Orchid Connect

Four Warning Signs of a SMB Salesforce Implementation Failure

Implementing Salesforce for a small or medium-sized business (SMB) can be transformative, but it’s essential to be aware of potential pitfalls. Here are four warning signs that may indicate a Salesforce implementation for an SMB is at risk of failure:

  • Low User Adoption Rates:

    • Sign: A significant portion of users, including key stakeholders, are not actively using the Salesforce platform.
    • Risk: Low user adoption can hinder the effectiveness of Salesforce for your SMB. If users find the platform challenging or irrelevant to their daily tasks, it may indicate a lack of alignment between the system and user needs.
  • Data Quality Issues:

    • Sign: Ongoing data inaccuracies, duplication, or inconsistencies within Salesforce.
    • Risk: Poor data quality can impact decision-making and overall system effectiveness. If data is not accurate or reliable, it diminishes the value of Salesforce as a tool for informed business insights.
  • Lack of Defined Objectives and KPIs:

    • Sign: Unclear or undefined objectives for the Salesforce implementation, with no key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success.
    • Risk: Without clear goals and metrics, it becomes challenging to evaluate the success of the implementation. The lack of measurable objectives may indicate a lack of strategic planning and direction.
  • Resistance to Change and Training Gaps:

    • Sign: Resistance from users to adopt new processes, coupled with inadequate training initiatives within the SMB.
    • Risk: Change management is a critical aspect of any implementation. If users are resistant to adopting Salesforce, or if there’s a lack of proper training, it can result in underutilization and hinder the realization of the platform’s benefits.

Addressing these warning signs requires proactive measures and ongoing monitoring. Consider the following steps to mitigate these risks:

Comprehensive Training Programs:

  • Ensure that users receive thorough training on Salesforce functionalities. This includes initial training during implementation and ongoing education to keep users informed about new features and best practices.

Data Governance Practices:


  • Implement robust data governance practices from the outset. Regularly audit and clean data to maintain its accuracy and reliability. Establish data entry standards and enforce validation rules to prevent data quality issues.

Clear Objectives and Communication:

  • Define clear objectives for the Salesforce implementation and communicate them to all stakeholders. Establish measurable KPIs to track progress and success. Regularly communicate the benefits of Salesforce to ensure alignment with business goals.

User Involvement and Feedback:

  • Involve users early in the process and gather their feedback. Address concerns and incorporate user input into the implementation plan. This helps create a sense of ownership and increases the likelihood of successful adoption.

By addressing these warning signs and taking proactive measures, SMBs can enhance the chances of a successful Salesforce implementation that aligns with their business objectives and contributes to sustained growth.

Orchid Connect is a woman-owned Salesforce implementation firm with 30 years of experience serving associations, non-profits and small/medium businesses. We specialize in strategic and implementation services, go-to-market support, and ongoing support. To learn more, reach us at reachout@orchidconnect.com.