Opportunity Knocks: Making a Difference is Still Possible

Opportunity Knocks: Making a Difference is Still Possible

How to Volunteer, Get Involved, and Support Philanthropic Work During These Uncertain Times

By now, we’ve all set up our virtual offices, stocked our fridge and pantry. We’re all also doing our small part to social distance and limit the spread of the coronavirus. With over a week of isolation in the books for most of us, we’re adjusting to our new normal. And if you’re like us, this has meant a little less 24/7 news watching and a little more searching for the good in the world. That is something that has inspired and reassured us that positivity abounds around us.

So, with nowhere to go and nothing to do, why not be a part of the positivity? Making a difference might not be as easy as it was two or three weeks ago, but it is still possible. Here are three creative ways to get involved and support your community in times of need.

1. Volunteer In Person, at a Distance

Yes, you can still volunteer in person. Healthy, symptom-free volunteers are still needed across the country. Food banks, soup kitchens, and homeless shelters still have needy citizens to feed. And with schools closed and students who relied on free school lunches needing our help, along with a growing number of our most vulnerable members of society now needing assistance, this demand will continue to grow. Many non-profits still need volunteers to sort and distribute donations. With heightened sanitation measures and social distancing in place, you can show up and make sure everyone has food on their plate.

And if your health or living arrangements prevent you from wanting to go into public at all, consider some financial support for these organizations. While delayed, Amazon is still delivering. And if you’re homeschooling right now, what a great lesson to add to the curriculum. Sit down with your kids and fill up your Amazon cart together. Then have it delivered to your local shelter or food bank.

Lastly, if you’re in the Atlanta area, we recommend sending your man and woman power (or financial contributions) to Action Ministries and Hands On Atlanta.

2. Virtual Volunteering

For some industries, work has stopped completely. But much like the food banks and shelters that we discussed above, other nonprofits still have pressing needs. And when we come out of this, they will still be the folks on the front line addressing some of our world’s most pressing needs. And you can help many of them without leaving your shiny, new remote office.

Take a look at fellow B Corp CATCHAFIRE, who offers non-profit organizations the opportunity to list their project needs and then matches them with volunteers that have the skills to tackle those needs. On the first page of opportunities alone, we saw projects that ranged from providing Excel training to helping a non-profit develop their elevator pitch. Find a project that matches your skillset and sign up. You can also check out some creative ideas from Tom Moran, CEO of Teadora, for ways to volunteer from a distance.

3. When the Dust Settles, Support the Companies & Non-Profits that Stepped Up

In addition to the need to step up now to support local businesses by ordering takeout, buying gift cards, or even ordering locally made holiday presents a bit earlier than expected, we should use this crisis to show love and appreciation to the companies and employers that are stepping up for their communities and their team. In the B Corp world, we have a slogan: Vote Every Day. So, when the dust settles, we recommend that you vote for the companies that are making a difference in your community, like some of the examples listed below.

Locally, in the Atlanta, GA, area, we have seen the amazing folks at GoodrCo partner up with State Farm and the Atlanta Hawks. They have each sponsored pop-up grocery stores to ensure everyone has food on their plate. And recently, Atlanta-based Spanx went even further, providing funding for Goodr to be able to offer grocery delivery to families in need.

And throughout the country, companies are stepping up. Baltimore-based Under Armour donated over $1m to Feeding America. In Sioux Falls, SD, local restaurateur Mark Fonder has been using his facilities and supplies to feed hungry school children. Republic Restoratives Distillery and Compass Coffee, both out of Washington, D.C., have begun using their facilities to ramp up production of hand sanitizer. A CEO in Virginia is even foregoing his salary and providing each of his employees an extra $500 per paycheck to support his employees.

In these challenging times, there are always incredible beams of light to guide our path. All of us at Ad Victoriam hope this has given you some inspiration to be your own guiding light. Volunteer in person if you can. Volunteer remotely if you can. Celebrate and support those who are leading your community efforts. And most importantly, spread positivity! If you would like to reach out to us to discuss our B Corporation commitment and initiatives, click here.

Related B Corporation Articles from Ad Victoriam Solutions:

B Corp Reflections Two Years In
We’re a B Corp! Now What?
The Gold Standard of CSR

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Salesforce Reports That Keep Your Remote Sales Team Productive

Salesforce Reports That Keep Your Sales Team Productive

As businesses grow, it is anticipated that the number of remote employees will continue to grow as well. So, whether your sales team has worked remotely before or not, it is still important to ensure they are being productive. Gone are the days of sitting in cubicles and being watched over after making call after call.

Keeping Your Remote Sales Team Productive is as Simple as 1, 2, 3.

