you lay down the foundation for huge increases in Salesforce ROI.  

Keep Dirty Data from Hurting your Data Analytics

Dirty data is data that, over time, becomes outdated, incomplete, or just flat out wrong. Over 600B dollars are spent annually trying to clean up dirty data (TechTarget), and for good reason.  As your big data piles up, it not only gets more difficult to clean, but it also becomes more unreliable, hurting your Salesforce CRM system’s capabilities in numerous ways. Here’s a couple potential issues:

  • Bounce emails. Your sales can no longer reach these people. How can you be certain those emails you are sending are going through to the right email.
  • Messed up reports and Dashboards. Some features you utilize will be limited based on bad data even for your day-to-day operations will be affected.
  • Trusting your variable tags. Which contact to pull from because you might have duplicate contacts, and format of fields are different from one another or even outdated. 
  • Going into the right workflows. How do you know the appropriate prospects are getting put into the right workflows and nurture programs.

Where is Your Dirty Data Hiding?

Dirty data doesn’t only lead to poor analytics but can wreak havoc on different features within your Salesforce (CRM). Let’s see what some of the potential issues that cause dirty data.

Sometimes, the problem is staring right in front of us, user error. Forms are a great way for businesses to increase your database’s accuracy. Forms provide a great way to segment and develop relationships with your customers.

From users to the systems, when we tend to merge data across multiple sets, this can also cause dirty data. Use a unique identifier to prevent duplicate entries or updating the wrong records. This is usually the suspect when you businesses are trying to merge multiple databases at once, or when old technology can’t keep up with the current database demands.

How to Dispose of the Bad and Keep the Good?

Yes, cleaning your data sounds tedious but it is well worth the time. Of course, going one-by-one would take forever, so by using system algorithms will set up a more automated process of cleansing your data. Although it may not catch everything, it will drastically increase the reliability and availability in the type of analytics you can use within your CRM system.

Once your data is clean, the trick is keeping it that way. Here are a couple of helpful tips to maintain that clean database:

  1. Data Scrubbing. This allows you a way to filter out and automate that bad data from ever reaching your CRM system by scrubbing it out.
  2. Building Relationships. Remember you are talking to real people, when you maintain and form a real relationship with your customers, they are less likely to provide false or blank information into your Salesforce.
  3. Data champion. This allows you to not only ensure your data is clean but also to allow your company the ability to know have one point of contact into your Salesforce(CRM) to enable clean and smooth implementations/ health checks.

Identifying and preventing the dirty data from your Salesforce (CRM) can go a long way for your business to see big rewards from big data analytics. Who would have guessed some misfilled forms, a day where you forgot to update a contact, or a simple import of a list could be so costly?

How to Drive Cash Flow thru Accounts Receivables

Does this sound familiar? Your company never seems to have enough cash on hand, but the problem may not be a lack of sales, it’s delayed collections. Did you know 39% of invoices are paid late in the United States and 6% of accounts receivables are paid in under 30 days (AnyTimeCollect). When accounts receivables sits in your customer’s’ bank accounts instead of yours, it negatively affects your finances in a few ways. The most obvious effect is a loss of revenue.

How you keep track of that is through Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). This measures the average age of accounts receivable — if your average is trending higher, then your business is more likely to struggle with cash flow. Knowing your DSO can also help determine whether or not to outsource collections or to simply improve your current processes and policies.

When overdue accounts go past 120 days, 26% of invoices 3 months old are uncollectable (SutherlandGlobal), and you will lose equally that amount on your pretax income. In addition to lost revenue, you might lose out on an opportunity to expand or otherwise enhance your business because you don’t have the cash flow to invest.

How Using Automation Affects Your Cash Flow

Taking in the loss of revenue, operational costs, administrative costs, and all that time you spend running around, you can understand how unpaid accounts receivables can start eating away at your company’s cash flow. With EZ-AR™, you can see how you can start cutting out those unnecessary costs of chasing down payments.This Accounts Receivable Solution accelerates the process of collecting your money and frees up time in your accounting department. It cuts DSO from 30-35 days to 15 days. Using EZ-AR™, it is designed to use automation to allow you to become more efficient and scalable as a business in all aspects because less time is being spent on A/R and more time on the business activities that help with company growth.

