Salesforce.com has the power to run much of your business operations. It can be continually customized, integrated and programmed to automate steps in your various business processes.
As long as your requirements are clear and feasible, the work of customizing your system can be accomplished in a relatively straight forward manner. Aligning your organization to using Salesforce.com becomes the harder challenge as many companies realize. It is the art of change management.
Salesforce.com is a team system. The information that is captured and accessible for work to get done becomes useful in the context of a process. Getting software or machines to execute process is easy. Those can be programmed. People have habits, agendas, biases and emotion. If you are seeking to get your team to operate on the same page to increase sales, customer loyalty or brand awareness, these require daily execution and consistent decisions.
When we deal with change management in our Salesforce.com consulting, we adhere to some time-tested practices:
- Identify a strong internal champion. This is a person who has influence and can clarify vision across the organization. It is critical to have someone that is persistent, charismatic and process-oriented.
- Build a roadmap. Your Salesforce.com roadmap should inform your company what the blueprint for success looks like. It needs to take into account what the customer experience should be like, how your people work, the various systems required to get the job done and a vision for the future.
- Create a parking lot. This is an area where future requirements can be easily captured. The most important part of using Salesforce.com is starting. Getting your team to use the system and minimizing the number of features increases adoption success. Your team needs a place to park their other nice-to-have, but not essential, requirements.
- Deliver timely training. Training your team is ongoing. One session is not going to get it done. People need to absorb knowledge, try it out and then own it themselves. These cycles should be short and repetitive to motivate your team towards the goal of working your processes.
- Lead with metrics. What gets measured gets done. Use real-time reporting to measure specific areas of your business processes. At the beginning, it may be more about effort than results to reinforce behaviors. When you are comfortable with metrics that are being consistently achieved, then move on to a bigger goal to frame the work getting done. Create strong rewards and incentives which help your team focus on what is important.
- Make culture happen. New team members will likely be a part of your business story. They will adopt your process and systems because of your culture. It is positive peer pressure which helps everyone know what the standards for success are. Be intentional and lead in this area to create strong momentum.
Change is difficult because it is work for each individual. The work can be wearisome. However, with strong leadership and management around the goals you have for your organization, Salesforce success is achievable. If you need help get Salesforce consulting. The help in the process will pay large dividends.
How can you use these practices to help your organization achieve higher levels of Salesforce success?