Implementing Salesforce is not the easiest of tasks, especially if you are doing it for the first time, even though the CRM leader has tried a lot to make the process simple, logical and intuitive. A lot of people are also inclined to think that the biggest challenges to successful Salesforce implementation are technical, however, challenging as they may be, a lot of concerns are also related to planning and people. Some common mistakes that Salesforce administrators make:
#1 Failing to Obtain Adequate Project Support:
For any Salesforce implementation to succeed it is obvious that the participants will need to buy-in. However, many CTOs do not communicate the potential benefits of the implementation to the top management. As a result, there is very little support coming from the CEO and COO levels, and critically even the CFO level when there is a need to plow in large investments. It is vital that the senior management is enthused with the implementation project so that they can keep supporting it to its logical conclusion, and
thereafter on a continuing basis.
#2 Not Developing the Focus and Vision for the Implementation:
Any attempt to implement company-wide changes without a clear understanding of the vision and specific goals can only end in complete chaos and disaster. You need to get answers to the most vital questions of what it is that you want Salesforce to address, and very clearly spell out the various processes that are being targeted for improvement. It is necessary to find convincing answers to questions such as the expected deliverable of Salesforce and how it can help in the improvement of very specific goals of the business.
#3 Thinking That the Implementation Can Be Done Alone:
There is a common perception that Salesforce is extremely easy to implement and you can just get the CRM started out-of- the-box. It may be so for a few businesses but the majority would require a lot of handholding by experienced people to implement Salesforce with speed and precision required to make it a business tool for enhancing productivity. Not accessing the requisite knowledge and experience base would simply mean that your investment would be underused or worse lead to chaos inside the organization, affecting employee morale, customer loyalty, and business profitability.
#4 Not Cleaning Up the Database:
While all Salesforce administrators will be under pressure to migrate all the organization data as fast as possible, it is important that the data selected is accurate and unduplicated. The process of Salesforce data migration is, in fact, a very good opportunity to clean up their database so that it is accurate and up to date. While no doubt Salesforce is capable of storing, managing, and analyzing very large volumes of customer data, there is a very little point of letting the reports being poisoned by dirty data that serves no purpose. Dirty data can encompass everything from blank fields to inaccuracies, and out of date information. It
is also a very good policy to conduct a test migration so that you can prepare for challenges that could come up during the actual migration. To clear out and organize multiple versions and revisions you could use version control systems like SalesforceGitand SalesforceGitHub.
#5 Not Allowing For Customizations:
While Salesforce has built up a formidable reputation for being a robust CRM platform that can be successfully implemented across all businesses, it is extremely unlikely that you would not require any customizations to make it conform to the specific environment of your business. If you have not planned for customizations then you are going to have to make your organization’s business processes conform to that of Salesforce; a move that will usually meet with severe resistance internally. The practical alternative is usually to tweak Salesforce to your requirements with additional time and costs that were perhaps not included in the original project scope.
While Salesforce has a well-deserved reputation for helping organizations to increase revenue and profitability as well as bettering customer service and loyalty, it is important that your implementation is planned well for least disruption and maximum benefits.
Author: Jack Dawson is a database admin and Salesforce user in an IT firm. He has worked on the platform for over four years and has recently started a blog on how to enhance your productivity and get the most out of Salesforce by using custom dashboards and tools like SalesforceGit and SalesforceGitHub.