Many companies have settled into using Salesforce. And often, the teams who were brought in to deliver the technology have stuck around to help embed and improve it. But in this time of economic uncertainty, having large, specialised teams can raise questions about their return on investment. Therefore, it’s important that these teams are working efficiently and can prove the impact of the work they’re doing.
This piece tackles how to frame the ROI of your Salesforce team internally, common pitfalls you should avoid, ideas on what you can do differently and the big benefits a few changes can bring to your organisation.
Proving the ROI using a different internal approach
Recently, we’ve been working with several companies across different industries that have used Salesforce for 5-10 years and are trying to justify the headcount. We’ve shown them a new way of looking at the issue. By tying the benefits back to their company objectives, we’ve helped our clients optimise how they use Salesforce and prove a clearer impact on their bottom line.
Cultural culprits: three issues to avoid
Let’s take a look at some of the common issues we notice with internal Salesforce teams.
#1 Silos and lack of communication
As Salesforce grows in your company, you’ll likely notice competing change requests that come from different business areas or teams. When this happens, your product teams can quickly become busy working on lots of small changes and lose sight of the wider business context.
It’s even more complicated when teams overlap across design, architecture and business. Communication can break down between teams who aren’t joined up on Salesforce goals. And tactical requests might get lost if big strategic changes are made too early.
#2 Letting capacity determine what gets done
If change requests go straight through to your product managers (PMs), this can cause problems. A PM typically looks at the to-do list and the time that’s left, then fills the gaps with items that fit the schedule. Unfortunately, this causes hard feelings for people who don’t ever see their items on the roadmap. It’s also bad for business because the decisions aren’t driven by ROI.
#3 Not sharing a long-term vision
When small changes happen regularly, the short-term satisfaction can create an illusion of productivity. But there’s a risk that not all the changes support the company’s future vision. For example, preparing for new technology might take a long time to deliver but could be significantly more valuable in the long run. It’s time for a shift in mindset. Don’t expect something new and shiny in every release. Instead, assess every change request based on its ROI and business objectives.
How to do Salesforce development differently
To prevent friction and promote fairness, it takes an agnostic perspective. By being more objective and open, you’ll be able to have more productive conversations and keep the focus on business objectives and end results. Here are some tools we’ve found useful for improving communication and collaboration:
The 2x2 matrix
We often use a 2x2 grid, similar to the Eisenhower Matrix, to prioritise work. One axis is ‘ease of execution’ and the other is ‘value delivered’. Items in the top right of the grid become a priority: they’re high value and easy to implement. Low ease and high value items are strategically important too. You can then deprioritise everything else, and focus more of your resources on what matters. It’s important to track the benefits of changes over time, and keep people aware of the good news.
Objectives and key results (OKRs)
We encourage our partners to create OKR documentation: the same method used by Google to set ambitious goals. With OKRs in place, every project can show how it contributes to the objectives and why it deserves priority. This improves transparency between teams, shows why items have been approved, and helps difficult conversations when a change has been deprioritised or declined.
Consulting with external experts
Working with an independent partner can boost your team’s knowledge and capability. Because Baringa has experience deploying Salesforce across different sectors and organisations, we can help you enhance what’s already in your technology stack and get the most out of new functions and features such as Data Cloud, Co Pilots, Einstein1 or the Trust Layer. Among our clients, we’ve found that the most knowledgeable early adopters of new Salesforce products earn themselves a strategic edge.
The benefits are boundless
When your Salesforce processes are dialled in, the first place you’ll notice the benefit is with your people. With less leakage and clear priorities, teams find the release cycle more fulfilling and productive. This boosts retention, reduces churn, and creates a positive team environment where people are motivated to give their best to every project.
Before long, you’ll be tracking benefits that transform your business. When all your teams are focused on a singular vision, and you have clearly defined goals, you’ll be able to check off your progress and see the benefits mounting up. And if anyone questions the value of Salesforce in your organisation, you’ll have all the stats and figures on hand to prove that your team provides a sound return on investment and is the foundation of your future success.
If you’d like any support putting these ideas into practice, you can talk to us. Salesforce is a speciality of ours, and we have certified experts who keep up with the latest technology and can draw on extensive experience across sectors.
Get in touch, below, to find out how we can help create more value.
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