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Sales Operations for the Small Business
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Refocus Your Sales Team by Switching to Salesforce Lightning in 2017

February 8, 2017


If your organization has Salesforce, you're likely aware of Salesforce's release and launch of their new interface in the latter part of 2015. Yes, it's 2017 and organizations are still moving over.


With a need to refresh the look, feel, and certain fuctionalities, Salesforce is claiming that it's not just about a new look - Salesforce Lightning it's the new way to sell. I'm not sure I'm onboard with that yet.


With impressive changes and updates, it might be time to switch over to Lightning. Before we get into how...


CRM Struggles

The CRM. The pain in the ass tool that doesn't help anyone make more money. I bitch about it. You bitch about it. Your sales team bitches about. It's not going anywhere though because it a necessary part of the business. And you can't ask sales to use Excel to track their business.


So what do we do?


First, let's acknowledge that software is tough. It's tough to create, manage, and understand. Plus it's hard to configure and train for successful results.


Second, let's talk about it with our sales team. What I mean by talk, is actually collaborating and communicating with them, always. Get them involved in setting up the tool, designing the modules and pages, and the creation of the training sessions.


Collaborating and Communicating are part of the Five C's More HERE on the Five C's of the Sales Org


By acknowledging and remembering these points, you'll be able to drive the success you're looking for from the software.


Use this release by Salesforce as an opportunity to refocus the company's commitment towards the platform and to refocus your sales team to achieve a successful 2017.



To rethink the vision for the desktop application, Salesforce created the mobile app first. If you've yet to see Salesforce1, here's a demo to give you an idea.



As you may have gathered, the sales professional can essentially run their entire business from their phone.


From a sales operations and sales enablement perspective, I'm looking for a mobile app in which it's easy for a the sales person to record an activity, task, take a note, or enter a lead. Salesforce1 does the job. While there is a lot of room to customize, the out of the box version provides a lot of value and definitely drives productivity.


Download Salesforce1 Here


The Switch to Lightning

If you've already made the switch to Salesforce Lightning, the rest of this post is probably optional. If your team hasn't made the switch off of Salesforce Classic, read on.


Before you doing anything, go to the Setup Home Page. From there, go to the Lightning Migration Assistant to begin the process. 



The first thing you'll want to do is have Salesforce run their analysis on whether your organization is ready to switch to Lightning. You'll receive a report confirming your readiness and the risks associated with moving over.



From there you can decide if and when it's smart to switch to Lightning. The good news is that you can roll out the switch at a pace that works for your organization. Out of the gate, you may want to just move over the admins and a few of your more skilled sales pro's. After working through some of the kinks, you can begin to move over the rest of the team.


Or you can pull off the band-aid and just move everyone over at once. Especially, if you're not that dependent on the system....for now anyways.


A Few Reasons for Using Lightning

Salesforce made Lightning about the sales professional and making their day easier. With the focus on mobility and ease of use, below are a few features that will get your team's attention. Whether it's going to help them reach their sales quotas make them more money, well that's mostly on them.


A list to discuss...


  • New Design - The new design and functionality definitely has a modern feel and should be much appreciated by your team. In my time using and configuring Lightning, there seems to be a good flow for the user and it's intuitive. 



  • Assistant on Home Page - In an effort to help sales pros manage their day more efficiently Salesforce added an Assistant feature to the home page. Per their release notes, the Assistant helps with the following (in order throughout a day):

    • Tasks that are overdue

    • Tasks due today

    • Leads assigned to you today

    • Opportunities with overdue tasks

    • Opportunities with no activity in 30 days

    • Opportunities with no open activity

  • Email Templates - If you're familiar with Salesforce Classic in terms of creating email templates, well it's different in Lightning. To create an email template, you have to build it in the specific module. Here's what I mean by that - to use an email template for a lead, go to your leads module then select any lead. From there, click on the email tab which will lead you to the email composer. 


    After you craft your email, find the icons at the bottom of the composer to save your template. Btw, I'll be posting a more detailed video of how to do this in the coming days. 

  • Sales Path - Another feature that will help the sales organization is the Sales Path. If you're looking to guide your team through the sales process more than just a sales stage dropdown field, you should consider building out the Sales Path feature.  Not only will it guide them in terms of the stages of the sales process, it has potential to drive your prospecting cadence, but it depends on how you set it up.



  • Kanban view - Rather than using the list view when reviewing your leads, opportunities, or accounts, Salesforce created the Kanban view. It helps the user manage their sales opportunities from a per stage basis. The stages are set up in columns with each opportunity listed within a card. And what you don't see within this quick video is that you toggle between record types very easily.



  • Lightning Voice - For an extra monthly fee, you can access a feature called Lightning Voice. If you guessed you can make calls with the feature, you guessed right. Without having tried it, I can't tell you if it's more efficient than using the Salesforce1 app to conduct your prospecting.



  • List Views - Yes, we discussed the new Kanban feature, but the list view has it's advantages in terms of managing leads, opportunities, and accounts. To me, if I'm going to set up my team to be efficient when making prospecting calls, I will guide them to use the list views. Each view can be set up with filters by industry, state, etc. It can set up to move through a list quickly.




What's Next?

As you engage with Salesforce to determine if you're ready to switch to Lightning, have your team think about what makes the tool better in an ideal world. Talk to them about some of the above features to get them started. Then hold white boarding session to discuss how to customize the tool to drive success.


The key is that you make the process collabortive. Make sure your sales team owns it too.


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Mike Brown -
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