5 common mistakes you can make when trying to implement Salesforce

7 min read >

5 common mistakes you can make when trying to implement Salesforce


Implementing Salesforce within your organization might be trickier than you’ve initially considered. Thus, having a well-planned implementation process in place is mandatory if you want to fully capitalize on all the perks Salesforce brings for your team.

In 2020, it is crucial to be aware of the following 5 common mistakes you can make when trying to implement Salesforce. Pointing out these mistakes will help you avoid bigger problems that could negatively impact your ROI.

1. Not having a clear plan/road map:

This is a very common mistake for companies that want to implement Salesforce, either to replace their full CRM system or to move part of the process on the Salesforce platform. 

Right before loading “stuff” into Salesforce and beginning to create users and processes, the company needs to draw a map having in mind some key points of interest, such as:

  • What do we want to achieve using Salesforce?
  • Do we have clear requirements?
  • What business process do we want to move to Salesforce?
  • How is the business process working at this moment?
  • What are the pain points and restrictions associated with the process right now?
  • Who will use the system?
  • What data should be migrated to Salesforce?
  • Where is the data located?
  • What systems should we integrate with Salesforce and how?
  • What is the time frame for completing this? 

By having a clear plan, you can easily define a clear path of who does what and by then, so that an implementation plan can be designed following all recommended best practices from Salesforce.

From a business point of view, it is very important to have the “buy-in” of all the executives involved in the process so that the implementation becomes smooth. The executive team needs to understand and promote the platform to internal users and have a clear picture of the added value so that the correct expectations are set across the whole company.

2. Not having a consultant partner for the implementation:

Many companies assume that Salesforce is just another CRM that can be implemented easily by anyone who has worked with one before. This is another common mistake firms do and which is a direct route for a failed implementation and frustration.

Salesforce is a huge platform that started out as a CRM but now has incorporated many more capabilities, including ERP, Marketing, Analytics, AI, and many more. All of these could easily confuse someone who doesn’t know how to properly use them.

Additionally, Salesforce is an On-Cloud platform that brings a lot of benefits but also some limitations that need to be considered in implementation. Someone that has no experience with Salesforce implementation might be caught in the middle and will not be able to apply the best solutions and suggest the best practices for each case.

You definitely need an experienced Salesforce implementation partner that can help your team make the most out of what Salesforce has to offer.

3.  Handling data in the “bad way”: 

This error in handling data comes up in every Salesforce implementation for almost every customer. When we speak about data handling in Salesforce, we can again highlight some key points that are usually interfering with a Salesforce implementation:

  • All data needs to be in Salesforce:
    • This is a bad practice that every implementation has to deal with. The idea comes from the Product Owner or from the Executive team who treat Salesforce like a big database. This is not the norm, since this is not the intention of the platform. The best practice is to store only key data into Salesforce and get other elements/attributes when needed. This can be done either by using native Salesforce options like Big Objects or External Objects, by using external options like a PostgreSQL database and connecting this with Salesforce using Salesforce Connect, or using an ETL tool (Mule Software, Talend, etc). A Salesforce consultant can provide several solutions but the main idea should be that not everything should be stored in Salesforce
  • Migrate the data and clean it afterward:
    • Another common mistake that takes a lot of time to repair is bringing the data from all data sources into the new system and making a plan to clean it later.
    • The data model should be designed before any Object is created/customized in Salesforce
    • Data sources should be inventoried as the first step, then data should be cleaned.
    • Some test batches should be mapped with the Salesforce objects and imported
    • If the result is the desired one then all data should be switched over to Salesforce
  • Integration with other systems needs planning:
    • This is a step that is left behind during some implementations because of the “go live” rush. Basically, everything is being done to go live at a specific date and integrations will come after
    • Obviously, not all integrations can be done before going live, but all integrations need to be planned out and included in the roadmap
    • Based on the volumes of data and other factors, the best integration method can be selected from a variety of options. Some examples are direct API integrations, using proxies, and using middlewares using data dumps from a variety of files. 
  • Data archiving:
    • Almost always overlooked when doing the implementation plan
    • Data does not need to “live forever” in the Salesforce ecosystem and once it has no relevance it should be archived and moved to a data lake or a data warehouse.

4.  Insufficient training

When considering adopting Salesforce, companies leave training in the last place and dedicate just a couple of hours or at best one full day to training. This usually leads to many unanswered questions and prevents the team from making the most out of Salesforce.

Due to the complexity and customization levels that Salesforce brings, training should not be done using lengthy .ppt presentations, but rather using a test environment that replicates the live system. Salesforce training should include scenarios that will be encountered by users in their day-to-day work.

Also, the implementation or training manager should know the business process and particularities very well. He or she should be able to translate their knowledge over to your team. 

5. Not calculating the total cost of the implementation

During the rush of implementing Salesforce, many companies might miss out on calculating all costs associated with the implementation. This can only cause problems, either because the implementation is left unfinished, or because it is being “fragmented”. As a result, the outcome is not always a positive one.

This can be avoided by having a clear plan and a clear vision, and by knowing from the start what features will be implemented. You should also be aware of the data volume that you want to migrate, the integrations that will be done, and the total number of implementation phases.  

Training is key for overcoming all of these Salesforce integration mistakes

To quickly overcome all challenges associated with a Salesforce integration, you want to ensure that you work with professional Salesforce training partners. Find out how Tremend can help you by clicking this link.