Launching with Salesforce.com with a few people is much easier than launching with many. You can have a flexibility to your deployment approach when starting out because the ability to iterate in Salesforce.com affords experimentation. If you need new fields, then they can be added. If certain reports are not relevant, then new ones can be added quickly.
Aligning a few people only requires a few assents. When many people are involved, then changes will have a larger impact. The management of this change needs to be handled accordingly.
A Central Process
Regardless of whether you are launching a new business or managing an older business, a Salesforce.com roadmap will help you understand an effective implementation as well as create a process for your organization to execute against.
Salesforce.com is fundamentally a customizable database to support your various business processes. These can be not only in sales, but marketing, support, operations and project management. Each process should be captured separately and visible for your respective teams to understand the various steps and how to use Salesforce.com to do their jobs.
For example, if a salesperson has a follow-up after a call with sending marketing materials, these should be in a sequential process that triggers the right tasks and communications in Salesforce.com. A newcomer should be able to find out how to execute the step as well as someone that needs a refresher by simply accessing a process map. The process map should articulate the mechanics and the essence of the step.
In our Salesforce.com consulting, we walk through process mapping and embed the results within the user interface. Users have a way of matching their behaviors in Salesforce.com with what has been agreed upon as the central process. This accountability can be tracked in Opportunity and Lead records as well as custom data objects.
If your business processes are being executed, then the business results should theoretically follow. This allows management to keep accountability for how well the team is working the business system as well as see the data for where inefficiencies exist and improvements can be made.
Does your team know your business process in a concrete way?