We hosted Jen Lamplough, Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Chief Impact Officer, as she dug deep with Salesforce Expert Sterrin Bird, on her Top 3 Tips for Food Bank’s considering Salesforce or a CRM system:
1. Get buy-in first from your key stakeholders
“You have to look at getting buy-in across the board” Jen exclaims.
Firstly from the team members who will be using the system, who will have to change their processes. This can be difficult as many employees likely will have worked at the Food Bank for so long and are used to working in a certain way.
Management buy-in is important, from the executive team to the board, as they will need to approve the investment along with coordination of the financial implications, both short term and long term. In many ways the investment can be presented as a lost leader, with high spend in the short term, however the benefits will make the Food Bank so much better and more efficient in the long run.
2. Empower an internal Project ‘Sherpa’ Consultant
“We hired a consultant to help guide us through the process… we call her our Sherpa.”
An internal consultant can help guide you through the Salesforce process. They can help you navigate through the many features you need or may not need given your current stage, provide a starting place for areas like number of users or forecasted spend, or help set expectations on what to anticipate for phases. “We don’t know, what we don’t know” Jen explains, “having someone like that can be invaluable to make sure we are being good stewards of our donors money and spending it in the right way.”
3. Have the right implementation partner like Plative
“Have an implementation firm like Plative, who is world class, and knows what they are doing.”
An implementation firm will be able to help you on every step along the way, through the good times and the tough. Implementing a new CRM can be a lengthy and difficult process to go through, however the benefits outweigh the costs. “It’s good tough. We’ve had to go through this, it’s how we change.” Plative helped NIFB answer questions and work through areas like, how to implement all the data, how do you consolidate the information, when should you customize versus adapting internal processes and using out-of-the-box setups. “It’s been a very health process to getting us where we’re ready to launch.”
Jen concludes, “having the right people on your team and on your side backing you up and holding you up, is really important.”
You can watch the full webinar here:
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Or if you’re ready to start making a change at your organization, let’s Get in Touch!