Deploy, Launch, and Monitor

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe two options to start populating the new Competitor and Lost Reason fields with data.
  • Create a deployment plan to get user buy-in on the new functionality.
  • List a few ways to track usage of the enhancements.

Introduction

You’ve finished configuring the new fields, validation rules, and analytics components. Great job! You test the functionality, and then preview it with your executive sponsors. Once you get the green light, it’s time to get this new functionality into the hands of your users. 

When introducing any new process or functionality, it’s critical to create a thoughtful deployment plan to ensure user success and buy-in. 

Data Update Strategy

Right now, the two fields you created (Competitor and Lost Reason) don’t have any data. They are brand-new after all. To encourage use, you want sales to start seeing this valuable data right away. You’ve got two options.

  • Get sales to help update historical opportunities: Ask sales to provide past competitor and lost reason data. Then, if you are on the Enterprise Edition of Salesforce, you can perform a bulk update of historical opportunities and start generating competitor insights your reps can use in the next deal.
  • Adjust report filters: Instead of updating all those old opportunities, you can simply exclude them from the new analytics. You can do this by adding a filter to only include opportunities that have values in the Competitor or Lost Reason fields. The reports will have few results initially, but they will improve over time.

If your sales reps aren’t able to accurately recall competitors for all those past deals, you need to go with the second option. Here’s how to update your new reports with the additional filter. 

  1. Click Reports.
  2. Select the Lost Reasons by Competitor report you created earlier.
  3. Click Edit.
  4. Click Filters.
  5. Select Lost Reason.
  6. For Operator, select not equal to. Leave the Value(s) text box empty. Click Apply.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Repeat this process for the other two reports, but in step 5 for both reports, add the Competitor filter, instead of Lost Reason.

Communication Plan

With the data update strategy decided, next create a communication strategy for the deployment. Work closely with a few key representatives affected by this update to determine the best way to deploy the changes. Here are some recommendations.

Competitive Insights Chatter Group

Create a Chatter group to invite collaboration around this topic. Not only can you use Chatter to share and discuss the process changes, but sales reps can also adopt it as a quick and easy channel for sharing competitive intelligence with the team. 

Executive Email Announcement

Two weeks prior to deploying the new components to your production org, get an executive sponsor to send an email to the entire sales organization. Here’s an example. 

Sales Team,

Do you want to know who are the top competitors? Want to find out how we’re winning against our competition?

Understanding the competitive landscape can help improve your win rate. To help gather this information, we’re introducing several enhancements to Salesforce.

Capture competitors and reasons for lost deals

  • Identify a competitor for an opportunity once it reaches sales stage Proposal/Price Quote.
  • Pick a reason for closed lost deals.

Central repository with Competitor Insights Chatter group

  • Find relevant resources (success stories, presentations, playbooks) and answers.
  • Easily share your stories against a competitor and any files with the team.

Competitive Reports & Dashboards—easily access the following information

  • Number of wins and losses by competitor
  • Win rate by competitor
  • Top reasons for lost deals by competitor
  • Strategies and tactics for beating each competitor 

All the new enhancements will be available in 2 weeks. Get a quick peek into these enhancements at next week’s sales team meeting. We’ll give you a quick demo on the exciting new changes! Post your questions and join the conversation in the Competitive Insights Chatter group for the latest updates [insert link to Chatter group].    

Live Demo to Sales Team

Join a sales team meeting and demonstrate the new fields and reports in the sandbox. Post a recording of the demo in the new Competitive Insights Chatter group, and encourage the sales team to share their questions, insights, and files there as well.

Go Live Announcement via Chatter and Email

The day before you make the changes in production, send out a reminder to the sales team via both email and Chatter. In your message, add a link to the recording from the sales team meeting.

Deploy to Production

Finally, bundle up the new custom fields, validation rules, reports, and dashboards into a change set, and push the changes into your production org. Perform a few tests and confirm that the validation rules are working properly and the new fields are on users’ page layouts.

Measure and Monitor Usage

Hooray! Your sales team can now sell smarter with more knowledge about the competition. 

As with any new feature, it’s important to monitor usage and collect feedback. Here are a few things you can do in the coming weeks and months to ensure the success of this new functionality.

  1. Report on reports: Build a few reports to track the actual usage of the new competitive reports you created. Yep, in case you didn’t know, it’s possible to create reports about your actual reports in Salesforce. One key field for this is Last Run Date. Use this field to see if sales is running the reports you created. Monitor it the first few months after the deployment.
  2. Review with sales management: Plan to review competitor reports and dashboard components quarterly with sales management to ensure they’re useful and see if updates are needed.
  3. Remind users: For the first 3 weeks after deployment, team up with the head of sales each week to share one report and corresponding dashboard component snapshot to All Sales Chatter. Add a reminder into the monthly All Sales email newsletter.

Resources

Create and Manage Chatter Groups (Salesforce Help Article)

Change Sets (Salesforce Help Article)

   

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