Have you been thinking your business is now big enough to need a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)? Every growing business needs systems in place to keep their data streamlined, stay in contact with clients and customers, and track progress. Salesforce is a great CRM to accomplish this!

Great! You’ve decided to get Salesforce!

But how do you get started? There is a learning curve for any new system being implemented in a business, and Salesforce is no different. Here are a few steps you can take before implementation to ensure your business is Salesforce ready when you need it!

Lead with Enthusiasm

Implementing any new system has its ups, downs, and steep learning curves. You can be the key to keeping morale up. The first step is laying a good foundation, then leading by example to keep enthusiasm high through the process.

It’s important to bolster belief in your new Salesforce system before you begin implementing it. Share your vision of how Salesforce can help you, as the leader, make strategic decisions and how having everyone working on the same system and improve collaboration.. Let them imagine all the ways it will make their jobs easier.

A team that doesn’t believe this new system will make their jobs easier is unlikely to adopt it fully once it’s implemented. The best way to ensure they believe in it, is to make them part of its inception. 

Look to Your Team

Your team is your greatest resource to tap into when first getting your business Salesforce ready. Do you have someone on staff who has worked with Salesforce before? Whose strengths can be used in this implementation process?

Your team already holds all the information on what will allow them to do their jobs best. Make them a part of the process. Ultimately, they are the ones who will be using the new systems the most, and it’s important they have a say in how it’s set up.
We suggest setting up meetings to hear their input and concerns. Listen and learn so you can address these concerns along the way. Use their feedback to inform every step of the process.

Organize Your Data

Part of the reason you need a CRM is because it’s hard to organize data when it’s in multiple places. Work with your team to identify all potential sources of data. This can include platforms like accounting systems, email inboxes, spreadsheets, cloud drives, or even paper files and business cards.

Once you have all the client data handy, organize it- separate it into groups of current, past, and potential clients, suppliers, network connections, etc. What other data do you need to track? Organizing the data now will make the data migration part of the implementation easier later on.

Examine Internal Processes

During the pre-implementation and implementation phases, you have the opportunity to examine the processes you already have in place and improve where needed. What areas of your work could benefit from being more streamlined? Where is your team experiencing friction in your current processes?

Be aware that Salesforce has some built in processes that are based on industry standards that have been used by several organizations. Keep an open mind. When you reach the implementation phase, work with your implementation partner to understand the system. You can customize the process to make it more aligned with your organization, but avoid reinventing the wheel. 

Determine CRM Goals

Once you have a better understanding of your team's needs and the data they utilize, you can develop your CRM goals. What do you aim to accomplish using Salesforce? Remember to factor in your team’s input.

Salesforce has many different products, subscriptions, and features available. It pays to do your research on which of those features you actually need for your business. There is no need to pay for a fancy subscription if a lower tier will serve you just as well. It’s also possible your business doesn’t generate enough data to even use the features of a higher subscription effectively.

Once you have determined your CRM goals, you can get the appropriate Salesforce products. 

Maintain Communication

It may be tempting to hold a meeting or two on your Salesforce implementation and call it a day. But a Successful Salesforce Launch will have many more opportunities for refinement. Keeping an open line of communication and frequent updates keeps your team actively engaged throughout the process and continually informed on upcoming changes. It will minimize last minute requests and ultimately make the transition easier on your team.

Get Outside Help

Even a team fully and enthusiastically on board with a Salesforce Implementation can get overwhelmed. Consider getting help from a Salesforce expert, like CRM Growth Strategy, to keep your business on track during the transition. We work with clients to ensure they are fully prepared to start using Salesforce and hit the ground running.

CRM Growth Strategy may be a good fit as your Salesforce implementation partner (and beyond) if you are a small to mid-sized business with 10-50 team members who will be working with Salesforce. If you need guidance on getting ready for Salesforce, or need help updating your current Salesforce systems, schedule a discovery call with us and find out how we can assist!