Salesforce.com is the best solution to support your company processes from sales automation to customer service. It has been ranked by Gartner for 9 Years in a row as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant. However, the success of the CRM relies on the implementation project.
There are different implementation methodologies (Agile, Waterfall or “Hybrid”), that your organization can use for the CRM project. It depends on different factors, type of project, industry, business environments, company policies, etc.
Invariably, the adoption of new technologies or applications causes an impact in the company’s operations, processes and employees that must be addressed during the implementation. No matter how small (or big!) the project is.
There are 3 important recommendations and tips for your Salesforce project that are usually overlooked, that will help you manage a successful implementation:
1.- Get clear business requirements. Many implementations start by configuring Salesforce immediately, even without a simple list of the basic business requirements your company must accomplish. This approach leads to misunderstandings, delays, budget overruns and in some cases the failure of the project.
By using a requirement matrix, you can clearly organize your project. The matrix is the cornerstone of the Salesforce project and it includes the functional and technical requirements, reporting requirements, integration requirements etc.
These requirements will be the basis for configuration and testing your Salesforce CRM.
Scroll down for Sample Requirement Matrix
2.- Test, Test, Test! Never assume that the functionality is working right after configuration. Errors in a live environment cause a negative impact in the company operations and on the confidence of the users and management over the application.
Test each item in the requirement matrix against the Salesforce functionality configured. Use variants of each test to make sure each requirement is functional and complete. Report the deviations in an incident report and then Re-Test the requirement after it is fixed.
Involve some end-users in the testing efforts, since they know the company processes and how it operates. Many times, they discover issues that were not visible before.
Devoting the right time and resources in testing activities is a high value investment that provides great results for your project.
3.- Training and Change Management: Even though Salesforce is an intuitive, adaptable and easy-to-use application, your organization must adopt organizational and process changes for a successful project.
– End-user training on the functionality: Provide formal training sessions that include practical exercises and step-by-step guides to the Salesforce functionality
– Train your Salesforce Administrator from the beginning of the project, never at the end. This role is critical to the support of Salesforce after the project ends. The Salesforce Administrator will be exposed to the different phases of the project, gaining valuable insight from Salesforce Consultants and Developers.
– Support Sessions after the “Go-Live”: short but continuous “on-the-job sessions” with end-users and management contribute to the adoption of the application.
– Change Management Activities: Communicate project progress to other areas of the company; revise company polic ies and procedures that may change as the result of the Salesforce implementation.
Even though some of them may be too obvious, implementation teams “cut-corners” to save time and resources. Many times not deliberately, but with significant consequences to the health of the implementation project.
Download a Sample Requirement Matrix:
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