Businesses often need help making the most of their CRM software implementation, and Salesforce is no exception. Too many companies try to go it alone and find that their CRM software sits unused until someone or something comes along to force a proper implementation.
Getting expert advice before implementing Salesforce software pays off substantially and can help you avoid common problems companies experience when they deploy Salesforce (or other CRM software) without sufficient planning. Following is a discussion of common problems businesses encounter if they go into their Salesforce software rollout without proper preparation.
Expecting It to Be Everything to Everybody From Day One
Salesforce software is so feature-rich that it’s easy to expect the world of it. In fact, it can pretty much deliver if your deployment is well planned and executed. A lot of businesses choose Salesforce and then feel like a kid in a candy store. Rest assured you’ll get to use all those amazing tools, but you can’t expect Salesforce to revolutionize everything overnight.
Defining and articulating your standard sales process is an essential first step before implementing any CRM software. Consider starting small and focused, perhaps with a pilot project amongst a test group that will deliver valuable feedback. Later, you can iterate outward to the larger audience.
Thinking Salesforce Can Compensate for Poor Data Quality
You need to clean up your data before importing it into Salesforce. Eliminate duplicates, populate as many fields (accurately) as possible, and determine which fields are most relevant to your processes. Salesforce software is powerful, but it can’t make up for data that’s wrong, incomplete, or redundant. Once you have data organized in a spreadsheet, do a preliminary import of a handful of records as a test case. Ensure all fields mapped to the correct location in Salesforce. If not, you haven’t wasted the effort on a huge number of data records.
Assuming Everyone Will Use It Just Because It’s There
Everyone has heard of Salesforce, and know it by name and reputation. But that doesn’t guarantee people will immediately start using it just because it’s been deployed. Buy-in from the executive level down through the ranks is important, and the day Salesforce goes live should be anticipated by all who will use it. User adoption will determine whether your investment in Salesforce software is successful, so everyone should be encouraged to try it. You can even make the first day a big event, perhaps offering a door prize after drawing a name from those who log into Salesforce on launch day.
Training Is Essential to Make the Most of Salesforce
Salesforce software is designed to be intuitive, and offers great resources including tutorials and a Knowledge Base. Encourage users to take advantage of these. However, there is simply no substitute for high quality training. This gets everyone on the same page, and ensures that the features that are most relevant to your processes are learned thoroughly. Training is an investment – sometimes a big one. But there’s a significant difference between the workforce that figures out Salesforce software on their own and the team that is trained to use all the features that will be of benefit.
Don’t Underestimate What a Great Salesforce Implementation Can Do
Defining goals, rolling out Salesforce in stages, and providing training are important because there is so much that Salesforce can do. Lots of companies deploy Salesforce software for sales and marketing, but they don’t consider how CRM software can be customized and used throughout the company. From customer-facing teams all the way through support and development personnel, Salesforce can benefit more than just the sales and marketing teams. Though you don’t have to roll it out to everyone at once, as soon as you choose to go with Salesforce, there’s no reason not to consider ways it can help departments outside of sales and marketing.
If Salesforce software is in your future, working with an implementation partner can make all the difference in how much your company benefits from it. Out of the Box Consulting has more than 20 years of experience with enterprise information systems and has worked with salesforce.com since 2004. Out of the Box Consulting is an SFDC Certified Cloud Alliance Partner and offers comprehensive services from system architecture through custom app development, to integration with other systems. Out of the Box Consulting is committed to ensuring that every implementation meets or exceeds expectations and solves business problems. If you’d like more information or have any questions, please contact us at any time. We would love the opportunity to speak with you.