Salesforce, SMBs

How to use Salesforce with a small team?

Being the #1 CRM in the market, Salesforce stands out among other similar solutions because of its high level of customizability, scalability, ease of integration, availability of a huge number of apps and most importantly because of its regular innovations. Today, Salesforce is not just an enterprise-level CRM. Organizations of various sizes and traits are using Salesforce and getting the best possible results from its robust features. However, to get the most of your Salesforce implementation, you need strong platform expertise among your internal team.

When a small organization plans for a CRM implementation, they consider certain aspects such as cost-effectiveness, easy and quick set-up, user-friendliness, highest automation, faster process with minimum clicks, seamless accessibility, scalability, and user adaptability. Counting all these factors, Salesforce is probably the best fit CRM solution for small organizations. A small company can grow with Salesforce, as the solution can easily scale itself up when your team grows. The robust Salesforce reporting capabilities can help you get the metrics in order to improve and develop as a company. But how to succeed with Salesforce utilizing a small team. Let’s have a sneak peek.

Create a Salesforce roadmap

Creating a Salesforce roadmap is extremely important for every small organization. A Salesforce roadmap should be the big picture including all the organizational needs and goals, available resources as well as potential challenges. However, with a well-organized list of major initiatives with milestones and deployment dates, a small organization can have a solid foundation to start with. An implementation roadmap can help a small team to assess bandwidth and priorities.

Leverage Salesforce AppExchange

AppExchange could be the best place for a small team using Salesforce. There are a lot of apps available in the AppExchange and most of the apps offer essential utilities which can help a small team achieve more, reduce costs, and optimize business processes. It is very important for a small team to access the apps which can give you optimum effectiveness.

Use Salesforce Knowledge Resources

Salesforce’s Knowledgebase is the best guide when it comes to learning anything related to Salesforce. From detailed information to articles to discussions from other users to guides, you can access everything. Even if you are a beginner or an expert, you can learn from basic to high-level knowledge related to Salesforce. You can even build your own knowledge base.

Click here to know more.

Try Salesforce Optimizer

Salesforce Optimizer is a tool available for Professional and Enterprise licenses with free of cost. Salesforce Optimizer offers optimization tips and ideas through custom reports upon request. Developed and maintained by Salesforce, Salesforce Optimizer will tell you which features you can use to get the best results and how to use your currently used features in a better way.

Click here to learn more.

Give Users a Voice

It is the users who will use the CRM at the end of the day, so they need a seat at the table when it comes to implementation and change management. It is very important to listen to your users, take their inputs and direct your implementation team to consider them.

Understand the CRM

Understanding your CRM is very crucial. If your users know how the system works, how to get the most of it, how to automate most of the processes so that you spend less time doing things manually not only saves time, but also maximize your team productivity. A proper understanding will also help in identifying where you require customizations and integrations. Salesforce can be best used when you customize it to address your specific needs.

Training Training and more Training

User training is a real lifesaver, especially for a small team where a single resource wears multiple hats. So, providing all of your users the best possible training related to Salesforce can later enable them solving issues all by themselves and help them play around the CRM. This will also evacuate the need for a full-time admin as a well trained Salesforce expert can do things efficiently.

Get in touch with an Expert when required

At times, it can help you save more time and cost when you take help of Salesforce certified experts to fix high-level issues or do complex integrations or sensitive data migration.

Want to get started with Salesforce? Get in touch with our team of certified Salesforce consultants.

Salesforce, SMBs

Why “Salesforce Essentials” is the best solution for small businesses

Salesforce Essentials 

Salesforce has offered various products and solutions geared towards SMB set up in the past. All these solutions were typically best-suited for medium-sized and large enterprises. In 2017, Salesforce has introduced Salesforce Essentials. Salesforce Essentials also called as Lightning Essentials is a business solution supports up to 10 users and is best suited for small businesses and start-ups.

Let’s have a look at how Salesforce Essentials plan differs from other Salesforce packages.

Implementation is quicker & easier

As per Salesforce’s 2017 SMB trends report, only 26% of the small businesses have one or more in-house IT support member. One of the prime reason for small businesses avoiding SaaS solutions is lack of implementation support. For a small business owner, it not realistic or feasible to spend weeks on negotiating with service providers, watching demos and going through booklets to set up a CRM system.

Keeping this in mind, Salesforce has simplified the implementation process in Salesforce Essentials by providing user access to Trailhead, a “free gamified online learning platform” which guides users for a quick and smooth set-up process. Since there is less number of features in this streamlined version of Salesforce CRM, there is less effort to put to run it and you can also do it in-house without any IT expert help.

