Has your organisation fallen out of love with Salesforce?


In today's commercial world its actually incredibly difficult to find organisations that do not have any form of CRM in place. That said, however, user adoption of CRM platforms remains incredibly low at 26% in 2020. (source AgileCRM)

This equates to a mind-blowing 3 out of 4 organisations that are not getting what they want or need from their CRM platform!

Here at Adapt IQ, as Salesforce partners, we are incredibly familiar with these metrics, in fact, we recognise that a significant portion of our year on year activity is spent assisting clients in understanding why their user adoption has been poor and showing them what can be done to improve the position, ultimately, helping them to fall back in love with Salesforce.

So what are the underlying causes that lead to a potential divorce scenario?

There are literally hundreds of reasons that CRM implementations fail (either in the implementation or post-implementation through poor adoption). Common themes include...

No implementation partner

In many instances, small organisations choose to self implement Salesforce and whilst for some this works well where functionality is standard or straight forward, for many, however, this is not the case.

With CRM platforms, especially Salesforce, growing in capabilities, functionality and complexity, we find that there are many different ways of achieving the same outcomes. The purpose of an implementation partner in this regard is to guide the project through these decisions, in turn highlighting the pitfalls and benefits of each possible solution to ensure that the end result not only achieves the right outcome but also that future change is not impeded by early decisions.

Overly ambitious scope

When speaking to organisations about implementing CRM we find that in many cases, what started off as a Sales led initiative quickly gained momentum and as such, a small and manageable project morphs into a monolithic programme of work that evolves throughout the project lifecycle. Projects of this nature are fraught with risk due to their complexity and the potential for inflight scope creep.

In our experience, we have proven that breaking a monolithic CRM implementation into deliverable phases, sprints or units, aligned to an agreed roadmap results in the early adoption of new technology that can Fastrack the embedding of the platform within your organisation.

In this regard, the project as a whole can be considered (at any scale) whilst each phase is guaranteed to deliver a return on investment and tangible benefits.

No matter how big or small the project, however, it is imperative that scope is tightly controlled to avoid projects that never end or changes that are implemented without appropriate approval or control.

Technology focused delivery

By far the most common issue we see with CRM implementations that have ultimately been considered a failure is that from the outset they were perceived as technology projects.

Adapt IQ have worked with many clients to ensure that the associated business processes throughout the organisation are in a state that technology will support and improve. It will come as no surprise here that bad processes, when driven by new technology most often results in bad technology and poor adoption.

Business change post-implementation

All too often we are asked to give an opinion on a CRM implementation and we find that at a point-in-time the solution was considered fit for purpose and well-aligned to the business, however, over time the business processes have changed, the core activities the organisation undertakes have evolved and the technology has been left in its original state.

As an outsider looking into this situation it would seem obvious that the organisation and its technology are intrinsically linked, however, change agenda's and priorities often dictate that updating incumbent technology is not as important as it should be.

Unfortunately, in these scenarios, we often find ourselves in a difficult position whereby the remediation project feels almost like a fresh implementation of a solution that could have been avoided had a philosophy of continuous improvement been applied to the platform.

Lack of awareness as to Salesforce features and capabilities

By far the most common scenario that we encounter with incumbent CRM users is that the platform has been implemented in a vanilla (or out of the box) manner and as a result, many groundbreaking features and capabilities have been overlooked. This scenario leads to a feeling that the platform is not performing as it should or not adding the value to the organisation that was promised.

At Adatp IQ, we have worked with many clients to help them understand what features of Salesforce "could" be relevant to their organisation, most importantly, what benefits they could expect to gain from using each feature or capability and ultimately, how they should go about implementing a given feature.

It is fair to say that our team of consultants and engineers are continually working to understand what new features are being implemented within the Salesforce platform and more importantly, through our portfolio of clients and connections we are seeing how others have succeeded in using these features to great effect.

This, in our opinion, positions us incredibly well to help clients understand how their own implementation of Salesforce could be improved to achieve key business goals and ultimately to ensure that the organisation not only falls back in love with but most importantly stays in love with Salesforce.

Closing Thoughts

We are sure that for many readers of this article there will be statements that resonate with your own current Salesforce implementation.

At Adapt IQ we have strived to bring to market a process that by design identifies opportunities to align, leverage and improve an incumbent Salesforce platform.

If this is the case please feel free to contact us for an informal, no-obligation discussion.

If you have enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to share it with your network.

Dan Gwalter

Director, Financial Services Practice

Success in the financial services industry requires not only technical expertise, but also the ability to innovate, adapt and deliver solutions that meet the needs of our ever-evolving world. With over 20 years commercial experience in this sector Dan is well positioned to assist our clients in achieving their goals. Also a keen Western Horse rider and Husband and Father of five, there is never a dull moment.