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Why your sales team needs to start using Scratchpad

If Salesforce is getting in the way of your sales team actually selling, you might want to take a close look at Scratchpad.
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What is Scratchpad

Scratchpad at its core is Google Chrome extension that syncs data from Salesforce into a customized, stripped down interface. It’s gaining rapid popularity in the Salesforce world and for good reason. While we know and love Salesforce for its breadth of features and complexity, we sometime know it can be a little too complex. That’s where Scratchpad comes in, as it basically strips out the externalities of Salesforce and hones in on what makes Salesforce so powerful in the first place — the ability to stay on top of your entire pipeline. Scratchpad offers an intuitive interface that gives you a daily home base where you can keep track of notes, tasks and get a birds eye view on your entire pipeline. The best part is that all this can be shared with your entire team and then synced back to Salesforce so you and your colleagues are not working in a silo. Let’s take a deeper dive into what Scratchpad can do for you and your Salesforce organization.

What makes Scratchpad so powerful

When you first open up Scratchpad and connect your Salesforce account, you would be warranted in thinking “that’s it?” The interface is very simple, and you will only see four tabs,  “Home”, “Notes”, “Tasks” and “Pipeline” and two icons, “Calendar” and “Inbox”

Your “Home” tab will give you a little moment of zen with the time and a friendly greeting.

The “Notes” tab will give you a very familiar notes experience, especially if you have ever used Apple’s built-in Notes app. Take notes as you go about the day and then selectively link the note to Salesforce where it can be saved to any record. On top of that, you can also share notes with colleagues within Scratchpad or turn any note into a template where you can customize it over and over again.

In the “Tasks” section, you will find just that - tasks. Daily tasks, overdue tasks and pending tasks not actioned yet. All directly synced from Salesforce. This means that you can confidently close and update tasks in Scratchpad without ever opening Salesforce, knowing that they will be synced with the correct records.

Finally you have the “Pipeline” tab, that is inarguably the most powerful tab in Scratchpad. In Pipeline, you can access pretty much every bit of information held within Salesforce. This includes Opportunities, Accounts, Contacts, Leads and Events. If you have ever used Notion or Airtable, this extremely customizable interface will be very familiar. Choose which fields you want to see; filter, group and highlight records and most importantly save all of these table customizations so your colleagues can see exactly what you see. The real power of Pipeline emerges once you start creating and adding views. Views allow you to create a new table or even a new Kanban board. Then you can save these views for your entire team or select roles in your team.

Imagine a scenario where you have a new sales rep on your team and you want to hone in what they can and can not enter for an opportunity, just to avoid any issues of adding in extraneous information in the wrong area. Simply create a “New Sales Rep” view and pick and choose which fields they can read and write to. In Salesforce, this would be a little convoluted as you would need to modify permissions, roles and even their layout. In Scratchpad, all you need to do is share the view link and then ask them to save the layout in their own Scratchpad. That’s it…you don’t need to get your Salesforce Admin involved at all.

Why we love Scratchpad

Salesforce is a necessity to use Scratchpad, there’s no getting around that. We love that because at the end of the day, we love Salesforce! But we also know that it’s not the most beginner friendly interface for someone who’s bread and butter is sales but may be coming over from Hubspot or another competing CRM. We also know that sometimes sales teams struggle with using Salesforce that it could sidetrack them from their end goal of actually selling. That’s the beauty of Scratchpad, that it allows your team to focus on selling and only present them what they need and none of what they don’t need. This refined, focused approach not only allows new hires to get up and going in a third of the time, but allows your more advanced reps to focus on their clients instead of fiddling with Salesforce.

What we would change

While Scratchpad is revolutionary in its simplicity, it’s not perfect by any means. Relationships on how records are related to each other is not easily accessible. The home tab, while peaceful, seems like a missed opportunity for sales reps to customize and create their own meaningful dashboard. Then finally, we would unleash it from Chrome and have it be a standalone desktop app so team members can use it regardless of their browser choice. So while Scratchpad supplants and betters a lot of aspects of Salesforce, you will still need to creep in there every once in a while to do what you can’t do in Scratchpad.

What’s next for Scratchpad

Scratchpad is making waves and deservedly so, having raised over $50 million in funding since their inception in 2019. It essentially brings the admittedly clunky interface of Salesforce into 2022 and makes it accessible to everyone. We’re excited to try out Scratchpad Studio which brings automation, deeper integration with external apps such as Slack and more meaningful insights into the card views. This innovation on top of their rock solid core, indicates to us that this platform is going to become truly powerful very quickly. We can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

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