Salesforce is a very powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) when implemented and used correctly. However, many small and medium businesses attempt in-house Salesforce implementations or choose low-cost, low-expertise solution providers that may save short-term expenses but end up leading to costly messes and business dysfunction a few months down the road.
Unfortunately, CRM implementations, especially complex ones, easily fail. But it is possible to beat the odds. Here are 5 common salesforce implementation mistakes that strategic sales teams can avoid to set their CRM up for long-term success:
Mistake #1: Trying to use Salesforce as an out-of-the-box solution.
Salesforce is the most powerful CRM in the market, but getting Salesforce ‘out of the box’ can only take you so far. The power of salesforce lies in the fact that you can customize it to fit your own business operating model.
So…why do companies not configure their Salesforce instance to meet their unique business requirements?
Customization takes time and guidance from a reliable and experienced Salesforce consultant. DIY CRM implementation may initially feel like the only way to go live while keeping your business up and running. However, working with the right partner to create and implement salesforce solutions that are optimized for your unique set of customer data and operational needs will ultimately improve user adoption, avoid messy data, and ensure all key stakeholders’ needs are met.
Mistake #2: Over-simplifying requirements.
Long story short, most business users and implementers oversimplify the requirements or overgeneralize what they need from the system. This can cause the project to be extended, meaning more time and money are spent long-term.
Instead, when sales teams are defining their salesforce user requirements they can work with a salesforce consultant to holistically address business continuity and system requirements by implementing automation and workflows, search, tagging, and user interface options, that meet each salesforce user’s needs upfront.
Strategic sales teams can design their implementation process around these requirements.
Mistake #3: Not realizing that you need a Salesforce expert.
Salesforce is expensive, so sales teams may feel hesitant to spend even more of their budget on additional services to support it. However, this misconception can ultimately damage their ability to get benefits from their Salesforce platform.
Some common misconceptions businesses that DIY their Salesforce implementation include:
- Believing you can ‘build as you go’ and don’t need to have a Salesforce expert to build a healthy salesforce instance
- Thinking changes or customization can be done in-house by business users without Salesforce expertise
- Assuming Salesforce will continue to function smoothly if they simply ‘don’t break it’ and that no system maintenance is required
Salesforce can be incredibly powerful. However, it will never get there if your team creates a mess from the start. Working with a salesforce expert to select the right salesforce features and guide you through implementation and maintenance will help to make sure you are set up for success.
Mistake #4: Excluding day-to-day users when identifying Salesforce requirements.
Are you interested in user adoption? From end-users to top management, make sure everyone on your team is involved from the scoping and preparation phase to implementation and day-to-day use. Companies that exclude day-to-day users may waste a lot of time creating what they think meets the sales team’s needs only to discover it makes their life a nightmare after they get involved. Additionally, leaders will face resistance once these users get into the system.
Instead, business leaders can save time, money, and even energy through effective user engagement and setting realistic expectations starting from the beginning. To set themselves up for success, they can work with a salesforce consultant on a plan for getting employees familiar with how to use the new CRM within their day-to-day tasks and start to see the benefits of using the system over their annoyances with change.
TIP: When onboarding new employees, get them familiar with your salesforce features from the very first day. However, it is also crucial to offer refreshment training courses to help strengthen their knowledge of how your salesforce CRM functions even after they’ve become familiar with the tools.
Mistake #5: Skipping data clean up and pulling dirty data into your Salesforce CRM
Data comes in many shapes and forms, so not spending the time to standardize and clean up the data will cause major data inconsistency issues and lead to poor reports and KPIs. Your data hygiene is super important, so while you may be feeling the pressure to move it over to Salesforce quickly, you need to make sure:
- You’re only bringing relevant data into your new Salesforce CRM
- You are cleaning up the data before it is transferred to your new CRM
- You have structured your data to be insightful and actionable
Running a test migration supported by an experienced salesforce consultant can help your team to avoid issues that commonly emerge during this phase of your Salesforce implementation. Don’t lose the golden gems in your existing data and get the help you need to make sure your data can work for you.
CRM implementations, especially complex ones, easily fail. But it is possible to beat the odds.
When implementing Salesforce, make sure to have a salesforce expert on your side showing you the correct solution for your unique business processes. This will help to set you up for long-term success.
The right implementation partner, such as Emagin Technology, will have the business and technical knowledge to help you design a CRM that supports your business goals most effectively. If your business or organization is planning to take advantage of Salesforce’s powerful tools and features, this is where Emagin can help.
Not sure where to start? Get a free CRM Audit.
Your CRM is one of the most valuable tools at your business’s disposal. Receive a free analysis of your current systems and processes just by filling out our Free CRM Audit form. With Emagin Tech as your CRM partner, we can work together to make the most of it!