As with nearly every aspect of our lives in 2020, this year’s Dreamforce was far from what any of us would have predicted. Salesforce, however, pulled off a value-packed lineup and we’re honored to have shared this year’s virtual event with some of the ecosystem’s brightest talent.

For this year’s “Dreamforce to You” experience, 10K CEO, Nick Hamm, and Chief Customer Officer, Mike Martin, were invited to host a webinar exploring how to get more ROI from Salesforce. Our webinar, “From Project to Program: Best Practices for Highly Successful Salesforce Implementations with 10K Advisors,” offered research-backed, how-to strategies for shifting your Salesforce program’s focus from chasing individual projects to establishing a more mature, agile system. Read on for the most valuable nuggets from our presentation.

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What it means to go from “project to program”

It started with a simple enough question, “Are Salesforce customers seeing the return they want from their Salesforce investment?”

The 10K team has been in the ecosystem for nearly 15 years, so we knew we needed to research this challenge in-depth to better help our customers understand how to get more ROI from their investment. That’s why, in 2018, we hired Dimensional Research to survey 300+ Salesforce program owners across North America and Europe to understand what structures, processes, and practices lead to a higher return on investment. From improving employee productivity to increasing sales opportunities and replacing legacy technology, there are major benefits to giving your Salesforce program more TLC.

The report’s key findings ultimately supported what our work has revealed time and again. No matter a Salesforce customer’s size or industry, there is a strong correlation between the following recommended best practices and high ROI. And, because it doesn’t cost more to take advantage of the products you’re already licensing, why not make the most of it?

Project to program top 5 findings 1. Establish program metrics

Measurement matters when it comes to ROI. Implementing KPIs such as user adoption, story points in a specific sprint cycle, and specific goals like increased sales numbers can help gauge your program’s effectiveness. Program metrics can be hard to implement and measure, but simple ones like tracking your user logins and user satisfaction scores are an easy way to get started.

2. Consider a Center of Excellence

Having a Center of Excellence, the centralized combination of people and processes to manage operations, isn’t a new concept but is rarely used by Salesforce customers. Having a Salesforce COE that’s responsible for managing your best practices and roadmaps has a strong correlation to both high ROI and better grades. 91% of those that report the highest ROI say they have a COE, as do 82% of those that give themselves an A grade. That’s not surprising given the governance, alignment, and assurance that COEs can offer.

3. Use a Salesforce architect early and often

Salesforce Customers often assume an architect isn’t necessary but their expertise is essential to help you scale for the future. For example, an architect can help you decide when to use code or not and avoid building for the sake of building -a practice that leads to unnecessary technical debt. From our report, the vast majority of those who report A grades (73%) and the highest return on investment (82%) always work with a technical or solutions architect.

4. Frequent releases correlate to higher ROI

When asked, “Approximately how often does your organization do production releases of Salesforce functionality?” we found that organizations have different philosophies on release cycle timing. 43% of respondents said they released to production weekly or more often, with 13% releasing continuously. Not surprisingly, the largest implementations and organizations with more dedicated headcount release most frequently. The more customizations you build to serve your users and business processes, the more usage and return you’ll receive.

5. Partner with consultants to build and improve

As a Salesforce partner, this may appear self-serving, but this particular trend came straight from Salesforce customers themselves. You may have day-to-day operations in-house, but it’s nearly impossible to have the exact talent you need for every implementation and feature you’re looking to build. Third-party experts often work with a wide variety of customers, scenarios, and challenges, so they can provide valuable insight to guide your organization.

The single most important thing you can do for higher Salesforce ROI

Out of the top five best practices outlined from our Project to Program research, we felt the single most important trend to explore further was the use of Salesforce Centers of Excellence . We’ve written scores on the topic, including our free 2020 Salesforce Operational Excellence Handbook -A how-to guide to getting the most ROI from Salesforce. At 10K, we believe that if customers can empower their own success, then we’re able to provide higher-quality, long-term support. Our COE handbook, at the very least, can give you the building blocks to get started.

Audience Q&A How can we engage 10K?

Please visit 10kview.com or email us at [email protected] or [email protected]

Do you have advisory services to help build out teams?

Our engagement model is focused on filling in your program gaps with on-demand Salesforce talent. Please contact us to learn more.

Where can I view this webinar online? Via the bottom of this page.

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