Checklists are Your Friend

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I recently watched Apollo-13 with my wife and made an observation.  Everything that was being done was being dictated by a checklist. Thinking back to some other documentaries I’ve seen, complex operations were always accompanied by an equally robust checklist.  In my personal dealings, I use checklists too.  Sometimes, that checklist is my “Inbox”.  Sometimes, that checklist is my shopping list, and sometimes I use a fancy app on my iPhone to keep track of things.

Why not with Salesforce?  Why not have a few checklists to make sure that all job functions are being accounted for and completed correctly?  Creating some checklists that dictate Salesforce use might just make the application that much easier to use, and help focus on the 5 things that actually need to be done in the application.  I’ll feed this argument with an observation –

We’re not good at remembering stuff.

Corrolary:  We’re not as good as we think we are at remembering stuff.

You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this.  Well, I think all of us in our professional lives can probably make due with a few checklists.  We’re given incredible power with our business tools and truly have the “world at our fingertips” with the internet.  Working in Sales and Marketing, we can always do a little bit better.  Perhaps a simple checklist can help us do that.

Checklist Challenge – The Daily/Weekly/Monthly

What should you be doing every day?  What if you articulate your major job functions into a simple checklist that only takes a few minutes to review.  Review it at the beginning of every day and start attacking it.  Review it at the end of the day and see how you did.  Here’s a few ideas to start yours:

  • Daily
    • Check XYZ Dashboard
    • Check open tasks
    • BCC any emails from email program into email2salesforce
    • Review new Leads
    • Review open Opportunities
  • Weekly
    • Check close dates on all open Opportunities
    • Prepare Forecast
    • Review XYZ Dashboards
  • Monthly
    • Meet with marketing to discuss Campaign metrics
    • Disqualify stale leads
    • Run data quality report for my records and fix bad data
    • Review activities goals vs. actual activities in Salesforce

So this is just a few ideas off the top of my head.  There are two other takeaways from this that you should talk to your administrator about.

#1 – If you do the same thing every day, ask your administrator to help you make it more efficient.  One way that I LOVE is to take the daily checklist items and create a Custom Links sidebar widget.  Then, on my sidebar, the 5 things that I need to touch every day are all available from that one place.  Give them specifics to work with (they like that).

#2 – If you have daily goals but aren’t sure how to do them in Salesforce, ask for training, or seek out online help.  Salesforce can probably do what you’re asking for, it was probably overlooked in training or has not yet been enabled.

The goal of this exercise is to figure out what you actually do every day, turn it into a list that is as simple as possible, and then assure that your instance of Salesforce (or other processes and applications) are lined up with what you’re trying to do to help you and your company be successful.

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