Salesforce / CRM Systems

KEY QUESTIONS

  • How many Salesforce instances are being used currently? What is the level of customization in each?
  • How many instances of Salesforce are going to be in the target state?
  • Which business functions/users will be moved in/out of Salesforce and how the licenses needs to be rationalized?
  • What is the strategy to continue business-as-usual while implementing the desired future state?
  • What are the different legacy integrations out there between two organizations, which of those needs to be discontinued, or retrofitted to work with new target systems?

LEADING PRACTICES

  • Decision of using single or multiple instance(s) of Salesforce needs to taken based on business operational needs, degree of process integration and standardization between merging companies
  • To integrate instances, map objects (standard to standard, custom to standard, custom to custom) and then continue mapping the fields. Identify the least number of fields necessary for business
  • Identify technical debts and develop plan to retire it otherwise it will grow
  • Mapping roles and profile can be a cumbersome process, it is easier to take a persona-based approach and map them to standard roles and profile. Handle exceptions using custom permission sets on as-needed basis e.g., a sales rep for a a specific product line needs extra permissions as the sales rep does a dual role of selling and technical product management
  • In a phased rollout approach for consolidated Salesforce instances, plan for business continuity (leveraging manual process or legacy instance)

Customer Data

KEY QUESTIONS

  • Identify the common parameters (e.g., DUNS #, location for customers; email, phone # for contacts) to merge customer and contact records across multiple systems
  • Define the list of associated objects to be merged (e.g., opportunities, quotes, orders, products etc.)
  • Enable customer 360 view by leveraging a single customer definition (record) to sell products & services across all business units
  • Define the duration of the historical data to be brought over to the new system for regulatory and/or compliance purposes
  • Retain the snapshots of customer and transactional data (if possible) for a few years in a cost-effective way
  • Design for product structure that can handle all product variations

LEADING PRACTICES

  • What is the overlap of customers between the merging orgs?
  • Do merging orgs define their accounts in similar way (e.g., account hierarchy, bill-to/ship-to entities etc.)
  • Does it make sense to consolidate the account and contact, what sort of busines disruptions is that going to cause?
  • What are the different customer facing documents out there? Should those be consolidated and re-branded?
  • Where is current install base and/or subscription information stored, how different is the data structure between merging orgs?

Sales Process

KEY QUESTIONS

  • Can we run consolidated marketing campaigns across the merging orgs?
  • How is the opportunity lifecycle managed across the merging orgs?
  • How similar are product configurations and how easily can we create new configurations based on the augmented product line?
  • Is quoting process tightly integrated (e.g., in CPQ) in merging orgs? Or disparate tools are used?
  • How do the current orgs manage contracts? Where are contracts created and stored?
  • How will we approach pricing when integrating the disparate product sets across the merging orgs?
  • How disparate are support processes across the merging orgs? What support tiers are currently sold by two organizations and how are the entitlements captured?

LEADING PRACTICES

  • Follow the 80/20 rule, Identify core business processes, align and agree on 80% of processes that are similar before getting into 20% of exceptions
  • Take M&A as an opportunity to streamline opportunity lifecycle and forecasting and align it to Salesforce out-of-the-box as much as possible
  • Enable cross-sell / up-sell strategies at business level first before attempting to build it in the CRM systems
  • Rationalize products to avoid SKU proliferation. Segregate “what” a product is from ”how” it is sold in product definition
  • Disparate product and pricing structure, quote and contract templates, invoice schedules etc. needs to be aligned and rationalized before the products from multiple organization can be done quoted/contracted in CRM systems
  • Communicate early with partners on business model and process changes that impact them, the time it takes for them to make changes needs to be considered for planning a rollout
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