Successful Salesforce customers don't get that way by accident; they put in the work necessary to make the solution work for their organization. This isn't something that just happens; it is the result of proactive, engaged leadership, and diligent, dedicated end users.
Implementation is just the beginning of your relationship with your solutions. Achieving post-implementation success requires you to keep your eye on the ball not just until implementation is complete, but until all the tweaks are made and your platform and processes are optimized.
When solid design combines with a flexible foundation, good processes are born. Successful Salesforce customers follow post-implementation best practices to keep the wheels turning.
1. Encourage Adoption/Keep End Users trained and up to date
You need the people in your company to be willing to adopt a new system. Implementation means nothing if on-the-ground employees aren't sold on it. The willingness to adapt starts at the top. If the executives cosign the project and spell out (and maintain) expectations, it’s that much easier to keep things moving forward.
Of course, this process starts BEFORE deployment and includes spending time in Trailhead. Also plan on launching a strong change or comms plan that you own and continue to drive post-launch.
2. Create a release management process
Adapting customization practices into best practices takes a little getting used to, but in the long run proves valuable. As the team integrates procedures into their normal routine, they will grow more comfortable with the solution, which will reduce the learning curve.
But in managing expectations, it may be necessary to implement structural improvements and deploy process tweaks along the way that will streamline management in the long run.
3. Show ROI
Keeping users engaged is the key to success. You're not going to last long if you aren't showing your employees their efforts are worth the trouble of using the new system.
Engaging with the system on a regular basis is critical. Updating outcomes show management and users alike how Salesforce implementation is reducing costs, increasing revenue and productivity, and enabling analysis. Providing data-based performance results keeps users motivated to continue using the system properly.
One way to do this is by having brand "champions"--people in key leadership positions who not only use the software and serve as an onsite subject matter expert (SME), but also will inspire others to stay with it.
4. Get help
Implementation and go-live is not the end of the process--it's the beginning. Employing the help of key SMEs ensure your metrics are solid, your users are properly trained and current, and that your processes are where they need to be. SME "office hours" via video conference is another tool; users can jump in for guidance if they are stuck or struggling. A responsive support team ready to go on Day 1 to resolve issues or respond to user questions.
"Having a 'feedback loop--a way to allow users to submit suggestions, a process to address them, and a channel to respond--is key in maintaining a successful user experience," said Appirio Principal Consultant Jennifer Kinstle.
5. Manage ongoing improvements
Continuing to implement process refinements and further streamlining the process a hallmark of Salesforce's versatility. Leveraging that flexibility means transforming processes that may turn into annoyances for users into an advantage. Maximizing usability means your technology is aligned more closely with your overall business objectives and operating at peak efficiency.
Businesses are changing directions faster than ever, and having a formalized process to discuss where the software is and what changes are expected in the year to come can help the organization prepare and introduce change gradually, in a more manageable way.
Have any other secrets of success? Share them with us on social using the hashtag #GoAppirio.
About the AuthorMore Content by Joe Shearer