Global Alignment to Support Salesforce.com Deployment

Needing a common business architecture, our client decided to launch a global program to implement a single instance Salesforce.com across their U.S. and global distribution businesses.

Business Challenge

Given the siloed nature of their respective processes and practices, our client had no common business architecture from which requirements could be defined and reconciled for the purpose of creating a single CRM system that enabled improved business effectiveness and efficiency across the enterprise. Our client sought to establish business “boundaries” early in the implementation process, vis-à-vis a set of Global Building Blocks, which would serve as a critical input into Salesforce.com requirements, supporting the acceleration of requirements gathering and improving the ultimate effectiveness of the Salesforce.com tool.

Symmetrics Group Approach

Symmetrics Group designed and facilitated a process by which we worked with sales and client service stakeholders to identify the right Global Building Blocks and to develop the globally aligned content for each Global Building Block topic area. The focus was on only those topics that were required to move forward with implementing Salesforce.com across the enterprise; future and/or business segment decisions were identified but not included in the scope of Global Building Blocks.

Leveraging our knowledge of our client’s business context and challenges, as well as incorporating industry best practices based on our experience with other global CRM programs, Symmetrics Group identified the Global Building Blocks inventory across priority business capabilities (Territory Management, Account Management, Contact Management, Lead Management and Opportunity Management). The inventory included definition of key terminology (e.g., what is an account?), alignment on common data attributes and how they will be used (e.g., assigning a type, status and health score to every account), and definition of a common schema for each data attribute (e.g., standard set of types and subtypes to be used for every account).

We conducted an in-depth discovery process with sales and client service stakeholders from around the world to identify similarities and gaps in existing processes/practices for each business capability and to inform the definition of each Global Building Block topic area. We learned that conceptually, the U.S. and global segments shared more in common than what was expected, and that alignment on a common set of terminology and definitions would be critical to successful adoption of globally-aligned processes and tools.

We drafted the recommended content for each of the Global Building Block topic areas and facilitated a series of decision-making workshops with senior leaders representing U.S. and global sales and client service. Each session consisted of a structured discussion during which we reviewed the recommended Global Building Block content, solicited feedback, and sought alignment on each topic area. We succeeded in gaining alignment across all of the Global Building Block topic areas.

To support the socialization of the Global Building Block decisions, we developed a high-level business process narrative that described the scope and purpose of each of the priority business capabilities and how each of the Global Building Blocks is used in the context of the business process. The business process narrative helped to ensure that Global Building Blocks were leveraged appropriately during the User Story Workshops for requirements gathering that were held immediately after completion of the Global Building Blocks.

Results

For the first time ever, our client established common business architecture and alignment across priority business capabilities for the U.S. and global segments. The definition and alignment of Global Building Blocks enabled the sales and client service functions to adopt a common lexicon and define a future-state view of how they will manage territories, accounts, contacts, leads and opportunities. The Global Building Blocks will serve as the baseline against which detailed business process definition will be based – all of which ultimately helps the technical teams understand the scope and complexity of the business environment to accelerate and increase the success of downstream Agile sprints.

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