1. Communicate Purpose

The most important thing to keep your sales team productive is to communicate the purpose. Ensuring your sales team understands what is important and why will help them prioritize the different tasks that they have to do.

2. Provide Incentives

Now that your team understands the why behind what to do, they need the motivation to be productive. The best way to do this is by incentivizing your sales team. Incentivizing your team pushes them to not only meet expectations but to exceed expectations. Once you have determined the incentive, now it is time to determine how to measure your teams’ productivity.

3. Showcase Performance – Actionable

The third step is the most important one. You must have a way to visualize how your sales team is doing. Creating reports and dashboards is critical to a productive sales team. This allows you to manage more efficiently because you will see a real-time snapshot of how the team, as a whole, is performing and how each individual rep is performing.

It is important that your sales team is able to see how they are tracking with their own performance. This helps them know how close they are to their goal, what accounts they need to reach out to, and how they can improve. Make sure that these reports and dashboards are easily accessible for your team.

Useful Salesforce® CRM Reports and Dashboards

1. Goal Tracking

Some of the most valuable metrics are how reps are tracking to date and what they were at for the prior year. Showing the Year to Date, Quarter to Date, and Month to Date for the current year and the prior year allows the reps to see how they are tracking. This also allows you to understand how the team as a whole is tracking.

Reporting for Goal Tracking
Creating reports for goal tracking is simple. The easiest thing to do is to create a standard Opportunities report. From here, you can use different groupings, filters, and calculations to get the numbers you are looking for. The best practice is to use multiple reports when creating your dashboard as no one single report will give you everything you are looking for. An example is creating a report for YTD, QTD, MTD, this allows you to show your sales team how they are doing on the year, quarter, and month. Showcasing that next to the previous year can help push your team to beat last year’s marks.

Sales Tracking Dashboard

 

2. Activity Tracking

After goal tracking, the next measure to focus on is Activity tracking. Activities are vital to a sales rep’s success. In theory, the more activities logged with a prospective client, the more likely they are to close the deal. It is important to be intentional with activity tracking by bucketing different account types and how many calls or meetings are logged in each type.

Reporting for Activity Tracking
You can utilize multiple standard Activities reports. If you are focusing on Activities for your Accounts, then utilize the Activities with Accounts report. From here, you can customize your report for what meets your business need. The best practice is to ensure you have proper groupings such as the activity owner, the task type, the account type, etc. This will help you keep track of how your sales team is performing when it comes to logging activities and also if they are hitting the industries they need to hit.

Activity Tracking Dashboard

 

3. Pipeline

An understanding of your pipeline and the health of it helps push your sales reps to close deals faster and also helps you manage a forecast of the expected deals to close. This drives insight into understanding how the business as a whole is doing and how the business is expected to do.

Reporting for Pipeline Tracking
Reporting for pipeline tracking is similar to goal tracking reporting. You will still use the Opportunities report type, however, your focus will be on the Opportunity stage instead of YTD, QTD, and MTD. Also, you are able to create a standard funnel to see what stage the bulk of your opportunities are in. And if you like, you also create a bucketed field to analyze what is in the pipe versus what is committed. In addition, you are able to see a trend of what is committed and in the pipe from quarter to quarter. This allows you to push your team to close the deals that are in the final stages as well as understand how much revenue will be generated in the coming quarters.

Pipeline Tracking Dashboard

 

Some Additional Reporting Tricks to Help You Manage

  • Using targets so the gauges change colors depending on how close your rep is to their target.
  • Subscribe to Dashboards and Reports to get consistent updates.
  • Download each component as a PDF to send or present.
  • Utilize “View Dashboard As” to give a specific view based on the dashboard viewer.
  • Generate more powerful analysis and visualizations in Einstein Analytics.
  • Get notified when certain numbers are hit through Einstein Analytics dashboards.

 

Want more ways to inspire your sales team and drive performance? Join our upcoming webinar to learn more. 

Managing a Remote Team with the Right Salesforce Reports Webinar

 

At Ad Victoriam, our Salesforce consultants can help your business achieve its sales goals. Specifically, we’ll guide you through relationship management, sales structure, pipeline management, and predictive sales. We’ll also work with you to construct reports and dashboards that will help your team reach their goals, see what accounts they need to reach out to, and outline all of the where areas they can improve. And the best part? We can start helping you today, so fill out the quick form below, or click here.

 

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Remote Meeting Best Practices

Remote Meeting Best Practices

While some will hunker down and try to ride out the COVID-19 pandemic wave, others will pivot their strategies and keep moving forward. Ad Victoriam has had a remote workforce since inception, so we are a great example of how you can successfully service your customers and grow your business while working remotely.

