Get our newsletter
Join 10,000+ marketers getting monthly digital tips and trends.
Sneak peek - Whereoware's Director of Salesforce Engineering Patrick O'Leary shares frequently overlooked Salesforce automation quick wins that make clients' lives easier fast.
We're sharing additional Salesforce challenges and tips to resolve them, below.
Since 2013, Salesforce has been ranked the #1 CRM worldwide.
This customer experience solution has a 23% market share over its competitors. In fact, many companies that use Salesforce often expand revenue by 25%, improve customer satisfaction by 35%, and increase productivity by 44%.
Embraced by over 150,000 businesses worldwide, ranging from small enterprises to major corporations, and even 88% of Fortune 100 companies – Salesforce is the industry leader.
By unifying sales, marketing, and customer service under one platform, Salesforce simplifies tracking the customer journey from prospect to client, while extending multiple benefits to stakeholders in any company or brand.
At the same time, more than 43% of the companies that use Salesforce fail to see the CRM’s true value. This failure stems from difficulties with implementation and companywide buy-in, to the general feeling that Salesforce is difficult to use or integrate.
These hurdles frequently get in the way of organizations achieving ROI worthy of Salesforce's licensing costs and expansive applications.
Here’s a rundown of common issues businesses face using Salesforce and effective strategies to overcome them for better results.
Setback #1 –Salesforce is Siloed
Whether it’s a byproduct of limited licenses or limited imagination, it’s not uncommon to find a company limiting Salesforce to two or three departments.
According to Whereoware Director of Salesforce Engineering Patrick O’Leary, this ‘Salesforce silo’ typically occurs within the department that purchased the software, whether it’s marketing, operations, sales, or the executive team.
“People don’t see it as a way to provide value for other groups,” O’Leary says. “Marketing is a good example, where people will use Salesforce and Salesforce Marketing Cloud to put out tons of emails and produce customer journeys, but the actionable data isn’t getting out to anyone except marketing.”
The end result is taking a tool with the potential to become a central nervous system for an entire organization and reducing it to a mere appendage.
How Can Salesforce Silos Be Resolved?
If Salesforce is siloed within specific departments, the business will never achieve the full value and potential of the collaborative tool.
Salesforce implementation and adoption must be approached with a unified vision of team collaboration, clear objectives, strategic implementation, training, onboarding, and change management.
Once setup, it’s important that team members on all levels have access to the CRM’s reports and actionable data.
If team members don’t have direct Salesforce access, the reports can be shared via email, presented during regularly scheduled meetings, or fed into an analytics or Business Intelligence (BI) tool.
The key is to ensure all teams have a holistic view of the business and customer activity to inform growth and decision-making. Tying the reports to business objectives demonstrates to team members how essential the data is to the broader organization.
“The advanced capabilities are there, but for the people who put data into Salesforce, they need to see that it’s attached to a business process that is of far more importance to the organization,” O’Leary says.
#2 - Pricing and Licensing
Make no bones about it – Salesforce is not cheap and complex licensing structures can limit access across the company.
In fact, cost and licensing are two of the biggest complaints we hear about Salesforce.
“Companies want to know how it can be structured to get more people on Salesforce without breaking the bank,” O’Leary says.
He adds that limitations on Salesforce licensing lead to limits on its use, which almost guarantees a company won’t achieve the full benefits of the powerful CRM tool.
How Can Salesforce Costs Be Resolved?
The good news is that Salesforce pricing is negotiable. Companies can use this wiggle room to push for the best licensing structure that fits their CRM budget.
Here are three steps to consider when negotiating – and renegotiating – Salesforce licensing agreements:
- Analyze Current Licenses and Usage – Salesforce enables companies to monitor the usage of each account within their license agreement – a feature which not only helps to monitor productivity, but also to avoid paying for logins, services, or features that aren’t being used.
- Plan Future Usage – Once companies inventory how they are using Salesforce, their next step is to consider how they’ll use it in the future. For instance, if a company is currently paying for 250 licenses, but discovers 100 of them have not been used within six months, they could close those accounts to save money or ensure they are put to better use in the future.
- Develop a Licensing Strategy – Once a company has compared current Salesforce usage against future CRM plans, they can set licensing goals. This step is vital when considering multi-year bundles which include discounts on a variety of features and additional services.
A Salesforce consultant can help optimize your investment.
Salesforce consultants, like Whereoware, are experienced and knowledgeable about maximizing Salesforce to achieve your goals.
We’ll analyze your team across all departments, mapping out a pricing plan and licensing structure that ensures the greatest impact per dollar spent.
#3 – Insufficient Actionable Salesforce Reporting
Unfortunately, Salesforce reports and dashboards can be worthless if the data fails to present the whole picture or isn’t clean, up-to-date, or trustworthy.
Here are two factors that affect the reliability of Salesforce reporting:
- Limited Adoption or Buy-In Across the Organization – Some team members won't embrace this powerful CRM tool or follow set data management processes. This can result in important data and client notes being siloed to a spreadsheet or document file stored on a local hard drive – where it can do nothing to inform future brand interactions or strategies for success.
- Missing Information or Context – Missing or incomplete data leads to complex problems, impacting reporting reliability, performance visibility, and revenue forecasting. Similarly, data without context (due to a lack of integration or challenges combining data from multiple sources) impacts a team’s ability to understand dependencies and create reliable strategic narratives.
Sales, marketing, and leadership cannot be as proactive and productive without a complete and accurate picture of pipeline health.
How Can You Resolve Salesforce Reporting Challenges?
By integrating Salesforce directly with marketing automation platforms, ESPs like Outlook, online messaging apps like Teams or Slack, and tons of other third-party tools, team members can update their data in real time. Not only does this save time, but it widens and improves the accuracy of customer data.
