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How do you know if a CRM system like Salesforce is really a worthwhile investment for your business? There are lots of common sales, marketing and customer service problems which Salesforce can help you quickly put right. Here's how to tell if it's time to invest in Salesforce. 

1. Is your customer info a bit all over the place?

Look around your office, are there sticky notes with customer info written on? Or is this kept in Excel spreadsheets and in your email-marketing system? If you can't fully track your customer's journey from beginning to end and see the complete picture, your business growth is going to be a slow-mover. Salesforce can make sure all your vital data is in one place, so your sales guys and gals can find it really easily. 

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2. Are you losing critical info?

If your customer data is stored in different places or in your sales team's heads, important information can go walkies and collaboration is likely to break down. Even worse, if a sales person leaves your company, so will the data they've kept to themselves. Sales Cloud makes sure this doesn't happen by helping you manage your pipeline all the way from lead to close, tracking every interaction and recording everything that matters.

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3. Do you have a plan for when demand surges?

If not, what happens when demand goes up or your team grows rapidly? You'll need to think about your current sales process and make sure you have systems in place that can scale as fast as your business grows. Salesforce is extendable and customisable, making it able to grow and scale as your business evolves, without sacrificing productivity. It can also sort and prioritise leads for you, so your sales team can respond to them quickly. Plus, resources like the Salesforce AppExchange gives you over 3,000 easy-to-integrate business apps which can make life so much easier for your team.

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4. Is it a nightmare to run reports?

You need to analyse your sales team's monthly progress against its quota and answer questions about how effective your sales process is. This is so tedious to do manually and can take way more time than necessary. Basically, when you start to avoid reporting like it's an ex, it's time for a change. Salesforce allows you to see the health of your business at a glance. You could even leave it to the very last minute to get an accurate analysis of your results, if you wanted to. 

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5. Do you have to sit down at a desk to push a deal forward? 

Mobile is an absolute must-have — not a 'nice-to-have'. If your teams can't work while on the go, you might be stuck in 1999... I hope you're okay! We'll send the DeLorean to pick you up. Salesforce is smartphone-ready, so your team can take advantage of those times between meetings, bus/taxi/train journeys, elevator rides etc. 

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6. Are you stuck with a one-size-fits all system?

Your business has unique needs, so you need a system that you can customise to your processes, your team, and your customers. With Salesforce you can pick and choose what specific features you do need, so you're not wasting time or money having the things you don't need yet. You can also customise your Salesforce org, brand it up to reflect your business, and show different things to different users.

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7. Are your customers constantly ringing your support agents with complaints?

Getting customers is tough enough, the last thing you want is to lose them due to bad service. Salesforce Service Cloud can help you free up support agents to concentrate on bigger worries than answering smaller queries like FAQs. There are tools available that help customers answer their own questions quickly, so they don't have to go through the bother of calling. There are also ways for you to route cases to the best possible support agent, and provide agents with instant access to a unified view of each customer and knowledge articles, so they can really step up their customer service game. 

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