• Callum Mcleod

What is Salesforce: A Beginners Guide to the Platform – Part 2

So, you read Part 1 of our Blog on Salesforce outlining the benefits of the different aspects of the platform and now you’ve decided you want to bring Salesforce into your organisation.


Great! We’ve now got some tips to help you lay the groundwork for this integration.


Salesforce office tower block

Preparing to integrate Salesforce into your organisation


The first thing you need to do is make sure it’s the right time. Integrating a new CRM system into every department of your business is a big undertaking and will inevitably disrupt the day to day running of your company.


notebook on laptop with Let's get started written on it

Whilst it's true that a small amount of disruption now will be worth all the future growth that integrating Salesforce can give you, you want to make sure that you can minimise the level of disruption as much as possible.


Does your industry have a quarter that’s historically a quiet time? This might be the best time to start integrating a new CRM system. Ensuring as little disruption as possible brings us nicely onto our next tip.


One of the biggest challenges to anyone looking to shake things up in their company is getting management to buy into the changes. If you can convince your management team that the future benefits will far outweigh any disruption caused, then you’ll have a much easier time getting them on side.


A key factor that can make or break a Salesforce integration is whether the employees use the product to its full potential. If you not only have senior management agreeing to the integration but championing it to their employees, it’ll be much easier to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of the system.


Our final tip for preparing to integrate Salesforce is to make sure that you have a clear and defined plan. You need to establish your objectives early. Sit down with your department heads and make a list of what’s going wrong. You need a clear idea of exactly what you’re hoping to gain from implementing Salesforce. From there, either with an external consultant, or if you’re feeling confident enough, on your own, you can build the plan to integrate exactly what you’re looking for.


During Your Integration


So, you’ve got your team on side, you’re in a quiet period and you’ve put together your integration plan. It’s time to get started.


We’ve got some great tips to help make the process as smooth as possible.


Workers sitting round a wooden table brainstorming

The first thing you need to do is build a dedicated Salesforce team. As we’ve mentioned previously, integrating salesforce into your company is an investment. To get the most out of your investment, the people in charge of your integration need to be solely focussed on Salesforce, you don’t want someone not to be paying full attention to the correct set up and utilisation of the systems.


Now, this is where we can come in. If you don’t want to be pulling people away from other vital roles, why not consider bringing in an external consultant? You don’t want to go through the time and effort of onboarding new full time staff members just to cover the work left behind by this integration. Luckily, there are plenty of companies out there (us included) who specialise in these types of integrations. Whether you’re an SME or a multi-national company, we have experience developing CRM systems for everyone.


Our second tip is to not rush your data migration. We know that you might be excited to start using your new systems as soon as possible and handling large chunks of raw data might not be the most interesting task, but taking your time will make your life so much easier further down the road.

Male worker taking a file from an old wooden filing drawer

You need to take the time and clean your data. It might be boring but, having all your data in standardised tables, with matching headings and layouts, will make importing it so much easier!


Speaking of importing data, instead of manually uploading your data into your org, you should check out Salesforce’s Data Import Wizard. If you’ve taken the time to properly clean your data, you can bring up to 50,000 records into your system in one go, saving you the time and man hours it would cost to manually bring the data in.


Finally, and some would say most importantly, make sure you’re testing whilst you build your new system. If you’re doing any custom work within your Salesforce system, you need to make sure your workflows run before you push them live. There’s nothing worse than getting full company buy in for a system that, when delivered, doesn’t work how it’s supposed to.


Luckily, using the Salesforce Trailhead service, you can get access to free sandbox workspaces, which they call Playgrounds. Believe us when we tell you, it’s worth taking the time to test as you go, rather than having to go back to find your issues later on.


How to get the most out of Salesforce


You’ve done it! You’ve worked hard and it’s paid off. You finally have the Salesforce ecosystem integrated throughout your whole company, and departments are already starting to notice results.


hand with pen writing Time for the next level in a notebook beside a laptop

But, what’s next?


First, you need to make sure that your team is using Salesforce to its full potential. There’s nothing worse than investing all that time and money into a system, just for it to be neglected by its users.


Luckily for you, there’s a whole array of options available when it comes to Salesforce training. The Salesforce Trailhead service offers completely free, comprehensive training on a number of roles within the Salesforce ecosystem. You even have the option for your team to gain certifications within Salesforce. We recommend that someone on your team completes the Salesforce Admin trial. With this training you’ll be able to make any changes you need in the future (and have someone to clean up if these changes break your system).


Alternatively, if you’re looking for more specific general user training, this again is something we can provide. Either through digital classrooms or in person, we can run training sessions and workshops with your staff, to ensure that they are ready to get the most out of Salesforce.


One benefit of this bespoke training with us is that, although online Salesforce training does cover a lot of information, it’s not interactive. If you or your staff have any questions or need assistance, they can come to our team of highly trained Salesforce consultants, who’ll be able to help them there and then.


Male worker pointing to computer screen showing another male worker something on the screen

Another thing to note is that Salesforce is an incredibly flexible platform, which is always growing and improving. Both through official updates from the Salesforce team, and through custom built apps from other users.


If, even after all of this, you feel like you could still be getting more out of your system, then let me introduce you to Salesforce apps. Using the Salesforce Lightning Platform, you can build your own apps for your system, without the need for any code. Or, if you don’t have the time to build your own apps, explore the Salesforce App Exchange. This is an online cloud based marketplace, full of ready to install apps and solutions developed by Salesforce Partners. With just a few clicks, growing and adapting your Salesforce org couldn’t be easier.


Now you’ve heard it all


Are you starting to see why your business needs Salesforce or where you might need some support with the platform? If you've read this far, then it's time for you to get started.


If you've followed all the steps we've listed above, then you should be in a great place to start your Salesforce journey! If you're ready to take the next step, but not sure where to go from here, then you can always reach out to us. And find out how we can help you, today.


 

Get in touch with us now to see how we can help you to establish the needs of your business and get Salesforce implemented into your organisation. You won’t regret it!