Why Your Employees Resist Salesforce Implementation (or any other CRM or ERP Solution), Twistellar Experience

• Date: December 2019 •
Let's imagine you've implemented an automation system for your business, spent money and time - but no results. Why this can happen and what to do next? Dmitry Leichik, CEO and co-founder of Twistellar, explains all issues regarding Salesforce implementation. Dmitry's expertise is unique on the CIS market - he has 15+ years of experience as a top manager, owner of real sector companies.

Now he is developing new business: Twistellar develops and implements Salesforce-based solutions, the world's leading platform for managing key processes in the company (sales, service, marketing, etc.). In this article, we asked Dmitry Leichik to share useful observations and tips on business automation - with representative case studies.
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— Dmitry, why do automation projects fail?
— "Now we'll implement an IT solution, and everything will change for the better - the business will start working as it should, the efficiency will increase" - companies often approach automation with such expectations.
In fact, a company gets an IT system - and stumbles upon the resistance of employees during any attempts to implement it.
But in real life, this rarely happens. Most often the money is spent, the software is installed - but there are no results.

The cost, functionality, qualified project management - of course, this affects the successful functioning of automation systems. At the same time, my observations and the experience of my colleagues show that often the main problem is different.
— Do you say that the influence of the human factor is the main reason why the automation systems implementation may fail?
— Yes, I'm talking about the influence of the human factor regarding all employees. It refers to the insufficiently high level of performance discipline, and not entirely effective management system. Especially in "creative departments", for example, in sales departments.
Sales Reps Struggles
— Could you give an example?
— A common case: in sales departments of many companies information about an opportunity is being discovered only at the stage when it is time to generate a quote. That means the manager finds out that the potential client "exists" when he is already "warm", almost ready to enter into a contract.
But at the same time, sales representatives who work directly with customers know about a potential opportunity much earlier. They are aware of how he got into the company, what he was initially interested in, whether he went through the site or made a call to the sales office. Managers know which alternative products the customer has compared. But all this huge amount of data is left without processing. And this leads to the fact that the sales pipeline is narrowing significantly.
Even very successful companies on the CIS market lose a huge amount of customers because of some commonplace things - inconvenient working hours, not the most successful goods exposition or a customer manager does not have enough authority to make decisions about the price.
It comes to the point that people are so unwilling to work with IT systems that manager faces the choice: either to change employees or to forget about the money spent.
There are so many reasons why people choose not to buy from a company - but managers often are not aware of this negative experience.

Any automation specialist will confirm that the most attractive way to sell an IT system is to tell the company about these problems and that you need to automate a sales pipeline. For example, they advise tracking what is happening with a client at each stage, recommend creating a reminder system, etc.

And as a result, the system was purchased, installed. What happens next? It's not being used! Managers do not enter actual data into it or enter it insufficiently. And it turns out that even if you implemented a new IT solution, the sales pipeline still does not expand. The human factor takes place.
Why? Because any IT system - CRM, database management, accounting system - will function well only if people add relevant information to it. But this does not happen - because it will allow the employer to compare the results of their work. It provides an understanding of what they actually do in the office. Who wants that?
Another example: many employees are afraid to tell the truth. The client may at the last moment refuse the transaction. And then it is better not to enter it in the database at all.
It's much easier for owners or managers to blame an employee for selling poorly than to look at the situation from all sides and find all possible problems why the deal did not take place. Sellers are afraid that if they begin to show how many transactions have not taken place, managers will think that their employees work poorly or are unskilled.

There are not many companies where a full-fledged information flow has really been established, from the front office to the level of the head of the company.

Twistellar mainly operates on three continents: in the United States and other North American countries, Europe and Asia. In these regions, we were able to participate in building loyalty and customer acquisition systems on the Salesforce platform.
Salesforce experts with proven track of success in US, Europe and Asia. 
At the same time, I emphasize that almost every business has the same automation capabilities, including CIS markets. Indeed, in many companies from Belarus and Russia, there is still obvious or implicit sabotage by employees.
— Your managing experience is more than 15 years. By implementing Salesforce, you are surely using your expertise to help customers. What if employees sabotage the IT system?
— Of course, I would not claim that managers are engaged in intentional sabotage :)

But no jokes, the problem is that employees do not find the time to put all their actions into the CRM, register information there because they do not see the value in it.

I repeat, they do not understand and do not see the reason for this. After all, no one loves being under constant control. In addition, the process of entering information takes time.
What to do in this case? You have to realize that any CRM implementation project is, first and foremost, the transformation of internal habits, the transformation of the company and the behavior of sales representatives.
First of all, it's important to understand what processes don't function in the company well - why efficiency decreases, what should be done more efficient. And only then you need to think about how you can proceed with the changes. Somewhere - reducing labor costs, and somewhere, on the contrary, strengthening control and collecting information about what is happening.

