How to Align Sales Methodologies and Technology in Salesforce

By Natasha Ellis-Knight

Branded content with GetAccept

A solid sales methodology is the backbone of a successful revenue team. But it won’t work effectively in isolation. To truly bring the best results, your methodology needs to be aligned around your processes within your CRM – the place where your reps begin and end their working days. 

In this article, we look at why this is the case, how it helps to bridge the gap between internal (seller) and external (buyer) activities, and how you can get to grips with aligning your methodology and technology in Salesforce.

What Has Your Methodology Got to Do With Salesforce? 

Your sales methodology is the framework and guiding principles that outline how your team approaches and conducts the sales process – it’s the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of what you do. It brings together the strategies and techniques you use to engage buyers, address their needs, and ultimately close deals. Examples of popular sales methodologies include MEDDIC, SPIN selling, N.E.A.T. selling and the Challenger sales methodology.

When we talk about the sales process, we’re referring to the specific, repeatable steps that you take to reach your goals – the ‘what’ part of getting the job done. Think everything from prospecting and qualifying through to objection handling and closing. 

Salesforce, as a powerful CRM platform, has the ability to reflect and embody both your sales methodology and process, ensuring that both are consistently applied for every Opportunity. What’s more, native Salesforce apps make it possible for you to integrate buyer process insights into your CRM, providing you with a 360-degree view of your entire sales journey. 

In a nutshell: aligning your sales methodology within Sales Cloud enhances your sales process by embedding best practices into your daily operations.

How This Alignment Benefits Revenue Teams

Before we get into the ‘how to’ part of this article, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Salesforce and sales methodology alignment.

You Get a Complete 360-View Into Your Sales Journey

Your CRM is the source of all knowledge when it comes to account information, but crucial insights into buyer behavior related to a deal process, such as how they’re engaging with sales content, stakeholder involvement, and potential roadblocks, are often overlooked or not tracked. 

As part of your CRM and methodology alignment project, it’s game-changing to integrate this intel into Salesforce. Once this is done, you’ll have a comprehensive 360-degree view of what’s happening in the sales journey. No longer just a database of basic information about your leads, prospects, and customers, your CRM will capture the buyer experience across all deal touchpoints. It’ll become your sixth sense for optimizing sales and buyer interactions from within the CRM – and ultimately closing deals.

This holistic approach not only enhances customer understanding and satisfaction but also increases accuracy in sales forecasting and decision-making.

It’s a Way to Scale the Best Practises of Your Top Performers

Research shows that 17% of reps currently generate 81% of all revenue in a company. That’s a lot of reliance on very few sellers. Too many eggs in the same basket, if you will. An ideal solution to this is to be able to scale the best practices of your top performers, equipping all your reps with the tools and guidance they need to achieve the same. 

Within Salesforce, you have everything you need to build your sales processes through custom workflows, automations, and templates that mirror your guiding principles. By embedding your sales methodology in this way, you’re ensuring that all team members follow the same steps, leading to more predictable and repeatable outcomes. This means success for the many and not just the few. 

Boost Sales Confidence and Reach Revenue Growth as a Whole

Integrating your sales methodology into your CRM is going to create increased efficiency and consistency across your entire revenue team. If done correctly, you have the potential to enable reps to manage the entire sales process directly within Salesforce. And, they can be confident in the knowledge that it’s all backed by the guiding principles of your methodology. 

When it comes to daily workflows, good alignment is going to mean less time spent on administrative tasks and more time spent on selling. Standardized processes will also mean that errors are reduced, deals can be conducted faster, and the overall quality of interactions with prospects will improve.

And, when you start adding buyer engagement intel into your CRM? You have a powerhouse of insights that allow your team to make decisions with full confidence, thanks to the fact that you can see exactly what’s happening with your deals – from both the buyer and seller perspective.

How to Implement Your Sales Methodology Into Salesforce

Your CRM is the heart of your sales team and the central hub for your teams to act on their methodology. But making sure your sales methodology is aligned and being followed by all reps is easier said than done. So here are five tips to help you ensure a smooth implementation.

Map Your Sales Methodology to the Sales Process Within Your Salesforce

  1. Define your sales methodology: Before you do anything else, you want to make sure that you’re beginning with a clearly defined sales methodology. This includes identifying your sales stages, the activities and tasks to be performed at each stage, your qualification criteria, and your key performance indicators.
  2. Set up Salesforce to reflect the stages of your sales: Once you’ve established a strong foundation, you’re ready to start customizing Salesforce to reflect the stages of your sales. This means modifying or adding Opportunity stages to match your sales process. You can also create custom fields and objects that allow reps to capture all the necessary information required by your chosen methodology.
  3. Use automations and workflows: Automations and workflows will make it a lot easier for reps to consistently follow the methodology by guiding them through each stage of the selling-buying process, and reducing their admin time. Features like Path and validation rules can provide clear instructions and require completion of essential methodology-related tasks before progression. Meanwhile, Salesforce Flow rules and Process Builder can automate task creation and reminders, making sure no step is missed. All in all, automations do the heavy, repetitive lifting that makes it easier for your reps to follow and adopt your methodology.
  4. Enhance your Salesforce data with external buyer insights: To achieve a full 360-degree view of your sales journey, it’s vital to look beyond internal CRM activities and integrate external buyer intel with your internal data. This can include information like how buyers are engaging with your sales documents or how many steps of a mutual action plan they have completed. Essentially, how they’re behaving and interacting in the context of the methodology and processes you’re applying.