Affordable Pricing

As this solution is for small businesses, Salesforce has priced it quite reasonably in order to entice small business owners. The reason behind this is, small business owners will sign up for Essentials and gradually upgrade to the higher versions of the solution. It is not difficult to upgrade in the later stage as Essentials is just a lower tier option of Salesforce’s Lightning line.

Just for $25 per user/per month, a small business user can get access to Sales Cloud Essentials and Service Cloud Essentials for up to 10 users (even though it says 5 users on the website). The next plan is $75 per user/per month if you are business is growing rapidly and you are expecting more than 10 users in the near future.

Features focused on small businesses 

Salesforce Essentials doesn’t offer all the functionalities of Lightning, but it offers several features as compared to the price. Below are few of the best features Salesforce Essentials offer to small business users.

Sales Cloud Essentials

Targeted for a small sales team, Sales Cloud Essentials offers a lot of useful features at a low price.

  • Account and contact management
  • Opportunity management
  • Customizable sales process
  • Task management, activity feed
  • Einstein activity capture
  • Configurable reports and dashboards
  • Collaboration tools
  • Case management
  • Lightning app builder and Appexchange

There are few obvious limitations, like limited analytics/forecasting, lack of workflows, lack of roles and permissions, and lack of built-in billing and price quoting features.

Service Cloud Essentials

Customer service is perhaps the most critical aspect for a small business. Salesforce’s Service Cloud Essentials is a great asset for basic service management. In order to get rich features like order management, and advanced reporting – you need to upgrade. But the current set of features are impressive.

  • Salesforce mobile app
  • Collaboration tools
  • Case auto-assignment
  • Email optimization (web and email case capture and auto-response)
  • Case escalation rules and queues
  • Lead-contact account management
  • Task management and activity tracking\
  • Lightning app builder
  • Custom profiles and page layouts

Bottom Line

Salesforce has given an opportunity to small businesses to use world’s #1 CRM at an affordable price. If you keep an eye on costs as your business grow, and stay within your data limits, Salesforce Essentials can be a really useful and productive solution for your business.

Dreamforce, SMBs

Increase your Revenue – 5 Points to Discover

The largest tech conference in the world, can also be categorized as a 96-hour marathon of work and entertainment. With almost 170,000-strong melting pot of entrepreneurs, huge sales professionals, engineers, employees, and also some good leaders and technology aficionados, under one single roof there has to be a special agenda.

Among many one of the agenda of this conference is to make the business growth scenario better for Marketers. Let us today discuss about some ideas, which can indeed help marketers to achieve their goal in a less amount of time.

CEPTES also have a must-see list of the top five experiences marketers should have on their radar:

Attend the Marketing Keynote

The aspects of learning all the transformations in data, mobile, and social are indeed impacting the way consumers engage with brands.

Various bigger and renowned companies are responding to all such trends by transforming the biggest consumer engagement across every brand touchpoint. Beginning from marketing to sales, and from commerce to service, every genre will be covered here. It’s time to get inspired, and gain insights to deepen the customer relationships with consumer engagement.

Learn from the latest marketing trends

Whether you are completely focused on the process of customer acquisition, some onboarding campaigns, building complete advocacy with cross-channel engagement at scale, each of them will become an option for you.

You can as well take advantage of the novel innovations that will change the entire way you think about marketing and branding. You can as well keep all those creative juices flowing by simply choosing from an array of style sessions and workshops over the same topic.

The Marketing, Commerce, and Retail Lodge

These brand-new marketing ideas is always said to bring together marketers across various industry — under one single roof. It is also valuable for you to attend hands-on such various workshops to help you get acknowledged with the novel marketing products. In this manner you can mingle with the brightest marketing minds for learning and recharging.

Better Interaction with Product Experts

We think that its high time for you to enjoy the AI platform. If you do not have an idea about how to leverage the power of the same. Whether you are looking for the best practices to play your marketing game with dynamic data driven email marketing, or build up the customer relationship with community marketing, you must put your hands over this platform and begin noticing the change.

activities smbs dreamforce
Dreamforce, SMBs

4 Essential Activities for SMB’s at Dreamforce’17

Dreamforce 2017 is the most inspiring event of year and also the one talked about more these days. Companies of all sizes can actually look forward to a complete fun-filled week of innovation, ideas, some incredible speakers, valuable resources and good opportunity of knowledge to gear up their business for growth.

