One of the biggest headaches for marketing operations teams is slow response times from sales reps on qualified leads. Luckily, implementing an automated service level agreement (SLA) in Salesforce is a hassle-free way to resolve this common problem.
A lot gets in the way of sales teams responding to leads. For example, confusion about responsibility or issues around commissioning can cause reps to ignore some leads while competing to reach others.
An SLA solves these problems by creating clarity between marketing and sales teams, holding SDRs accountable for their activities, and measuring exactly what’s happening with follow up.
How does an SLA work?
An SLA occurs at the point where sales and marketing intersect—that is, the point of hand off for specific Salesforce records from marketing to sales. With an SLA, sales agrees to take responsibility for records of a specific type. Having an SLA empowers marketing to hold individual sales reps accountable for action actually happening on the records.
An SLA does this by acting as a ticking clock on the records in question—typically leads (and contacts, since you should be using both leads and contacts in ABM). It logs the date and time that a lead reaches a certain stage—like “qualified.” Then it tracks the exact amount of time it takes a sales rep to log a follow-up task that moves the lead into another given stage—like “unqualified” or “engaged.”
If all you need is a simple SLA, you can create it by tracking the change on something like a lead status using the process builder in Salesforce.
But many organizations doing ABM need to use more complex rules. For example, taking business hours into account, using multiple SLA types, re-qualifying leads, or other specifications. If this is the case, you’ll need to use custom development or an additional tool.
How will an SLA help me?
Configuring an SLA in Salesforce enables you to do a few key activities:
- Send reminder emails to and create tasks for SDRs, prompting the actions you want to incentivize
- Reassign leads automatically if follow up doesn’t happen within the SLA time frame. (For example, if the lead sits with one rep for 24 hours with no activity, it can automatically be assigned to another rep and the SLA begins again.)
- Monitor SLAs via a dashboard or report—managers can accurately track several aspects of team and individual performance in real time
- Report on key metrics like number of open SLAs, how quickly your sales reps are responding to leads, and more
Ultimately, setting up an SLA will help avoid confusion and increase your conversion rates. And choosing a tool with the right customization options can help get it off the ground.
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