Salesforce Implementation & Rollout: 7 Key Steps

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Do you want to introduce Salesforce? Then you should pay attention to a few things. Learn now the 7 most important steps in the Salesforce implementation.

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Salesforce Implementation & Rollout: 7 Key Steps

You have now chosen Salesforce as your new CRM system and a suitable Salesforce consultancy for your venture. With this digitization partner, you now define a digitization strategy, milestones and work packages for the project in several stages and then begin with the actual implementation of the Salesforce solution.

As an alternative to the classic approach, Salesforce also offers out-of-the-box solutions for small businesses. These are not initially integrated with your company's other systems, which eliminates some of the implementation effort, but does not create a unified data source. However, later integration is possible.

7 steps

A CRM system like Salesforce cannot simply be bought and used. For a new digital management to work with the help of Salesforce, the CRM system must be integrated into the company and adapted to the specific company processes. Only with this so-called implementation does the software unfold the intended benefits and at the same time provide a central, sustainable and uniform system for all employees.

Step 1: Define the status quo and goals

Before the Salesforce implementation, an overview and analysis of the company's existing processes should be created. A particular focus here is on the existing customer data, the data organization and the internal workflow. If there is data chaos, this strongly suggests that a CRM system is necessary and that all master data should be cleaned up. This should be followed by the definition of concrete goals that are to be achieved with the new CRM solution.

Step 2: Planning, milestones, strategies

The second step is to develop a digitization strategy to achieve the defined goals. It is advisable to divide the objective into several stages and to define concrete interim goals. Proceed calmly in small steps, and do not overestimate your own possibilities. Further implementation can be guided by this planning and the software can thus be integrated into the company piece by piece.

Step 3: Technical implementation

The technical implementation includes the provision of the cloud software. Salesforce offers many customization options without requiring extensive expertise. First, you create a company profile, determine the usage rights and add all employees involved to the system. Then you can choose between different page layouts and other display options.

In addition, your digital partner designs and implements automated processes, which can optimally increase the efficiency of your organization. Analog processes are not digitized 1 to 1 and transferred to Salesforce, but are constantly rethought and optimized. In addition to the typical and standardized CRM functions, you can also integrate third-party applications or have your Salesforce consultant develop customized applications specifically tailored to your company's needs. These are also developed and integrated into the system during the technical implementation phase.

Step 4: Training and user training

In the final steps of the implementation, it is important for the key users to know how to handle the new software. After the final go-live, all employees who use the system are sufficiently prepared for its use. Our many years of experience have shown that thanks to training, the right attitude and the learning-by-doing principle, the use of Salesforce can be quickly internalized. The user-friendly Salesforce interface facilitates the learning process accordingly.

For learning support, Salesforce offers, in addition to numerous partner agencies, the Trailhead learning platform and other online information that helps to facilitate and train the use of the software.

Step 5: Data migration and testing

In parallel to the training, your Salesforce consulting company already takes care of the data migration of all your relevant company data. In this way, your employees can start working with Salesforce directly after completing the training. Data records of any format, such as data from an ERP system, from pure Excel tables, Outlook contact lists or even other desired applications can be migrated into the Salesforce system. However, this migration sometimes requires the use of external applications. Salesforce, for example, provides the Data Loader to enable and accelerate the data transport.

If you were working with another CRM system before switching to Salesforce, the effort to embed the records directly into a new system is somewhat higher. Tip: Before data migration, make a backup of all data and a cleanup of all information!

If you start with a CRM system with an entirely new data collection and do not need any data migration, then you can work directly based on Salesforce applications and get started.

Finally, the testing step provides the finishing touches before the work platform is made available to all employees. Here, all key users use the system and test it for all functions and automations. This ensures that the system can be used properly and that any errors can be eliminated.

Step 6: Live gear and system change

With the system change, a live run of the new CRM system takes place. Often, shortly before the final changeover, work is done with both systems simultaneously so that all data can also be transferred completely. Employees are trained directly at their desks, thus enabling a shorter familiarization period. If necessary, the user interface can also be viewed and tried out provisionally in the test environment in addition to the training sessions.
To avoid data loss, it is advisable to switch systems only after all known and required old data records have been successfully transferred to the new CRM system. Once the platform is finally online, the first step is to create a profile for each employee and assign the relevant authorizations. Finally, you can start working via Salesforce.

Step 7: Analysis and optimization

Some errors or problems only become apparent after a certain runtime. Often, small adjustments occur after go-live that can be implemented immediately. Direct feedback from employees should also be implemented promptly, as long as it does not exceed the possibilities. For this purpose, Salesforce consultancies such as Salesfive can be engaged to analyze the work involved in using the CRM system and to make final fine adjustments.

Salesforce's software is updated by the manufacturer several times a year and is in a permanent state of development. New functions and applications are integrated and made available to every customer. To ensure that you are always up-to-date, we at Salesfive are happy to help you optimize an existing system and educate employees about new features.

A lean implementation for small businesses – Salesforce out-of-the-box

If you opt for a Salesforce solution out-of-the-box, such as Salesforce Smart Starter from Salesfive, the software is used separately from the other programs in the company. Although this eliminates a large part of the implementation effort, Salesforce cannot fulfill its actual purpose, namely the harmonization of processes and uniform source of data.

That's why we advise Salesforce out-of-the-box solutions only to small businesses and startups, with the option to grow their Salesforce solution later and integrate it with the rest of the company's systems.

Do you still have questions about Salesforce or are you ready to go digital?

We will be happy to assist you in an initial consultation.