Few tools can revitalize your customer relationship management strategy the way Salesforce can. Whether you’re deploying the award-winning software for the first time or optimizing your existing infrastructure, Salesforce provides a clear route to improved sales revenue.
But there are risks to making any change in well-established business processes, and Salesforce implementation is no exception. If your organization doesn’t have a comprehensive strategy in place, unforeseen obstacles may drag down the productivity of your deployment.
IT professionals and stakeholders have to ask some tough questions before deploying or updating Salesforce:
- Do you need custom functionality to optimize customer relationship management (CRM) performance? (Hint: You probably do)
- Are your Salesforce workflows easily scalable?
- How can you ensure visibility at all steps of the implementation?
- Does your budget reflect the reality of your expectations?
- Are your employees on-board with the change? Are they properly prepared and trained?
Most IT professionals aren’t well-equipped to answer these questions on their own. Unless you already have a great deal of experience handling Salesforce implementation projects, it’s unlikely you’ll immediately know what the best path forward is.
Your implementation vendor may try to reassure you that the answers to these questions are of minor importance next to the obvious benefits that Salesforce offers. But your vendor’s interest is selling Salesforce implementations — you need an expert on your side who can qualify what the vendor’s really saying.
Implementation Mistakes Can Be Costly
Salesforce is a powerful CRM platform that can boost revenue and decrease customer acquisition costs enormously. But like any sophisticated tool, it can be misused.
Configuring Salesforce (even without using its powerful customization features) requires time and technical skill. Your team may spend weeks developing features in a Salesforce sandbox only to have it mistakenly deleted by an inattentive employee — an easy way to lose tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of time.
But proper sandbox management is only one part of the equation. User profile integration can either be a powerful management tool that helps keep your deployment organized, or a tangled, confusing mess. Setting up a comprehensive roadmap and keeping your employees disciplined pays off in the long run.
You also have to plan for efficient data migration. But without years of experience working with Salesforce deployment processes, there’s no way to know which data fields you really need (and which ones you don’t). The quality and consistency of your data is also a major determinant of the success and smoothness of your Salesforce transition — take it lightly, at your own risk.
Salesforce Deployment: What Could Go Wrong?
Yes, Salesforce is marketed as an easy-to-use, out-of-the-box, software CRM. For some organizations, it really is one. But for most companies, implementing Salesforce demands precision, speed, and careful planning that only comes with experience.
You might spend untold employee hours customizing a complex workflow only to watch those very same employees regress back to the old way of doing things. You wouldn’t be alone — this kind of thing happens all the time.
You could skip out on an important opportunity for customization and force your employees to establish a long-winded workaround for something that could have been done with a single click. This is also a common consequence of unprepared Salesforce implementation.
Whatever the details are, the fact remains the same. Salesforce deployment and optimization requires a great deal of technical expertise, and Salesforce-skilled talent isn’t easy to find and retain. If you have to revise your implementation after the fact, it could represent a significant cost for the company.
Hire Experts From the Start
Successful Salesforce implementation requires highly qualified talent with skills in design, resource planning, software architecture, and business analysis. Your implementation vendor may promise they can deploy the solution successfully, but that doesn’t mean you will get the features and benefits you really need.
This is because your vendor doesn’t know how your business works. Forward-thinking IT professionals know that the key to Salesforce optimization is developing a solution that fits their CRM processes and needs like a glove.
With a subject matter expert representing your interests to your vendor, you will mitigate the risks of sloppy deployment and improve the return on your investment long-term. Don’t let something as important as Salesforce implementation or optimization happen without an expert by your side.