How To Not &$!#% Up Your Salesforce Core Implementation

April 8, 2020 Jared Baker
 
 
Salesforce is an incredibly powerful platform which can help take your business to the next level. Whether you need to streamline your sales process, take the guesswork out of customer service, improve the way you connect with your clients, or build a new tool Salesforce has what you need to succeed. 
 
But because the platform is such an endlessly powerful tool, there are countless chances to &$!#% it up along the way. Here are some pointers to make sure the investment you make in Salesforce is well spent and will continue to drive value for your business.
 
Don't self implement. I don’t care what motel chain you stayed at last night.
So you’ve decided to buy Salesforce. Congrats! It’s one of the best tools on the market. And with all of the great demos, educational materials, and events, it’s really easy to learn about all the cool things Salesforce has to offer. The problem is that it’s also easy to become smart enough to be dangerous. No matter how much time you’ve invested in learning the platform, chances are you don’t have the expertise of a SI partner. We’ve done hundreds of implementations and we work with a team of experts who bring their own skills to the table. We’ll get you to the finish line faster, help you solve problems you hadn’t even realized you have, and set you up with a scalable solution that will serve your needs for a long time. 
 
Bring us problems, not solutions. We’ve probably solved them before.
Because it is so easy to learn about all of the ways Salesforce can help your business, a common mistake customers make is trying to solve those problems before finding an SI partner. Too often, we’re presented with loose problem statements backed up by lists of products, Salesforce object names, and even flow charts or wireframes. It shows that our clients are taking their Salesforce investment seriously, but also means you’re laying the groundwork for a solution which may not align with Salesforce best practices informed by years of experience. Instead of trying to solve problems, put all of that extra time into clearly defining what those problems are and the metrics you need to better understand and solve them.
 
Don’t try to boil the ocean. Give your team time to evolve. 
Implementing any new technology is exciting and everyone is going to want to get on board. Slow down! As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Giving your team Salesforce can be a transformative experience. But it’s going to take them time to get accustomed to the new technology. Rather than trying to set up an end-to-end solution for your whole business, focus instead on a subset of business challenges or business units and really get that right. Not only will this give your team time to evolve, it may also help uncover larger priorities you hadn't considered yet or lay the foundation for a really powerful solution that may have been overlooked if you tried to tackle everything at once. 
 
Custom is a last resort. You get a lot out of the box.
A lot of customers choose Salesforce over other solutions because it’s so flexible. But the real value of Salesforce is wrapped up in the standard tools and annual upgrades. Three times a year, Salesforce releases updates that bring new features and enhanced functionality. When you focus on declarative capabilities (the clicks, not code stuff) Salesforce is effectively matching your investment and it’ll be easier to make use of the new features. When you focus on building custom solutions, you’re going to have to maintain and upgrade those tools over time. There are very good reasons to go custom, but before you do, ask questions and see if there’s a better solution available out of the box. It may take some extra time upfront, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run.
 
Create an adoption plan. If your team isn’t using it, it doesn’t matter how much it costs.
When it comes to technology initiatives, there’s nothing worse than investing lots of money in a modern solution, only to realize that your team isn’t using it. As you’re preparing for your Salesforce journey, put some time into making sure your team is ready to use it. My favorite ways to drive adoption are building buzz and getting buy-in. Identify the movers and shakers in your organization and involve them from the start. Find out what’s going to get their team excited to use the new system. And when it’s time to roll out, set adoption goals. 
 
 
By bringing in the experts, coming to the table with clearly identified problems to solve, taking it one step at a time, avoiding custom development, and planning for system adoption, you’ll be setting up your team for success and avoiding common pitfalls that can cost a lot of money and aggravation.
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