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In a webinar with RingLead Chief Product Officer Michael Farrington and Cloud Theory CEO Brian Marchand, the duo discuss some of the most common Salesforce implementation mistakes that they’ve encountered in their decades of experience with Salesforce and CRM. Below is the recorded version as well as a summary of the advice that Brian and Michael provided.

1. Weigh Complexity vs. Value

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Mistake: Focusing on Items that Have Little Impact

Don’t focus on items that will have little impact – focus on things that will benefit 80-90% of the organization. Too often project leaders focuse on the requirements that benefit 10-20% of the business and neglect or underserve the large majority of the organization.

Mistake: Creating Artificial Deadlines

“We have a big sales meeting coming up” is not a good reason to create a deadline. When building a system to support your entire business (or a large majority of your business) take your time and make sure that things are done correctly. Remember the adage “haste makes waste”. Rushing to implement drastically reduces the chance that you’ll have mass adoption of the solution.

Mistake: Creating Artificial Budgets

The discussion should be focused around ROI – what pieces will yield the highest returns? Don’t leave an important piece of your implementation off the list that would potentially yield the highest return.

Mistake: Field Tracking/Reporting Analysis Paralysis

A new field is not needed for every single piece of data. Talk things over with your Salesforce implementation specialist or certified admin. There may be a less complex way to track something or accomplish your goal.

2. Include Your Primary Users

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Mistake: Taking a Top Down Approach

Yes, it’s important to have management’s buy-in on the project, but if the end users are not happy with the solution then it will not be properly utilized. You need buy in from every level!

Mistake: No User Involvement

If management is the only level involved in the design of the solution, you will inevitably miss important components of what the ideal solution would look like.

Mistake: Focusing on the Wrong Usergroup

You should never ignore a department/group within the company, but you should build things around the most common users of the system.

3. Remember Who Your Real Customer Is

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Mistake: Forgetting Who the End Customer Is

Don’t forget that this whole system is being built to more efficiently work with customers! We’d even go so far to recommend that you interview your customers.

Mistake: Allowing Your Internal Organization to Affect Customer Interactions

Design your system around the ideal customer experience!

Mistake: Not Including Customer Feedback in your Equation

Your customers want to have a frictionless process and will most likely be flattered that you are working with them to improve your relationship with them.

4. Focus on Your Process

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Mistake: Forgetting to define your process before beginning to build your solution.

Great technology will not work if you lack solid business processes. Spend time working on those processes so that you can build your technology around them.

Mistake: Forgetting to define your process before beginning to build your solution.

Don’t let the technology dictate the process – let your process dictate the technology!

5. Remember: Data is your Most Important Asset

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Mistake: Migrating ALL Historical Data

You don’t need to bring all of the data from your old systems into the new one. Take the quality vs. quantity approach. If a portion of your data is “half-baked”, incomplete or irrelevant to your current business objectives, leave it behind.

Mistake: Asking for Data that will Not Be Maintained

Look into tools that update and enhance your data. Data decays at a rate of 2% per month. In other words: 2% of your database becomes outdated/unusable every month. So think about the data that you’re migrating and how long it has been left to decay.

Mistake: Not Determining Data Ownership

Brian Marchand recommends that every company – from a small 10-person firm to Fortune 500 corporations – needs to have a person or person(s) that own the data.

Questions & Answers

Question: We are implementing Salesforce to another division in our company. This division wishes to import a list of customer data into Salesforce. I don’t want to import Leads that we already have (as Leads, Contacts or Accounts). What do you recommend we do?

Answer: Use RingLead’s Unique Upload application which allows you to import lists without creating duplicate Leads, Contacts or Accounts. RingLead has many options for updating existing records, allowing you to update, overwrite, prepend or append data.

Question: What if there are conflicting priorities between IT and Business stakeholders?

Answer: Have all of the information on the table. Find what the business stakeholders want, and what the IT stakeholders want, and figure out what it would take to do all of the above. Again, prioritize your items based on the the largest majority of business user requirements.

Ready to implement Salesforce? Learn the best practices with the free ebook below.

The author:

RingLead offers a complete end-to-end suite of products to clean, protect and enhance company and contact information, leading to improved organizational efficiency, reliable business intelligence, and maximized ROI on CRM and marketing automation investments.Since 2003 RingLead has helped solve the dirty data problems of large enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses across the globe.