Process first: The importance of business process reviews for Salesforce implementation
This post was originally published on the RelationEdge blog.
Tools like Salesforce® can revolutionize how your business sells and communicates with your customers. Sophisticated analytics and reporting give you detailed data on your customers' behaviors. Capabilities for automation and artificial intelligence enable you to personalize customer-facing messages and more accurately score leads. These tremendous benefits don't come without vision and planning.
Things can quickly go askew when companies put the cart before the horse—by adopting a new technology tool without first clearly identifying what they want that technology to do, or what processes it will support. Too many businesses spend money to implement a new system as quickly as possible, only to get the same or worse results. Systems do not automatically solve process challenges.
That's why at Rackspace, we focus on process first. Process First. Technology Second.® isn't just a catchphrase. It's essential to the way we do business. We embody this tagline in every implementation project through our Business Process Review (BPR). This review is at the heart of our process-first approach, and this step is the key to ensuring a successful implementation for our clients.
Business Process Review
When Rackspace brings on a new client for a Salesforce implementation project, we conduct a BPR. This review goes under the hood to consider every aspect of your business process before we discuss the technical features of Salesforce.
Our team examines how your business operates by asking questions like:
- What does your sales cycle look like?
- What do you want to measure, and how do you define success?
- How do your teams work together? (This helps us identify which teams should be closely involved in the implementation.)
- What systems, tools, and manual processes do you currently use?
- Who is responsible for which tasks?
- How do you define a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) and a sales-qualified lead (SQL)? (This is especially important if you implement marketing automation like Salesforce Marketing Cloud or Pardot.)
- Where are you experiencing bottlenecks in your current process?
- Where have you identified areas for improvement?
- What happens after a sale is won or lost?
By answering these questions and talking with your key stakeholders, we better understand how you run your business. This understanding enables our team to identify which Salesforce features, apps, and capabilities will be most helpful to your business—how we should set them up to support the way your teams work.
Our team also makes recommendations about changes you might consider to your existing process, based on our experiences and the things we've seen work for other clients who have faced similar challenges. We don't just want to ask how you do things today. We want to transform how you do things moving forward to provide incredible value to your business.
By conducting a BPR, we help you identify how to improve, streamline, and automate your processes—all before we get to the point of designing and implementing your Salesforce solution. Think of it this way: without reviewing your process first, we are shooting in the dark to identify how to set up the technology to meet your teams' needs.
Why is this so important? When implemented correctly, Salesforce can make your teams more efficient and productive. However, if your process has significant flaws from the get-go, a new technology system only serves to exacerbate those flaws.
Technology doesn't fix process
As I've conducted reviews for companies in many different industries, I've come to appreciate a simple truth: technology doesn't fix poor processes. If your company has a problem with order fulfillment, introducing a new system—no matter how robust or expensive it is—isn't going to fix the problem. In fact, it's probably going to make it worse.
If you don't focus on knowing your customers, all the data Salesforce provides about your customers' actions, behaviors, and interests go to waste. You must first foster a mindset centered around your customers' journey across your operations. Then you can reap the benefits of customer data gathered by your Salesforce solution.
If your sales and marketing teams aren't communicating with each other, a new tool won't be enough to break down that silo. You must break down silos first by changing the way your teams think about their work with each other. Then you can leverage technology to support the new process for collaboration. The only fix for problems in your process is to change your process.
It's critical to spend the time on upfront discovery initiatives, like a BPR, to identify areas for improvement in your current business operations and set you up to make those improvements.
Implementing the features you need
Our BPR also helps our clients avoid the pitfall of going either under- or overboard on automation. When we review your process, we keep the end goal in mind: helping you better market, sell, and service your customers. With these objectives at the forefront, we help you design processes and adopt the right tools to serve your needs, rather than implementing every available feature just because it's there or ignoring automation completely.
The BPR enables us to identify the right degree of tailoring and configuration for each of our clients. We know that not every business needs every Salesforce feature—and that's okay. With a BPR, we can determine the right features for you from the outset. Then tailor them during implementation to support the way your teams work to help you get the most out of your solution.
When you lead your technology implementation with a thorough process review, your company can solve its most significant challenges and improve its sales results. At Rackspace, we spend the time to get your process on the right track, and then implement the right technology tools to help you execute that process. Ready to transform your business?
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