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A User’s Guide to a Successful Salesforce Implementation

Feb 21 · 5 min read

In the age of digital transformation, Software as a Service (SaaS) has become a foundational aspect of any successful business model.  From bookkeeping to customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise software helps small and large businesses alike run smoothly and efficiently in the modern era.  However, many of these SaaS products are rarely “plug-and-play.” This means they require expert assistance to effectively implement and appropriately customize them for an individual business’ needs.  A great example of a powerful tool that can rarely be used “out of the box” is the world’s #1 CRM, Salesforce.

Implementing Salesforce is a multi-stage process that involves cleansing your existing data, integrating third-party apps and internal systems as well as designing the user experience to be intuitive and powerful. Beyond adopting the technology, successful implementations also include user testing and training as well as awareness and education efforts within the organization to ensure long-term adoption.

If you’ve read this far, it’s safe to assume you have either bought Salesforce and need to understand how to ensure a successful implementation or you’re considering a Salesforce purchase and want to know what to expect.  You’re probably asking, “can I self-implement, or do I need to hire a Salesforce implementation partner?” While there’s a lot of overwhelming information out there regarding Salesforce implementation best practices, we’re betting you also are in a spot where there just aren’t enough, or even appropriately skilled, internal resources in your organization. And you obviously don’t want to be one of the roughly 33% of CRM implementations that fail, so where do you begin? Well, to quote the most famous of all Salesforce Administrators (and the first recipient of the illustrious Golden Hoodie) Maria Von Trapp…

You’ll first need to find and select a strategic Salesforce implementation (SI) partner.  

How Do I Find a Good Salesforce Implementation Partner?

Salesforce Implementation firms are teams that have the experience and tools to implement, configure, and customize Salesforce solutions to ensure the best fit for their clients. Depending on the needs of your business, your implementation partner may involve Salesforce administrators, consultants, developers, architects, business analysts, and others or all the above. Regardless, every implementation should include a client engagement manager/project manager and a quality assurance lead to ensure your project goes smoothly, is clearly documented, and is well tested.

PRO TIP: Because of the deep understanding that SI partners need to have to be effective at helping you reach and exceed your benchmarks, you should engage with one as early as possible in the implementation process. 

Strategic Salesforce implementation partners possess:

  • Experience in the products you are implementing and the industries in which you work

    • Salesforce helps you verify this experience with certifications for each role and product

  • Positive reviews and client recommendations on the Salesforce AppExchange demonstrate their ability to help clients succeed

Strategic Salesforce implementation partners provide:

  • Evaluation of your Salesforce solution to ensure it is technically sound so your CRM can scale and grow with your business, thus avoiding excessive updates and over-customization

  • Mitigation of risks related to your implementation’s scope, timeline, or budget

  • Guidance regarding specific solutions and customizations to meet your needs including any AppExchange apps that will help you avoid custom development

  • Assistance and support with change management and user acceptance testing to further drive long term adoption

PRO TIP: Another key factor in partner selection is value alignment.  It is wise to select a partner who shares similar or compatible values with your organization. From diversity and equality to people focus and trust, having a partner who is aligned with you on a business AND philosophical level will ensure the two teams are able to create a seamless integration in both software and human capital.

Finally, look for a strategic SI partner that is constantly looking for ways to add long-term value to your business beyond your initial implementation. Thanks to the deep understanding of your business gained during the initial implementation, a strategic partner can continue to add value far into the future through additional services like post-launch support, change management, or enhancements and upgrades.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Salesforce Implementations?

Each Salesforce product or cloud has its own unique characteristics so we provide more detailed insight on how to successfully approach implementations of Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Experience Cloud, and Marketing Cloud on our blog. You’ll also find questions to ask an SI partner, why we recommend theCodery (hey, that’s us!) as your preferred SI partner, and more!

I’m Ready to Start My Salesforce Implementation. What Now?

If you’re ready to engage with a Strategic Salesforce Consulting Partner, we’re here for you! Whether it’s starting a new Salesforce implementation or helping you fix a system that another consulting firm botched (our specialty), our team of Salesforce admins, developers, technical architects, and solution engineers will dive deep into your business and help you create a secure, scalable solution that helps you see ROI quickly!

Contact us today to get started!

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