It takes a lot of effort to evaluate options and then reach a decision to buy Salesforce and work with a particular implementation partner. Significant time and money has been invested and your team expects it will pay off down the road.
In order for this to happen it is paramount you build the right team, internally, for the implementation project itself and set the right expectations for what role and responsibilities each person will have.
Salesforce has a great 25-page document on their website outlining best practices to maximize the impact of this investment. https://help.salesforce.com/servlet/servlet.FileDownload?file=015300000034eqiAAA
To save you some reading time, here is an outline of the roles and responsibilities of the team, as explained in this document, with our additional comments in italics:
Build Your Team
To a small business with limited resources, the term “project team” may sound intimidating, but it doesn’t take a huge team to implement Salesforce CRM. You just need to cover the following key roles (and the same person can cover more than one role):
An Executive Sponsor
A Project Manager to get the application up and running
A Salesforce Administrator to manage Salesforce CRM day to day
A Power User who really knows your company’s business processes
The executive sponsor lends his or her influence to the project by becoming its champion.
Having that person’s full support and participation—from the planning stage until the go-live
date and beyond—is absolutely critical.
It's important that this person is senior in the organization, preferably on the executive team. They are responsible for two things:
1. Ensuring the investment in Salesforce delivers real value and helps the team meet company objectives
2. Driving Adoption among users
- A member of the leadership team needs to set expectations with the team and the vision for how and why Salesforce will be used to improve company performance
- The Executive Sponsor may also need to enforce expectations by using their clout in the organization to drive users to adopt the system
Without an executive sponsor, the Project Manager and Salesforce Admin are left to guess at the ultimate goal of the project and may later be in a position where their project fails when they kindly ask colleagues, that don't report to them, to adopt Salesforce and are ignored
*The executive sponsor does not need to be involved in every meeting, only a select few.
The project manager, who leads the implementation project, must understand the organization’s business processes to map them to Salesforce CRM.
This person is responsible for managing all aspects of the Project from the Client side, attending every single meeting, and managing and communicating all requirements to the Implementation Consultant Project Manager with whom they are working.
The person is designated as the system administrator manages Salesforce CRM day to day
and makes new functionality available. It’s also a good idea to have the administrator involved in the implementation. A technical background is not necessary but may be helpful.
This is usually the same person as the Project Manager, but not always. Throughout the Project the Salesforce Administrator will receive training so it is important this person attend most calls and meetings, if not every single one. They do not need to be technical as all aspects of the system for which they will be trained will involve simple point and click functionality.
This is a critical role though, as no implementation can possibly meet every requirement of the client and sit static in perpetuity. Users need a colleague to whom they can ask questions. New requirements will surface as the system is adopted and the business evolves.
And to make sure that Salesforce CRM meets the needs of your end users, it is essential to
involve key power users in the planning process.
Usually the Project Manager has pretty intimate knowledge of the day to day workflow of the end users, but if they do not, if they are not able to answer the simple question of "How does this work normally?" then it is critical to bring a Power User to the meeting so that Salesforce can be built in a way to meet the real requirements of the users and the company overall.