Why Salesforce is suitable for small businesses
In the previous article, Jonbo was showing Liam how a Salesforce CRM tool can outdo an Excel spreadsheet to be more effective and efficient in managing customers and interactions. Read below to see if Jonbo was successful in convincing Liam to ‘upgrade’ from Excel and switch to an effective Salesforce CRM tool.
Jonbo is showing Liam the benefits of using Salesforce to manage contacts at Widgetini Ltd.
“First of all, because Salesforce is cloud based, this means that you don’t have to worry about hardware maintenance, about backing up, or maintaining the system at all. They get upgraded all the time, so new features get introduced regularly with no extra cost/effort on our part.”
“And also, also, also…” Jonbo’s eyebrows wiggled excitedly. “You know I’ve set up a trial login, right? Well, look here.” He whips out his smartphone.
“Check out this app called Salesforce1. You can access Salesforce from anywhere, from your laptop, cybercafé, and even your mobile! Anywhere, anytime!”
“Ok ok, enough of that. Show me what it can do for me.” Liam rolls his eyes at Jonbo’s enthusiasm.
360o view of Customer
“Salesforce provides a rich featured contact management system, which does more than a traditional address book. Not only does it store contact details (name, address, phone number, emails etc), the system also provides you a view of what has been happening with the customer, activity histories, to any opportunities that they’ve been part of, past communications with anyone within the company as well as internal notes.” The mouse clicks away and Jonbo quickly creates a new contact record, and wiggled the mouse over the relevant sections as he spoke.
“You can also link the contact record to their social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter so that you can see the complete picture of your customer.”
Liam mentally reminded himself to delete the Facebook pictures of that Friday night where he partied too hard.
More effective Lead Generation
Jonbo was only getting started. “How do you get your leads for Widgetini? Word of mouth? That time where you got the article published in the local newspaper? Or what about when you printed the special offer flyers and got it distributed at the local mall? How do you know which is the most effective campaign, what to do more of, and what to do less of?” The mouse danced over the Campaign section on the contact record.
He could see that he was making headway as Liam stroked his imaginary beard thoughtfully and nodded.
“With Salesforce, you can track what campaign produced the most leads that effectively turned into paying customers.”
“You could create a phone campaign and assign those phone activities out to different people to make those calls. I know I know, you hate cold calling, but we can hire people who are very good at it, who would jump at the chance to do it, and use Salesforce to manage the phone campaign.”
Better Opportunity Management
“… which leads me to the next point: Managing Opportunities. Once we have secured proper hot prospects, i.e. people who really want to buy from us, who have the money and the urgency to do it (say within the next month or so), then we move onto Managing Opportunities. This is where you figure out how to close those sales and manage them through the sales cycle. For example, when you hear that a company might want to buy a stack of Widgetini to kit out their offices, you might want to meet up with them to do the pitch, show them how the Widgetini might generate more revenue for them and how they might work in their own environment (a ‘demo’, so to speak), and then get them to raise a Purchase Order for the contract.
“If we have a whole bunch of opportunities, Salesforce can help us manage them all – the estimated value of the deal, the items being purchased (which might include both the Widgetinis as well as the installation service), how and where they are in the sales process so that we know what to focus on and help close.”
Liam’s eyes lit up. Wow, a whole bunch of orders for Widgetinis would mean that he would have to look at producing them on a larger scale! He would have to hire and train more people! He would have to expand! Perhaps even set up branches around the world! He shook his head. “Baby steps,” he muttered to himself.
“What was that?” Jonbo inquired.
“Nothing, please continue.” He placed his palm on his racing heart.
Task and Event Monitoring
“Another thing you can do is managing activities against a contact. Say for example, you remember something that is pertinent to the customer. You can quickly create a task to remind you to contact that customer, or perhaps give them a ring, or mail that leaflet to them, or even assign them to myself or someone else to do.
“If everyone in the company uses Salesforce properly, then you just have to look up the contact or account to find out who was the last who spoke to, or email with the customer, and whatever campaign or opportunity they have been linked to.
“So it doesn’t matter if one of us gets hit by a bus. The business will still survive!”
Liam shivered at Jonbo’s morbid statement. He didn’t want to be hit by a bus. If it was inevitable, then he’d prefer it if it was the 140 to Heathrow. He wasn’t sure why, but he thought that it was better than the 182 to Brent Cross.
Using Email Templates
“By using auto-response templates, and other standard emails such as marketing messages, Follow-up emails, we can look like we have hundreds of employees and that we are bigger than we are!
“I believe they also have workflows, which can trigger email notifications based on something happening within th system. For example, if someone creates an opportunity that is say, more than £500k, it would be useful for you to get an email as you’d need to think about the production line, and how we would be able to fulfil the order.”
Liam could hear a faint ‘ka-ching!’ go off at the back of his consciousness. This Salesforce application was sounding better and better!
“Oh, and you must look at this!” Jonbo navigated to the contact he created earlier.
“You can upload documents and attach them against a contact, so that it’s all in one place. For example, the receipts submitted for expenses against the customer, as well as their scribbling and markings on the office floor plan as to where to install the Widgetinis, etc etc etc.”
“There’s also a feature called ‘Chatter’, where everyone in the company can have an internal discussion about an account or contact, so you can say things like ‘Make sure you send the quote immediately’ or ‘this customer’s address is in a strange place behind a large billboard and you can only see it if you come directly up to the driveway to the Chicken Shack’ or something like that, I don’t know. Whatever. Gossip. Which is work related. OK, maybe not. You know, Data Protection and all that.”
Liam had given Jonbo a disapproving look, and he hurriedly moved onto the next Business Benefit.
“Out of the box, you can also use the Case Management tool to log any issues our customers might have with the Widgetinis, and allow us to manage these ‘tickets’ easily. This way we can try and resolve over the phone, or schedule someone out there to fix it.
“Not many CRM tool includes a comprehensive Support function in the price. Although, of course, we hope that our Widgetinis are so awesomely made, so fantastic, that nobody ever has a problem with them.”
Customisable Reports and Dashboards
“Finally, there are reports and dashboards, which you can customise and use in any way to allow you to have look at the business from any angle, so that you can see what your customers are doing, and how you can grow the business better, quicker and more cost effectively.
Jonbo sat back on his chair and swivels around to look at Liam square in the face, as they had both been peering at his laptop while he navigated through the trial Salesforce org he had signed up.
“Now, I know how you love Excel. I know it’s easy to use, it’s well known (heck, even my 10 year old nephew knows how to use it without training. But can you tell me what would happen if:
- More than one user want to share the list to make updates
- You want to organise, sort or filter the data easily in order to perform a specific function – such as send email or create a marketing campaign
- You lose the file or if it gets corrupted
- You get hit by the 140 bus to Heathrow?
“For the price of £17 per user per month (that’s approximately 7 small Starbucks mocha with whipped cream), you can get all of the above and more. Well, it’s got far more functionalities than Excel spreadsheet, that’s for sure.”
From Liam’s expression, Jonbo was sure that he had made his case.
“But what if I don’t like it?”
“Well,” said Jonbo the master salesman, “that is why we can start with the trial for 30 days. And also since it is a subscription based model, you can change your mind after a year, to add more license (if the business starts expanding) or to reduce or cancel the licenses we have (if you really really don’t like it.)
Liam couldn’t think of any reasons not to try it out. It felt very risk-free, and for a small up-front investment, he would be able to find out what this tool could do for his business, and whether it would live up to Jonbo’s sales hype. He had a feeling that it would.
“Let’s do it.”