If you’ve ever been involved with Salesforce implementations, you know how challenging it can be. When challenges present themselves, there’s often a collective shrug from the team, as if to say: hey, change is hard, what do you expect? When a company is not equipped to deal with the challenges or doesn’t have the tools and resources (or the right partner) that is where we typically see failure.
One of the main reasons companies fail during a Salesforce implementation is because they are more focused on the technology and they forget about the people as part of the process. In order to manage successful Salesforce implementations, it is important to have a plan in advance to transition the sales organization. It’s essential that the sales leaders consider the dynamics of the team and motivate them to fully adopt the new technology.
Sales leaders with foresight go beyond a few training sessions; they connect the potential benefits of the system to the team’s daily challenges. This enables the staff and helps them to understand that the technology will facilitate their individual success too. Then there’s the change management aspect. Everyone who’s lived through a major overhaul knows that failure to consider the human side of the equation can undermine the initiative.
To put this theory into practice and help overcome potential challenges, we urge you to check out our practical tips below. When you practice these six pillars in your Salesforce implementation, we can guarantee your company will see stronger adoption rates – even with teams that initially show resistance to change.
Talk to anyone who’s undergone a massive organizational change and they’ll tell you that strong leadership is mandatory. That doesn’t mean being a figurehead; it means being 100 percent committed to the initiative and engaged. Sales representatives, marketing directors and other critical players are more likely to support change when the vision and energy comes from the top down.
Even projects that get off to a strong start will falter when there’s a lack of ongoing communication. Keeping everyone updated on the implementation progress, apprising them of any delays or shifts, and sharing good news or progress help to keep everyone involved motivated. It also keeps the lines of communication open by inviting questions and answering them.
When a company announces a Salesforce implementation with no surrounding context and your sales and marketing teams are likely to balk. They’re the ones undergoing the upheaval and adjustment, after all. Provide them with the why by listing out the benefits – not just the ones that affect the company’s bottom line but their successes too. Those Salesforce insights are going to connect them to their prospect’s hearts and minds, helping them be that much more successful in closing.
Salesforce implementations focus on sales, right? Wrong. A Salesforce implementation impacts other departments such as marketing, customer service and purchasing, which is why it is smart to align your teams early on in the process. If you can lock down buy-in from the beginning, you’re more likely to tap into the necessary resources during the transition that will utilize the new platform. For example, marketing can start using the CRM for building new campaigns, while sales and purchasing can look at how to engage customers through the buying process.
Companies talk a lot about hiring the “right people.” But what rarely gets discussed is the value of knowing how to use your employees skills. Spend time thinking about the skills and knowledge you need – then set about recruiting people that meet your criteria. Remember that your Salesforce transformation will involve new processes and potentially a new playbook and methodologies. So, you may need to consider hiring new staff members with the knowledge and skills to move things forward.
Not all metrics are created equal. Instead of chasing your tail on worthless numbers, make sure you quantify your successes and failures with the measurements that matter. Too many teams think “more is more” and collect all the measurements they can – but that just leads to a wealth of data that takes more time to comb through than it may be worth. Figure out which factors accurately reveal performance, set benchmarks, and spend time placing those results in context.
Positive transformation doesn’t happen without effort. If you want your Salesforce implementations to go as smoothly as possible, begin by putting the 6 pillars into practice. Done right, you’ll have a committed team eager to do their part to transform the organization.
Read more about Apostle Tech and what we’ve been doing as a Salesforce partner since 2011 here. We’re excited to work with your company to help transform your sales and marketing operations and put your people at the center of it all. Contact us today at: info@ApostleTech.com to schedule a demo and learn more.