4 Mistakes You Can’t Afford When Launching Salesforce

About to launch Salesforce? The good news is, in order to go live, you just need to get to a starting point. You can – and should – continuously refine your org from there. The bad news is, regardless of how hard you work to get Salesforce up and running, certain mistakes can push you off of the path that leads to getting the most from the CRM. Here are 4 of those mistakes:flying-space-rocket-artoon-sketch-vector-graphic-32010528

1.     Not talking to your end users.

Who at your organization is designing and implementing Salesforce? Is it someone who understands sales? And are they designing your org from their own perspective, or that of the sales team? These are crucial questions to consider. Much too often, those designing and implementing Salesforce focus purely on the technical to-do’s without taking time to consider how the implementation will actually influence the team using it.

That being said, you should pair someone who has technical knowledge with someone who understands your business when setting this up. And both of them need to understand where the end users stand before and after the launch.

They can start by talking to your end users before launching Salesforce to ensure what is built will bring them value. Then, conversations can’t go stale once the platform goes live, either. Someone needs to check in regularly to see how the CRM is helping your team and how you can improve it to offer even more.

2.     Not aligning the CRM with business objectives

Salesforce is not just a database to house organized information. It’s a tool that can help build a better business. So, when building out your org, you shouldn’t start by looking at the technology’s capabilities. Rather, take confidence in the fact that Salesforce is so customizable it should be able to fulfill all of your CRM needs. Start by looking at your objectives as a business and then going back to Salesforce and asking: “How can this help me to accomplish those goals?”

3.     Not requiring managers to use the CRM

Here’s a simple rule to understand: You’re not going to achieve strong adoption from your sales team if sales management does not use Salesforce. Especially at larger organizations where salespeople tend to care most about what their immediate managers think, reps will simply ask themselves: “My manager doesn’t use Salesforce, so why should I?”

The key with this one is to show your managers the value Salesforce can bring them. Ask leadership what data could make their jobs easier and more efficient. Then create automated reports that will get sent to them daily – or weekly/monthly, if more appropriate – with that data. In short, you just need to find out how Salesforce can align with management’s goals and then initiate that alignment.

4.     Not showing your entire team the value Salesforce brings

That last point ties into the final – and perhaps most vital – rule. You will struggle with Salesforce adoption if your sales reps don’t understand the value that Salesforce brings to each of them on an individual level and the company as a whole. You must ensure that they’re fully aware of the benefits they’re getting on both levels.

On the bright side, when you follow step 1 (talking to your end users), you’re already setting yourself up for success. You’re making it clear that Salesforce was brought into your environment to bring your entire team value and that you care about making that happen.

Just make sure to keep communications open from there. Ask your entire team what’s working in regular post-launch check-ins. Also, when you’ve implemented a change in your org because of team feedback, make it clear that you acted because of your team’s response.

At some point, launching a new CRM will overwhelm you. Just remind yourself that the platform does not have to be perfect before going live. And even if you did get it to “perfect” it wouldn’t stay that way for long. As your company grows, so will its needs out of a CRM, which will call for constant refinements.


And don’t worry: You’ll be ready for those updates as they’re needed. You’ll be building off of a foundation that’s solid because it wasn’t constructed off of any of these crucial mistakes.


Bob Marsh is the Founder and CEO of LevelEleven

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