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Five Ways Using Salesforce® Can Benefit Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs)

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face unique challenges: individual employees may be spread thin and often perform a wide-range of tasks; sales territories may not be clearly defined, and processes and procedures often remain undocumented, ad-hoc and inefficient.

In our work helping SMBs to configure and use Salesforce effectively, we often see recurring issues (regardless of the industry) which we work identify and address.

The benefits to SMBs of using Salesforce will greatly outweigh the cost and often the cost is not nearly as prohibitive as many SMBs expect. Many of the recommendations listed below can be implemented with Professional Edition (PE) of Salesforce which is less expensive than Enterprise (EE) Edition.

Tip #1- Ensure Sales Efforts Target the Most Profitable Customer Segments First!

The Issue:

  • Many salespeople at SMBs lack access to any business intelligence identifying the most profitable customer segments (these companies often do not actually know these segments), and do not have access to internal accounting systems that could potentially provide this information.

How Using Salesforce Can Help:

  • Identifying and creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and indexing records in Salesforce by sales priority such as A,B,C,D, etc. for sales teams to prioritize and focus on, can provide dramatic sales increases and avoid time spent on unprofitable or unworthy prospects or market segments.

Tip #2- Prospecting Lists Should Reflect TODAY... not the Ancient Past!

The Issue:

  • Many SMBs confine their prospecting activities to that they have a current or past relationship with (or these may be the only prospecting records they have access to).

  • These customer lists are often extremely outdated and are often a very poor source of prospects to spend time on.

How Using Salesforce Can Help:

  • Purchasing new lists through reliable data sources and providing appropriately indexed Leads in Salesforce, then allocating them in a balanced way through record ownership to the sales team….. ensures that targeted sales efforts are consistently focused on only the best prospects.

Tip #3- Don’t Burden Salespeople with Support Calls!

The Issue:

  • Frequently, SMBs do not have a defined process for handling customer support and service issues.The result is that sales staff inadvertently take on the support task to keep the customer happy.

How Using Salesforce Can Help:

  • Utilizing Salesforce Service Cloud features that enable true case management and assigning tasks to an appropriate service or support person who may be a better resource to handle the issue, can free up the salesperson from time-consuming service calls that take them away from selling activities.

Tip #4- Automate and Streamline Your Proposal Creation

The Issue:

  • Proposals are created by cutting and pasting documents, and pricing is calculated manually in legacy spreadsheets.

How Using Salesforce Can Help:

  • Utilizing Salesforce features such as Products & Price Book and the standard Quote functionality will result in dramatic time savings creating proposals.In addition, these Salesforce features provide standardization and reduced risk of pricing errors which occur when multiple copies of spreadsheets float around and are not consistently updated.

Tip #5- Ensure the Company Sales Processes are Aligned with Trends Sweeping Your Industry

The Issue:

  • New competitors or product and pricing innovation may be transforming an industry.Many customers today want to conduct business online or via self-service approaches.Forcing a customer to talk to a salesperson, when they don’t want to….or don’t need to, annoys the prospect and creates an expensive and inefficient sales process.

How Using Salesforce Can Help:

  • Salesforce eCommerce and Community Cloud solutions can automate the purchasing experience.In addition, standard Salesforce functionality such as Web-to-Lead forms and the Email-to-Case feature allow for more modern communication methods and better tracking of Leads and Cases.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors. Examples cited in this article are only examples. Salesforce®, is a trademark of, inc.

© 2019 Edgemont CRM, LLC. All Rights Reserved – October 2019

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