Salesforce Implementation: Guide and Best Practices

Salesforce Implementation: Guide and Best Practices

Salesforce CRM is a crucial tool for the modern business, but creating an implementation roadmap suited for your business can be a daunting task. Following a set of best practices for a successful Salesforce implementation can help keep this process simple and deliver the product which best suits your needs. 

Best Practice 1: Plan everything

Planning is the key to any successful implementation. With Salesforce, it is important to plan how the services are utilized to reach the set goal, which should also be outlined and defined. Knowing the desired end result from a Salesforce implementation and the required steps to achieve it are vital.

Best Practice 2: Know your stakeholders

Whether it be business or end-users, stakeholders define what an implementation will look like. Knowing who this implementation impacts will guide what needs to be implemented. With Salesforce CRM, you need to consider how the needs of the company and customer may differ and plan the project accordingly. The CRM software refines sales outreach and creates engaged marketing.

Understanding the impact of the implementation on each department as well as the customers will shape the whole process.

Best Practice 3: Define what success looks like

Salesforce is a vast platform with many different options and tools available. Too often, projects can grow to be much different and larger than what was originally intended. One might find a small e-commerce implementation turning into an entire customer relations support network.

While projects need to be flexible to suit the everchanging needs of a modern business, having some concrete end goal will guide an implementation towards exactly what it needs to be. Knowing what these success criteria are, and how they will affect your business, will provide developmental clarity through the entirety of the implementation.

Best Practice 4: Be data-driven

Salesforce revolves around data. As a CRM tool, it brings critical information together for viewing and analysis.

Consider where the data is coming from and ensure that these sources are accurate and safe. Data integration is always difficult, so it is important to recognize how various data sources can and cannot interoperate. The ultimate purpose of Salesforce is to collect and leverage data to improve customer relations - your implementation should focus on organizing and integrating this data. 

Best Practice 5: Know how to go-live

With Salesforce’s wide range of services, going live can have impacts on every corner of your business. Preparing a go-live plan is needed to seamlessly integrate a Salesforce implementation with existing enterprise services. Creating procedures and contingency plans for the entirety of the go-live process can mitigate many common integration issues. Ensure that stakeholders are prepared for the go-live as well: many projects end in failure if users are unable to adapt to the change in environment. 

Best Practice 6: Provide post-implementation support

A successful Salesforce implementation is useless without upkeep and planned maintenance. In the short term, usability tests and user-based feedback systems are recommended to explore how a live implementation is functioning. Developing a resource catalog can drastically benefit user experience.

Long-term support needs to be focused on keeping the implementation up to date, ensuring that services function properly, and maintaining a system which solves stakeholder needs. Eventually, a plan for when and how to decommission your Salesforce implementation must be developed or strategies to continue support for perpetuity must be detailed.

Planning, designing, and implementing a Salesforce implementation can be a daunting task, but these best practices are designed to ease some of this burden. Aptimized Salesforce implementation experts can deliver a complete Salesforce implementation tailored to your exact business needs. Contact us today to get started.

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