What Makes Salesforce Easy to Use?

As the amount of free time consumers have continues to decrease in quantity, it becomes exponentially more valuable. In the market place, we’ve seen businesses successfully move towards creating a sales cycle that improves ease of use and fits effortlessly into consumers busy lives. Companies like Amazon have experienced unprecedented success by meeting customers where they are. A successful Salesforce system will offer this same ease of use to employees within organizations.

Here are four necessities in any easy to use Salesforce implementation:

It’s an excellent wingman. Salesforce that is easy to use serves as a salesperson’s right-hand man. It will help them to stay on top of leads, manage current clients and save face by guaranteeing that nothing falls through the cracks. When designing Salesforce to serve in this way, its crucial that it is created by someone who understands the day in the life of a salesperson and what their needs truly are, rather than someone who simply understands the technical, backend, components of CRM software.

It saves time.  Everyone wishes they had more time. An easy to use Salesforce implementation will help to speed up mundane business processes. This creates value to salespeople in both their personal and professional lives. At work, they’re able to close more deals and function at a higher level of efficiency and while at home, they can be fully present without worrying if they are missing something.

It seamlessly becomes part of the team. We all have experienced that awkward, painful, transition that takes place when HR screws up and hires someone who completely goes against the current company culture. They never really fit in and end up causing more work. Salesforce should not do this. It must be strategically designed with the business procedures and processes in mind. You want Salesforce to be the employee of the month type that everyone wants to talk to at the company Christmas party not the co-worker they’re secretly hoping wont show up.

It doesn’t lie. Trust is easy to lose and difficult to gain back. It’s crucial that data is entered into Salesforce accurately and deliberately. If the data is bad, so is Salesforce. It is not easy to use if it is full of errors and false information. Salespeople will quickly revert back to their old ways of selling and closing deals if they can’t trust the system they’re working on.

For more information on easy Salesforce solutions, contact Kiwi Group today.


Sales Culture and the Success of CRM

Sales Culture and the Success of CRM

An organization’s sales culture is one of the most important components to consider when implementing a CRM focused on Sales Force Automation. Like any family, each business approaches problems, tasks and daily activities in their own unique way and with their own sentiment. It’s critical to identify the ways they conduct business and any barriers to the sales cycle, from both a process and culture standpoint, before you begin customizing a CRM system.  Investing time upfront to identify these barriers will ensure the CRM is supportive rather than disruptive.

What exactly is organizational culture?

According to Google, organizational culture is a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations. These shared values have a strong influence on the people in the organization and dictate how they dress, act, and perform their jobs. Basically, it is the way in which business is conducted based on the norms within any organization.

CRM and Culture

A career in sales is not for the faint of heart. Successful reps can quickly sniff out processes that waste their time and keep them away from selling. When being asked to change their methods they will ask, “What’s In It For Me?” If a CRM system is not designed from the perspective of supporting sales people, it won’t be embraced. Out of the box CRM solutions rarely work because they aren’t able to support the unique culture of an organization or how its employees conduct business. The main purpose of a CRM system is to increase sales. So, don’t waste your time implementing an out of the box solution people won’t use.

To sufficiently understand a sales culture, the person designing and implementing a CRM must immerse themselves in a company and gather candid feedback from both management and end users. When end users are confident in management’s commitment to remove barriers in the sales cycle, they are more trusting and likely to adopt the new CRM.

CRM and Organizational Change

Once implemented, a CRM program can become a tool that sparks organizational change. By its nature, CRM brings to light business processes, increases efficiencies and exposes any stoppages. In this case, the CRM has been designed and implemented around the companies existing culture. However, as the CRM brings to light inefficiencies the culture will then begin to shift with the CRM to improve and grow the business. If leadership fails to recognize or support this shift, CRM user acceptance will plummet and employees will return to their old processes.  Implementing a successful CRM is not an easy task. It is important to go into the project wide-eyed and willing to adapt with the new knowledge the system exposes. If executed correctly, a CRM will have a positive impact on any business that far outweighs the scope of the implementation project.

Questions? Contact Kiwi Group.


Are Organizations Sabotaging Sales Success?

When a sales team is consistently able to meet their monthly quotas, the entire organization benefits. However, sales success seems to be beyond the reach of many organizations. Is your company suffering from any of these common sales-stopping culprits?

  1. Lack of Marketing Support: When a sales team has to create demand for their products and secure deals, they waste time pursuing unqualified leads. This creates frustration and tension within organizations and leads to high turnover rates and low sales margins. Often times, it’s hard for management to pin point this problem. A sure sign of insufficient marketing support includes sales people creating their own email marketing campaigns and incoming call volume that is consistently below target.
  2. Inadequate Tools and Manual Processes: It’s crucial sales teams are provided with the tools they need to efficiently create price quotes and receive approval. Slow processes that don’t move at the same speed of the market place frustrate customers and cause business to be lost to more agile competitors.
  3. Impersonal Performance Reviews: Performance reviews should be viewed as a coaching opportunity in which management invests time and resources into the sales team. This approach creates an environment that is conducive to personal growth, leading to business prosperity. Generic reviews are ineffective, waste organization time and are a missed growth opportunity.
  4. Absence of Personal Standards: While organizations can create an environment that makes it difficult for sales teams to meet their goals, becoming a successful sales professional takes time and personal investment. The ability to sell is a skill set that needs to be developed and nurtured. Thriving sales teams include individuals who are disciplined and committed to professional advancement (Pros “Stop Wasting your Sales Team’s Time”).

