How to set up Salesforce for your SaaS Business in 15 Minutes

Salesforce – it’s supposed to make it possible to have a single source of truth for your company, but when you buy it, you are confronted with, not a system that fits your business, but a system that works with any company. If your company is a B2B SaaS company, you will face a lot of the same problems with Salesforce as thousands of other companies. Setting up with the same solutions will get you back to concentrating on other things quickly, while saving you hundreds of hours in the future.

I’m going to make some assumptions about how your company works, and why you are investing in Salesforce.

  • Your company sells to other companies, and you want to Salesforce to help coordinate and track how your handle your sales cycle.
  • Many of your deals come from inbound leads.
  • You have something that you’d rather be doing, or need to be doing, other than making a thousand decions about Salesforce.

I also want to qualify this is a bit – there are many right ways to set up Salesforce. This will help you avoid an amazing amount of unknown pain down the road, but so will a lot of other ways. It will also assume that you are going to install Board Metrics, but the steps and goals are universal. This is what I wish I’d had the first time I set up Salesforce.

Your Customer Journey

This is just the objects that you use in Salesforce, and the stages they model for your business. If you keep it in your head, other things will make more sense.

Inbound Leads will be created as Lead objects in Salesforce. This allows you to filter out duplicates and bad data. It’s also a great place to enrich your data. We are going to use the Lead object to qualify an inquiry as valid, or disqualify it as a waste of time.

Whenever you want to try to sell to a person, convert them into an Account, Contact and Opportunity. From here, it will either be won or lost.

Getting Inbound Leads (into Salesforce)

There are a thousand ways to do it, but the easiest is to set up a Web-to-Lead form, and if you have a free trial, have your server send the form for you.

Click on the Gear beside the bell and the strange avatar with dog ears. (I have no idea what that is about either), and click Setup

In the Quick Find box, search for Web-to-Lead and click on it.

Then click create Web-to-Lead form. You probably want to keep it simple, just First and Last Names, Email and Company. If you get a lot of spam, recaptcha might make sense, but you can always add that later.

Copy and paste the HTML on the next page into your site, and you should be good to go. It would also be easy to tie it into your main sign up flow, just a bit out of scope for this.

A Deal with any other data is pain in the future

Board Metrics automatically installs a few fields onto the Opportunity object. If you didn’t install it, add them now. You can add Fields in the Object Manager, Click on it, then click on Opportunity and then ‘Fields & Relationships’ to add new fields.

Service Start Date and Service End Date should be on every Won Opportunity. It’s really easy to enter them now, but if you don’t, someone will have to dig through paper contracts, stripe records and emails to figure it out.

You should think about your deals in terms of Annualized Recurring Revenue. Use the amount fields for the estimated Annualized Recurring Revenue when you are working it, and change it to the Total Contract Value when you move it over to Closed Won. We add an Ending Annualized Recurring Revenue field that implies some more advanced use cases.

If you are going to have to negotiate a renewal, create a renewal Opportunity as soon as you close a deal (This is automatic with Board Metrics) with a close date of a day before your end date.

Keep this stuff straight will save you an incredible amount of time in the future.

Trust Validation more then People

Make sure that you set things up with the default in Board Metrics, or add validation rules to the amount and service date fields so that they must be filled out when an Opportunity is moved to Closed Won.

That’s it

At this point, you are putting in data that you can use later. We have other articles to help with the problems you’ll face later on, but you can read them when you get to those.