For many who are not used to remote work, one transition they’ll certainly experience is a reduction of face-to-face meetings, resulting in an increase in virtual meetings.

Tips on Conducting Virtual Meetings with Customers

  • Use Your Camera: When you log-in to your video software, turn your camera on. This will make the meeting more personal and help the prospect feel more comfortable. Eye to eye contact also increases attention and engagement. Make sure you look ready to work, just as you do when you go to the office.
  • Know Who You’re Talking To: Plan your meetings beforehand so it’s an efficient and effective meeting. Do a Google search of your audience to see if they have written any articles, if they are in the news, and look at their LinkedIn profile. Be informed about their experiences and skills so your conversation with them is more targeted.
  • Prepare: Create an agenda and items that you can share on your screen. Before talking business, make sure everyone agrees to the agenda and if there is anything missing from the agenda that needs to be addressed now or during a future call.
  • The Human Touch: Start with a little chat to show your human side and to increase the personal feel of the meeting. Chat a little about your day, acknowledging world events and simply ask how they are today. Give them time to share, if they choose to do so, and gauge the person’s interest in continuing the discussion. If they are distracted, ask if another time is better, and especially now, be sensitive to the person’s needs/situation. Hard-sells are probably not the best, instead, educate and offer short- and long-term solutions. Read for signs that they are not ready or able to commit right now.
  • Engagement: Ask open-ended questions to get and keep your prospect sharing information. Take notes so you can refer to them before your next conversation, which will demonstrate that you care about their needs and their business.
  • Mid-Call Touchpoint: About half-way through, do a quick check-in. Do they have any questions; OK to continue on with the agenda? This will keep you aligned and know that the content of the discussion is meeting their needs.
  • Closing: Do a quick recap of the content including all follow-up items. Once you gain agreement on the follow-up items, discuss timelines for follow up. Then, gain agreement on the next steps, whether that is a meeting or email.
  • Follow-Up: In your CRM software (such as Salesforce Sales Cloud), immediately add your notes to an Activity, and create a Task for each follow-up step. Then, move the prospect to the next step in your sales journey as appropriate based on your internal guidelines. This all will ensure you stay on track with your prospect so you can work them towards closing.

The remote-ready Ad Victoriam consulting team is available to speak with you today if you have questions on how you can integrate tools that can make your remote meetings more beneficial for your team members and customers. Fill out the form below, or click here so we can immediately start working on your solution.

 

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Salesforce Chatter Best Practices for Remote Collaboration

Salesforce Chatter Best Practices for Remote Collaboration

Ad Victoriam Solutions has had a large dedicated remote workforce spread across the U.S. since we began in 2014. We have tons of experience with making remote collaboration work for us and our Salesforce® clients. And as more and more companies enable their employees to work from home, we understand why communication that used to pass over cubicle walls or down the hallway isn’t as easily transferred. “Credit this account,” “add $10,000 to this project budget,” and other one-off changes and edits were how business got done. But the truth is, this isn’t how business should be done. Here’s why and how you should utilize Salesforce’s Chatter feature to communicate important changes.

A Paper Trail of What Happened

Company accountants, internal auditors, and operations managers are just that. They’re accountants, auditors, and managers. They are not detectives whose job it is to figure out when and why data was changed. When important details, throughputs, and measures are changed, books don’t balance, audits fail, and managers operate based upon false pretenses. And when something is important is altered, there is no paper trail of who, what, or why.

Why Chatter?

Putting the why in Chatter provides anyone looking at an account, opportunity, or project with an easy to find timestamp confirming any change and who authorized it. People can reply and comment, and there is now a history of what happened and why. Furthermore, you can tag anyone who needs to know about the change. So you can let your staff accountant know that an invoice has been credited, or a goodwill credit needs to be issued. Your operations manager can be notified that the project budget has changed. The ability to have complete transparency will help your business run more fluidly, avoid back-and-forth communication, and eliminate the need for people to track down the historical “what happened here?” confusion.

Salesforce Chatter Features

Use Automation to Make it Easier

The best part is that a lot of this can be automated. Changing a project budget? Create a rule that requires a reason and hit save. That information can automatically be fed into the Chatter feed, timestamped and posted by the person that made the change. You can even create a rule that automatically @ mentions team members that would need to know.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

For the next month or so, more and more of us will be working from home. Resist the temptation to replace the water cooler with a Slack message. Don’t replace a conversation at an employee’s desk with an e-mail. Use this opportunity to start unleashing the power of Chatter. And automate as much of this as possible. Investing in this best practice will help you get the most out of Salesforce and unlock incredible efficiency gains. And while they might not be immediately visible in the C-suite, your operations and accounting teams will thank you.

