Are you considering a new Salesforce implementation? Or maybe you just implemented Salesforce. Great! But before you continue with business as usual, there are a few things you should consider. Salesforce, like most major investments, takes a little bit of love, practice and know how to get the most out of. From a high-performance car to planting your own garden, how much you put into your investments dramatically influences what you get out of them. Whether your Salesforce Org is brand new, or a couple of years old, it’s never too late to adopt better practices and improve your business.
So in that vein, we have put together a short but powerful list of tips, based on research, discussion with Salesforce, and our own personal experience, on how to get the most out of your Salesforce implementation. The tips fall under two categories: things to do before your implementation, and things to do following a Salesforce implementation.
Preparing for a Salesforce Implementation
Think of it as moving into a new house or apartment. You don’t just pick a random place, sign a mortgage and drive straight over. A lot of planning and preparation is needed to make the big move, just the same as it is for a Salesforce Implementation.
Business Process Review
This is your chance for a better system and process. A well designed Salesforce platform should mirror, support, and augment your business process, reflect your internal roles, hierarchies, security, and enable your organization to be more efficient. Take a little time, think about what you have that works, what doesn’t and what you could do to improve. This is your foundation…make a commitment, invest in it, and you’re well on your way to a positive, organization-changing implementation.
Get Advice from Certified Salesforce Expert
Just about any businesses can benefit from receiving expert advice. A certified Salesforce expert can help you develop a deeper understanding of your business goals and advise on best practices or potential solutions. Certified Salesforce experts can help you in just about any area of your business, from figuring out a better system architecture to the strategic guidance of creating a better business roadmap that aligns with your implementation.
Review Your Data
Do you know where all of your data currently is? Are you planning/preparing to move from silos to one system of record? Once you’ve taken the time to review your data the best thing you can do it simplify! Not everyone on your team or inside of Salesforce needs to see every bit of minutiae, so be smart about your permissions, security and how everything is divided. If you do it right, not only will you avoid your team from feeling overloaded with data, which will negatively affect adoptions, but you will also set the foundation for a more secure and streamlined database.
Designate an IT project manager
As you prepare for a new implementation, you absolutely need to designate an individual who can work across functions, quickly gain consensus, make decisions and remove obstacles, and serve as the overall project champion. Having an IT project manager significantly improves both the quality of the implementation and the speed at which the implementation progresses. In addition, having continuity and leadership throughout the duration of the implementation will help immensely to ensure all goes smoothly and ensure that all your expectations are met. If you are working with a certified Salesforce developer and Consultant, this will be one of your primary contact points with the Salesforce expert.
Be Ready to Get Involved
Even if you are working with a developer or consultant to install Salesforce, you need to be ready to get your hands dirty. The more you participate with the implementation team, the better everyone can remain in sync, and generate the best results. Too little participation often leads to project delays and misaligned expectations.
Be Ready for Change. Expect Change
And set aside some extra funds for just in case you want to make additional changes. No project goes perfectly smooth from start to finish. Understanding this from the beginning will help ease any tensions or stress later on.
Post- Implementation Tips
Following your successful implementation, you need to remember that everything isn’t done yet. You still have plenty to do to make sure your system is optimized and stays that way.
Train, Train, Train
Training is one of the most critical points in ensuring user adoption and the long-term success of your Salesforce implementation. It’s crucial that users not only learn how to use the system, but that they know how to make the most of it. If you can make the commitment to effective, ongoing training, you’ll end up with a confident and effective user base. And remember to keep on training as time goes on. The more you invest in your team’s knowledge, the more they will be able to do!
Plan for Support
Having a plan to support your user base is important to the continued growth of your platform. If you have a consultant or developer working with you, discuss with them a support plan that meets your needs to ensure any unexpected issues are covered. Make sure you have a plan ready to go for how you are going to support your user base.
Make sure your users have a way to submit support requests, make suggestions for improvements, and request additional training. Engagement with your team is critical to make sure your users know you’ve got their back and that they’re going to be heard. This will significantly improve user adoption, and of course, the better your user take to the new system, the better they can perform their jobs.
While some automation may be better left to the Salesforce partner who did your implementation, there are plenty of smaller tasks that you automate yourself. Things such as auto scheduling emails, workflows, and task notifications, can all significantly streamline your day and give you more time to focus on your most critical tasks.
Download Apps from the Appexchange
Why build when there is a marketplace of over 3000 pre-built apps. Need an email marketing client? Check. Want a better call center. Also check. Need to put fun quotes and emojis into your org? Yep, got that too. Need advice on the best app to use for a particular pain point? Our Salesforce consultants are happy to help.
Reports & Dashboards should be relevant for the business. Take the time to learn how to utilize and build proper reports and dashboards. If they are showing irrelevant information, or the information they show isn’t easy to understand, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.
Finally, think about adopting Salesforce1. With Salesforce’s mobile integration, you can carry all your vital information with you anywhere you go, and access it from any device. Essential for any business that goes on the road regularly!
Whew. How’s that for a short list? No matter what stage of the Salesforce journey you are on, hopefully these tips have given you a little something extra to improve your experience.
If you are still hungry for more, stay tuned for our comprehensive guide to getting the most from a Salesforce Implementation, coming out in the next few weeks.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team