The implementation of Salesforce is no easy task. It is a highly complicated application with numerous features which makes the implementation of Salesforce very challenging.
Usually, C-suite executives expect that once they invest in an application that is as powerful as Salesforce, their lead gen engine, support infrastructure, and operational efficiency will all get streamlined and grow.
But it’s actually the Salesforce Implementation Director and their team who ensure that the invested application functions in line with the organizational goals.
Until every last user in the organization adopts the application properly, the job of Salesforce Implementation Director is not accomplished.
#1 Establish the Project Timeline
For a quick start, Salesforce Implementation could take as low as 2 weeks but it completely depends on the organization or the type of business that is implementing the Salesforce.
You can start your estimation by analyzing how big a team you need, who will lead the project, will there be shared resources, how many technical and management resources are required, etc. Also, consider whether the team will have dependencies and if yes then how long it could take to find the resolution.
At last, you have to map other projects with Salesforce and check whether the overlap is manageable or not. If the answer is no, then you need to look at how long the other projects will run in order to align the Salesforce project with it.
Now that you have a basic idea of how long it might take before the project goes live, proceed to estimate the time for business process mapping, designing, building, alpha testing, beta testing, pilot testing, deployment, and product adoption process.
Once you have the complete picture, plan how the organization will coordinate with external stakeholders like consultants and service partners during the lifecycle of the project. Also, you can establish at what point you would need their help.
It is ideal to mention in the contract the time within which the consultant or service partner has to respond to the queries generated by your organization. This helps to keep the project on track.
#2 Salesforce Implementation Cost
Estimating the Salesforce Implementation Cost is difficult as each project is unique. You cannot reach the exact number but you can find out the key factors that will have a huge impact on the cost of the project.
There are several variables involved and for convenience, let’s call them X, Y, and Z.
Where X is considered as the cost incurred by the size of the organization, Y is support and maintenance cost and Z is the cost of implementation partner.
Let’s start with the calculation of X.
Salesforce has a variety of licenses where you pick the one that best suits the requirements of your organization.
For the sake of this example, we’ve picked the Enterprise pack which costs $150 and assumed that there will be 100 users in an organization using the Salesforce CRM solution.
(Note: The Salesforce subscription is for the year, so it is an annual recurring cost.)
To calculate the cost incurred by the size of the users,
X= 100 x 12 x 150 = $180,000
So, the annual recurring cost would be around $180,000.
Now we have to find how much it will cost to support and maintain Salesforce. For starters, you need to go with the Salesforce admin and supporting staff to manage the workload. Moreover, you would need some onboarding and training tools or a DAP that will help you to reduce support tickets.
The average salary of a Senior Salesforce admin in the US is $107,510 while Junior Salesforce admin has an average salary of $98,152. Other miscellaneous tools which will help you to support and maintain would cost you anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000.
To calculate the cost of overall support and maintenance,
Y = $107,510 + $98,152 + $12000 = $206,000
In the above calculation, we have considered the cost of supporting tools as $12,000 since it is the average of the range we picked.
You have to estimate the cost of the Salesforce consultant who will help your internal stakeholders to stay on track and save valuable time.
The cost of a freelancer could vary from $15 to $150 while the cost of a Certified Partner would vary from $130 to $150.
For this example, we are taking the minimum range of the Salesforce Certified Partner that is $130.
The number of hours they will work is around 150-250 hours which includes cleaning unnecessary and legacy data, getting the CRM system running, creating proper integrations and customizations, importing and exporting data across different systems, and training users.
The cost of hiring the Salesforce consultant is,
Eventually, the Z = 130 x 200 = $26,000 where the number of work hours is considered to be 200hrs.
The overall Salesforce implementation cost for an organization that has 100 users will be = X+Y+Z = $180,000 + $206,000 + $26,000 = $412,000
$412,000 is the median Salesforce Implementation cost for the organization with 100 users.
The range could vary from $362,000 to $462,000 which depends on the support tools used, the consultant hired, the salary of the Salesforce admin, and the Salesforce subscription that your company opted for.
#3 Build Your Implementation Team
It is always good to have the Salesforce Implementation partner and consultant to guide your projects. But it is far more important to have internal stakeholders with the assigned role.
You either pick from your existing team or could hire new people to build the implementation team. All you need is the right people for the job to ensure the success of the project.
Here is the list of people you need:
- Business Executive Sponsor: They are key to success as they are the champions of the implementation. They lead, motivate the users to adopt the new process, and manage communication across the silos.
- IT Executive Sponsor: They are the heroes who work in the background. They remove the technical roadblocks to steer the project in the right direction. They also set the IT priorities and budget.
- Client Subject Matter Experts: They have the idea of various roles, help with the workflows and also support user experience tests. Ultimately, they closely work with the execution team to check whether a functional solution is created or not.
- Project Managers: They coordinate with the IT executive sponsor and the project sponsor to not only identify the risks but also manage the project at hand. They also manage milestones, timelines, and budgets. (Note: Project Managers and Business Executive Sponsors can be the same person.)
- Salesforce Admin: They take care of the Salesforce post-implementation and ensure long-term success by enabling the end-user to make most of the deployed Salesforce solution.
#4 Create User Adoption Plan
The good part is by now you have some idea of how the Salesforce implementation process should typically flow. But, unless the deployed solution is being adopted by the end-user aka your employees, all of this will be in vain.
There is no doubt that Salesforce can transform your business and help you generate better leads, customers, revenue, and higher customer retention but for that to happen your employees must understand the magic that the Salesforce CRM can do.
For starters, you have to segment users, and based on that you need to understand why and how they will use the platform. This is crucial because every user has a different requirement from the application.
Generally, there are seven types of Salesforce users:
- Customer Success team
- Marketing team
- Sales team
- Operations team
- Project Management team
- Finance team
- Development team
This segmentation could vary from one company to another but this is more or less how most of them would look.
Post the segmentation, you need to further drill down to find the sub-groups within the team.
Once you have segmented and categorized the sub-group, you can deploy the analysis tool which will help you understand how each team and sub-group is using the application.
Based on this analysis you can design the flow or the process which can be a huge plus for the users to achieve their end goal.
Let's consider a situation where a Sales team is using the application but not entering the information in the desired manner. This results in the wrong insights being drawn from the data available at hand. This leads to a poor lead qualification which wastes the time of the sales reps which they could have spent on a lead that had a better potential to convert.
To avoid such scenarios, it is wise to deploy a DAP like Apty which not only helps you find gaps in the application’s usage but also helps you create training content that consists of in-app guidance, onboarding flows, PPTs, PDFs, and more. Not just that, you can also completely get rid of inaccurate data with Apty’s Validations that guarantee absolute data accuracy.
Salesforce implementation is not a cakewalk. Planning it is one thing, but the execution is an entirely different ball game. A proper Salesforce implementation needs a proper schedule, team, adoption plan, and right tools. You can solve part of your Salesforce implementation problems by using Apty which helps you understand, train, and onboard your employees.