Salesforce implementation - key aspects for your company's IT department
Implementing any IT system is a complex process that requires time, money and, of course, work and preparation. The factors affecting how difficult the implementation will be are many. The main one is to find the answer to the basic question - how much of a proven system do we want to implement in our company and how much knowledge about it exists in the market? If we opt for Salesforce, we can be calm and confident in its quality - as it is the undisputed leader in the market of CRM-type tools.
What is Salesforce?
We can understand the word Salesforce itself in two ways. First of all, it is the name of an American company that is the largest provider of business applications and cloud-based software for customer relationship management. Salesforce is also the name of the platform itself, the technological solution offered by the company. The platform, by functioning in a cloud model, allows users to easily access the system from anywhere and on any device in the world - all via a web browser. The company provides a very rich base of development tools that allow custom solutions and customization for each user.
Buying Salesforce is just the first step in implementing it in business
The platform and the Salesforce offering itself is built from multiple modules, such as: Sales Cloud for sales management, Service Cloud for customer service, Marketing Cloud to support marketing campaign areas, and Experience Cloud for customer community management. The company also offers a number of analytics and reporting tools that allow companies to make more accurate business decisions based on data from various sources. The Salesforce portfolio is very broad, so at the outset it is important to define the needs of our company and the areas where the tool will be able to bring us real benefits.
The purchase of the license is between the customer and Salesforce, which is very often assisted by the company that will be responsible for the implementation of the system. Therefore, the key to conducting a successful implementation is to properly define the relevant areas in which we want to use Salesforce to automate our daily work.
How do you prepare for a Salesforce implementation?
Our first step in preparing for the Salesforce implementation process should be to carefully analyze the company's needs and choose the right solution.
Next, we face the preparation of the project team. Salesforce implementation is a complex process that requires the cooperation of the entire company. Representatives from sales, marketing, customer service and IT departments should be involved in the activities undertaken.
Salesforce implementation - what to look for?
When implementing Salesforce, it is important to pay attention to several key aspects that will help us avoid potential problems and ensure the effective use of the platform. Among them are:
- Business process planning - before starting the implementation, it is necessary to analyze business processes very carefully and determine which Salesforce functionalities will be most useful in the daily work of our organization. At this stage, it is important to determine what business goals are crucial for us.
- Data preparation - properly processed, high-quality data is of paramount importance no matter what system you decide to implement. Therefore, before implementation, take the time to analyze the data you have and organize it properly.
- Salesforce configuration - the platform offers a great deal of functionality and tools that can be customized to meet the specific business needs of each company. Before starting the implementation, you need to decide which product and which areas of your organization you want and need to reflect in Salesforce.
- Integrations with other systems - Salesforce gives the possibility to connect it with other systems used in our company. Before the implementation itself, it is necessary to consider what systems in our company should have a connection with the CRM system.
- Redefining business processes - Salesforce is not only a tool, but also a proven way of doing business. Therefore, it is very important to carefully analyze and manage changes so that all processes are in line with the standards that provide the greatest value to the organization.
What can go wrong during a Salesforce implementation?
When implementing Salesforce, it is very important to choose the right technology partner who will be able to provide us with the right expertise and quality of service - this will avoid delays in delivering business value, data quality problems, and user dissatisfaction, among other things.
Some of the most common problems and mistakes that can hinder our Salesforce implementation process include:
- Lack of proper configuration leading to poor definition of customer needs.
- Poor alignment of business processes.
- Defectively prepared data.
- Lack of proper integration with other systems.
Preparation of the data on which the Salesforce system will be based
Data preparation is crucial to the success of the Salesforce implementation process. Improperly prepared data can significantly reduce the effectiveness of our business operations. Here are some steps to take to prepare your data for import into Salesforce:
- Clean up the data - the data we have should be cleaned up - among other things, duplicates should be removed, field formatting should be unified, and check boxes should be unified, if possible.
- Take care of data consistency - before importing information, it is necessary to carefully check its consistency and normalize it.
- Customize fields - Salesforce has defined field types that make the system easier to use. Think about strategies for how data will be mapped in Salesforce.
- Organize the data - the moment of data import is also the right time to organize and clean the data to avoid data quality problem in the system.
Implementing Salesforce involves configuring the Salesforce platform and customizing it to meet the needs of our organization, so that the solution guarantees the right benefits - including automation and streamlining of key business processes. The entire process, however, is complex and involves many steps from analyzing business requirements and designing the solution through customizing, testing and implementing the solution to training users. But it's worth the undertaking - implementing Salesforce can increase our competitiveness, automate marketing activities and improve sales performance - and these are just a few of the key benefits.