Driving Salesforce Adoption with Custom Objects
Scott Mortimer is a Certified Salesforce Administrator with over 15 years of IT Support and Project Management Experience.
An easy way to drive Salesforce adoption is to create automated processes that allow for easy to use functionality within your Salesforce org and replace out dated paper forms, or even (gasp!) faxing. Your goal should be to save time and effort. The more time your Sales team can save not doing manual paper based tasks, the more time they can spend on the important Sales activities.
I have been doing a lot of working with our Sales teams, trying to find ways to eliminate or reduce the numerous administrative tasks that our sales reps have to perform. An easy win for us was to empower our sales reps to request marketing materials for their clinics or stores right from the Account page in Salesforce. We’ve created a Salesforce custom object specifically for ordering these supplies. Along with a budget object and inventory counts a sales rep can order materials with just a few clicks. As long as budget and inventory allows the request is auto approved and sent for shipment.
The approval process allows us to accommodate outside the box requests as well. In the event that a rep is making a request that is either above their budget allowance for the year or exceeds their allocation of that item, the regional manager has the ability to grant approval in the case of a high profile store or clinic.
There have been some speed bumps along the way. Because we kept adding on to what could be ordered from the same request object, we ran out of triggers, which made automating the process challenging. The checks that take place to verify the sales reps budgets along with the remaining inventory were causing our automation to fail. I have just learned that updating a field on the User Record within Salesforce really won’t work simultaneously with other updates.
A new Salesforce custom object had to be created to manage the sales rep annual spend budget. We had to spend development time cleaning up the mess we created by adding more and more to the form. There is a fine line to be walked between doing too much and creating something that is a value adding process. We had clearly crossed it sometime ago.
Of course hindsight is 20/20 but wherever possible you will want to map out your complete process and custom objects ahead of time so you do not run into an issue of an over developed object that you can no longer process. Plan out what you may want to do with the object or process:
- do you want to report on the object
- do you want to require approvals
- what will the approval thresholds be
- will there be exceptions allowed and in what circumstances.
Answering these questions (and maybe more!) in the beginning will make sure you don’t leave anything out or have to start over partway through your development or testing phases.
Creating Salesforce custom objects may not be especially glamorous work, but doing this has saved the rep the time they would have previously spent filling in and faxing or emailing order forms, calling into the warehouse to check on supplies, and the time needed to verify that the sales rep was still within their spend for the year. But most importantly doing this has allowed our sales team to spend more time doing the sales tasks that push our business forward.
ContactMonkey now supports Salesforce Custom Objects, so you can work with and keep track of your Custom Objects right from Outlook with Salesforce for Outlook or from Gmail with Salesforce Gmail Integration.