    There are plenty of tools on the market that sales teams are using to track buyer engagement and flag deal signals. The good news is that with native, easy-to-implement integrations, it’s possible to create a setup where all data flows smoothly between Salesforce and the platforms you’re using.
  5. Use reports and dashboards to check the effectiveness of your methodology: Implementing and following a sales methodology isn’t a one-and-done job. It should be regularly reviewed and refined to make sure it’s working for your buyers and sellers. With reports and dashboards, you can track KPIs like sales cycle length, quota attainment, and forecast accuracy. 

Tools to Enhance Your CRM and Methodology Alignment

We’ve looked at the things you can do in Salesforce to align your methodology to your CRM. But we also touched upon the fact that you need to look outside of it to get a truly comprehensive view of, and control over, your sales journey. To equip your operational insights with actual deal insights. So, in this section, we’re considering three scalable solutions that will help you effectively bridge the gap between your internal and external processes. 

Digital Sales Rooms

First up, we’ve got Digital Sales Rooms. Online spaces that bring buyer and seller together, DSRs are the integration you need to meet at the intersection between the internal and the external. When integrated into Salesforce, they allow you to:

  • Create, manage, and send sales documents.
  • Prompt reps to share the most effective content at specific sales stages.
  • Track engagement signals like how buyers are interacting with sales documents.
  • Identify hidden stakeholders that aren’t yet recorded in your CRM.
  • Sync and save all buyer communications within Salesforce.
  • Use mutual action plans (MAPs) and track progress towards closed deals.

And this all happens within Salesforce. From the very first sales document that you send through to tracking buyer engagement and collecting e-signatures, reps never have to leave the CRM. That 360-degree view we keep talking about? This is the perfect way to truly ensure your sales process starts and ends within Salesforce.

Mutual Action Plans (MAPs)

MAPs, or close plans, are designed to be a shared space for generating commitment between buyer and seller. They provide all parties involved with a clear overview of what needs to be done by whom and when it should be done by. The result of this is speed, action, and accountability in your sales process. And, when you integrate MAP functionality into your CRM, you have access to a crystal clear image of what’s actually happening with your deals. 

  • They are a reflection of the required steps that come out of your sales methodology.
  • You and your reps get an overview of all active go-live plans, milestones, tasks, deadlines, and owners – all within Salesforce. There’s no need to search through numerous tools to gather this information.
  • MAP activity can be used to trigger automatic updates to deal with processes when certain milestones are completed. This ensures that your CRM remains the ultimate source of truth. 

Stakeholder Mapping and Management

Stakeholder mapping is the process of identifying, understanding, and engaging all individuals who have a stake or interest in the deal. Sometimes this is obvious and you already have the key decision makers logged in Salesforce. But many times, it can be the case that there are hidden stakeholders who you aren’t aware of until the last minute, deal-critical moments, or when it’s already too late. 

By integrating a stakeholder mapping tool – like Digital Sales Room software – into your CRM, it means that reps will be able to involve all of the right people – and sooner. This is possible because DSRs make it easy for buyers to invite their coworkers to view documents, comment if necessary, and communicate directly with the seller. 

For a sales methodology like MEDDPIC, for example, stakeholder mapping is the perfect way to quickly address the ‘E’ – Economic buyer – portion. This allows reps to more confidently move on to identifying the decision criteria and the decision process behind the purchase.

Automated Flows That Tie Everything Together

You already know it’s possible to set up automations and flows in Salesforce that make working within the CRM more efficient. But another useful way to use them is to create flows between Salesforce and your customer engagement tools. This is yet another way of ensuring complete consolidation of your internal operations and external buyer intel with your sales methodology. 

Here are a few examples of the flows you can use to link Salesforce to a Digital Sales Room, for example:

  • Merge tags allow sales documents to be auto-populated with accurate, up-to-date information from your CRM. 
  • When contracts are signed via the Digital Sales Room software, you can create an automatic sync where copies of signed contracts are automatically saved within Salesforce.
  • When new stakeholders are identified via your Digital Sales Rooms, they can automatically be saved as new contacts within the CRM. 

And the Result?

The benefits of this alignment reach far and wide. For leaders, you gain increased insights that allow you to better support your reps, conduct risk mitigation for deals, improve your ROI, and centralize your CRM as a source of truth. 

For reps, the daily work of managing and updating the CRM will become more intuitive and efficient. Time will be saved on admin tasks and there’ll be confidence in knowing that they’re following tried-and-tested steps to success. 

Finally, this is the perfect solution to reduce technology overwhelm and get the best ROI out of your Salesforce investment. By integrating a Digital Sales Room, such as GetAccept, into a well-aligned CRM system, you’re providing your team with everything they need in one place. Schedule a no-strings-attached demo with GetAccept now, and we’ll show you why Salesforce and Digital Sales Room software make the ultimate power pairing.

The Author

Natasha Ellis-Knight

Natasha is the Content Manager at GetAccept.

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