You've had all the meetings and made all the decisions about what your sales process should look like. Sales enablement has built training, and sales leadership has taken on the task of driving these decisions into action. Yet, six months later, you discover that barely anything has been accomplished – sales teams aren't utilizing the new process at the level they should, and sales leadership is asking for more time to make it work. What went wrong?
Your team likely failed to operationalize your sales process into Salesforce effectively. Your Salesforce Admin technical team is exactly that, technical. They are good at creating technological solutions, but the translation of value and necessity of the user experience and management needs is often lacking. In addition, when they attempt to execute your new sales process, they are battling the headwinds of your past architecture and other stakeholders' requirements. Don't worry; you're not alone.
Like a high-performance sports car, Salesforce can give you incredible performance when managing your day-to-day. Also, like a high-performance sports car, keeping it running the way you want can be complex. Compounding the complexity of the technology by itself, over time, you often have multiple mechanics (different Salesforce Administrators with varying skills) who must respond to various stakeholders simultaneously. There's also a legacy of choices (customized code or integration design choices) made to how Salesforce works that impede your ability to make the changes necessary for your technology to reflect your current sales process. Sometimes if your technology has become so convoluted, it may seem like you'd be better off starting over.
It's imperative to operationalize your Salesforce.
Unwinding your previous Salesforce configuration with your current admin team alone is impractical and practically impossible.
Here are a few ideas to help you do just that.
Before you launch into new sales process initiatives, consider the technical impacts and the technical team. Do they have the bandwidth to balance both a digital transformation as well as maintaining/updating the current tech demands? Most likely, you've staffed for the latter, not the former, which means you are already on the back foot. Every department thinks its project should be the top priority, and prioritizing your sales operations process will significantly stress all departments. It makes sense to consider bringing outside resources to help with the transformation. You gain added perspective and new ideas, freeing your development from entrenched mindsets that inhibit your decision-making. Bolt Today helps design and manage digital sales transformations with companies of all sizes, giving your tech team the scalability needed to ensure your development is done right the first time.
Implementing a new sales process is expensive, and the technology cost is often left off the table. For example, a consulting company, author, or sales guru sells the plan – Books, Workshops, and Sales Kick Off presentations all add up. Then the sales enablement team must ingest, customize, and execute training rollouts. Investing time and money is significant, making the tech budget even more critical. Consider mapping these costs, including your tech team working with a Salesforce consulting partner, before the decision to say yes to a sales transformation to a new process.
This is the most overlooked ingredient in successful process/tech implementations. The end user is often handed the results of management decisions. Try doing this in parallel, getting needed outcomes from executives AND the front-line performance needs. At Bolt Today, we lead digital transformations with this style of discovery, and we've found that it improves the most important aspect of operationalizing a sales process, which is adoption. Most data quality issues arise from the lack of good data coming in from the front line. Executives get fewer insights because the sales team has low technical engagement. Do not leave U/X as an afterthought.
Also read: How to Improve Data Quality in Salesforce?
Lastly, when you have discovered the outcomes that executives need along with the U/X needs from the front line, you may need to break some old ways of doing things. Salesforce is improving its configuration every year, and keeping hold of old configurations can hamstring your future efficiencies, especially in the U/X design. This is where outside consultants like Bolt Today can help your team eliminate the tech debt that slows everything down (Cue the spinning wheel of death). However, you approach it, resist the urge to limit the possibilities of new technical designs.
Salesforce is full of possibilities, and once you operationalize your sales process within it, the return on investment of the entire initiative will be more fully realized. Because when a sales team can see the sales process integrated into the tech they are using, adoption equals results.