PREPARING FOR YOUR IMPLEMENTATION - TOP 3 TIPS
You’re up to your elbows in spreadsheets or Raiser’s Edge just isn’t cutting it anymore. Teams are working in silos and your relationship with your donors, volunteers and customers is suffering as a result. You hear about Salesforce and the wonders of the Connected Nonprofit, and next thing you know you’ve signed a contract with an implementation partner. Time to sit back, relax and let the experts do the work…
Although you will have agreed a basic project scope, the onus is now on you and your team to impart your functional knowledge to a consultant, who can then design and build a Salesforce solution that meets your requirements. The more effort that you put in at this stage, the much much more you will get out of Salesforce – despite popular belief, consultants aren’t telepathic!
Tip 1 – Do you know what you want?
This seems like a question with an obvious answer, but the truth is that often organisations aren’t fully aligned in what their basic processes involve – what do we do, how do we do it, and why? As Mr Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Tip 2 – Recording your requirements
Sitting down as an organisation or a team and documenting the way that you work is useful for everyone, not just a consultant.
Visual process flows can be really useful in simplifying seemingly complex business processes. You can include decision points, key information and key personnel required at each stage
Watch this Lucid chart recording
Writing user stories is vital in ensuring that the functional requirements of a Salesforce solution are captured. These can be written by you and your team, and are generally expressed as “persona + need + purpose”, in the following format:
As a [persona]
I want to [need]
So that [purpose]
As a marketer, I want to know which Contacts have attended our events, so that we can build up a history of attendance and communicate accordingly.
As a fundraiser, I want to record different types of income (Memberships, Donations, Grants) so that we can follow different sales and engagement processes for each.
Tip 3 – Learn the lingo
Salesforce may seem like a brave new world, but it is actually a very friendly one with huge amounts of free resources online. Learning the basics will help you to grasp what is possible and how you might best capture and report on information, as well as communicate your needs to a consultant. The following resources are at your disposal:
- Trailhead – the fun way to learn Salesforce for everyone
- Success Community – find social groups, answers to your questions and collaborate with other customers
- Power of Us Hub – an online community for Salesforce.org (the part of Salesforce that works only with non-profit/education). The Hub is a place for you to get answers, build your Salesforce skills, share your knowledge and connect with other Salesforce users in the nonprofit, higher ed and K-12 sectors