Remember, AdVic has had successful remote staffers in place around the U.S. since our inception, so we know how to guide your business with tools such as Salesforce Chatter. So, if your business needs its remote employees to drive more productivity, accelerate more innovation, share more knowledge, and take action anywhere, the Ad Victoriam consulting team is ready to show you how quickly and easily you can do it with Salesforce Chatter. Let talk now!

 

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How to Keep Your Remote Team Engaged and Productive in These Uncertain Times

How to Keep Your Remote Team Engaged and Productive in These Uncertain Times

From sporting events to conferences, the COVID-19 virus has disrupted life as we know it in a way unseen in over a generation. And these disruptions have carried over into business as well. With an overwhelming desire to keep our employees and their families safe, most offices are shuttered and workers across the country are utilizing technology to work from home. If you’re a manager at your company, this is a completely new concept that brings its own unique set of challenges. Here are some tips to effectively manage your remote team through this crisis.

Let Them Know You Are There for Them

These are scary times filled with uncertainty. Talk to each employee as a human being first. Each individual will have their own unique fears and challenges. Let them articulate these to you and let them know you hear them. If their children are out of school, let them know it’s OK to make time (and maybe some extra time) for having breakfast and lunch with their families or to take a walk to get out of the house. If they are scared or frustrated, let them get their feelings out.

Check-In Regularly

Think of all the touchpoints you have with your team during a traditional day in the office. At their desk, in the break room, filling up at the water cooler, a quick conversation in the hallway. Effective managers of remote teams replicate these touchpoints. Utilize GChat, Slack, or text messages to check in throughout the day. For your more extroverted employees, pick up the phone and let them talk.

Business as Kind-of-Usual

These times are unprecedented. But remote work isn’t much different than office work. Make things seem as usual as you can. Go forward with planned training, reviews, one-on-ones, and check-ins. In times of great uncertainty, your employees will be looking to you to provide some sense of normalcy and routine.

When the Smoke Clears …

If your staff didn’t work from home before, they are going to want to work from home at least some of the time after enjoying the benefits of remote work. It offers more flexibility for family time, errands, and working out. And when managed right, you’ll realize (as will your employees) that everything is in place to allow them to spend more time outside of the office. Be ready for this conversation and, if it works for your business, offer a more flexible office/remote work schedule.

 

One of the benefits of today’s technology is that it can help keep your teams connected even when they aren’t in the same physical location. This is especially important when it comes to collaborating and communicating across teams. Tools like the numerous cloud integration solutions Salesforce offers – and Ad Victoriam consultants can help you integrate – don’t replace face-to-face communication but they can develop a structure for staying engaged even as your workforce works remotely from home.

So, during these uncertain times, Ad Victoriam encourages you to not stop moving your business forward, because we aren’t, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

The AdVic team hopes you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.

 

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B Corp Reflections Two Years In

B Corp Reflections Two Years In

The release of Ad Victoriam’s second annual Impact Report highlights our commitments and initiatives as a B Corp for 2019. It also marks the second anniversary of our B Corp certification and the four-year mark since we first started out along this journey. And with that, we’re taking this opportunity to share some of our achievements over the past two years, things that don’t necessarily fit into an annual Impact Report.

As we celebrate B Corp Month during this entire month, we’re compelled to echo their call to action: “Vote Every Day.” The collective action of everyone buying from, working for, and working with B Corps, our votes will be heard. And as a B Corp, we have a moral obligation to be the best company we can be: for our workers, our customers, our communities, the environment, and the movement as a whole. Here are some examples of how Ad Victoriam Voted Every Day:

We Listened to our Employees

Just about every company issues an employee survey nowadays. But how many companies truly act on the feedback they receive? Not only do we embrace a culture of open doors and proactive feedback loops, but we also take our survey very seriously. Every January at AdVic, our Director of Corporate Culture presents survey results to the executive team, with an action plan to tackle recurring concerns. We then share the survey results and strategies with the entire company.

In the 2018 survey, we received similar comments around onboarding, PTO, and communication. So, in 2019, we took action. We formalized our onboarding process and developed a curriculum to help new employees get acclimated. AdVic’s principles also reduced billability targets for new hires, giving them three weeks to get onboarded to the company and the projects they are assigned to. We also launched a new paid-time-off (PTO) policy to allow employees to redeem hours when they went above and beyond the standard 40 hour work week, giving them additional time off. And lastly, we introduced “The Weekly AdVic,” a company-wide video call that shares the previous week’s financial performance, new projects, introduces team members, and shoutouts to those deserving of one. Three simple steps to turn negative feedback into positive action, which will, in turn, further empower our employees to speak up.