Then I recommend to think about the motivation and management of the company, which will encourage people to work with IT systems.

And then - try to reduce the human factor. Choose automation systems that eliminate imperfections in employee discipline, track and record customer actions at the sales stages. Of course, a combination of approaches works best.
— And what exactly should managers look for when building motivation and control systems?
— It is important for employees to understand that the changes that occur will have a positive effect not only for business but also for them personally.
My experience shows that managers should have an unlimited wage ceiling: the more they sell, the more they earn.
Of course, real earnings are determined by the financial situation of the company, by how balanced the revenue and expenditure side is ... But it's definitely not so good when an employee understands whether he will conclude a specific transaction or not, or how much he will sell at all — his salary will not actually change.

Therefore, it is important to work with a team and explain that, having information about customers, the company begins to earn more. This means that there are more opportunities for sales representatives to increase their income.
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It is important that a sales rep understands that every deal he won increases personal income. And automation systems help in this: they allow you to track in real-time all the stages of prospects lifecycle and automate routine operations, remind you of important tasks on time.
— And what does the experience of implementing Salesforce solutions show - how can automation reduce the impact of the human factor?
— Part of the work with the client can be carried out automatically, without a seller. For example, by creating:
Contact forms on the website: having filled in a few fields, the client receives information about the product
Interactive forms: the customer receives an individual price offer after filling in the data on the desired product, leaving a contact phone number. This allows you to immediately "catch" the client.
I think that for the company the tools of effective and effortless management are more important than the correct system of motivation in sales.
If a client does not want to leave contact information, he can be identified by the IP address or by some standard route that he carries out on the website. Then you can organize transitions to the right pages - depending on the previous action, the user gets to the landing page, where he receives personalized offers.

Only after several steps that can be configured in the IT system, the client is "transferred" to the seller to complete the transaction. This allows you to serve a much larger number of customers with fewer sales reps. And, again, it allows you to combat the fact that a company does not have information about the transaction until its final stages.
Because employees will not act as a company expects them to act: there is always a layer of information that remains unknown. It's better to get more customer data automatically.

In conclusion:
Modern systems allow you to "capture" customers and automate their interaction with the company online
Analysis and automation of the next steps of customers allows you to work with the stages of the sales pipeline, with which the business usually does not work
The so-called client journeys on the site can be individual. This provides a much higher level of involvement.
Let me give an example of a scheme for automating a retail company. The indicators by which sales are estimated increased by 200-400% (2-4 times).
Salesforce Implementation ROI
— You said that the implementation of an IT system includes a willingness to transform the business internally. It should start with top managers?
— Troubles related to the influence of the human factor, of course, are found not only among employees. Owners and senior managers should understand that they will have to work hard on the control system, help employees, explain values - why this is all necessary. This is a huge job.
Sometimes executives prefer to work with numbers and with anything else - but people. It's much easier of course.
For example, heads of sales departments always notice what employees are really busy with and how disciplined they commit information into the system. And it seems they have the tools to control the accuracy of the accounting system. But in practice- good sellers often become heads of sales. The company is growing, new departments are being established, and the most successful specialist is being appointed to the position of manager. Moreover, such people may not have management competencies and it is difficult for them to organize the work of colleagues. Plus, they themselves do not really understand what to do this for. Therefore, they calmly treat spoken reports about what is happening with leads - at the same time, the IT system is not filled up properly.
— And what about the owners? They for sure understand where their top managers and other employees are underperforming. Why don't they react?
— I think that answers to these questions are simple but never easy ones. We all talk a lot, but when it comes to action ... It is great if an owner works with people at least 50% of his time. At least that much time you need to spend on interacting with the team during the implementation of the automation system.

If we talk about things more important than the basic development of IT systems, there will always be phases of the so-called UAT (User Acceptance Testing) - the owner must accept intermediate results of work and give feedback. But not always he can allocate time for this.
It often happens that "we kind of started something, it seems like we paid money, but right now the automation project is not performing as we expected - this is an important but not an urgent task.
After the decision to implement an IT system was made, you need to systematically devote time to the project, discuss further stages.

What should developers and their customers do in such situations? Seek compromise and set realistic deadlines. After all, with the right approach, it is possible to achieve amazing results.

