Architech Afternoons – March 2023
The recent Architech Afternoon event was a hotbed for debate on the topic of Salesforce ROI. We hope you enjoyed the engaging and collaborative insights and exchanges from our panel of experts as much as we did!
ROI is an essential factor to consider when making a purchasing decision in any business. The question of when to start discussing ROI in the sales cycle is critical. The answer is simple: ROI should be included in the initial strategy discussion. It is linked to every legacy system that is being retired and replaced.
It is understandable that taking cost out of the business is measurable, but ROI for SAAS is ongoing from Day 1. Matt Morris was clear on the importance of time to value, “You don’t buy Salesforce once and use it for 10 years”. Does the stakeholder ‘believe’ they will get out of it what they want to achieve and is there a clear picture around innovation, evolution and supporting growth.
Vinod Mistry suggested that to calculate ROI, you need to get into the details, looking at the improved process and how much time will be saved for users. He mentioned Improved Apps, a Salesforce ISV partner, as an example of how to reduce costs by boosting user adoption and achieving quicker ramp-up time to master new processes.
“It’s all about adoption!”Matt Morris
When looking at innovation, it is down to Salesforce ISV’s and Partners to support the growth of the platform. Therefore, assessing ROI in the early stages has become even more challenging, but it was clear that the only ROI that matters in the current climate is taking cost out of the business, not saving a person X minutes of time, but reducing headcount.
Change management is a key success factor for any project, but as Rob Taylor from VASS highlighted, it often gets cut. ‘Companies don’t do change’ themselves, companies do business and they need consultants and partners to help them change and innovate. However, customers often choose price over a solution that includes change management, even though the value of it has been sold. Change Management is a key success factor, but in most projects it gets cut.
The best way to improve your customer experience is to dramatically improve your user experience, and a lot of businesses miss this, which means they are less likely to achieve the expected results. To avoid technical debt, the number one threat to growth, companies need to consider the impact of the change on their users.
Dave Sturley, Salesforce strategic Account Executive was keen to emphasise that focusing on the people and end-users helps improve customer and user experience and reduces attrition. People can be the biggest roadblock to success, and if you don’t involve users in the roll-out or change, ROI will suffer. Rashmi Pandya, suggests showing them what good ‘practice’ looks like and using that to suggest changes to the customer’s standard operating model can be a great way to involve them in the process.
From the audience, the point was raised that at enterprise level, ROI and TCO are fundamental to the RFP process. Vendors need to focus on creating a business case for CEO/CFO/CTO that drives efficiencies and makes the decision to proceed easy for them. It should include systems, tools, people, and process, but in this economic era, it needs to be packaged better to make the sale first, then Architects can deliver the vision.
Matt Morris emphasised that an implementation should not be a battle; it’s a campaign on how to de-risk the project for the client and achieve ROI. By securing layers of engagement and looking at a level of detail so that nothing causes the project to get shelved, or put the renewal at risk.
In conclusion, ROI should be included in the initial strategy discussion, and change management and adoption are key success factors that should not be overlooked. People and end-users should be considered as they are essential to improving customer and user experience. Ultimately, a solid business case needs to be built and packaged in a way that shows how the solution will drive efficiencies, incorporating enough detail and planning so that the Architects can deliver the vision.