Are you looking for a little help along your path to success? You’re not alone. Working in Cloud Services, I meet a lot of customers who want to know how they can use Salesforce to move faster, enable innovation, and increase productivity. Noticing these themes coming up over and over, I recently connected with some of my super smart teammates to get their thoughts.

After putting the word out that I was looking for tips, I received quite a few golden nuggets of wisdom. Below you’ll find our top five Salesforce pro tips for productivity. This list is the first in a series of blog posts that will cover topics like productivity, innovation, and speed. I hope these tips will help you and your teams ignite some serious productivity.

Focus on adoption first.

You can have the number one CRM in the world, but if your team is still using spreadsheets to track leads, there’s going to be a lot of lag time. “Adoption, adoption, adoption,” said Joe Danon, Customer Success Director. “Ultimately adoption is as important if not more important than the actual release of functionality, so invest resources in training and communication.” To increase adoption — and ultimately productivity — make sure change management is a part of your initial rollout and any subsequent updates.

Align tightly to the business.

It’s really important to make sure you’re aligning your Salesforce goals with the goals of the business. “Ensure you're communicating timely and effectively with the business and modifying Salesforce as your business needs change,” said Katherine Flowers, Senior Principal Success Specialist. “Add fields or objects where you want to capture new data to drive business decisions, and remove fields and objects that have stopped providing value.” Give your Salesforce instance a periodic health check to make sure your original implementation still aligns with your current business initiatives so you’re not wasting time on unproductive tasks.

Create custom list views.

Standard list views provided by Salesforce are great, but custom list views can help you improve productivity in certain situations. Switch between them to get the information that's most relevant to you, or use a broader single list view that’s organized in a specific way. “If you want a particular list view to show up at the top, use the underscore or asterisk symbol so it appears something like  ‘__Working List’ or  ‘*** Working List’ and it will show up at the top of the drop-down list,” said Cristina Sosa, Success Specialist. Creating custom list views also enables you to use inline editing for mass updates and to clean information quickly.

Streamline development.

Whether you’re an IT admin, developer, or project manager, a lot is riding on your level of productivity. One of the best ways to build a more productive team is to start using agile development principles. “Try the free Salesforce Agile Accelerator app,” said Timothy Kiekow, Principal Portfolio Success Manager. “You can use the app to manage and streamline your projects, work, and tasks while leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform to collaborate with cross-functional teams through Chatter, linking actual business needs to development efforts.” Having the Agile Accelerator app makes it easy to track business requirements, measure progress, and deliver releases right from Salesforce.

Migrate to Salesforce Lightning.

When you’re equipping your sales team, the better their tools, the faster they can close deals. “If you want to enable supercharged productivity, migrate your apps to Salesforce Lightning,” said Umashankar Tiwari, Senior Program Architect. “Sales users will get an intelligent, metrics-driven, integrated solution paired with an intuitive, modern UI.” We’ve seen customers save as much as 10 hours a week after switching to Salesforce Lightning. Improvements in usability, user experience, and intuitive functionality all add up to massive increases in productivity.

Pro tips are just one part of your journey to success. I’m constantly amazed by the in-depth expertise I encounter in Cloud Services and the amount of progress our customers can make in a very short amount of time with the right level of support. If you’re ready to connect with Cloud Services and get to know one of our experts, check out our website. Are you headed to Dreamforce? Get to know Cloud Services! Register for our keynote and learn about our "secret sauce" for ensuring your success. If you’re ready to connect with a representative who can help your organization forge fearlessly ahead, contact your account executive today.