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6 Essential Productivity Hacks for Every Small Business Owner

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Don't get stuck in the tedium of small business ownership. Here are six productivity hacks to help you find more prospects, earn more business, and keep your customers happy.

When I had my own small business, small tasks like looking up email exchanges with prospects or responding to customer inquiries would take up most of my day. At the time, I wondered how to get these tedious tasks out of the way to focus on business priorities.

For my business, adopting technology to automate busy work was the solution, and it didn’t just end up being convenient — it was necessary.

With technology like Salesforce Essentials, our customer relationship management (CRM) system built for small companies, you can turn tedious tasks into just a few clicksHere are six productivity hacks to help you find more prospects, earn more business, and keep your customers happy.

1. Spend less time in your email inbox

How much time do you spend in your inbox? Research shows that an average person spends 11 hours a week on email. That’s a lot of time, and it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important.

Being overwhelmed with email isn’t unusual, especially as a small business owner who takes on multiple roles, such as managing deals, handling customer inquiries, and collaborating with colleagues.

If you’d like to spend less time in your email inbox, try Einstein Activity Capture in Essentials. It automatically populates your CRM records like leads, accounts, contacts, and opportunities with email exchanges and calendar entries between you, your customers or prospects, and your team members who also use Salesforce. Say goodbye to digging around your inbox!

2. Schedule meetings with zero back-and-forth

With Salesforce Inbox, which is included in Essentials for free, you won’t need to spend time going back and forth with prospects and customers to schedule meetings. Instead, Inbox lets you choose times on your calendar and drop them into your email. Once the recipient chooses a time that works for them, Inbox automatically creates a calendar invite for both of you. 

The best part? If one of the times you dropped in gets booked by someone else, it will no longer show up in any of your other emails, so there’s no need to worry about double booking yourself.

3. Manage all customer inquiries in a single app

When your customers have questions or comments, they’ll likely reach out via email, through your website, or on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Being able to respond to every request from a single app is really handy. Plus, if you have multiple people fielding customer inquiries, having all requests in a central place helps avoid confusion and keeps your team accountable.

Essentials makes answering customer inquiries a snap with a service console that allows you and your team to manage and respond to all requests without leaving your CRM.

4. Never type up the same response twice

If you’ve been responding to customers for more than a week, you’ve probably noticed a pattern — certain questions just keep getting asked all the time in different ways. QuickText is a great Essentials feature that helps save time and standardizes messaging with predefined text bites, such as greetings, answers to common questions, and notes. 

You can use QuickText in support case responses, chats, and emails that you send out from Salesforce. Now you — and your team — won’t need to waste time recreating the same messages over and over.

5. Help your customers help themselves

Most customers would rather find answers themselves than get in touch with a support agent. With Help Center in Essentials, you can quickly spin up a web page and publish your Knowledge Articles on it. It’s a win-win solution— your customers can find answers the way they prefer and you and your support team can focus on more complex requests.

6. Keep track of key metrics with ease

As a small business owner, your sales numbers may keep you on edge. Don’t you wish you could keep track of your sales progress without constantly having to meet with the sales team, ask for email updates, or spend hours on spreadsheets?

When it’s all in Salesforce, you don’t need to ask for updates or manually analyze data — simply pull up a dashboard and review your progress in real time.

Are you ready to offload the busy work? Get started with Salesforce Essentials for free and begin using these hacks.

Salesforce Essentials helps you find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Eugene Feldman

Eugene Feldman is a Product Marketer at Salesforce where he focuses on empowering our SMB customers to get the most out of our products with how-to content, talks, and webinars. Prior to Salesforce, Eugene co-founded and lead sales and marketing at Rallyware, a gamified training and engagement platform for distributed workforces, where he defined all sales & marketing business processes and implemented all related software systems. Eugene lives in San Francisco, and enjoyes community involvement, music, and standup comedy.

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