Avoid the pain and frustration of a failed Salesforce implementation. This blog provides a detailed guide for success.
Executives have signed on the dotted line, or more realistically, within the DocuSign box. The whole world is now in front of you with this turnkey, ever-evolving Salesforce solution ready to fit any business need.
To get to this point, though, you have undoubtedly sat through countless proposal meetings and have put together enough facts, figures, and diagrams to make anyone’s head spin. It’s already been a journey, but now, how do you bring it to life and ensure you get the most out of Salesforce?
Planning and Preparation
Learn from those who have set up Salesforce and avoid the common pitfalls. Implementations fail because of a lack of adequate planning and road mapping, lack of ownership or clear lines of responsibility, and a mismatch between stakeholder expectations and subsequent results.
This pain and frustration can be avoided, and the list below will lay out the best ways to plan for success. Deep breaths, you’ve got this!
1. Identify and Prioritize Goals
Many clients realize immediate value from Salesforce when the implementation is broken into phases. We recommend you take the time now to lay out short and long-term goals and build your roadmap.
- Who are the stakeholders, and what do they want out of this implementation? Do they have the same goals? For example, are the goals decreased contact center costs, increased revenue, or the elimination of multiple third-party systems?
- What sold your executives on Salesforce? Find out how Salesforce sold the platform. Did the company show multiple clouds or features, and who was part of the initial purchase? If your executives are jazzed about a longer-term vision, make sure you’ve aligned the plan to deliver those expectations.
- Is the project time-bound for a specific reason? For instance, is it part of a merger or acquisition, is it part of a conversion from another software (in other words, a software that has deprecated, one whose licenses were not renewed, and more), or product launch? What is driving the need to do this now?
- Can the implementation be phased? Are there certain features you need now, and others that can wait?
- What are the risks? Will this implement net new features or augment or replace current capabilities? Make sure to structure the rollout in a way that best mitigates risk.
- Is there an existing organizational structure to support the platform ongoing? If not, this is another good reason to phase the implementation and give the organization time to hire and train the right people for the right roles.
2. Organize Your Salesforce Implementation Team
Spend the time to ensure you have the right resources in key roles. Implementations can span long periods of time, employees can leave, but if the team’s structure and roles are defined, these changes will be a lot less impactful.
3. Understand Current State and Gather Requirements
Gather requirements by pairing key team members who understand current business processes and those who understand the Salesforce platform to ensure the most effective solutions.
Does your company have processes that have been around for years, built around a previous platform’s capabilities? This low code, high configuration platform means you may need to adjust business processes to make the most of out-of-the-box features.
Define what matters most upfront. If you aren’t sure what Salesforce is capable of, consider using a partner to help guide requirement gathering and solution design.