tools

Process first, tools second: listen to your people, then build

by Matthew Anders

The old adage is that a carpenter is only as good as his tools. Well, in the world of Salesforce, a tool is only as good as the process it supports.

With the 2018 Winter Olympics well underway, let’s consider this analogy: when an Olympic athlete wins a medal, we don’t award the glory of the achievement to the snowboard, skis, or ice skates. We acknowledge the athlete for the dedication, tenacity, and process they put into bringing honor back home to their country. Their equipment is simply the stage on which to showcase their efforts.

In Salesforce, the athlete is the process, the snow equipment is the tool. In order to make the tool work, you have to put in the necessary steps to ensure that your solutions are answering your basic business needs. And since your business needs are more than likely answered by the people who will be utilizing the technology, there is one key thing to consider when sculpting your process…

 

You have to get ubiquitous buy-in.

The process of a successful implementation or update begins with the business need. It’s not enough to get a bunch of executives in a corner office to hash out a game plan and force feed their decision to the users. It takes buy-in across the entire organization.

tools2There needs to be a locked down and agreed upon process that can be conveyed to the stakeholders. Make the message understandable as to what the desired goal looks like and what the process is to get there.

Take Simplus’ involvement with Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America. Before Simplus stepped in, MEAA’s sales process was antiquated, messy, and garnering very low user adoption. We were able to help the executive team work closely with all key stakeholders in order to structure the solution on paper before jumping into implementation. This helped create a better understanding of the needs and the expectations of the implementation. The result was a higher adoption rate of their sales process.

In the truest sense, you have to have a shared understanding across the board. It’s all about the overarching goal of the company and how individual pieces play into supporting that goal. If you’re on a football team, you can’t get down to the snap of the ball and then decide to run a different play than the rest of your team.

 

Then you can use your tools to fix the issues.

Once you have company-wide buy-in and people believe in the process, then you can begin testing the process in a vacuum. Perform A/B testing and stress testing through your tool to absolutely lock down the vital pieces of information. Work on removing human error so you can have the data that either proves or disproves that your process is working. Ask yourself, where is the process getting hung up?

There’s another tried-and-true statement: you can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. The process will get you to the epicenter of what the issue is, and the tool will only help you fix the problem. What is the length of time in that process? How many clicks does it take to get through to completion? You need to be able to capture that information before you go into fixing the issue. Then, and only then, can you use the tool to flush out the actionable data to move forward. With a set-in-stone understanding of the process, you can more readily assess the areas that can be improved upon and operations that need better efficiencies.

Related: 3 ways to tackle process improvement

 

The Simplus difference.

tools1Process before tools is a tenet that our team at Simplus lives and breathes. We have the expertise and experience, and we can be your partner to ensure we mitigate the risks and raise user adoption. We are there to go on the journey with you. The Simplus difference is that we have a true, authentic desire to help you help your people realize better results.

 

Ready to tackle your process and build a better tool? Contact Simplus for implementation and advisory services today.

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