Diagramming Your Processes

I follow a blog about social design called Bokardo; it discusses many observations about users and software interface. As Salesforce becomes more and more of a consumer-like business application, I find its topics increasingly relevant to Salesforce administrators.

Josh rightly asks, “if you can’t illustrate an idea visually…is it really a clear idea?

Both large and small organizations, for-profit or non-profit, must be able to diagram out their processes in order to properly replicate them in Salesforce. If you have a hard time explaining it to someone who’s new to your business, believe me, you’re going to have difficulty building it out within the app.

Salesforce can give you some basic outlines, but you have to tell your team when changes to statuses or assignments of tasks should occur (or, for example, when a Lead Conversion is appropriate, or a Status should be changed).

An outside Salesforce consultant or a project lead within your own company should be able to whiteboard a visualization or flowchart of your processes out for you and with you.

You don’t have to be a database guru or Microsoft Visio guru to do this well, but you should be able to outline the critical path as logically as possible. Grab a whiteboard, or a piece of scratch paper, and try to explain the linear path of your … demand generation process, your sales process, your donation-seeking process, and so on.

If you don’t have time to think this through, how do you expect to get the most out of your CRM system?

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