Empowering your team with the knowledge to develop better products and services, improve the customer experience, and increase opportunities is the key to using best practices with Salesforce. You have invested in Salesforce but implementing across your team has been tough. Many companies make the mistake of rushing into Salesforce the moment it is implemented without a strategic plan, which winds up failing to meet their corporate objectives.

Using Salesforce works! However, it requires a well thought out plan to be successful. Now is the time to learn more about your customers and provide an additional personalized service by implementing the following tips.

1. Define the Business Challenge

What is the business problem your company needs to resolve? Identify the desired benefits and map out each benefit stage of the project.

2. Focus More on the Business Process than the Technology

To succeed with Salesforce, you need to understand that it is not about the CRM, but about your business. The idea about using a CRM is to change your company’s internal and external business process to make it more customer-focused.

3. Gather Champions

Just having best practices will not lead to success unless there is a highly skilled and experienced team to support your CRM efforts. They should be knowledgeable to help support your sales, service, or customer support teams using Salesforce with the best practices defined. Team building is vital and important to achieve success. Possible performance enticements should be offered and successes should be honored to inspire your teams.

4. Design a User Interface with the End-User in Mind

By designing with the end-user in mind you will have a successful roll-out of Salesforce. Many times this one factor is neglected and receives ineffective attention. Users’ input should be sought throughout the design process to ensure easy end-user adoption. Also, terminology that the end-user identifies with should be used.

5. Invest in Training

Training is essential to ensuring user acceptance. A “train-the-trainer” approach is advised for the business champions identified in tip #3 to train their team. This ultimately will provide accountability and ownership for your Salesforce rollout. Computer-based training is a must and a classroom environment is even better. Taking a few hours out of one day for a training session will save time and money in the future if your user-base is trained properly.

6. Select the Right CRM Partner

Finally, finding the right CRM partner is essential. It can be a grueling task to weed through a crowded market of CRM vendors. The possibility of a prospected CRM practice should include their financial strength, market leadership and market size, including their relationship with Salesforce should be considered to narrow down the field. Other things to consider include the prospect’s domain and industry experience along with its client references.

We feel XTIVIA is your answer. We have many certified Salesforce professionals, including administrators, developers, service cloud consultants, and sales cloud consultants. We have experience in multiple database migration and integration services, Force.com development (declarative and code-based programming), reporting and dashboard creation, consultation services for both new and existing implementations, mobile development and Heroku development, APEX code, and Visualforce experience. Plus we can provide customized end-user training and Salesforce security diagnosis.

Going Forward

Success isn’t subjective: companies succeed by wisely investing in planning, creating processes with the end-user in mind, and knowing what end result they need from Salesforce. Many companies have failed at CRM without implementing best practices. A crucial point is that CRM is not solely a knowledge initiative, but one that encompasses a business process plan, change management and ultimately improved customer experience. Without proper business practices, you could be spending a lot more than budgeted for your CRM experience.

This post was originally published here.

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