Realize value faster from your platform
Salesforce implementation represents a significant investment. Like any other significant investment, it requires a strong plan for maintenance and improvement in order to drive maximum ROI. In this way, it’s similar to investing in a new corporate headquarters. Both require a proactive approach to addressing maintenance and improvement.
Neglect is not a strategy…
Imagine you’ve just finished building your firm’s new corporate headquarters. You’re reveling in the possibility that this new facility could drive a sea of change in the shoelace capping industry. You did it Jurassic Park-style and spared no expense because you wanted to ensure that the building would be viable for the long-term. The finished product is a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility with the potential to adapt and add capacity as the needs of the firm evolve over time. The building has tremendous potential for revolutionizing the way you do business.
The ribbon cutting is over. You’ve migrated the employees to the new facility and you’re settling in. Maybe the build went smoothly, more likely though, there were challenges. Perhaps your builder painted the offices Cloud White when you had specifically requested White Dove or maybe they initially forgot to add a roof. Either way, the project consumed most of your attention over the past several months and you’re over it. You’re fatigued from the build and you are ready to get back to doing what you do best, manufacturing the highest quality shoelace caps on the market.
Project fatigue is understandable but losing focus is a huge mistake at this critical juncture. Your new investment is bound to require some tweaking. Seemingly minute details left unaddressed can derail the entire project and cause end users to become bitter and less likely to adopt the new way of doing things. The new building, much like your Salesforce investment, doesn’t respond well to neglect.
The grass doesn’t cut itself…
You’re now the proud new owner of an incredibly valuable asset that can evolve with your business and your industry for the foreseeable future. In order to ensure that your long-term investment will pay dividends, it’s imperative to keep up with regular maintenance and the evolving requirements of the end users.
Imagine moving into the new facility without a plan for landscaping. It’s not critical to the core business so it goes unnoticed. Over time, the grounds become more and more overgrown. By the time anyone gets around to addressing the issue, there is no simple fix. The grounds will need to be completely re-sodded. The company is suffering because the outward facing aesthetics are causing morale problems internally and sales problems externally. All of this resulted from a lack of planning and procedures for otherwise routine maintenance.
Meanwhile, you are drowning in a sea of requests from employees who, from their vantage point, can see opportunities for improvements. You know this backlog of requests would drastically improve the way you do business. At the same time, you can’t capitalize on the opportunities because you lack the procedures to efficiently process their requests. Compounding the problem, the requests come in a multitude of forms with no consistency in their requirements. The result – A long backlog of legitimate ideas for improvement without the capacity to address them. As the stories of failure increase in number, end users eventually stop participating altogether and find alternative, inefficient, and disparate methods to achieve their desired result.
If a strong framework existed to efficiently field and process these requests, users would feel they are being heard. This, in turn, would make employees more likely to embrace the new investment and put collaborative effort toward its improvement.
Governance: Proactive vs. Reactive – Don’t wait for a fire to take action!
Much like the new corporate headquarters, your Investment in Salesforce requires attention to maintenance and improvement in order to drive max ROI. So how do you get there?
- Be proactive! Don’t procrastinate until something catches fire. It will be orders of magnitude more difficult and costly to be reactive.
- Form a team of competent Salesforce experts and industry professionals who have the experience to avoid pitfalls and capitalize on opportunities.
- Develop a strong and adaptable set of written policies and procedures that proactively set forth the plan to address challenges, maintenance, and opportunities. This written policy should be so clear that a completely new team could pick it up and run with it absent any additional explanation.
- Monitor Salesforce for three releases annually. Assess the impact of these releases on your firm and the way you leverage the platform.
- Develop a method for prioritizing Salesforce projects based on a consistent cost benefit analysis.
- Foster consistency in this approach. Governance is not a one-time event. It is a mindset of proactive vs. reactive and it makes all the difference.
Governance is as simple as that. It seems pretty intuitive that you would care for your building this way so why treat your Salesforce investment any differently?
If you’re facing similar challenges, the Salesforce professionals at Xede can help.
Schedule an appointment to meet with a Salesforce expert now.