While aimed at helping to manage your business challenges, Salesforce implementation may not bring the desired outcomes because of poor planning. This blog will show you the steps you should take for successful Salesforce implementation. Salesforce implementation can be challenging, regardless of the team's skill level. In fact, CRM implementation projects have a failure rate of anywhere between 30% to 70%. You can make your Salesforce implementation successful by careful planning, finding the right partner, including all the affected employees, and focusing on the needs and concerns of the end users.
According to Salesforce, properly implemented solutions increase revenue by more than 37% on average. To ensure a successful Salesforce implementation, organizations should follow the following eight-step framework:
The process can be divided into two phases for a better understanding. Steps 1-4 mark the first phase that is critical in ensuring your Salesforce implementation aligns with your business goals and addresses its immediate needs. This phase also plays a significant role in the testing phase, where the expectations and the system usually contradict. In this phase, explicitness increases your chances of success. Steps 5 -8 can be followed through Waterfall methodology or Agile methodology. The waterfall method completes each step as a whole before moving to the next phase. This is a more typical approach for initial implementation, as it allows you to build the product as a whole at first, then test and go live. It gives an idea of how everything will work, but this method can sometimes lead to expectations vs. reality being further apart compared to the second option. The agile method is quite a different approach; in this method, each step is broken down into smaller stages. Each stage involves continuous collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement at every step. Once the work begins, teams follow a cycle of planning, executing, evaluating, and going live at each stage. This method is preferred as it is more flexible in prioritizing developments and enhancements on different system parts in near-real-time!
First and foremost, who is relevant to the project? You'll have to identify and define the entities with a vested interest in the project and whose needs will be addressed as part of the implementation. Next, you'll have to define some key roles and responsibilities for the project. End Users: These are the team of people actively using the system. Usually, one person from each team is chosen to represent the end user's needs. Role: Their primary function is to identify the problems and needs of the end users and explicitly define what success looks like to them. Superusers: These individuals belong to the end user group that are eager users and willing to help with the testing and final rollout of the implementation. Role: A Super User's basic responsibility is to support end users in their departments before, during, and after go-live to ensure a successful implementation. Project Manager: This individual is responsible for planning and developing the project idea. They need to create and lead the team, monitor project progress, set deadlines, solve issues that arise, manage money, ensure stakeholder satisfaction, and evaluate project performance, including the performance of their team members. Decision Maker: This individual has the authority to make decisions for the project, like timeline, budget, or even design decisions.
Okay, now that your stakeholders are defined, you can engage them to determine the project's goals. Some of the example questions that help identify goals are:
This phase helps identify the main pain points and which area needs the most impact. These goals help in prioritization later on. Moreover, it helps the alignment of the visions of the stakeholders and gives the project a better chance of success.
Well great! Now you have a team with an aligned vision for a successful salesforce implementation. Next, you need to identify what specific functions you want in the new system to support your vision. How should you define your requirements?
The best practice for defining requirements is to include everyone but not at the same time. You can assign each team to identify requirements, and then after reviewing, prepare a clear list of what you want from the new system.
Great! You are now on the last step of the first phase, which includes identifying high-priority requirements. You'll be less likely to have enough resources to fulfill all your requirements in your expected time frame. So, for an efficient Salesforce implementation, categorize your requirements as follows:
Now that your requirements are categorized ask your Salesforce partner to start putting together an effort estimate on each requirement. Estimating requirements is one of the main tasks of your chosen Salesforce partner, and you should set this point on your expectations list. Afterward, it's up to you to prioritize based on what fits within the budget.
The next phase begins now! In this step, all your requirements will become live. Obviously, you'll not be involved directly in the building process as it is mainly consultants and development teams, but you should discuss these 3 things with them:
After some functionality has been built or a draft solution has been implemented in the sandbox. It's time to connect with the business team and implementation partner to ensure that the expectations meet reality. Some tips for this step are as follows:
Now that you have finished reviewing the functionality, check the feedback gathered and any additional feedback that is required. Next, compare the input collected with the initial high-priority requirement list. If you have any feedback on additional requirements that were not on the list previously, you can add them to the current project or add them to the future phase. Remember that if you add it to the current project, you'll need to re-evaluate the time frames. Now that you have conveyed your feedback to your partners. The second and third reviews will mainly focus on the changes made rather than the process.
When technical aspects are signed-off, it's time to ensure that the transition process is smooth and calculated. You'll want to inform all the affected end-users about the changes. It's beneficial to send multiple reminders about the changes and transition before the final date. Training is another critical factor before implementing the new system. Without it, users will get frustrated even when the system is designed with all the essential requirements.
This is it – the day you've been dreaming of since day 1! You'll be deploying according to the pre-deployment, deployment, and post-deployment steps you've outlined since the build phase. Some critical tips for a successful deployment:
A properly planned and managed implementation process allows releasing the full potential of your Salesforce solution. Whizzbridge experts will be glad to help if you need all-around assistance in Salesforce implementation. We provide the implementation of key Salesforce products, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Community Cloud. We can carry out the implementation from consulting to after-launch support of your Salesforce solution.