Salesforce Is Not The Savior

We all want success in our business.  More often than not, we see a focus on technology as a savior rather than what really matters to drive success.

Salesforce.com is an extremely powerful system which is largely misunderstood for its capabilities.  The namesake affects the branding and, thus, there is a misperception that it is for salespeople and sales processes.  It is much more.  It is a platform which can be customized to run your business operations.  Instead of programming custom software which is inflexible, you have a system which can bend with your changing business requirements.

Those that do realize this potential may be prone to another illusion.  They are technology happy and do not realize the components which truly make for success.  Salesforce success is much less about the subscription you pay every month and much more about leadership, strategy and talent.  Without these, you can never be successful with Salesforce.com in your business.  It is merely naked technology.  It is technology devoid of process which enables success.

Keep Your Eye On The Eight Ball

The truth is that there are many businesses with Salesforce.com that fail.  They bought hope.  They did not put in the hard work and commitment to making Salesforce.com truly work.  The blind spot comes in because there is a lack of clarity on what matters or they are playing to personalities within a bureaucracy.  It happens quite frequently, and unfortunately, as is common with human nature, it is difficult to admit error.

Salesforce.com Leadership

Who has the clear vision of how your business should run?  Do they create clarity or add complexity?  Strong leadership that makes the complex simple rather than simple things complex is of utmost importance.  Every bit of complexity and overengineering will affect the adoption and enthusiasm of your team.

Leadership starts with clear vision.  Someone who is building from the bottom up rather than the top down will lack the overarching vision to make Salesforce work.  They add any and every field, data object and feature because it is available.  This is poor leadership and jeopardizes success.

Salesforce.com Strategy

Your business is nothing more than a process.  This process needs to be simplified and clarified.  It needs to be mapped into Salesforce.com and presented simply for your team to execute their daily tasks.  Data which clarifies the key metrics for your business should be real-time, accessible and clear to know whether your business is executing at a high level or failing.

The strategy for how to design your Salesforce.com system is both art and science.  Ensure that your strategy is clearly defined.  It is a moving target as well.  You and your team will get clearer as you go along.  Thus, flexibility and an understanding of the moving parts is part of the journey.

Fahrvergnügen Drivers Wanted

Volkswagon used fahrvergnügen as a slogan and cleverly tagged, “Drivers Wanted” to the campaign.  The car was positioned as true enjoyment.  Worthy drivers who could enjoy the experience were needed.

Salesforce.com is technology that is Fahrvergnügen and needs drivers.  Talented users that can execute your process will lead you towards success.  If you have “C” players, then your quest may be quite elusive.  Salesforce.com does not run itself.  Talent that can work within a well-designed business process and framework make Salesforce.com work.

The Disillusion

There is a lot of focus on the promises of what Salesforce.com can do for your business.  The technology has been around for quite some time.  Thousands of users and companies are signed up.  In the trenches, the success factor is a mixed bag.  The hope and potential entice buyers.

However, without the leadership, strategy and talent to drive success, you will be hard pressed to achieve nirvana.  It is a smart system which requires hard work.  If you are leading, examine the results to see if you need to change strategy and get the right leadership involved.  At the end of the day, good technology is a commodity today.  Smart people that can navigate complexity make good technology produce business results.

How are you addressing what matters for Salesforce Success?

 

Published by Don Dalrymple

I grow businesses through partnerships and executive coaching. I work with partners and clients on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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