“It’s not only the survey every year, but the overall open door policy around feedback that I enjoy. Everyone at AdVic knows we’re young and we’re growing…fast. And our management team listens to everyone. Every year, I see real improvements in the company based on the feedback we give them. If it wasn’t on their radar, it is now. And they take it to heart. That’s, unfortunately, incredibly rare and the main reason I love working here.” – Ricardo Diaz, Team Lead, Community Practice

And we’re still a work in progress. Our 2019 survey highlighted areas for us to focus on here in 2020, many of which are already being acted on. Standardization of processes and remote employee engagement were two common themes we’ll be focused on this year.

We Signed the Pledge

At the 2019 Champions Retreat in Los Angeles, we signed the Pledge to Build the B Economy from Within. The B Corp Pledge focuses on seven key areas we will continue to focus on in 2020:

1. Support the B Corp Community

  • From our original B Corp project with the Full-Time MBA program at the University of Georgia, we’ve continued to stay involved with their student-led B Corp projects. In the past 18 months, we’ve assisted on seven B Corp projects and played an integral role in the launch of the MBA program’s new Social Innovation emphasis, which requires working on a B Corp certification project.
  • As a result of our initial brainstorming session in the summer of 2018, B Local Georgia has grown to host quarterly networking events and provide an ecosystem of support for B Corps throughout Georgia. AdVic has sponsored several events and our own Nathan Stuck serves as Chair of the organization.

2. Speed Up the Building of An Inclusive and Sustainable Economy

  • In addition to our work with UGA and B Local Georgia, AdVic has also hosted a B Corp 101 Webinar and, in 2019, published a three-part webinar series on the why’s and how’s of B Corp certification.

3. Truly Use Business as a Force for Good

  • Each year, our consultants utilize their knowledge and expertise to make an impact on the nonprofit community. They assist deserving organizations with Salesforce implementations and support. In 2019, we put our skills to work with the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens, an organization that helps families facing homelessness, and Camp Dream, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that runs camps for children with disabilities. In total, our in-kind consulting donations totaled $189,760 in 2019, up from $85,290 in 2018. And we’ve already kicked off a project with VMWare to work on Project Hope, which will focus on mentoring and guiding first-generation Hispanic students from middle school all the way through college graduation.
  • Another area of focus in 2020 will be increased employee participation in our Volunteer Time Off program. In 2019, 21 employees took advantage of this benefit, doing everything from road cleanups to field-trip chaperoning. Our goal for 2020 is to have every employee use at least some portion of their VTO.

4. Share Knowledge with Our Fellow B Corps

  • Through our continued involvement with B Local Georgia and B Lab, we’ll continue to assist existing B Corps and anyone else with interest in the B Corp movement.

5. Align Our Purchases with Our Values

  • 2019 also marked the finish of our office remodel. Every dollar we spent was analyzed and on top of installing motion-activated lights, sinks, and paper towel dispensers, everything from the glass whiteboards to the carpets to the soundproofing was some version of renewable, recycled, and certified.

6. Consider B Corps First When Making Decisions

7. Promoting B Corps to Our Employees and Networks

  • Here at AdVic, we think it’s important for us to share our B Corp journey. Our desire to be a little bit better every single day. And we hope it inspires others to take the Business Impact Assessment. But most importantly, we appreciate the sacrifices and effort by our fellow B Corps, and the inspiration they give us to be better corporate citizens. Last year, we published our Sustainable Gift Giving Guide, promoting other B Corp businesses during the holiday season. We also featured several B Corps in our blog, 13 Free Ways to Give Back.

We Are a B Corp

We’re Committed to Being Better

Here are the areas AdVic has concentrated on to meet our goal of being better:

Comparison of Demographics Change Over the Past Two Years

  • AdVic understands that a diverse workforce creates better output and solutions for our clients. So, at the end of 2017, we were taken aback that, on the eve of our B Corp certification, our company was 73.5 percent caucasian males and only 28 percent female. Talk about fitting an IT stereotype, right? So we looked at ourselves in the mirror and put talk into actions. Since this time, we’ve not only changed how we recruit, but we’ve rewritten our job descriptions to encourage more women and underrepresented minorities to apply.
  • And as a result, we’ve completely transformed our company. By the end of 2019, we were 32 percent female and only 48 percent white male. Our employees were also now 27 percent underrepresented minorities, compared with 12.9 percent in 2017.

Re-Wording a Job Description

  • In the fall of 2018, we attended our first career fair at The University of Georgia. In total, we received 55 resumes, eight of them were from women. While our first Elevate class was still very diverse, we are appalled at the lack of female diversity. So, we did what we should have done in the first place: We asked our female employees to read our job description. To say we received a unanimous thumbs down would be an understatement. So, we rewrote it. And by our next class, we had hired our first female member of Elevate. After adding another female in our Winter Class of 2020, we are now preparing for our biggest Elevate class yet, with 10 incoming recruits. Seven of those ten? You guessed it, they’re women.

