5 Common Mistakes in the Salesforce Implementation Process

The implementation of Salesforce for new users is not always simple. Whether migrating from a different platform, or adopting a new CRM for the first time, managers face many challenges, including user onboarding, data duplication and low adoption, among others.   For these reasons, the implementation process must be strategically carried out. To help you strategize, we’ve compiled 5 common mistakes made at this time so that you may be able to avoid them.  

1. Lack of Customization

With all the customization options available with Salesforce, you can be assured that it can be easily integrated into your existing practices. The problem arises when you don’t take the time to adequately organize your business processes and define them clearly. If you don’t take this time you can end up with complicated applications which use far too many fields or have disorganized page layouts. Customization may take time so be sure that you’re connecting with your employees about suggested improvements or challenges in order to keep things clear.  

2. Lack of Vision

Before implementing Salesforce, be sure that you have a vision. Ask what you want to get out of Salesforce, and articulate exactly what processes or procedures you’re hoping to improve. The better your vision for Salesforce the more likely you’ll have success with uptake, training and customization. Don’t rush. That’s where mistakes are made. Don’t roll it out all at once. Be sure that you launch in stages and that you have a vision for each and every stage.  

3. Lack of Information Migration

While it’s important to move your data to Salesforce as quickly as possible, you do need to be sure you’ve selected the right information. While transferring information makes everyone nervous, it will be far smoother a process if you take the time to do an adequate backup, and prepare well for the transfer. Use this time to do a little clean up as well. While it may be instinctive to cling to old documents, now is the time to transfer only useful and up to date data. And don’t forget to do a test migration in order to prepare yourself and your team for any possible challenges that could arise during migration.  

4. Forget to monitor progress or resistance

Throughout the implementation process you should be monitoring your successes and failures. Salesforce allows you to identify those who successfully implement the program and those who don’t. You can then use this data to identify areas of concern and or areas that need to be adjusted, changed or improved to ensure better uptake. In order to build efficiencies you need to keep track of progress, but you also need to identify just where and why there may be resistance or difficulty.  

5. Lack of Training

One of the most important elements of successful implementation is training. Sadly, it’s also the most overlooked. Many businesses train their employees early on in the process and then leave them on their own to figure out the next steps, or its role in the unique processes associated with their jobs. Gartner analyst Michael Maoz writes, “CRM process flaws and inadequate technologies could derail customer loyalty strategies.” Ensure processes are taught and carried out correctly before moving on to the next training step.   Ongoing training is the key to successful implementation and that means that you’re not just interested in an initial introduction but ongoing and frequent updates and check-ins.   It’s easy to rush into Salesforce and make the important changes you need but be sure that you’ve evaluated just what it is that you need in order to benefit most, and offer the most benefit to others. Keep these 5 frequent obstacles to success in mind whenever you’re looking to implement Salesforce.
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.