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Salesforce Usability (part 1 of 3): Minimizing Data Entry

Posted by Tom Brennan on August 05, 2015
Comments Off on Salesforce Usability (part 1 of 3): Minimizing Data Entry

Organizations buy Salesforce for two basic reasons, to automate processes and to have better information. You may have other reasons, but many business objectives boil down to those two.

Sales reps enter Leads and pipeline reports are automatically generated for their managers. Support reps enter Cases that are automatically escalated based on service level agreements. Automation reduces costs and when done properly it increases revenue and customer satisfaction.

Regarding better information, organizations do not buy Salesforce because they want to put data in, they buy Salesforce because they want to get data out. Marketers identify upsell opportunities based on customer purchase history. Support reps need to know if the customer has called on a similar issue in the past. Sales reps need to see the history of activity for a given Lead to focus their sales pitch. All of these processes rely on data that already exists is the Salesforce database.

Data entry can be an impediment to CRM adoption and manual data entry is less than perfect. Taking action to minimize data entry improves usability and provides a quick ROI. A good way to minimize data entry is by maximizing the use of AutoComplete functionality. AutoComplete is where a user types a couple of characters in a field and a list of possible selections is automatically provided to the user. Selecting a field value from a list is much quicker than typing in a whole word or words and it eliminates typos.

Where and how? Some places that are often overlooked where AutoComplete is very useful include:

• First Name
• Last Name
• Company Name
• Address

Entering customer data is time consuming and it is very important to get this information right. Having a complete list of common first and last names used in the US or the world enables AutoComplete to accurately populate this data with a minimum of data entry. Having an accurate list of all of the addresses in the world enables AutoComplete to reduce this data entry by up to 90% and ensures that addresses are entered accurately.

Having reference data (like names and addresses) for AutoComplete is a big part of the solution. Another part of the solution is generating lookups based on data that has been entered into Salesforce by your users. Each organization’s data is unique so providing a Company Name lookup based on your existing customer records might be the preferred option. This feature can be used with many fields in your Salesforce application.

Users love AutoComplete because it makes their work easier. It saves time which reduces costs and the data entered is more accurate. It’s a win, win, win.

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