3 Keys to a Successful Salesforce Implementation

Salesforce is a highly flexible, versatile solution that can help any organization manage their entire business from sales and marketing to customer support to client retention, and so on. Having so many use cases and so many features, implementations can seem overwhelming and too complex. Here are 3 keys to a successful Salesforce implementation that will maximize the benefits of the solution while increasing adoption and success.

3-keys1. Learn to crawl before you run.

The faster you get the system implemented, the sooner you’ll be able to see a return on your investment. However, you’ll be more successful when you don’t do too much, too soon. You don’t want to over-complicate your processes early on. Start small by identifying what’s important and mastering how you can do it within Salesforce.

The basics are a good place to start. Focus on building a solid foundation. For example, put a simple sales methodology in place and ensure everyone follows the same, consistent process. Monitor adoption and get everyone on the same page. Avoid too much automation, integrating systems, or complex business rules – you can add those later after everyone is using the system effectively.

2. Use an agile, iterative approach.

Implement Salesforce in an iterative fashion. Time box projects into 2 to 4-week periods where you focus on getting a key item completed and deployed. It’s important to get users to start interacting with the system early on. It will help with adoption later because it allows them to see how the system works. With this approach, the system will be easily understandable as changes are presented over time and not all at once.

Keep the mini-projects to a short time frame. Otherwise, the system might never get delivered, might not be what you wanted, or the business might have changed, rendering the solution unusable.  Three to four-week sprints are ideal. Pick out a few key features to focus on and get them done. In this way, you’ll see a return on your investment faster.  You’ll also get feedback quickly to help discover what’s important to include in the next iteration.

3. Don’t neglect adoption.

Make sure the Salesforce users understand why a system like this benefits them and the company. It’s also extremely important that the entire organization adopts the tool, including its leaders.  It’s important that the leaders of the company use the system properly and often. If the leaders are not using the system, then it shows the employees that using the system is not important. Upper management shouldn’t bypass the system or ask for things that are outside of it.

Leading by example is critical to adoption. If the users of the system know that its leaders use and rely on the system, they’re more likely to use it as well. They will also be encouraged to give feedback to make it better.

Adoption is critical. You can create the perfect system, but if employees don’t use it, the company will not achieve its desired results. Focus on the basics and don’t over-complicate the implementation. Make sure you break down the implementation into small, iterative phases.  Finally, focus intensely on adoption.  If you follow these 3 tips, you’ll have a successful implementation.

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