Interesting fact: We are hardly in the business of setting up Salesforce at all.
Most of our customers are already working on the platform when we meet them. The much more common scenario is that we get involved further down the line, when things have not been working as planned for a while. When I say ‘not working’, that is to say:-
- Not meeting all the original objectives that the organisation had set
- Not delivering true return on the investment in licence fees
- Not moving forwards at the same pace as the rest of the business and in danger of becoming obsolete
So the question is, why are there so many organisations out there who fit into one of these categories? Salesforce is sold as the panacea to all business issues, the solution to end all solutions – how can it be that it’s not performing as well as it could for so many businesses?
The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to make sure that you have a good experience with Salesforce implementation, with clear results for your people and your profits. It might seem basic advice, but it’s worth running through the points to consider, so here we go…
What do you actually want to achieve?
In other words, what are your overall objectives? These are likely to be high level at the outset e.g we want a standardised Sales process that works for every member of the team, requirements? The more you can split these objectives down though, the more likely you are to see them implemented in the way you imagined. At Desynit, we typically go through an initial process of documenting ‘user stories’, e.g. “As a sales manager I would like to be able to see which leads my team will be contacting each day”, and so on, until you have every one of your requirements recorded. At that point, you can prioritise which are the most important.
What’s your budget?
A Salesforce implementation is likely to be a fixed price project so there is no reason that you should not be able to control the costs. However you may not be able to get all of your user stories completed within your initial budget. That’s where the priority setting comes in – go with a phase one that includes the most important deliverables, but then keep a record of all of those remaining user stories for phase two. The main point is that you are able to have a very clear conversation with your Salesforce implementation partner at the outset about what you are going to get and what you will be paying.
As a rule of thumb, generally a Salesforce Best Start takes 6 days. That may not be consecutive days, as sometimes we need to leave our customer to consider things for a day or two during the process. That’s a straightforward implementation. More complex customisation will take more time. Once you have gathered your user stories, again, this will serve as a the basis of the delivery schedule.
It’s worth bearing in mind that most Salesforce partners do get booked up in advance, so if you have a set deadline in mind for a Salesforce implementation, then the longer lead time you give a partner, the better.
How will you promote adoption in the team?
Bringing Salesforce into an organisation is a big cultural shift and not to be underestimated. The level of adoption by your team is probably the biggest factor in the success of your project. We’ve written lots about adoption in the past, but if we were to nail it down to one word, that would have to be communication. Let people know what’s happening, train them, support then, reward success, repeat.
What’s your ongoing plan for supporting Salesforce?
Unfortunately Salesforce is not really a ‘set it and forget it’ system. Once you have the CRM in place, you’ll start to think about all the other things you could do. Having access to expertise when you need it is going to have a big impact on your success. There are lots of options for support, all with different price tags and time commitment needed from you. Of course you may go down the route of hiring (or training) an in-house Salesforce Administrator. If that option doesn’t really stack up, however, then our advice would be that you should definitely look to set up a support service agreement with an external partner who will invest time in understanding your Salesforce instance and the way you work.
If you’ve found this post helpful then you’ll find more on each of these topics in more details in our free guide, ‘Getting Started on Salesforce’. You can download via the form on this page.
Finally, if you are already working on Salesforce and this post strikes a chord, we’d love to hear from you. We are always looking at ways we can help businesses make the platform work harder and deliver more, so let’s talk.