If the needs of your organization are relatively straightforward, then you may be well-served by our Lightning-QuickStart program.
But if your needs are more complex, your Salesforce implementation may require functionality that goes beyond the elements of a Lightning-QuickStart.
If you need custom objects, process automation, products and price books, more complex reports and dashboards, communities, email integration and synchronization, external system integration, or automated email capabilities, then a Full Implementation may be right for you.
In any event, you determine which elements of our Full Implementation offerings you want. The choice is yours.
The first step in any implementation is for the two of us to talk. This is how we learn about you, what your business does, how it does it, what CRM or other data repository you are currently using, and what limitations of your present system are motivating your move to Salesforce. We'll ask a lot of questions, but we'll mostly listen. We can only come up with a sound implementation plan if we know enough about your business, where you are today, and where you're hoping to be once you've moved to Salesforce.
The process of information transfer will take place over multiple discussions with multiple people, and will, in part, overlap with the Analysis phase (below).
Closely related to Information Transfer, the analysis of your business needs and requirements, and how they will best map onto the capabilities of Salesforce is the central and most crucial part of your implementation. This is where we combine what we have learned about your business, your needs, your budget, and your pain points with our experience and expertise in Salesforce.
We will review what you've told us, give it thought and study, and develop a plan for your Salesforce implementation. If you haven't already purchased Salesforce, we'll advise you as to which Edition will best fit your requirements. We'll review your data schema and determine how each field should be mapped onto a field and object in Salesforce.
We'll develop a communication plan so that all those in your company who will be impacted by your move to Salesforce will be engaged and involved in the procewss. In particular, we'll create strategies that will result in minimal (if any) resistance, and maximize the early and enthusiastic adoption of Salesforce.
These plans will include training, but must comprise much, much more. Long before training occurs, your Sales team needs to know that Salesforce is coming, what its benefits will be to them, and why they will want to use it. If you are able to get “buy in” from your sales team, implementation and what follows will be a smoother and happier process for both you and them.
It's important that this begin early in the implementation process. It's equally important that this communication be two-way, with management and the implementation team responsive to both the concerns and the ideas of your users.
We'll perform a detailed data mapping so that we know exactly what fields and objects will be involved in the data migration and what goes where. We'll also perform a diagnosis to determine if the data will need to be recoded or cleaned to map to standard Salesforce fields or any new, custom fields we create.
We'll work with you to determine what Salesforce reports and dashboards will be needed, what the audience for each report and dashboard will be, and what data elements or calculations will need to be in each report.
We'll work with you to determine the schedule for all the elements of the migration from initial planning through go-live. We'll determine what the target migration date will be, and exactly what the down-time between the cut-off of new work on your old system and the availability of live production data on your new system. (Note that, in most cases, the data migration can happen over a weekend, so that system downtime during business hours is kept to an absolute minimum.) We'll plan exactly when training should take place so that it's complete in advance of go-live, yet still completely fresh in your team's minds.
We'll suggest features and options available in Salesforce that could complement your business needs, but that you may not yet be aware of. We'll discuss possibilities for automation of processes currently done manually, which could be done by the system, allowing your sales team to spend more of their time selling. We'll discuss one-off and mass mail capabilities (both email and USPS mail), and how they might line-up with your sales and marketing strategies.
We'll investigate to see if you have the need or wish to integrate Salesforce with your other systems so that you can determine whether you would get value from such an integration, and just how automated you want and need it to be.
Once the analysis is complete, and you have decided exactly what Salesforce functionality you want us to implement, we'll present you with a projected schedule and begin the process of building out yoru Salesforce org. We'll create your custom objects and fields, code your workfolows, processes, flows and Approvals, perform any code-based development as well as implementing any other features you've elected. Once the initial portions of your setup and configuration are complete, we'll perform your Test Migration (below).
While a data migration can be added to a Lightning-QuickStart package, you may have more extensive needs. Perhaps your data needs recoding to match standard or custom picklist field values. Perhaps, your users have been putting job titles in the Mobile phone field or spouse information in the Shipping Address fields. Perhaps you have duplicate Contacts, Leads, or Accounts. All of these issues need to be identified and a process developed to correct and resolve them.
The identification of data problems is only one of the reasons we strongly recommend a Test Data Migration as a Best Practice. A test data migration of around 500 Contacts , along with their associated Accounts, Activities, History, and Notes will go a long way toward exposing many problems in your data, allowing them to be addressed before you go live (after which correcting them will be extremely disruptive and expensive). In our experience a Test Migration also frequently exposes communication omissions and errors early in the process.
While our usual recommendation is to perform the Test Migration on a random sample of your data, you may prefer to load your entire dataset for your testing. If you feel you need a full-database test, we can perform that as well.
In general, we recommend cleaning up your data in your old CRM before exporting and migrating it into Salesforce as a best practice, but there are situations where that isn't practical. In such cases, we're ready to assist you in data cleanup, before its final import into Salesforce.
In any event, you need and want to begin using Salesforce with data that's as clean as you can make it, and we can help you do that.
