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Salesforce Implementation: Expectations vs. Reality

Salesforce is the leading cloud-based CRM that businesses use to streamline marketing, sales and customer service. The main drivers for implementation include the productivity and efficiency created by using a single CRM collaborative platform, the Software as a Service (SaaS) pay as you go model and acceleration of top-line revenue growth.

While Salesforce is a flexible platform, many companies fail to realize the expected return on investment.

Simply relying on the technology itself to facilitate better day to day operations for your business won’t necessarily yield the results you’re expecting. There are significant factors involved in the implementation that are often overlooked or forgotten about that play vital roles in the success of the platform within your business.

In order to improve the effectiveness of your implementation, here are three tips to ensure that your expectations match your business’ reality.

Assess Legacy Data & Plan Accordingly

The scope of extracting, transforming, loading (ETL) and cleansing your data is often drastically under estimated. ETL is a tedious and time intensive process, and it’s extremely common for Salesforce go-live dates get delayed for several months because legacy data is not ready to be loaded. Thoroughly assess data during the planning phase and only bring over the data your business needs. Once you have cleansed and loaded the data, assign a data steward to keep valuable data clean moving forward.

Change Management: Success Hinges on People

The second and most important key to a successful Salesforce implementation is your people. Change management must be included in the implementation plan. Directionally, Messina Group uses 10% as a place holder for change management scope. Getting technology to work is the easy part. Changing the habits of people will be the biggest challenge. A well thought-out and executed change management plan will minimize the bump in the road and help you maximize end-user adoption.

Remember, it’s a Journey

The last thing to remember is that Salesforce is a journey, not a destination. Your company will continue to evolve as time goes on, and your platform should evolve along with it. Post go-live support is critical to your long term success, and you should plan on spending several months fine-tuning your platform with incremental changes. Having the resources to make small changes quickly helps drive end user adoption and will help to drastically improve your ROI.

Thinking about moving your business to Salesforce – the Customer Success Platform – but not sure where to begin? Messina Group’s business consultants and change management experts are here to help to clarify your vision.

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