Chad Stewart, VP, Global SaaS Support Services
Salesforce’s original promise to businesses was a robust CRM experience without the need for a significant amount of custom code. That still holds true today for organizations that want a stable, yet vanilla, Salesforce experience.
But since the initial launch, Salesforce has evolved into a massive and complex ecosystem that requires specialists to implement, maintain, and innovate the platform. With three major release cycles per year and a collection of new acquisitions to expand the CRM’s reach, Salesforce has become a uniquely positioned juggernaut.
Companies that want to move beyond vanilla, and maximize their Salesforce investment, must consider how to continually upgrade their user and customer experience.
As I discussed in the post Unintended Consequences: The Salesforce Service Void, there are several routes that your company can take to support and develop your Salesforce environment – and each has its drawbacks. In summary:
- In-house Salesforce resources are expensive and hard to find,
- Consultants and implementation specialists are costly and short term, and
- Salesforce support requires you to make the changes and upgrades yourself.
As I revealed in Why You Need a New Salesforce Managed Services Model, neither of these three approaches are ideal at addressing the challenges of innovating in today’s Salesforce world.
Many companies continue to find themselves under-resourced to keep up with the relentless pace of Salesforce. Third-party research revealed that 60% of surveyed companies reported delays or confusion with basic Salesforce administration, while only 8% of those surveyed indicated they did a great job of adding new features.
In this post, I detail how Spinnaker Support’s Salesforce managed services delivers meaningful improvements at the pace that customers can absorb.
Let’s Get Agile
Many of you have likely been exposed to the Agile Product Delivery framework that became popular in the early 2000’s with software developers. Agile is a customer-centered methodology that delivers a constant stream of new features at a regular cadence, with the intent of continuously delivering incremental business value. We take the concepts of sprint, scrum, and the various Agile ceremonies and apply them to deliver change at a rate it can be adopted.
We’ve applied Agile delivery concepts to our Salesforce managed services practice to solve two customer problems:
- The resource gaps needed to continuously iterate and improve Salesforce and,
- The lack of a long-term plan that delivers new features, cost-effectively, at the pace that’s right for the business.
Here’s How it Works: Salesforce Managed Services + Agile Delivery
Have you ever implemented a solution and months later realized it’s not working quite right? Has the C-suite ever demanded new, complex reporting views? How about the customer support team requiring vital time-saving workflow improvements? If you have been in the Salesforce ecosystem for more than a few days, situations like these have likely happened to you (and far too often).
The key benefit of Spinnaker Support’s Agile delivery approach is that it flexes with your company as needs change – in real time. The managed services team at Spinnaker Support is your partner to address these unforeseen issues and requests head on, while upgrading the overall user and customer experience.
Using the Agile framework, we engage with our customers every month to advance their Salesforce system, which is the sprint. The scrum is the talented team of Salesforce experts at Spinnaker Support that fix, deploy, and achieve the goals of sprint. (Yes, we make the changes directly into your environment.) Finally, the regular meetings with our customers are the ceremonies, where we review customer needs, backlog, new requests, and timelines.
Here’s what a typical month looks like for a Spinnaker Support Salesforce customer:
- Backlog refinement
- Release preparation
- Test planning
- End-user communication and training planning
Weeks Two and Three
- Requirements development
- Deployment and testing
- Release confirmation and communication
- Production deployment
- Functionality verification
- Final release communication
- Training delivery
Center of Excellence (COE) Managed Services
The monthly cadence of the sprint is underpinned by our Center of Excellence (COE) model. The three core COE principals are:
- Delivering change users can absorb,
- Aligning your vision with our delivery capabilities, and
- Creating a cohesive, enterprise-level plan that delivers support and advancements.
Our customers routinely tell us that the greatest benefit from the COE model is the delivery of improvements at the rate their team can handle – which is a key Agile principle. Depending on the customer’s schedule, we can ramp up (or down) innovation delivery during certain times of the year.
Major changes to a company’s Salesforce environment can be traumatic on users and bring businesses to a halt when poorly executed. The best approach to evolving a Salesforce environment, and to achieve the coveted Customer 360 view, is through a consistent and incremental approach.
Who Does this Make Sense For?
The Spinnaker Support approach to Salesforce managed services, using an Agile framework and COE model, is ideal for companies that have ambitious plans for their Salesforce environment. Our customers share these common traits. Their in-house resources are:
- Overwhelmed by the load of work
- Mandated to scale, innovate, and save time
- Committed to continuous improvement
- Consumed by the desire to get a technical advantage over their competitors
- Seeking maximum ROI on their Salesforce investment
- Desire a long-term and strategic partnership
Does this sound like you?
If you would like to supercharge your Salesforce environment and boost ROI, then contact us today. Our team of developers and architects will partner with you to get the most out of one of your key enterprise systems.
If vanilla is the right flavor for your organization, we’re not a fit. We encourage you to envision what a world of ongoing Salesforce improvement looks like and what it could mean for your business. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
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