It’s easy for executives to get excited about programs that claim to increase efficiency, provide accurate reports, and bring in more sales. After all, the top levels live and die by reports.
But convincing the Sales Department to adopt new technology is a different story. You’ve got varying levels of experience on your team; not everyone is as tech-savvy as your new associates out of college. There’s the account manager who still uses a paper day planner and has his contacts listed in the back. And there’s the spreadsheet guru who has even made Excel dashboards to track her progress. There’s the guy who sees customers every possible minute and can’t be bothered to come back to the office to enter data. And yes, there’s the sales manager who just hopes all this newfangled change will go away.
You can fire the lot of them, but really, that’s not practical. To replace a higher level employee, typical costs are 150% of the salary. Lower level employees cost about 16% of their salary to replace. That could get costly in terms of the time to rehire, lost customer relationships, and retraining expenses.
So, your task as a sales leader or executive is to help your sales teams adopt the CRM program that was designed for them.
Salesforce has set out to change the way your office thinks about CRM software and they realize the most important opinion is that of the sales reps. That’s why Salesforce sought input from thousands of reps and customers and then built applications from the ground up. It’s called Salesforce Lightning.
If you haven’t switched to the Lightning view yet, now’s the time. And if you are still undecided about a CRM program for your company, consider Salesforce. The new user interface, Salesforce Lightning, is designed to help you sell faster, smarter, and with more flexibility.
Lightning is good news for business owners, executives, and sales leaders, but it’s even better news for the sales department.
In this Dreamforce session, Cari Aves, Senior Project Manager and Christina Petersen, Product Management Associate, both of Salesforce, look at the new CRM design from a sales rep’s perspective and answer four common objections to sales pipeline tracking.
Aves empathizes with inside sales and understand how the wrong CRM program is cumbersome and inefficient. “Inside sales reps especially feel like CRM doesn’t work for them. It’s disjointed. It doesn’t work the way they work,” says Aves. “With the Lightning Experience, we really looked at the way inside sales reps work.” The new interface is better designed to help inside sales manage prospects and leads and manage all that information in one screen without having to leave the CRM program.
The Personal Assistant is a great place to start seeing how Salesforce Lighting Sales Cloud saves time. On the Home Page, the Personal Assistant will identify new leads. The Personal Assistant provides an intuitive combination of tasks, insights, lead information. Clicking on the new lead directs to the Leads page which gives all the pertinent information about the prospect including lead score. A detailed Leads List further helps the inside sales rep know which leads to prioritize. “We’ve taken lists to the next level,” says Aves as she demonstrates how easily sales reps can get information that previously may have been stored on various spreadsheets, a CRM screen, and even sticky notes. Lists based on specified criteria can now be created instantly by the rep. Before, creating such specialized lists left sales feeling like they have to write SQL statements, says Ave. Embedded charts are another feature in Lightning that helps reps can create quickly in order to visualize the data they need.
The Lead Workspace is another intuitive timesaver for the inside salesperson. It gives all key information, lead insights, and social insights as well as a timeline. The Lead Workspace page shows a lead’s activity: downloads, webinars, and other contacts with the company. An embedded composer with pre-built email templates allows emails and attachments to be sent out directly from CRM, automatically recording the contact in Activity History.
To salespeople who know the more time spent in front of customers translates to bigger sales, hours spent learning a new system means less customer time. Let’s face it: a new sales system can be daunting, especially to reps who aren’t as technology-oriented.
To those reps who believe time is money, Petersen offers some sobering statistics from CSO Insights: of sales reps’ time, 51% is spent on non-revenue generating tasks. The Lightning Experience is designed to change that number. Consider some of Lightning’s new time-saving features:
- Relevant news articles and press release about customers appear in the Assistant;
- Emails and cards can be sent to customers directly from CRM without switching windows and are automatically recorded in the customer history;
- Tasks and notes allow important information to be kept in one place;
- Embedding reminders give suggestions of where to focus time;
- Goal tracking shows progress toward revenue target;
- Sales pipeline tracking highlights specific activities in the sales process and can show reps your company’s sales playbook and guides;
- Account Insights shows research on customers;
- Opportunities Workspace shows all the current deals;
- Pipeline Board view shows where deals fall along the pipeline; and
- Customizable dashboards give overviews; each visual can be drilled down to see the details.
The time-saving functions of Lightning keep all pertinent information in one place. Sales pipeline tracking becomes even easier through customizable charts and visuals that can be embedded in any report. “It’s not just a view anymore. It’s a way to interact with these opportunities,” says Peterson.
Many sales associates feel bogged down by having to log every interaction with customers and potential customers, especially when they know the information is used to judge rep performance rather than truly assist sales. Nothing could be further from the truth with the new Salesforce updates. While the new UI makes management reporting intuitive and efficient, Lightning’s focus is on helping the seller sell more, sell faster, and sell how they want.
It starts with making CRM data entry convenient. The days of having to go back to the office to enter CRM information ended when Salesforce released Salesforce1 for mobile. Lightning, built on the same mobile platform as Salesforce , expands Salesforce’s access across devices. Sales reps can enter notes on their iPad while waiting for a meeting, on their laptop while with a customer, or in their phone wherever they are. Because Salesforce Lightning is Cloud-based, teams member can work seamlessly across devices and information is instantly available to the entire team.
Another reason Sales Cloud Lighting is CRM for the salesperson is the ability to keep notes and contact information all in one place. Gone are the days of losing the sticky note with important information on it!
All of these features in Salesforce Lightning have been made to make it easier for the sales team to focus on customer interactions and reduce the time sales reps spend on administrative tasks that don’t generate income. When more time can be spent in sales pipeline management, that means higher commission. With Lightning, everyone wins!
Here is a very serious objection that must be handled by sales leaders or executives in order to ensure the success of the program. Adopting a CRM program needs to be embraced by executives and all levels of management.
If your sales manager is reluctant to adopt CRM, give them a chance to try Salesforce’s Lightning interface it helps sales professionals prospect, manage deals, and stay on top of activities to drive team success. “As sales managers, we all need to lead by example, because if we’re not using CRM, nobody is going to be using CRM,” says Aves, a former sales manager herself.
A sales manager’s job is to remove hurdles and focus on deals that need the most care. If information isn’t in CRM, a manager can’t be effective at the job. The only way to truly be able to measure performance and know what to do is to have information to analyze. A common saying in organizations is if it didn’t happen in CRM, it didn’t happen. Sales managers should lead the way in entering information and using the program. Customizable dashboards are a good place for sales managers to start because they give the information important to the individual manager.
Through Lightning, sales managers can conduct sales pipeline management, analyzing the scope of opportunities in a single view. Managers have the same pages and views as the sales reps but with a broader view of the entire team. Managers should be looking for intelligent alerts, places where deals are stalled, and potential action items for coaching their teams.
Aves recommends Salesforce’s training modules called Trailhead. where you can pick a Trailhead that applies to your position and then complete the self-guided training. She also stresses the ability you have as a manager or executive to learn the new Salesforce Lightning as an admin before rolling it out to your organization. As your company becomes adept with using Salesforce to run your business, it can become even more customized. Over 100 partners and Apps are Lightning-ready. “While your sales reps in the past may have been resisting CRM in the past... this is a CRM that they will love to use and hopefully be struck by lighting like the rest of us.”