EMS Consulting PM Team

How to Prepare Your Organization to Start Using Salesforce

Salesforce unifies customer data across the entire organization. If you’re part of a bank or credit union, launching Salesforce is not something that rolls out in one weekend. If it sounds intimidating, well, it is, if you attempt to handle it in-house.

How do you get your entire organization to use it, and feel comfortable, so you realize the full benefits and ROI? It’s important to think of a Salesforce launch as happening in two distinct phases: implementation and post-implementation. And a Salesforce implementation partner like EMS Consulting can create the process from start to finish.

During implementation, the main focus is building your data model and then road mapping the data so everyone can access and use exactly what they need to do their jobs. After implementation, it’s all about putting someone in charge of maintaining the integrity of the data model, as well as user adoption.

Salesforce implementation: Best practices for rollout

Don’t assume the bulk of the work falls on IT.

It’s not uncommon. Many assume that implementing Salesforce falls to the IT department. That’s a big mistake. Sure, IT would be in charge of data migrations, security and any integration-related endpoints. But you’ll also want to include the users who will be working with the data.

Stay focused on business process.

Ultimately, when you’re getting ready for Salesforce, you’ll be using the time to create a standardized process with the data, to make Salesforce work the way you need it to, so it is:

  • Repeatable: The data is reliable, integrated and imports exactly what people need.
  • Scalable: The team can build on their data models and grow their capabilities, without errors and mishaps.
  • Reportable: This gives your financial institutions that in-depth information to understand customer behavior.

Why is process important?

Basically, implementing Salesforce is teaching the team the right process to leverage their customer data. Why is that important?

This phase is about helping the team understand what needs to happen to the data. Then, if bottlenecks arise in the future, and things don’t work as expected, the team can look for operational efficiencies to smooth them out.

Building a process means once the team is ready to automate and start using Salesforce, they will have the tools they need.

Build your internal rollout team

To get Salesforce up and running, you’ll want to assemble an implementation team. As we alluded to earlier, this should include people who actually touch the data, so you can build data models that are relevant to the people using them.

How you do assemble your rollout team?

Building your Salesforce implementation team requires a thoughtful approach, one that keeps the various user groups in mind, because they’re the subject matter experts who know the day-to-day minutiae of the data. For example, include someone who knows about leads:

  • What happens when a lead comes in?
  • Where does the data come from?
  • How does it get converted to a sale?
  • Who needs to see it? Who touches the lead?
  • What process is followed?

At the same time, the implementation team should also include upper managers, people with a pulse on the global vision of the financial institution, as well as the strategic goals that Salesforce can help them accomplish.

Create an inclusive training program.

Implementing Salesforce requires a change-management strategy. This isn’t a quick software upgrade that people can start using at 9 a.m. on Monday morning. If you drop it with little training, you’ll have a revolt, not to mention certain data disaster. How do you get people ready? There are three components to your Salesforce training program.

  • A user rollout strategy
  • A user adoption strategy
  • A user training initiative

EMS can provide the complete resources to guide a user rollout strategy of Salesforce, including engagement managers, documentation and change-management leaders.

Because here’s the thing: There’s a human element to making a big change to Salesforce. When you work with EMS Consulting, we’ll want to understand your company’s culture, so we can successfully apply our best practices. Here are some questions to think about:

  • How responsive have people been to projects?
  • Who’s likely to resist and push back? Why is that?
  • Who will be the most responsive and willing to adapt to a Salesforce launch?
  • Who’s going to be the most impacted by a Salesforce launch?

When planning your Salesforce rollout, it’s a good strategy to identify the group that will be the easiest to train and convert. Later, when we take it to the more hesitant groups, they’ll have live examples of what the conversion actually looks like, and that can give them the assurance they need.

Salesforce post-implementation: We’re live. Now what?

You’ve built the data models and tested them. You’ve created user groups, put out a rollout plan, trained the staff and the project is done; now Salesforce is up and running. What’s next?

One major focus is maintaining data integrity, so Salesforce runs smoothly for years. That’s where you’ll want to build a governance community.

Why do you need a governance community?

Just because you have the ability to run a process in Salesforce doesn’t mean you should. Salesforce is like a library — it needs a smart, capable crew to keep everything organized and gatekeep new material, so it has what people expect and they can find what they’re looking for. Otherwise, things can get chaotic.

Product owner

Build a main governance community that sets and maintains the standards on data changes in Salesforce. In a financial institution, best practices would call for at least one product owner who oversees the governance community, and this would be a full-time role.

Governance committee

From there, you build a main committee. Members would include one representative from each line of business — representatives with a solid working knowledge of the Salesforce data and how it’s used, so they can make informed decisions, while also overseeing long-term strategy and road-mapping.

Governance subcommittee

Then, create subcommittees for your different lines of business where end users can request changes that would be taken up with the main committee. (This can go a long way toward making people feel heard and more vested in using it, so you realize the full ROI of Salesforce.)

Of course, EMS can help your team create this Salesforce governance community in the post-implementation.

Things to keep in mind: It’s a culture

The thing to remember about Salesforce is it’s not supposed to look the same as it did on day one. Salesforce grows and evolves with your organization, and the people who take part in the governance are important to keep the system integrity, but also to build a culture that fully embraces and uses it to integrate your customer information.

When it becomes a part of a financial institution’s culture, Salesforce works better, so it makes life easier for end users. When it makes life easier for end users, you get better adoption and it becomes this ingrained set of data that creates a unified experience across the organization.

Now that you have the 10,000-foot view, we hope this demystifies some of the preparation that goes into launching Salesforce at your bank or credit union.

Are you ready to talk more about how EMS Consulting can help you build a rock-solid strategy to launch Salesforce? Schedule a free consultation today.