Industry estimates suggest close to 91% of organizations with over 10 employees use CRM systems. The 43.7 billion dollar industry is expected to grow substantially, as it’s predicted to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% from 2021 to 2028. Evidently, a plethora of businesses see the value in a CRM system — and for good reason.
A CRM solution like Salesforce improves customer satisfaction, marketing return on investment, and sales revenue. However, to fully enjoy the fruits of your implementation’s labor, it’s important to be adequately prepared for the transition. After all, preparation can take you from reactive to proactive, and allow for a smoother Salesforce implementation. To help your project go off without a hitch, we’ve outlined some pre-implementation tips below.
Outline Implementation Goals
Outlining your goals helps you determine what matters most from the get-go. Consider the big picture questions that shape your project and establish key performance indicators (KPIs). Begin by defining specific objectives for your integration; consider asking yourself:
- Why you are switching to Salesforce
- Which sales metrics you hope to improve
- How pipeline management should improve
- The rate of adoption required for a successful integration
Once you’ve answered the above questions, work with your Salesforce implementation partner to nail down a concrete plan to meet your KPIs.
Measure Baseline Performance
Measuring the baseline performance of your organization allows you to quantify your implementation’s success. A record of baseline productivity, production volumes, sales, leads, and other relevant metrics allows you to assess the return on your Salesforce investment. This information will also show you which areas need to be prioritized if more fine-tuning is required
Enlist a Data Lead
Designating a data lead who is familiar with your organization’s data landscape is paramount in preparing for your implementation. This expert should understand which systems are the source of truth for certain data, whether you have duplicate entries, and whether the data is accurate and complete. It’s also important for this person to know which data sets are to be migrated and which are to be scrapped — to avoid a “garbage in, garbage out” situation.
Protip: if the data lead grants your implementation partner access to data ahead of time, you can have more productive conversations at process review sessions.
Prep the Data
Since one of Salesforce’s primary goals is to bring various data sets into one central location, it’s critical to ensure your project begins with pristine data. This endeavor can prove to be quite the challenge; data quality issues may not reveal themselves until the project is in motion. Fortunately, expert partners can identify data quality hiccups before they become problematic. If left undetected, the challenges you faced with your previous system are likely to return.
Many organizations have disparate databases for various departments, including but not limited to customer service, sales, marketing, and order fulfillment. A variety of different systems increases the duplication and misinterpretation of data, among other snags.
To determine how old information can be expressed in the new system, record entries, financials, and spreadsheets should be free of irrelevant and purposeless data. Sorting through the data in your existing system to identify what needs to be transferred helps you stay organized. It’s also important to determine how data will integrate into the new system. Decision-makers should outline the frequency of data exchanges between departments and determine specific data needs.
Build a Master Plan
A solid timeline should be an integral part of your statement of work. It should include major milestones, such as the estimated data switch date and the go-live date. Consider using an online tool or a whiteboard to create a thorough flowchart to make the integration process flow more smoothly. This is important, the absence of a clear strategy can result in fixing code down the line, adding extra time to the implementation process.
Do you need some pre-implementation guidance?
If you need a helping hand in preparing for your implementation or have any questions related to data and integration, a knowledgeable implementation partner can help get your ducks in a row.
At Gerent, we believe adequate preparation lays the groundwork for future success. We have helped countless organizations implement Salesforce products and subsequently thrive. Contact us today to learn how we can help you update your digital framework!