Get Familiar with the Salesforce Account Record - dummies

Get Familiar with the Salesforce Account Record

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

Here are some tips for how to use Salesforce to manage your accounts. Who are your customers? What do you know about them? What are their top compelling business problems? If you have trouble answering any of these questions, pay close attention to your Salesforce account records.

In Salesforce, an account is a company that you do business with or have done business with previously. Accounts can include all types of companies — customers, prospects, partners, and even competitors.

Among the top reasons why companies implement any customer relationship management (CRM) tool is that they need a centralized place where they can store account data, to prevent themselves from searching all over the place for critical customer information. With Salesforce, you can keep all your important account information in one place so that you and your team can apply that knowledge to sell more and keep customers happy.

For example, if you work for a pharmaceutical company, you can use the accounts area to manage your territory of hospitals, clinics, and top offices and capture everything from call reports to business plans.

There are many ways you can use accounts to manage and track companies. First, you need to get your important company lists into Salesforce and organize them according to the way that you work. Then, you can find out how to make the best use of the account record to profile your companies.

Finally, you can discover how to capitalize on the account related lists to gain a 360-degree view of your customers and ensure that no one drops any balls.

You use an account record to collect all the critical information about the companies with which you interact. That account record is supported by other records (contacts, opportunities, cases, activities, and so on) that collectively give you a complete view of your customer. From this vantage point, you can quickly take in the view from the top, but you can also easily drill down into the details.

Here’s a short list of valuable things you can do with accounts:

  • Import and consolidate your lists of target accounts in one place.

  • Enter new accounts quickly and maintain naming consistency.

  • Create parent/child relationships that describe how companies’ divisions or subsidiaries relate to each other.

  • Realign sales territories.

  • Segment your markets with ease.

  • Eliminate paper-based business planning.

  • Assign account teams to better serve your customers.

  • Track your top customers and deemphasize nonstrategic ones.

  • Define the movers and shakers within an account.

  • Monitor information from your account’s social network.

  • Manage your channel partners.