Avoiding Salesforce Post-Implementation Issues
When it comes to implementing Salesforce, it’s important to have an implementation plan in an effort to avoid Salesforce post-implementation issues.. In a previous blog post, we talked about how it’s imperative to start planning even before you begin the migration to Salesforce. But what about the process after the migration is complete?
Unfortunately, the migration process isn’t technically finished. Ensuring that your team and all Salesforce users are prepared to use their new system and know how to have it work best for them is a major part of the post-implementation process.
There are a handful of common post-implementation problems we’ve seen that can be easily avoided if you prepare in advance and communicate well with everyone involved.
Common Post-Implementation Problems
- Incomplete User Adoption: The migration to Salesforce is complete! But when you look around at your sales or customer service teams… no one is using it. You see lingering Excel spreadsheets and the ghosts of your previous programs around the office. What happened? This can result when your team doesn’t feel comfortable using Salesforce to track and input new data. Even if all your previous data is migrated into Salesforce, users will need to start tracking new data in Salesforce.
- Forgetting the Full Integration: Prior to using Salesforce, it’s likely that your team was using a handful of systems to complete your customer service and sales team infrastructure. In your implementation plan, you forgot your third-party apps. Now there’s a hazy web of users trying to hack together unintegrated apps with your new Salesforce system.
- Not Having Team Buy-In: If team management or the migration project leaders didn’t prioritize complete buy-in from the user teams, it’s reasonable to expect there to be some holdouts when it comes to using the new Salesforce system. When users are confronted with new technology and they don’t understand the purpose of the new migration, there will be resistance to learning how to use it. If only a portion of the team is using Salesforce and the rest are refusing to use it, your processes can’t move forward.
- Not Setting Expectations: Maybe you’re encountering the opposite problem. Maybe the team and management are so excited about Salesforce that they’re convinced it can do everything and solve every problem.Wrong again.Salesforce has the capacity to replace almost all the other apps and software that you were previously using, but Salesforce “out of the box” is not a magical replacement tool. Using integrations and custom build outs, along with Salesforce additional tools that you can pay separately for, you can build the system of your dreams.
- Inadequately Preparing for the Onboarding Period: Hopefully your communication has been consistent and all parties involved are ready and excited to use Salesforce. With all your planning and strategizing, you think you’ve done everything right. After the migration, the general feedback is frustration. Why can’t Salesforce do what I need it to do? Why am I not getting this right, even after the trainings? Why isn’t this easy? Learning how to use a new, expansive tool like Salesforce will take time.
What To Do Instead
Some poorly managed migrations result in all these problems while others may experience a weakness in a single area. Most stem from a failure to communicate ahead of time with everyone and creating support systems to ensure that all users are prepared and have a way to ask questions and get help when they need it.
Now that you know what problems tend to crop up, let’s look at possible mitigations:
- Have a post-implementation roadmap drawn out before implementation: Extensive planning and communication are the keys to a smooth migration and post-implementation period. Long before even beginning the Salesforce migration process, the implementation team managers should build out a roadmap for all users and managers to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Your plans should include onboarding training, a schedule of meetings to track team/user progression with familiarity with Salesforce as time goes on, and forums for feedback from core users regarding points of friction and areas for growth potential.
- Include all apps and integrations you used pre-Salesforce and integrate into Salesforce: Any apps and integrations that were being used before the Salesforce migration will either need to be migrated or integrated with your new Salesforce set up using Salesforce Connect. In the pre-migration planning stage, it’s important to include any external apps or APIs that will need to be included with your Salesforce ecosystem. This may alter the plans for your migration to Salesforce.In the post-implementation stage, the key will be training users to become familiar with the APIs that they are used to using, but now working with Salesforce as well. Demonstrations and quick start guides will make it easy for users to get on track.
- Communicate with all users so that they feel prepared and capable of completing their work cycle within Salesforce: Once again, communication ends up being an important part of the implementation and migration process, during the beginning, middle, and end of the process. In the post-implementation phase, communication is key to ensuring that the users will feel adequately prepared to use Salesforce and take full advantage of its capabilities. Demonstrations, trainings, and documentation comparing the previous workflows for customer service and sales cycles, for example, with the new workflow within Salesforce will make the transition simpler.
- Understand and share what Salesforce is set up to accomplish: Setting expectations will make the migrations more successful before you even begin. If each team member or separate teams within an organization are expecting Salesforce to accomplish something completely different than what it was built to do, no one will be happy once it is implemented. It’s also possible to add new integrations and capabilities to Salesforce in the future, so if teams do have additional needs, they can be supported as well. Proactively creating multiple communication channels and support groups will anchor the transition and post-implementation period so that when contingencies arise, no one feels unheard or like their problem doesn’t have a resolution. Working with your Salesforce migration team is essential to creating these channels and groups so take full advantage of their experience and expertise!
Plan and Then Create More Plans
Many migration and post-implementation issues stem from a lack of communication and poorly defined expectations. When your whole team is onboard with the switch to Salesforce and is adequately informed about what it can do, then the post-implementation process will go more smoothly, and team members will be happier to use their new system.
If you are using a service to aid in the migration process, talk with them in-depth about the post implementation process and how they plan to prevent these common issues from arising, long before you even start the migration process.