When Is Salesforce Right For You?

We Don’t Need To Change: Everything’s Fine!

Most companies think they’re getting by “just fine” using their current business processes and tools.

salesforce

“We’re in the black!”

“Things are going great!”

“Don’t fix what ain’t broke.”

If your company isn’t poised for a major growth spurt any time soon, then you’re probably set for a while.

Or is it?

However, if your sales and business processes rely on shared spreadsheets, folklore-style knowledge sharing, disparate data sources, or maybe even paper, you might want to raise a red flag. While these tools can help you get by, and can be easily integrated into many business processes; over time, you’ll likely find your business processes are increasingly reshaped to mold to the tools, instead of the other way around.

FALSE: No Pain, No Gain

Your business may already feeling the pain of trying to make these tools work together, or may regularly be working hard to overcome communications hurdles, or may not have a clear direction in which to focus sales efforts.

This kind of pain inevitably translates into lost revenue in one form or another, either in opportunity cost, inefficient business processes, or failure to execute on strategies.

Salesforce Supports Your Growing Needs

Salesforce is a platform with many tools built in, made to conform to your business process. Salesforce empowers you with customizable tools to fit your needs, instead of you working hard to manage all of your tools.

Just a few of these customizable, collaborative, productivity-boosting features include:

Click-and-drag Business Process Automation
Build your business workflow with your mouse! Automate task creation and routing, configure queues, and build approval processes, all with an easy-to-use GUI.

Mobile Accessibility with Salesforce1
All your data is available on mainstream mobile devices – instantly! No need to build separate, specialized apps to access the data you already have in Salesforce.

Sales Console
A sales dashboard lets your sales reps quickly access everything they need from one place – leads, opportunities, contacts, companies, campaigns – a one stop shop for your sales team’s needs.

Sales Performance Management
Manage your sales team through Salesforce. Set goals, track performance, and see what successful sales reps are doing to achieve their goals.

Lead and Opportunity Management
Easily view, track, and manage all leads. See which ones generate Opportunities, and quickly quote using built-in quote management tools. Track conversions when Opportunities are closed and converted to Orders.

Reports and Dashboards
Salesforce comes with a rich set of reports out-of-the-box, all easily accessible from any variety of custom dashboards you build. Customize existing reports, build your own custom reports, your data is the limit when it comes to reporting.

Sales Forecasting
Managing sales forecasting has never been easier! Track actual booked sales against quota, adjust forecasting, view previous adjustments, or view the numbers by category, all without any complicated queries or spreadsheets.

Security Management
Salesforce allows setting security down to the field level. Between roles, permission sets and customizable views, Salesforce helps you ensure that your data stays secure.

Happy As A Cloud: Lightweight IT Presence

Salesforce allows you the luxury of having a first class software platform without a first-class IT presence. Forget managing server rooms, HVAC units, rackspace, load balancers, networks, hardware, operating system and software upgrades, or the hordes of personnel to keep it all working.

Salesforce resides entirely in the cloud, and that is part of what you’re buying when you purchase licenses; you are purchasing peace of mind. Peace of mind knowing that there are experts handling all of that ugly, behind-the-scenes IT circus for you. Peace of mind knowing that your people can focus on what the business does best.

Salesforce as a Data Hub

Do you dream of having all your data in one centralized, easily accessible location? Salesforce does that! With customizable out-of-the-box data entities, like Accounts, Contacts, Opportunities, and Orders, plus the custom objects feature (offering up to 800 fields per object), which allow you to specify your own data structures, there isn’t any data you can’t store in Salesforce.

Even if you don’t want Salesforce to be the source of record, or permanently migrate data into Salesforce, it’s easy to schedule regular data jobs using Informatica, or otherwise integrate data using a web services API.

Salesforce also offers Lightning Connect, an integration tool which makes it easy for custom Salesforce apps to connect to external data sources which conform to the OData spec.  And for data sources which don’t, there is Salesforce External Objects, which are a native Salesforce feature that enable connecting to external data sources and reading in data just as if the data was a native Salesforce Custom Object.

Custom Apps

When the default Salesforce interface isn’t enough to fit your needs, you can build custom apps on the platform, either using the Salesforce standard languages, or by building your own app and integrating it via Canvas. All of your data is available to these custom apps, and the interface can be built using standard Salesforce UI widgets, or standard HTML and Javascript. The choice is yours!

Checklist: Should I Investigate Whether Salesforce is Right For My Business?

QuestionYesNoNot SureN/A
We have a well-defined consistent lead qualification process in place.
I have a clear up-to-the-minute vision into the state of all current sales activities.
I understand where all of our sales are coming from and the close rate on the different type of leads.
I know which of my marketing campaigns netted the most revenue.
I know which of my marketing campaigns were complete flops.
I can identify my top salespeople and profile their activities so as to determine a formula for successful sales.
I can identify behaviors and trends of lower performing salespeople so as to coach them properly.
All of my salespeople have immediate access to the most current pricing information.
My people have access to all the latest data and insights they need to make good business decisions.
Everyone knows exactly what tasks are assigned to him or her and what priority each task is.
Our business communications are smooth and everyone receives timely updates on key events.
Our data is secure; only the users with proper permissions are able to see or edit certain data are able to view it.
We have a robust reporting solution that satisfies all of our business intelligence needs.

If you answered “No” or “Not Sure” to at least three of these questions, there is an opportunity for improvement where Salesforce may be able to take your business to the next level.