Key Steps for Planning Salesforce Implementation

12 min 24.08.2023 Updated: 19.07.2024

As Salesforce implementation experts with over 250+ projects completed, we have seen firsthand the level of rigorous planning required for success. With the right methodology, companies can successfully integrate Salesforce across departments for transformed customer engagement.

This comprehensive guide provides strategies, real examples, and step-by-step methodology that we have refined through our years of experience. Follow our data-driven best practices, forged from real results, to effectively roll out Salesforce, boost user buy-in, integrate systems, and realize Salesforce’s full potential. With rigorous methodology grounded in expertise, you can unlock the rewards. 

We’ll cover: 

  • The Importance of Salesforce Implementation Planning 
  • Key 6 Steps for Salesforce Implementation 
  • Common Salesforce Implementation Challenges
  • Salesforce Implementation Best Practices 
  • Salesforce Implementation Examples and Case Studies 
  • Getting Started with Your Salesforce Implementation 

The Importance of Salesforce Implementation Planning

A successful Salesforce implementation requires extensive planning across three key areas: 

Business Alignment – Outline how Salesforce will achieve key business goals like improved customer retention or increased sales velocity. Connect objectives to measurable ROI. 

Change Management Proactively address changes to processes, training needs, and communications to smooth the company-wide transition. 

Ongoing Evolution – Plan how Salesforce will be optimized over time to adapt to changing needs after the initial rollout. 

Without proper planning, companies risk low adoption, unmet expectations, and limited ROI from their Salesforce investment. Common pitfalls include: 

  • Lack of executive buy-in on goals
  • Poor understanding of workflows and requirements
  • Inadequate user training and support
  • Failure to integrate with existing systems
  • Not planning for ongoing platform optimization

Key 6 Steps for Salesforce Implementation

The planning process for a Salesforce implementation includes many detailed steps. Here are some of the most crucial, that we use in our projects: 

1. Design & Specify
Have a design session with stakeholders. Create configuration workbook. 

2. Sales Cloud Implement
Implement according to the requirements and best practices. Show progress on a meek basis. 

3. Sales Cloud Test & UAT
The QA team is here to ensure the durability and scalability of the implementation. 

4. Sales Cloud Deploy
Make it available for all users. Show and train by examples. 

5. Sales Cloud Evolve 
Any questions or feature requests to make it better, faster and stronger. 

6. Sales Cloud Support
At the last stage, we ensure the functioning of key Salesforce platform processes. 

Common Salesforce Implementation Challenges

Salesforce implementations face common pitfalls that planning helps organizations avoid: 

Not gaining user buy-in  
Failing to help users understand the benefits of Salesforce or involving them in the process leads to lackluster adoption. 

Complex integrations  
Connecting Salesforce to legacy systems with disparate data structures poses technical challenges. 

Poor data quality  
Migrating incomplete or duplicate records impacts data accuracy. Cleansing is needed. 

Customization scope creep  
Stakeholders continually ask for small customizations that bloat the project scope without adding value. 

Unrealistic expectations  
Limited planning around how Salesforce will realistically impact workflows leads to dissatisfaction. 

Change resistance  
Departments unwilling to modify existing processes pose a barrier to adoption. 

Lack of training  
Insufficient end user training leaves employees confused and unable to use Salesforce effectively. 

By partnering with our experts, you can avoid many of the common pitfalls. Our specialists will collaborate with you on planning, workflows, training, integrations, and change management so that you can sidestep potential obstacles to adoption. With our support, you can feel confident that your Salesforce rollout will be a success story. 

Salesforce Implementation Best Practices

Follow these best practices to execute a smooth and effective Salesforce rollout: 

Start with executive alignment  
Get executive buy-in on goals and participate in planning sessions to ensure stakeholder alignment. 

Take an iterative approach  
Break the project into multiple phases to control scope and gather feedback before moving to the next stage. 

Involve users early and often  
Interview users, gather feedback through surveys, and communicate regularly to drive engagement. 

Implement change management   
Develop a structured plan for communication, user adoption, training, and process transition. 

Leverage experienced help    
Engage implementation consultants who can efficiently execute based on industry best practices. 

Prioritize integration     
Identify key integration needs early and budget sufficient time and resources. 

Cleanse data thoroughly      
Scrub records through deduplication and normalization to ensure quality. 

Customize minimally at first    
Start with out-of-the-box features before introducing customizations to control scope. 

Provide multi-format training   
Combine instructor-led sessions, online courses, tip sheets, and in-app walkthroughs for learning reinforcement.  

Review progress regularly 
Conduct regular assessments of KPIs and milestones to identify potential gaps for correction. 

Following these guidelines helps organizations implement Salesforce smoothly, drive adoption, and deliver ongoing value. 

Salesforce Implementation Examples and Case Studies

Here are examples of successful Salesforce implementations of our RA team: 

Custom Salesforce Solution for Insurance Company Mortgage Tracking 

Routine Automation developed a custom Salesforce ecosystem to track mortgage estimates and payments for an insurance company. We implemented an intuitive portal, embedded loan calculator, and document management. This improved tracking, reduced complexity, and enhanced customer experience. 

NPSP Implementation for Domestic Violence Crisis Center 

We implemented Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) for a leading domestic violence crisis center. This optimized their processes for tracking discrimination issues and managing marketing campaigns. Key results included 30% more donors and faster response times to domestic violence reports. 

Partner & Manufacturer Communities for Healthcare Company 

For a healthcare company, we built Experience Cloud sites to connect patients, doctors, and medical device manufacturers. Customizations enabled appointment scheduling, case management, and seamless order collaboration. This minimized costs, increased sales efficiency, and improved overall engagement. 

Patient Portal for Healthcare Services Provider 

We created a branded Salesforce Community Cloud patient portal for a healthcare services provider. Patients could securely access recommendations, prescriptions, and records from their doctors. Two-factor authentication and custom pages boosted loyalty, leads, and customer satisfaction. 

These examples demonstrate Salesforce’s ability to unite teams, data, and processes to help organizations across verticals meet strategic goals. 

Getting Started with Your Salesforce Implementation

A successful Salesforce rollout takes careful planning, strategic execution, and experienced guidance. As a leading Salesforce consultancy, Routine Automation is ready to partner with you on your implementation journey. 

Our certified experts will collaborate with your team to: 

  • Establish objectives and requirements
  • Map workflows and processes
  • Configure and customize Salesforce
  • Develop training programs
  • Manage change and drive adoption
  • Optimize the platform for ongoing success

With Routine Automation as your implementation partner, you can feel confident that you have certified advisors guiding you every step of the way. We take pride in delivering tailored solutions that empower our clients to maximize their Salesforce ROI. 

Don’t go it alone – leverage our extensive experience to make your rollout a true success story.

Do you want to know more about Salesforce?
Contact the RA team to book a free Consultation