Today I’ll talk to you about CRM and why its extremely important. CRM is a Customer Relation Management system that companies use in order to track, analyze and manage the customers through their life cycle starting. So why is it such a big deal and why is it such a big company ? Well .. think of your options, you either start using a tool like this or you need to create a crazy excel sheet to track all your Leads, Opportunities and Accounts. Trust me its not sustainable and not scalable.
When we pivoted and now sales was part of our bottom line, I started doing some research and it made sense to start using Salesforce. I had no clue what I was getting myself into, I did some research and the book to read to understand all this was PREDICTABLE REVENUE. Its written by the guy who scaled the Sales team in Salesforce, I figured this has to be useful (If you haven’t read it and you have a Sales team or you are a Sales guy, you MUST read it). I took the initiative to implement it for our company and not hire consultants to do it because one we couldn’t afford it, and two because I was interested in learning more about it. So I had to work closely with the Sales team to start defining attributes of a Lead and Opportunity and customize it to our company.
Just clarify a few terms before I move forward.
Lead: Is someone you want to get in touch with because you feel he might be interested in your product or service. A lead is usually someone you still don’t have enough information about, as soon as they express interest, you convert them into an opportunity and account.
Opportunity: Is someone who expressed some level of interest in your offering and now you want to walk him through your pipeline to close the deal.
Account: An account is a company or organization. An account can have multiple opportunities because for example you can sell the same company your product multiple times. So for example we sold to SFX multiple opportunities for different festivals they were running. Each of these festivals were different opportunities and our team were talking to different contacts to close the opportunities.
To give you an example of the attributes I customized for our Salesteam.
- The type of company we are selling to. (Record Label, Management company, Festival)
- The size of the deals we were doing
- The location of the person we made a sale to
You get the point, just anything that will help you gather more info about the your sales in the future. I got to also make a lot of fields required, now we had to be careful with this. A lot of required fields will make this very hectic to go through, although when fields are not required they are rarely filled. So try to prioritize the 5-10 fields and make those required.
You will also have to work with the Sales team to define the stages of an opportunity and lead. So for example a lead is first contacted and then followed up 5 times (we got a lot of sales after following up 5 times) and then either qualified or not qualified. These steps are all stages, so work with the team to define them and set them up.
You will have to do the same thing with an opportunity, theres a catch though. Depending on the license you get from Salesforce, you might have to do some hacks. If you have a multiple products that require different stages, you will either need to get the more expensive package, or you will have to define the stages as follows:
Product 1: Contacted
Product2: Gathering Info
As you can see I differentiated the stages and products to make it clear to the Sales team, if your selling product 1, use the stages with product1. The easier would be to pay more and you will have different opportunity objects for each product or Service and you can customize them separately.
I think this is enough for this blog post. I will elaborate more about reports, dashboards and get deeper in Salesforce in the next few blog posts.