6 Reasons Why Your Salesforce Deployment Is Going To Fail

You get that dreaded email…
“Please head over to my office for a quick chat before we push the button”
You walk over, knock on the door and are welcomed inside.
You CIO seems both excited and very nervous as she asks: “Are you confident?”

It’s crucial for any recent or future roll out of Salesforce that certain considerations are made.
Don’t fall into the trap and allow your roll out to fail, here are some of the items you should be thinking about before, during and after your go-live for Salesforce.

  1. Salesforce Is Going To Be Used For Everything From Day 1

Many customers have never standardised, formalised, recorded or communicated a sales process to users. Trying to implement Salesforce for inside/outside sales and marketing activities along with renewals and contractual management and then getting CS teams to use the platform to you are likely to have a massive data issue and end users pushing back.
You’re better off performing a very small initiative or POC inside the business, get feedback, iterate and push out slowly to a larger audience, it may take slightly longer but you could end up with a failed implementation and no one wants that, not the System Integrator (SI Partner), not Salesforce and especially not you who has paid for all the services.

  1. Track All Activity All The Time

You want to track activity levels of users, most likely in Sales and Customer Success. The thing is are you tracking activities such as emails, phone calls, meetings before Salesforce is implemented?
I’m guessing the answer would be no.
So now when you bring in Salesforce and tell all these users they have to track everything and then be judged based on these activities how well is this going to be received? How much effort is it for end users to input these activities so you can report clearly on these metrics and see that users are doing the right thing to increase pipeline and therefore revenue? Or hitting those follow ups with customers to stop churn?
Carefully measure users against KPI’s held in Salesforce, you’ll soon find that activity increases and Salesforce becomes the single source of truth in the organisation.
Be reasonable about what you will measure and why. Do you want to drive more activity via phone or email or meetings, what yields the best results right now for your users?
“If it’s not in Salesforce it doesn’t exist” is a tagline heavily used but it has to ring true if you want Salesforce to be a success in the business.

  1. No More Spreadsheets!

When a sales or customer success manager uses spreadsheets to run a meeting rather than Salesforce this reduces the credibility of Salesforce.
You need to have the confidence and culture to say we are running meetings directly from what is shown in Salesforce. This takes determination and knowledgeable users to take this on and embrace it.
Changing process and systems is difficult but lead by example and all will follow.

  1. My Data Is All Going To Be Sparkling, Clean & New

How can we ensure that the data we are analysing inside Salesforce is the most current and up to date data possible? How can we ensure records (work) are not duplicated or the information inside your CRM is kept as current as possible?
What about the data migrated from a legacy system, how thoroughly was it cleaned prior to being added to Salesforce?
It’s tough and there are various tools you can use out there to take on the issues when they arise. The best way to start is with a coherent forward thinking data strategy that is adaptable, this is crucial to being able to use the data you have in the CRM in the best way possible.
If you’re managing a sales pipeline and you are relying on end users to input information about prospects, opportunities, accounts you will end up with data that is only as good as the structure through which it is inputted. There are many tools to help keep account and contact data clean but think about every scenario before you move down the road of making changes to Salesforce, have a strategy.

  1. Salesforce Will Solve All Our Bad Data Problems

Salesforce cannot solve lead generation or customer intimacy data issues unless you’ve incorporated a standard methodology, best practices and configured the tool to match.
Are large quantities of fields on records being filled or not?
What validation rules can be used to ensure best practice?
Example being a customer address fields, do not allow an order to be sent without an complete address, ensure its in the Sales methodology and that unwanted fields that are rarely used are removed from page layouts, simplify the input for users, it will drive adoption and your reporting accuracy will increase along with an increase in revenue.

  1. “You Want Me To Update Salesforce Instead Of Selling?”

If it wasn’t for sales people then CRM would be easy. Sales people want to sell and they don’t want to be bothered with having to update data into their CRM.
There’s always a salesperson who says “oh, you want me to update Salesforce instead of selling?”.
The answer is “yes”.
Sales people have to be held accountable and for some reason too many sales managers don’t want to hold them accountable to anything other than selling. Let’s compare this to our colleagues in accounting.
What if they didn’t want to update commission numbers? Accounting has to be spot on and they are held accountable to a higher standard when it comes to data.  
Sales people need to be held to this same standard. Its critical to updating Salesforce throughout the day because other people in the company need that data. When sales managers explain the data is important because other people rely on it then you will get the results you need.
There we go… the 6 big reasons your deployment will fail.

Back to the story…
“Are you confident?”
You look her straight in the eye and say: “Yes”.
You hold your breath and push the big green button…
Fast forward 6 months and you get another email from CIO inviting you to her office, this time there is no sign of nervousness.
This time she looks you in the eye and says: “Thank You”.

You can also claim your copy of the 2019 Salesforce Usage Report: insights from over 500 companies across six continents. From those on the front line of sales through to the decision makers confirming budgets and direction with Salesforce.

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Costin Botez

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