Top 5 mistakes during Salesforce implementations


If your client is implementing Salesforce in their organization, it means that they have already invested a lot of time and money in making sure the solution works well for your business. As per a survey was done by Merkle Group Inc. in 2017,63% of CRM initiatives fail ( To keep your Salesforce org out of CRM graveyard, it is important to be aware of mistakes frequently made in implementing Salesforce. As with any project, there are a lot of variables, however, there are some common pitfalls that open up while implementing, adopting, transforming and making changes in an organization to make it a Salesforce organization. Hence it is important to know about them before implementation starts.


Lack of skilled labour
You must have enough trained Salesforce administrators, developers and analysts to support the solution you would provide to your client in order to complete the project on time. Most organization do not invest in resources as required. The availability of trained Salesforce resources is less than the demand in the market hence hiring trained resources at short notice is a challenge. Also, some make a mistake of not having end users ready to test the functionality as it is being deployed in the sandbox.

Major resourcing mistakes:
• Due to dynamic market attrition, resources leave project midway
• The client does not have dedicated resources at different phases of the project
• Sometimes to make the project cost-effective resources are shared
• Keeping skilled resources on the bench is a costly affair hence may be difficult to get approval from the management.


Inadequate stakeholder analysis and project planning
One of the leading causes of IT project failure is poor system requirements. Requirements establish the needs of all stakeholders that the new software would meet. The elicitation is the first step of the requirement process. The requirements need to be analyzed, documented and managed throughout the project. Documenting the requirement is key to ensure that the end product is developed correctly. Sometimes the client has not enlisted the requirements in “must have” and “good to have” in cradle-to-grave format. Also, a big mistake is that the requirement is not prioritized by the client.

Major scoping omissions:
• Requirements not listed properly
• Project scope not well defined or agreed on
• Not enough details and omissions clearly specified
• Communication breakdowns
• Not all stakeholders identified and involved
• Out of control changes or new requirements
• Impacted systems and Integrations not identified


Data Migration
Improperly managing Data Migration, integration and maintenance properly is one of the biggest mistakes that organizations face while implementing Salesforce.

Major data migration mistakes
• Dealing with unique ID mapping to duplicate data
• Adding Custom fields to managing access control
• The client trying to bring all the data to Salesforce from day one
• Existing Business processes are not properly defined
• Master list of data does not exist. All stakeholders are maintaining their own data.
• Key metrics not defined
• Data ownership does not exist in the client organization.
• Cleanup and migration of dirty data


Proof of concept is avoided
Approach to an implementation of Salesforce for an organization is usually based on the philosophy of the management. However agile or iterative approach works best for most of the cases. A prototype is built and it is tweaked based on user feedback. Implementing a solution across the organization will require much more efforts but this approach translates into quicker wins. In fact, many organizations prefer to buy a small number of licenses for a department and optimize Salesforce in a small trial group and then extend to the entire organization in a phased manner.

Major mistakes in small model prototype building
• Sometimes users while validating the model come up with new requirements. The boundaries of requirement and timelines should be followed strictly
• Too much is tried to achieve in one shot, can risk the entire implementation.
• The user might change the priority of requirements while validating the model. Project Plan needs to be followed.
• Resistance in users to the change


Training and adoption of the new system not planned
It is a well-known fact that to make business more effective, productive and profitable new technology is a great enabler. However, for technology to work best, process change is needed. You need to have a modern sales process, customer support processes, data management processes and more in order to implement Salesforce effectively. Sometimes this also involves the change in team structure and responsibilities. Staff adoption and training is a significant challenge across all types of organization. In an early stage user considers entering data as an additional chore and not as an enabler for making work simpler and easier. Sometimes due to lack of training even if Salesforce has been implemented successfully, the user may not know how to use it even if they want to.

Major mistakes in training and adoption of new system
• Hurried training provided to the user
• Sufficient documentation of user processes not available
• Lack of enthusiasm in users towards the new system
• Users don’t want to use Salesforce as a centralized database
• Management does not insist on using Salesforce as a single interface
• Continuous training of new user not provided