10 Keys to Success – Unlock the true value of the Salesforce Platform

10 Keys to Success – Unlock the true value of the Salesforce Platform

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It’s an alarming fact that the majority of CRM implementations do not deliver the expected business benefits.  In a recent Forbes article it was reported that, whilst 70% of CEOs believe they have made the right technology investments, only 10% are properly realizing their true value.

The problem is, for many organizations and their professional service partners, the technology project finishes at implementation.  Despite the time invested to construct a considered business case, the project is checked off at go-live, with deployment itself seen as the successful outcome.

The Salesforce platform is capable of fundamentally transforming your organization’s business processes, and the customer and worker experiences that they deliver.  However, to fully benefit from such a strategic investment, you need to take a more holistic approach. PolSource’s 10 Keys Customer Success Framework contains the essential ingredients to help you leverage the platform as a catalyst for innovation and financial performance.  The keys empower our clients to envision, execute, thrive and embed an experience-first transformation to unlock value for their customers, users and their business overall.

The PolSource 10 Keys to Success Framework10 keys to success

visionVISION: One of the primary sources of CRM failure is a lack of an aligned vision.  The vision is your guiding star. It’s critical that it is crafted collaboratively with key program stakeholders, connected to key Corporate objectives, then carefully communicated and brought to life across every aspect of the transformation. Your vision should not be focused on technology, but rather the business value delivery and the ‘who, what and how’ in order to achieve your desired outcomes.

experienceEXPERIENCE: Your Customers and technology Users will have an experience whether you design for it or not!  Understand the context and friction points of your current state, then define and embrace an ‘experience-first’ strategy.  Identify the required capabilities to put the Customer and Worker (whether they be employees, contractors, or any group representing your brand) at the heart of the transformation.

value and metricsVALUE & METRICS: Too many CRM programs leave it until too late to determine the key KPIs and reports required to measure success – and often the systems and processes are not geared to provide the right metrics. Identify and quantify the sources of business value at the Envision stage, and define objective success metrics to monitor performance at every step of the program.  These KPIs will be your compass along the journey.

roadmapROADMAP: One of the most powerful attributes of cloud platforms such as Salesforce, is the ability to deploy functionality over an extended period.  This enables your organization to get on the platform early, learn and drive immediate value delivery. Understand the composition of your MVP, then prioritize and sequence the required people, process, data and technical capabilities to deliver a successful stream of business outcomes.

governanceGOVERNANCE: CRM Governance is too often forgotten altogether, or considered to be the remit of purely the IT function. The more your project governance resembles your organization’s business governance, the more likely your project will link and directly contribute to your most important objectives. Governance not only helps to remove risk from your CRM program, but through connecting IT and business teams with the right leadership structure, it should empower and accelerate the right decisions on process, technology, data and enablement.

solutioningSOLUTIONING: With a platform as flexible as Salesforce, there is temptation to over-customize the solution to fit in line with today’s processes, rather than take advantage of its inherent CRM best practices and build for the future. Strike the right balance between code and configuration. Only deviate for business necessity to ensure you don’t box yourself in – remember, the platform constantly evolves with 3 upgrades per year.   Get sound advice on how to construct the right functionality, supported by the right integration points to your enterprise architecture to deliver the desired capabilities and business outcomes.

data strategyDATA STRATEGY: You need a data plan to connect the customer journey and provide the actionable intelligence to run your business. Define the end-to-end data model early. Clarify your master data management strategy, in particular the master/slave relationships for critical data in Account, Contact, Product and Contract records, in order to secure a single source of truth.  Critically assess your current state data quality for gaps, duplicates and anomalies. Remember that your plan needs specific roles and responsibilities to drive improvement and enrichment across all key touch-points and transactions.

realizaationREALIZATION: In order to ensure that your program thrives, you need to continually align and instrument the conditions for success.  In order to unlock the anticipated business value, you will need solid foundations in user adoption, and you must ensure that the required new practices and working standards have been properly embedded.  Use your KPIs and dashboards to uncover issues and barriers, and have remediation plans in place to remove them.

evolutionEVOLUTION: At PolSource, we are strong advocates of a ‘crawl, walk, run’ approach to technology and process transformation.  As our business environment is ever-changing, your implementation needs to continually evolve.  Whether it be the adaptation of process, or the addition of complete new clouds or functionality, the Salesforce Platform is a perfect partner for iteration.  Don’t view your roadmap as static, embed a feedback loop into your backlog to ensure you are listening and responding to both your Users and Customers.

change enablementCHANGE ENABLEMENT: Last, but by no means least, is the need to effect the desired change across all levels in your organization.  Preparing for change is much more than a one-shot training event. Your change enablement plan and execution needs to be across the full program life-cycle.  To effect an enduring culture aligned to your new capabilities, you need a persona-based approach that focuses on the individual members and teams within your organization. Three key words to keep in mind across your journey:  engagement, adoption and sustainment!

Whether you’re new to the Salesforce Platform, about to embark on your CRM transformation, or struggling to realize your expected value, PolSource can equip you with the right 10 keys to unlock your Salesforce success.

Want to learn more about unlocking your Salesforce success with the PolSource 10 Keys? Contact us today!

Article written by Greg Bohlen, VP Global Consulting & Change Enablement at PolSource. Greg has over 20 years of CRM experience, and has been helping clients drive value from the Salesforce platform for over a decade.

*Forbes article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/joemckendrick/2020/01/30/all-ceos-are-tech-ceos-what-your-boss-needs-to-understand-about-technology/#b7114792f51d