4 Nasty Admin Tasks Salesforce Will Take Off Of Your Hands.
Even in the innovative age we live in, very few jobs escape the drudgery of administration. Despite automation being a hot topic for years, and now AI, too many of us still carry out taxing and time consuming tasks, whether in Sales, Service, Finance or Marketing.
It’s an inevitable truth that we’ll need to evaluate people’s day-to-day processes soon. We should be freeing up employees’ days so that they develop valuable skill assets that will make them resilient to future (inevitable) innovation.
To get started, here are 4 nasty, and downright counterproductive, administrative tasks that your Salesforce can eliminate:
1. Writing emails
I will hold my hand up to say that I’ve copied and pasted an email for mass mailing. I’ve not been immune to errors. I’ve also been a culprit of rewriting the same emails over again, because I couldn’t face trawling for the last version in my sent box.
These things wasted so much of my time in the past.
Yes, there’s an email templates function in Salesforce, but it’s not the most friendly to use. Unless you’re an administrator, you won’t be able to add the custom button that will enable you to action that email straight from the contact record.
Marketing Automation suites have made advances beyond the above features, so let’s take a closer look at Pardot as an example. Pardot has email marketing is at its very core, referring to colossal engagement studio flows right down to a simple one-to-one email addressed from an individual sender. Pardot is that centralised hub of up-to-date emails, compliant with branding and optimal messaging. In addition, the Pardot Salesforce Connector package comes with buttons that can be added to page layouts for Sales users to send personalised and professional emails with one click. Read more about Pardot’s features here .
2. Quote Creation
Pricing is one tough job. I’ve seen some price list matrixes where you probably require a PhD in Mathematics to get the figures you need from the spreadsheet and into the quote. On top of that, there’s typing in the line items, the contact’s information, amongst other repetitive details. It’s complete - you breathe a sigh of relief, then someone more senior tells you: hold up, Product A is not compatible with Product B, you have to offer a discount of x% if C is sold with D. Oh, and for your information, we discontinued Product E last quarter. So, it’s back to square one.
Of course, this varies from industry to industry. CRMs like Salesforce are meant to automate quote creation, utilising your products that have been set up in the system. A product can be part of multiple pricebooks, and access to these pricebooks delegated or restricted, meaning that your sales reps are looking at the correct, and up-to-date catalogue.
A phrase I’ve heard all too often: “Our pricing model is too complex for Salesforce to handle”. This isn’t an excuse to continue creating quotes outside of Salesforce. If you could see the monetary cost of this lost productivity, time in rectifying errors, and lost opportunities, then you would consider investing in extending your Salesforce. CPQ suites would solve your issues, being able to handle nested products, complex pricing engines and multi-level discounts. There are a range available native to Force.com, each being a decent investment for your Salesforce. However, if you’re budget conscious, there’s still other alternatives available on the AppExchange, for example, FlexPricer is one I would recommend.
3. Case follow-up
You’re a service agent working inside the Service Cloud agent console, and the benefits are astounding. It’s multi-tab user interface means you no longer have to juggle screen switching and talking to customers simultaneously. You can also bring up their information in a concise view, know more about the person on the end of the phone than they could ever imagine.
However, you were working on a case and forgot to follow-up with the troubleshooting documentation you promised the customer.
Workflows are a form of automation within Salesforce. Now, in your case record, if you have selected Product X, and the reason as “Usage Issue”, a personalised email is sent automatically after the call, containing the correct attachments. Now you can relax, and continue what you’re great at: helping customers.
There’s going to be no more last minute scrambles with reports. No more confusion over which is the latest data in your spreadsheet, and an end to losing reports in email chains.
Salesforce is praised for its superior reporting functionality, and also because it’s all point-and-click building. This means anyone, after a swift tour around the report builder, will be able to build reports with powerful grouping and filtering functionality. Data is pulled in from your CRM fields, meaning that you are seeing the truth each time. Reports can be re-used and cloned for future uses, a hack I’ve put into good practice over time.
These 4 points cover three aspects of the Salesforce platform that you buy into: Salesforce CRM core functionality, workflows, and Force.com applications (available via the AppExchange).
Have any of these pains resonated with you? Are you considering auditing processes that could be indirectly costing you more than you think? In a constantly changing world like Salesforce’s, there is always a valid reason to question your version of the norm.
And to sum up, remember: “Don’t work hard, work smart” (- anonymous wise man).
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