Successful Salesforce Implementation
So, you’ve decided you want to implement Salesforce in your company or organization. EXCELLENT decision, my friend! Salesforce is a game-changing tool that is going to take your business to the next level, no matter where you’re starting from.
You’re probably already thinking about how this change will impact your business processes – how much easier it will be for your Sales Reps to close more and more deals, how much more your marketing team will be able to accomplish with so much work being automated for them, how much happier your customers will be after talking to your Support team that has a 360 degree view of their relationship history with your business. There are so many beautiful benefits to making Salesforce your chosen CRM – but have you thought about how you’re going to get from here to there?
As you know, change can be difficult. Especially when you have multiple people and even departments involved. You, your team members and colleagues…you won’t be making this transition overnight. There will be a period of adjustment, there will be training and re-training, there will be pushback and resistance to the change, and there will be plenty of user error along the way. This is normal and to be expected with any transition, especially with something as big as moving your team to a whole new system and process!
Fortunately, we’ve done a few Salesforce implementations, and over time, have identified a list of key indicators that you and your organization are indeed prepared for your upcoming Salesforce implementation.
The more of these that you can check off, the smoother and more successful your company’s transition to Salesforce will be!
Is your organization prepared for a successful Salesforce implementation?
Do you have a designated Project Manager or someone temporarily assigned to that role?
While you may not have a team member that can dedicate 100% of their time to overseeing your Salesforce implementation/project, it is vital that you have a primary point of contact for your Salesforce Consultancy to work with for the duration of your project. As you can see from the list below, there are many quickly moving parts within a quality Salesforce implementation. Having someone on your team to facilitate that movement is going to help keep your project on time and budget, as well as improve your short and long-term user adoption experience!
Do you have an internal Change Management Plan?
Are you already discussing your plans to implement Salesforce with your entire team? If not your complete staff, everyone who will be using Salesforce or have their day-to-day process affected by Salesforce? If you aren’t, you should be. Change can be stressful, especially when your team’s plates are already full. The more heads up you give them, and the more you illustrate the positive impact it will have on them and their workload, the more receptive and happy they will be!
Your Change Management Plan should be in motion PRIOR to beginning your actual implementation project and should continue throughout the project and beyond your Go-Live date.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some great examples of Change Management Plans that you can execute with your team.
Do you have a designated technical resource with available bandwidth?
You more likely than not have a system or systems in place that you’re either replacing with Salesforce or integrating with Salesforce. And hopefully, you have a resident expert or manager of those systems. Your Salesforce Consultants will need to be in constant communication with that resource throughout the duration of your implementation project and will be requesting deliverables and assigning action items to that resource as well.
Do you have designated and invested stakeholders with available bandwidth?
If you’ve landed on this article, it is likely that YOU are the or one of the primary stakeholders in your organization’s desire to take it to the next level by moving to Salesforce. It is going to fall on you and your fellow leadership team to lead the charge and execute the change management plan that we discussed above, AS WELL AS be constantly available to your Salesforce consulting team to answer questions about your business, make decisions and provide deliverables throughout the project.
Part of your change management plan should be identifying your primary stakeholders and assuring their preparedness for this project. If you have multiple departments and business roles that are going to be affected by this implementation, this is exponentially important. Designated ‘owners’ or primary points-of-contact for each business unit will be necessary for clarity and success.
Do you have a clear understanding and vision of your company’s end goal and business requirements?
What do you want to accomplish by implementing Salesforce? What are your primary business and process goals? What don’t you like about your current system? What does Salesforce need to do for you in order to be successful? Knowing the answers to these questions will allow your Salesforce Partners to customize your Salesforce instance in the most efficient way possible for your particular business needs and goals.
Do you understand and accept that turnaround times on deliverables and action items assigned to your team are going to be immediate and plentiful?
Your relationship with your Salesforce Partner is just that, a Partnership. Your primary stakeholders are the keys to your business processes and system, and as mentioned above, will need to be available to your Salesforce consulting team to answer questions about your business, make decisions and provide deliverables throughout the project. More often than not, action items are created and become due in the same day in order to stay on timeline and budget. Your stakeholders being prepared for this will decrease stress and overwhelm as you transition.
Do you have an understanding of the number of hours required from your team to deliver your project and the financial impact of delays in action items and deliverables?
Partnering with a Salesforce Consultancy is an investment. It takes hours upon hours of discovery, planning, building, and iterating on the part of a full team of professionals to develop, deploy and support your customized Salesforce solution. Delays in providing your consultants requested deliverables, answers to questions, and resolution to action items extend your contracted timeline, thus adding hours to your project and increasing your spend. It is more common than not to need one or multiple Change Orders throughout your project. This can be due to the aforementioned delays or a multitude of issues and previously unsurfaced needs that could arise as your business processes are dissected during your implementation.
Do you have a basic understanding of Salesforce objects, structure, and user interface?
Having at least basic-level familiarity with the look, feel and structure of Salesforce will benefit you and your team members greatly as you transition. It will help your stakeholders provide better answers to questions throughout discovery, and allow your users to more easily relate and translate their current processes into the Salesforce environment – all of which will enable a smoother, happier transition for your users!
Trailhead is the best way to start familiarizing your users with Salesforce. It’s fun, and it’s free! Incorporate this into your Change Management Plan and use it as an opportunity for team building and user adoption. Trailhead provides countless opportunities for growth and learning, and the gamification of the platform enables fun and friendly competition amongst your team. You can even build custom Trailmixes around the Salesforce elements you’ll be implementing! Ask your Salesforce Consultant about the best Trails to share with your team to get them started.
SO, how many boxes did you check? Are you ready to take your company to the next level with Salesforce? I’ve created a lovely little printable that you can use right now to assess your organization’s readiness for a successful Salesforce implementation!
No matter where you are in your journey, we’re happy to help you get there. Contact us and let’s chat about your potential! You can learn more about us, we’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting company, 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. Thanks for reading and as always, happy building!
Emily Magone is a graduate of Seattle University (Masters of Executive Nonprofit Leadership) and Western Washington University (Human Services) with over a decade of domestic and international program and project management experience in the nonprofit and small business sectors. Emily is a small business owner herself and is a Certified Salesforce Administrator as well as an Associate Human Resources Professional, and military spouse of an active duty Air Force service member.