16 Jul Can your implementation team hit the ground running?
by Shane Howard
The process of implementing a new technology system carries a company through what can be a harrowing and emotional journey. You need to find an implementation team you can trust to provide expertise and stick with you long term.
Can your implementation team hit the ground running, or should they just hit the road? Here are four questions to ask in order to find out:
1. Do you have to lead for them to follow?
An effective implementation team will build a solid relationship early in the game by learning all they can about your company, staff, goals, processes, timeline, budget, etc. Once that background is established, the team should feel comfortable initiating a strategy that progresses implementation. Some partners wait for the customer to call the shots, and that will work against a solid partnership. Think about it: a customer is paying a lot of money for new ideas and expertise. They can’t lead what they don’t know, so finding an implementation team that learns about the team and then takes the lead to facilitate the new technology is a good sign.
A good way to test this is to watch how the potential implementation team operates, notice what makes them move forward: Are they waiting for you to give them requirements? Or are they the type of consultants that know how to elicit those requirements on their own and in a way that aligns with your goals for ultimate success? Clearly, the latter is the more proficient team.
2. Do they have SMEs as part of the team?
There are many implementation partners who are good. But when they offer subject-matter experts (SMEs) in CPQ or CLM functions, well, that’s when exciting things happen. “Wherever you are in your Salesforce journey, ensuring that your implementation is set up with top-notch architectural practices is a critical, ongoing process,” says John Magpantay, Salesforce IT expert. “Salesforce Architects, as the most certified platform experts, have been providing strategic and technical guidance on launching epic Salesforce implementations.”
3. Do they know your company?
This question is actually two-fold. First, a successful partner will show an interest in learning all they can about your company. Second, your company needs to welcome the inquiries. “Always remain cognizant of the fact that partners have to learn your product, technology, or service. They can’t just walk out the door and go sell for you. You need to be able to provide the training and support to make it happen,” says Tiffani Bova, Salesforce customer and innovation expert. “It’s incredibly important to create a target list built upon realistic expectations, and to approach partners for all the right reasons to ensure you don’t waste time on those who were never really committed to the partnership.”
Another way to judge a potential partner’s knowledge of the company is to look for their knowledge of your industry as a whole. Do they understand the industry space? With their knowledge of the industry, can they be effective consultants that meet the way you do business? And finally, can they provide advisory and change management services tailored specifically to your company and industry? These services should allow you to get the most ROI and adoption out of the engagement, but they will only do so if the implementation team is familiar with your industry and its pain points.
4. Do they understand your goals?
More importantly, do they have the expertise to offer solutions? At Simplus, we believe implementation begins long before the new technology platform arrives. Instead, we build a relationship with the customer. That means we collaborate with a variety of departments to discuss their present challenges, goals, costs, schedules, budgets, etc., and we design a framework that will help a company achieve not only the next step but also the ones that follow.
We believe that an important piece to implementing a new system is to train those that will use it. Employees won’t adopt a product unless they recognize its value. For example, Lucid Software invested in Salesforce, but because the staff didn’t understand the functions, they didn’t use it.
As experts in Salesforce, we came on board to train the Lucid staff about Salesforce capabilities and how they optimized their job function. Now, not only are they utilizing their investment, but they also have a support team to continue training staff on evolving technologies that will continue to support their future business goals.
If you are considering implementing a new system, finding a partner that works with you, catches your vision, understands the company’s climate, and offers expertise on specific technology functions will help you cruise down the road to building a solid implementation partnership. Call us! We can help. We are Simplus: Success Simplified.