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Succeeding with Salesforce1

By: Nick Kurbatov, Digital Business Analyst

“Welcome to the digitized world”– that could be Morpheus’ phrase in the movie “The Matrix” if Neo was awoken in 2016. Data storage devices as well as computers and smartphone have advanced significantly over the last 20 years. Moore’s law has already died by now. Every year manufacturers of smartphones create faster, smaller, and more intelligent mobile devices. The same thing happens with software. Nowadays, a lot of people perform most of their daily activities via smartphones or tablets. Could you imagine doing that on your phone 10 years ago?

Here are some figures:

  • Global revenue from smartphone sales in 2015 alone amounted to $399.2 billion dollars.
    From: http://www.statista.com/statistics/237505/global-revenue-from-smartphones-since-2008/
  • Worldwide smartphone market saw a total of 1432.9 million units shipped in 2015, marking the highest year of shipments on record, up 10.1% from the 1301.7 million units shipped in 2014.
  • Overall, the market will continue to grow with 1.9 billion units expected to ship in 2019, an 8.5 percent increase from 2015, IDC said.

That’s the big picture. Let us now go deeper related to the Salesforce sphere. As you know, Salesforce.com is one the leading CRM systems in the market. Salesforce is continuing to develop the mobile version of Salesforce, named Saleforce1.

Here’s some general information about Salesforce1 from the official Salesforce website:

  • All vital information (Opportunities, Contacts, Accounts, etc) right at your fingertips;
  • Take action in the Salesforce1 anywhere (assuming that there’s an internet connection of course);
  • Salesforce1 is customizable (branding, build custom actions, etc);

Salesforce is well known for its understanding of customers’ needs and great user experience. Based on my experience, I believe that Salesforce.com’s user interfaces are done really well.

I would like to share with you my own experience as a Salesforce Administrator in a large international company. While working there I successfully launched a “Get Mobilized” project dedicated to usage of Salesforce via mobile devices.

Previously, I was a salesperson, so I realized all of the pain-points connected with putting information in Salesforce.com. After I got a position of Salesforce Admin I started thinking: “How could I ease the life of a salesperson using Salesforce?” While Salesforce.com is a pretty easy and user-friendly system, salespeople always complain.

The main pain-point salespeople have is the lack of time. There’s not enough time to put notes in the system after meeting with customer, to create an opportunity right after customer has called you, to create an account while you’re having lunch… This list could go on and on. Here’s a solution.

What if I told you that you could create a sales activity (e.g. major notes of the meeting with client) while you’re stuck in a traffic jam or while you’re having lunch? All of those activities and much more could be done without a laptop with the help of your smartphone.

That idea was self-selling, I just needed to show how salespeople could use it. That’s all. You don’t need to install special encryption software and a lot of additional corporate software. All you need is to:

  1. Download the Salesforce1 App
  2. Enter your domain and credentials
  3. Enroll your device (According to company policy (in some companies this step is skipped
  4. Use

After you have hosted all the trainings and prepared guidance materials for the end users, you require to track users activity via reports or dashboards in Salesforce. Based on my experience, I can proudly tell you that this project has been a successful one.

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I assume that the big part of success of this story are the face-to-face trainings with salespeople that included practical examples of how this application is working on their devices and showing them how to engage with their daily sales activities via mobile device instead of using their laptops.

I ran a short survey regarding time spent weekly for entering sales activities into Salesforce.com.

The results were the following: salespeople spent approximately 4-5(!) hours every Friday to put all the sales activity information in the system for the past 2 weeks. Imagine what will you think about productivity of your sales team (if you are a sales manager) if they log in to the system only once every 2 weeks and enter the historic data – not the current one.

All reports, dashboards and forecasts, based on current information that you would like to build is already obsolete by the time you run it. Shortly: that was a problem. Big problem.

How to fix it? Easily – you need to put the data in at least 2-3 times per week. That could be achieved using Salesforce1. You can put in the data no matter where you are.

That’s what salespeople would like to hear: they don’t want to be bounded by corporate and technology restrictions of putting the data into the system. They require an easy and smart solution for it, and Salesforce1 provides it.

Most of the salespeople love the ability to enter meeting/call notes (e.g a sales visit information or sales call details) the most of all of the Salesforce1 functionalities. The second favorite functionality is an account page, because you can instantly call an account (if there’s a phone number entered there before of course), see the route, update existing information about account, etc. The last one was the opportunity page as you can update information regarding your sales stages.

I tracked the end user activity in Salesforce via mobile devices using login history type reports for a year after the project was launched. The amount of logins via mobile devices to Salesforce has increased by 70% compared to the previous year. The only one thing that disappointed me that I couldn’t specify from which type of device users logged in: smartphone or tablet.

Truth be told, I couldn’t believe these figures when I saw them for the first time. I was very surprised because through all my training sessions salespeople were excited by an idea of Salesforce in their own or corporate mobile devices, but when the time came to install the app and enter something not every one of them had enough time to finish these simple tasks. Anyway the figures spoke for themselves. The idea is alive and demanded by the end users.

Finally, I would like to say that we will do every piece of our work using various mobile devices.

The corporate standards of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) are very flexible and will become even more flexible with time, but you should never forget about security measures applied for your personal or corporate devices because it’s simple: who rules data – rules everything.