Creating a strategy for your Salesforce environment can sometimes feel like you’re putting off the fun parts of diving into the platform, customizing, and sharing with your team. However, getting started without a technology roadmap or strategy can create a chicken before the egg scenario. Believe us when we say an implementation strategy can be a game changer for your overall experience with Salesforce. Creating a strategy doesn’t have to take a lot of time and can be a great way to confirm you’re architecting the solution correctly, determine how you maintain the integrity of your system long term, set expectations with users, get ahead of concerns, and more. In this post we list a few considerations about org strategies and how you can get one started.
Choose the right partner
First and foremost, we strongly recommend joining forces with an implementation partner who has extensive experience implementing Salesforce for your industry. Having specific knowledge about your industry will mean a partner can better support session prep, conduct pointed discovery sessions and construct a tailored roadmap. Also, keep in mind that you’re implementing enterprise level software that is drastically different from point solutions. Partners will have insight given their relationship with Salesforce, they’ll know pitfalls to watch out for and have best practices based on the number of similar implementations they’ve completed.
Set expectations with the right team
All stakeholders and executive project members need to be involved for an org strategy to be accurate and successful. You want your team to be excited about this project, but you also need them to be honest and transparent so you and your implementation partner can make accurate and knowledgeable assessments of where the organization struggles and what would deliver the most value. To create this environment, take note of your team and organization culture and share this information with your implementation partner. Ask yourself if your colleagues are resistant to change. Do they see a need for process efficiency? Is there a history of implementing software that doesn’t get utilized?
Next, bring your team into the loop sooner rather than later. Let stakeholders know why they are involved, what their role is, and why they’re an imperative role in this process. Support your team in understanding the near and long term wins they’ll realize one they invest the time to create a strategy.
- Scenario planning: A strategy should gather basic but imperative information that plays a role in how you make current and future decisions. For example, what will be your ongoing software licensing costs or, what are the costs if you add applications and your team grows? How will new users be trained? Are there plans to add a new department or team?
- Consolidation: Keep the goal of reducing technology debt in mind when you’re considering your current and future technology map. With highly flexible platforms like Salesforce, it can be easy to create a convoluted solution without a plan in place.
- Future state: A lot of value comes from thinking beyond your current situation and considering the entirety of the platform’s relationship with your processes and business functions.
The best way to start curating a strategy is to begin planning with your implementation partner. Confirming logistics like location (or virtual platform), date and budget will help your partner determine the best strategic planning methods and schedule. From there you’ll want to determine who will be involved and the functional groups participating, get a baseline understanding of all the technologies involved, and determine the high level goal of the sessions. Plan to set aside anywhere from 2-4 weeks depending on your team size, constituents, the number of functions involved and the complexity of your current systems.
When we partner teams we offer two ways to gather an org strategy:
- At the start of an implementation – All of our implementation projects have 2-4 weeks of strategic roadmapping baked into the overall delivery of the project. Pairing strategic planning and the implementation together means there is little (if any) downtime between roadmapping and implementation kick-off, the implementation strategy is as updated as possible and doesn’t require many modifications, and we can accommodate budgets.
- During Journey Building – We offer stand-alone strategic planning that results in a five year roadmap that the team can use to determine the best next step for their Salesforce solution. Learn more about this offering here.
You don’t have to know the entirety of your vision or journey with Salesforce to start strategizing on the best way to use Salesforce. Let partners like us do the heavy lifting and help your team get the most out of their time and investment. We’re here to help (and we’re pretty fun to work with)!