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Salesforce Implementation the Wrong Way - 5 Common Mistakes

When considering implementing a CRM (customer relationship management) system as powerful as Salesforce, it’s common to focus on the technical or operational features. After all, engaged correctly, Salesforce can radically transform how all departments - sales, finance, marketing, and customer service - interact and serve the company’s customer base. 

Yet, the most overlooked element of anything new is what the action portends - change. Salesforce is a change, and we know from thousands of years of human history that we creatures are skeptical of change. This doesn’t mean that people won’t eventually come around or even embrace the change, but it’s the latter point that is the most critical when implementing Salesforce - getting your people onboard and excited to change together.

The following are the five most common mistakes businesses make when implementing Salesforce. But keep in mind that a conversation (or many!) about why this change is occurring and how it will facilitate everyone’s work lives moving forward is vital before anything else.

1) Miscalculating Implementation Preconditions 

We place this number 1 because cutting corners or rushing through the implementation process is extremely common. For example, company data migration to Salesforce might appear logical and easy to grasp, but if the data itself requires a deep clean, the process will be more complex.  

Companies are alike in many ways, but many are highly unique within their workflows and processes. Salesforce is a powerful tool when customized and aligned with your particular business. This cannot be rushed, and if so, more often than not, it results in costly delays. 

2) - Disregarding the Data Migration Strategy

As previously mentioned, if a business’s data is not clean, accurate, and complete, the CRM will be hampered. Salesforce is a game-changing CRM, but it depends on clean and quality data. The migration strategy often requires deduplication efforts, augmenting existing data with additional information, and perhaps the most time-consuming, removing or correcting inconsistencies. 

3) - Selecting a Bad Partner

In all fairness, we’re biased here! But that said, not all projects fall into our wheelhouse, and when that occurs, we’re upfront with potential clients. The worst-case scenario is overpromising and underdelivering, a massive waste of time on both ends. 

We know we’ve matched correctly, however, when we become an extension of our client’s team. This happens nearly always, as we’re as meticulous about who we work with as our clients are when choosing us. Here are some questions to ask us as a potential provider:

  • What’s your track record with other similar-sized companies as ours? 

  • Can you provide previous client references? 

  • What happens if we’re unhappy along the way?

4) - User Training Absence

This is a critical mistake. There are lots of tutorials and similar content online businesses use to ramp up user fluency. While this can work over the long term, in the short term, if steps are missed and the team receives poor or no initial training, the company essentially has a Lamborghini in the garage without anyone knowledgeable in how to drive it. 

The tell-tale signs of user training absence are individuals who do not have the ability to navigate the system. This leads to frustration, which ultimately leads to desertion and a return to the previous status quo. 

Again, we’re biased, but we are firm believers in comprehensive user training sessions so employees feel comfortable and fluent with the system. This includes real-world scenario work.

5) - Insufficient Post-Implementation Plan

This last mistake goes hand in hand with an absence of user training. In the best of cases, the “Salesforce shine,” like anything, wears off over time. This is normal, but what is not normal is not having processes in place to monitor user adoption, system performance, and data quality. There are always areas for improvement, but they must be systematically measured and followed up on. 

Neglecting a post-implementation plan will render the Lamborghini operative for just a couple of months. Then back to the garage it goes. 

In summary, these are the top 5 mistakes businesses make when implementing Salesforce. But they don’t have to be, which is why we’ve outlined the mistake, why it occurs, and how to change how you do business the right way with one of the most powerful CRMs on the market.    


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