We Are Baking Into Our DNA

  • Alerted by 2018 survey feedback, there was a glaring lack of awareness and passion around B Corps and our “why.” To raise awareness, we’ve taken several steps (borrowed from other B Corps). For starters, we launched an internal B Corp steering committee in 2018, a diverse group of employees empowered to represent all stakeholders in the decisions we make. We also introduced an onboarding session around our B Corp status. Meant to inform our new hires about our mission, we include it with the overall benefits section to share our “why” with everyone that joins our team.

In 2020, the Ad Victoriam team will continue to build on what is now almost four years of momentum. We’ll spend a good bit of the year working on our recertification, ensuring we remain a part of this amazing community. We’ll also be on campus at UGA, working with student teams helping business owners achieve certification. And we’ll be at B Local events, connecting like-minded business leaders and explaining how impactful it has been. Most importantly, we’ll continue to be out in our community, being the change we want to see in the world. We invite you to follow us on our journey, or better yet, lead the way at your own company and commit to becoming a certified B Corporation in 2020.

 

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How a Salesforce Solution Ups Your Customer Service Game

How a Salesforce Solution Ups Your Customer Service Game

With competition for customers intensifying year-in-and-year-out, along with customer expectations of the companies they deal with, businesses have no choice but to focus on a solution for delivering superior customer service if they want to compete and succeed.

When you prioritize customer service in every interaction you have with a customer, you earn their trust, build lasting relationships, and give your company a competitive advantage that’s second to none. But the question is, what can you do that will help you get – and maintain – that competitive advantage?

Across every channel — whether it’s email, phone, chat, messaging, self-service, IoT or in-person — Salesforce® Service Cloud enables companies to put the customer at the heart of every service moment and deliver personalized customer experiences.

Let’s take a look at a few ways implementing a Service Cloud™ solution can help you to deliver smarter customer service with a 360-degree view of every customer.

Connected Workspace Solution

The path to offering a better customer experience is as simple as a better service agent experience. Start by arming your team with Service Cloud’s omnichannel console (see image below), built-in productivity tools, automation, AI-powered next-step recommendations, and a unified 360-degree view of every case detail and customer interaction. When you do, your team can automate routine tasks and solve cases faster, and tailor support to match each customer.

Service Cloud Connected Workspace

 

Case Management 

When it comes to case management, the goal is to ensure consistent and accurate customer support. You get there by routing the right case to the right customer service agent every time. Agents will also get customer activity updates and alerts when an action is needed, guaranteeing the right level of service. And with that 360-degree view, every customer interaction appears in a chronological timeline. In addition, every voicemail, email update, knowledge article, or any other information about a case appears in the agent’s news feed.

Service Cloud Case Management

 

Knowledge Management Solution

When it comes to knowledge management, a Service Cloud solution empowers your customer service agents to help customers find the answers to their questions across any channel through a centralized knowledge base.

And if it’s a self-service solution you’re interested in, you can embed knowledge articles right into your website or mobile app, plus instantly answer customer questions using artificial intelligence-powered chatbots to recommend articles.

Service Cloud Knowledge Management

 

Service Analytics

As a manager, wouldn’t it be great to know everything that is happening within your customer support operation any time, anywhere, and from any device?

As part of Salesforce Service Cloud, Service Analytics helps your customer service agents make more informed decisions in every customer conversation by giving managers the ability to embed analytics right into the agent workspace. This allows agents to work faster using prebuilt dashboards that automatically populate your CRM data. Managers also gain visibility into the business operations with case volumes, agent and mobile worker activity, chatbot performance, and backlog analysis.

Service Cloud Analytics

 

And we haven’t even scratched the surface of how much more Service Cloud can do to enrich a better manager to service agent to customer experience. It’s a platform that scales with you, and the Ad Victoriam consulting team is anxious to show you more.

Oh, and did you know Field Service Lightning (FSL), which can seamlessly integrate with Service Cloud, helps businesses get more out of their field service operations? FSL creates optimized routes for field techs, helping complete the customer 360-degree view and connects you to your customers.

So, are you ready to up your customer service game? We’re ready to create a strategic plan just for you. Just fill out the form below, or click here.

 

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How to Convince Your Stakeholders It’s Time to Get a CRM

How to Convince Your Stakeholders It's Time to Get a CRM

In 2020, the term “digital transformation” is more than just a buzz phrase. It’s the single biggest reason why business stakeholders need to end their nightmares with their disparate systems and implement a unified Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to even have a chance at meeting their business goals.

