How to Be Successful with Salesforce

success has already started on the right track by making Salesforce your choice for CRM.

Once upon a time, basic tool chains, spread sheets, general databases and record keeping tools did this job.  They were decent, but not optimal. In order to be fast, efficient and current, you need CRM software.

CRM software is integral to modern day business procedures because of the sheer amount of data you have to track and analyze, when interacting with customers. There is so much data, in fact, that it has spawned ‘specialized’ software for every individual business need.  This is especially true in the post-SaaS era, which handles all this specialized kind of data.

While it might be a pricier option, you did the right thing by choosing Salesforce. But, simply acquiring this tool doesn’t guarantee success with it, now does it? A tool is only as sharp as the user who uses it; As a result of this, you’re probably in need of some good resources for mastering this software. Extra tools could help you utilize the power, or even master it.

Well, I’ve written a lot of good material that dives into this topic in great detail, but I think it’s time to do a summary (From these points, you can look in our archives, or online, for deeper research into these topics.)

#1 – YouTube

I’m a big fan of video as a learning tool myself; it’s great for everything from lectures and documentaries to tutorials. But it’s not just me, a lot of people love video, and learn well from it.

Tim Murphy’s channel offers a great intro video “Hands on Salesforce Training” that is quite good, “minimizing the technical talk.”( http://www.youtube.com/user/TPMurphy4?feature=c4-feed-u). Salesforce.com themselves, have a fantastic YouTube channel geared towards teaching basic and advanced Salesforce skills.( http://www.youtube.com/user/salesforce/videos)

#2 – Webinars

Webinars are another increasingly popular online learning model. (They have the mobile and SaaS revolution to thank for their increasing popularity). There are some good CRM webinars that deal with Salesforce specifically, while others include Salesforce issues under broader topics. The Sales Coaching Master Class is a good place to start (aired originally on May 15, 2013), as well as Daniel Pink’s “To Move Others and Sell More” (originally aired July 9, 2013). These are now archived and not live of course, but they are free, and accessible from Salesforce’s website.

#3 – Conferences

I won’t spend a lot of time on this one, because the importance of conferences is obvious; they are a live information filled event for the purposes of sharing, learning and discovering the best and the latest in the CRM, and Salesforce, world. I recommend Dreamforce 2013, being held November 18-21 in San Francisco.( http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF13/)

#4 – Blogs

Now we’re getting into the resources you’re already probably accustomed to seeing on a daily basis: Blogs. Blogs are a form of entertainment, communication and journalism that is changing how we spread and obtain information. There are a lot of good SaaS blogs that talk heavily about Salesforce; … give Force Guru (https://www.facebok.com/salesforceblog) a look. It’s one of the better dedicated Salesforce blogs.

But if you want something more dedicated to Salesforce, why not go to the source themselves? (http://blogs.salesforce.com/)Salesforce.com’s blog lists new features, releases and technical updatesso that you can stay on top of the latest news and trends.

#5 – Using Advanced Features

Although you may not be a programmer or designer, one of the most interesting features of Salesforce is the flexible programmability and extendibility it offers. Take the time to learn some Apex and Visualforce programming; if you have a coder in your company, see if you can get some of their time to learn to work with this system.

You can design so many plugins and automate so many features (such as custom mass mail forms and interaction forms) that Salesforce becomes a very efficient and very personalized system for you and your staff to use. Its flexibility makes it easy for skilled developers to program all kinds of tools; the Salesforce app exchange has a slew of these of various applications.

#6 – Extra Tools

There are many tools createdto make Salesforce mor pleasurable to use, but the one I want to recommend is WalkMe.

If you’re not familiar with WalkMe, I’ll briefly explain this unique and life-saving tool. It’s a tutorial system designed to guide new users through software, such as Salesforce, by integrating with it and directly controlling it – alongside the user. WalkMe uses a point and click setup, requiring no programming. It is great for training new staff members, quickly  inducting them into the “Salesforce expert club.” Helping users is much easier than having them figure it out on their own; when a user makes a mistake, Wlakme corrects them and guides them through completion of each task. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Additional CRM information is available on salesforce crm tutorial page.

This is just a summary of how to be successful with Salesforce. Ive listed a few tools and listed some resources Take a look in our archived articles to see some of these topics discussed at length, Good luck!

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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