When it comes to Salesforce implementations, Silverline is constantly looking toward the cutting edge, and new technological developments to ensure success. However, we also know that it isn’t just tools that make a Salesforce Org thrive. It’s also, and perhaps even more importantly, the people and processes that keep it moving day to day.
That is why we believe so strongly in establishing Centers of Excellence (CoE) within Salesforce Orgs.
I keep thinking of what Nick Hamm of 10k Advisors asked in the report From Project to Program: Best Practices for Highly Successful Salesforce Implementation: “There are so many factors that contribute to the success or demise of a Salesforce program. What practices are most important?”
As a result of their study, 10k Advisors found that 91% of companies who report the highest levels of ROI from Salesforce have a CoE in place and 82% of companies that gave their Salesforce implementations an “A” grade had a CoE — but “40% of Salesforce customers have no semblance of a CoE in place.”
These impressive numbers show us that Salesforce CoEs work, and vastly improve the ROI on the Salesforce platform. But we also see that not enough organizations have them in place, which diminishes their ROI on time, money, and energy.
Realizing ROI on your Salesforce CoE
What makes for an excellent Center of Excellence? A simple enough question, but the answer is nuanced.
Within a Salesforce ecosystem, a company’s CoE provides leadership, guidance, support, and training for its employees from day one. It defines roles and team structures, and drives effective governance, architecture, and delivery of services. An ideal Salesforce CoE features members from all relevant teams within an organization who collaborate and communicate on all facets of their Salesforce Org. But every company is different, so a CoEs may differ from one organization to another.
So once a Salesforce CoE is in place, how do you ensure it stays excellent? Or that it’s worth the investment?
1. Everybody gets a seat.
A CoE ensures that all relevant departments have a representative advocating for them during big decisions. For example: Compliance and IT and marketing and sales can all align on regulations and requirements before rolling out initiatives, which saves time and decreases the chance of abandoned projects.
2. Success is defined and measured.
CoEs establish what makes for success and develop metrics that provide a baseline for comparison. According to the report, “91% of those with A grades and 93% of those with very high ROI do track success metrics.” Without standard success metrics in place, there’s no way to accurately measure how successfully an environment is running.
3. Champions advocate for adoption.
Change is scary, especially when the unknown is lobbed over the fence and expected to be understood. CoEs allow companies to creatively implement change management across all teams in a way that builds excitement and fosters acceptance.
4. Open, transparent communication is the norm.
Release cycles are frequent and expected. Nobody is left out in the dark. Users know what is coming and when, what is expected of them, and how to properly complete their work.
5. Help is brought in when needed.
Only 6% of survey respondents don’t work with a third-party partner. The study found that the more contractors or consultants are brought in, the higher the ROI companies reported. By outsourcing technical or specialized skills, companies can continue to focus on keeping the business moving forward.
When to bring in back up
It’s best to bring in help from the start, rather than raising the white flag too late in the game. The right partner can ease the stress of Salesforce implementation and adoption straight away.
Silverline’s CoE Design and Execution services can assist with a Salesforce CoE stand-up, starting with structural design and including execution support as needed. However, we’re available for more than just the start of your implementation. We can also help with journey mapping, building out implementations, ongoing services after go-live, and more.
See how Silverline can help on your journey to Salesforce excellence.