Salesforce Implementation
April 17, 2020

Enterprise Software

Salesforce Implementation from A to Z

By Olga Matuts

Salesforce implementation is needed for efficient management of business goals, for example, increasing visibility of the sales pipeline or enhancing the productivity of email marketing campaigns. Successful Salesforce implementation depends on the realization strategy, its stages, timings, budget, risks, and user adoption.    

Let’s talk about how you can avoid problems with Salesforce implementation and achieve maximum results.

6 steps to efficient Salesforce implementation

Salesforce research shows that the right realization brings about a 37% increase in revenue.  

So, there are 6 steps that will help companies to set up Salesforce in the most suitable and profitable way:

  1. Analysis of different strategies;
  2. Сhoosing the implementation sequence;
  3. Planning the implementation processes;
  4. Budget and time allocation;
  5. Forecasting risks;
  6. Ensuring user adoption.

Let’s take a deeper look at these steps. 

#1. Analysis of different strategies

The implementation strategy depends on the kind and current state of your company’s business processes: you can be either satisfied or not with the workflows in your company.

In the first case, you are satisfied with your existing strategy of sales, marketing, and customer service but need to update and enhance your CRM.  

Salesforce customization can help you to digitize your usual workflows and enhance your results. 

If you are not satisfied with your current working processes and want changes, you can choose one of the following strategies:

  • You can implement Salesforce and adapt your current business processes to it. Salesforce processes will serve an example, so you can orient on them while polishing your workflows (for instance, multistep discount approval process).  
  • You should reorganize your working processes of sales, marketing, and customer service and build them from scratch in your Salesforce CRM. The strategy when you change your technologies and processes is both the most complicated and the most profitable solution. In this case, results depend on consulting quality. And that is why it is so important to turn to qualified Salesforce specialists.

#2. Сhoosing the implementation sequence

When you pick your Salesforce implementation strategy, you should map out the sequence of its realization.  

Simultaneous implementation of several Salesforce clouds 

With this approach, you can automate the working processes of several departments at the same time (in sales, marketing, and customer service). Optimized business processes, such as email notifications, updating fields, task management, and others, contribute to better customer engagement and retention.

Marketing Cloud allows companies to get quality leads with the help of targeted marketing campaigns. 

Sales Cloud provides a step-by-step lead conversion process and workflow automation for higher close rates.

Service Cloud gives you the ability to orchestrate omnichannel and fast customer service and hence increase the satisfaction level of customers.

Simultaneous Salesforce implementation also improves collaboration between these three departments and gets them access to each other’s data.

Despite its advantages, such Salesforce implementation can be very risky. There is a high possibility of a process failure, which can break the work of some departments. Also, technological failure can happen: data loss or corruption, duplication of records, etc.   

You can reduce these and other risks if you turn to expert Salesforce specialists who know how to enable synchronous work of several Salesforce Clouds.

Consistent Salesforce Cloud implementation

This is a less risky Salesforce implementation approach that can be used if a company already has one main product and wants to implement a secondary product. For example, it is needed to implement a Service Cloud when Sales Cloud stays without changes. 

Such kind of implementation helps companies to avoid damage to sales and customer service.

#3. Planning the implementation processes

The Salesforce implementation process includes several steps that can be done in any order. Generally, there are consulting, data migration, customization, integration, testing, deployment, employee training, after-launch support. 

Consulting

At this stage, Salesforce consultants analyze your business goals, pick the most appropriate Salesforce tools, and suggest a way of Salesforce implementation. It can be: 

  • enhancing already existing working processes with the usage of Salesforce features;
  • adaptation of the company’s business processes to Salesforce capabilities;
  • reorganization of the company’s business processes with the help of Salesforce.  

Also, at this stage, consultants can offer the most suitable implementation strategy for the needed Salesforce products and recommend the most convenient license option.

Migrating data from other tools

Safe data import to Salesforce takes some precautions. Safety measures can include data cleansing, mapping with Salesforce objects and fields, creating rules for Salesforce objects, and automating the process of data migration with the usage of dedicated tools.

Customization, integration, and custom apps

Your new CRM product can be customized with the help of point-and-click tools. It can be enough if you require automated updating of fields, custom reports, and different access levels to the customers’ data.

If your company needs a more detailed and deeper customization of Salesforce, developers can tweak the code. They can either add custom reports, automated batch processing, corporate UI together with handling simultaneous implementation; or customize your solution step by step during consistent Salesforce implementation.  

Testing

After Salesforce implementation, QA engineers test the work of the system for compliance with the company’s requirements and anticipate potential failures. 

Deployment

Your customized Salesforce solution undergoes User Acceptance Testing. It allows your employees to learn about the features of their new tool and check how they work. If this Salesforce solution meets your business goals, you accept the project after the UAT period.

Then it’s time for the project to go to production. 

Employee training

At this stage, employees are trained to use a new Salesforce solution in their usual working processes in sales, marketing, or customer service. 

