One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding Salesforce (or any major new technology investment) is that once it’s implemented, it will simply take off on its own.
However, this is typically not the case. Salesforce is a journey, and the success of that journey is largely dependent on how you support your team during post implementation.
Remember, Salesforce is only successful when users are willing to rely on it to enable their success.
One reason company leaders neglect post implementation is that there is typically less budget available after the initial deployment. There’s also no tangible date that the project will end.
That’s why it’s important to set the expectation that you need to create the right Salesforce support team and support system in order to see long-term value. Considering new features that regularly become available, new products that are released and ongoing changes required of the organization itself, it’s no surprise that Salesforce requires ongoing post-implementation support.
Here is a list of the top four issues you need to consider in understanding Salesforce post implementation.
1. Develop Salesforce post-implementation goals and metrics
Your Salesforce post-implementation strategy should address these questions. Re-evaluate these metrics at least every 6 months or after every new release with your steering committee or “Center of Excellence.”
- Are we reaching the goals we originally wanted with Salesforce?
- How do we achieve more value with the purchase of Salesforce?
- Are we continuously improving our people, processes and technologies?
- What is our company’s Salesforce Roadmap?
2. Set Salesforce post implementation roles and responsibilities
Your steering committee must provide oversight of Salesforce post implementation while your Salesforce Administrator (s) will provide more day-to-day tactical support.
You will also want to involve or lean on your Salesforce Consulting partner, especially in developing and updating your Salesforce Roadmap.
3. Address Salesforce post implementation support and maintenance
Here is a a sample of the daily and strategic activities your administator and steering committee will address with user adopion, continuous improvement, and reports and dashboards.
- The functionality is being used by the users as it was intended
- Support for training and assistance is available for users
- Communication and feedback mechanisms are available for new enhancements
- Adoption and ROI reporting are available
- Users have the right data at the right time at the right place
- New processes are identified, implemented and improved
- Technical resources are available when necessary
- Identify new features and requirements for future releases
- Salesforce Roadmap is developed and updated
- Future phases are included in the roadmap with ROI analysis and approval
- Implementation plans are developed
- Corrective actions are established as needed
- Budgets are being determined for additional phases and requirements
- Managers and executives are getting the reports they need to make decisions
- Performance can be evaluated and improved using data in Salesforce
4. Create a post-implementation plan
Just as a certain amount of planning went into the implementation phase of the project, planning should also be a part of the post-implementation process. Be sure to consider these six elements of your plan:
- Test for usability. Interview users of the new system in order to learn more about their challenges. Understand modifications may be needed along with further instructions and training.
- Understand how your org stacks up. Use the resources available online to compare the success of Salesforce to that of others who have implemented the same process. Search the Success Community, post questions in user groups and review case studies on the Salesforce website.
- Develop a feedback system for users. Make sure that users are able to communicate with those who are in charge of post-implementation. Learning things from those who use new processes and technologies on a daily basis is very beneficial.
- Form an internal user group. In order to answer common questions and solve problems, develop an internal user group to stay ahead of adoption roadblocks.
- Make a long-term, strategic plan. Learning what is needed from every department is a great way to make a plan for the future. This will allow budgets to be created so that these needs are met. This is when you really want to think about Salesforce beyond CRM. There are so many process inefficiencies that can be solved by Salesforce products and AppExchange solutions beyond CRM.
- Build a resource library. Instead of creating training and instruction materials again, rely on items that have already been created by others. There is a wealth of knowledge available online.
By focusing on post-implementation, businesses are able to protect their investment and leverage the many benefits of Salesforce.
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