Salesforce is the world’s number one Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and gives companies a complete overview of their performance across operations, finance, sales, marketing and more. In this guide we explain the process involved in Salesforce implementation, the benefits you stand to gain, and best practice tips to improve your experience.
For assistance with the implementation of Salesforce software, get in touch with our team of qualified Salesforce consultants.
The Different Types of Salesforce Implementation
There are two ways to implement Salesforce, though one is much more common than the other.
- In-house implementation
This route is rare. Although implementing Salesforce completely in-house is a cost saver, the potential for error is high. Often this can result in a build with scalability issues and in almost all cases, the learning curve and limited knowledge outweigh the costs of investing in a Salesforce consultant.
- Partnering with a Salesforce consultant
Finding and working with a Salesforce consultant gives you immediate access to years of knowledge and implementation experience. Instead of tackling the entire project yourself, a team of experts design and build a CRM system fully tailored to your business. At Purus, we pride ourselves on our business understanding and the ability to deliver exactly what is needed.
The Implementation Process
Salesforce implementation generally follows a set structure:
- Determine What You Will Use Salesforce For
- Identify Your Decision Makers
- Familiarise Your Team with Salesforce
- Migrate your Existing CRM Data
- Roll Out in Phases
- Test and Review
Step 1: Determine What You Will Use Salesforce For
Salesforce is a powerful tool, so it makes sense to use it for as much as you can. Ask the various departments within your business to provide feedback on questions like:
- What part(s) of your workflow feel inefficient?
- Is there any manual part of the job that could be automated?
- What pain points does the team regularly face?
- What processes work that you feel can be replicated?
Based on their answers, you will have a good indication of where you will benefit from implementing Salesforce and how best it can meet your needs.
Step 2: Identify Your Project Lead, Key Decision Makers and Stakeholders
Selecting a project lead is an important step in the process. This person will be involved in every stage of the implementation process and sharing valuable Salesforce knowledge with the team.
Equally important is the identification of the individuals that have a vested interest in the project, such as managers and stakeholders. By looping the right people in from the very beginning (your sales manager, marketing manager and customer service manager, for example) you ensure that the key departments are represented and alignment is maintained throughout the implementation process.
Step 3: Familiarise Your Team with Salesforce
The more training and resources you can provide your team, the better the chance of a smooth and successful Salesforce onboarding. Salesforce has a significant learning curve, but the capabilities it offers make the task extremely worthwhile.
Partnering with a Salesforce consultant is beneficial for this reason. With the Purus training courses, we ensure that your team is fully trained and up-to-date with the latest Salesforce technology.
Step 4: Migrate your Existing CRM Data
Your existing data is invaluable, and a critical step of the implementation is moving this data onto Salesforce. Data migration can be more complicated than it first seems, and the risks of doing this incorrectly are high: your data could be compromised, or become inconsistent or duplicated.
A Salesforce partner will be able to assist with data migration and system checks to make sure everything is working as it should. There are also tools that let you protect and clean your Salesforce data, ensuring what you launch with is accurate and reliable.
Step 5: The Build
With the above in place, the Salesforce requirements specific to your business are brought to life. This is largely handled by the Salesforce consultants and developers, but the project lead and certain key stakeholders should be kept in the know to prepare for deployment.
Step 6: Roll Out in Phases
Launching everything at once is almost sure to overwhelm your team. The extensive tools afforded by Salesforce require some time and involvement to fully understand, and this is best achieved in stages.
Introduce the team to a few key elements and features, and listen to their feedback. This will provide you with insights and ways to improve the rollout process, and give the team the chance to adapt and learn at a reasonable pace.
Step 7: Test and Review
The last step before taking your new CRM system live is to review the implementation. Does anything need to be adjusted? Can anything be improved? With a critical eye, you’re likely to find at least one aspect or element of the workflow that has been overlooked.
Working with your project lead and managers to ensure your processes are as efficient as possible will only improve your employee speed and uptake of Salesforce.
Step 8: Launch (and Provide Ongoing CRM Maintenance and Support)
Your Salesforce consultant will complete the final necessary checks to make sure the system is working as intended. Thereafter, you’re ready to roll out your new Salesforce system.
Because of the magnitude and complexity of Salesforce, there are always updates and changes. Account for this by maintaining your CRM and conducting regular reviews of your processes and workflows.
Best Practice Tips to Effect a Successful Implementation
These five helpful tips will go even further to ensuring your new Salesforce system is a success:
1. Bring a Salesforce Partner
A Salesforce Partner will be responsible for maintaining the system, helping your team implement and understand new features, and staying current with the latest Salesforce products and functionality.
2. Monitor and Audit your Salesforce System
The ever-changing nature of Salesforce, such as rollout of new features, makes regularly monitoring and auditing your existing system a worthwhile exercise. By staying updated with the latest tools and trends, you maintain a peak level of efficiency and use the system to its maximum potential.
3. Clearly Define Your Salesforce Requirements
Keep your Salesforce requirements as clear and specific as possible. Salesforce implementation can be derailed when expectations and reality are not aligned.
4. Work Towards Timelines
Work with your project lead and Salesforce consultant to create an achievable timeline for Salesforce integration and implementation. This keeps everything on track from a timing perspective, and gives you advanced warning should anything be delayed.
5. Offer Training and Resource Material
The popularity of Salesforce means that resources and training material are plentiful. The more employee training you can offer your team for learning and staying up to date with the CRM system, the better.
Put Salesforce into Action
Many companies opt for a Salesforce implementation and consulting partner to help with the challenges before anything goes live. At Purus, our Salesforce consultancy services include:
For assistance with any Salesforce products or services, speak to a Purus Salesforce consultant today. Get in Touch.