How to Develop the Best Salesforce CRM Practices for Success

If you're in the digital marketing and sales space there's no way you haven't heard of Salesforce CRM.

Need a refresher?

Salesforce CRM is one of the top rated cloud-based services and can turn your business into a powerhouse. Salesforce was even voted "The Worlds Most Innovative Company" by Forbes magazine four years in a row and for good reasons.

Their platform is 100% customizable and can be adapted to fit all your marketing, sales and customer needs. Every company looking to increase their sales and overall presence should go out, buy and use it immediately. Right?

Wrong. 

Without setting CRM best practices, you're essentially trying to put together a puzzle without seeing the image on the top of the box. 

As with everything in business, you need to have a plan in place.

According to a 2014 report from Nucleus Research, this CRM service touts a return on investment of $8.71 for every dollar spent. Sure, Salesforce can give you a pretty significant ROI, but not if you haven't set yourself up for success. 

Setting CRM Best Practices

Putting together a blueprint for how your business will use CRM is the first and most important step in utilising this technology. Not sure how to set CRM best practices? Keep reading; we have you covered.

1. Set your goals. 

Firstly, what are you trying to achieve?

Is your business targeting new leads or trying to convert existing leads into sales?

Perhaps you're looking to more fully integrate departments across your company to streamline the day-to-day?

By prioritising and defining your goals, you can focus on (and succeed at) reaching those targets faster. These goals will come into play again in a bit when you choose which service packages are right for you and your business.

Not sure how to clearly define your goals?

Check out this product which may help you narrow it down.

2. Choose the right Salesforce CRM platform for your needs.

Because the capabilities of Salesforce are so vast, you need to use your goals from the last step to assess your needs.

Is improving customer service at the top of your list?

Perhaps putting together a successful social media campaign is your top priority.

Since there are various plans available, carefully determine the features that are of most value to you. You may want to immediately go for the "biggest and best" package because after all, you want to succeed faster, right? In the case of CRM, that just isn't true and in doing so, you'll be hurting the cost-effectiveness of the plan.

Another major selling point of Salesforce products and applications is the fact that you can build on them. But we'll focus on that a little later.

3. Train your staff.

Once you've decided on which products you'll be using to kickstart your progress, it's time to get your team on board. Introducing SaaS to employees should be well thought out and not without a plan in place.

Change is rarely easy for staff, but you can make the transition seamless by getting your staff to buy into the training.

You can do this by making sure to have a trainer who can impress upon your team the value they get out of these systems. Using the classic "what's in it for me" strategy applies well here.

It's also important to have a point person assigned to make the transition to this cloud-based service as easy as possible.

More than likely, employees will need more than just a one-off training session to fully understand the benefits of these services. Having an in-house "expert" can act as ongoing training so that all employees will experience a seamless integration.

Some plans offer service packages as well, so be sure to look for those if having extra support is something you are considering. 

4. Rely on the product & use the data.

This is when you begin to see the ROI come into play. Sales and performance metrics are essential tools provided that help propel business growth.

The best part of integrating automation?

It's automated!

By implementing CRM and associated products, you're freeing you and your staff up to focus on more important tasks. 

This means you need to utilise the reports, data, and feedback accordingly.

The trick to making it work is, you have to rely on the data you are given. It may be hard, at first, to give over control of even the most menial tasks, but you need to trust the product and then use the data you're given. 

One of the clearest benefits of CRM is upgrading your customer's experience. Focusing on the customer experience is a different approach to traditional business practices but will yield some impressive results.

5. Reassess

If you've set all the above CRM best practices in place, by now, you should be starting to see the rewards of your efforts. You're reaching your goals and are on track. Time to sit back and enjoy.

Wrong again!

It's now time to reassess your goals. If you're about to or have already, reached your original goal, set new benchmarks. It's also very possible your needs have changed and should be re-prioritized accordingly. 

Again, the beauty of Salesforce is that there is such a wide variety of apps and tools that are designed for scalability. By seamlessly integrating another app or product with your existing package, you can easily accommodate your ever-changing business needs.

There you have it!

A complete list of CRM best practices for Salesforce you can easily implement to reach success. Make sure you hit each one!

For maximum ROI, set your plan in place thoughtfully. Determining goals and needs should always be an ongoing process to continue growing your business.

While it's important you follow these steps, it's equally vital that your team is on board to achieve maximum benefits. 

How has having CRM best practices in place helped your business?

Which Salesforce products or applications have you used to grow your business?

Tell us in the comments below if there's one you think ALL businesses should have.