5 Things to Do Before Your Higher Education Team Moves to Salesforce - Heller Consulting

5 Things to Do Before Your Higher Education Team Moves to Salesforce

As a leader in higher education, you probably know that the Salesforce platform supports the complexity of fundraising in higher ed. If your team is planning a move to Salesforce, there are some important things to consider before you begin the implementation process.

Here are five things you can do now to help avoid risks and ensure a smoother transition to your new Salesforce system:

1. Determine which solutions to purchase.

One of the benefits of moving to Salesforce as the core of the technology system you use to support your advancement work is that you have multiple solution options in the Salesforce ecosystem for each functional area of your team. To decide exactly which solutions you need for your team’s specific needs, make a list of your functional requirements and research the options available. For example:

Even if you do not implement all these solutions at the same time, having a plan for your overall solution will help you determine which products will fit best together to ultimately give you the functionality you need for the long term.

2. Consider your data strategy.

Moving to a new system involves migrating data from your old solutions to the new solutions. It would be a waste of time to move duplicate or outdated data into your new system. So, start now to get a sense of how much data clean-up you might need to do before upgrading to the new software. For example:

  • Do you have a lot of duplicate records?
  • How far back does your data go?
  • What data do you need for future use?

Also, if you share data with other systems outside of the advancement department, be sure to document those systems and which data points are shared.

Once you have collected this information, decide how you will go about cleaning your data and preparing it for the move into the new system. This process can take several weeks, so keep in mind that if you wait until the implementation process begins, you will likely delay the project.

3. Ensure you have the right technology and business skillsets.

Your new software will require new skillsets from your team – both from a business and an IT perspective. Now is the time to determine what skillsets you will need and plan to either train current team members or add new team members who have the needed skillsets.

4. Think about working in stages.

If you have complex system needs, consider how you might implement your new system in phases, versus trying to implement everything at the same time. For example, you might prioritize donation forms and processing over marketing automation, and then plan to implement each corresponding solution and learn how to use it well before moving on to the next solution.

This approach helps you to manage risk and costs related to new software implementation because it minimizes disruptions to your staff’s daily work and allows you to spread out the cost of implementation over a longer period.

5. Revisit your data governance policies.

With a move to a new system, your team will gain new processes and new product functionality. You might also find that different team members will need different access to various data points. Take time to reacquaint yourself with your data governance policies and make note of any policies that might need to be updated as part of your move to Salesforce.

These five activities might seem like a tall order – especially when you’re facing a move to a new system. But doing this pre-implementation planning now will give you the time you need for internal discussions and, in the end, will help your move to Salesforce run more smoothly – saving you time and dollars in the long run. If you would like help preparing for your move to Salesforce, the Heller Consulting team is ready to assist. We can help you walk through this pre-implementation planning work so that you’re ready to jump in and keep your implementation moving efficiently from day one.

Let’s get started: Contact us today to speak with one of our experts.

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About the Author

Shane Sugino
For the past decade, Shane has helped Higher Education institutions transform their operations and innovate in the cloud. Prior to joining Heller Consulting, Shane held roles in Financial Services, Healthcare, and technology, and he now brings that expertise while leading... Read More

Higher Education Advancement + Salesforce


Have you contemplated using Salesforce for your higher education advancement needs? This guide takes you through pre-implementation planning and best practices for a successful Salesforce implementation.

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