Many companies implement Salesforce.com and use it to try and transform into a technology powerhouse. Unfortunately, this plan often fails when the company blindly replaces outdated systems with Salesforce.
The critical mistake is not understanding what they're getting into and pushing the system beyond its limits. Instead, organisations must understand what Salesforce can do before implementing it correctly.
So, what exactly is Salesforce?
Salesforce is a cloud CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM systems help companies manage relationships with their customers and prospects. Organisations can also use it to track each customer's history, sales orders, and all sorts of other information.
To make the system work and use it effectively, knowing what Salesforce can do, how to use its features and how to analyse the data will help you make the most out of it.
Although Salesforce is supposed to make things easier for your business, when done incorrectly, it consumes more of your time and attention if you fail to manage it properly. As a result, the costs of launch, maintenance and optimisation may make it too much money to handle.
Salesforce is not a stand-alone CRM system; it works with other systems in your organisation. Looking at the bigger picture rather than just installing Salesforce and expecting amazing things from it is essential.
Salesforce will fit into your existing business processes, and you need to ensure that its setup is correct for your company. But how do you ensure that your Salesforce provides you with 100% value?
Here are some common issues that occur during Salesforce implementation that companies ignore:
1 Underestimating Salesforce implementation requirements
You need to consider your company's needs to ensure that your Salesforce implementation provides 100% value. The first step is to identify the business components you need to integrate into the Salesforce CRM and whether they can connect with the application. You may have some existing systems in place and want to join them, but this isn't always an option.
If you don't plan, think, and analyse your implementation requirements before moving on with the implementation process, it could cost you a lot of money and time.
2 Not prioritising data clean-up.
Many companies forget to prioritise how they will maintain their data. The company's IT department is responsible for cleaning up the data in Salesforce and backing up all the changes made to Salesforce since its implementation.
Although this might not seem like a big deal, it can cost a lot of money and time if you don't think of it during your implementation process. If you fail to analyse how the CRM stores your data and what you need to clean up, you risk damaging your data. A company's data is considered the lifeline of its business, so without a proper system, your business is risking its chance to grow.
3 Not having a Post-Salesforce implementation plan.
Once the organisation has all its systems and applications in place, it needs to have a post-implementation plan ready. The primary purpose of the post-implementation plan is to maintain your Salesforce accounts, whether they are active or inactive, and back up every change. If you can't do this, data will likely get damaged and out of sync with your other systems.
If organisations don't have a detailed plan for maintaining their data after implementation, companies will damage how it runs their business. Furthermore, getting everything back in order and keeping track of the changes may take a lot of time and money.
4 Trying to do everything on your own
Many companies try to do everything themselves regarding Salesforce implementation and make mistakes. During your Salesforce implementation process, you will have to plan how to manage and use the new system and communicate it to the rest of the company.
Involving the IT and business team leaders from the beginning helps to ensure they're all on board and aware of what they need to do.
When implementing Salesforce, consider reaching out to other companies with experience implementing the system and other consultants and specialists who can guide the company through the entire process.
5 Having ambiguous goals
You need to set clear objectives for the implementation. For example, selecting the number of contacts you'll have in Salesforce, and the time frame to reach that number. It also helps to assess your current CRM system and decide what updates you will make once you have moved to your Salesforce account.
If you do not have clear goals, then there is no way for you to evaluate the success of the CRM implementation process. You must understand what you want from the application to implement a Salesforce that works with more effective business results. By recognising your goals and how Salesforce will help you reach them, you will evaluate whether the implementation is successful and continue using the application.
6 Incompatible partners
Salesforce is widely popular for its ability to integrate into any industry and still deliver value. A use case and settings configuration in one sector may not be correct for another, so to get the best out of your Salesforce, you need to seek help from a partner that understands your business.
Doing this ensures the best results for your Salesforce. For example, if you are working in the medical industry, selecting a Salesforce partner who is experienced and knowledgeable about the medical industry is essential.
If your implementation process involves connecting your Salesforce with other systems within or outside your company, it's essential to prioritise compatibility during the selection phase. You'll also need to prioritise training and give your team members time to learn how to use Salesforce in their day-to-day operations.
When you don't understand how the systems in your company connect with others, you need to hire the right Salesforce implementation partners to help you with your company's project.
7 Failing to Manage Your Sandbox Correctly
Many Salesforce beginners make the mistake of bypassing Salesforce Sandbox and going straight to their Production. Salesforce Sandbox is a safe testing environment that allows you to test new features and functionality before introducing them into the production environment. The production environment is always more sensitive than the Sandbox since it contains your critical business data.
The Sandbox is where you perform all your business-related activities. Therefore, testing your new Salesforce features in a sandbox environment first and ensuring it works out before adding them to the production environment is in our Salesforce 101.
Fair warning, failure to properly manage your Sandbox will lead to the accidental implementation of technical issues in your enterprise and eventually lose control.
8 Moving your data over incorrectly
If you're moving data over directly to Salesforce without data migration, you will likely face difficulty in the implementation process. To ensure your Salesforce implementation is successful, you need to use a data migration tool or move your data from one service to another, especially if your company runs multiple services simultaneously.
Using a data migration tool during the Salesforce implementation process reduces the risk of making mistakes that lead to catastrophic data loss. It ensures the correct movement of your data, and your company can run its business smoothly. Moreover, following the proper procedure will ensure the integration of your files, and the outcome will be efficient.
9 Not calculating the total cost of the implementation
Calculating the total cost of the Salesforce implementation is important because it helps forecast return on investment (ROI) and your budget. To calculate the price, look at all aspects, including human resources, hardware, and software.
It will also help to research hidden costs before finalising the implementation process. Failing to calculate the total cost of the Salesforce implementation could result in unnecessary expenses that could have been avoided if you'd taken your time to figure it out.
Having a well-thought-out plan and carefully planning the steps of your implementation process will mitigate these issues. Steps in the plan include:
- Setting clear objectives, following a step-by-step procedure.
- Identifying the right partner.
- Having a detailed budget.
10 Waiting until launch to engage internal users of Salesforce
During your Salesforce integration, it's essential to allow internal users and partners to be involved in the process to understand how your organisation will use the system. To ensure that you get the right services and tools, you need to involve as many people as possible.
It'd help to provide training and organise events for the staff to introduce them to the new Salesforce system as well, enabling your company to achieve its efficiency, productivity, and reliability goals.
Alternatively, if you don't adequately plan, the company will experience problems with the implementation. This might ruin the whole process and stop the company from getting the expected results from the Salesforce implementation.
11 Stop using Salesforce as a digital Rolodex and go beyond basic contact management.
A common mistake many users make is using Salesforce as just a digital Rolodex. They forget that the system has so much more to offer. One such thing is lead scoring, which helps you determine which leads are important and who should access them first.
Salesforce can also help your teams share information about customers in real-time and make better decisions with up-to-date data. Salesforce can be integrated with other systems and automate data entry as well, saving time when completing your tasks.
Summing it Up
Salesforce is the world's leading CRM platform that enables companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. It's excellent for companies that want to enhance their business through more efficient sales & services, decision-making and greater market intelligence. Consider these Salesforce best practice points when evaluating Salesforce for your company.
And remember, don't be discouraged if your adoption ends up being a little bumpy: Coforge is here to help you succeed. If you need assistance with the implementation or other issues, contact us.