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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Small Business Insights from Dreamforce 2015

October 1, 2015
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Zane Benefits at Dreamforce 2015Recently, Zane Benefits attended Dreamforce 2015. Along with more than 150,000 registrants we attended a week of sessions and keynotes, bringing back insightful findings that will raise ROI across the board for our company.

Like many businesses, as Zane Benefits grows we continually re-work our marketing, sales, and support processes. This business practice benefits from a dose of idea-sharing, and there is arguably no better place on earth to access industry leaders and pioneers en masse than at Dreamforce.

This year Zane Benefits sent Marketing and Operations team members to the conference, and we came back with insights from micro pipeline management to macro inter-departmental organization. These takeaways are starting discussions at Zane Benefits and we hope to inspire your teams as well.

Small Business Management Tips from Dreamforce

1. Measure you own company’s activities accurately.

Although conceptually simple, internal record keeping becomes increasingly complex as businesses grow in size. When you start to develop teams of employees to take on projects, it is easy to let deadlines and work output take priority over consistent project labeling. It’s only later when determining your hiring needs or trying to understand the labor costs of your current strategy that accurate measurements of your business activities become critical.

This practice is easier said than done. In addition to making record keeping a required part of project completion, Dreamforce session presenters recommended generating reports that solely check data quality and consistency as one strategy for keeping tabs on data integrity.

2. Let dynamic content guide on-site SEO.

Tech companies are especially prone to focusing resources on SEO in order to nudge the needle on traffic or lead conversion. Dreamforce presenters stressed that letting visitors pick what content best interests them outperforms modulating site flow or the like.

While it’s necessary to operate a website that makes sense and is informative, at the margin, giving website visitors the opportunity to self-select into content boosts on-site conversion, lead identification, and overall user happiness.

3. Be smart and responsive about collecting lead info at events.

If you have ever manned a booth at an industry conference, then you know how important it is to get the contact info from the people you engage with. While more leads may look better at the onset, it won’t make a difference if you can’t follow-up with them promptly or gauge interest level. Especially at the events where you are offering prizes, give leads the opportunity to tell you if they are:

  1. Interested in your product and would like a call from sales
  2. Interested in receiving literature or being added to a mailing list
  3. Only in it for the swag

By putting this question on the lead gen. form, or in a follow-up email, you know which leads to focus on. In that same vein, think through how you would like to engage with and classify leads prior to the event. Giving structure to how you follow-up ensures that you don’t try to sell folks who are only interested in the giveaway, or leave prospects on the table who want to move forward.

For companies using a CRM solution, the initial sorting and follow-up workflows can be entirely automated.

4. Don’t get lost in complex business intelligence.

Analytics need to be understandable at the high school level. It’s another common sense solution that is much easier to preach than practice.

The goal for teams within your organization is output. Business intelligence can improve targeted goals and unveil new priorities, but nobody should be hoping their teams spend more time eyebrows deep in reports instead of talking to prospects/opportunities/customers.

The ability to produce insights that are simple to understand can help drive actionable change while increasing day-to-day productivity.

Conclusion

For SMBs who are navigating the structural and operational development that comes with business growth, idea exchanges like Dreamforce provide the opportunity to rapidly accelerate in efficiency. These takeaways only scratch at the surface of concepts explored during Dreamforce 2015, but we hope they can be of similar interest to you as they are to us.

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What questions do you have about growing your small business or small business management? Join the conversation in the comments below.

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