Salesforce implementation service is rarely ever smooth, as there are so many things that can go wrong at every stage of the process. These five steps will help you streamline your implementation of Salesforce so that you’re not getting bogged down by problems along the way.
Having the Right Salesforce Consulting Partner
The relationship between an organization and its salesforce is a critical one. A successful partnership makes it easier for companies to handle growth, retain valuable employees. And improve customer engagement and deepen loyalty, while a bad one can slow down business processes. It compromise information security and create roadblocks in decision-making. It’s no surprise that many CIOs consider implementing Salesforce their most challenging project. To ensure that your implementation will go smoothly, here are some key questions you should ask prospective partners.
Getting Buy-In from Management
While there are plenty of advantages to cloud computing and SaaS, bringing a company on board can take time. If management is skeptical of these new technologies, you will have quite a bit of convincing to do. Start by asking your boss or manager what their expectations are for using Salesforce and what they hope it will help them accomplish. This way, you’ll have an understanding of their potential concerns as well as some idea of how difficult your job may be when persuading them that adopting SaaS is a good idea.
Training Users on New Processes
If users are being trained on new processes, make sure that you’re simulating actual workflow instead of just delivering a series of lectures. Users should be able to get through at least one full workday without assistance from IT or your team. After all, these will be their daily processes going forward. Hold follow-up sessions once training is complete, checking in with a subset of users to see how they’re doing and addressing any issues immediately. If there are high-risk users who need more frequent check-ins, agree on specific dates and times that those meetings will take place so they’re not forgotten about.
Setting Up Adequate Security Measures
Although most companies don’t think about it, there is a significant danger in implementing a CRM solution. You see, all your important customer information is now stored in one location and that makes it ripe for potential theft by cyber-attackers. And yes, you should be thinking of security from day one because data theft can ultimately lead to expensive lawsuits or loss of future business if clients discover your company has lost or mishandled its data. To protect yourself from damaging security breaches, have an IT expert develop a comprehensive business continuity plan (BCP) and train everyone on what to do in case of an emergency. Develop a strong password policy so users don’t use easy-to-guess credentials such as 1234 or their birthday.
Testing and Understanding SLAs
An SLA outlines exactly what your vendor will provide and promises how long it will take them to do so. It’s important that you understand SLAs and hold vendors accountable when they don’t deliver on time or as promised. When working with an implementation partner, make sure they have good SLAs in place themselves before signing up for their services. If you’re starting a new software project, ask your vendor if they have an SLA document in place and dig into its specifics before signing any contracts.
Selecting a Customization Strategy
Whether you’re planning a large-scale or a small-scale implementation, your first order of business should be defining an approach. Your approach will vary depending on your company size and budget. Typically, companies look at one of two options: customizing in-house or hiring a consulting firm to do it for them. Hiring an outside firm makes sense if your company is already working with them for other projects. Projects has revenue projections that require scaling solutions quickly. Or can simply use all available resources on existing business priorities (more on those later). Once you have decided which route to take, it’s time to come up with a plan for customization. The core components of a customization strategy include identifying specific functionality you want to customize and evaluating design options for that functionality.
Choosing Features to Get Started with
There are a bunch of features you can install when you initially set up your sales cloud. But for most companies, getting off on the right foot begins with knowing which ones you should use right away, and which ones can wait. If you’re just looking to implement a few core features: like say Order Management. Your installation will go much smoother if you hold off on features like Territory Management until later. By doing it in stages, your employees will have a better idea of what they’re supposed to be working on. And how they fit into that new process. This isn’t just important during sales force implementations; it’s something worth considering if you want users to actually start using what they’re learning about.
Create an Ongoing Improvement Plan
A good way to improve how you work is by monitoring your metrics and taking small actions based on that data. You can start by creating an ongoing improvement plan (OIP). An OIP documents improvements you want to make and describes how you’ll measure those improvements. For example, if you want your customer support agents to respond faster, track average response time over several months. Once that data is available, use it as a baseline for future performance goals. Ideally, once you’ve come up with a way of measuring success, it will inspire more people in your organization whether they are co-workers or clients to pitch in and offer ideas for improvement as well.
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Implementation, monitoring and maintenance services will make your software investment go even further. While having a solid understanding of how a product works is important, so too is having someone on hand who can address your concerns and optimize your sales tool once it’s live. A partnership with a company that offers integrated services can get you up and running quickly. Check out what they have to offer, as it might just be worth paying them a bit more than you would for a standard installation. That way, you know that when there are questions or issues, you’ll have an experienced team who knows exactly how to respond—and make sure your technology investment makes sense over time.
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