EZ-AR Video

Whether they’re being genuinely late with a payment or purposely stalling, it amounts to cash that is not in your bank account. As you notice through the power of automation, you can see how seamless EZ-AR™ allows you to chase down those payments in an effortless manner. We at the Corrao Group like to call it “Hands-Free AR” because, at the click of a button, a whole process of collecting money is in place with little to no manual interaction.

Now that you understand how shortening your DSO can add to the financial health of your business, it’s time to put a plan in action!

How Do Lead Nurturing Programs Work?

Lead nurturing programs have a variety of benefits, most of which you may have read through already from multiple pieces of content. For this reason I am not going to show you the list of benefits that have been copied and pasted around the web but instead I am going to show you how you can actually achieve those benefits. Some programs have the end goal of guiding their prospects through the sales cycle while another program can have the goal of simply educating their prospects. The goal of these lead nurturing programs can differ but the approach to these programs should be similar, if not identical, each time. The process should be standardized and start with choosing the type of nurture campaign, choosing the audience, selecting the nurture’s flow and content, followed by reporting on the overall nurture campaign. We are going to walk through the process of building a successful lead nurturing program. 

  1. When building a nurture campaign the first step is choosing the nurture program’s type. As mentioned in the 10 Types of Lead Nurturing programs, there are a number of nurturing campaigns you can choose to run, keep in mind there are more than those 10 types. Are you running a welcome campaign? What about a campaign aimed towards bringing back those inactive leads from last year? The following steps are built upon this decision. You will also find that your ideal nurture campaign may be a combination of a couple different types.
  2. Now that you have decided on your nurture campaign’s type, the next step is choosing your nurture list. Who makes up your target audience for this nurture campaign? These can be prospects segmented by a location, interested product, or those who haven’t had contact with you in over 6 months. You should also think about making these nurture lists dynamic so when new prospects come into your system, they are automatically added to this campaign.
  3. If you were wondering when we were going to talk content, in this step you are choosing your content and nurturing flow. How complex do you want to make your nurturing campaign? Your campaign can be a simple sending of informative emails or you can input triggers such as email opens and URL clicks to take them down a different path. The trigger-based marketing technique retains a higher response rate than the simple sending of emails every week or two. The reason behind that is due to the customer receiving the content they are triggering with their interests. One example of this campaign is a webinar registration campaign where the initial email is an invite to a webinar. Those prospects who register should be sent more information on the webinar while those who did not open the email should be sent another invite a few days later. The next aspect to ask yourself is how often will you be sending content to your audience? Determining the flow will depend on the campaign type you chose in step 1. For example, if you have a long sales cycle, think about a longer pause in between email sends compared to a training campaign where the emails may be sent within a closer timeframe. 
  4. You know who your audience is and your content and flow is set, now it is time to track your campaign results. Monitor the emails you receive the most opens from, most CTR, but don’t forget about the emails who don’t perform well. Even though these campaigns are running automatically, it is important to check the report every now and then to see how your prospects are progressing. The report will tell you which emails are your most successful as well as which emails need some revision in order to lead to better conversions.

Lead nurturing doesn’t only show you what content works, it also shows you what content needs revising. View How Does Lead Nurturing Work for further information and tips on steps 1-4. The next topic in this Lead Nurturing series is making sure that your nurturing campaigns reach their maximum potential with best practices. 

Dreamforce Parties: Nightlife Edition

Mindtouch Pre-Game Party | Oct 3rd

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Mindtouch is hosting party to pregame for Dreamforce. Meet Dreamforce attendees before the conference while enjoying drinks and games.

Location: Hotel Zephyr

Time: 6pm-9pm

Event link: https://mindtouch.com/info/dreamforce-happy-hour-zephyr/?instance_id=122

Sponsor: Mindtouch

WalkMe DreamForce Party | Oct 4th

WalkMe party

WalkMe hosting one of the must attend post-conference parties featuring a fully stock bar, catered appetizers, photo booth and networking with tons of Dreamforce Attendees.