From having the ability to unlock and analyze data to delivering better-connected experiences to their employees – who in turn can offer more personalized experiences for their customers – stakeholders who implement a unified CRM are making the decision to end their company’s struggles with data across teams and systems.

But how do you – as a dedicated and concerned employee – get buy-in to implement a CRM from all of your company’s stakeholders? Well, here are some thoughts on that…

Do Your Homework

The end goal is to make “the pitch” to your stakeholders about implementing a CRM a slam dunk. So, first, go about collecting as much evidence to support why this makes sense for your company’s future growth.

Start with your sales team. Ask them: What does your pipeline look like? Do you think you are doing a good job of tracking your current opportunities? Do you feel focused on your daily outreach efforts to close a deal?

Once you have those answers, it’s time to map out the specific features and capabilities you think your CRM should have.

From there, research companies that are already using the CRM you’re most interested in and solicit feedback from them on how that system is working for them. Quiz them on what they like, what they don’t like, and what results they’ve seen from using that system. It won’t be hard to find those companies. Just look at the CRM product company’s website for a “Customer” page and randomly pick a few of their customers and reach out to them.

Free Worksheet Download: Justifying the Need for a Sales-Focused CRM

Cost vs. Benefits

Some might say this is the biggest hurdle you’ll need to get over when presenting your case to stakeholders for a CRM implementation.

First, try to approximate how much your company is losing without using the CRM product you’re interested in. You can do that by going back to the “Do Your Homework” questions you asked the sales staff and do estimates from there. In particular, based on current sales data you’ve assembled, estimate a percentage of how much more a salesperson could close each month by using a CRM, and also estimate how much your company is losing over a month or a quarter by not using the CRM.

What Will Implementation Look Like?

As you begin planning how you envision your new CRM implementation would go – because your stakeholders are going to ask – start by being ready to answer the questions, such as:

  • Does your company have an internal resource who will be your project champion? Will that person have the time and expertise to lead your CRM implementation?
  • Do you have data cleansing or migration needs that your team has the skill set to address?
  • If needed, is your team able to integrate your technologies (ERP or legacy system) with your new CRM platform to create a 360-degree view of your data?
  • Should you consider adding a consulting partner to guide you through implementation? What are the costs involved with that?

D-Day

So, now that you’re armed with a plan of attack, it’s time to gather your stakeholders and make your case. How and when you do that can only be determined by your internal knowledge of the company’s culture, i.e. do you make your presentation in a formal setting or casually over a meal?

Our advice, don’t sweat the how and when. Just be sure you do your homework, weigh the costs vs. benefits, and have a well-thought-out implementation plan. And to help you with your plan, you can download our free “Justifying the Need for a Sales-Focused CRM” worksheet that will show you how to gather all the ammunition you need to convince your stakeholders. And remember: You’ve got this!

Adding a CRM can serve as a key driver of digital transformation for your company, and the Salesforce® consulting team at Ad Victoriam has years of experience implementing and integrating systems with great success. Perhaps we can help you make the case to your stakeholders about the benefits of a CRM? We’re excited to get you there! Let’s talk now!

 

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3 Ways to Unleash the Speed and Efficiency of Your Field Service Operation

3 Ways to Unleash the Speed and Efficiency of Your Field Service Operation

Are you struggling with ways to better connect your field service operation? Searching for a way to enable them to deliver intelligent and productive on-site services with speed and efficiency using just one unified platform?

Here are just three of the reasons why a Salesforce® Field Service Lightning (FSL) solution could be the answer to your struggles.

1. Field Service Route Optimization

With Route Optimization, you can set up work rules that can be defined as a yes or no to prevent a rule violation. Utilizing service objectives allows you to weigh different goals based on the determined importance. Examples would be: Will this make the person work overtime or not? - or - Is this person in the same area or not? - or - Who is the fastest person that can get there? Do you want this job to be done ASAP or can it wait?

By using answers from the questions above, you can define a scheduling policy. This policy is applied to an optimization request. The optimization runs and looks at every possible way to route the different resources and their jobs. That can mean either switching the jobs around for that single field tech, or you can create another scenario for the day and optimize everything that is going on for that particular day.

2. Ease of Work Order Creation

By integrating FSL with Service Cloud, imagine an issue comes in such as a person calling to say, “My water heater is broken, I need help.” That creates a case and logs it. From there, a support agent can - with just one or two clicks - create a work order. From that work order, the dispatcher can see that it’s an emergency issue and assign a field tech quickly and get them en route to the customer. The system makes it easier for the customer to get support, quickly, creating a great customer experience.

