Preparing for Salesforce Project Success
It’s no secret that many organizations struggle to see Salesforce project success. Most projects start with excitement and high expectations but go down from there. Unfortunately there’s no perfect recipe that fits every organization, so I thought I would share a few tips that may help you realize Salesforce project success in your organization.
Understand the Capabilities of Salesforce
It is not unusual to see a great demo when you are evaluating CRM products. The visualization capabilities of Salesforce today are pretty spectacular. Being able to see the problems you have been struggling with magically disappear in the demo is certainly exciting. The reality however is that Salesforce can solve more problems than could ever be shown in a demo. Be sure you fully understand what is possible with the Salesforce before you start your project. In all likelihood, Salesforce will do more that most ever expect, you just have to have the vision to design it. If you are not sure, reach out to a Salesforce expert. Those type questions are always free at Alternetics, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Don’t Expect Plug-and-Play
A common assumption is that Salesforce has a baked in sales process that will fix all your sales problems out of the box. I cannot begin to tell you how many sales leaders have said “…we will just adopt the out of the box Salesforce process and make everyone learn it…”. While it is true there is basic process built in, Salesforce is designed to adopt your process, not the other way around. It is pretty much guaranteed your team will not use the product if does not provide value in the way they sell and market today. Be sure to map your process and then have that process built into Salesforce. It is actually best to have that in hand during the demo just to make sure you know what is available out of the box and what will have to be built. If you don’t have a process, hire someone to help nail that down before you start your Salesforce deployment.
One of the benefits of cloud based computing is that is has made the software world a much friendlier place. Salesforce has certainly been an advocate in that area as well. Let’s face it, all you have to do to launch Salesforce is to sign up via the web and lay down a credit card! This ease of sign up can give a false sense of reality when it comes to Salesforce. Salesforce projects are very complicated. Unlike other projects, there are generally five different ways to accomplish the same outcome in Salesforce. Unfortunately four of the five are probably going to lead you to a dead end later. The only way to know which route to pick is experience. The person with the most free time or the salesperson who is not making their number should not be your first choice to lead your Salesforce project. That’s not a slight on the emerging Salesforce administrators out there, but rather advice that apprenticeship is a good thing in Salesforce. Not having and experienced Salesforce project leader can be more detrimental than you could imagine.
Set a Healthy Project Budget
Salesforce ROI may be one of the more elusive numbers in business. I wrote another post on this topic if you are interested. When you have an elusive ROI, how in the world can you budget for the project? What I would suggest is to use a little personal reflection and hypothetical math. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Could your sales team make 1 – 5 more sales if they managed their process better or potential deals did not drop through the cracks? How much are each of those deals worth?
- Would your business be more valuable or more marketable if you had good data, transparent results, and a fingertip answers to business questions? Would that be 1-Mil , 10 Mil, or perhaps more? If you are unsure, as a business broker. I am confident they will know the answer.
- How much money will you waste on failed marketing and sales effort because your databases is not complete or current? It is not uncommon to spend 25% of revenue or more on sales related activities. That can add up to a sizable amount of money to be gambling on efforts not supported by accurate data.
In the end, you can spend every dollar you budget building a Salesforce deployment. Put a value on each part of the project and move forward. And be sure to budget for more projects in the future. If you see Salesforce project success, it is almost guaranteed you will have more Salesforce requests in the future.
Well there you have it. That should be enough to get you on the right track. If we can help you in your path to CRM project success, I hope you take the time to reach out.