Salesforce is not your typical CRM (Customer Relationship Management). It is a global solution that offers a comprehensive analysis of potential customers, partners, and competitors. Marketing, eCommerce, artificial intelligence, analytics, sales, support, etc. can be built out most efficiently with Salesforce powers.
Picking Salesforce Implementation Partners
Salesforce expands your business reach over other traditional services for midsize and large companies in addition to Demandware for business consumers (B2C) and CloudCraze for business clients (B2B). To this end, the company acquired more than a dozen software companies and providers for SaaS-based organizations, including Chatter, Live Chat, Knowledge Management, CPQ, and MuleSoft.
The advanced platform simply allows getting the most out of your business. But even the most talented and dedicated project owner cannot conduct a proper integration without competent advice. That is why companies choose an executive sponsor and order Salesforce implementation services.
When planning to implement this powerful tool, the wisest decision would be to put together a team and listen to some professional advice. For business owners new to Salesforce, it’s important to find a reliable consultant. This will help avoid unnecessary risks during the Salesforce implementation project and make the whole process as efficient as possible.
It would only be logical for you to hire certified professionals with the necessary industry experience and technical knowledge to ensure the success of your Salesforce project. However, there are several important steps you need to take to achieve the desired result, which we call a short Salesforce implementation guide.
Here are the common Salesforce implementation phases that should serve as a proper foundation:
- Definition of key objectives and associated risks;
- Familiarization of key users with the project;
- Choice of methodology;
- Determining the time frames of the implementation plan;
- Transferring data to Salesforce;
- Organization of support;
- Test drive and launch.
Now, let’s look at the whole process in a bit more detail.
Working on a Salesforce Implementation Project Plan
#1 – prepare
Choose the optimal version of Salesforce and calculate the budget for the number of users. Assess the associated risks that may become a problem in the future. Before starting the implementation process, check how much disk space your data will take up in Salesforce Cloud. Note that the storage size is not immediately displayed, so you can load the data and only then realize that it is not enough.
#2 – get only relevant features
If most features are rarely used, they are not worth paying for. Rich functionality shouldn’t be a priority, it’s better to pay attention to the interface. The new solution should be tested to collect user feedback. The best option is to launch a prototype and improve it according to the user interface.
#3 – optimal timeline
If the implementation process takes too long, for example, a year or more, it ultimately leads to negative consequences, such as a lack of business progress.
Before designing a solution, clearly define each CRM process, such as lead flow, customer acquisition planning, and campaign setup. Create a flowchart in tools such as Microsoft Visio or LucidChart, or sketch it on a whiteboard.
No matter which development method you’re going with, always be careful at making any changes along the way. Careful methodology choices, preparation, and planning can help make Salesforce implementation a seamless experience.
Make an elaborate timeline a part of your workflow. Mark milestones such as project start date, estimated database switchover date, and Salesforce launch date. Use a project management system to stay organized, like Smartsheet, Trello, or Basecamp.
#4 – communicate with the team
Talk to key future CRM users in your team to better understand their needs and expectations for the new system. Assign roles among team members and establish key metrics that will validate success based on that feedback.
#5 – announce
Disclose the Salesforce migration project plan to end users, including customers. These are the ones who will use the system on a daily basis and ultimately recognize the CRM initiative as a success or not. Share your workload and workflow with them. Communicate throughout the project and include them in the Salesforce implementation process.
#6 – checklist
Create a Salesforce implementation checklist and clearly define data maintenance responsibilities between employees. In general, the data belongs to the business, and someone should be responsible for maintaining it. Successful amalgamation and consistency are critical to ensure the integrity, without which Salesforce cannot function correctly. Duplicate, non-standard, missing or incompatible data will ruin your entire work.
#7 – remember about errors & flaws
Preparing for errors in advance and having tools to prevent them will ensure the integrity of the CRM system. Data quality tools like RingLead Data Management Solutions (DMS) can help cleanse, protect, normalize, and enrich all the data in your Salesforce in real time. Consistency between systems, or the integration of multiple systems, is critical to stable performance and user acceptance.
#8 – move step-by-step
Launch Salesforce in stages. Employees may resist drastic changes, so focus on the critical elements. Salesforce adds real value, but only if its capabilities are actually used. If you try to implement too many at once, the project will most likely fail. Don’t push people. Too much pressure will root in the minds of users and lead to ill-wishers.
Design and implement Salesforce the right way to unleash the full potential of your business. Choosing the most appropriate implementation strategy is critical to the success of an enterprise. If you’re not ready to bother with all the specifics, it’s best to hire competent experts to help you figure everything out. Salesforce partners, like Ergonized, will help you do everything properly and avoid major pitfalls and mistakes.