Managing Sales with Chatter and Tasks

Managing sales activities using Salesforce.com Tasks and Chatter.
Managing Sales with Chatter and Tasks

Managing Sales with Chatter and Tasks

For any sales organization to be able to efficiently monitor their sales activity it is crucial to have a CRM system in place for their salespeople to log them. The logging of these sales activities will greatly increase an organization’s ability to properly forecast their sales. With Salesforce.com that ability is not only easily available but there are multiple ways to handle the tracking based on the type of activity. There have always been the traditional logging of calls, events, tasks, and emails but with the addition of Chatter it could be difficult for a salesperson to determine where to enter what and when.  Let me start off by saying their is no right or wrong way to handle this situation. You are way ahead of the game if the team is entering their activities in any capacity.  What can minimize confusion however is setting up a standard process.  For those looking for a standard process, here is a little insight into how we do it at Arkus.

Tasks

All activities around a prospect should be logged and associated to the appropriate Lead or Opportunity and Contact.  Since we are a consulting organization and enter a lot of notes during the discovery and scoping phases of the sale, it was best that we went outside Salesforce to allow for better collaboration and a running log of notes. To do this we adopted Google Docs for any of these more in-depth scoping and discovery calls. We use the Google Docs integration with Salesforce to put the Google Doc into the Notes & Attachments section on the Lead or Opportunity records. Anything that was a follow-up or quick chat, we Log as a Call in Salesforce. For any scheduled meetings we use the Salesforce calendar and associate the events to the appropriate Lead or Opportunity and Contact.  When it comes to reminders or follow-ups we log them as tasks and actively manage the upcoming tasks via list views and a standard homepage component. If you didn’t know Salesforce had list views for task management (a bit hidden) you can find them in the Calendar section on your Home Tab underneath the calendar.   Seems pretty straightforward and logical but what about Chatter?

Chatter

With the addition of Chatter to the platform, Salesforce gave us the ability to collaborate on Leads and Opportunities and provide automatic notifications. Since we use Salesforce tasks to log all our activities, we decided the best way to make Chatter a part of our process was to use it to log the current state of any Lead or Opportunity above and beyond the status and stage fields. This was a perfect replacement for the weekly sales meeting. The sales team enters any relevant information on what happened last week, what will happen in the coming weeks. Notification of these updates go right to the feed of the people who need to know like the anticipated project manager or management team. I’m not suggesting there is no need to ever meet with your sales team, I am just pointing out that  you can get to the important conversations faster if everyone is up to date on Chatter. Lastly, since Chatter sits on top of the Opportunity or Lead records, it makes it easy for users to see everything they could ever want to know about a particular prospect all in one screen.

 

So there is a quick review on how we at Arkus manage sales activity in Salesforce. As mentioned, there is no right or wrong way to manage sales activities, but it will help your team a lot if their is a standard process. Standardized processes help minimize confusion within the sales team on what to enter where and when, and will also provide the transparency into the pipeline to better forecast sales.

 

If you would like to discuss further tweet at me at www.twitter.com/Salvatoriello or comment below.


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