The final step before your final data migration and going live with Salesforce is to train your sales team (along with personnel from other departments who will be Salesforce users) and your Salesforce administrator(s). We will create a custom training curriculum and materials to emphasize just the topics you want, and conduct training classes for both groups. We discuss our training offerings in greater detail HERE.
Once training is complete, and any last-minute decisions have been made and implemented, you will shut down your old CRM system, perform your final data export, and securely transmit it to us. We will clear out all Salesforce data from testing and training and import your data into Salesforce. Finally, we'll give you an opportunity to do a quality assurance check to ensure that the data is in place as expected.
Generally we do this final data migration over a weekend (a long, holiday weekend, if possible) so that your users will experience virtually no downtime and the transition from your old CRM will be as seamless as humanly possible.
As soon as your final data migration is complete, and you have validated that the data is correct and complete, your users can begin using Salesforce in a live, production environment, almost always on the next business day following shutting down your legacy CRM. During the initial days of live operation, we will remain available to ensure that any questions get an immediate response, and any minor issues encountered get a rapid resolution.
Once you begin using Salesforce in a live environment, you'll discover that your needs are a little different than you originally anticipated. Processes and procedures you expected to work well don't, and you'll learn that your team actually works in different ways than you had expected and believed. As a result, you'll almost certainly want an need some changes in the period shortly following your move to Salesforce.
There will also probably be additional functionality that you wanted, but wasn't in your original implementation budget. And over time, you may elect to enhance your Salesforce system with additional functionality. And you'll frequently find that you are able to make the business case for on adding more Salesforce functionality with hard, practical ROI analysis.
In addition, no company or system stands still. The world changes, your company changes, and your customers change. You need to adapt to these changes, and your Salesforce system needs adapt along with you.
And, of course, Salesforce doesn't stand still either. Salesforce performs three major releases each year, and every release includes new functionality that you will likely wish to implement.
Custom objects give you the ability to more accurately model your business and its processes. Creating custom objects allows you complete flexibility in representing the complexity of your organization.
It's likely you will wish to add custom fields, both to standard Salesforce objects as well as to any custom objects you have implemented. In addition to providing locations for data coming from your legacy CRM, you may want to support new functionality as well.
The use of multiple Record Types allows you to have different input screens for different types of users. This allows you to display only those fields and controls which are relevant for each particular class of user.
You may want to extend the Salesforce Opportunity object with the Product object, allowing the inclusion of multiple Products in a single Opportunity. Furthermore, you may choose to implement multiple Price Books, so you can support different pricing for different classes of users.
Going beyond this basic functionality, you may want to investigate the Salesforce CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) product, a tool to provide accurate pricing with any given product configuration scenario. CPQ (the higher-end versions of which also include a Billing component), isn't inexpensive, but it handles a very wide range of challenging pricing situations extremely well.
Salesforce Territory Management allows you to share accounts (and grant access to those Accounts and teams of users) and create data-based territory assignment rules. Territories can be modeled on multiple categories including geography, revenue, or industry including territory hierarchies and automated territory assignment rules.
Forecasting can be used in conjunction with territory management to forecast the revenue from deals that are expected to close in a specific time period. Salesforce Collaborative Forecasts allow manager judgement to adjust sales rep forecasts they feel are too high or too low.
Einstein Analytics allows youto explore all of your data quickly and easily by providing AI-powered advanced analytics, directly in Salesforce. In addition to offering pre-built apps for Sales, Service, and Marketing, the Einstein Analytics Platform gives you the flexibility to build your own custom, intelligent analytics apps, utilize the Salesforce APIs and SDKs to enhance your app, and connect to outside data sources to see all your data in one place.
Salesforce provides built-in easy-to-use email template capability that allow you to send formatted emails which include Salesforce data. These can either be sent on a one-off basis, either manually or programatically (as part of a Process Builder process or Flow) or as part of a mass email campaign.
Salesforce provides four different point-and-click tools for automating business processes: Workflows, Process Builder, Flows, and Approvals. Each of these has its own strengths and uses, but all of them have roles in helping replace manual processes to make your organization more efficient, and to ensure that the rules and processes you put in place are followed.
The most frequently requested customizations can be accomplished quickly and efficiently with the point-and-click tools that Salesforce provides out of the box. However, there are certain kinds of customizations that require actually writing code. There are three principal ways that code can be used to extend the functionality of Salesforce:
All three of these tools are excellent ways to extend the power of Salesforce, but because of the high overhead they carry in testing and deployment, and because of the more complex skills needed to create with them, they should only be employed when there is no reasonable way to accomplish what you need to do with the point-and-click arsenal.
Salesforce Communities (actually Community Cloud) are an online social platform enabling connection of customers, partners and employees with each other along with the data and records they need to get work done. Online customer communities are portals where customers can find answers to problems, share expxeriences and make suggestions for product improvements. They can also use the community to engage with each other and answer each others questions. Salesforce offers multiple pre-built templates for various types of portals.