Aside from integrations, there are BI tools like Domo, Tableau, and Sisense that combine data from multiple sources with Salesforce to create dashboards and visual mapping to inform strategy with easy-to-understand visualizations and predictive models.
#4 – Salesforce Is Too Labor Intensive
Many tasks in Salesforce are tedious (but important) and require labor from end-users.
For example, many businesses struggle to get their sales reps to reliably log sales activity into Salesforce.
In the ‘Always Be Closing’ grind of a salesperson’s daily routine, one of the last things many of them want to do is stop chasing new leads and log data into Salesforce.
Although it’s a simple task, logging activity might take two or three minutes each time and reps have to do it 20-30 times a day – it gets tedious fast.
“A lot of times, it’s seen as a chore and not as a productivity saver,” O’Leary says.
How Can It Be Resolved?
Salesforce can be as versatile as it is powerful - you can customize the user interface to work the way you work – not the other way around.
To make this easier, Salesforce devotes many resources to helping users customize its interface. Another option is to outsource this process to a company that specializes in Salesforce implementation and setup.
Whereoware has extensive past performance optimizing the Salesforce UI to help teams become more efficient and productive, with less manual effort.
For example, we built a new Customer Service platform UI on Salesforce for a global hotel brand, empowering call center agents to work more efficiently and reduce onboarding training by 80%.
#5 - Time-Saving Automation Breaks Down
“Automation can lead to quick wins,” O’Leary says. “There’s things that can get automated quickly – removing the immediate pain points for people.”
Salesforce automation is a boon for users looking to save time on simple, repetitive tasks, like sending emails, adding customer data to client profiles, or generating reports.
However, these automations are prone to breakdown, whether it’s from poor implementation or changes within Salesforce and its related processes and integrations.
“Automations have huge benefits, but they are one of the leading causes of things breaking in Salesforce,” O’Leary says.
Many automation problems are immediately detectable, but if they go unnoticed, could compromise valuable data.
How Can Salesforce Automation Breakdowns Be Resolved?
Salesforce users need to test automations on a routine basis.
Establishing a testing routine detects minor breakdowns, preventing them from becoming critical data errors. Salesforce offers multiple resources to troubleshoot, identify, and remedy these issues.
Given the complexity of some automation breakdowns, it might also help to outsource by consulting with a licensed Salesforce expert to address the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
#6 - Difficulty Integrating Salesforce
From social media management platforms, marketing automation tools, to business tools like Calendly and DocuSign, Salesforce empowers licensed users with an array of powerful and time-saving integrations.
Salesforce integrations save time on important tasks, like data entry, communication tracking, as well as rating and scoring sales leads based on their potential as clients.
While these integrations make data migration and client ID creation easier by connecting Salesforce with tools your team uses on a regular basis, integrations can present a myriad of challenges.
These Salesforce Integration Challenges Can Include:
- Limits on Data Rates – Because Salesforce runs on a data-stack where multiple users can access and modify information at the same time, the CRM’s application programming interface (API) limits the amount of data it can receive in one day.
- Security – Perhaps the most complicated, there are multiple security risks associated with transferring data from the CRM to other software.
- Improper Data Mapping – When fields within Salesforce’s user interface differ from fields in other software or apps, it can result in operational problems, sync breakdowns, duplicate records, and incorrect data. For example, if Salesforce tries to sync to an email marketing tool’s unique identifier (typically email address) – if it cannot match the record, it will create a duplicate record. Duplicate records are the bane of every marketer’s existence, negatively impacting email personalization, delivery, reporting, and sales rep performance.
How Can It Be Resolved?
Many apps have their own Salesforce integrations that are pre-built, time-tested, and ready to use.
When a pre-integrated software alterative is too costly or otherwise impossible, businesses should consider customizing their own integrations, using platforms like lingk, Jitterbit, or MuleSoft.
A certified Salesforce consultant can build custom or third-party integrations, ensure these integrations work on both sides, are secure, and continue to update properly.
This is especially true for companies who do not have a dedicated IT professional or Salesforce admin on-staff.
How Whereoware Helps You Improve Salesforce
With the many solutions to make Salesforce easier to use and more effective, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed.
That’s where we come in.
From empowering an after-school program to track student success and enhance communication with parents, to improving Volvo’s approach to customer service and communication with U.S. dealerships via a Salesforce-based online portal, we’ve helped companies achieve major wins.
With our team of dedicated consultants, designers, and developers, Whereoware optimizes Salesforce experiences to feel intuitive and fit the nuanced ways that an organization already collaborates.
- Audit your existing Salesforce setup.
- Identify opportunities to enhance the UI and automate processes.
- Develop unique interface architecture designed to fit the needs of your company.
- Integrate across your MarTech stack.
- Instruct best practices on a variety of topics, including training, Salesforce Experience Cloud, Salesforce Cloud configuration, and data management.
To get help with your Salesforce setbacks, contact us today.
Let's Talk About How to Elevate Your Salesforce Strategy
Let's Talk About How to Elevate Your Salesforce Strategy
Marketing and Media
The Numbers Are In: A Cyber Monday for the Record Books
Cyber Monday shopping soared sky-high in 2020 despite a global pademic, get the details below!
Website Accessibility 101: Designing Digital Experiences for Everyone
Our Accessibility Guide uncovers: why Website Accessibility is important; legal risks; designing for different users; and how to build a Website Accessibility process.
Marketing and Media
Goodbye Website Window Shoppers: 3 Re-Engagement Campaign Best Practices to Maximize Every Customer
How do you retain customers and keep them moving through your marketing funnel? It's all about retargeting and remarketing, strategically.