Top 10 steps for a successful Salesforce implementation

Your customers change and expect more and more. Your CRM should evolve to keep up. These are high level implementation steps on your CRM journey.

Step 1 – Start with the WHY

Simon Sinek fans know the phrase but if you start with the how, when something goes wrong, you won’t know the right decisions. If you get the why at the start, the decision making is to align with that goal. Your goal might range from ROI, compliance or customer experience.

Step 2 – Select your team

We feel there are two key decisions for your team. Pick the right Product Owner as the internal stakeholder who understands the processes and will drive adoption. Secondly, choose the right implementation team. Most organisations understand the value of a Salesforce Partner, who has training, certifications and experience at other implementations.

Key tips:

  • Pick the right partner.
  • Don’t just think about the project. Prepare for support after the project early.
  • Avoid having a large team.
  • Focus on business representative (Not IT-heavy).
  • Commit to the appropriate time.

Step 3 – Set roles and responsibilities

Clarify who is responsible and accountable within the project for outcomes, risks and issues.

Step 4 – Have clear requirements that you can test and a conceptual design

Create your acceptance criteria with your user stories to enhance their comprehension. The acceptance criteria before configuration and code mean unit tests can be accurate.

Also, have a conceptual design early to understand the landscape and moving parts. This makes deployment, integration, security and deployment easier to accurately estimate.

Step 5 – Plan after you know the requirements

Lock in scope. Deliver that scope. Show results early. Fail fast. Use catch phrases.

Don’t expect agile to be a silver bullet. Just because working code is quick, it doesn’t mean all the required tasks have been completed.

If you don’t have architectural principles, add them here. Your approach to apps, config, code and version control need to be clearly known here.

Step 6 – Start with the tricky parts

De-risk your project early by addressing technical and commercial risks early. This is often integration and data migration risks.

Step 7 – Document, document, document

Don’t leave it to the “as-built” document and it doesn’t need to be a Word document. Updating Jira and commenting your code helps you on Monday mornings as well as the support post-implementation.

Step 8 – Train early

Collaboration starts with trust. We can make each other better. Don’t hide information. Train internal owners early. The stronger the internal users, the less support required.

Step 9 – Test to cover your risks

Testing is a quality assurance task. Understand how much testing you need to do. Additionally, understand how often do you need to test. With upgrades, are tests run manually or would automated testing be beneficial. Automated testing is an investment but can have a great ROI in the right environment.

Step 10 – Handover properly

Don’t forget to understand the CRM will evolve and be enhanced by internal users and maybe other partners. Everyone will be judged by the quality of their work without understanding the time pressures or stress at the time.