Salesforce is vast. It is a set of tools that when you watch and read the case-studies, you will no doubt be excited by what it could do for your business. Salesforce is not just a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform but in fact a series of technology tools that can provide for you the ability to transform how your business operates, empowering your workforce, and helping you better serve your customers.
So what are the options for implementing Salesforce in your business?
Option 1: Implement yourself (not recommended)
If you are entirely new to Salesforce, we do not recommend doing this by yourself. Salesforce implementation can be self-taught, with Salesforce offering some great e-learning solutions. However, as partners we are often summoned very quickly to recover projects and expense that has been wasted.
While this option of implementing Salesforce in-house may seem tempting with the admin-friendly back-end interface that Salesforce offers out-of-the-box, you run the risk of implementing a solution that may work, but that is not done in a scalable way, which can then create many new problems.
For example, when your business grows, you may have to rebuild existing functionality, which can result in other components not working. This is known as ‘technical debt’ and recovering or removing technical debt is a common request for “independent” implementers that finally seek out consultancies.
Running a Salesforce implementation in-house will likely end up taking much longer than if an implementation partner were to do it. The research time alone on basic Salesforce components is vast and will absorb significant amounts of time without the guidance of a specialist partner. Salesforce has also spurned a whole set of specialist roles required for successful platform configuration – Salesforce Admins, Developers and Architects. Developing this talent in-house can take years.
Underestimating projects and building solutions in isolation is also something we see when implementations are poorly executed. More often than not, the focus can be lost when setting out the roadmap for Salesforce implementations in-house. The team may be keen to make use of Salesforce’s latest developments and products, and in a rush to deploy without companywide consideration, can sometimes leave data migration or integration as an afterthought. This pressure to deploy to impress the internal sponsors can create significant hurdles and risks for the business with technology deployed without the correct planning beforehand. Integrations and data migrations often require an especially high level of experience, knowledge and expertise.
Lack of experience is also a factor. While the team may boast some Salesforce experience and have some Salesforce certifications to show, do they possess implementation experience in your specific market or industry?
Simply put, would you do surgery on yourself? – only the brave and foolish would!
When you choose to go with a partner, you get access to an entire team ready to tackle your Salesforce implementation knowing your goals will be achieved.
— Jamie Dixon | Chief Executive Officer | ELLA Digital
Option 2: Use a Partner (most popular and recommended option)
Leveraging the knowledge and experience of a Salesforce partner addresses a lot of the pitfalls and dangers associated with self-implementation.
By getting instant access to several years of implementation experience, not to mention the internal network within the partner itself, you gain the ability to move not just quickly, but efficiently.
4 Benefits of engaging a Salesforce Implementation Partner:
1. Agility: When you choose to go with a partner, you get access to an entire team ready to tackle your Salesforce implementation knowing your goals will be achieved. You will access developers and experts in each of the domains who can collaborate on and define the best solution; moving to actual implementation/development as quickly as possible.
2. Expertise: While every business has unique needs, you ideally want the people who have “been there, done that”. Salesforce’s partners, by virtue of their experience of varying industries and projects, will be able to automatically establish the right solution design to meet your goals and objectives while explaining and educating along the way. It is also their responsibility to stay on top of the latest and greatest that Salesforce releases, so you know you’re never missing out on the right design for your business.
3. Best Practices: Having a Salesforce partner listen to your needs and implement them sounds great, but what if you’re unsure about your existing processes? Or perhaps a bit curious about others before you, in the same or different industries, how have they have managed similar issues using Salesforce? Being able to learn from other people’s successes (and mistakes!) is an invaluable tool to have at your disposal.
4. Skill Transfer: Having a high calibre partner implement Salesforce will allow your wider workforce to become trained and evolve using new tools.
At ELLA, we focus on documentation and systemisation of our implementations to ensure that our clients can manage and extend their system long after the project has been completed. We pride ourselves on giving our clients a feeling of control over digital with the power and insight that Salesforce provides.