If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ve probably read our advice for companies preparing for an upcoming Salesforce implementation. In the past, we’ve covered everything from possible risks to an ideal implementation roadmap. What we haven’t published? Tips and takeaways coming directly from our customers. Realizing the potential to bring new value to our readers, we’re doing something a little different with this post.
Recently, we invited one of our customers — Craig Kaiser of MLabs — to speak about his team’s successful Salesforce implementation during our monthly webinar. In just 15 minutes, Craig shared the story of how MLabs’ client service representatives went from taking call notes by hand to closing 19,000 Service Cloud cases in just eight months. His recounting was full of useful wisdom, so today we’re sharing 7 key takeaways from his presentation. We hope they help your company feel more ready for the Salesforce implementation process.
7 key takeaways from MLabs’ story of Salesforce success:
Takeaway #1: Salesforce is what you — or your implementation partner — make of it.
“I look at Salesforce as a Lego [set]… a great bunch of parts that are really awesome, but it’s really what you make out of it. You can make something beautiful, or you can make something that’s difficult to use.”
Takeaway #2: People can be afraid of change. Plan accordingly.
“What are some of the initial challenges of starting a large project like this? First and foremost, you’ve got an aspect of fear. People are really accustomed to find comfort in the familiar, and when you talk about a large-scale change, that can generate anxiety and apprehension…
“One of the things you can do for your team is to get them involved from the start of the project so everyone’s voice is heard and [so] they can start to take ownership of the ideas and the solutions that come. That helps them embrace the change as it comes.”
Takeaway #3: Learning a new system takes time. Be patient.
“One of the other things we needed to recognize up front was: When you launch a new system and people are getting accustomed to using it, there will be a decrease in productivity as everyone gets up to speed. And that’s not good or bad, it’s just [the] truth.”
Takeaway #4: Leadership buy-in is a key success-driver.
“How did we get here and what things led to our success? The first and biggest impact was that our leadership made the decision that this was the strategic way to move forward. They gave us the budget and allocated the staff and resources to allow us to actually [get this project completed].”
Takeaway #5: Addressing user issues is crucial in boosting adoption.
“Post launch, we did a couple things to make sure that things went smoothly. We did a soft launch so that people taking calls could begin to use the new system but fall back on what they were doing if they needed to and gradually transition to the full electronic mode.
“We [also] had daily stand-up meetings to find out how things were going and where the trouble spots were, and we jumped on those immediately to see where we could find workarounds, implement changes very rapidly and show that we were addressing those concerns quickly.”
Takeaway #6: Implementing in stages is the right strategy.
“I think [our multi-phase approach] was essential. If we were to try and build a monolithic system that solved all of our problems all at once, it would have been monstrously expensive, it would have taken a very long time and we wouldn’t have been able to get something into client services’ hands quickly.”
Takeaway #7: A successful implementation allows you to lead by example.
“As a really high-level, long-term vision, MLabs is striving to become an example of how you can become more efficient, productive and serve your clients and patients better using modern tools… We would love to win the hearts and minds of our colleagues and expand the impact and benefits of Salesforce.”
If you want to hear the full MLabs story, you can access the on-demand webinar here.