The Nickelled Salesforce Implementation Guide

This month, we launched Nickelled for Salesforce, a custom widget and guide solution to help you train your users on Salesforce the right way. This Salesforce implementation guide is designed to be used in conjunction with our software, but it will work with any training software. Find out more about Nickelled for Salesforce here.

Salesforce is a Client Relationship Management (CRM) software that allows your company to manage and improve relationships with their customers, potential customers, and partners. Over 150,000 companies of all sizes are using Salesforce to grow their business, including huge names such as Aston Martin and Virgin Media. 

No matter the size of your company or the salesforce implementation project, if you are to be successful, then you will need to plan and commit. You will need strong support from your implementation team, and you will need to understand the needs of the people who will be using the system before you get started. Without having a good understanding of the users, it can be easy to miss key features or make it unnecessarily complicated by having lots of functionalities or business processes that nobody uses. 

Furthermore, a good salesforce implementation strategy includes a process for how you will roll out the new software so that everyone using it can benefit from it. That’s where Nickelled comes in – we provide tutorials for your users so that they can feel confident with the new software and can use it effectively to grow the business. 

The Nickelled Salesforce Implementation Guide

If you’re wondering how to implement Salesforce CRM, we’ve broken our guide down into a couple of easy steps:

  1. Plan and prepare
  2. Set up and customize
  3. Deploy Salesforce CRM 
  4. Drive user adoption
  5. Continually review and improve 
  6. Utilize Salesforce consulting
  7. Hire a freelance project manager to help with the implementation process

Let’s take a look at each of these steps in detail…

Step One: Plan and Prepare

Planning is crucial to success when you use Salesforce implementation. If you adequately plan and prepare, then the following steps will be much easier. If you need help with anything, making use of a salesforce consulting team might help.

Find an executive sponsor.

It is essential to have the full support of someone in the company who has far-reaching influence. They must be the champion of Salesforce implementation at every stage, from the planning through to user adoption. 

Define Business Process

In order to reap the benefits of Salesforce, you need to have an understanding of what functionality people expect and what they will benefit the most from. Never assume that you have all the answers, you should interview people at every level of the business, including managers, stakeholders, and end-users. 

Team structure

Before you begin to implement Salesforce, you need to organize a team. You must understand what resources you need and how your project team will work together to bring about change. Your team should consist of:

  • A project manager – One person will manage Salesforce implementation and will make sure that the project tasks are on track.
  • One or more system administrators – The administrator will be involved throughout the entire process and needs to understand the needs of both managers and users. 
  • One or more power users – Power users will ensure that the system meets the needs of the people who will be using it most. They can also be utilized as first-line support, especially if you have offices that are spread out in different locations. Consider training your power users first and providing them with in-depth training. They will often be the users creating guided tours for others on Nickelled.
  • One or more trainers – Trainers can use the material provided on the Salesforce website; they can also find step by step guided tours on Nickelled, which can be given to all users. Trainers should also be available to answer queries once Salesforce is live. 
  • Implementation team – You will need to decide whether you need a consultant or whether you can implement Salesforce inhouse. An implementation team consists of developers, business analysts, solution architects, configuration engineers, deployment engineers.

Set Metrics for Success

Now that you have a team in place, you will need to set SMART goals. SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-based

You must understand why you are implementing Salesforce, and this will help you to set specific and measurable goals. The process will be ongoing, and it will constantly be developing; therefore, to get the most out of it, you need to set small milestones that gradually build upon each other. Keep your goals simple and watch the overall vision unfold. 

Project Methodology

CRM project management is often approached in one of two ways. Which one works best for you will depend on your business processes. 

Waterfall Methodology 

This is a traditional approach that involves mapping out a project into distinct and sequential phases. A new phase will only be started once the previous one has been completed. Each member of the team has a clearly defined role, and the phases are expected to remain the same throughout the project. 

Although this is perhaps the most simple and straightforward method, it does not allow for much flexibility, and it is not uncommon for a project to become stuck in one phase. 

