My SalesForce Experience

My SalesForce Experience

In my previous post I wrote about the customization efforts of integrating our different marketing and sales tools. In this post I’ll detail some of the customization I’ve implemented in SalesForce.

Sales Dashboard

I don’t like the default opportunity report view of SalesForce. It requires too many clicks to enter into and doesn’t support in place editing.
So, I’ve developed a sales dashboard that makes viewing our most important opportunities a snap – and can be found at the home page of our sales guys. In the process I’ve added about 20 custom fields to each opportunity, trying to cover the following topics:
1.       Dates of all steps in our sales process – like POC date, closing date, production date, etc.
2.       Feature management – which missing features the customer needs (if any). In the future I plan to connect this to our feature management tools.
3.       Fields for all relevant opportunity data (for us – number of databases, type of database, etc)
4.       Pricing. Although SalesForce has a product feature, which allows mapping products from the product map to opportunities, it just requires too many steps to implement. Instead we just made sure the product list associated with the opportunity is empty so the amount field can be updated.
This dashboard is used by our Sales Reps to view their opportunities, and is sorted according to the stage of the opportunity in the process.

Auto Conversion

When visitors register at our site LoopFuse automatically creates a lead in SalesForce. This is not enough in our scenario. Why? Because those who register need to gain access to our support portal, and SalesForce only enables Self Service Support for Contacts, not Leads.
Now, LoopFuse allows for creating Contacts in SalesForce instead of leads, but no opportunity is created.
So we have created a trigger that is activated whenever a lead is created. Not wanting to convert all leads, we use the campaign field to mark which leads come from LoopFuse – and which are generated manually.
We have made some other tweaks to SalesForce, but those were the major ones. I guess we’ll have more soon – I’ll update new developments on this blog.

Marketing Automation

I’ve invested huge amounts of my time in the last few months in automating our sales and marketing processes. Basically, at my startup, we let you download an evaluation version of our product and try it out for 30 days. We use SalesForce for CRM, LoopFuse for marketing automation, Wufoo for our forms, Woopra for online site analytics and Google Analytics for history site analytics (when we launched Google Analytics couldn’t be used to real time analytics. It changed now – but I really like Woopra).

I’ll talk about the processes in future posts, but for now, the most important criteria for us was integration between the product. For example, we love ZenDesk as a support portal, but ended up using SalesForce for support, although it’s a much more limited. ZenDesk SalesForce integration didn’t let us create users when new SalesForce contacts were created – a major limitation in our automated process.

So, the process goes as follows:

Someone visits site and is tracked by LoopFuse, Woopra and Google Analytics. Each is used for a different task.

When the visitor fills out a form, he fills it on our site using a Wufoo integrated form. Integrating Wufoo and WordPress is very easy. Integration with LoopFuse is OK, I encountered a major bug in capturing details from Wufoo to LoopFuse, but that was fixed since.

Since I don’t really trust integration, our entire sales team gets an email from both Wufoo and LoopFuse when a new registration occurs. This way we can make sure that the registration run through the entire process.

Once the form is submitted details are sent to LoopFuse, which automatically sends this data to SalesForce as a lead. I found no problems in this integration.

Custom code in SalesForce converts the lead to an opportunity, and, for quality control, sends an email to the entire sales team, with a special email sent to the sales rep who is responsible for the opportunity.

At this point the user receives a confirmation mail, and an additional email, sent automatically from SalesForce, containing the support portal credentials.

It was an incredibly difficult to implement this integration, and I’ll dive into each tool we use and how we use it in the following posts.

Feel free to ask questions about this topic in the remarks section, or just sent me a LinkedIn invite and I’ll be happy to chat.