After +7 years in implementing Salesforce in fast scaling ventures, Alexander Charles, COO at EMPAUA, has four key learnings on how to get this right and do this most cost effectively:
The small amount you save by doing things slower is much < than the burn rate and loss of revenue caused by waiting on your system for longer. Often slower and lower revenue will then have an outsized impact on valuation for that next funding round so generally we haven’t seen ROI for waterfall or similar approaches.
Much more important is having a team who are used to this type of pace and can operate effectively under the pressure.
It needs to be: “Half the team only start in two weeks”
“Okay, we’ll have it ready for them’
Deprioritise edge cases and get the team onboard with the idea of a living system that is constantly being built (MAP, MVP etc help here just like they do on the product side).
This generally does require some expectation management within the relevant teams.
The design phase can run in parallel to build, with a 1-2 week head start, depending on the integration complexity.
This is not always possible when starting work on an existing implementation (delivered by another party) but when it is possible it can really speed things up!
Back to that pesky old burn rate. If you are adopting Salesforce and don’t have the correct brainpower pointing at the business process decisions then two things can happen.
Either the implementation will drag on while your non-implementation related burn rate grows or even worse you can get a system where it doesn’t support the reality of the business needs.
This can be avoided by having the key people take ownership of their process areas early on.
Head of RevOps/Sales, Head of Marketing and Head of Customer Service are the usual suspects.
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