A Proven Path to Success
- December 5, 2016
- Category: KELL Labs
- Written by Tompkins Spann
I’ll never forget the exact moment I realized my career would involve computers. It was the summer after my freshman year in college and I was helping my dad finish a room above his garage. Along with the framing, sheetrock and electrical work, we had to build a new staircase with about 15 steps. Easy right? Not so much. We struggled. Getting the measurements just right for the risers, perfecting the mitered joins of the trim, accounting for imperfections in the wood, ugh, it was hard. After about 5 hours of trial and error we finally got one stair complete. As we sat back and admired our work, all I could think of was “ctrl-C then ctrl-V”, copy then paste. That was the moment.
But Cookies are Delicious!!
In our business of consulting, the term “cookie cutter” is taboo. No client wants to feel they are being forced into a mold. Everyone wants to feel that their project is unique and that you, as the consultant, have all of the answers. But therein lies the challenge. Every organization wants to hire a consultant who’s “been there, done that” and has a proven process. This is what separates an experienced consulting firm from a “not yet” experienced consultant. It’s all in the process. Quality consultants don’t use cookie cutters, they follow proven procedures that are battle tested and refined, then tailor these procedures to each client.
That’s why we created our KELL360 implementation approach. It’s a proven path we developed after helping hundreds of organizations implement the same core functionality. Our approach ensures that while no two organizations are alike, and no two Salesforce instances are the same, we’re able to follow a process that’s based in best practices and yet remains flexible to meet the needs of each organization, at a cost that is significantly less than a custom implementation.
Here’s a helpful metaphor. Imagine you’ve saved your money and have decided to buy a new home. You have three options:
- The Townhouse. You can visit a model and walk around, admiring all of the choices that were made in the layout, the finishes, the appliances and more. This is a safe choice. Selecting the townhome ensures you’re buying a home that will function exactly as you expect it to from the moment you sign the papers and receive the keys.
- The Custom Home. On the opposite end of the spectrum from the Townhouse, you begin interviewing architects and builders. You bring forth dozens of examples which you’ll challenge the architect to draw from, creating a home that is 100% unique and can be further customized in the future.
- The Planned Community. Between options 1 and 2 is the planned community. Here you’ve found a new neighborhood under construction. A builder has purchased 20 lots and is building homes for sale. They offer 5 models and lots of options within each choice. Once your model is chosen, you can further customize the appliances, the finishes and the colors from a menu of options. Should you choose to further customize the home in the future, you are not restricted from expansion. This home will be unique, but your initial construction is not a blank canvas as with option 2, but a pre-defined set of options which the builder has carefully selected based on their experience.
Your KELL360 implementation is like the Planned Community. You get a head start on selecting the solutions that have been proven successful. Your nonprofit is involved at each step of the way to ensure it reflects your processes, your important metrics, and your priorities; however, you’re not starting from a blank slate when developing the solutions, you’re following in the footsteps of organizations who have blazed the trails before you and have been proven successful. This is KELL360.
Built-In Best Practices
We’ve helped more than 900 nonprofits implement Salesforce. Not all have been perfect, but we’ve learned from every one and have found the following to be sacrosanct:
- The Project Plan is the Source of Truth. It all starts with a detailed plan. Yes, plans can and will change, but we’ve found most projects follow a fairly predictable path and the success of any project is dependent on documenting and operating within the plan.
- Expectations >= Reality. It doesn’t matter how many demos, or how much research or previous experience the client has, there are always some expectations that exceed reality. Managing and correcting expectations is a significant factor in every project’s success. Therefore, we believe in setting clear, actionable expectations from day one and providing clients a detailed roadmap for next steps in every project. See the aforementioned best practice of developing a plan!
- Eat Only What You Can Chew. The saying, “don’t bite off more than you can chew” is never more accurate than when discussing a CRM implementation. Our implementations follow a pre-scripted approach that compounds your learning and prioritizes best-practices. You’re not tasked to invent processes, you’re helping to refine them for your nonprofit.
- Flexibility Prevails. KELL360 gives you a head start, but it does not define the ending. Your implementation is an important milestone on a much longer path of a CRM evolution for your nonprofit. By selecting the Salesforce platform, you’re choosing flexibility. By implementing KELL360, this flexibility remains and nothing is put in your path that would hinder further customizations, additional programs, organizational adoption, different application choices or other growth.
Talk to us about whether KELL360 is the right solution for your nonprofit.