For more information or to get your sales team back on track, contact the Kiwi Group today.


Four Major Causes of CRM Implementation Failure

Four Major Causes of Salesforce Implementation Failure

You’ve invested time, money and resources into a Salesforce system that was supposed to grow your business and transform your sales process but the results have been less than desirable. In fact, you can’t even get your employees to use Salesforce as it was intended. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. According to industry standards, 43 percent of customers use fewer than half the features they have on their CRM.

Forrester Research has conducted an evaluation surrounding CRM implementation challenges to access why they fail. The results showcased four major causes of CRM failure:

  1. People – The misalignment of a CRM with company culture along with insufficient training, results in end users refusing to adopt the new technology. You’ll often hear staff say that the CRM is taking more of their time than helping. In this case, the CRM has not been strategically designed to solve problems or work hand-in-hand with employees.
  2. Process – Inadequate and confusing documentation that doesn’t match company workflow or processes makes a CRM useless. It is crucial to configure lead generation and sales processes to the functions that are being automated within a CRM.
  3. Strategy – Unclear objectives, poor deployment practices or a lack of collaboration from the CRM key stakeholders, results in an ineffective CRM system that has been designed in a bubble. Clear objectives, training and collaboration ensure that the CRM system being deployed is a valuable investment that will actually be used.
  4. Technology – Data problems including insufficient, outdated and messy data create a lack of CRM functionality. When implementing a CRM, it’s important to clean data before it is incorporated into the system and to create both processes and standards to make sure information remains relevant.

The best way to guarantee Salesforce success is to address each of these potential sticking areas before the system is implemented. However, if Salesforce has been deployed and is falling short of expectations, all hope is not lost. Through research, training and minor system tweaks any organization can be put back on a path to correct usage and success.

Sarah Londerville from Manomin Resawn Timbers experienced a shoddy Salesforce installation which left her with an expensive system that didn’t actually work.  Hear how we not only fixed her issues but came up with innovative ideas on how to improve and streamline her business processes.

If your company is in need of a Salesforce Tune-Up, contact Kiwi Group today.


Why Your Sales Staff Won’t Use a Lazy CRM

Why Your Sales Staff Won’t Use a Lazy Salesforce Implementation

You have invested in an expensive Salesforce system but your sales team refuses to use it. Sound familiar?  In every company there are sales staff that refuse to follow the rules and adapt to change. In my experience, salespeople don’t use Salesforce because it doesn’t add value and consumes their time. Essentially, it’s Salesforce that is lazy, not the sales team.

I have personally walked the walk as a sales warrior and after putting in an 80 hour week, I know the last thing sales people want to deal with is a clunky, unaccommodating system. Successful Salesforce technology is designed to fit the salesperson, is efficient and adds value. A strategically developed CRM design will focus on automating what the end user truly needs to bring in leads and close more deals.

Four tips for a successful design: 

Understand the day and the life of a salesperson. The person responsible for your Salesforce design should be intimately familiar with how your sales team works from initial lead generation to closing an opportunity. By taking the time to understand the sales process and what slows it down, technology can be designed to support sales efforts. Through this process, many insights are gained that help to transform a business by streamlining price quotes and order processing.

Make simplicity your first objective. Simplicity saves time. Don’t over complicate the screens in your system or require your team to input redundant information. There are several free Salesforce plug-in applications that will integrate Outlook and web mail so your team can add a new contact with a few clicks rather than through time consuming manual entry. Your team will be much more willing to use a system that works in conjunction with the sales process and doesn’t create extra, time intensive, work.

Keep it clean. Avoid dirty data like the plague. When an organization is transitioning from using Excel spreadsheets, LinkedIn and email as their CRM it’s critical that the data is cleaned up and current before it is imported into Salesforce.  Keeping data clean is not a one and done activity. It requires creating data standards from the beginning and continually monitoring data quality.

Create a sense of ownership.  Invite key influencers from sales and marketing teams to weigh in during the Salesforce customization stage as you build the screens, workflows and reports that they will ultimately use. Allowing key influencers to contribute to designing the Salesforce implementation increases the likelihood that the system will be developed in a way that adds value.

What you can expect when Salesforce is properly designed and executed: Organizations will prosper. A well-implemented Salesforce system can expect a ROI of 800%. Salespeople will be able to stay organized, prioritize their effectively, and track their sales more efficiently and accurately.

The bottom line: it will minimize administrative tasks and give opens up more time to sell. Employees will have access to key information from their phone and iPad. Mobile access is the new norm. Salesforce adoption rate will increase if your sales team can make updates conveniently from their phone. Sales teams will also be able to receive breaking news about their prospect and on-demand access to key contract and pricing insights from their mobile devices. Most extensively, sales leaders will be provided with meaningful analytics that will help them to understand valuable information such as:

  • Is the sales cycle slowing down or speeding up?
  • Where are deals getting stuck in the pipeline?
  • How often are sales people discounting products?
  • Are win rates increasing or decreasing?

For more information on creating a Salesforce system that will add value to sales staff and help organizations close more deals, contact Kiwi Group today.


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