Last Wednesday, Kelly Rainey, one of our Account Managers, had an opportunity to spend a few hours at Salesforce World Tour’s NYC stop at the Javits Center and learn about the latest in the world of sales and marketing technology.
“The landscape is huge,” Kelly commented. “There really is a solution for every business or organization, it’s just a matter of finding the right components and integrating them based on your needs.”
As an agency, Inflexion Interactive is always looking for the best use of technology to share with our clients. We’re a data driven company and recognize the value in leveraging existing information to make better, more informed, decisions, as it relates to sales and marketing.
“By 2017, Chief Marketing Officers will have a larger budget than Chief Information Officers. We’re truly at an inflection point and we’re excited to be at the forefront,” says CEO Scott Delea.
So what are some of Inflexion Interactive’s key takeaways from this event? Read our top 10 list below and feel free to reach out if your team is looking to make some decisions about its marketing technology in the near future!
1. JOIN A CIRCLE OF SUCCESS
You can be a part of the Salesforce community by joining a Circle of Success. They are 90 minute sessions with topics that can help you maximize your experience with Salesforce products.
The best part is that no two sessions are the same! They are led by a facilitator but participants change week to week, and topics rotate but often make a reappearance if they are popular enough.
This is a great opportunity to pose questions, give answers and share success with others using the Salesforce product suite.
Many of your current technologies most likely integrate in amazing ways. Adobe eSign Services (formerly Echosign) allows Salesforce CRM users to create a button to populate a contract from contact fields. SalesLoft allows your sales and marketing teams to manage contact cadences with a built in Salesforce dashboard. Browse the app store for tons of solutions that connect easily with Salesforce.
3. NO NEED TO START FROM SCRATCH
Getting started with CRM reporting can seem overwhelming, and it doesn’t have to be. Many of your reports most likely already exist. Salesforce has done us all a favor and created a free download including some of their most frequently used dashboards.
Before re-inventing the wheel we suggest checking out what is already working for others.
4. MAKE DATA MEASURABLE
This is a continuation of #3 in that it’s important to let the data speak.
Many companies may be tracking data in different systems (or manually) which is great for one or two metrics, but may be difficult to scale or integrate with other channels (think marketing spends, time tracking, pipeline close ratio). If all of your data now lives in one place (your Salesforce CRM) you can use that data to your advantage.
At one of the round table discussions I sat in at, our facilitator spoke strongly about letting actions shape behavior and empowering your team to see that new action take place! Image what this kind of powerful data could do to your team’s commitment to company goals?
5. GET EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE CONVERSATION
I was happily surprised to be early to the first session I wanted to attend, and was able to squeeze in one before that session entitled Women at the Helm: Lessons in Leadership. It featured a discussion led by Kristen Bellstrom of Fortune Magazine’s with Accenture’s Group Chief Executive – North America, Julie Sweet.
An audience member asked Julie the best way to get men involved in conversations about women and including them at top tiers. Her advice was to invite them to join the conversation. I saw parallels between her statement and undertaking any larger project (like a CRM system).
Make sure all the voices needed to effect change are present and heard. Rock on, Julie!
6. PARDOT VS. EXACT TARGET
Working closely with companies on their ongoing marketing plans, I’ve had this question asked to me a number of times.
I sat in on a session entitled Maximize Your Marketing Solutions: When to Use Pardot, ExactTarget, Or Both that spoke specifically to this. The easiest way I can think to share this is to focus on answering these items:
1. Is your audience B2B, B2C or B2B2C?
2. Do you prefer to customize messaging based on data you know about your target?
3. Do you want to prioritize hot, warm and cool leads?
There are always exceptions but this is traditionally the advice I would give clients seeking basic answers to which product most likely works best for my needs.
There was a second session of this that you can watch online here.
7. TELL IT TO ME STRAIGHT
Going into this event, and into past CRM installations, I secretly wished there was a simple, easy to read guide, with the very basics of what you need to know.
I stocked up on some starter kits to share with my team and I’ve found them to be super helpful. Inside they contain cheatsheets with key terms and concepts, as well as flow charts that look like maps detailing the modules you can check out for each stage of the process.
You can visit them here.
8. DON’T LET PERFECT STAND IN THE WAY OF GOOD ENOUGH
When working with data or reporting, many times we feel the need for it to be absolutely perfect before launching or training a team. Don’t wait!
Data (even in its rawest form) is usually better than no data.
So start today. Teach your team. Employ new methods. You can hone them along the way as you become more familiar with the system and you recognize areas you can improve.
9. CALLING ALL INTERNS
I’ve been on both sides of this boat, and I’m going to split #9 into two parts.
A) If you are a company and don’t have a person dedicated to “owning” and “cleaning” your data, may I suggest adding an intern, or two (or three) to your team throughout the year?
What could be more meaningful than giving them a glimpse into the leads, prospects and accounts you interact and engage with daily, while helping them hone organizational skills, business acumen and critical thinking. It’s also a great way to help backlog data (think updating important documents to accounts, filling in missing addresses, clearing out e-mails that bounce back.
B) If you are in college or a recent graduate and you know you are detailed, high performing and looking for a foot in the door, CRM and data management can be your answer. I can’t think of a single company or organization that wouldn’t benefit from better data.
10. PACK LIGHT
Did I mention there is a ton of SWAG at Salesforce World Tour? I have to admit I ate a Salesforce cookie for lunch while waiting on line for my 2nd session, and brought back enough rubber bracelets for my entire team. I love using mine as a way to wrap my batter cords up when traveling!