We will admit we were overly optimistic with our timeline. Summer holidays and more time-sensitive projects got in the way. Nonetheless, we’re almost there!
To celebrate for a moment:
- We’ve bagged six Salesforce free accounts through the Power of Us programme.
- We’ve collected data from each member of staff.
- And, we’ve completed the tedious tasks of compiling, deduping and cleaning hundreds of entries in our data set.
Kate: Salesforce is technically live! We have started to add contacts but we still need to upload our very long list. Why do you think we are a bit behind schedule?
Cláudia: It is live! We’re so close. I think this has been an amazing learning opportunity. We did not expect Salesforce to have so much content for new starters. And because learning is part of the way we work, we wanted to be well informed.
Kate: Yes, I agree. Salesforce has many “trails” to follow. We both have experience with the systems so knowing what training we can skip vs. what was essential to this process was a bit tricky. I didn’t want us to skip anything that would lead to mistakes in the setup of our system.
Cláudia: Yes, and perhaps we spent more time there than necessary. Another thing that took longer than expected, was the cleaning of the data. We have so many contacts! Which is a positive surprise and will give us a very sturdy CRM.
Kate: Tell me about what this process was like for you. I knew it would be long but it surprised me how fast it turned tedious.
Cláudia: Yes, it was a bit tedious but we had a good plan and set of actions. We gave each staff member a template for dumping their contacts. Then, we went through and assigned contacts to related organisations. Then, we made sure organisations (which will ultimately be called “Accounts” on Salesforce) had all the necessary data. We skipped including a fax number because who uses that anymore? Let’s just say I spent a lot of time on Google search.
Kate: I know it was tough for you to move between windows on a screen i.e. from spreadsheet, to Google search, to webpage, then back to spreadsheet. That stuff is exhausting. Any rational human can only do this for so long so I understand why one can lose focus. What’s left for us now?
Cláudia: Now it’s time for the dramatic upload. Then we need to review the data once it’s in Salesforce and catch any errors. Then we need to train our team. While we’ve been preparing the data, we’ve also created a set of rules for our team to use in importing contact details and using the system. This includes rules like “write out the company name rather than an acronym” to “log initial conversations and next steps” with new contacts”.
Kate: Yes! Something else that we want to make sure we have is an owner assigned to each contact. We can do it manually on Salesforce but is there a way of doing it on the list we have now? We still have a few questions.
Cláudia: It will be interesting to hear from the team as well. Once we’ve gone through the training, I’m sure other things will come up. And again, after the whole team starts using Salesforce on a more regular basis, we may find that we need a second round of training or even to incorporate other Salesforce systems to better answer our needs.
Kate: We can always consider the possibility of getting a consultant in the long run too. For now, we simply need all of our contacts in one place.
Cláudia: Which we will soon have! Ready for upload?
Kate: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Blast off!