Today’s modern Salesforce administrator is someone who wears many hats. They are responsible for setting up applications, enabling new features, training users and more! Not only that, but admins are more and more filling roles that used to be filled by traditional IT departments, such as answering user questions, setting up reports and dashboards and configuring application customizations. Luckily, because Salesforce has been built with the mindset of ”clicks not code”, doing all of these things has never been easier.
All of that being said, you still need to choose your administrator wisely and make sure that you are providing them adequate support. Additionally, administrators themselves need training and guidance, to ensure they fully understand their role and are equipped to tackle the problems that come their way. Below, we have a couple of tips and thoughts that should help you achieve outstanding Salesforce CRM Administration, and set your business on the course for success.
Choosing an Administrator
Not everyone makes a good administrator. Let’s face it, there are some people who do fantastic work, but you wouldn’t trust them to organize a birthday party, even for your dog. Organizational skills and vocal leadership are important but most important is someone who can find the balance between meeting the needs of your users, and understanding the capabilities of the system. Below are a few more characteristics of great CRM admins:
- A solid understanding of your business processes
- Knowing how to build and maintain relationships within the team, groups and understanding how they all work.
- Be a bit of a business analyst. Having the ability to understand issues or change requests, and figure out how to bring them to life.
- Strong communication abilities. Willingness to stand up in front of the group, speak and motivate
Poor administration drags down just about everyone in the company and will have an especially negative impact on your Sales team. Not taking your administration seriously will likely lead to your Sales team underperforming, and will also leave your admins frustrated and themselves unsupported.
Make sure you invest in your administrator and provide them whatever Salesforce CRM training they may need. Alternatively, keep in mind that some customizations or jobs may be a little too complex or technical for your in-house admins, and you may need to bring on a certified Salesforce consultant and developer.
How many admins and/or business analysts do you need for your company? No, this isn’t a rhetorical question and has nothing to do with screwing in light bulbs. In fact, there are some pretty easy to understand guidelines for just how much administration you need, based on the number of people in your company. Of course, keep in mind that for more complex implementations, you may need additional resources above what is listed in the chart below.
|Number of users
|1 – 30 users
||< 1 full-time administrator
|31 – 74 users
||1+ full-time administrator
|75 – 149 users
||1 senior administrator; 1 junior administrator
|140 – 499 users
||1 business analyst, 2–4 administrators
|500 – 750 users
||1–2 business analysts, 2–4 administrators
|> 750 users
||Depends on a variety of factors
Source: Salesforce Help Article
Top CRM Complaints
Now that you have picked out a qualified Administrator, and have the right amount of support staff for your business, there is one more consideration: what pain points can your Admin best help relieve? While all business will certainly have their own unique challenges, the list below (source) outlines some of the top complaints users have with their CRM:
- CRM gets in the way and reduces my selling time
- Different processes or data sets don’t sync up as they should
- It takes too long to enter notes
- It takes too long to update a forecast
- It takes too long to find the correct prospect or customer record
- Manual data entry is taking up too much of my time
- Every weekend, I need to copy my sales forecast data to Excel, update the deals and email it to my boss
- My CRM system doesn’t sync with MS Outlook (or Google mail) …or sync just doesn’t work
- Sales Managers spend too much time on the weekends to prepare reports for their bosses
- CRM doesn’t link with the order system, inventory system, support system, phone, social, marketing, etc.
- There are too many duplicate records in the CRM, so I just add another new record rather than figure out the correct record
- I was never trained on the original or new version of the CRM system
We could go on, but you get the idea. However, with proper Salesforce CRM administration, most if not all of these complaints can be solved, and your team given the tools they need to have their best chances of success.
6 Admin Tips to Make Your Salesforce Org More User Friendly
8 CRM Administration Best Practices
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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Configure. Price. Quote. CPQ can revolutionize a sales cycle, and though CPQ is not unique to Salesforce, (there are many different options for CPQ out there) but the powerful Salesforce version is one of the better options on the market.
What is CPQ?
For any company that faces the challenge of quickly and efficiently producing error-free sales quotes, CPQ is the answer. CPQ is essentially a software that helps your Sales reps create accurate, up to date and effortless quotes for clients. This software is especially effective if your company offers a large number of pricing and combination options.
CPQ takes what used to be a complex, time-consuming process and makes it quick, simple and eliminates errors.
CPQ functions like a pricing wizard. It tracks and stores all of your products, prices, and options, and allows your Sales reps to click through the process to create the quote. Let’s take a look at each function.
Creating an accurate quote can often be quite a challenge. Every business has their share of bundles, combinations and product options, and each of these can, in turn, have their own associated requirements. Maybe a certain product can only be sold in a bundle or perhaps a product requires a number of customizations. You don’t want to send out a quote that doesn’t include these essential details.
