Adopting Salesforce right is a must for building the appropriate solution for the business. And chances of things going wrong are quite high if the needs, expectations and possible challenges are not thought of. 

Salesforce implementation, especially if a customized solution is what you are looking for, can be quite time and resource intensive. Salesforce organizes many training programs. There also are communities to help us learn and share knowledge. Salesforce does all this and more for a reason.

More and more customers we talk to are struggling with an implementation gone bad. Mistake can happen at several levels.

First mistake you can make is assuming that you can manage the entire implementation on your own. Agreed, you know what your organization wants and why. But to have an understanding about which problem areas Salesforce can help solve, and which ones you might not want to or cannot tackle in Salesforce, you need an implementation vision. Just by implementing certain features, you will not be able to further your organization’s mission.

You need a partner who understands and appreciates both your business and Salesforce to help you adapt the platform to your business needs. With a partner, you can plan, scope and envision the entire implementation. Doing it yourself will more often than not result in band-aid fixes and/ or failures down the road.

The second mistake could be engaging someone without the required technical and business skill sets. Just the knowledge of Salesforce does not make someone the right partner for your Salesforce project. Similarly, being a large firm is not the qualification of being a partner of your choice. You might or might not get your questions answered by a large team implementing CRMs across continents and providing 24/7 support.

To help you with your implementation and to ease the adoption process, the one you choose should have a deep business perspective, and should understand your business needs, your struggles, and Salesforce solutions. Such a partner will uncover your true needs and priorities, and ensure you get the best out of the Salesforce platform.

That said, you also want to ensure that your employees feel engaged and are using Salesforce to its fullest. Investing in this wonderful platform does not guarantee that your staff will leave excel and make a shift. Where a mere interface change irks people, imagine the plight of your staff being forced to switch to Salesforce. This resistance to move away from the traditional CRM approach is not only reducing the employees’ efficiency but the fragmented data is distorting visibility across the board.

You should never assume that the employees will ‘figure things out’. You should invest in onboarding and training them. If your Salesforce mimics your business processes, user adoption will be simpler. Moreover, Salesforce training is not a one-time fix. It is on-going and should reflect how your organization is evolving.

Salesforce is indeed a wonderful tool, but not a magical one. None of the business challenges can get solved on their own in the presence of Salesforce.

Plan ahead. Identify a partner. Work closely. Train your staff. And be prepared to unlock the potential of your Salesforce org.

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