Org Merge Missteps – Start the Right Way
Written by Kristine Stowell, Senior Director Consulting at EPAM PolSource
Since the year 2000 there have been more than 790’000 mergers and acquisitions announced¹ worldwide. There are two types of people involved in acquisitions: Those who are doing the acquiring, and those who are being acquired. Regardless of which side of the fence you are on, the common theme that both groups experience is that change is coming. At some point in the post-merger process there is a need to rationalize the systems and tools being used to support the day-to-day activities of customers and employees. This includes CRM and related applications that establish what transformation is required. If you approach this transformation as merely a technology project, then you won’t see the full ROI potential.
EPAM PolSource has unrivaled Cross Cloud Org Merge knowledge, experience and perspective from implementing complex Global Transformation projects over the past 13 years, providing us with a unique advantage to solve the most complex challenges and concerns. Here are the most common business oriented missteps we’ve encountered that could impact your Salesforce org merge journey from starting off the right way:
1 – Lacking Vision and Direction
There should be alignment from the workforce to the C-Suite on what the future should be for your CRM. A proper vision is focused on the business value delivery that incorporates the ‘who, what, and how’ to achieve the desired organization outcomes, and the type of service that will be delivered to both employees and customers. Completing a Vision Map exercise provides direction for the program, which is an ongoing tool for governance, leveraged to identify how success will be measured, and acts as guardrails to keep the team focused. Vision is also the first key in the PolSource 10 Keys to Success.
2 – Discluding the Right Stakeholders
Establishing the right stakeholders from the onset and ensuring they have the availability to be involved is instrumental for key user groups to be properly represented. The people who actually capture customer data, nurture the opportunity lifecycle, provide customer support and execute marketing campaigns are more familiar with the existing pain points, and which systems are used to support current processes for themselves and their customers. It is important to give these business groups a voice so the future state user experience can be defined based on the people.
3 – Postponing Establishment of a Center of Excellence
Going through an org merge engagement is complex, progressive, and cross-functional. Having a Center of Excellence (COE) model in place is what helps bring together a defined group of representatives across the organization empowered to govern and make decisions when it comes to your CRM. The COE is able to create a user community to provide feedback, drive the standardization of processes, participate in the release management activities, and establish design standards for continued Salesforce program consistency over time.
4 – Not Prioritizing the Project
Having committed individuals to provide program management, project sponsorship and electing champions among the different business groups will increase the success and support of the upcoming change. Oftentimes Change Enablement or Change Management is only associated with the actual training of the end users. Waiting until that point in the project is too late, and introduces serious risk to user adoption and achieving valuable outcomes. The commitment required from your sponsors and champions should be aligned from the start so an agile culture of change can be cultivated.
5 – Prematurely Defining the Org Strategy
There are benefits and downsides to both single and multi-org Salesforce architectures. Determining which strategy is right for your organization involves looking at how your company is structured, the need for customization vs standardization, understanding the complexity of the integration landscape, the collaboration needed across different lines of business, and determining what level the data needs to be presented. Before declaring your company is going with one architecture model over another, it is best to leave it to the experts to analyze your current state, define your future state, and recommend whether a single or multi-org strategy is right for your business needs.
6 – Only Focusing on the Employee Experience
While the employee experience is very important, since they are the end users in the system day after day, the experiences your customer has is equally important. Your customers’ success with your product is interconnected with the success of your business². If the customer experience is poor when receiving email campaigns, the sales process is long and tedious, or issue resolution takes too long, then customers will likely begin looking elsewhere to do business. When defining future state processes, spend time looking at the experience from the customer viewpoint, and whether it will create a brand advocate.
7 – Not Planning for Process Optimization
Completing an org merge is the perfect opportunity to conduct house cleaning activities on business processes and improve the overall health of your CRM. Make the investment upfront to review existing business processes, identify areas for improvement and harmonization, and map out what is needed to make that happen in Salesforce based on priority. This creates a targeted future state that users are aligned to, and a plan of execution during and post org merge. The business processes should not be based solely on technical design, but also on what people need to do their job in an efficient and collaborative manner.
There are a host of other missteps we have yet to address in this blog post that are encountered on the technical side. Please stay tuned for our next post in this series, which will review our experiences dealing with some of these technical challenges, and explain how a lack of data strategy can slow you down.
Want to Learn More?
Investing in your CRM is a lengthy and expensive endeavor, so the outcome of your Salesforce org merge needs to show value. Before you start on your journey, make sure to address these common missteps by bringing the right Salesforce partner along with you. EPAM PolSource can act as your tour guide, providing the best path forward for your unique business needs. If you are ready to begin your Salesforce org merge, are unsure of which architecture strategy is right for you, or are having problems consolidating Salesforce orgs, contact EPAM PolSource today.