Another benefit of work order creation is the ability to look at a customized Gantt chart (pictured, below). With this tool, dispatchers can see what’s been assigned to specific field techs and can look on a map and see where those techs are as well as the jobs they are assigned.

Salesforce Gantt Chart

 

3. Utilizing the Mobile Device

Using a mobile device within Field Service Lightning, your field techs can stay in constant communication with the dispatcher. This allows the dispatcher to push updates or new jobs to the tech. They can also get more information on their jobs, and gather required signatures acknowledging that the work they performed was completed.

In addition, you can customize flows and processes that your field techs can walkthrough. You can also upload images if something needs to be documented.

The best part? Field techs don’t have to worry about connectivity issues when using the mobile device! If they are working in places like a basement, there is an offline mode where they can still enter their information and save it, and then when connectivity returns - either WiFi or data - what they entered will be uploaded to Salesforce automatically.

Watch our "Optimize Your Field Team's Schedule" webinar below!

Bonus Benefits of Using Field Service Lightning

Having done numerous FSL implementations, Ad Victoriam customers - from the manager perspective - tell us that they really like being able to see how their workforce is being utilized. Salesforce can calculate the utilization based on a person. As an example, say one of your field techs is 80 percent utilized this week, so you decide that you need to optimize their route and assign that tech more work so he’s closer to 100 percent utilization.

From a dispatcher perspective, they like being able to color code different jobs and see status update color changes on the Gantt chart and quickly react to any “red flags.” Dispatchers tell AdVic consultants all the time that their ability to see everything in one view is the biggest plus of their using FSL.

Are you looking to take your company’s field service performance to a new level? Talk with one of Ad Victoriam’s certified Salesforce consultants now by filling in the form below or click here.

 

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Watch the AdVic webinar - "Optimize Your Field Team's Schedule" - to learn how to create scheduling policies, work rules, and objectives to drive productivity that will result in minimized travel time, overtime and costs, and much more.

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Salesforce Investment

7 Tips for Making the Most of Your Salesforce Investment

How many times have you bought a product or service – either personally or professionally – and have regretted not taking the time to look under the hood so you could get the most out of your investment? If you’re honest with yourself, probably more times than not.

So, how do you ensure that you are getting the most from your Salesforce® investment? Well, there are numerous recommendations we could give you, but here are seven to start with that you would certainly get from the Ad Victoriam consulting team.

1. Employee Adoption

It’s really quite simple… To maximize your Salesforce investment, get your employees on-board out-of-the-gate. Show them how taking on the serious engagement of their new Salesforce tools are going to help their – and the company’s – bottom lines.

2. New Releases

The Salesforce platform is constantly evolving, with regular releases three times a year (Winter, Spring, Summer) that include many new features. It’s crucial that you and your team pay close attention to each new release to learn and understand the latest and greatest features and functionality added to your Salesforce org, and how those updates will impact and enhance the user experience.

3. Training

In line with being up-to-date with the new releases mentioned above, your users need to be trained and retrained. Schedule regular – mandatory – meetings with your team to make sure everyone is on the same page with the power of your org’s abilities. Your team can also make use of this Salesforce resource.

4. Use Analytics

Learn how to create reports and dashboards that’ll be relevant for your business. Take advantage of creating accurate report filters, and consider the implementation of Salesforce’s Einstein Analytics, as pivotal data insights can be unlocked on any device, anywhere.

5. Download Salesforce Mobile App

Download the iOS or Android Salesforce Mobile app so you can carry all your vital information with you. And here’s another tip: The app got some great updates in with the recent Spring ’20 Release, including admins get access to more customization options. End users get an intuitive UI, faster performance, and familiar Lightning features that make switching between desktop and mobile easier than ever.

6. Download Apps in the App Exchange

While there are instances where you need to custom build functionality, there’s no need to build everything from scratch. Visit Salesforce’s AppExchange, where you’ll find over 5,000 solutions to help extend Salesforce into any department or industry. There are more than 80,000 customer reviews, and with 6.5 million installs already, you’ll be in good company.

7. Collaborate

And last, but not least, c-o-l-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e! In your Salesforce org you’ll find a tool called “Chatter.” Encourage your team to use it for everything from internal communication, or to set up private groups for the project management team.

If you need assistance with implementing and customizing a Salesforce solution – including learning more tips to get the most out of your Salesforce investment, Ad Victoriam’s problem solvers will help your company with any unique challenges you may have. We’re ready to talk today!

Get Your Free “Proven Salesforce Adoption Tips That Impact ROI” Guide

User Adoption Guide

No matter where you are in your Salesforce journey, you can get started on improving adoption now! Get AdVic’s free How-To Guide, which includes a four-step go-live process.

 

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