Salesforce is supposed to keep everyone on the same page, service your customers with higher quality and win more business. At least that is the dream.
However, the software and success are two different things altogether. At the end of the day, CRM is largely a human system. It helps to coordinate information between people – salespeople, managers and service professionals. But it still needs people to drive the next steps. Each Opportunity, Case or Contact needs a task to get action captured and executed.
Those tasks need to be thought through and then assigned to yourself or others on your team. Ideally, there is a system and flow to the work.
But in the grind of a work day, it can be an overwhelming backlog for many organizations. This is especially for teams that have downsized and are asking remaining team members to take on more of a load. The number of tasks will build up and can become unwieldy.
The ideal situation for your entire team using Salesforce.com is that all tasks are captured and completed every day. There are no overdue tasks and people can methodically move through their daily execution of tasks with logged call and activity information.
If this is not happening, then there needs to be management and process introduced to help align everyone. Go too long and morale and commitment can wane.
If you find that you and your team are not getting daily tasks completed try some of these strategies to improve your processes:
- Have reasonable follow-up tasks. Calling a prospect every day would be ridiculous. Space the follow-up calls or emails at least a week out.
- Define when a deal is dead. Train your team to use a criteria on an Opportunity or Lead Status to be concrete. Perhaps 3 non-responses (or three strikes and you’re out) means the Opportunity is Closed/Lost or the Lead Status is Lost. This prevents the task pipeline from getting clogged.
- Train your team on acceptable hand-offs. When a task is delegated to another Salesforce.com user, ensure there is active imperative language that is clear in the subject of the task. This allows for a smooth handoff and a person doesn’t have to think. Furthermore, train your team to use description information to support the task.
- Move the due dates forward. If there is not a response for a task such as no response from a call, then move the due date forward a few days.
- Make the goal zero tasks by day’s end. Help your team develop the habit of getting to zero tasks each day. This will allow them to define success around execution and help you understand how activities are related to results as a manager.
Success in Salesforce.com comes down to a vigilance on new processes and habits. There’s not a way around it. If you are dealing with people, it is always a management job.
However, Salesforce.com does lend itself to accountability and clean processes if you drive towards action and focus on specific metrics that will matter. Don’t try and tackle every metric at once. One habit at a time can help you develop your culture.
Working with organizations on process in Salesforce over the years reveals this as a common issue, but it can be solved with leadership and best practices.