At some point, most Salesforce Administrators have found themselves struggling with user adoption.  Trying to encourage salespeople to enter Leads, Update Contacts and enter Opportunities in a timely manner, or trying to convince marketing to give up their Excel spreadsheets and begin tracking all of their marketing efforts through Salesforce to provide your Executive team with a global view into the effectiveness of campaigns.  One of the best practices any company can adopt is a suggestion directly from Salesforce themselves, “If it isn’t in Salesforce, it doesn’t exist!”  This is an essential mantra to fully leverage the power of Salesforce and provide a 360-degree view into your organization.

So here are some practical ideas that can support Admins on their quest to move their companies to the ultimate goal of Salesforce as “The One Source of the Truth”.

From a Sales perspective, a Best Practices for any Salesforce Administrator is to spend time working with Sales Teams to define metrics and create Dashboards.   These can both show managers the state of their team and promote competition between Salespeople.  Most successful salespeople are competitive by nature and by making Salesforce a useful place to easily gauge success both personally and as a team, can help increase user adoption of Salesforce as a whole. 
Now instead of being a place that your salespeople are required to track information it becomes a tool they look forward to using.

Once sales teams begin to utilize and become familiar with Salesforce, user adoption becomes much less of a challenge.  An added benefit is once your have crossed this first hurdle, it opens the opportunity to begin training on some of the other great Sales Cloud features in Salesforce such as Social Contacts, the Collaboration Cloud and how Salespeople can close deals faster and more effectively by using Chatter, and how they can customize their Salesforce environment to fit the way they work!

For a Marketing team, one of the key ingredients that I’ve seen contribute to successful marketing efforts, is to look at your Salesforce.com Org holistically.  Salesforce is a powerful tool and offers many great Apps to help make Salesforce the “One Source of the Truth” for all your marketing initiatives.  Marketing has many tools available to them such as Radian6 or Vocus for Social Media Monitoring, Email Marketing tools that integrate with Salesforce such as Genius and Exact Target, and standard Salesforce Campaigns which create a winning combination to track successes from every channel.   By utilizing these tools Marketing teams can create a global view into the strengths and weaknesses of each campaign, how they work together, and quickly make adjustments to maximize ROI.

What makes Salesforce so effective for Total Customer Management is that it removes the “Silo’s” that can muddy the waters of your Sales Pipeline and inhibit company’s efforts to presenting a unified marketing message.  By breaking down these walls, Salesforce Admins can be their company’s champion towards a more unified view of company successes and central source of reliable information.