Change Management for Salesforce – Creating an Effective Process

Kirby Corbey |
 Salesforce |
 Feb 10, 2021

Organizational Change Management for Salesforce

So you’ve selected an implementation partner, you’ve got your Salesforce licenses, you have your internal team that’s going to work in collaboration with your chose Salesforce partner, you’ve likely created your own timeline and communication plans internally, and planned what training your team needs, so you’re all set to go right? Not quite, implementing an Organizational Change Management for Salesforce process is an important aspect to consider when looking at implementing your Salesforce instance as well. Just because your staff is trained on the product, doesn’t mean they will use it how you foresee them using it from a leadership perspective without taking into account some other factors, one main one being the people side of change.

A lot of organizations make an assumption that the use of an amazing technology such as Salesforce will create an innate desire among the sales teams and others in your organization to use it, or that the implementation partner while bringing technology and industry expertise and great project management practices will help their end-users want to use the system, but take it into account via organizational change management and the people side of change is extremely important. You have to be able questions to your staff about some of the following aspects:

  • Why are we changing, to begin with?
  • What is wrong with how things are being done today? We’ve always done it this way.
  • Are all of the senior leadership supportive of this change?
  • Why do we have to do this now?
  • We have this upcoming, or that upcoming.

Embracing the idea that there is likely to be some type of natural resistance to the change for the organization, puts us in a better position to address it early on. Prosci has a leading methodology, the ADKAR method, that will help you enable organizational change management as part of your overall salesforce implementation plan to address the people side of change, not just the organization/technical side of an implementation. Read more about change management and Prosci’s ADKAR model below.

What is change management?

Change management is a process, tools, and techniques used to help people (often end-users) adapt to change. The Prosci ADKAR model is one of the most sought-after models for change management as it drives powerful results by supporting individual changes to achieve organizational success. The ADKAR model uses an approach to ensure that each individual experiencing change moves through 5 phases to make the overall change successful and help ensure user adoption:

  • (A)wareness of the Need for Change
  • (D)esire to support the change
  • (K)nowledge of the how to change
  • (A)bility to demonstrate skills & behaviors
  • (R)einforcement to make the change stick.

What is the purpose of change management?

Change is hard for most people. They get used to the status quo. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it right?

Well, oftentimes, processes and procedures are modified and improved to keep up with evolving businesses that are looking to improve something. When this evolution happens, Salesforce user adoption can be difficult. Then comes change management! Change management is a useful tool to help during this transition process so your company can get the most out of its newly created feature or enhancement. Not only does change management for Salesforce help your company get the most out of their invested change financially, but it can help improve employee morale and communication.

Why do I need to apply the ADKAR Model to my change initiatives?

The ADKAR model allows leaders to plan and guide change activities and the individuals within an organization to see themselves as part of the solution. The model paves the way for successful change within an organization by equipping people with a common language for change. Failure to accurately plan for change management, on the people side of an implementation, can result in employees not understanding the benefits of adopting new technologies & tools, employees not being prepared to be successful in a new environment, and leaders not being equipped to sponsor change and manage resistance effectively.

Applying ADKAR to your Change Management Process

A key fundamental to the ADKAR model is change occurs as a process, not an event, and it can be difficult and complex to understand. Looking at change as a process, there are generally agreed upon 3 states of change: current state, transition state, and future state.

Change Management for Salesforce

  • Current: To move from the current state, an individual needs awareness of the need for change and a desire to participate in and support the pending change.
  • Transition: To move through the transition state requires knowledge of how to change and the ability to implement the required skills and behaviors.
  • Future: Individuals need ability and reinforcement to sustain the change.

The ADKAR model integrates very well with Project Management in that it supports project execution and drives benefit realization by end-users and leaders alike.

The Prosci Organizational Change Management Process is a 3 phase approach that respects the individual and organizational change and how the two of them intersect.

  1. Phase 1 – Preparing for Change helps change and project teams prepare for designing change management plans answering “How much change management does this project Need” and “Who is impacted by this initiative and in what ways”. Tools such as identifying change management sponsors, impact assessments on both the organization and groups of individuals who will be affected and overall change management strategy are included in this phase.
  2. Phase 2 – Managing the Change focuses on creating plans that will integrate with the project plan which are steps to be taken to support the individuals impacted by the project including Communications Plans, Sponsor Roadmap, Training Plan, Coaching Plan, and a Resistance Management Plan.
  3. Phase 3 – Reinforcing Change helps create action plans to ensure the change is sustained and user adoption is high. In this phase, mechanisms are developed to measure how well change is taking hold, see if employees are doing their jobs the new way, identify gaps, and celebrate success.

In summary, organizational change affects all levels of an organization, and while the implementation may be best for your organization as a whole, you need to ensure to take into account the people side of change management as well as the organizational side, ensuring that not only are your personnel getting trained on the new system, but they are understanding the why it should be important to them so they adopt the new system as well.

If you’ve just gone live with your Salesforce implementation, be sure to check out this helpful post on what you need to do after implementing Salesforce. If you still have some questions feel free to reach out to us. Learn more about us, we’re an Austin based Salesforce Consulting partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Thanks for stopping by the Roycon Salesforce blog, be sure to subscribe!

Kirby Corbey

Kirby Corbey

Client Success Manager

Kirby is one of our Account Executives at Roycon. She has over 5 years of experience in a client success role within the software industry. She was born and raised in Montana and will continue to live there even though the winters can be pretty tough.

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