Sales managers should be doing everything in their power to help account executives (AEs) hit their quotas. Part of that is to craft a winning sales process for successfully handing leads that are qualified by your lead response or sales development reps. This requires great communication among your sales reps. Account executives need to know the minute leads are qualified as opportunities, so that hot opportunities don’t slip through the cracks. AEs also need real-time access to prospect data, so that they can ensure that they have the right conversations with potential customers.
Salesforce is one of the most powerful tools available for ensuring that your sales team can properly communicate with each other. Here are 5 best practices that can help your inside sales team fully leverage Salesforce to maximize ROI.
Convert Leads to Opportunities with Contacts
Unless your SDRs and lead response reps convert their leads into opportunities with contacts in Salesforce, it is impossible for managers to gauge how many opportunities are coming in each month. Without knowing how many opportunities there are for account executives to work, it can be impossible to know how many account executives should be hired.
This is also important because it alerts marketers which campaigns are actually driving opportunities and ROI. Let’s imagine a lead, Jane Smith, becomes sales-ready. Your sales rep will convert Jane to become a contact. Then he’ll create an opportunity. You need to train your sales team to do this from the NEW OPPORTUNITY button on the contact page itself (instead of from the Opportunities tab within Salesforce). Doing it this way, you can be sure that whatever Salesforce Campaign Jane Smith belonged to first will be listed as the “Primary Campaign Source” on the opportunity page. This means that your Salesforce Campaign – which, remember, is a marketing behavior – will automatically be credited not only with the opportunity, but also with the revenue if Jane becomes a customer.
Create a Decision Tree for Opportunity Assignments
Along with logging opportunities, either your SDRs and lead response reps or a manager should be in charge of assigning opportunities to account executives. There should be a clear process for which opportunities are assigned to which account executive. Some companies evenly distribute leads to account executives, while other companies specialize account executives by product, deal-size or any number of other factors.
Take Notes in Chatter Before Hand-Off
When your account executives talk to a new opportunity, it’s important for them to gain a glance of historical data, so they’ll know the exact state of the deal. This often involves updating fields. But there is bound to be some additional important data. Reps should include in Chatter any information they think is relevant to closing a deal that can’t be clearly defined by existing Salesforce fields. This enables AEs to get a more granular view of what transpired during previous conversations with prospects. Without this data in Chatter, your account executives might end up asking prospects some of the same questions that they have already been asked by lead response reps or SDRs. This can not only waste your AEs’ valuable time, but also can be frustrating to prospects.
Record Phone Calls in Salesforce
Saving entire phone recordings in Salesforce lets account executives get even more granular insight into previous conversations with prospects. This can be especially important during big deals, where there is little room for error.
Log Deal Competitors Prior to Hand-Off
No boxer would want to step into a ring without knowing who their competition is in advance. If your going up against specific competitors it is vital to make sure your account executives know who those competitors are. We recommend that your team uses a deal competitor field in Salesforce. Otherwise, be sure that your reps log this information in Chatter before handing a deal off to account executives.
Want to learn more about how to maximize your inside sales team’s win rates? Download our free ebook Closing Power: 10 Key Takeaways for Maximizing Your Sales Win Percentage.