If you feel like your company doesn't get the full benefit out of the Salesforce ecosystem, chances are you are correct. In general, almost 60% of digital transformations fail to achieve the planned goals. We do know we can do better, so the real question is - how can we turn these numbers around and start reaping the benefits of our investments in digital transformation?

Salesforce | Accenture

In the last two years, we have found ourselves forced to comply with a lot of new rules. Of course, the pandemic has brought up unforeseen challenges, but it has also cleared out a way for a lot of innovation. Right now, digital transformation might feel like a moving train, and at times it may seem that we must jump on it or else we will be left behind. Many businesses have decided to make the jump and now find themselves ready for the next phase, deriving measurable and actionable value from the digital transformation Maybe you’ve pre-prepared and have the whole itinerary ready from start to finish. If so, excellent. You’ve got everything you need to successfully dock your company at the Salesforce station

But if you’re like most companies, you made a split-second decision to get your Salesforce journey underway sooner and figure out that itinerary later. You might  even have started to notice a few loose screws in the rails and leaking oil here and there, which forecasts a tiresome and inefficient journey for everyone on board your company. Luckily, it is never too late to get back on track - keep reading to find out about the key takeaways that will help you build a well-operating Salesforce business! 

Harnessing the power of Salesforce

Before the pandemic, in many companies, any major changes involving digital transformation were spread over months and sometimes even years. Suddenly, due to the physical distance rules, we were ushered into the digital environment and forced to move our businesses partially or fully online. Cloud transformation was no longer an option but a necessity. Most of the businesses felt the pressure to adapt and “made the jump”. However, time and time again, we see that many companies at various stages of the Salesforce adoption cycle were not meeting their target value. Goals are missed, important data lost, and users find themselves confused with the new system. In some client cases, about 40% users reported time spent on adaptation to the new system to be greater than the value they get out of it. In others, as many as 50% of users complained about the interface's usability obstructing their work and driving them away from successfully adapting to the new system.

Then what are the missing steps in the process of realizing the full Salesforce value as envisioned?

To begin, 98% of senior executives say they don’t know about actual frontline business processes. That is a problem, because even when we dive into the Salesforce environment with the best intentions if we remain disconnected from how people and operations unfold, we are much more likely to lose track of our original goal-adding value to your business. Thankfully, we were able to gather the most common pitfalls in this process and turn it into an actionable plan. 

Take a minute to understand what’s missing

There are two steps you can start with.

First, you should define the business value you want to derive from your Salesforce implementation. Ask yourself questions like: what you I want to achieve with this transformation? What is the direction in which I want to take my company? Who can benefit the most of it in my company? Whether you want to focus on improving performance in sales, marketing, or on the service front, it is essential to specify the target you plan to achieve with Salesforce. This knowledge will help your team measure and track KPIs and clarify what to look out for during the deployment.

Second, start thinking of your end-users and end-customers as partners in Salesforce adoption. We know it’s easy to get excited about a new and shiny platform like Salesforce, but don’t forget - it really creates value when your workforce is leveraging it to the full potential. Your value realization depends on how much your employees and customers are willing to use the platforms you are offering. Ensuring that Salesforce adoption is done in consideration of the actual needs of those involved will save you valuable time and money.

Come in for a 3.000-mile check-up

If you have already implemented systems in place and now fear, you skipped over the first two steps - don't worry. We developed an approach to analyze, track and prioritize your trapped value. In one client case, using this method, we were able to detect a significant decline in the sales experience after Salesforce implementation. This led to finding out multiple previously overlooked issues that ultimately caused great losses to the company. So, identifying the problem in the Salesforce environment is a good start. But the journey doesn’t stop there. Accenture has experience in addressing these shortcomings and because we are preparing you for a smooth but long ride, we called this method the 3.000-mile check-up.

With the 3.000-mile check-up, you can:

  • Dive deeper into the business, technical and organizational ways of working
  • Reveal where there is trapped value in adoption, business metrics, operational metrics, or even security
  • Set out the paths to identify new opportunities to improve your work

We’ve taken our extensive experience with Salesforce and distilled it all into this methodology. That means you’ll already start seeing benefits just six weeks after starting. With the 3.000-mile check-up, you will know how to start or, in some cases, re-ignite your Salesforce adoption journey and how to capture that trapped value. Keep in mind, it is not a quick fix. Operating in a new environment will take some adjustment period and change of mentality. Yet, it's a journey worth taking. Implementing Salesforce successfully or finetuning your current Salesforce tenant(s), will give you a unique opportunity to gain insights into your business like with no other tool and keep up with the pace of digital transformation. At Accenture, we have made this journey many times before and exploring possibilities of business innovation is what we do best. 

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Sonia Morales | Accenture

Sonia Morales

Senior Manager - Salesforce Transformations and Global Implementations Portfolio Lead

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This article was created with the input of the following contributors: Christiaan Smies, Laura MarijnissenTugce DaskinSofie de Waal, and Dyon Matulessy

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