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Published by: slehnen on Mar 19, 2010
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Getting any new business solution up and running can be a challenge. By choosing a cloud-based solution such asSalesforce CRM, you’ll find that the implementation process—and ongoing maintenance—is much easier thanwith traditional software solutions. Still, there are some red flags to look out for.We’ve identified the 8 most common issues when it comes to implementing CRM. Make sure you have thesebases covered and you’ll be on your way to success.1.
Lack of strategic vision2.
No project team3.
No clear business process4.
Not knowing how to measure success5.
No change management process6.
Inadequate training7.
Dirty data8.
Not getting helpLet’s explore in more detail at how you can address each of these challenges—and how we can help.
Challenge #1: Define your strategic vision
Every successful CRM project starts with a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. That vision will driveyour strategies and decisions at every step of your implementation. What are your business goals? To build long-term relationships, create customer loyalty, increase sales? Your goals should be clear—to everyone in yourorganization.To help with this process, use the Salesforce CRM Getting Started Workbook 
to capture and communicate yourvision statement.
It’s one of the Getting Started resources on the Salesforce CRM Community site. Use it as awork in progress to come up with and document all the important decisions about your application.
Meet—and beat—these 8 CRM challenges
Get a jump start on implementingCRM! Use these tips to avoidcommon pitfalls and get yourimplementation started on theright foot.
By: Nancye Michaelian
Meet—and beat—these 8 CRM challenges 2
Challenge #2: Ramp up a project team
To achieve your vision, it helps to have a project team or steering committee that includes major stakeholders. It’sa common mistake to assign a single project owner and expect that person to deliver a finished product. To besuccessful, you need the buy-in and participation of people with various perspectives and skills, includingstakeholders from all business units. That way, you can avoid many communication and adoption problems beforethey start.If you’re a small business, this task may sound a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Just make sure you coverthe following roles: executive sponsor, project owner, administrator, and a power user.Use the Salesforce CRM Getting Started Workbook 
to document your team as it grows and evolves.
Challenge #3: Define your business process
To get the most from Salesforce CRM, you’ll want to make it work the way you do. To do that, it’s critical todefine your business process so you can prioritize which features, reports, and customizations you want.As you work to define your process, be aware of too much complexity. If there are too many fields, picklistsoverflowing with values, or poorly organized page layouts, your users will be overwhelmed, unproductive, andfrustrated. Keep it simple and get feedback from prospective users before you launch—and all along the way asyou refine and build out your application.Always keep the following usability goals in mind:
Match your business process
Simpler is better
Organization is everythingFor more information on defining your process, go to the Rollout Guide and then to Plan>Define your Process. Document your own process in your MySalesforce.com Workbook.
Challenge #4: Define success
As with everything in life, it helps to reach your goals if you track your progress along the way. So far, we’vediscussed the importance of having a vision, goals, and a business process that can meet those goals. Along theway, you also need to track those measures that show you’re moving toward your goal.What should you measure? How do you know you’re on track—and that you’re staying on track? That’s wherekey performance indicators (KPIs) come in. KPIs will show the areas in which the project is meeting your goals.They’ll also help to identify whether you need change course.Common KPIs include:
Closed sales QTD (quarter to date)
Key opportunities
Top 5 sales reps
Lead conversion rate
Completed activities
Meet—and beat—these 8 CRM challenges 3
In addition to such quantitative metrics, also define goals for adoption rates, performance, and continuouseducation. Here’s a dashboard that can serve as a great starting point for tracking and reaching your goals.
Challenge #5: Manage change
Change is a given. You may find that 6 months after you go live, your application no longer meets some businessneeds. For example, territories are realigned, an account has too many unused fields, or you might want to add agreat new feature.Because Salesforce CRM is so easy to change, you’ll need a process to manage these changes, so they don’tinterfere with your business process or undermine your business strategy. Creating a change management planhelps keep your organization’s vision, strategy, and goals closely aligned. Although change management is mostcritical for complex implementations, customers of all sizes should have a change strategy. Here’s a changemanagement example you can use to help manage your changes.
Challenge #6: Train and train again
Although we’ve won lots of awards for our easy-to-use interface, training is still crucial. In particular, you want tobe sure users make the most of the customizations that affect their day-to-day jobs.Training is one of the most important things you can do to improve adoption and enforce your business process.Be sure to train users initially and reinforce that training periodically. It’s also a good idea to create trainingresources to support your specific implementation, such as newsletters, brown-bag sessions, and tips of the week.Many customers create an Education Web tab to manage their training resources.Be sure to use salesforce.com’s resources to help you train your users and manage your training:
A free resource for tracking course completion statistics (Setup | Manage Users | Training History)
Challenge #7: Clean your data—and keep it clean
 A huge benefit of a CRM application is that you get complete visibility into your pipeline, so you can do accurateforecasting and make good decisions. Dirty data frustrates your users and dooms that goal.To clean your data and keep it clean, you need a plan. Salesforce.com can help with free and low-cost tools as wellas with some great advice. Check out:
The tools in the Integration and Data Management/Data Cleansing section of the AppExchange
Best Practice document6 steps toward top data qualityfor achieving and maintaining data quality

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