So, you’ve recently invested in Salesforce? Congratulations, you’re about to take your organisation into a whole other world where (hopefully) you’ll be able to expand and perform all the functions that you want to perform. The main question now is how you will implement Salesforce across your business. No matter your size, you’ll need to follow some steps for long-term, sustainable use of this critical platform.
Define Who Will Do It
The larger your business, the more options you will have in people who will implement it. Before you begin implementation, you will need to know who will be responsible for implementation and problem solving. The “who” is just as important as the “how” and the “when”. This way, your other employees will know to whom they should turn if, and when, problems arise. But what if your business doesn’t have the expertise to implement and build salesforce? Worry not, many companies are in the same position and seek the help of Salesforce implementation partners. An implementation partner will work closely with you to assess your current situation, understand your wants and needs, design, build and test your solution
Define How You Will Do It: Our Suggested Method for Implementation
It’s important to have a plan and there are several implementation methods that can be adopted. This is not something that you can do slap-dash. However you choose to do it, it’s important to plan for every outcome – for a successful and problematic implementation. At Nadcoms, we strongly recommend (and adopt) the Agile Methodology. This method allows a project to be broken down in to it’s individual components. These are then prioritised and rolled out in bitesize pieces of functionality (called sprints). Obviously, Salesforce is a large and complex system. And you essential requirements may negate the ability to use an aide approach. That’s why Nadcoms have designed “QuickStart” packages. This is designed to get your Sales cloud, Service cloud or pardot system up and running in as little as 1 week. Getting you to the point where you can start planning future sprints and key releases of functionality.
Slowly and Easy Does It
Once you have implemented the basics, you can now start planing your sprints. To do this you need to identify the most obvious or critical areas of your business and start there (or perhaps with the least critical in order to minimise disruption). Either way, taking a measured approach will help to identify problem areas as they arise. You can deal with them as they arise without needing to trawl back through the entire system to find the source of a problem. This is especially critical if looking to implement Salesforce yourself. If using an implementation partner, they should have stringent testing processes to assure that any issues that arise are found before the functionality hits your live salesforce instance. We don’t anticipate problems with implementing Salesforce in the majority of cases, but nevertheless problems can arise. It is important to minimise problematic interactions for a more sustainable implementation.
Build a Timeline of Functionality
Once you are satisfied that the core areas of your business will not experience any problems with Salesforce implementation, then your team can begin to build additional functionality. It’s important to have a formal (yet flexible) timeline for doing this. Create a plan that outlines (at least) your next 2 sprints. Once you pass each benchmark satisfactorily, move onto the next. In the majority of cases, Nadcoms would expect three months to be typically long enough to start seeing a return on your salesforce investment. At the end of the three months, you should expect to have a salesforce rolled out to your key business areas, additional functionality built in and plans for all future sprints. Obviously, this is dependent on scope, budget and time constraints but can be used as a good benchmark when planning your implementation.
Consider a Post-Implementation Plan
You need a plan at the start and at the end of the process. What happens next? Salesforce has regular updates that you will need to review and decide whether your business should be utilising. Building Salesforce is not a one-time event. It’s an ever evolving system that will require the ongoing addition of new features and training for users. Be open to your user’s feedback, questions and concerns. They are on the front line and often have the best idea of what works well (and not so well) in your systems. Salesforce is not just a technology; it is a platform for building working relationships both with your customers and your staff.