I did my best to keep my composure and somehow forced the word “sure” out of the microscopic gap between my clenched lips. I showed him the gigantic EDIT button at the top of the lead record and scheduled a two-hour Salesforce training for the next day.
During that training, I went over everything Salesforce-related in excruciating detail. Weeks later, I still found that Activities weren’t being recorded, Statuses weren’t being updated, Opportunity dates weren’t being pushed out. So, I decided to take a different approach to Salesforce training.
Today, while I find that the initial trainings are still essential, there’s a lot of components to our version of Salesforce that could require several hours of training, especially for new users. We’ve had associates start at different levels—some can construct Visualforce pages in their sleep while others think Contacts are something they take out of their eyes before going to sleep. On top of all that, people nowadays have short attention spans, and we all know that a salesperson’s favorite thing to do likely is NOT updating Salesforce.
I have an hour-long meeting when a new employee starts. About two weeks later, I send an online training and ask them to complete it within the week. Here’s a slide of the training:
To increase sales enablement and make training as painless as possible, I now send weekly tips for the team to consume at their own pace. I believe in small, snackable bits of training, so I send weekly reports every Friday with one Salesforce tip that can be consumed in a short amount of time. Not all of the information is absorbed in that initial training since there’s a lot thrown at them. Training in small pieces helps maintain their focus and increase retention—something all sales teams will benefit from, no matter how successful they already are.
Here are four examples of my weekly Salesforce tips:
You can view social information from your Leads and Contacts directly from Salesforce. For example, click the Twitter icon below the lead’s name at the top of a record. After confirming authentication, Salesforce will automatically search for members of the Twitterverse with that same name. Click the profile you’d like to connect or search for the lead using their Twitter handle. Now, you’re able to view the lead’s Tweets directly from Salesforce. You can also do this for companies as well (at the Account level).
To save time, you can mass edit and mass update Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities. This comes in handy when you’re behind updating Lead Statuses or near the end of the quarter when you need to push out open Opportunities. No longer do you have to update Objects one-by-one.
To push out the Close Dates, click the Opportunities tab and select the appropriate view and then click the button Go! From there, check off the Opportunities you want to edit. Press the Mass Update button to change one field on several Opportunities to the same value. Or press the Mass Edit button to edit fields much like in an Excel doc. Edit the fields to whatever you’d like and press Save.
[Note: You’ll need to install an app in the AppExchange or this feature. There are many. If you’re unsure where to start, try this one.]
From any Salesforce report, you don’t have to move one column at a time into or out of a report. Hold down the Command key, select the columns (they’ll be highlighted in light blue if within the report as shown below), and drag them on or off the report.
If you regularly review certain Objects for specific criteria, you can create a View within that Object’s tab. For instance, if you regularly look at Leads that are MQIs assigned to you over a Lead Score of 50, create a View so you can easily see this information.
Go to the Leads tab and click the link Create New View.
From there, the instructions are pretty easy to follow. Give the View a name and select the criteria you want (you can use custom or standard fields here). In most cases, at the end, you will select Visible Only to Me so other users won’t see the View you created.
You can create Views for Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Opportunities, and even Campaigns.
Make a trivia game out of training. Ask the team a question and the first person to respond with the correct answer gets a prize. For instance: How many days are items kept in the Recycle Bin before they are permanently deleted? (Answer: 15 days.) The tips don’t have to be complicated or intense; it could be a simple “did you know?”
For instance: Did you know if you click the X next to an open Task on your Dashboard, it closes the Task? Or: Did you know you can edit the order Objects are displayed within search by pinning the Object in Search view?
Whichever method you choose, these tricks should help bridge the gap between sales and marketing and educate team members in the process. Don’t use Salesforce? The same concepts apply to other CRMs.
After a couple of months, the increase in sales enablement is apparent. I’ve spent less time in the training room, and I haven’t had to update as many Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities on behalf of others. Less “policing” has reduced the amount of pestering I’ve had to do, and there has been a reduction in the number of tough conversations and unnecessary team friction. I’ve been able to focus my attention on other areas such as providing other tools to the team to increase the quality and quantity of their outreach.