I would say that SalesForce has always been good to me. As far as CRM tools I give the programmers their due. Why else would Google decide to create a strategic alliance with them? Anyhow I used to be a “lukewarm” SalesForce user. I knew how to do the typical functions such as import mass leads, breeze through AppExchange programs, and complete other mundane tasks but I was surprised when I was reading through some of the successforce.com tutorials and they said that senior level executives typically run the SalesForce program in its entirety.

The first question I asked myself is why? Why is this an executive level feat? Our VP of Marketing at my last company ran all of the functions of SalesForce to include compiling data, back end programming, and custom Dashboards. I suppose not all companies can afford to hire a SalesForce seasoned kid-whiz to administer this beastly piece of proprietary madness but come on now!

After my 2nd week at my new company I found out that I had the task of heading up the entire SalesForce and SharePoint programs for our office. Ackkk! As I began scrummaging through the disastrous SalesForce console (that the administrators in India wrecked) I realized that I was going to have to become a SalesForce Genie over night. It was almost like the feeling you had when you popped that Game Genie into your NES as you watched Mario fly for the first time and give a Goomba a wet willie simultaneously.

Anyway back to my story…

The administration side of SalesForce is an entirely different beast. Start off by determining where you want to go with the software. How will I get the best bang for my buck? I wrote out all of the metrics that were pertinent to our Marketing and Sales teams and began to build up the Leads, Contacts, Accounts, and Opportunities around this. Note: This is not a trivial task but after playing around with the Page Layout anybody with a 5/10 level of computer wizardry should be able to build up a somewhat decent console. The hardest part is over! After completion you will want to build some reports. Mess around with the reporting functions and if you have any trouble swallow your pride and navigate to the SalesForce Help link… it’s amazing what one paragraph of jibberish can teach you nowadays. After building reports navigate to successforce.com and read up on building your Dashboards from the reports you just created which will include all of your metrics. Wipe off your sweaty forehead, write your SalesForce password on a sticky note (or your trusty Moleskine notebook), and polish off your 3rd double caffeinated Starbucks latte as you make your way to your boss’s desk.

I did it, so can you! Yes you too can become a SalesForce Genie over night. Schmooze your boss. Pretend like you majored in Computer Science, and eat Samoas Girl Scout Cookies to top it all off.

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