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Salesforce From the Stratosphere

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There should always be an underlying reason for all the work that we do–a mission, so to speak.  Sometimes, we realize that the work that is being asked for is not advancing the mission. The purpose of this post is to challenge you to look at all the projects and features and needs, and make sure that they are in a position to advance your mission–whether it’s profit, to feed the hungry, or happiness. Everything we do in Technology should be contributing to an ultimate purpose.

Beyond the existential questions around your technology goals and systems, the next challenge is really thinking about what the systems should do or how they contribute to your mission. When I work with an organization, the following statements are true about 98% of the time:

1. Salesforce should tell your sales team what to do (or at least provide guidance).
Sales is overwhelming when you have no guidance, no method to systematically work your sales. A CRM system should provide this. All the structure, features, and configuration of the CRM should be driving towards providing guidance to your sales team. Design it to tell them what the next steps are on their deals. Make Salesforce something that gives people patterns. If they follow the pattern, success is guaranteed.

2. Most Salesforce implementations can be boiled down to a list of 1-10 features that are truly important.
During requirements, I often help write a “prime directive” (yeah, Star Trek reference there). The prime directive guides how we prioritize, build, and train that Salesforce implementation.

3. Simpler is better.
An iPhone has one button that everyone knows how to use. Maybe this is an oversimplification, but the less features and complexity, the higher the adoption and use of the system. Now, we’ve built some intensely complex enterprise functions–but the experience to the user has to be simple. If it’s not, it won’t be used.

Starting from the top of the mountain and working your way down provides clarity and vision. Define and understand the big goals, the whys. As you get into detail, the hows become visible and you know what is needed to deliver on the whys. Do you have any big picture ideas that help you set and keep your 100,000-foot vision in place with Salesforce? Leave a comment!

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