How to plan a successful Salesforce Implementation?

Introduction

How to plan a successful Salesforce Implementation? You’ve decided to join the millions of businesses using Salesforce CRM. But what comes next? Salesforce CRM is a complex tool — and integrating it with your existing culture, processes, and infrastructure will take some time. So let’s take a look at how to plan a successful implementation with our Salesforce CRM checklist.

Define Goals and Objectives

Identifying your goals and objectives is a crucial aspect for a successful Salesforce Implementation.

  • Why do you need a CRM? First, make a list of your requirements; you will need to know whether vanilla Salesforce CRM can meet your needs, whether you need add-ons, or whether you might need custom programming.
  • What are your key pain points? How are these impacting your business? Next, you need to know that your Salesforce implementation can address these problems.
  • How are you storing customer information? How are you tracking customer interactions? Are these interactions easy enough to transfer into Salesforce?
  • Is your business processes well defined?  It is crucial to have a well-defined process
  • How easy will it be to export information from your current system? Do you want to export everything at once, or would you instead run both systems parallel?
  • What is your budget? What is the timeline? This will significantly impact planning.
  • What metrics will you use to determine the success of the project? Many times, the success of a project can become a relative term. For example, integrators may feel that they’ve done an excellent job because they completed the project successfully but in reality it has failed to meet the goals and objectives.

Current State vs. Future State

  • What system are you using right now? Your existing system will control how the transition will be completed and how data will be transferred.
  • Have you defined your sales model?  If you want to implement a CRM solution for your sales team, a well-defined sales model will help you build processes, metrics, and objectives. Technology alone cannot do magic. It would help if you had a blueprint ready to outline your sales process, reporting structure.
  • How will you integrate all processes and departments utilizing the new tool? To take complete advantage of your new system, you need to understand what it can deliver. Identify your integration needs. Decide what information needs to be synched in real-time, what information can be near real-time, and what information can be synced in regular intervals
  • How easy is it for senior management to pull information and generate accurate reports? As a result, senior management will be critical in adoption.
  • Is the overall data accurate? Does your team trust it? If you can’t bring over accurate data, your Salesforce implementation has already failed.
  • Who is going to be using the system? When will they be trained? What kind of support will they be given? Identify and define user personas so that you can define user stories and requirements from their perspective.

Planning and Delivery

  • User Stories and Sprint Planning: You should capture requirements in the form of user stories along with the actor. A user story is incomplete without acceptance criteria.
  • Which goals are short-term and which are long-term? You will need to track multiple phases of this implementation. Use Agile methodologies to define the sprints to ensure that work products are demoed and reviewed after each sprint.
  • Who needs to see what? It is essential from a data and security perspective. In a zero-trust environment, Salesforce implementation should reduce access whenever possible. Refer to the Salesforce who sees what series to understand the visibility and sharing concepts.
  • What is the organizational structure and hierarchy? The organization’s structure and hierarchy will need to be brought into the configuration of the CRM.
  • Design Review Your team should spend time ensuring that the design is scalable and meets the requirements.
  • What about the UI/UX design? Salesforce pages shouldn’t appear as long forms of 40+ fields. The system has to be less intimidating for users who are going to use it daily. Spend time prototyping and validating the UI framework and testing it out with users who aren’t already familiar with the project.
  • Have you implemented validation rules, such as duplication management, to ensure data quality? The implementation of a new system is the most likely time for data errors.
  • The human-centric design approach considers users first. How can you design a system thats easy to use? Will they need to spend a lot of time entering data? Can they focus on their core tasks? Will they ever see “too much”?

Many integrators use the Apex approach as a solution for every problem. But when the only tool you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails. So if you want to know how to plan a successful implementation, the above checklist is a start. But Salesforce implementation is complex and requires buy-ins at every level of the organization. So the focus should be on these aspects during the sprint.

If you’re ready to dive into your Salesforce implementation, the time to do so is now. Contact us today for more information about CRM implementation services. Our experienced and Salesforce certified team is here to help you through each step of the process.