Salesforce is one of the biggest brands in the world of CRM, flaunting a client catalog that includes some of the popular industry leaders alongside SMBs.
As a Platinum Salesforce Consulting partner with years of experience in enabling businesses like yourself in their digital transformation journey, we understand how important it is for you to ensure you are in the right direction towards buying Salesforce.
Here are the 3 essential ‘Ps’ to know before buying Salesforce, as recommended by our expert ninjas.
Salesforce provides all the people-support you need to ensure you are choosing the right product. Sadly, many organizations are completely ignorant of the right people they should associate with while purchasing Salesforce. But when you do know how to connect with them according to your requirements, it’s definitely a win-win.
If you are about to buy Salesforce, know right away that you will have an Account Executive aka AE. An AE will in fact be assigned by Salesforce depending on the geography, business sector, business size and the products you buy. They will act as the primary contact for any queries related to your Salesforce investment.
- Figure out whether Salesforce is the right solution for you
- Boil down the right products that will help you grow your business
- Help you with the license purchase and discuss friendly payment terms
- Introduce you to the right implementation partner
An AE who is in close proximity to your location is likely to be assigned for your assistance. Many are specialized in different business sectors, say finance or manufacturing. Also, if you intend to buy Sales or Service Cloud, you will be assigned an AE who has core expertise in understanding your requirements across all business units and guides you through the entire digital transformation process. Or if you are interested in buying Marketing Cloud, you will get a Marketing Cloud AE who specializes in the Salesforce digital marketing front and knows everything spanning across social, mobile, web, email, ads etc.
The Solution Engineer is someone who will understand your business goals, and help you work toward and achieve those goals. They are highly vested in making the customers successful using Salesforce and bring an incredible perspective to all the crazy goals you have in mind! They will:
- Get in touch with the product managers, develop prototypes for new solutions for the customers and conduct demos of Salesforce in action
- Decode even the most complex technical problems and translate them into solutions that are comprehensive to everyone
- Suggest the right way to use Salesforce product combos
“Do I really need a Salesforce implementation partner?” is perhaps what crossed your mind right now. Before you take a swing at it yourself, we encourage you to talk to your Account Executive and assess your technical expertise, given that Salesforce is a massive platform which needs 150% focus and dedication of your time. You might feel it’s too much out of your pocket, but when you hire the right Salesforce implementation partner, you can be rest assured of the leap you will witness in terms of customer experience, customer retention and user adoption. A Salesforce implementation partner will consistently help you with:
- Salesforce configuration
- User Adoption training
- All necessary integrations based on business requirements
There is no denying that Salesforce prima facie gives you expensive vibes, but it presents you with a transparent and straightforward pricing model. And for what it’s worth, the price is nothing compared to the value delivered by Salesforce and that’s why it has a huge fan base even among small business owners. Here are the various individual costs associated with Salesforce you must be aware of before the big investment:
- License cost
- Implementation cost
- Maintenance cost
The license cost for different Salesforce editions is based on a per user per month subscription model pertaining to the requirements of an organization. Be mindful of cost variations associated with Salesforce services and customizations individually. They do provide free trials for the services, but not any free plans. A rough estimate could be around $10,000 to $50,000 annually. If you decide to go for an out-of the box solution, the cost will be relatively cheap. But it can get expensive depending on the number of customizations you chose to implement. The individual costs can include:
Implementation Costs There are several factors that affect the implementation costs. First being the time of implementation which can be as short as two weeks to a couple of months time depending on the size of the business and project complexity. An out-of-the-box Salesforce CRM implementation for some employee users could result in minimal spending and require a lesser set up period. A more complex implementation or edition could cost up to six figures and a month-long period to set up. The next big factor that impacts the costs is dependent on the team assigned with the implementation project. Some organizations may choose to hand over this task to their internal team. But like we discussed earlier, most of them prefer an experienced Salesforce implementation partner as they guarantee timely delivery adhering to standards and best practises. Self implementation costs way too much than hiring a Salesforce implementation partner who can get you up and running in just a month (depending on the project complexity). Whereas it can take upto a minimum of 6 months to self implement with higher costs spent on your internal staff leading to a lot more chaos in your organization.
Periodic expenses: Recurring expenses include the cost associated with licences, technical support, ongoing maintenance, enhancements etc. Salesforce being a SaaS model has annual subscription costs which vary according to the products you buy for your organization and the specific capabilities used under these products.
If you still have doubts on costs involved, you can check the Salesforce pricing page to get an accurate pricing estimation.
The last and the most important ‘P’ that determines Salesforce success is the process that runs behind the scenes. Every organization should design their own solid Salesforce processes that help them thrive.
Data Garbage In, Garbage Out
Data integrity is crucial for Salesforce success. People come, people go. Organizational structure changes from time to time. But the system needs to be clean and up-to-date. Where is your data placed currently and how up-to-date is your data? No matter how powerful your CRM is, it’s all pointless if the data residing in the system is not in great shape. You don’t want duplicate, outdated or inconsistent data, to destroy your brand new Salesforce org. Make sure you have someone who takes complete ownership of the source data for regular maintenance and have the right tools in place for data cleansing.
Innovation is Nothing without Adoption
Undoubtedly one of the toughest parts of the project, Salesforce adoption can go south if your team doesn’t use the system or worse, do not use it the right way.. Your team can either use it the wrong way or not use it all. For example, if you have chosen to implement Service Cloud, they have no option than to use it while closing the case. But if they don’t have the right data or are bogged down with cluttered data, they may not trust the system as much. Whereas in the case of Sales Cloud, your team can still choose to overlook it completely and prefer Excel or paper based methods to get their job done, albeit inefficiently. Either way you need to talk to your implementation team to work out user adoption strategies which would involve end users throughout the project, Executive buy-in is a must. If you’re not supported by your managers in using the system, it won’t be an easy ride for the team in the long run.
Still unsure of getting started with Salesforce? It only takes a minute to get in touch with an experienced Consulting Partner (like Dazeworks!) for a no obligation free consulting session. Let’s get started!.