Salesforce.com Implementation Considerations
Your company has been evaluating different CRM applications for weeks or maybe even months now. They decided on Salesforce. Now what? Where do you start?
Kamela and Jim describe a typical Salesforce implementation process and key considerations in their latest podcast. A summary of the considerations are also outlined below.
Start by educating yourself with online resources, documentation guides, or even demos. Demos can be provided by your Salesforce Account Executive or implementation partner.
Selecting a Salesforce implementation partner is critical for ensuring a successful implementation. Select an implementation partner that is knowledgeable in the Salesforce modules you are implementing and works cohesively with your project team. Beware of the bait and switch with larger implementation partners during the sales process and make sure you talk to or receive resumes of the partner's project team members.
We understand that your project team members have day jobs and cannot devote all of their working hours in endless meetings discussing business process or reviewing mock ups. For that very reason, it is NOT necessary to have the implementation consultants sitting onsite, 40 hours a week to meet an unrealistic timeline. It is usually more efficient to break up the long meetings into smaller chunks and conduct web meetings. The internal project team selection is critical in ensuring a successful implementation. Select the project team members in the organization that are advocates of Salesforce and open to change.
Although reviewing the current business processes is a crucial part of the project, don't lose sight of the overall goals and objectives for the future. Salesforce should not be used to simply replace a process, but enhance and add value to your users which will ultimately increase adoption.
Getting key users involved early will increase adoption Have key users play a role in the system design by inviting them to interim design review walk throughs..
Start analyzing the data that will need to be migrated to Salesforce early. Data from a legacy or external system should be evaluated early on in the project as it will effect your timeline and implementation strategy. Data migration is often the reason why timelines are missed.
Be realistic about the timing of your project rollout. Often companies are targeting a rollout around a major conference where all of the users will be in 1 physical location. If there is a drop dead date to roll out Salesforce make sure you prioritize the list of deliverables to meet the needs without compromising process or quality.
Salesforce may require ongoing enhancements. Salesforce has a release 3 times a year with new features and functionality that your company may want to take advantage of. Additionally, other departments may be targeted for future phases. These enhancements and new departments are best handled by utilizing your implementation partner.