5 key drivers for enterprise Salesforce project success
If you search on Google for ‘Salesforce project success,’ you may find plenty of articles and advice out there. However, most of the time, there may not be any custom-fit solutions for your project in hand as each project’s requirements will be unique, says Kelly Wilson, business consultant and financial advisor in the USA.
So, the key to success, as per the advice while aiming at Salesforce project success, is to set clear goals and align the Salesforce project in hand with your right business strategy. You also need to buy in the executive’s confidence and manage the stakeholders to align with them. Keep a focus on apt and clean data and deliver needed training to the stakeholders.
The above advice may seem to be too generic. This advice is too generic. The real fact is that there is nothing applicable to the Salesforce projects specifically. On the other hand, there is still a chance that your Salesforce project may fail even on ensuring all these things. So, here we are trying to chase something different. We are trying to explore the most critical factors which can guarantee you Salesforce project success. In other terms, we are after the fundamental drivers which specifically apply to the Salesforce projects.
5 drivers of project success on Salesforce
These 5 points are derived by the experts who have experience with hundreds of successful Salesforce implementations. But not every driver listed here may have the same impact as the Salesforce project, for which you need to use your wise judgment. However, these may apply more or less to any Salesforce project implementations and also on expansions on the existing Salesforce ecosystem. To accomplish this well, make sure that you rightly understand all the building blocks and core components of the Sales Cloud first.
Success driver #1: Re-design the lead-to-opportunity process
Successful project implementation may require your business processes to be re-designed first. This is more important at the Lead to Opportunity process. Most of the process re-design attempts may end up in ambiguity and confusion, which is why many of the Salesforce projects fail at the first point. However, this re-design process goes to the core of any Salesforce project implementation and acts as a strong driver to success.
In reality, the Lead-to-Opportunity represents a critical set of activities that ensure optimally qualified and sales-ready leads. This process, well defined, will take those leads to the hands of the apt salespeople who can execute the conversion of the same well. However, to ensure Salesforce project success, some critical areas must pay more attention while handling the Lead to Opportunity process as below:
- Never transfer the leads to the salespeople until those are matured. Even the most seasoned salesperson will start to ignore the leads if they continuously perceive inferior quality leads.
- Covert each of the lead into an account and always contact an opportunity before taking it over to the salesperson. It is critical for successful campaign ROI metrics.
- Maintain different dashboards and pipeline reports to work on opportunities that are at the early stages of maturing. On finding appropriate, you may exclude such initial opportunities from the core pipelines and handle them separately.
- Educate the salespersons and the managers that it is also acceptable to opt-out of the opportunities at an early stage. Even if you tend to lose with it, it is better to lose early.
- Try to build and maintain a feedback mechanism for Inside Sales and also from Sales to Marketing. While doing this, always insist on the feedback from each lead that is transferred to sales. Conduct a review of this feedback regularly to enhance lead generation and lead the qualifying process.
It is seen that the Lead to Opportunity process may often provoke nervous discussion. But an effectively re-designed Lead to Opportunity process can put the Salesforce projects in the success track by reducing the risk factors.
Success driver #2: Use a 4-step user adoption approach
If you find the users are not fully engaged with the system, then there is little chance that your Salesforce projects may succeed. Most often, the effectiveness of user adoption equates with the training. Even on delivering as much training as possible, there is still no guarantee that user adoption can run the right way and lead to project success.
Let us discuss four specific steps to ensure successful user adoption and successful salesforce projects:
- Create an advantage to make them use the system well
For example, it may be much easier for the frontline sales executives to offer a real-time presentation to the prospects or get instant access to data from anywhere once the project is accomplished.2.
- Create a disadvantage of not using the system
To counter the resistance to change, which will be there by default in any change management project, ensure that the users are made aware of the disadvantages of not using the system. Make them understand how hard it is with the existing system and what opportunities you lose on not using the new system.
- Measure the level of user adoption
As Flosum experts advise it outrightly, without correctly measuring it, you cannot manage something. Therefore, always try to collect relevant metrics about user adoption and keep measuring it.
- Manage the user adoption proactively
Once if you measure it frequently, make your expectations clear. Use these metrics to effectively manage the user adoption the way you want it to be. Introduce reward systems and completing those who are doing it well. Also, take remedial actions for those who fail to meet the standards.
Success driver #3: Setting up the right set of dashboards
Getting more visibility of the sale performance and pipelines is the crucial benefit why companies tend to invest in Salesforce. However, even with this feature available, companies tend to fail to successfully implement and use dashboard reports and charts to gain more visibility. When setting up correctly, the sales dashboards should provide these three distinct pointers for Salesforce project success:
- Visibility of the sales pipeline size.
- Essential information about the pipeline trends
- Key metrics regarding the pipeline quality
With this critical info, sales managers may go blind and fail to track the performance. In fact, on Salesforce, it is pretty easy to address this issue. You may start by installing an intuitive Sales Dashboard from AppExchange based on your needs. The majority of these dashboard apps are fully customisable to set it based on your unique business needs.
Success driver #4: Train the managers to be success coaches
Coaches are those who can explain things a lot better. They can teach the techniques and tips and lead the game. Coaches also recognise the mistakes and accept the same to make the learning opportunities further. To do this well, the managers need to be trained first to make them good coaches. It is essential to have the right set of dashboards to do it at the first point. Knowing how to use these well can drive in real sales performance across the teams.
The project success on Salesforce largely depends upon the sales managers efficiency in using the dashboards and interpreting the reports. This means the managers can be insightful coaches on being trained well to handle the Salesforce dashboards. Unfortunately, this does not happen this way most of the time. This tends to kill the dormant opportunities which remain open. Updating such opportunities may occur only in the last minutes, and further efforts on this almost go in vain.
Effective sales managers identify the fact that no single chart will give a comprehensive picture. They know how to combine the inputs from various dashboards and graphs to identify specific opportunities and improvements to their team and each individual out there in the team. This will require a fundamental change in their culture and the education provided to the sales managers in many sales teams.
So, even on adopting Salesforce, do not expect this to happen on its own. A primary driving force is required to initiate this and train the managers to be actual coaches to the team and not just the pundits who sit back and point out the mistakes.
Success drive #5: Avoid a soft launch
You should try and start instantly as you mean to go on with. A soft launch is the approach that you get Salesforce implemented, but not insisting the intended users engage with and utilise it to the maximum. Most of the time, it is found that a soft launch occurs when the implementers believe that the ecosystem is not fully ready to get adapted to it. They also worry about the same impact and fear, whether it may adversely affect the current workflow.
However, expert advice is never to let this happen. It is a proven fact that the Salesforce project success demands a hard launch, and nothing less. A phased roll-out is the best option if you want to minimise the impact of a hard launch. But, in any case, as soon as the Salesforce project launches and goes a life, ensure that everyone is on the same page and fully understands the importance of keeping the records and data up to date to be compliant with the new system.
Salesforce is gargantuan now in terms of enterprise project management. There are many features, and enterprises implement Salesforce for the strategic and ROI benefits it offers than the primary tactical reasons. So, to realise the full advantages, you need to ensure independent expertise, guidance, advice, and experience to bring in success.
The author is Kelly Wilson, business consultant and financial advisor in the USA.
About the author
The author, Kelly Wilson is an experienced and skilled Business Consultant and Financial advisor in the USA. She helps clients both personal and professional in long-term wealth building plans. During her spare time, she loves to write on Business, Finance, Marketing, Social Media. She loves to share her knowledge and Expert tips with her readers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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