Salesforce has been the number one CRM solution for over ten years now, and with good reason. This software works as well for small companies as it does for giant corporations, is updated constantly, offers a wide ecosystem of deep integrations, and being cloud-based means that it is accessible anytime, anywhere.
With so many users on its platform, people have discovered many little short-cuts and “hacks” that allow you to use Salesforce in an even more efficient way than you probably are currently. Once in a routine, it is sometimes difficult to change a workflow or adapt to a new way of working, but occasionally you can come across a new idea that adds a string or two to your bow.
Here are five such Salesforce hacks that may be worth your consideration.
1. Digitize Your Business Card Collection
Look inside the jacket pocket of any sales rep, and you are sure to find enough business cards to rival a copy of the yellow pages. These cards get “filed away” in this manner, and often forgotten about, along with any potential leads that those cards may hold.
A simple, but remarkably effective solution to this modern problem, is a good Salesforce business card scanner. This nifty little app makes it super easy to scan business cards simply by holding them in front of your smartphone or tablet device. Then the app extracts the data, recognizes the details and uploads it all through a native Salesforce integration.
Many solutions like these will allow you to add extra notes to each card along with the contact details, which is handy if you wish to distinguish between the hundreds of cards you may receive in one networking event.
2. Email Templates and Automation
Another useful integration for Salesforce comes in the form of email templates. While most businesses don’t deploy a CRM for this reason, marketing automation works best when it’s informed by CRM data for segmenting and personalization purposes.
Salesforce’s template customization is worth a look if you wish to methodize your lead and customer communication. If you have a member of the team dedicated to composing and sending emails from scratch, using Salesforce’s automated responses can help free up their time while keeping your brand unified by using the same images, fonts, and format across the board.
You can also use this tool to prepare email campaigns to be sent at a later date, ready to deploy your nurture messages at the exact moment you feel it is right to do so.
3. Create Data from Your Calls
Computer Telephony Integration (or CTI for short) is the practice of integrating your telephone calls with your Salesforce data.
When implemented, you can monitor useful information such as average call handling time, how many inbound calls were not answered before the contact gave up, how many customers had their issue resolved, and exactly how many calls it took before a solution was established.
Not only this, but CTI can also route telephone traffic to the right person or department, saving you time and money when dealing with your customer base.
4. Integrations, from Excel to Mailchimp
One of the reasons that Salesforce has remained so popular over the last decade, is the sheer amount of integrations that are available. One tip that cannot be underestimated, is to familiarize yourself with the plethora of options available to you.
For heavy Microsoft Excel users, X-Author integrations could be worth a look if you are aiming to glean more useful information from your existing tsunami of data, while the likes of Ebsta can help organize meetings and avoid employee calendar clashes.
For those who delve deep into the email marketing side of relationship nurturing, popular marketing platforms such as Mailchimp also offer integrations with Salesforce.
5. Stay in the Loop
Lastly, one tip that cannot be overemphasized, is to keep abreast of new and exciting functionalities and integrations coming to Salesforce regularly. There are plenty of forums dedicated to keeping you up to date on “all things Salesforce” (check Reddit or LinkedIn), as well the official Salesforce website, and as such, it is a good idea to peruse these pages from time to time.
Even if you don’t find a useful new integration each time, one may pop up every once in a while that will increase productivity, or allow you access to ever more powerful uses for your data.
For the sake of a five-minute browsing session, can you afford not to keep up to date with developments on the world’s most dynamic CRM solution?
Keep Calm and Salesforce On
The above five recommendations represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can do with your Salesforce account. If you can think of a way to use the platform to streamline a business contact relationship maintenance task, the Salesforce ecosystem probably has a good solution for it. Keep experimenting with the tech available, and keep those relationships flourishing.