18 Nov Digital Transformation: No success without early engagement
By Vuk Stajic – Customer Solution Engineer at Nubik
Digital Transformation is inevitable for any business aiming to maintain or scale its foothold in its current market. We at Nubik take this reality to heart and pride ourselves on helping organizations rapidly reach their goals of improving their digital tools and processes. In many cases, the success of the implementation project is determined early in the sales process. Because of this, Nubik has a clear pattern for successful consultative sales engagements which allows us to collect all necessary information to accurately present you with a project approach that will help you reach your goals. Not surprisingly, you play a massive role in that process. This blog post will highlight the process which you will work through with us, and should allow you to prepare your team for the engagement. This helps us provide as much value as possible. As a result, this sales process will become a springboard for your successful implementation.
Regardless of the scale of your project, the first thing you should avoid doing is preparing a detailed RFP or RFQ document and sending it off to various implementation partners blindly. This approach is entirely impersonal and often fails to capture the true intricacies of your business, and also often do not contain enough information needed for an implementation team to estimate the work required in getting you to your desired destination. Salesforce configurations scale and expand depending on the choices your team makes when you start building the tool. Talking to the implementation partner allows you to understand these decisions before you proceed, and it also helps your team understand how Salesforce will speak your business language before you even start using the new tools. This principle and approach remain the same regardless if you are, or are not, a current Salesforce customer.
When you get in direct contact with the implementation partner(s) you want to work with, you should make your key stakeholders available for an introductory call. This call is typically 30 to 60 minutes long, and at Nubik we have clear goals for it.
First, we need to begin to understand your current operational environment. This means that you need to paint the picture of who on your team is responsible for what, which systems they currently use to accomplish their responsibilities, and how and why you feel this is not working exactly as you desire. We also want to understand both your short term and long term goals related to the potential project. From this call, we can begin to build our plan for the focus of the deeper discovery calls which are to follow. During the introductions, we will likely also learn about the general processes and documentation your team uses. Before the discovery calls, we may ask you to send us examples of related documents (Excel Sheets, Sales Orders, Invoices, Work Orders, etc.). We prefer to have a chance to review these documents before the discovery calls so that we can be more deliberate in our discovery process. In this call, we will also take some time to give you insights into how we work as a team, and how we work with our clients.
The discovery calls are typically one to three hours in length and should be attended by all members of your team who may be able to provide answers to questions related to the topics we are discussing.
In more general terms, the main goal of these calls is for our team to learn as much as possible about your current state and desired future state so that we can use our expertise to become your trusted advisors. This does not mean that the conversations will be a one-way street; your team is also able to ask questions and gather information about Salesforce tools and potential approaches to the solution. Through this collaborative discussion, both your and our team gains value. At the start of a discovery call, we typically perform a broad recap of what has been discussed and learned so far. If we have been provided any documentation examples, we would use them as a guide to examine the relevant business processes end-to-end. If your team already uses Salesforce or another Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool, we may ask you to share your computer screen and take us on a visual guide of your system. When appropriate, we may also ask you to show us a visual walkthrough of your business processes outside of your CRM, such as your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools or Financial Management and Accounting Software. Lastly, if your team is already working internally on process optimization, it is possible that you may have data maps or business process flow diagrams to share with us. These tools are very helpful in the discovery process, and often we suggest that your team takes the time to prepare them if this has not already been done.
Following the discovery, our team will begin finalizing the statement of work. If needed, at this point your team will also be working with Account Executives from Salesforce to ensure you can get quotations for any needed Salesforce licenses. However, there may also be a need for your team to see a demonstration of the potential solution as a proof of concept. While not all potential projects can be easily demoed, especially ones that are very specific to your business processes; our team will try to give you a clear picture of what the solution would look and feel like. We can also provide updated data maps and business process flow diagrams for your team to visually see the intended system changes. Collaboratively with you, we would also develop a project milestones schedule. With all of this at your disposal, your team should have a full understanding of the Project Budget, Scope, and Timeline.
By this point, our team has developed a deep understanding of your business practice and the direction you want to take the implementation. When you do choose to move forward with the project, all of this documented information is meticulously handed off to our project team. This is why the sales process is a springboard for a successful implementation. More specifically, this is why an RFP or RFQ document fails to properly address your needs. This is the reason you should always initiate cooperation and engagement with your potential Salesforce partner as soon as you are considering taking your next steps towards digital transformation!