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7 Ways to be an Effective Executive Sponsor

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” Alan Watts

Implementing a new CRM system into an organization is sure to be a change for everyone within the company. As an executive, if you are able to jump in and dance with the new product, others will follow suit. Having an executive sponsor is one of the most critical aspects to a successful implementation; but it’s not enough to just say you want people to use it. You have the understanding of your company’s vision and the institutional knowledge necessary to create a productive environment. As the executive sponsor, you must dive in to get the most out of the solution. These are the fundamental steps you must take throughout the process to ensure a productive and successful change.

Understand Your Vision

At this time, you do not need to have clearly defined goals, but it is important to have an understanding of your vision so that as you set goals, you can ensure they align with your overall mission of the company.


Compile Your Team

This team will be with you throughout the entire process. It is important that you communicate your vision with your team, so that they are on the same page throughout the process.  In order to have a successful implementation, Salesforce recommends assigning a System Administrator, Project Manager and Power Users to the project.


Analyze Your Data

It is important to have good, clean data the minute it is loaded into your new system. Before you can do that you need to clean and map data. Create a role hierarchy and understand who will need access to which data.


Set Your Goals

Goal setting is the most important phase of the implementation. It will outline how the project will go. It is important to keep this simple. Do not try to get too much out of your new system at once. Use your mission and vision for the company as a guide for defining your business objectives. Optimize how you work with clearly defined objectives such as raising sales growth.

Once you’ve defined your business objectives, use those objectives to identify key performance metrics that align with your vision. If your objective is to raise sales growth, you will want to create dashboards that help to make insightful decisions on your pipeline giving you ability to get more leads and close more deals.

Understanding which metrics are important to you will help you to prioritize your initiatives, so you can start creating a strategy with clearly defined goals. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-based. Setting SMART goals will assist you tremendously. Here you can state the who, what, when, where and how aspects of the implementation.


Create Your Roadmap

Now that you’ve defined your SMART goals, you and your team need a strategy that will enhance user-adoption. From communication strategies, to training strategies, to implementation strategies, you will need to create a roadmap that leads to success. Implementing a CRM system is not a destination; it is a journey. Your strategy should reflect this journey. Focus on open, two-way communication, training, and support to facilitate high user adoption. Remember that not everyone will use the solution in the same facets. Your marketing team may use different dashboards than your customer support team. Make sure your strategies are customized for each specific area of business.


Facilitate User-Adoption

As the executive sponsor of the project, this is where you will lead the project to complete success.

At this point, everyone in the organization already understands what their involvement will be with the solution, and how it will positively affect their day-to-day tasks. Users are set up with training opportunities, and a support system that will address their feedback. This will help to ensure your organization is already sold on the idea that this solution will benefit them and help them reach individual goals.

As your organization begins adoption, measure their usage and reward accordingly. No matter which roles people have in Salesforce, remember it is important to reward them on quality not quantity.


Continue the Journey

Use the vision, goals, strategy, and feedback to continue to improve the platform. Salesforce is a highly customizable solution. As your business evolves, ensure your process in Salesforce environment is evolving as well.


To learn more about how Revolution Group’s Salesforce Services Division can help you implement a new CRM system, call us at 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below.