Leadership, Sales
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5 Key Takeaways from Our Dreamforce Sales Executive Networking Event

It’s always exciting to meet new people who think and care about the same things that keep me up at night. As someone who is responsible for sales enablement, it’s my job to think about sales rep and sales leader productivity. Is my team learning by example? Am I using the right metrics to get the best out of my team? Are there tools out there to help us be more effective?

During Dreamforce, I had the opportunity to facilitate a table discussion during a networking event for sales executives on the topic of sales team productivity. It was an eclectic group made up of VP’s, SVP’s, COO’s and CEO’s from small to medium-sized Salesforce customers. Our conversation hit on a wide range of subjects – but a few key themes emerged that I think are top of mind for many Salesforce customers. Below are the key takeaways and resources you can send your administrators to help your organization in these areas.

Key Takeaway #1: Lead by Example to Drive Adoption

For a sales team to be productive and adopt the platform, they have to see what great looks like. There is no better example in an organization than leadership. A customer shared that a key reason their adoption is so high is because their executives use Salesforce to manage their business and use Chatter to communicate important information. It’s just not acceptable to receive reports in Excel or send emails that get lost in the abyss. The number one thing I hear from Salesforce customers who use Chatter is that they experience a whole new level of productivity and transparency. It is much easier to maintain alignment when the most important conversations are taking place on the records in the system.

Key Takeaway #2: Inspect and Verify the Quality of Activities

I think everyone at the event nodded in agreement when one of the customers shared their experience of having a rep who looked extremely productive on paper, yet didn’t have a lot of results to show for it. This rep was knocking it out of the park with the number of calls made, yet upon closer inspection, notes in Salesforce were nonexistent. There was nothing to remind the rep of conversations they had or messages they left. It’s essential to take the time to review activities with your reps to ensure they’re following best practices around taking notes so there is context for the next customer touch point. After your coaching conversations, put it in writing what they committed to do. As we say at Salesforce, and there was agreement around the table, “if it’s not in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist.”

Key Takeaway #3: Know Your Metrics Going In

As you inspect the quality of activities – you’ll also want to know if the activities are meeting metric goals. Think about it like “mission control.” Do you have the right information to run your business and guide the ship? Leaders at the table confirmed it’s critical to be crystal clear about exactly what data you need to be effective. Your reps will be most productive if they see clear alignment between the activity data they track and their goals. One executive shared a story about inheriting a less than optimal Salesforce implementation. He had to pause, get clear on new metrics and reboot expectations. It paid off to take that time to ensure the data was quality and everyone was aligned.

Key Takeaway #4: Don’t Mix Forecasting with Team Meetings

Do you ever find that forecasting can consume a call and leave time for little else? Our round table agreed it’s a best practice to hold separate and distinct meetings for both forecasting and team-related topics. The purpose of the forecasting call is to understand each rep’s commit, most likely and best case. That’s it. Team calls should be used for sharing strategies, learning or focusing on the the week ahead.

Key Takeaway #5: Use Tools for Faster Enablement

We ended our time together sharing a common challenge about getting reps productive quickly on new products or solutions. There are tools available in the Salesforce ecosystem that will allow a rep to video themselves white boarding or explaining the product. It’s a great way to “certify” your reps on their understanding. One customer uses a Chatter group for this purpose and the reps upload their short presentation and others can learn from and comment. This allows reps to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, accelerates their time to productivity, and even brings a little fun to enablement. Check out some Salesforce AppExchange Partners that offer enablement solutions.

In Summary: Salesforce Can Help

If these topics sound familiar, our Customer Success Team curated our best resources to help you in these areas. Send this link to our Achieve More Hub to your Salesforce administrator and create a vision and plan to maximize how you use Salesforce. We recommend you meet regularly with your Salesforce administrator to understand new features you can leverage, reinforce your vision and measure progress over time. Creating a regular review cadence bi-weekly or monthly with your administrator or steering committee will help make sure you get the most out of Salesforce and the new features from our 3 releases per year.

Are you interested in networking events like this one? Let your Salesforce rep know and we’ll be sure you get the next invite!

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