For example, here is a large factory in Spain, where IoT-solutions are used to manage logistics and supply chains - our company also developed them on the Salesforce platform:
Salesforce Custom Development and Implementation Project
— We talk about the influence of the human factor a lot. But what about the price? You can often hear: the IT system cost indicated "on paper" still does not mean anything. It will be necessary to pay extra in the future for both functional improvements and staff training.
— I would not say that the price, which is "on paper", does not matter. It does.
It often happens that it is better to choose a cheaper offer. In this case, I recommend to make sure that it includes all the necessary stages of the project. For example, we include (in addition to the usual ones - development, configuration, and quality assurance):
Preparation of user documentation
System Training
Business analysis: we assess the feasibility of changes and indicate the added value that will be obtained as a result
Project management of communications.
At least these things should be included in the basic cost of any system.
— "Сheaper" IT system means worse in functionality?
— I can quite frankly recommend customers choose something cheaper. This does not mean that the system - for example, of our competitors - will be bad. This means that the client needs to determine a necessary functionality.

Some entrepreneurs prefer to hire the cheapest development team. At the very least, it allows them to solve their problems. And there are those who buy, relatively speaking, Mercedes - Salesforce. A powerful system with great features. Maybe today these opportunities are redundant. But if the business grows, they will certainly be needed. And in this case it will be tied to another, less functional system, the "move" to Salesforce or another powerful platform will always be difficult and expensive.
— Is a powerful IT system always expensive?
— Not necessarily. When we propose solutions, we know and talk about a bunch of opportunities to save. Suppose there is an opportunity to organize the work of an employee with Salesforсe using the community licenses. These are licenses that provide access to the same corporate database - through a web interface, a web portal. And this web portal can be created for both customers and company managers.

Many employees use only a few functions of the IT system indeed. For example, tracking the stages of transactions, reporting on them, a sales pipeline. And to work only with this, you can create a simple website within the company, accessible locally, by a login and password.
Such licenses cost $ 5 per month. This is one of the lowest prices on the market.
This can be very affordable, an option with all the advantages that Salesforce has: flexibility and more. It's just not everyone is aware of this.

On the other hand, there are full licenses with access to all the wealth of settings and features. And it will be more expensive than all systems on the market - but with truly unlimited functionality.

We always recommend that customers use several types of licenses. The results are very attractive.
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— Unlimited functionality - how?
— Companies can configure many systems according to their needs only if they buy a local out of the box version, install it on their server and modify the functionality. Moreover, there remain restrictions that cannot be circumvented. And if updates appear, the improvements made, usually, it will not be supported.
In our case, a local does not exist at all - everything is cloud-based and all the flexibility of improvements is available there.
anSalesforce positions itself as the number 1 CRM system in the world - but now it is far from being just a CRM. This is a full-fledged development environment on which you can create any application: mobile applications, web solutions, hybrid applications, etc. In this regard, there will never occur a situation when a company needs to get something which we can't provide.

This significantly reduces the cost of modifying, provides unlimited opportunities for creating new functions. For example, we made an automation system for a small laboratory in the USA in which the working cycle of chemicals was visualized. Salesforce has already been installed, which was a classic CRM. After the modifications we made, the client got the opportunity to observe all the work: in what specific spot are the reagents, how is the interaction with other substances. At any stage of work, you can monitor the condition of the reagent the product is made of. This all is tied in a single cycle. IT obviously is saving on labor and increases customer loyalty through transparent processes. There is a feeling of control over the work done by an employee.
— Dmitry, what should a company start with when planning the process automation?
— I would not recommend dive into large-scale business automation right away. And would divide automation tasks into two categories:
Those processes that are difficult to evade - which are difficult to do without automation solutions.
Creative processes are easy to evade from automation.
Probably, for employees to get used to the system, it is better to start automation with processes that are more difficult to deviate from. These include, for example:

  • Inventory control. It's quite difficult to ship goods to someone and not reflect this in the system

  • Formation of operational management reports for decision making. Management is interested in such documents, which means that the system will be used.

And then start to automate sales.

It is better to implement the system in such small pieces in order not to stop the business running - and wait, I repeat, for everyone to get used to it. And do not forget that employees need time to explore the interface and features.

When you implement the system step by step, you can receive feedback and better see how the implementations go. There is time to change something. If you act by this rule, implementing projects on Salesforce takes not so much time.
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And, of course, it's very important not to be afraid of changes. The automation project is manageable. You need to deal with it. The market is changing, and those companies that do this earlier will be more successful in the future. Therefore, I am in favor of increasing efficiency and using modern tools. And try not to limit your understanding of automation systems only to programs for accounting and CRM systems to reflect the stages of transactions.
Raise your Salesforce ROI to new horizons!
If you have ideas, questions about Salesforce implementation - Twistellar employees will be happy to discuss them and give prompt answers.
Twistellar is a proud Salesforce subcontractor
with dozens of successful projects behind its bank.
It has unrivaled expertise in Salesforce consulting and development, as well as projects auditing and technical support. We will eagerly assist you in your Salesforce AI undertakings, bringing the power of artificial intelligence to your business.
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