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VP of Sales - Meet Your Accidental Salesforce Admin

Updated: Sep 13, 2020

Is Salesforce management barely a priority for your "Salesforce Guy?" If so, you're throwing away opportunity...

Congratulations landing that new VP of Sales role.

It’s Friday, but your first week was rough. Team members are squabbling over leads, the CEO wants a quarterly sales forecast by Monday, and the Salesforce you’ve known looks nothing like the Salesforce you have now.

Still, there’s good news – John (sales support), who is on your team, is also the “Salesforce Guy.” You walk over to his desk and, in talking to him, find that leads aren’t auto-assigned by territory like they were at your last company – it’s an “honor system.”

John also tells you that each sales team member sends him their sales figures in spreadsheets at the end of each month. Following that, John then meets with Accounting to make sure there is a signed contract for each sale listed in the spreadsheet. Clearly, compiling a quarterly forecast in the middle of the second month of the quarter will take time.

John is great – he’ll contact the team and ask them to send current sales figures by Monday. Then, he’ll meet with Accounting to confirm the figures Tuesday morning (his Accounting contact is out Monday for a long weekend).

You know you’ve got to whip Salesforce and your team into shape. Still, you’ve heard “Salesforce sucks” rumblings and have seen sales teams mutiny for lesser mandates than “you must use Salesforce.”

So, you go back to John and ask him if he can auto-assign leads when they come in from marketing. John tells you he’s not sure how to do that, but he’ll look into it.

Then, John asks what should he do first – compile the spreadsheets that will flood his inbox shortly, finish off the three sales presentations due next week, or coordinate with Marketing to understand why lead volume is down?

Does this sound remotely familiar?

I’ve seen two scenarios play out when this happens.

The first, and most common, is avoidance. You’ve got fires to put out, you want to keep the team motivated, and you don’t have time to fully attend to John “the Salesforce Guy” and Salesforce itself.

The second scenario plays out this way.

You stop. You think.

You call your old boss to pick their brain about Salesforce. He laughs and tells you that six years ago, before you had started, they had similar issues. The difference – he talked to a peer who told him about a small Salesforce agency that assessed his situation, envisioned a future he had never contemplated, and executed that vision while training up their own accidental Salesforce guy. The result – they doubled the size of their sales team in two years and drove record quarter over quarter revenue.

At every turn, this team automated – lead assignments, follow-up alerts, buying signal alerts, proposal creation, special approvals execution and tracking, reporting, team leaderboards, and yes – executive reporting.

Sales Managers that take a little time to understand what Salesforce can do for their team, bring on the right talent to realize the value potential, and execute a thoughtful plan for team roll-out and adoption are more likely to hit sales goals, retain sales team members, and stay competitive.

Avoid Salesforce avoidance. Get someone who knows Salesforce well to show you what it can do. Then, apply the insights to your business and hire someone who can execute for you.

Tony Bagdy

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