Location: Love + Propaganda

Time: 8pm-12pm

Event link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/walkme-dreamforce-party-tickets-25489517834

Sponsor: WalkMe

Dreamfest Featuring U2 | Oct 5th

U2 at Dreamforce
Time to rock out with legendary band U2 with Dreamforce attendees. If this wasn’t awesome enough, there is an after party with special guest MC Hammer and will.i.am.The concert also benefits UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

Location: Cloud Palace in Daly City

Time: 7pm -10pm

Event link: https://give.ucsfbenioffchildrens.org/events/entry/dreamforce-2016

Sponsor: Salesforce

Pardot B2B Marketer’s Bash at Dreamforce ft. Flo Rida | Oct 6th

Pardot

Pardot is going big and hosting the hottest artist out there, Flo Rida. This party includes open bar, special guest dj’s and many more surprises throughout the night.

Location: The Warfield

Time: 8pm-11:30pm

Event link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pardot-b2b-marketers-bash-ft-flo-rida-tickets-27101262606?instance_id=110

Sponsor: Pardot

The InParty: Dreamforce After Party | Oct 6th

InParty

An after party at San Francisco’s original speakeasy that operated illegally during prohibition. What is better than that?  Enjoy an open bar and hors d’oeuvres while networking with Dreamforce attendees

Location: Bourbon and Branch

Time: 8pm-12am

Event link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-inparty-dreamforce-after-party-tickets-27131002559?instance_id=104

Sponsor: Xively by LogMeIn

The Appirio | DocuSign | Conga Party | Oct 6th

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Two of the most sought after Party hosts Appirio and Docusign are teaming up to give you a party you won’t forget. This is one the most exclusive parties at Dreamforce so register fast.

Location: Register to find out

Time: 9pm-1am

Event link: http://dreamforce.appirio.com/party/?instance_id=120

Sponsors: Appirio, DocuSign, Conga

How to Automate Everything With Pardot

Pardot is more than just Marketing Automation Machine. It’s an everything automation machine. We have proven that it can automate Marketing,  Sales, Sales Operations, Project Management, Accounts Receivable, and more. With this kind of potential, Pardot is not a purchase, it is similar to hiring a Virtual assistant. However, this virtual assistant only costs $0.34 an hour.

Heres you how Pardot accelerates these parts of your company:

Marketing

Pardot Automation

How annoying is it when your voicemails go unreturned or your emails go in the spam folder? We found a solution that uses the unique connection between Salesforce and Pardot to to automatically send out print mail and follow up emails to contacts based on their business information as well as their point in the sales cycle. This resulted in a 35% increase in response rate and 16% increase in conversion rate. It also gets rid on the Spam Folder problem and helps build superior, more personal relationships with your prospects and customers.

Sales

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How much time does it take you to manage the connection with existing customers, monitor and manage customer experience, and stay up to with their new product/service updates? Well, we built an product that includes a preconfigured Sales Scoring model and automations. Your system is smarter than you think and will alert you at the best time to reach a prospect based on previous history. This resulted in an increase in Sales Efficiency with Salesforce Engage templates, real time alerts and reports with Salesforce Engage, and ability to handle a larger pipeline with more predictable outcomes.

Sales Operations

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How much time does it take you to make sure you have Sales ready emails templates for each stage in Sales? Automating your sales operations will save valuable time with consolidated Salesforce Engage templates per each stage in your Sales cycle. Above that it will allow you to know when to reach out with real time alerts from Salesforce Engage. The automation through Salesforce Engage resulted in a dramatic increase in Sales efficiency with Engage templates and real-time alerts and reporting dashboards. This gives you the ability to quickly process more opportunities .

Project Management

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Are your Project Managers dealing with one too many projects that are forcing PM’s to chase down customers’ deliverables, schedule and reschedule meetings, and drown in emails? A solution we found was to utilize a Milestone-based system to provide templates, communication, and escalation alerts. This will keep your customers and partners in sync with integrated updates with a click on a button. The results include automatic task creation, automated business processes and the capability to update everyone on a project status with the click on one button.

