Blasting off to Implementation Success on the Salesforce Platform

While you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to implement Salesforce at your organization, it may certainly feel like you’re reaching for the stars trying to get things right. Declaring “Mission Success” requires several stars to align, but the probability of success is increased dramatically by having a few of these key components in place.

One critical factor to success is the alignment of your teams within your organization. If Salesforce is the “Rocket Ship” that’s going to propel your business forward then everyone will need to contribute something to get it assembled, launched, and manned to its final destination.

Using the analogy of launching a shuttle into space, let’s see what it takes to declare your Salesforce implementation an out-of-this-world success.

Prepare the Crew for Take-Off

Consider your CRM Users as the pilots and crew of the space shuttle.

You’ve spent a lot of time (and money) preparing the shuttle (your Salesforce instance) for your crew to hop in and blast off, but would they trust the shuttle to launch them into space? At the end of the day, the CRM is being implemented to make business operations run smoother by reducing or eliminating the friction users currently experience.

When no one wants to log in to the CRM and use the tool, the idea of success will fade into obscurity. That is just the beginning of a disastrous domino effect, because when users don’t enter data into the system, it’s not available for reporting and analytics. When it’s not available for use, it’s not available for decision making. And when you can’t act on it, then what’s the purpose.

While planning the implementation, be sure to consult with several teams that will be enabled on the platform. Find the power users from each team and find where present day challenges exist. While not all of them have to be solved at Go-Live, they do have to be considered and communicated in a roadmap. Creating a blueprint for the CRM allows everyone to gain insight into the vision for the system and be aware of when features will become available for them.

Again, the goal is to reduce friction for the users of the system and having buy-in from those core users is a great start to ensure implementation success. If you’ve rolled out the CRM to your team and then started asking questions, you’ve already failed.

What other group within the business do you think needs to offer their stamp of approval?

There can be no Mission without Mission Control

Let’s talk about Mission Control, our analog to the leadership team.

Mission Control supports the space shuttle on its mission. It’s there to oversee every aspect of the mission and make decisions to move the mission forward. If the leadership team is not on board with using Salesforce as an instrument for accomplishing business goals, then we’re not going to get too far.

Your leadership team needs to appreciate and realize the benefit to them by using Salesforce, so that they’re invested in its success. Your key executive sponsors should include the CEO, CIO, and CTO. Implementing Salesforce is a huge commitment for the company, so it needs to be a company wide initiative.

It should be a bit clearer now why we need the engagement of various business units to ensure a successful launch. Having everyone aligned strengthens the foundation for our CRM project, but we need another ingredient to propel things forward: A Mission Commander.

Meet your Mission Commander

Someone will need to be a designated champion for Salesforce. Think of them as the mission commander, responsible for all elements of getting the shuttle from Earth to say, Mars. This individual realizes the potential benefit Salesforce can bring to the organization and is dedicated to ensuring the business takes full advantage of what it has to offer.

While they may not be an expert just yet, they take the initiative to learn and explore the various Salesforce features enabling the business to make the right decisions on future projects. This may even be multiple people across business units, but together they keep the vision alive and moving forward. It just depends on how large your organization is.

It’s wise to budget for this role ahead of time and expect to promote or hire shortly after go live. After all, someone will have to maintain Salesforce and deal with any hiccups along the way.

Journey vs. Destination

By now we’ve got 3 of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle in place to launch towards success. Now we need to paint the picture of success.

How will success be measured?

Has the company made an effort to outline metrics they’ll use to determine how well things are going once the CRM is rolled-out to users?

We want to capture some baseline metrics once we launch, and keep track of those to determine what we can improve upon. It’s important to keep in mind that implementing Salesforce is not a one time event. You start by laying out a foundation and then building on top of it. That’s why the involvement of the end users, leadership, and a champion are all vital to the success of an implementation. Those groups are all tightly coupled together in the formula for success.

Enabling your vision is our passion.

As your trusted implementation partner, we’ll work side-by-side with you to envision, plan and build a fully-integrated engagement platform—and give you the tools and training to make it a success. Contact us today to learn more.

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