Last week, we talked about the values of Fusion Salesforce: Salesforce, and the people at your organization striving to implement it, should be of service – to your mission, to each other, and to your constituents. So let’s talk Fusion. Let’s talk about the amazing, scalable, powerful platform that Salesforce is capable of being with the right guidance, management and growth.
Fusion-Powered Salesforce accepts tradeoffs as opportunities, rather than limitations. Just because an implementation is saying “no” to some things and “yes” to others doesn’t mean that the people and processes affected by the “no” can’t participate. Rather, these folks have an opportunity to watch, learn, and plan while you’re doing the “yes,” so that the next iteration can be more strongly aligned with your overall goals and vision across the organization.
Fusion is about continuous refinement and ongoing engagement with stakeholders, rather than doing everything at once. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (where have I heard this before?), but we can also create an ongoing forum for surfacing everyone’s needs and priorities over time as part of a lasting implementation.
Here are a few ideas to kick off Fusion-Powered Salesforce:
- Implement collaborative training and learning structures within an organization to support Salesforce. Train as a team, support each other as collaborators, and use Salesforce itself to help and encourage this process. Chatter Groups for training and sharing tips, Ideas for collecting information, and the amazing user-friendly and Clicks-Not-Code power embedded in Salesforce to make data entry fun and easy.
- Create an organization-wide view and management of goals and priorities for the CRM. I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Don’t bury your implementation (or CRM Administration and Management) in the IT or Development Department.
- Elevate technology management across an organization to executive leadership levels. This may mean all sides learning how to communicate across this all-to-frequent divide in organizations, giving your implementation lead latitude to facilitate across the organization, and going the extra mile to ensure everyone is working from the same common denominator of knowledge about Salesforce.
- Prioritize the development of a core of CRM leadership and ownership within an organization, rather than long-term dependence on outside assistance and management.
- Implement projects that represent real organizational capacity, rather than real desire, for Salesforce. Every implementation should begin from this perspective, rather than jumping straight to the acquisition of tools and products before having this evaluation in hand. Understand your real needs and priorities first, then match your acquisitions to these, not the other way around.
- Say “no” to everything, all at once. Focus on doing a few things well to encourage time for change and growth. Prove success with excitement and anticipation for what comes next.
- Contribute to the Community. Share strategies, successes AND failures, strategies and code snippets — because community is built on shared learning and contributions. In the end, the movement for justice and equity is only served when the community at large succeeds.
- Write the right kind of RFPs.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify. Give users only the view, data entry and reporting experience, and other key visual, validation, and verification strategies that they need. There’s many ways to customize Salesforce to make things easy, visually simplified, and fun — take advantage of them!
Salesforce can be extraordinarily successful for nonprofits, provided its power and performance is wielded with wisdom. This is rocket science, but the amazing kind that can elevate your organization and staff. Nuclear reactions can create a lot of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (aka FUD), particularly when organizations are starting out with Salesforce. But don’t let these be your guideposts to implementing. Pursuing fusion-based change will lead to longer-term success than fission-based change: you’ll be more certain of your direction, have clarity on how to manage the platform and its growth as held against your organization’s mission, and know yourself in a truly transformative way.