The Scrum Methodology 

The scrum approach is to continually build and deliver small aspects of the project and then revisit and refine them with each cycle. The team is cross-functional and self-organizing, and tasks are assigned as and when they present themselves. 

Salesforce uses scrum for its development; they regularly release updates based on user feedback, giving it more functionalities and making it more user-friendly. 

Therefore, the Scrum methodology may also be the best way to tackle Salesforce implementation – to make sure that you get all of the benefits of Salesforce you will need to listen to feedback and make adjustments as you go. 

Build a Project Timeline

When you have chosen how you are going to implement Salesforce and decided what your goals are, you can begin to build a project timeline. This is especially important if you are using the scrum methodology, a timeline will help to keep you pushing forward. Your timeline will cover the design, build, and deployment stages. It is also a good idea to have a list of priorities, what are the key functionalities that your CRM system must have? These priorities need to be including in the first phase of the rollout. 

If you opt for the scrum methodology, then your timeline will consist of small iterations of the design, build and deploy phases, with a small set of requirements. You will be continually assessing the progress and evolving your implementation process. 

With the waterfall methodology, the design, build, and deployment phases will include all requirements for the initial deployment.

With both of these approaches, you should also consider what tasks can be done at the same time, such as loading data and mapping out the system. 

Key tips: 

  • Use project management tools like Basecamp, Smartsheet, or Trello
  • Have contingency plans in place. I.e., what if a key party becomes unwell, do you have your important data backed up? Are you prepared for the productivity of your workforce to go down while they adjust to a new CRM system? 

Step 2: Setup & Customize Salesforce 

Once you have defined your goals, established your team, chosen an implementation method, and you have a rough idea of what your timeline looks like, you are ready to set up and customize Salesforce. 

Your initial implementation should be kept simple; if possible, use the ‘click-not-code’ built-in configuration tools, rather than Force.com custom code (Apex). Once you have some experience with the application and are receiving feedback from your users, you can then consider how to improve the application, using the more advanced tools. 

Define your settings in the planning stage. For example, if you need multiple types of records with different levels of security, this should be simple to set up in the wizard. However, be careful not to over-configure. Keep it as simple as possible to begin with. Lots of fields and functionalities may make it confusing, and people will not use it properly, which means the company will lose a lot of the benefits that Salesforce has to offer. 

Here’s a suggested approach for setting up Salesforce CRM:

  • Define security settings – Create some default roles and create some user profiles. This will allow you to test your settings and ensure that different roles have the correct privileges. They will need to be able to see, create, and edit some information and not others. 
  • Map out the roles – Make sure you assign all users to their correct roles and locations so that they have the correct functionalities. This is important because you do not want someone to be able to change things that they shouldn’t. 
  • Customize the application – Create custom fields, custom objects, custom tabs, page layouts, rules, and other application customizations based on the requirements. Again, you will want to test this thoroughly before you implement it across your organization. 
  • Create your reports – Begin with the standard reports and customize them as needed to show the information required. You can easily customize reports to include custom fields, and these will likely have been identified in the planning stage. 

Step 3: Deploy Salesforce CRM

Once you feel confident in the system, and you have tested it on your power users, and they are happy with it, you are ready to go live. 

Prepare To Go Live:

  • Transfer your Salesforce configuration and all of your data into a sandbox environment to see how it operates with large amounts of data. A full sandbox, as opposed to a developer sandbox, is a test environment where you can simulate how your configuration will operate with your data. This will allow you to identify and resolve any issues that present themselves before you roll it out to your team. 
  • Develop a go-live checklist. As you develop your new CRM, keep a though a record of everything you have configured and how you have dealt with your data. When the time comes to deploy the implementation, everything will need to be deployed in the correct order. Salesforce requires you to perform certain tasks in order. 

Communicate to end-users:

You should be communicating with the end-users early and frequently so that they know about the coming changes and how they should benefit them and the company. Communication should come from the executive sponsor, who can build excitement and set expectations. As the deployment date draws near, outline the plan, and let users know when they will be trained and how they will be supported. 

Add Users

Before you load your configurations, input all of your users. You can do this 1 by 1 or with the data loader function. First, do this in the sandbox environment before updating the production environment.