After-launch support

The company can require post-production support for the first time after system implementation. So, Salesforce specialists can provide needed support for 1 or 3 months. They can eliminate problems with performance, fix bugs, or customize some of Salesforce processes. Also, you can choose permanent support with enhancements to make sure that your system is always up-to-date.

#4. Budget and time allocation

How much time is needed for Salesforce implementation?

Time for Salesforce implementation depends on different circumstances, especially on the needed features and their quantity. For example, if you want to customize your leads and opportunities, connect different access levels, add several reports and workflows, it can take about 30 days.

In case you need to build a custom calculator, add batch data processing, and create a lot of kinds of reports, Salesforce implementation can take much more time. You should clearly define what tools you need, and then you will know Salesforce implementation timings.

How much does Salesforce implementation cost?

Salesforce implementation costs also depend on several conditions:

  • Assortment of needed products. For example, you need to implement the Sales Cloud. If you choose Essentials edition, its price will be $25 per user per month, but if you choose the Unlimited edition, you should pay $300 per user per month. The cost of Salesforce plans depends on features and the number of users. You can find more information about Salesforce pricing in our previous post.
  • Number of potential users. The logic is simple: the more employees need a Salesforce solution for their work, the more Salesforce licenses you should buy.
  • Cost of consulting. You should take into account consulting costs and the hourly rate of Salesforce specialists. It depends on the timing of consulting, the amount of work, and the experience level of Salesforce specialists.
  • Cost of data migration. Data migration from previous CRM to a Salesforce solution can include removing duplicates and empty fields, correcting the information, and more. There is a direct connection: the more complex the data migration process is, the more expensive it becomes.
  • Cost of customization. Complicated processes increase the pricing, so the development and coding of individual user workflows are more expensive than customization with the usage of default tools.
  • Cost of integration. Integration value depends on the target system, integration tools, and required changes in UI; it is also individual and can vary.
  • Cost of user training. The training costs are affected by the following factors: user groups and the number of users. For example, Salesforce training for one end user can cost about $400-500, but training a developer or a system administrator can cost $4000-5000 per user.
  • Cost of after-launch support. The cost of after-launch support depends on the number of hours and needed services. As a rule, companies require such kind of support 10 hours per week; it can last from 3 to 6 months.

Companies can make several mistakes when they try to save money too hard. So, let’s consider these typical mistakes and explore how to avoid them.

  1. The company chooses the out-of-box solution and cuts corners by minimizing customization and integration. So, the tools that the company gets don’t suit its business goals. This leads to low user adoption. Also, default automation of workflows can be unsuitable for a particular company, which will make working processes slower. 
  2. The company skips several Salesforce implementation stages, for example, user training or after-launch support. As a result, the company gets a low level of user acceptance and inefficient workflows. 
  3. Excessive Salesforce customization without connection with real business goals: it can lead to a loss of the project’s ROI. 

#5. Forecasting the risks of Salesforce implementation 

It is crucial to forecast the risks of Salesforce implementation on time to avoid them in the future. So, let’s take a deeper look at the riskiest places in implementing:

Choosing unnecessary functions

You don’t consult with Salesforce experts and don’t discuss your business goals, just pick the most expensive Salesforce edition. So, you will get a lot of features and even won’t use a part of them. At the same time, the basic edition (it can be Lightning Professional) can meet your business requirements, and you will avoid risks of over-pricing.

Selecting inconvenient for users solution

You don’t test your new CRM solution by giving access to your employees. The system is inconvenient for them; employees don’t know how to use some tools or skip several steps in their work. In this case, the adoption rate will be low and workflows will be slow. So, to avoid these risks, you should make an analysis of issues with your previous CRM and understand how you can solve these problems with Salesforce CRM. To do this, business-analysts and UX/UI designers build a mockup of your solution at the beginning of the implementation process. 

Long-running implementation

Your Salesforce implementation lasts too long and includes customization of many complicated features. When implementation is finished, your employees won’t use all these tools immediately and successfully. They should learn a lot of information at the same time, which can postpone needed results. So, if you require a complicated solution, you should choose a consistent implementation approach. In this way, your employees will learn new features step by step, beginning with the most crucial tools.

#6. Ensuring user adoption

User adoption of the implemented solution plays a crucial role in your business processes. You can be sure that your employees successfully finished training with Salesforce specialists and can use new features and manage automated processes. It gives good results and enhances Salesforce user adoption if you will provide Salesforce help and special rewards for your departments.

Salesforce help

Your employees should turn to a Salesforce administrator or a Salesforce specialist when they have questions about tools or features and their capabilities. So, if your company has such kind of support in your staff or from a Salesforce services provider, the level of adopting the Salesforce solution will be higher.

Special rewards

You can use special rewards or badges to stimulate your employees to use Salesforce. You can analyze the number of entries in the system, the number of reports created in Salesforce, or other criteria of using the new solution. Praise persons with the highest results with funny presents or with badges in your corporate network, and it will motivate other employees to use Salesforce in their routine.

We look forward to helping you with Salesforce implementation for your sales, marketing, and customer service. The carefully planned and properly chosen solution is the key to growing the revenue and efficiency of your company’s business processes.

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