Salesforce is a potent tool that helps growing companies centralize their core functions and manage customer relationships more efficiently.
Salesforce is undoubtedly the leading CRM provider with over 150,000 commercial users and various software options. If you consider using a part of the entire software suite, you must stay focused on the Salesforce implementation checklist, even used by top software development agencies.
This article will highlight all the crucial points in a Salesforce implementation checklist to maximize the CRM’s potential.
Table of Contents
What Is a Salesforce Implementation Checklist?
Salesforce implementation is no easy task. Salesforce is a highly complex application with several features, making the implementation challenging.
A checklist comes to highlight all the points that leverage the power of Salesforce. With proper implementation, C-suite executives can expect to streamline and grow the lead generation engine, support infrastructure, and operational efficiency.
The Salesforce implementation director and his team must ensure that the invested application functions in line with the organizational objectives.
Successful Salesforce implementation is when every user in the organization can adopt the application properly.
Salesforce Implementation Checklist: 4 Important Points to Consider
Let's start with the Salesforce implementation checklist now:
- Establish the Project Timeline
- Estimate the Salesforce Implementation Costs
- Build the Implementation Team
- Create a User Adoption Plan
1. Establish the Project Timeline
For a quick start, Salesforce implementation could take as little as two weeks, but it depends on the type of business or the organization implementing Salesforce.
You can start estimating by analyzing the team size you need, who leads the project, if there will be shared resources, how much technical and management help would be required, etc. It would help if you also considered whether the team will have dependencies and how long it could take to find the resolution.
In the end, you need to map other projects with Salesforce and determine if any overlap exists and whether it is manageable.
Once you have a basic idea of how long it takes for the project to go live, you can start estimating the time for business process mapping, building, designing, alpha, beta, and pilot testing, deployment, and product adoption process.
The next step is to decide how the organization will collaborate with the external stakeholders during the project lifecycle or at what points you will need their help.
Once you have the complete picture, plan how the organization will coordinate with external stakeholders like consultants and service partners during the project's lifecycle. Also, you can establish at what point, such as software configuration management, you would need their help.
2. Estimate the Salesforce Implementation Costs
Each project is unique, so estimating the implementation cost is difficult. While you cannot count the exact number, you can find the key factors that will impact the project's cost.
A few variables are involved, and we can consider X, Y, and Z.
Let's say X is the cost incurred by the organization's size, Y is the support and maintenance cost, and Z is the cost of the implementation partner.
Let's start with X.
Salesforce has a variety of licenses where you pick the one that best suits the requirements of your organization.
For instance, we've picked the Enterprise pack, which costs $150, and assumed that there would be 100 users in an organization using the Salesforce CRM solution.
To calculate the cost incurred by the size of the users,
X = Number of users x Number of months x Cost of Subscription
X= 100 x 12 x 150 = $180,000
So, the annual recurring cost would be around $180,000.
To calculate the cost of overall support and maintenance,
Y = cost of human resource one+ cost human resource two + cost of the tools
Y = $107,510 + $98,152 + $12000 = $206,000
The cost of hiring the Salesforce consultant is,
Z = Hourly charges of the consultant x Number of hours worked.
Eventually, the Z = 130 x 200 = $26,000, where the number of work hours is 200hrs.
The overall Salesforce implementation cost for an organization that has 100 users will be = X+Y+Z = $180,000 + $206,000 + $26,000 = $412,000
$412,000 is the median Salesforce Implementation cost for an organization with 100 users.
The range could vary from $362,000 to $462,000, depending on the support tools used, the consultant hired, the salary of the Salesforce admin and the Salesforce subscription your company opted for.
3. Build the Implementation Team
It is always advisable to have the Salesforce implementation consultant and partner to guide your project, just as it is essential to have internal stakeholders with the assigned role.
Accordingly, the following are the people you need in the team:
- Business Executive Sponsor: They are the champions of the implementation, leading and motivating the users to adopt the new process and manage communication across the silos.
- IT Executive Sponsor: They remove the technical roadblocks, including the glitches in the software development methodologies, to steer the project in the right direction.
- Client Subject Matter Experts: They have the idea of various roles, help with workflows, and support user experience tests.
- Project Managers: They coordinate with the IT executive sponsor and the project sponsor to identify the risks and manage the project at hand.
- Salesforce Admin: They take care of the Salesforce post-implementation and ensure long-term success by enabling the end-user to make the most of the deployed Salesforce solution.
4. Create a User Adoption Plan
Even when you have an established idea of the Salesforce implementation process, you must ensure that the end users or your employees widely adopt the deployed solution.
For starters, you must segment users. Based on that, you need to understand why and how they will use the platform. This is crucial because every user has a different requirement from the application.
Generally, there are seven types of Salesforce users:
- Customer Success team
- Marketing team
- Sales team
- Operations team
- Project Management team
- Finance team
- Development team
This segmentation could vary from company to company, but this is more or less how most of them would look.
Salesforce Implementation Best Practices
It is praiseworthy once you have successfully implemented Salesforce to derive the best results for your company. Even after you have abided by the checklist, it is essential to follow some best practices to ensure that the CRM is ready for the real world.
First, you must test the implemented CRM. Check for any issues or bugs that can occur throughout Salesforce so that it runs without a hitch.
This is usually done by running a Salesforce sandbox. It is a replicated environment of the about-to-go live platform. In the sandbox, you can test and make changes to Salesforce as required without affecting the current data.
After checking and fixing the issues, review it finally. Once Salesforce is cleaned up, it is ready to launch. And once it is launched, it is time to speed everyone up. So, you must train your employees to use the newly implemented CRM efficiently.
Additional Tips for a Successful Salesforce Implementation Roadmap
Since you would want your eCommerce store, powered by Salesforce, to work seamlessly, here are some other Salesforce implementation roadmap tips to take note of:
Make sure your requirements are clear, explicit, and unambiguous since Salesforce implementations go wrong when reality does not match expectations.
Get your stakeholders to buy in early. When more stakeholders believe in the implemented solution, they are more likely to contribute and offer constructive feedback for the improvement of the project.
Establish precise time requirements from the businesses or end users. This is because organizations must involve the stakeholders throughout the implementation process, including providing input, feedback, and clarification at several stages.
Keep testing, as this is one of the most critical parts of the implementation. One can avoid disappointing glitches by spending enough time testing the functionality according to the detailed and explicit requirements outlined at the beginning.
Salesforce Implementation Checklist Takeaway
Implementing Salesforce is more than moving data from one platform to another. It is about migrating clean data and customizing elements to get the most out of this CRM.
You can reach out to certified Salesforce consultants and specialists to get guided in the Salesforce implementation process.