It’s a new year and what better time than to re-evaluate how Salesforce is supporting your organization’s growth and profitability. These top Salesforce mistakes can lead to significant problems with your ROI but can be corrected with the right strategy and commitment.
1. No Center of Excellence
Your Salesforce Center of Excellence should include the right number of admins, solution architects and developers for your solution, as well as department leaders and c-suite executives who help frame the vision for how the technology will improve growth, innovation, competitiveness, customer satisfaction and other KPIs.
Organizations thriving with Salesforce have a strong Center of Excellence with executive leaders and administrators dedicated to continuous improvement and innovation. They identify inefficient business processes and commit to learning the technical components and strategic capabilities of each system.
Many organizations make the mistake of not including executive level management on the support team, which can lead to missed requirements and a lack of cohesive strategy that aligns with the system’s capabilities. We recommend investing in Salesforce training for both business leaders and administrators.
2. No Roadmap for ongoing maintenance and innovation
Salesforce products are not set it and forget it software solutions. One of the many reasons why many CMOs and CEOs are flocking to Salesforce is the ability to customize and easily change the solution according to changing business needs and constant technology advancement. For example, the ability to quickly build Web portals for customers or partners, or a custom mobile app, has dramatically changed how Salesforce customers can leverage technology for a competitive edge.
Many organizations make the mistake of not adjusting the solution as business needs change. Or, they make changes ad hoc without considering how small changes affect other features or the complete solution strategically. This can lead to systemic issues that jeopardize adoption, reporting and the Salesforce investment as a whole.
Another common mistake is not understanding the capabilities of each solution or keeping up with new feature releases. While this is a challenge for any size organization, small and mid-market businesses without a robust center of excellence committee can particularly find it difficult to keep pace with changes and understand how they should be leveraging which features.
One of the advantages of Salesforce is gaining access to a large network of Salesforce consulting providers who can provide the thought leadership and support necessary to augment your internal capabilities. Leaning on your consultant for guidance on your Salesforce Roadmap, or master plan, is the surest way to reap more ROI from the system.
3. Letting bad data continue to proliferate
Big data isn’t getting any smaller. The longer you ignore data issues, the more complex the cleanup process can be. Not to mention, your reporting may be incomplete and inaccurate. Data concerns should be taken very seriously and can also jeopardize the investment.
Data issues can arise for a variety of reasons — failed initial migration, integration issues with other systems, inadequate training, lack of ongoing maintenance and more.
There are many ways to address data issues in the Salesforce ecosystem. The Salesforce API can facilitate easier integration and there are many data quality and de-duplication apps available. The challenge is recognizing options for cleanup and dedicating resources to ensuring strong data governance.
Ultimately, data stewardship, or data management, falls on all users of the system. All users should be identifying data issues and helping develop ways to better manage the data.
4. Not addressing Salesforce adoption problems
Another top Salesforce mistake to stop making in 2016 is not addressing Salesforce adoption problems that can greatly harm your ROI. It can be very problematic to continue letting employees use other systems and processes that are not in Salesforce to do their work.
Salesforce adoption issues are usually the result of poor requirements gathering and documentation. Conducting a proper discovery and building complete system requirements during implementation, then creating and updating your Salesforce Roadmap throughout the post-implementation phase will help minimize adoption issues.
If a proper discovery and requirements document was not completed during initial implementation, there can often be very systemic issues that lead to inefficient processes, lower customer satisfaction, low or no revenue growth and other problems.
Solving adoption issues is no easy feat. There are usually unique circumstances to each organization and resource constraints. But it’s critical to protecting your investment.
5. No strategy for process automation
Some organizations today are still using Salesforce as a digital Rolodex but the capabilities of Salesforce products such as Sales Cloud, Pardot, Service Cloud and Communities go much beyond basic contact management.
Automating processes such as quotes, contracts, approvals, marketing emails and more helps streamline the organization in a way that alleviates workloads and boosts profitability.
The Center of Excellence committee should challenge teams to manage and develop processes, then automate them in the most effective way in Salesforce.
6. Not going beyond CRM
Salesforce offers an entire technology ecosystem in which to transform your business for the future. While the company began with its signature CRM product, Sales Cloud, there are many products offered by Salesforce and partner vendors in the AppExchange that handle nearly any business process. They integrate easily with the core solution and can often be rapidly implemented. Custom apps can even be built using Lightning in a matter of weeks!
Again, the challenge is ensuring you have the right team in place internally and externally to identify how you can transform your business through technology. Attending Dreamforce or other regional Salesforce events, as well as local user groups can help you stay in sync with Salesforce and AppExchange product roadmaps.
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