Project Management Implementation With Salesforce
Sales and marketing teams look to the Salesforce platform for the project management implementation of so many moving pieces in their quest to grow and engage with prospects and customers. The two teams must work side by side when developing website projects and redesigns, sales tools and best practices, training materials, and operational projects like comp plans or territory plans drafts.
The problem is that, too often, organizations in need of a project management platform look outside of Salesforce first, adding to the number of disconnected tools that their users have to navigate on a daily basis. And with disconnected tools comes disconnected data, lack of visibility into what matters, and the inevitability that the organization will one day decide they need something that connects that data in a way that provides insights and the ability to make meaningful decisions.
If you’re considering leveraging Salesforce as your project management platform the experts at Rainmaker (with their managed services and technology expertise) have put together this How-To guide to help you figure out where to start!
Getting Started With Salesforce for Project Management
Salesforce can do much more than organize contacts and revenue projections — it can manage project timelines, automate processes, and foster cross-functional communication. There are many ways that Salesforce can enable teams to work on these and other projects, but the basis of it all is its collaboration framework, Salesforce Chatter. Chatter is the internal communication framework that serves as a “private social network” within the platform, allowing your team to share expertise, files, data, or simple communications company wide, all under one umbrella. Chatter allows your org to track team progress, share knowledge and insights, collaborate on projects, cases, and campaigns, and ultimately serves as an internal forum where communication is the key theme.
Project Management Implementation – Build, Modify, Buy
Building Your Project Management Framework
Beyond Chatter, the platform includes Files, Quip, Kanban Boards, omni-channel assignment of work items, as well as tools that sync with existing platforms like Google Apps and Files Connect that make streamlining your efforts super simple. These lightweight, native tools enable your project oversight to blossom from a jumbled mess into a well oiled, collaborative machine in a matter of a few hours.
These features and tools in Salesforce are key to keeping your teams aligned and informed on what everyone is doing and how internal initiatives can be supported. If the sales team wants to align their client outreach with social media marketing messaging, it’s as easy as dropping a Chatter message to the marketing lead to confirm if their content calendar in the Pardot dashboard is updated. Moving seamlessly within the Salesforce platform where the initiatives live for multiple departments is the shining feature of using Salesforce for your team’s needs.
Improving Your Existing Salesforce Project Management Framework
If you’re looking for a place to start, it’s a good idea to consider installing a free project tracking tool from the AppExchange that gives you a heads start on what you need, while enabling you to modify it to your needs. Enhancing an existing framework versus starting from scratch allows your team to invest their time — and company resources — in improving the processes that are already working… helping your projects get further, faster.
The experts at Rainmaker recommend installing and customizing Agile Accelerator. One of our top picks for free platform plugins, our team has used, customized, and improved Agile Accelerator for over three years to support our internal needs and have given the plugin our official stamp of approval! (If you’re interested in learning more about how Agile Accelerator can be tuned to meet your needs for agile project management, feel free to drop us a line).
Buy The Project Management Solution You Know You Need
If your needs go beyond what tools like Agile Accelerator or Milestones PM can provide (e.g. if you need time tracking and billing, management of resource assignments and workload, and other features of more robust project tools) you can find tons of options on the AppExchange. The AppExchange — Salesforce’s app marketplace — offers thousands of free and paid plugin applications that “…help you [to] work, collaborate and connect faster” to meet your needs. As far as project management is concerned, our team did some digging and have found the following, highly-rated and recommended plugins:
FinancialForce PSA – $420USD/month
FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) is the 800 lb gorilla when it comes to native project management on Salesforce. It provides a full suite project management platform including project, milestone, and task management, time tracking, resource management, and billing, all within one platform.
Rainmaker has leveraged FinancialForce PSA for over 10 years and are very experienced in the platform and its capabilities. Learn more about Financial Force and what PSA can do for your company.
Taskfeed – $30USD/month (discounts available for nonprofits)
This Salesforce-Native app gives you “…complete visibility as you plan, manage & measure high-touch or complex customer onboarding implementation projects & tasks in Salesforce.” Taskfeed lets users choose convenient views of projects — in Kanban, row, or Gantt-like modes. While tasks are easily manipulated via drag-and-drop interactions, the tool automatically corrects deadlines respecting task dependencies.
Taskfeed allows your team to:
- Perform remote project management
- Implement project automation & task management
- Share plans directly with your customer
- See project status at a glance
- Project task hierarchy to prioritize data
- Implement real-time customer collaboration
- Create performance reports in real-time
- Lightning Ready
- Salesforce Native App
- No Limit
- Professional Membership & Up
- Salesforce1 Mobile compatible
TaskRay – $25USD/month (free 14 day trial available)
TaskRay helps businesses onboard customers faster and more efficiently. By using TaskRay’s project templating & automation functions: Tech, SaaS, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Franchising businesses can build scaling systems, whether they have 100 customers or 10,000 customers.
TaskRay allows your team to:
- Enable seamless customer onboarding right in Sales Cloud
- Get an overview of key customer onboarding metrics with robust reporting and dashboards
- Utilize built-in templates and automation tools to onboard customers and clients more efficiently
- Decrease your customer’s time to implement your solution and increase customer satisfaction
- Top-rated enterprise customer onboarding solution on the Salesforce AppExchange
- Can work for project management & project automation in: Marketing, Consulting, Back Office systems, Non-Profits, and full-suite project management implementation
- Seamlessly tied to existing Salesforce data like accounts, opportunities, and contacts
Mission Control – $39USD/month
Mission Control goes further in project management functionality. It can be used for logging and approving project time and expenses. It can also be used for planning project resources based on employees’ skills and availability.
Mission Control allows your team to:
- Auto-Generate tasks from Project Templates
- Drag n’ Drop Gantt Charts
- Time and Expense track
- Set up assignment and reminder notifications
- Create checklist and task management items
- Create recurring milestone and actions
- Chatter Integration / Collaboration
- Supports Waterfall and Agile methodologies.
- Risk Log / Risk Chart / Risk Matrix
- Track Team Meetings & Agendas
- Export to MS Project
- Multi Currency Support
- Kanban Boards
- Billing & Cost Tracking
Whether you’re running a large professional services team with complex needs (like a Salesforce Governance Framework) or are just looking for a place to keep track of your projects and who’s doing what, project management implementation with Salesforce can provide what you need. Most important, having multiple groups (sales, marketing, customer service, service delivery) sharing the same platform means you’ll never have to figure out how to integrate them, in order to get the kinds of insights you need from siloed systems!
Have any more questions on how to get started? Drop us a line today!
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