Change might be inevitable, but the problems it causes in Salesforce don’t have to be 

Before Sonar launched, we found out the hard way how one accidental change can have a pretty epic ripple effect, and not necessarily in a good way. While working for a major venture-backed SaaS company, Sonar’s co-founder, Brad, mistakenly wiped out an entire year’s worth of documented revenue, resulting in a loss of over $100K. He decided right then and there that there had to be a way to implement effective Salesforce change management to ensure something like that would never happen again. 

Not every change results in such a catastrophe, but implementing changes in Salesforce undoubtedly comes with a unique set of challenges. As Brad can tell you, change management is vital, and knowing the secret to effectively managing change can be just what your operations director needs to sleep more soundly, and what your entire company could use to be more successful at scale. 

Salesforce Change Management Defined 

Simply put, change management includes all of the things necessary to prepare for major changes within an organization. Salesforce change management refers to managing changes within the CRM through a systematic approach that incorporates both technology and the team of people involved. This process has shown to be a path to success for managing organization-wide projects like CRM implementation.

This article reveals exactly what defines change management, and why you need it to be successful. It comes down to these five factors:

  1. Executive sponsorship: The company’s C-suite needs to be on board.
  2. Support from managers and employees: Thought leaders help get everyone on the same page.
  3. Exceptional teams: Teamwork makes the dream work!
  4. Continuous communication: There needs to be clear lines of communication for everyone involved.
  5. Planning and organization: Processes and documentation are vital. 

Why is Salesforce change management so important?

As anyone who has used Salesforce can tell you, changes made here can impact the entire team. Even just the act of implementing a CRM like Salesforce is enough to cause significant upheaval, especially for businesses who have trouble managing the connections between their tools. 

Ultimately, change shows how your system is already broken by causing interrupted development, ineffective communications, and ill-fitting documentation habits with every update. In many instances, teams aren’t even aware that a problem exists until the system is already suffering. What you need is a way to QA, manage, communicate, document, and fix problems proactively to avoid costly and time-consuming problems in the future.

A Salesforce change management strategy can do exactly that. With the right tool in place, your operations teams can manage tech stacks, give clarity, and document changes and processes before things break. It can also help you navigate Salesforce and process implementation. The consequences of foregoing change management support when aligning your teams on changes can be disastrous, costing money, time, energy, and in some cases, even data loss.

9 Steps to Effective Salesforce Change Management

In order to effectively manage change, there has to be a strategy in place that’s supported by the executives and teams within the organization. According to this Salesforce report, there are a total of nine steps to achieve effective Salesforce change management. Those steps include: 

  1. Strategy: Consider the level of effort required. It’s not possible to incorporate every change request into your deployment, so when it doubt, start simple.
  2. Get a sponsor: This member of the executive team will help guide the change management group by defining the process and establishing strategic objectives.
  3. Collect input: Use Salesforce features like Chatter Group and Ideas to accomplish this.
  4. Define scope & impact: This is where aligning processes is key, and they should be reviewed in order to avoid negatively impacting other functional areas. These processes.
  5. Prioritize: Decide what enhancements to implement, to address at a later date, and to reject.
  6. Configure and test: Use the sandbox to configure and test any enhancements before deployment.
  7. Communicate with and train users: Have a training plan in place.
  8. Deploy: Push the new release to the production environment.
  9. Follow up & support: Measure success and areas of improvement.

Here’s how Sonar’s change management platform can help.

Sonar was designed precisely for things like Salesforce change management because we’ve been there before and we know there’s a better way. With Sonar, you won’t have to worry about how changes will affect your tech stack because you’ll see them in real time, and because your teams can easily operate together when it comes to processes, communication, and documentation.

Ready to try Sonar for yourself? Effective Salesforce change management is only a click away with our free trial. If you love it, check out our pricing packages to find an option that works for you, and as always, we’re happy to answer any questions you might have about Sonar.