Salesforce, when implemented well, is one of the most powerful CRM platforms in the marketplace today. It’s important to balance common sense, an efficient data structure and a pleasant user experience to ensure your system works well for you and delivers tangible results. Because Salesforce is such a powerful application there are features and capabilities that get missed when implementing it. So we put together this list of seven guidelines you can make the most out of this world-class CRM system.
1. Keep Custom Fields Under Control
Salesforce is one of the most customizable CRM platforms available, and custom fields are especially useful because they let you organize your data in a new field if a relevant field doesn’t already exist. However, in the wrong or inexperienced hands, custom field creation can be an administrative nightmare and could make your system less efficient. Get the best from the custom fields function by:
- Including help text and clear descriptions for each custom field
- Including details on why the field was created, how it’s powered and what process it’s set up to support
2. Provide Continuous Training
You can’t teach Salesforce in a 2-hour training session. When implementing Salesforce you will change the culture, create new processes and improve efficiencies. Therefore, regular training sessions and refresher courses ensure that you get the best leverage from the system, and that employees are confident in its use and up to date on new features. Also, employees come and go, so you need a solid training program for new hires and those who haven’t used the system in a while.
3. Collect Feedback
You can garner valuable insight into your company’s use of Salesforce by asking the people who use it every day. Very often, users aren’t aware that custom changes can be made to the system, and they put up with pain points or find ways to get around them. With their input, you could get even more out of the system.
One way to encourage feedback is to create a Center of Excellence (COE) within your organization and appoint advocates, or champions, to help you get the best from your technology. A COE is a great way to bring together processes, people, technology and knowledge and to develop best practices that capitalize on your Salesforce investment.
4. Restrict Report Creation
To get the most reliable data out of your CRM system, you must streamline and manage report creation. You can control report access and creation easily within Salesforce’s system permissions, and you should grant access only to those who understand data relationships and the importance of accurate reports. Inexperienced users may create reports that present inaccurate or incorrect data, which, in turn, could result in poor core decisions.
5. Improve Efficiency with Apex and Workflows
You can improve efficiency by adopting a few time-saving processes. For example, the use of Apex triggers and workflows can dramatically save time when sending emails, updating fields or checking work. With the right coding or admin skills, you can reduce the time and complexity needed to update and retrieve data.
6. Make the Most of Validation Rules
Validation rules improve the integrity of your data and ensure that it’s reliable and meets the needs of your organization. Validation also makes data easier to enter correctly. Without validation rules then your users could be overwhelmed with the amount of data they have to enter or you, as an executive, might not be getting the data you need to make decisions. Validation Rules are critical!
7. Organize Reports and Dashboards Logically
If they’re not managed well, reports and dashboards can become an administrative burden, as well as a security risk. By taking the time to organize these objects into their appropriate or newly created folders, you can make them more easily accessible and improve efficiency.
Whether you’ve been using Salesforce for years or are just starting on the CRM platform, these guidelines can help you harness its full power and adopt best practices throughout your business.