Any company that has been in the market for a couple of years is destined to face account management challenges. Clients, partners, resellers, suppliers, and many other business-dependent contacts grow daily. At some point, an Excel sheet won’t be able to do the trick of effective account management. You will be losing phone numbers, forgetting to write back to key stakeholders, or keeping the partners waiting for more than a week.
And this is exactly the point at which you need to consider Salesforce account management opportunities as a magic wand that solves most, if not all, challenges for a business.
Salesforce is a single data repository that perfectly categorizes accounts, key interactions with and from them, and significantly facilitates overall business processes on a day-to-day basis.
Learn below about the essential account management features of Salesforce and the methods of controlling your big data flows.
Remember that effective customer communication is the fundamental element of successful business development. So get to know effective account administration tactics with Salesforce and be one step ahead of the competition.
Salesforce accounts and their features
A Salesforce account can be a company, a person, a group of people, or any other item of business that you are working with. Depending on the account type, the information stored behind it will be different. For instance, whenever you are working with individual customers, it would make sense to enable person accounts for your business.
In case you are focusing on B2B relationships with your clients, and these are individual businesses whom you communicate with, personal accounts might be too complicated and complex to handle.
Salesforce account elements
The essential feature of account handling is that accounts are customizable in Salesforce. The default characteristics of accounts for businesses would include company name and size (number of employees), contact information (phone number and email), billing and shipping address, operational industry, a website for general reference, and the contact person for this business.
Besides that, each and every account is then enriched with the information available on other tabs (cases, contacts, activities, etc.) Such an extensive system of accounts connection allows glancing through the essential information about a contact as well as digging into the details to identify key problems or interests of the customer.
As a result, the most common challenges that include lost in all accounts information and lack of connectivity among them, become solved in a single system to effectively handle the company’s main assets — customers.
Why consider account types
As mentioned before, account types can be of great help when it comes to different operational fields of business. For instance, a customer support company would definitely need personal accounts to monitor individual CSat’s and general tendencies of a market or region.
An online distributor would be more interested in having resellers, competition distributors, or suppliers in an account database.
Account types allow collecting practical information about every business and individual that a company might cooperate with or compete against. Specific account types have account fields that can be filled to refine the imperative information about an account.
When person accounts come in handy
Personal accounts are practical for businesses oriented towards individual customers; for example, club members, travelers, online shoppers, etc. The person accounts have a unique feature that is absent from business accounts: they can be assigned to a particular business.
Moreover, you can work with personal accounts individually: invite them to meetings, create unique personalized messages, and many other useful perks one can enjoy.
Luckily, the Salesforce team has already outlined the basic and most crucial behavior characteristics for personal accounts so all you need is to read it before deciding upon the account types to use for your business model.
How to add new accounts
There is a great feature in Salesforce account management: automatic addition of new accounts; however, it is available only in particular versions of the platform. It has both pros and cons to it, so carefully evaluate its efficiency before allowing the system to enlarge your database automatically.
On the one hand, your company will not be spending useless time on filling out all fields for an account manually; the system will do it. Whenever the data differs due to a misspelling or a different word order, the system only adds up to the challenges since anyway an employee of yours will need to review those automatically created accounts to delete duplicates or merge repetitive ones.
To avoid such accumulation of useless data and manage your working time efficiently, follow the following of account creation:
- DO CREATE an account whenever you convert a lead and hence create an opportunity. Whenever you see that lead promises some perspective, you need to transfer it into the status of a contact. In this way, you will be able to contact with some follow-up information and set up or strengthen the existing acquaintance and convert it into a fully-functional contact.
- DO CREATE accounts when you are importing an existing list of accounts/contacts from a data provider.
- DO CREATE an account after a sales or external marketing activity. This means that if your company’s representative contacted a customer on the phone, via email, online chat, in-person meeting, or simply on a tradeshow, put this person into your database.
How to apply Salesforce account management efficiently
The parent-child relationship for accounts is a perfect way Salesforce offers for those dealing with big data challenges. Hierarchies allow for effective communication and issues resolution since you know how to contact a manager and discuss your matter on a higher level.
Whenever you set up a parent-child relationship, you can develop an extensive system of dependencies and power among different people in a company or business in your field. In this way, instead of contacting several “child” accounts, you will need to discuss your offer or issue with a single “parent” account to resolve all the problems once and for all. Moreover, the vision of the whole communication space among businesses gives perspective and power to influence and monitor competition and/or find new sales opportunities.
To sum up, Salesforce can help you fulfill several business-critical tasks:
- Completely eliminate any paper-based mediums that get lost and damaged so easily;
- Create new accounts in a couple of clicks;
- Maintain consistency throughout all accounts relevant for your company/team;
- Consolidate all target accounts in one place;
- Maintain relationships among customers and companies to monitor market influence;
- Sort out top accounts to prioritize your marketing and sales activities on them.
Still, however robust the platform is out-of-the-box, it makes sense to turn to software development experts to configure and customize it to ideally fit your needs and processes. With a properly set Salesforce solution, a great daily challenge of account management turns into an effective and transparent process.