Which Salesforce edition should a small or midsized business use? Which one is the best for the users’ needs? These are typical questions everyone asks before investing in a license. In this short article, we’ll describe how to maximize the usage of a Salesforce instance through better understanding of the boundaries of Sales Cloud Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition and how to extend them. These editions are very popular and frequently employed by small and midsized businesses (SMB). Let’s take a closer look at a couple of use cases that show the potential for maximizing the default features available by leveraging customizations that work for the SMB sector.
Create Quotes with Enterprise Edition
Configuring, approving and creating a quote document can be a challenge without having all the functionalities embedded directly in the CRM tool. Using offline catalogs, e-mail approvals and quote templates in Word, PDF, or PowerPoint formats can be time-consuming and carry a real threat of potential mistakes at every step. It’s possible to meet this challenge without the CPQ add-on with the capabilities and components available in the Enterprise Edition. Standard components consist of opportunities, products, price books, approval process automation, quotes, and Visualforce coding. While this is a simplified definition of the flow, it may provide an idea or inspiration for what this could look like.
The first step is to import products and prices into Sales Cloud. This can be done manually, but the most effective method is to mass import through the use of standard tools offered by Salesforce for this purpose. The second step is to develop a “product selector” — a visual-force page where users can configure the offering right within the Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition. After the configuration part is done, the approval process needs to be set. Do this by leveraging the standard approval process automation offered by Enterprise Edition. The last step is to create a quote template. Salesforce offers a standard quote template where customizations are a bit limited but can accomplish some basic graphic changes that will follow company policy related to branding and obligatory components on the quote. Once the quote is configured and approved, it is possible to send a relevant quote document to the customer directly from the CRM. Users no longer need to switch to other tools and create or calculate offers manually. All these steps can happen in one place, avoiding the mistakes that come from the manual process while saving precious time.
Organize Events with Professional Edition
Typical B2B marketing actions that are being used in SMB segments are online (mass emailing of newsletters, whitepapers, etc.) or offline campaigns (organizing events for your existing or potential customers). Take for example, organizing an event that is taking place in a couple of weeks with the Professional Edition. The very first step is to create a campaign and select the right prospects, or campaign members, as we call it in Sales Cloud. Campaign members can be existing clients (Contacts) or potential clients who gave permission to contact them (Leads).
Once the campaign members have been created its time to develop the message and create relevant content for them. It is recommended to switch into the classic version of Salesforce when creating email templates. We also have several options to consider when creating content: plain text, HTML templates, custom and Visualforce templates. It’s usually recommended to use the HTML templates. Although this requires some development skills, the result is worth it. This is not dependent on the Salesforce edition because it is coded outside the Salesforce platform. Developers can create the proper landing page for the campaign that can track the registered leads or contacts in the CRM. Now that the content is ready, we can run the campaign and check the progress of event registration. Once the event is done, it’s important to measure the effectiveness and ROI of the campaign by comparing campaign costs and the number of won opportunities created and closed from the particular event.
Integrate Accounting Systems Without API
When it comes to integrations in SMB, the most common requirement is to integrate the CRM with the accounting system in order to get the financial data into Salesforce, such that the sales rep has all the financial data in one place. Normally, one would reach out for API components and continue with the standard flow of the integration process. But what if the back office system has no API components? In this case, the so-called “semi-automatic import-export process” contains only a few steps a user needs to do manually, and the rest is an automatic flow as a result of custom development in the background.
As an additional step, the system could be creating a custom report of the invoices and placing it into the dashboard for real-time financial insights on any device—meaning no more chasing the accounting team for reports.
Customizing the Salesforce Platform
It is essential to use 100% of a Salesforce Professional or Enterprise Edition. Both editions offer a variety of capabilities and possibilities for customization. There are several components that enable users to build custom processes in the Professional Edition. Focus on the top five processes and leverage those components effectively. If you are using Enterprise Edition, the possibilities of customization, automation, and integration are even more advanced and are only limited by the creativity, skills, and experience of a Salesforce team. Use the Salesforce platform in a smart way, and it will reward you and your users with a unique experience.
To learn more about maximizing your Salesforce usage, click here.