John Lange | Senior Manager, Product Marketing
Have you ever asked yourself: “How do other companies effectively add new Salesforce features and functionality to their existing environment?” We have some strong opinions about the answer, but we wanted to ask the market as well to see what additional insights the Salesforce community could provide.
Last fall, we sponsored a third-party research project with Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) to interview Salesforce decision makers and professionals. TEC conducted its survey for eight weeks, eventually gathering responses from over 100 medium- to large-sized companies that use Salesforce.
The resulting report, “Four Winning Strategies to Achieve Salesforce Project Success,” identifies best practices to implement new clouds and manage projects. The research also includes great advice from seasoned Salesforce-ers who are responsible for getting the most out of their CRM investment. Full report HERE.
And the Four Winning Strategies Are…
1. First validate business and user needs and plan extensively
Companies with great Salesforce project success identified the importance of documenting user workflows, need assessments, and requirements. As one respondent said:
“Understand user requirements from A-Z before you start the process design, solution design, and implementation planning. If you don’t get user requirements right, everything after that will be off-base as well.”
2. Be Agile: roll out new functionality incrementally
Occasionally, you need a major deployment all at once, and you may just need to “rip off the band aid” when deploying a new cloud. But conventional wisdom (and this research) suggests that’s the least effective approach. Doing so can stress out users and disrupt business practices. One survey participant shared:
“Deliver changes incrementally starting with the biggest business problem, then addressing the next-biggest problem, etc. This gets the most urgent needs fixed first rather than making everyone wait for everything.”
3. Keep users and stakeholders continuously involved
Whether your Salesforce implementation is going live in one release or incrementally, user involvement shouldn’t be relegated to requirements gathering at the beginning and training at the end. Stakeholders shouldn’t be held at arm’s length, either. Some sage advice from one respondent:
“Take your time with users at the beginning and all through the project. Appoint someone who likes talking to them and understanding their challenges and needs. The best of what’s possible with Salesforce comes out of these in-depth discussions.”
4. Be flexible to create the best team for the project
No single aspect of Salesforce project work generated more comments from the survey respondents than the importance of skilled staff and the right team. (Also, previous research we commissioned dived in to this topic as well.) If you want to have a great Salesforce environment, you need a talented Salesforce team. Respondents with internal and external resources rate themselves as having the most success. One participant advised:
“Find an experienced Salesforce service provider. It’s quicker and can be cheaper than trying to hire/train/retain permanent staff, especially with high turnover trends.”
Access the Full Research Report
This research provides you with best practices from Salesforce professionals just like you. The survey report includes compelling details regarding the Salesforce practices of peer organizations.
Our hope is that this will inform public and private discussions concerning Salesforce-related business strategies. And we hope this provides value to you!
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