When you use the data loader, your users will not automatically be given their passwords. This is a good thing as you do not want anyone to have access until they are properly trained, and you are ready for them to use it. When you upload users manually, you can decide whether or not they are notified. 

Develop a Change Management Process

A change management process plans, implements, and evaluates changes in a system. When you roll out your Salesforce CRM or make changes to your existing Salesforce implementation, you will need to be evaluating its success and making adjustments. So, it is essential that you keep track of all of your processes so that you can easily identify where something is not working. 

You will also need to communicate to end-users when the existing CRM may be down and when they will be able to log back in. You will need to communicate with them what training is expected of them and where they can turn to with support. 

Import data

The transition is easier if you upload the data as close to deployment as possible. However, make sure you have enough time to test the CRM. Here are the steps you need to take to import the data:

  • Plan your data import.
  • Prepare your data.
  • Test the import.
  • Execute the import.
  • Validate your data.

Note: If users are still inputting data into an existing CRM system after the initial data load, but before the go-live, there may be a “delta” data set. You will be required to import or manually load that data.

Train end-users

The key to a successful Salesforce implementation project is to train end-users adequately. You can train users in a sandbox environment, using a portion of the data which you can develop specifically for training. Or, you can follow the Nickelled approach, which uses sandbox data but trains in the production environment, so your users don’t have to deal with multiple logins. Hands-on exercises and instructional videos that users can refer back to are both great tools. The sooner users can use the application, the better, as they will be able to ask questions, learn, and it may allow you to identify any issues. 

Read our full guide to Salesforce End User Training here.

Step 4: Drive Adoption

CRM adoption can be tough, and your team may be a little bit hesitant or suspicious of the new systems. If you cant get them on board from the get-go, you could end up with a pointless tool that nobody uses.

Here are some tips for team and user adoption:

  • Involve your team in all of your Salesforce decisions.
  • Show your team how this CRM is going to help them, explain that it is going to end up cutting down on their chores, not creating more for them.
  • Lead by example by using the CRM Salesforce processes you have implemented. If you do not lead by example, you should never expect your team to follow.
  • Commit to the education and training of your team in Salesforce.

A CRM without users is just a toolbox locked in the sandbox stage. The partnership between the end-users and the system is what creates long-lasting business processes that bring powerful consistent results. Showing your team, and taking them along with you, will ensure you get long-lasting benefits from your Salesforce implementation project.

Step 5: Maintain the System

Salesforce releases massive updates three times a year and often bring new and exciting features that can be used to help your implementation. 

Make sure you respond quickly to any questions or issues arising from these updates, and make sure you support them in real-time. Take note of all of their questions and compile an SOP, which includes answers to their most common challenges. 

Step 6: After Launch Support

As soon as you go live with your Salesforce implementation, you will most likely run into problems where your users may need additional support or training. Using a strong Salesforce implementation after-support service provider is a great way to provide this level of support.

Nickelled: A Trustworthy Tutorial Service

Nickelled offers a unique approach to guided tours and tutorials for tricky problems like a smooth Salesforce implementation. Our guides are the easiest and most straightforward single method to use to ensure a smooth and easy education on Salesforce.

With so many different businesses making the Salesforce platform an integral part of their business operations, you need to make sure your employees get on board and get on board smoothly.

Nickelled understands that your organization will have a range of different employees, from power users to people who have never logged on to Salesforce before. Our walkthroughs can be launched anywhere, and users can even open them inside Salesforce in order to answer common questions or solve irritating Salesforce error problems.

With guides being installed via a managed package (Custom Lightning Component), implementing them will be the easiest and smartest decision you could make.

Don’t be brainwashed by expensive software deployment companies or complex training programs, which are often designed to train you to be a trainer in your Salesforce implementation. Instead, use our point-and-click Salesforce Lightning interfaces, which allow for anyone (of any skillset) to create a course in a fraction of the time it would normally take.

If you want to instantly improve the efficiency and metrics of your Salesforce implementation, request a demo here.

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