Accounts Receivable

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Is your accounting department constantly chasing down payments and stuck with the latent tasks having to make calls and follow up emails? Wouldn’t it be nice to automate this process to get cash into your company faster?  We have a powerful solution that auto-generates invoices directly from Salesforce, sends it to the customer, automatically checks in until payments are received, and combines Pardot’s tracking capabilities for reporting. This awesome solution has cut our Daily Sales Outstanding has been by 52%, a reduction for 10-12 hours per AR agent per month and accelerates your cashflow.   I know what you thinking, I NEED THIS IN MY COMPANY.

Fill out the form below to learn more!

If you are going to Dreamforce make you come our talk, “Pardot, The Automation Everything Machine” Click here to Register

 

Dreamforce 2016 Survival Guide

Are you ready? Dreamforce is two weeks away and it is time to get ready  to conquer it. Since we know you have a lot on your mind, we created a survival guide to help you prepare. Here are some survival tips to stay at the top of your game:

1. Bring a Portable Phone Charger

The last thing you want is your phone or tablet dying in crucial parts of the day at Dreamforce. If you have a portable charger. pack one and if you don’t, buy one. Your devices will die faster than you think due to the venues and presence of other attendees’ devices.

Extra Tip: Put your phone on Airplane Mode and use as much Wifi as you can. With over 300K attendees trying to access cell phone networks, your phone will die quick!

Charger

Some Battery Packs we recommend:

Mophie power station XXLBuy Now 

Anker PowerCore 10000Buy Now

2. Leave Earlier than Usual

Whether you walking, taking a taxi/lyft/uber, the Bart, a bicycle, or any mode of transportation, LEAVE EARLY. Traffic is going to be crazy during Dreamforce and you don’t want to miss crucial sessions or meetings because you are LATE.

LYFT First Time User Free Ride Promo Code: CorraoGroup

CORRAOGROUP

3. Stay Hydrated and Pack a Snack

Hydration is going to be key. You are going to be talking, walking and networking all day and you do not want your throat to get dry or lose your voice on the first day.

Pack a good snack for the event. You are going to lose track of time and forget to eat. You do not want to lose energy during Dreamforce so pack something to keep your energy levels at high capacity.

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Extra Tip: Hydrate before Dreamforce. Drink a lot of water the weekend leading into Dreamforce to make sure you’re ready for action.

4. Wear Comfortable Shoes

The last thing you need is your feet killing you. Do not wear uncomfortable shoes or new shoes you have not worn yet. If you do, your feet will hate you and you will be in pain. Don’t let your feet be the reason you miss out on important sessions.

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5. Map and Plan your Events

Do not underestimate the size of Dreamforce. For you to successfully attend all desired sessions, you will need to MAP and PLAN every event on the schedule and map. Download the Dreamforce Mobile app for your smartphone.  Remember to take in account walking times and foot traffic

Dreamforce app

 Download Survival Guide

Check out our last post on the 5 Must-See Events at Dreamforce

4 Lead Nurturing Campaigns You Should Try Today

In our previous blog post we discussed the benefits of Lead Nurturing. In this article I will dive into 4 Lead Nurturing campaigns that you can try today. These 4 campaigns are allocated to specific stages in a customer’s lifecycle, from the welcome campaign to the customer retention campaign. 

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The Welcome Campaign

They say the first impression upon meeting someone is critical and this applies to marketing content as well. When someone fills out a form they usually are expecting something in return, more information on a product, email updates, or specific type of content. By converting these autoresponder emails into a lead nurturing campaign, the prospect will begin their journey through your sales cycle. Your initial autoresponder should inform the recipient of the conversion point, speak about the nurture campaign they are on, and confirm their subscription to your marketing material. After some time, start to supply them with high-level information regarding the information they signed up to receive. Keep your educational and interesting and always provide them with targeted content based upon the information they requested to receive.

