What do I mean by this? What is this language of the new user? Well, what do leads, accounts and/or opportunities all have in common? Fundamentally they are all lists. Lists are something any user, new or experienced, can relate to. We make lists everyday whether it be in our personal lives to remember to buy milk or in our professional lives to plan a meeting or prioritize a set of tasks.
We make lists to remember because in our personal lives, forgetting has a down side such as no milk for breakfast. Lists keep us organized and the more organized we are, the more effective we tend to be. So ultimately if we approach leads, accounts and/or opportunities as lists and present them to producers as such then it can be shown that most producers, especially those new to Salesforce.com, will get it. They will better understand because what many producers seek is better organization. They want to be more efficient and get more done in the hours they have available. This is a great start to showing them how Salesforce.com can transform leads, accounts and opportunities into lists, which they can use to manage their day to day professional lives.
So, how can we present leads, accounts and opportunities as lists? SalesForce.com has a great and I feel under utilized feature, named 'views'. 'Views' are by all intents and purposes lists with all sorts of great features that you might find in a tool like MS Excel. For example, you can sort columns in ascending or descending order. Users have the ability to create their own custom views containing only the columns they deem important and to add simple or complex filters to focus on just the records the user deems important. Additionally using the inline editing feature you can edit list information without ever leaving the page much as you would do in MS Excel.
Ultimately, lists are about organization. Organization is about structure. Structure comes from systems. Successful sales persons are by definition not lucky rather they are disciplined and organized. Explore the methods of every successful sales person or producer and you will find a system. Whether it be an intricate system of paper files or a mastery of ACT, Goldmine or Excel. The stories of producers, who into their 70's still bring in a million dollars of new revenue, religiously have their assistant bring them their 'prospecting' files on a Tuesday morning abound in different forms through out the annals of successful brokerages. Ultimately these individuals are disciplined and organized.
What differentiates lists in Salesforce.com from lists created in other forms are the tools and functionality that Salesforce.com wraps around lists. Not only are your lists instantly searchable but a list created in Salesforce.com has depth. Information entered as lists in Salesforce is instantly reportable and dashboard-able. So instead of being visible only to the creator, lists created in Salesforce can be shared or made visible to team members. As we all know that the fundamentals of building a 'book of business' are prospecting, up-selling and cross selling. In most cases collaboration and visibility is required to achieve success in these endeavors. Developing lists is the first step in putting in place the foundations of a successful prospecting, up- sell/cross sell strategy.
So when one analyzes the objectives of both sales leadership and producers, you will quickly see from the above, that lists are a way to begin to achieve both sets of objectives. Producers for the most part want to sell more and increasing organization and structure are the beginnings of meeting that goal. Leadership wants visibility so that they can ensure that producers are focused on the agreed goals and objectives, while enabling them to coach and facilitate when needed. All in all when you connect Salesforce.com with the concept of lists you provide a win win environment that is easy to understand and get started with while allowing scalability and flexibility in the future.
So when introducing Salesforce.com to producers make sure you use the language of the new user.
Andrew Bartels has been recognized by Salesforce.com as one of the leading innovators with regard to implementing Salesforce.com in the insurance vertical. As a CTO for a Top 100 Independent Insurance Agency, he oversaw the deployment of a Salesforce.com system in 2010. Over the next three years, he focused on customizing the system and implementing best practices for the insurance industry, ultimately generating a significant ROI for the firm. Andrew brings years of hard fought experience to our clients so that they can accelerate their ROI in implementing Salesforce.com.