In the end, memorizing all of your business’ pricing rules, dependencies and exceptions can be tricky if not impossible. And pricing spreadsheets and charts aren’t always effective either. This is why having all of your business’s rules loaded into a smart guide is a must for many companies. CPQ does the hard part and makes sure every quote is configured according to your specific rules.
Just like product configuration, there are very often pricing exemptions and discounts that need to be considered for every quote. Few businesses sell their products at full list price to all customers. From discounts for nonprofits to special incentive promotions to credits for current customers, you probably have more than a few considerations for every price quote.
Mispricing a quote can not only be embarrassing but can potentially jeopardize the deal. With CPQ, you can create advanced pricing rules and take into account discounts, pre-negotiated pricing, subscriptions and more. The more complex your pricing options, the more your Sales team needs CPQ to streamline the entire process.
Following the configuration and pricing automation, CPQ provides a professional and efficient method of creating the quote. Salesforce CPQ allows reps to create the quote and send it via email (complete with e-signature options) all with just a few clicks. This is all done from a WYSIWYG editor, making template creation a breeze.
The Benefits of CPQ
More Sales – Turning out fast quotes leads to higher conversion rates and also gives your reps more time to work on additional deals. Complex, in-efficient processes leading to long quote creation times are a huge problem for many companies. Getting an accurate quote out the door quickly is pretty essential in the fast-paced world of 2018. Adding in the automation of CPQ to the process dramatically speeds up the process, giving your company a decided advantage over your competition.
Better Accuracy – Automating your company’s workflow rules not only makes the process faster, but it means significantly increase accuracy. Validation rules ensure that every quote that goes out is properly priced and configured, and will take into account all of your business rules that could easily be forgotten or inaccurately applied through human error. With CPQ, you can rest assured that outgoing quotes have the correcting pricing, product combinations, description and are within discounting limits.
Efficient Invoicing – With an easy quoting process, that is stored directly into your CRM, you also get full tracking and reporting on your invoicing. Not only does this save you time, but it also leads to improved customer service.
Subscription Management – Subscription-based services require quite a bit of administration, but CPQ can help. The software streamlines many of the processes, such as discounts, refunds, renewal and contracting to make subscriptions easier.
Usage-based billing – Salesforce Billing and CPQ allow your company to handle complex usage and subscription-based monetization needs out of the box.
Better Reporting – An integrated solution, connected to your CRM, provides deeper insights into your business. You can track and report on buying patterns, projected cash flows and more. Create custom dashboards so you can keep an eye on your most important metrics with a quick glance.
Reduced Administration – With streamlined automation for invoices and quotes, CPQ takes a lot of the legwork out of administration. You can reduce administrative overhead, and have them spend more time on other projects.
Salesforce doesn’t do just a basic CPQ, but offers what they refer to as a full “quote-to-cash” platform. Quote-to-cash is the combination of both Salesforce CPQ and Salesforce Billing that brings together the best features of both. You get everything from the chart below:
Not only do you get all of these fantastic features, but you can keep your CPQ on the same platform as your CRM, making for a better and more powerful integration. With Salesforce CPQ, you can access customer credentials, past purchase history and many other great integration features.
Do You Need Salesforce CPQ?
Like most customer configuration and development projects, adding a software like Salesforce CPQ to your org will be based on a number of individual factors. If one or more of the below apply to your company, you may need CPQ:
- You have a large Sales Team. Think 100+ employees.
- If your salespeople spend around 25% of their day creating quotes
- Your products have many different custom configuration options
These are just a few simple guidelines, and by no means are hard and fast rules. If you think Salesforce CPQ is something that would help your company and would like more information, Contact one of our Consulting Specialists.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
Want to discuss adding Salesforce CPQ to your implementation? Need to boost your ROI and maximize your investment?
Whatever your needs, we have you covered. Contact one of our Salesforce experts and we will find you a better business solution.
Automation is one of the best ways to power up your business and improve your team’s everyday routines and tasks. Data can be auto-populated, pages auto-generated or records auto-updated. But what do you do if you have no coding experience and a limited development budget? Salesforce Flows!
A flow is an application that automates a business process by collecting data and doing something in your Salesforce org or an external system. Flows operate in a number of ways. They can require user actions, such as a wizard or guided UI, or they can be set up to run on their own in the background. Either way, using Salesforce Flows is a great way for any admin to create streamlined processes without any coding. Ready to get started? The folks over at Salesforce Ben have put together a great intro article to get you started with creating your own flows.
Read “An Introduction to Salesforce Flows”
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz team
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