FAQ -What are the biggest mistakes you see nonprofits make with Salesforce?

Listen in as Ryan Granzow, founder at Tackle, discusses some of the biggest mistakes he sees nonprofits make when it comes to utilizing Salesforce.

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  • Not investing enough time and money into Salesforce can lead to an inefficient platform.
  • Partnering with a qualified implementation company can help pinpoint the necessary investment needed to make Salesforce successful in the long-term.
  • Salesforce implementations should be approached incrementally, with an understanding that continuing investments need to be made to maximize benefits from the platform.
  • Engaging staff early on in the process will help keep them interested and engaged as changes are made throughout the project.

Transcript – Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make with Salesforce

Ryan Granzow:  Yeah. So I think the biggest mistake is not planning to make the right investment in it or a realistic investment. Um, that’s different for every organization. But if you’re thinking, it’s going to be 10 free licenses, you’re gonna get it immediately. Start using it and it’s gonna be great. That’s not realistic, and it’s definitely a common mistake.

Rich Dietz: Yeah.

Ryan Granzow:  We see a huge number of organizations, get the free licenses get Salesforce, get in there and be like, I don’t know what to do next and then they stop using and they never really start using it, really? you know, and part of that is because they didn’t Plan to make the level of investment in it to really make it work, right? So we’ve worked a lot of like stagnant instances that have been around for years in some cases.

Ryan Granzow:  It’s like, Hey, we got this. We never really used it, you know, but now we need to figure out how to use it and, you know, and I’ll say Partner like tackle can help answer that question is Hey we recommend using it this way, if it needs to be a quick implementation, just get you into the system versus a bunch of custom, you know, functionality, there’s different things there but you have to anticipate needing to invest in it and you can work with the partner actually identify what is it? We need to invest on a regular basis for that. There’s a lot of metrics out there around, you know, technology investments for nonprofits and percentage of annual budgets. But in reality, it ranges wildly between the technology itself versus the professional services as well. So there’s just different things that go into that but, you know, I think it just underscoring.

Ryan Granzow:  If you don’t plan to invest time and money into the platform, you’re not going to, you know, you’re not gonna have a platform. That’s very useful for your


Rich Dietz: Yeah. Yeah, I would say I’ve worked with quite a few organizations, when I first look at their Salesforce, it’s a glorified phone book,…

Ryan Granzow:  Yeah.

Rich Dietz: right? They maybe did a data import and it’s got contacts and addresses and phone numbers and they don’t know what to do with it. After that. So I think that’s where that one, the Salesforce owner, some of the internal expertise and bringing in an implementation partner or someone to help you with. That makes makes a huge difference. Okay.

Ryan Granzow: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s, that’s huge. And a good implementation partner is going to be able to say You know, hey, if you guys have this level of budget to spend on this, this is what you should do with that. And that could be any level of budget could be five thousand dollars or five hundred thousand dollars. And I your partner will be able to guide, you should be able to guide you through that versus having a, you know, cookie cutter approach. Because what’s good for a small organization isn’t necessarily,…

Rich Dietz: Yeah.

Ryan Granzow: what’s good for medium size, one organization. You…

Rich Dietz:  Yeah.

Ryan Granzow: or what’s good, for small organization with really complicated needs versus a medium sized organization with really basic needs.

Ryan Granzow:  Those are also completely different, right? And so being able to say, Hey, this is what we think you should do with that investment and over this period of time will be extremely beneficial. That’s where you can really utilize expertise. That is hard to find answers to otherwise

Rich Dietz: Yeah.

Rich Dietz: Yeah, I I think that’s a good point and a mistake that I, I think we see a nonprofits make as well is it’s thinking that a Salesforce implementation is kind of a one and…

Ryan Granzow:  Right.

Rich Dietz: done type thing. Oh, we did it, we’re done, right. We’ll never have to do that again. Where I think the ones we see be really successful with Salesforce, is they see it more as an incremental ongoing process, right? So you’ll,…

Ryan Granzow:  Yeah. Yeah.

Rich Dietz: you’ll implement some system, some ideas, some workflows, some automations get that working. Okay, that’s great. What’s next? And then you’re always making those improvements and again, it’s always coming back to what is that return on investment, if you can, if you can formalize automate create workflows for repetitive processes and then build that into the software, you’re gonna save time in the long run, save money and…

Ryan Granzow: Yeah. Yeah and…

Rich Dietz: time in the long run.

Ryan Granzow: yeah that’s a really good point too. Because a big difference between like large organization, implementations and even medium size organization implementations. It’s a mouthful is

Ryan Granzow: Is that a large organization? When they decide to change a platform? They are going to expect a multiple year process to do that. They are going to want to develop the new platform with a whole bunch of customizations and a whole bunch of stuff. And they want to do it all together as soon as they can through that transition period and then move it over, right? And they’re gonna have tons of users to plan for and they’re gonna need to make consistent investments after that. But what we also see is, you know, typically the budgets available to have staff then take over the platform and continue, developing it with still input from outside sources,…

Rich Dietz: If you.

Ryan Granzow: but there’s just a little bit more of a now. We own medium stories or medium size organizations, really benefit from a more incremental approach where it’s like, Hey, we need to get into this platform. Here’s the base, functionality, we need to sometimes just recreate what our old CRM could.

Ryan Granzow:  Do with some maybe improvements around reporting, right? Get in there as fast as we can. And hey, Now we want to build out this moves management process and we go through project or series of small projects to do that again. It’s about the, You know, timeline against the amount of investment that you have to make. So we may cut things up, right? Over multiple different annual budgets. But that process means you get in there quickly and you’re it will start utilizing the system. Even if you don’t have every single benefit from it yet, you’re already getting benefits from the get go. And I think that’s something that you should never discount. And, you know, if you’re a medium sized organization or even a small organization and you’re like, man, I can’t do a nine month, implementation.

Ryan Granzow: That results, that finally results in something. Well, you don’t have to and, you know, we really focus on that kind of work and that kind of implementation. It’s like Get you in there and then help you over the near medium and…

Rich Dietz: Yep.

Ryan Granzow: long-term to continue developing that platform for your needs and one big benefit. We we find is that once you’re staff are in there, they can now see. Oh, this is Salesforce, this is how that works.

Rich Dietz:  Yes. Yeah.

Ryan Granzow: And I have all these ideas now, I’ve got all these questions and the engagement level is always higher in those situations…


Rich Dietz:  Yeah.

Ryan Granzow: because now they’re excited. Where if they waited nine months, 12 months plus to get in there, what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna have staff turnover. You might have staff who

Rich Dietz: Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan Granzow:  you were involved in the very beginning, but not during, and they’re gonna be like, Why did we do this? You know, and where your is, it creates a lot of change management challenges. During and after the project, where getting your staff in there and engage the high level almost from the very start results in just a really successful and smooth transaction. Arts move, transition into that new platform and yeah, it it is very interesting to see the differences and results of how that works.