Salesforce Implementation Guide 2023: What you should know
In this article, we’d like to talk about the process of Salesforce implementation and share some practical tips that will allow you to make this process as seamless as possible. Our attention to this software is absolutely not occasional and can be explained by the high interest from the side of our clients in introducing this customer relationship management software at their companies.
What is Salesforce?
We won’t exaggerate if we say that the cloud-based CRM Salesforce is one of the most well-known and widely used customer relationship management systems in the world. It offers a wide range of tools that help businesses close more deals, increase the quality of their services, and, in general, leverage more opportunities to increase their profits. The Salesforce company was established in 1999 and since then, it has been continuously enhancing and modernizing its software to make it relevant for every business regardless of its type, size, and industry.
Based on our experience, we can say that the demand for Salesforce implementation service is not falling over time. More and more businesses are interested in exploring the capabilities of its software tools that help to ensure the desired level of automation and personalization.
In 2022, for the ninth consecutive year, Salesforce was awarded as the #1 CRM provider by the International Data Corporation (IDC) in its annual Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. Amid this recognition, the company is continuously evolving and modifying its CRM platform in full accordance with the ongoing tech trends. For example, 2023 has become a year of AI. The company has announced a row of AI-powered innovations, including the introduction of the first generative AI for CRM in the world – Einstein GPT.
Why should you implement Salesforce?
Any CRM system is intended to help businesses better organize their interaction with clients by enhancing their work with customer data. Many years ago, all these processes used to be performed manually which resulted in a huge number of mistakes, missed opportunities, and lost profits. Salesforce implementation can help you avoid all these issues and enjoy a row of benefits.
- Access to valuable customer data from any device and at any time;
- Better time management;
- Increased revenues;
- Enhanced customer loyalty and satisfaction;
- Improved team collaboration;
- More reliable reporting.
To better understand what you will get if you decide to implement Salesforce, it will be useful to have a look at the following figures revealed in the Salesforce.com Customer Relationship Survey.
The companies that started using Salesforce experience:
- 30% jump in lead conversion
- 28% increase in sales revenue
- 45% surge in customer retention
The use of Salesforce Sales Cloud can bring a 160% YoY increase in email click-through rates. Salesforce Marketing Cloud can drive marketing production time by 75% and boost conversion rates by 16%. Meanwhile, by applying the tools of Salesforce Service Cloud, it is possible to save employees’ time by 30% and increase their satisfaction by 70%.
All these figures look quite impressive. However, to have the possibility to achieve such results, you need to make sure that you have chosen the right approach to Salesforce implementation and that you know how to get prepared for it.
Our Salesforce team has expertise in working with multiple companies with different needs and requests which helped us to elaborate our Salesforce implementation best practices and approaches.
Who can conduct Salesforce implementation?
There are three main approaches to such projects.
- In-house implementation. This model is a rather rare thing. However, it is possible to choose it if you have all the necessary inner resources. Though such projects may require lower investments in comparison to those cases when you work with external partners, you should understand that it may become a very time-consuming and challenging process if your employees do not have enough skills and experience.
- Cooperation with external partners. The majority of Salesforce users choose this model as it has a lot of advantages. Professional teams can customize and implement a CRM solution significantly faster and more efficiently than in-house specialists. However, it is not easy to find the right partner with the required experience.
- Hybrid model. As you can guess from its name, this approach presupposes that your in-house specialists will share the responsibilities together with your implementation partner. For example, while external experts will plan the implementation process and migrate the data, your in-house specialists will be responsible for training other employees and maintaining your CRM. This model provides great flexibility but it requires efforts from your side to organize all the processes in the right way.
Salesforce Implementation: Key steps
Step 1. Consulting and planning. When our clients come to us, we need to study their business needs, analyze their goals, and find out how Salesforce can help to achieve them. When we understand the primary objectives (for example, to increase the number of sales or reduce sales cycles), we can start thinking about the required integrations and customizations which will help to fully adjust the functionality of the CRM software to the needs of a particular company. We also should know the budget of our client in order to make sure that the project will stay within it.
Step 2. Configuration and customization. When everything is discussed with a client and approved, we can proceed to tailoring the solution in accordance with the set requirements. While configuration presupposes modifying the capabilities of Salesforce that it has by default, customization is a more serious task as it includes development. As a result, the second option requires bigger investments but it can bring better results. Nevertheless, the exact approach will be discussed in each case individually. Sometimes, customization is not required even when a company is ready to pay for it.
Step 3. Integrations. Your CRM systems should be seamlessly integrated into your wider software ecosystem. Moreover, it should smoothly interact and exchange data with other systems that you rely on in your work such as a document management system, ERP solution, and e-commerce platforms.
Step 4. Data migration. It is vital to transfer your existing data into Salesforce without losing anything, as well as without causing system downtimes or failures. To make this process absolutely comfortable for your employees, our team will need to analyze your legacy system and data structure.
Step 5. User training. It is very important to make sure that all your employees know how to deal with your new Salesforce solution and especially with all the added custom features. It is recommended to organize training and we can also help with this task.
Step 6. Salesforce-based system launch. When your solution is well-tested and functions as it is supposed to in the development environment, it can be placed into the user acceptance testing environment where you will be able to see how it works and whether you are satisfied with the results. When you accept the result of our work, we will launch your system in the production environment. After that, your CRM solution will become available to your staff.
Step 7. After-launch maintenance and support. We can also offer our help in supporting and maintaining your solution. These services may include regular monitoring of the system performance, addressing all the detected issues, as well as introducing updates and enhancements based on the users’ feedback.
How to make sure that your Salesforce implementation project will be successful
And to cut a long story short, let us share a few recommendations that will help you to successfully reach your goals with Salesforce implementation.
- Stay flexible. Salesforce implementation projects can be rather complicated processes that may require a lot of planning efforts. Nevertheless, due to a lot of factors, it may turn out that you need to introduce some updates in your project and change your approach. You should be ready to do it even after the beginning of the project realization.
- Make communication your priority. When we are talking about communication in such projects we mean not only your interaction with developers. It is also important to make sure that the opinions of your employees who will work with Salesforce are heard. You need to take into account their preferences and thoughts.
Choose a reliable partner. Though this tip may seem to be too obvious, the right choice of Salesforce experts is a very weighty component of your success. You should look for a team that will deeply study your needs and will be interested in bringing real value to your business by adjusting your Salesforce-based solution to your requirements.
At Amberteq, we strongly believe that our goal is to help businesses conquer new peaks by means of powerful solutions that will help them address their existing issues, instead of creating new ones. We know how to achieve the highest efficiency of Salesforce cloud-based software and how to seamlessly implement it and integrate it with other systems that you use at your organization.
Just contact us to discuss what we can do for you!