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How to Implement Salesforce (9 Easy Steps)

Salesforce is the number one Customer Relations Management (CRM) software online and is used by more than 150,000 businesses worldwide. With Salesforce, companies can manage their marketing, sales, commerce, and customers from one easy-to-use interface, making it a gamechanger when it comes to managing your business.

But how can companies implement Salesforce effectively? Generally speaking, Salesforce Implementation is a process, and there are a few steps that need to be taken care of to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.

This article will go over the nine steps required to implement Salesforce and provide some guidance on how companies can make this process as smooth and seamless as possible.

Step 1 – Define your goals and identify areas of opportunity

The first thing that every company should do before implementing Salesforce is to define its goals and determine why they want to use Salesforce in the first place. For most companies, Salesforce is a multifaceted solution used to manage sales, marketing, and customer relations, so analyzing these areas and identifying key opportunities for improvement is a great place to start.

Also, it’s important to note that implementing Salesforce doesn’t happen overnight; this is a process that will involve a learning curve. Companies that define their objectives and have clear goals in mind for what they want to get out of Salesforce are often able to integrate the platform into their daily operations successfully.

Step 2 – Delegate roles among team members

The next step is to delegate the key roles associated with implementing and operating Salesforce within your company. There are five key roles to ensure that Salesforce is implemented successfully: the executive sponsor, the system administrator, the project manager, one or more “power” users, and at least one Salesforce trainer.

Let’s go over each of these roles to understand their responsibility and importance in the Salesforce implementation process.

The Executive Sponsor

This is the person responsible for supporting the project from beginning to end. In most cases, this is the team member who initially recommended Salesforce to the company.

The System Administrator

This is the person responsible for managing the server-side operations of Salesforce. Typically, this is someone with a degree in computer programming, or at the very least, someone with a thorough knowledge of server-side (backend) operations.

The Project Manager

This person is responsible for overseeing the whole project from the beginning phases to the launch. The project manager is often the primary contact point within the company for anything related to Salesforce.

Power Users

Power users are essentially the beta testers of the system. These people test out the application before launch to ensure it’s functioning correctly. Power users receive extra training on Salesforce to become familiar with all aspects of the platform.


Finally, trainers are responsible for teaching employees how to use Salesforce. Often, companies elect to choose one or more of their power users for this role since those people are already familiar with all aspects of the application.

Step 3 – Select your preferred methodology

The next step is to choose your rollout methodology. There are a number of options, each with its respective pros and cons. A detailed analysis of each methodology would be beyond the scope of this article, but in brief, the two main agile methodologies of implementing Salesforce are Scrum and Waterfall.


In the scrum method, the company launches the core platform and then gradually releases new features and functions one at a time. This method breaks down the work into smaller achievable goals, making the entire implementation process significantly more manageable.


This method is widely considered outdated and is rarely used these days. Nevertheless, some project managers are familiar with waterfall and, as such, choose to rely on this framework. The idea is to roll out the entire system at once and then detect bugs and get it fixed one at a time until the system functions as intended.

There is a ton of information available online about these and other agile methodologies. Still, the point is to choose one of these methods and fully commit to it, as this will impact the rest of the Salesforce rollout process.

Step 4 – Create an implementation plan and project timeline

The next step is relatively simple; you need to document your implementation plan based on your selected methodology and then estimate a project timeline. It’s beneficial to have a Salesforce implementation checklist, as it helps to break things down into smaller tasks, each with its respective timeframe. Once you have this roadmap, you’ll be able to plan out your daily goals and objectives with much more accuracy.

Step 5 – Salesforce customization and integration

Every company is unique and has different needs and requirements. As such, it’s best to customize Salesforce to function precisely as required by the company. The best way to do this is to customize and tailor Salesforce to the company’s needs at the code level. Some things to take into account when customizing Salesforce are as follows:

· Security

· Features

· Functionality

· Reports

· User-Interface (UI)

· User-Experience (UX)

Consider how each of these factors is relevant based on the company’s pre-project planning, and then decide how to customize each according to the company’s goals and objectives. Once determined, delegate the tasks to the web development team for implementation.

Step 6 – Backup and migrate your data to Salesforce

The next step is to implement the system, and this starts by migrating your data from your old CRM into Salesforce. Data migration tools can make this process relatively easy, but you must have a data map to ensure a smooth migration. If you plan on using multiple clouds for the data migration, then remember to duplicate any defined rules for each server.

Step 7 – Beta test your new system

This step relies on the power users. The idea is to have your power users test out each feature and function you plan to use and then document the processes for each task. The trainers will later rely on this information when teaching the software to other employees in the company. If bugs are detected during the process, they should be reported and corrected before the launch to ensure everything is working as intended once the system goes live.

Step 8 – Launch Salesforce across the company

The launch is when the system is actually initialized across the company. In other words, it’s when the lights get turned on. During the launch phase, it’s not uncommon to detect some bugs that escaped notice during the beta testing phase, so anticipate this and be prepared to iron out a few wrinkles in the system throughout the first few weeks after launching Salesforce.

Step 9 – Provide Salesforce training to your employees

Finally, you’ll want to ensure that any employee using the system has had adequate training on the features and functions relevant to their role. If you require assistance with this, consider hiring a company that offers Salesforce implementation services. They can usually connect you with a Salesforce implementation partner familiar with all aspects of the application.


Salesforce is the number one CRM in the world, and this is no coincidence. The system allows companies to manage multiple areas of their business operations from one easy-to-use platform. That said, the process of Salesforce implementation is vital for ensuring long-term success, and as such, you should not skip any of the steps mentioned above. If you require assistance with this, a Salesforce implementation company can help by pairing you with an experienced Salesforce implementation consultant.

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