Think Tank Thoughts

Getting the Most Value out of Your Salesforce Implementation

Understanding why a user-centered approach may be the key to achieving your most successful Salesforce implementation.

Cost of Inaction (COI) through time graphic chart

Mar 07, 2022 | BY Nate Ginesi , Director of Design

This is a story we hear quite often:

You launched your new Salesforce platform 6 months ago and it’s getting mixed reviews. Adoption rates and usage numbers are well below what you anticipated. You expected everyone to be dancing in the streets praising the new system, but reviews have been mixed so far.

“What could be wrong?”

You invested in the most powerful CRM on the market. Your data model is airtight. Your developers followed the user stories to the letter, and the tests all passed. Why aren’t your users ecstatic with this decision to move to Salesforce? Why can’t they see the value in this effort? Did you just waste a ton of money creating a platform people won’t use?

The short answer is, no. You made a good decision. Salesforce is a phenomenally robust platform with an enormous following for a reason -- several, in fact. It is unparalleled when it comes to creating customer records, building a workflow around those records, and delivering the information that a business needs to make decisions. When it comes to managing data and reporting, it’s the best of the best. So why are your users unhappy?

Just like buying an Aston Martin or a Tesla doesn’t automatically make you a good driver, putting your business application on a powerful platform doesn’t mean it will be automatically easy to use. Said another way – the potential of Salesforce to solve your problem does not mean the problem gets solved simply by using Salesforce.

During the implementation phase, SIs and internal development teams often focus too much attention on Salesforce’s “out-of-the-box” processes. This can come at the expense of the user experience or simply represent too big of a change from historic business processes. While there are advantages to creating an out-of-the-box experience from a development perspective, it should never compromise a user’s ability to use the product you’re building effectively. 

The key is finding out what parts of your platform are worth deviating from the out-of-the-box configuration to best serve your use cases.

So how do you figure out what areas of the platform are worth that additional time and effort? Talk to and observe your users so you can confidently answer questions like:

Instead of limiting yourself to the way that Salesforce handles workflows and data out of the box, you can choose to put users at the center of the development process. With this approach, you start to get the value you expected out of your powerful Salesforce implementation.

This entails process analysis and in some cases, re-alignment. This analysis phase allows you to identify the core business problems that affect your users. You can then evaluate those findings against what out-of-the-box Salesforce offers. From there, it's worthwhile to conduct a cost/benefit analysis on the value of implementing custom solutions. For those really complex problems, you may want to hire a trusted partner to then craft and implement custom solutions that works the way your users think.

So what’s the result?

With an optimized workspace, your users are more productive, accurate, and efficient. At the same time, the business benefits from higher adoption rates, improved user satisfaction, more accurate reports, and loyalty.

The true operational value of a stagnant Salesforce implementation will definitely diminish - sometimes precipitously. In fact, the longer your platform stays “as-is”, the greater the effort (and cost) will be to bring it back to even a reasonable baseline of value. We refer to this as the platform’s Cost of Inaction (COI).

Cost of Inaction (COI) through time graphic chart

Optimizing Salesforce for your users drives positive results throughout your business

Users:

  • Easier. Intuitive and simple workflows.
  • Faster. Fewer clicks and distractions.
  • More Engaged. Tools built for me.

IT Teams:

  • Smarter. Faster, better, more cost-effective execution.
  • Aligned. Shared vision across stakeholder groups.
  • Higher ROI. More successful initiatives.

Executives:

  • Confident. Your Salesforce investments are actualized.
  • Empowered. Reports are accurate, real-time, and relevant.
  • Trusted. Show your people that you “get it.”

Of course when customizing/optimizing existing Salesforce applications, there are considerations that need to be taken to ensure the underlying system is not affected. LookThink understands what it takes to alleviate risks for the back-end system. Our front-end expertise allows us to manipulate and affect the platform’s UI, while leaving the backend architecture in tact. This means less maintenance and less worry about maintaining custom code. So your development team stays as happy as your users.

LookThink’s user-centered design thinking focuses on business outcomes and business processes, meaning your users see an immediate impact on their day-to-day business tasks. By creating highly functional day-to-day business tools, we make users faster, more efficient, more accurate, and happy to be using the software you spent so much developing.

After all… Salesforce is a significant investment. Let us help you make the most of it.

 

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