Archive for February, 2009

Recruiting Partners Using Salesforce Channel Management (Part 6)

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

The Salesforce Channel Management system gives your company greater access to recruit, manage and control partnerships with individuals and companies. By recruiting other people to work with you and your business, you can increase customer traffic and promote your product to a wider audience. Developing partnerships with related businesses can also help you target motivated markets of individuals who already have interest in your product. Recruiting the right partners is crucial to building strong profitable sales channels and Salesforce helps you automate, motivate, and develop strong marketing partnerships across the internet.

Salesforce provides internet partnership portals that you can customize to look and feel like your company’s website. You can use a single portal or tailor separate online portals to target and attract select groups of potential partners. These portals also allow individuals or companies to automatically register with your system, giving you time and flexibility to approve and build these partnerships at your own pace.

As part of the Salesforce system, the Channel Management options let you route incoming partner applicants to appropriate individuals or teams. Simply set up territories to accept incoming partner applications and assign these territories to designated team members. Once partners have been approved, your associate can provide them with targeted action plans and online marketing tools to help each partner drive more customers to your site. You can also add new programs and upgrade partners based on their performance.

The same Salesforce tools used to manage customers can also be used to manage partners. You can organize partners into territories and send out messages to one, all, or selected groups of individuals based on your marketing needs. Detailed tables, analysis, and data sheets let you evaluate the progress of each relationship and measure the performance of every marketing strategy.

With Salesforce’s network of data you can easily track your partnerships and develop milestones for future partner relations. With targeted tailored marketing relationships you’ll be able to reach a larger motivated audience and maintain happy partner relationships using the Salesforce system.

CRM: The Advantages of CRM for Sales Managers (Part 5)

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs such as Salesforce give your sales team tailored software tools to help them work more efficiently and provide better customer service. They also provide essential programs that enable sales managers to oversee their staff more effectively. Whether you have a large or small business, Salesforce enables your sales managers to accurately manage both their team and the ever-growing database of clients. The Salesforce CRM model helps your managers visualize and analyze both customer and employee data and make proactive decisions in order to promote future growth.

By giving managers the ability to group clients into territories, Salesforce makes it easy to redirect, move, and rearrange your business at any time. Each territory can then be moved as a whole, or your managers can select individual units to move separately outside of the group. By enabling your managerial staff to categorize customer data, you also give them power to assign different security preferences to specific groups of customers. This can help manage individual and team access to specific data and customer accounts.

This same tool makes it easy for managers to analyze customer groups based on demographics, regions, industry, and relationship with your company. By automatically assigning new leads to specific categories, managers can set up a system through Salesforce that directs new sales leads to the appropriate team member. This means that new customers will be automatically connected with a knowledgeable sales associate who can assist with relevant information about how your business can satisfy the customer’s unique needs.

By organizing clients and customer data into territories, Salesforce CRM gives your sales managers the ability to analyze and compare each group as a separate entity. This allows the managers to set unique goals and deadlines for each sales team and territory. The online Salesforce system also gives you access to real-time data so you can immediately analyze growth and redirect resources for the immediate future.

In combination with the territory management model, these forecasting programs let your company forecast and set goals based on region, territory, manager, sales representative, product, and more. You can compare, combine, and contrast all different sets of data in order to get the most accurate assessment of future growth. Salesforce also gives you access to currency conversions and customizable timetables so that you can tailor every sales prediction to your company’s needs. By implementing Salesforce in your business, you create an opportunity for maximum productivity from your sales team and the potential for unlimited growth.

This is the fifth in a series of articles about CRM. Next week: Recruiting Partners Using Salesforce Channel Management.

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CRM: Tools for your Sales Team (Part 4)

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems like Salesforce are designed to streamline and automate data management to enable your company, and ultimately your sales team, to work more productive hours. Although a lot of the software tools in Salesforce can be customized to suit any business, there are some that are very well suited for companies with teams of individuals dedicated to contacting customers and managing accounts. These tools can be broken down into two major functions: Activity Management and Communication Management.

Whether you’re a big company with hundreds of employees or a new business with only a handful of sales associates, the Salesforce Activity Management programs help your team juggle large amounts of data with relative ease. CRM systems like Salesforce give individuals instant access to relevant customer and business data through multiple channels. You can easily set up these systems to work though email and even through mobile devices.

In fact these interconnected email and mobile programs are an essential part of the versatile communication channels available through CRM programs such as Salesforce. Some of these programs allow you to create a library of pre-approved email templates that your sales team can use to effectively communicate with customers. Not only will this give your team more time to spend with each customer, it also gives you more control over the online sales dialog. You can also use some of these same tools to track customer response to email notices and compile data to analyze the effectiveness of these online tools.

The CRM Communication Management tools in Salesforce also allow you to implement your own letterhead into online graphics and emails, giving your clients visual reminders of your business while maintaining consistency in the appearance of your emails. These same email tools give you access to relevant up-to-date customer data you can easily attach to each transaction.

In addition to communication tools that enhance company-customer interactions, Salesforce incorporates similar programs into tools that employees can use to communicate more efficiently with one another. For example, the time management tools in Salesforce integrate data, reminders, and alerts to help keep each member on task and focused on short and long term goals. You can set these Salesforce tools to automatically assign tasks to specific sales associates with activity templates to help the associate track progress. These same tools can be used to help sales members collaborate on projects and schedule necessary meetings at any time.

The Salesforce CRM is also set up to help your company schedule reminders and set appointments. Some of these tools work much like online calendar sharing in which you can post activities and permit selected individuals to view them. Unlike these online calendars, however, the Salesforce calendars are directly connected to the CRM tools and allow you to automate task and project deadlines by linking them through the Salesforce system.

Larger companies can use CRM tools to divide their sales associates into teams and designate tasks and representatives for each team. Each team can have representatives through the system and each member of the team can have separate security settings for specified access to data and information. In addition to security, the team management tools allow managers and executives to easily analyze the overall productivity of each team and detailed activity history, both of which can help in planning for future sales.

CRM programs such as Salesforce are ultimately designed to give you all the tools you need to run your business faster and more efficiently. By giving your sales team tools that promote better communication with the customers and each other, you help build a dependable, consistent system that can grow with your company. The flexibility of CRM programs is beneficial to both you and your employees. Easy tools means that sales associates can be more productive, and improved productivity means a more efficient business.

This is the fourth in a series of articles about CRM. Next week: The Advantages of CRM for Sales Managers.