There will be more than 2,700+ sessions, various activities and events, along with many exciting announcements. However, CEPTES would like to throw light on the major takeaways that SMB’s could have from Dreamforce ’17. We want all the SMBs to get the most out of Dreamforce with this blog.

Let us have a look at the top 4 must-attend experiences.

1. Gearing Up for the growth of SMB’s

This is one of the must attend keynotes for all SMBs. CEPTES would like to share the latest innovations to assist find more potential customers. So, it’s time for you to join Dreamforce ’17 and hear from the top executives about the latest technologies from Salesforce. They will as well showcase the trending aspects of Salesforce, like Lightning and Einstein. Bookmark your presence as your first agenda.

2. Find the base at Dreamforce

Dreamforce is not a may be; it’s a must. Yes, if you fall under the category of SMB, then its high time that you must quickly grab a seat in it. This is the time for you to chart a life-changing course. Salesforce Rangers and Trail maps will guide you perfectly to a variety of learning opportunities, along with a demo jam to business consultation and cultivate passion.

3. Acknowledge the details of the pros at All-Star SMB sessions

Dreamforce 2017 has more than 100 sessions, which are dedicated to most of the small business topics. Whether you are targeting to improve your sales and marketing strategies or just want to hear the inspiring stories from the entrepreneurs and leaders; there is room for everyone.

Some of the topics to be discussed this year are the following:

  • Grow faster with AI
  • Coast to coast tips for success from founders across the US
  • Ways sales leaders can align their sales strategy to grow the business
  • Trends to be embraced
  • The marketing and sales strategies
  • Secrets to building and sustaining an effective startup
  • Customer growth strategies for SMB success

4. Getting the Right partners for expected growth

Salesforce, has always been trying to help all business types with their support for growth. They have partnered with various best-in-breed companies to support every SMB. The Small Business Essentials Station at Dreamforce will help you discover brands and get hands on with different solutions. The Small Business Essentials Station is hence, open to everyone.

salesforce for SMB's
Salesforce, SMBs

Importance of Salesforce in Small and Medium Business

Yes, it is so true that speed is the essence of the business world. The statement is true for nearly every aspect of any business, but it is especially valid for the genre of technology, and the speed with which we adopt any technological innovations is critical to the business success.

Around the world, various small and medium scale business, popularly known as SMBs have become the most important contributors to the GDP of the respective countries. In a developing country like India, the role of all such SMB in the overall growth of the economy is commendable. In India, we have as well witnessed that the SMB sector, is getting a superior growth rate in the last few years. This increase has been on a consistent basis. Such kind of steady growth has therefore led to an increased complexity of business operations for all the SMB players.

NASSCOM has indeed led us to the fact that, cloud services are the key element for SMBs. Year on year CAGR is almost at a rate of 15 percent, the IT spending nearly an amount of $ 18.5 billion by 2018.  The SaaS adoption by Indian SMBs is growing at a high incidence of CAGR of 25% and is as well expected to reach $ 370 million, which is about INR 2,220 crores, by 2018.

It’s incredible news!!

We can, therefore, witness some immense opportunity in the SMB sector, but then what is stopping this industry to adopt technology?
The answer is, the urgent need to accurately and authentically identify the technologies which are not an easy task and highly critical to their success. Once SMB’s have already done the identification of the correct technology, the next and the most crucial step would be to proceed with the implementation of the same.

Let us have a look at some of the many problems faced by the SMB sector:

  • Lack of in-house expertness
  • Lack of knowledge about the process of Cloud computing
  • Do not know the process to implement
  • The present way of working
  • Lack of Knowledge as well as Training

All of the mentioned problems can get eradicated with the help of Salesforce, which is a real-time boon for the SMB sector.

Salesforce indeed has many products such as; Sales Cloud, the Service Cloud, the Marketing Cloud,  the Community Cloud, Wave Analytics, Platform and all the Apps, together which caters to solve the problems of SMB’s.

Salesforce, at their annual Dreamforce Conference, had shown a dedicated keynote for all the SMB’s stating that even they are getting the same technology platform as the Enterprises. Hence, Salesforce with all its advancements allows customers to compete with the enterprises of their industry. Salesforce platform hence enables SMB’s to compete on a higher level, along with the competitive advantage being the combination of  Salesforce platform and how it can be tailored to support their business needs.

For SMB’s, success with Salesforce the best and the finest practices are leveraged, thereby ensuring configured business processes. The SMB sector is rapidly coming out of the stereo mindset when it comes to the usage of technology and IT adoption. The end-to-end implementation of the Salesforce solutions would greatly assist the SMB players to attain the next level of operational success.