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The Differentiator Campaign 

When looking to purchase a product or a service, people don’t usually go with the first choice they find. Most of the time we look around, compare prices and features and then narrow it down to a few options. The point of this campaign is to explain how your product or service is different, and ultimately better, from your competitors. With each stage in this campaign, provide an advantage of using your product/service and a disadvantage of not using it. Be careful not to bash your competitors here, rather focus on why your product or service is the best in its industry. One of your emails that come from this nurture program can very well be the final push into positioning this potential customer into your sales cycle. 

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The Promotional Campaign

Towards the end of the sales cycle a customer may believe that your product or service doesn’t fit their current requirements at the moment. Whether the reason be a pricing issue or a features issue, this campaign can help persuade them into closing the deal. The key here is timing, if the timing of a promotion or additional features is right, the customer may be more obliged to closing the deal sooner than later. This campaign especially works for the larger accounts that your organization interacts with. 

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The Up-sell Campaign  

Why not sell to those who have already purchased something from you? They are familiar with your organization, your products, your services, so you should take that opportunity to try and sell them more. By offering your clients incentives and information on other products or services, you are leading them closer to another sell. With this all being automated, you can watch your clients show interest along specific stages of your campaign. You’ll want to focus on the new product but be sure to remind them of what they initially purchased. 

These are only 4 possible campaigns that you can start to implement today. With every new day there can be multiple new campaigns and the more you use them, the more use cases you will reveal. Here is a list of 10 Campaigns you can use. 

The Benefits of Lead Nurturing

Why Should I Nurture My Leads?

Lead nurturing requires thoughtful communications, not the copying and pasting of generic sales emails in attempt to receive a reply back. When a lead nurturing program is functional, your prospects are receiving targeted content based upon their actual activities and interests, which ultimately provides them with what they want to see. If a prospect has visited a specific product page of yours for about 5-10 minutes, why shouldn’t an email automatically be sent to that prospect with further information and a notification go out to a sales rep? 

The statistics

26% of today’s marketers receive a 10% – 20% greater response from their lead nurturing campaigns than those who use standardized email campaigns. On top of that, more than a quarter of marketers receive a 20% – 30% greater increase in responses using automatic lead nurturing campaigns in comparison to marketers who do not use a nurturing campaign. (Demand Gen Report, 2015)

Save your sales team some time

As marketers we’re all too familiar with the unqualified lead scenario and the not so happy sales rep that comes back to us. The best lead for a sales rep is one that is educated on your organization and the product(s) they are interested in. If the sales rep has to spend a good amount of time explaining what your product is, that lead should not have been qualified in the first place. So how do we make sure a lead is qualified? Nurture! Nurturing provides you the ability to dramatically speed up your organization’s sales cycle by providing the lead with information they want to see before they come in contact with your sales team. Start with a high-level overview of your company and its products and then funnel your way down to which specific product the lead is interested in.

Revive inactive leads

Never give up on leads that your sales team couldn’t get ahold of, they just might not be ready for your product at this moment. 2 months later, they could be ready for your product! Although don’t expect them to dig through their email to find your contact information, you are going to have to put these leads on a nurture campaign. Your campaigns will provide you with the information that tells you when the lead is qualified again based upon activity with your emails, webpages, and other content. Present this recent activity information to your sales rep to show them that the lead is qualified again and for them to reach out to the prospect. 

Personalized emails

Lead nurturing is an extraordinary feature, but it shouldn’t be used to automatically send out those generic emails your team was sending out manually. You should personalize your content and lead nurturing provides you with that ability with variable tags and dynamic content. Organizations who personalize their content receive a 19% increase in qualified leads and sales. Including a personalized sales rep signature, using variable tags to input correct information, and sending content centered around the prospect’s interests and actions are a few ways to increase lead nurturing campaign effectiveness. 

Don’t stop…nurturing! (Please read in Journey’s voice)

A great deal of organizations think that lead nurturing stops when a lead has closed a sale with your organization, but that is just the beginning. Your current customer database is also considered a lead, because there is always an opportunity to sell additional products to them! Having done business with you before, they are more likely to engage with your content. Update them about your organization’s milestones, new product information, or even new services your company provides. Think internally too! Use nurture campaigns to train your new employees on software that your organization uses. 

What’s next?

Be on the lookout for our next blog post which contains a number of nurturing campaigns with proven success.