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How Do I Know I’m Getting Value from Salesforce?

How Do I Know I’m Getting Value from Salesforce?

This blog lays out how you can get more from your investment with Salesforce and sets out best practices on how to be successful.

The cost of failing to transform your business in the digital first economy is high, as rapid change is becoming the new normal, thanks to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Today, employees can work from anywhere and customers’ standards for modern engagement are a far cry from the transactional, one-size-fits-all experiences that was once ok.

This blog lays out how you can get more from your investment with Salesforce and sets out best practices on how to be successful at making sure your investment realises meaningful value back into your business. The first question should be “why do we need to change?” not “what can we change.” Creating a business case is the first step to help shape the “why”, and remember the “why” is more than just actual numbers in the business case. The process allows you to get an agreement on the problem you’re trying to solve; identify and highlight a value gap, quantify it, act quickly if the value is not being realised and most importantly secure the buy-in of active and engaged executive sponsors.

And when thinking about revenue growth opportunity, research has long established the link between customer experience and revenue , in-fact customers who have the best experience spend 140% more than those who have the worst and Net Promoters spend 2.5x more and renew 17% than detractors.

But what is interesting is that customer experience (CX) has an intrinsic relationship with employee experience (EX) in which one depends on the other to gain maximum results. Companies that have both high EX and CX see almost double the revenue growth as those that do not. So, whilst reducing cost may be the initial value driver, the real incentive is that investment when applied with imagination, could lead to a growth in customer value.

Aligning your business to a digital first strategy can have enormous benefit, you also need to be aware that the rate of transformation failure is high. Research consistently shows the number one reason for failure is “lack of active and engaged executive sponsors” and the second reason for failure is “lack of structure around the program of change”. It is imperative to create a well thought out business case about why you need to change and how this investment can deliver customer value and, most importantly, track and measure your success.

Having a well thought out business case is certainly the first step to success but it does not guarantee success. This leads me nicely into implementation.

Implementation is a time of cost incurrence and deadlines and when the priority switches to implementation, the business case is moved to the bottom of the priority list. Often decisions are made without “Value Management“ considerations and the program starts to stray away from the compelling and well planned business case. Whilst Implementation time can be stressful it is critical to have your Executive Sponsors and business case owner keeping one eye on the ”are you realising expected outcomes and value?“ And if you dont, you risk losing value and lack of adoption resulting in frustration within the business. Remember why your business case existed in the first place. Dust off your business case and move it back to the guiding rails of your implementation strategy.

Effective value management requires that you invest in planning, measurement and tracking, communications, and change management to promote value-driven decision making. The most successful customers:

  • Explicitly define the value you expect from your Salesforce investments, make value management central to strategic governance, and secure executive sponsor support for a broader value management program across your organization
  • Define metrics that connect business value to the actions and decisions taken by stakeholders across your organization
  • Build a communication and change management strategy that not only reports the value realized by your organization but that influences stakeholders to incorporate business value insights in their day-to-day work
  • Promote a culture where business value considerations drive decision-making from the executive level to frontline staff. Approach value management as a structured program and continue to improve and evolve it as your definition of business value changes.

To help you maximise your Salesforce value, I have collated a number of useful Salesforce resources which are shared below.

1. A Business Case will help you define clear purpose of why to change, expected ROI and value.

Do I have a business case aligned to my business goals, objectives & key success metrics?

Are my business goals SMART? (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and anchored to a time frame).

Does my business case, provide a clear view of the expected ROI benefit set against estimated cost and implementation time?

Do I have Salesforce baseline industry success metrics and/or other 3rd parties, such as Forrester and Gartner to provide realistic evidence of expected ROI?

Is our Executive Sponsor actively engaged and aligned to the defined value expected from our Salesforce investment?

Have we set up a regular executive steering committee, with a focus on “value management” that’s core to our strategic governance?

Do I have a cascading strategy and aligned stakeholder map with stakeholders that are responsible and accountable for business outcomes and key performance indicators?

Have I socialised my business case to other stakeholders “value management”? Ensuring there is commitment and alignment with the desired outcomes and expected business value?

Do I have a business roadmap aligned to my business case with outcome-based programs of work?

2. Continuous improvement to achieving more with my Salesforce investments.

Do I have a clear and transparent process to collect and validate data consistently for key metrics and a dashboard and/or reporting aligned to the business case allowing me to review progress and impact?

Do I have a delivery plan to refine and expand capabilities within my business allowing me to scale, as we grow, and achieve more from Salesforce?

Do I have a license adoption plan, aligned to the business case and go-live date?

Have I assigned a licensing type to each user in my org, so I can track the type of license and usage, which ensures I have the right licenses aligned to my business case?

Do I have a Salesforce release management rhythm and process resulting in the adoption of new features and capabilities based on ROI benefit and ease of adoption?

From collective intelligence, do I have a clear value communication strategy? enabling me to connect employees, improve and celebrate end-user adoption and experiences across our organisation.

Do we survey business users and IT to validate “employee satisfaction”? which is a key lever to create organisational momentum for digital change.

Do I use my Premier Success Plan to realise value faster with guidance and support driven by Salesforce experts

Have we built a Trailblazer culture where many employees are actively part of the Salesforce Global Community? Attending events such as Dreamforce, which enables us to amplify change and drive continuous learning and innovation.

Do I actively take part in Salesforce Industry events? which allow me to network and be challenged on digital-first new ways of thinking and working backed-up by industry benefit and value.

Do I have a baseline, starting at the beginning of the implementation or based on a point in time across our historical data, enabling me to determine how metrics have changed compared to the baseline?

Random or unrelated measures lead to random and unaligned work. The focus becomes being busy instead of effective, complete instead of valuable. The key is to provide a set of measures that helps teams make in the moment decisions to ensure they do work that helps you achieve a business outcome and customer value.

The weaker signals of change help you maximise volume and frequency of the value you deliver.

Measuring business outcomes and customer value will reinforce the continuous improvement culture, and make informed decisions on how to respond, optimise and scale value across your business.

3. Respond, optimise and scale value across our business.

  • Am I able to respond quickly and make informed data-driven decisions? Empowering me to drive change across our entire business in line with our goals, objectives, and initiatives.
  • Do our key stakeholders use insights from the “value management” to make strategic growth decisions?
  • Have we brought together a single view of value? by structuring and aligning our goals and measures of success across our business, we have the insight to transform our customer-centric strategy and trailblazer culture accelerating time to greater value.

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