How to make your Salesforce implementation a success

Jan Dost

Jan Dost

Customer Engagement Director

8/25/2020 - 4 min read

After much deliberation you have made a decision: You have chosen Salesforce and an implementation is needed to achieve better customer relations or work more efficiently within your organisation. For a successful implementation of Salesforce, you need a partner who knows exactly what the possibilities are in Salesforce and how to get the most out of your licenses. Regardless of the size of the organisation, the industry you are active in, the complexity of the issue and whether you are optimising your sales, service or marketing processes. But what is actually involved in a Salesforce implementation, what does the collaboration look like and what do we expect from you as a customer?

The kick-off of a Salesforce implementation: from objectives to action plan

Let's get straight to the point: there is no such thing as one right way to implement Salesforce. Simply because every organisation is different and everyone has their unique goals and challenges. This is why we always start a project with a kick-off. Despite the fact that we have already talked at length with each other about the goals and wishes of the organisation before drawing up the necessary paperwork, this is an important first step.

We discuss the ambitions around this Salesforce implementation together, whether the planning is realistic and what you expect from the Salesforce implementation. Of course, we also discuss the availability of your own people, the project team and our plan of action. Finally, we need insight into the processes in your organisation. By knowing how processes work, we can better advise and implement.

The importance of change management

As an advisor, we keep you on your toes by being critical of the goals you have in mind, and the feasibility of the project. This is why, during kick-off, we further discuss the expectations you have of Salesforce. We prefer to discuss these expectations through all layers of the organisation: from senior management to end users. It won't be the first time that expectations within an organisation vary widely. It is crucial for the success of the implementation that everyone has the same goal in mind and supports the project. Therefore, think about steps you can take in change management in order to get everyone on the same track.

Successful implementation through support throughout the organisation

To create support, it is very important to involve a fixed group of end users in the entire implementation process. Not only is their input valuable, but above all they gain much valuable knowledge during the process which enables them to give their colleagues a demo. It is much better for the adoption process if your direct colleague explains to you what is changing and how this adds value, than if an external party would do so. That's why we are happy to use this group of people to ultimately train and assist the end users in the transition. In addition, we often turn this group into super users who have more knowledge than the rest of the organisation so they can train others.

What we expect from you as a customer

We believe that a good implementation is only achieved when we work closely together at all levels of the organisation. It starts with management: communication from the top of the organisation to the team about the usefulness and necessity of the change is very important for the process of adoption. In addition, it is very important for the successful implementation that the project leader in an organisation has sufficient authority to make decisions, to create support and influence the adoption of Salesforce within the organisation. At the very least the project manager needs a sponsor or advocate within management. Finally, it is of course important that the right people are available for input, feedback and tests.

Technology specialists at work

Our implementation team not only consists of technology specialists such as Salesforce consultants and developers, but also of a project manager with a lot of technical expertise and experience who acts as a cooperating foreman or woman. He or she will not only guide you through the project in the best possible way, but also provide you with the best possible advice. For example, if you have specific requirements that need a high level of customisation when implementing your Salesforce product, it's nice to have a project manager hold up a mirror and sometimes show you that this may not always be necessary because in the end you get more value for money with a standard solution.

The composition of the implementation team varies depending on the work that needs to be done. Based on a general design, we provide more detailed and then get to work. We often work iteratively and plan 2 to 3 weekly sprints so we can see interim results and generate value for our customers as quickly as possible. This can be done using scrum, but if customers are less agile that is not necessary.

How long does a Salesforce implementation take?

We are frequently asked how long a Salesforce implementation takes. This depends on many factors and can vary from 10-15 days to 2 or 3 months for more complex processes. Although we like to celebrate the delivery together with our customers, it is important to know that it doesn't end with delivery. By continuously monitoring whether you're achieving your goals, you can intervene quickly when improvements need to be made to get the most out of Salesforce. Everything to ensure that your employees can do their job faster, more effectively and smarter. Not just now, but also in the future.

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