Using Salesforce is a lot like dating — and it’s worth committing once you’ve gotten to know each other. But learning how to use Salesforce definitely goes through the same stages as landing a first date with your big crush.
But, as with any budding relationship, the questions are: Will you be right for each other — and how do you make the Salesforce romance last?
You have big dreams of what you’ll do together.
You’ve heard people talking around the watercooler about Salesforce — how attractive Salesforce is, how you can make it do almost anything you want it to do and, most importantly, how it can help you achieve all your sales and customer service goals. Using Salesforce, you have dreams of hitting numbers so big that you’ll be able to grow your business and go to the next level — maybe even the next several levels. You’re sure, as so many people before you have thought, that this is it. This could be “the one” — the CRM of your dreams! How could you NOT take Salesforce out for a trial run?
You go out on your first date to get to know each other.
You ask Salesforce out for a trial run, and a rep comes over and introduces you. You start to learn about the bells and whistles. So many features! So many possibilities! You get more and more excited about what you’re hearing, because it does more than you could have imagined in your wildest business development dreams!
As the date goes on, you start to do the math in your head. This could potentially be an expensive date with licensing fees and such. But you think to yourself, “Heck, what’s a little money on a first date? This is an investment! If my ROI is as high as I think it could be, we’ll make all this money back and more!”
Your introduction goes so well that you talk to your decision makers, share the vision you have for Salesforce joining your organization, and ask for commitment. That’s when you sign the papers, pay the licensing, and start to go through the process of implementing Salesforce.
There’s a lot more set-up than you thought there would be — and the customization options are almost endless! But it’s always rough in the beginning, right? You two will get through this together with some help and support from the soon-to-be users of Salesforce in your organization, plus Salesforce communities and perhaps an outside developer skilled in the ways of customizing Salesforce.
Additional Reading: Salesforce Customization: A Guide to When to DIY and When to Call a Pro
You realize this is going to be more complicated than you thought.
We’re talking “parents-in-law moving in right after the honeymoon” complicated. As with so many relationships, your relationship with Salesforce is more complicated than you thought it would be. You fall into some of the most common Salesforce mistakes, such as:
- Not truly understanding what you need in order to implement Salesforce
- Not investing enough in a Salesforce Admin, the lynchpin who will keep everyone together and help get you through any tough times
- Having problems pulling over data properly
And the number one problem: You can’t get people to use Salesforce consistently and correctly — if you can get them to use it at all.
To fix these kinds of problems, you might need to call in a Salesforce “therapist” AKA a third-party vendor or developer who is wise in the ways of Salesforce implementation and adoption.
When you experience common problems, such as associates not using Salesforce or having trouble moving leads into and through the pipeline, it could mean that Salesforce isn’t set-up properly for your workflows and for your organization as a whole. Working with a Salesforce specialist who can troubleshoot business process issues, customize Salesforce to your workflow needs (believe us when we say it’s not as easy as it seems sometimes), and train users can lead to better user engagement. In fact, when employees use Salesforce regularly, ROI increases exponentially. Yet, 49% of users have trouble doing just that — adopting Salesforce and becoming regular, even strong users. That’s why it’s worth getting this step done properly during or soon after implementation.
Any good relationship takes work, even when it’s really good, right? So you work through the steps and get professional help. Once you’ve worked through all your issues together …
In the end, you realize it was all worth it.
And you would do it all over if you could. Your sales people and your business development people are happier. Leads are flowing in and through your pipeline. Customer service is solid. It was a journey and even a struggle at times to get to this point, but now you can live together in CRM harmony.
From first date to commitment to maintenance, your journey with Salesforce can be equal parts frustrating and rewarding. The trick is to get your associates and your organization as a whole in a good place with Salesforce, so you’re reaping more rewards and reducing frustration. Also, don’t become complacent. Participate in Salesforce Communities to drive growth and stay up to date on what’s happening with Salesforce. That way, you’ll continue to get the most out of your investment.
Three common signs that the honeymoon phase is over with Salesforce are:
- People aren’t using Salesforce
- You’re not seeing the results you think you should see within a certain timeframe
- You’re having trouble either capturing leads and putting them into the pipeline or moving leads through the pipeline
Any of these three issues could mean that Salesforce may not be customized properly to suit your workflows, your people, and your organization. Your people may also need more training. After years of helping clients with Salesforce implementation and customization, we may be able to help you troubleshoot your issues very quickly. We’re happy to have an initial conversation with you — no obligation! Check out, “2 Simple Tips to Take Your Salesforce CRM to the Next Level,” and then call us if you still have questions and want to chat.