You might never be able to debate the merits Apex code (the programming language that executes on the Force.com platform) and that’s Okay. However, before you start an implementation or even talk with a vendor, figure out what you want and what is possible; reach out to other nonprofits in your sector, consult with volunteers and board members (you will be surprised how many of them are using Salesforce in their for-profit businesses), and read related publications.
Every successful implementation project starts with a clear vision of where you want to be as a result of the project. It's very important that your key executives are involved in defining this vision, that you document the vision, and that it is understood by everyone.
“ Provide the highest level of personalized service for all program participants and give participants the communication channels they want”
To a small organization with limited resources, the term “project team” may sound intimidating. But it doesn’t take huge team, you just need to cover a few key roles—in fact, the same person can cover more than one role.
The executive sponsor lends his or her influence to the project by becoming its champion. Having that person’s full support and participation—from the planning stage until the go-live date and beyond—is absolutely critical.
The project owner , who leads the implementation project, must understand the organization’s business processes to map them to Salesforce. The person who is the designated administrator manages Salesforce day to day and makes new functionalities available. It’s also a good idea to have the administrator involved in the implementation project. Personally, I believe that a good administrator does not need to have a technical background is not necessary, but may be helpful. Our clients ask us many times about the qualities of a Good Salesforce Administrator… so I want to say a few words about it. Salesforce makes system administration much easier than it was with traditional software. Setting up, customizing the application, maintaining it, training users, and “turning on” the new features that become available with each release—all are just a few clicks away. The administrator is one of the most important people when it comes to making Salesforce a success. The role of the administrator for a small organization is not necessarily a full-time position. In the initial stages of the implementation, the role will require more concentrated time (about 50 percent). After go live, managing Salesforce day to day will require much less time (about 10-25 percent). Find the right person for the job and continue to invest in that person’s professional development. Here are some qualities to look for in an administrator: A solid understanding of your business processes Knowledge of the organizational structure and culture to help build relationships with key groups Excellent communication, motivational, and presentation skills The desire to be the voice of the user in communicating with management Analytical skills to respond to requested changes and identify customizations And to make sure that Salesforce CRM meets the needs of your end users, it is essential to involve key users in the planning process
“ We would like to have this project done as soon as possible” – this is the second most common answer I receive when I ask a client “what is your timeline for the project?” The most common answer is “two years ago”. A lack of timeline indicates to us that the potential client did not do any preparation and/or that the organization does not have a budget approved for the implementation. Your timeline should indicate at least the deadline for choosing the vendor, a date for the beginning of the discovery, and the date you would like to have the solution fully implemented.
Always include your budget. You may be thinking that you should not disclose your budget because it does not leave a place for price negotiations, I disagree. A budget estimate would allow me, as a technology provider, to evaluate if we are a good fit. Furthermore, it will show me that you are serious about the project, aware of its complexity (you did your homework!), and that you have the budget to execute it. Here is what you should not do: don’t create your project’s budget based on the proposals you received.
Story about how I started Will you call a Plummer? Why a professional? Commitment: Salesforce consultants are committed to Salesforce. We keep up with the thrice-yearly updates. In fact, Salesforce requires us to take an exam three times a year to insure that we are on the ball with the latest version and the latest improvements. Experience: If you have a problem, chances are we have already solved it. Nonprofits are the core of our business—and you should make sure every consultant you work with knows the nonprofit environment as well as Salesforce. We have the experience with Salesforce that most volunteers simply lack. Follow-through: As your organization grows and changes, your Salesforce consultants, the folks who already know your mission, are ready to step in to work with you. Many volunteers, even dedicated board members, move on to other projects. Your consultant can help make a transition to a new volunteer management system, for instance, practically pain-free. Plain, old-fashioned know-how: We know how to accomplish what you want to do, whether it’s getting Salesforce working with your Outlook or your Google Apps, or setting up a nifty dashboard that really captures your organization’s impact for board members and donors, or tracking your supporters’ involvement from that first subscription to your newsletter to the final bequest in the planned giving campaign. Return on investment: With a Salesforce that has been configured by professionals who are committed to YOUR mission, organizations often find the investment worth it. Because your Salesforce is tailored to your specific needs, because it works with the way your organization functions, because the data you glean helps you make strategic decisions that can impact your whole nonprofit—you may very well reap benefits that translate into higher donation levels, more effective volunteer campaigns or even better run events.
Don’t try to do too much all at once. It is easy to get carried away in the midst of the excitement of building a new system. However, remember that complex projects should be broken down into manageable and measurable phases. Slowly, slowly. Rome was not built in a day.
If the database cannot support your business processes, search for a different solution. Your technology should also be able to grow and evolve with your needs, your mission today will change in 3 years and so should your technology.
Provide fast results. Don’t build a system that might not be relevant by the time you go live. Concentrate on getting the correct basic functionality and data, and then go ahead.
Remember that most people are resistant to change. Bearing that in mind, it may take some time before people willing switch over to a new system-without complaints and with a smile. Be prepared and patient. ALSO, don’t be scared to make changes during the implementation phase. Better then than 12 months into the systems use.
Training is an ongoing commitment. It is the main reason why people are not using technology and tt is probably the best investment you are going to make in your database.
Salesforce implementation best practices
Tal Frankfurt SalesforceFounder/CEO ImplementationTal@cloud4good.com@Cloud4Good Best Practices It’s all about your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Cloud for Good Working with organizations to create and implement strategic solutions based on cloud technology. Salesforce.com Google AppsIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Cloud for Good Technology Cloud Assessment Implementation Discovery . Design . Customization . Integration . Testing Data Migration . Training . SupportIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
5 Star ConsultingIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Salesforce MVP “The Salesforce MVP program recognizes exceptional individuals within the Salesforce community for their leadership, knowledge, and ongoing contributions.”It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
“I am not sure what we need, but we need it ready ASAP and we don’t have a budget for it yet. So how much will you charge us?”It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Do Your HomeworkIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Set Your Vision and GoalsIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Set Your Vision and Goals Vision Examples: • “Build and maintain long-term relationships with valuable donors by creating personalized experiences across all touch-points and by anticipating donor needs and providing customized offers.” • “Donor loyalty is our highest priority.”It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Share Your Needs and Expectations Pain Points Group Priority Difficult to track programs Education graduates 3 Unable to track volunteer Administration registration 1 Difficult to quantify why Resource donations are lost Development 2It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Share Your Needs and Expectations • Describe and clarify your organization’s (or each department’s) main goals for Salesforce • Create use cases • Prioritize your goals • What new information needs to be tracked? • List the top five reports you worry about getting right • List the top five new reports you need to generateIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Build Your TeamIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Build Your Team xecutive Sponsor - Lends influence to the project by becoming the champion. Sets the organizations vision for the implementation.It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Build Your Team • Project Owner - Guides the project to successful completion. Understands all business processes and maps them to the Salesforce CRM implementation. • Database Hero - Gets the application up and running and manages it day to day - Tips. • Power User – Serves as a liaison to the users to ensure that the design/customization meets daily needs.It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
You Need a TimeframeIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Know Your BudgetIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Do You Need a Consultant?It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Do You Need a Consultant? “The quickest way to implement, customize, and extend the functionality of your Salesforce instance is to use a service or application partner from the AppExchange. ”It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Take Baby StepsIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Technology should be adjusted to meet your needs and not vice versaIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Deliver Fast ResultsIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Change is Never EasyIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Training is OngoingIt’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com
Questions?Tal@cloud4good.com @Cloud4Good It’s all about Your mission. www.cloud4good.com www.Facebook.com/cloudforgood