Salesforce delivers a robust and versatile platform that enables organizations to take advantage of a wide breadth of sales, service, and marketing capabilities. Because Salesforce delivers so much and CRMs can be viewed as the “silver bullet”, organizations are sometimes tempted to forego the necessary building blocks that ensure a successful long-term implementation. Rolling out any new system, especially one as flexible as Salesforce, requires a strategic and thoughtful approach to ensure consistent user adoption and the expected results. Clearly defining your organization’s strategic goals for the “why” behind your implementation, keeping your Salesforce instance manageable and supportable, and measuring your progress will help your organization get the maximum return and benefit from its investment in Salesforce.
Know Your End Game
Before beginning your Salesforce implementation, it’s critical that your organization define its vision, strategy, and expected results. Envisioning where the organization will be in the next 3-5 years, agreeing on the steps needed to make that a vision a reality, and identifying potential obstacles to success will provide your organization with the information needed to create a strategic roadmap. This roadmap provides the needed context and direction for how your organization must change to fit the future. Having a strategic change management plan aligned with your vision helps identify the necessary behaviors that must change to make the strategy successful. This information will greatly benefit your Salesforce implementation team and project as it will help to inform the pace of the project; and identify impacted business areas and end users, project governance and sponsorship requirements, end-user training needs, and what metrics to track in order to measure success.
To Configure or Customize
The Salesforce platform is both highly configurable and customizable. That said, understanding the impact of configuring versus customizing and what it means to the management of your Salesforce instance is very important as you progress through your implementation. Ideally, sticking with “out-of-box” capabilities and configuring changes is preferred over customizing or coding features into your Salesforce instance. It’s important to evaluate every change and determine whether it is a must-have, critical to the business process, or a nice-to-have. Applying a governance process over requests for changes will both help ensure only necessary changes are being applied and highlight any potential training requirements based on the changes being made. Keeping your Salesforce instance as close to “out-of-box” will help you absorb future Salesforce innovations and improvements much more quickly, lessen your overall technical debt, and provide for a more manageable Salesforce instance for the future.
Are You Achieving the End Game?
Your organization has defined its vision, strategy, change management plan, and is well on its way to implementing your Salesforce instance. So how will you know if you are successful? Taking the time to identify what success looks like and how you will measure that success will help your organization make course corrections as needed to drive adoption and maximize your investment. Every organization will define success differently, but by collaborating and gaining consensus on what success looks like, you can identify the metrics that will inform whether or not you are achieving the expected outcomes and solving the business problems your Salesforce implementation had intended.
Successful Salesforce Implementations with Tsource
Tsource has been helping our commercial and government clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. maximize their potential, right-size their infrastructure, and achieve their business and technology goals since 2003. Whatever your business technology goals are, we are passionate about listening to our customers to provide them with responsive and results-driven solutions. Our mission is to help our clients accomplish more with less by taking advantage of cutting-edge ideas and powerful new technologies and delivering the highest quality, best-value solutions to achieve our clients’ goals and missions. Our core services include management consulting, technical infrastructure, and software engineering. If you are interested in working with us, contact us online or give us a call at 410-970-6669.