Salesforce Requirements Gathering Techniques for Small and Mid Size Projects

Sunday Morning, I finally got some time to be back to my fav work of sharing knowledge via blogs. This week I was able to get involved into a rapid-fire requirement gathering session of straight 2.5 hrs and was able to get to the requirements, pain points/ top 5 show stoppers and immediate solution as well. My specialty is suggesting solutions and approach within the process of understanding the problem with my past experience of solving similar problems or NEW features being launched by SalesforceTM every Release cycle.

How Do I Gather Requirements?

A project in a software development company starts with the Requirements Gathering phase. I have created a unique requirement gathering question and answers fill in the blanks I always take down with me in a meeting.  The requirements are gathered by the Business Analyst which is most of the time me and my team, employing a set of techniques. Sometimes there is a diverse set of techniques to be applied. All this is to accurately comprehend the requirements from the client or the other stakeholders in the organization. There is a need to choose the right technique and this changes from one stakeholder to another.

In this post, I will narrate the various methods that our team at Cloud Analogy employs – to understand the client needs in a precise manner.

Let me share with you about my experience with a client named Eric Wilson, for gathering requirements. I will highlight the various approaches, I resorted to. But before we go into further details, let me tell you something about Cloud Analogy.

About Cloud Analogy

Cloud Analogy is a Salesforce Consulting Company with a team of Salesforce certified experts – architects, developers, designers in handling various projects. It has worked in various domains – finance, healthcare, real estate and has shown an unprecedented level of growth in the last few years of its operations. The team comprise of talented Salesforce professionals who have developed world-class applications in Salesforce technology, as well as mobile app development. It has maintained its winning spree by handling some of the complex projects, from clients all over the world.

Let us now delve, right into these approaches of requirements gathering – resorted by Cloud Analogy.

What are the Approaches Adopted?

The approaches adopted by us are:

1. Fixing a Facilitated Session

a. Client Requirements

b. Solution Provided

2. Scope of Training

3. Request for Proposals (RFPs)Approaches1. Fixing a Facilitated Session

The clients come to know about our profiles from Upwork or some other sources say our websites, social media posts etc. They fix up an appointment with us through Calendly. We started the same way, with the client named Eric Wilson. He is the owner of a consulting business which is a Microsoft certified company. Based on my conversation with him I came to know about his requirements and then offered a solution

a. Client Requirements

The requirements gathered from the client are:

  • Initially managed business processes on excel sheets for his consulting business, to calculate billing rates per hour from the clients. Moved to fixed price quotations at a later stage.
  • Started using Dynamic CRM and templates for projects.
  • In the last 10 years, the client moved from on-premise to the Cloud world. Took a strategic decision for becoming a dynamic ERP company – in Dynamic 365, and 2 more areas. Entered into the process of knowing what to ask the prospects.
  • Moved to Dynamic 365 projects but had issues. This is free for a Microsoft partner but did not use for estimation process. since it lacks in integration and this is where Salesforce made sense for the rich app development for the client. The client needed to have a better approach.
  • Had already set up Salesforce Enterprise in their consulting business, with a single license.
  • The client also has HubSpot integrated with Salesforce – for the marketing process. Content is created by a marketing company.
  • The client has Cloud Service Licenses (Dynamics, Office 365 and Azure licenses).
  • Wants to set up a sales process. Need someone to make calls for him.
  • Wants to get rid of the dialer and wants to use Twillio and make the entire sales process as dummies. Bring people from   Upwork, setting appointments.
  • Wants to get rid of a tedious quotation and Pricing process and wanted to use partner sector API of Microsoft by Salesforce – with a CPQ process. Focus is to get sales process for adding agents. However, the client has no budget for adding local salespeople.
  • I also understood the following processes as part of requirements gathering.

The process of Role of Agents

  • The Inbound strategy with Hubspot is made after attending a webinar and filling a form and make a call after the form is filled up.
  • The outbound strategy is that it goes to SalesGenie and find the target industries, manufacturing, retail within specific geographies.  

The Process with Dynamics

  • For opportunities in Dynamics send questionnaires as surveys multiple SMEs together answer.
  • Discovery calls are made and responses are summarized. Focuses on getting business, not a demo.

Keeping in mind the above requirements, I offered the following solution.

b. Solution Provided

The solution provided for this client was:

  • We will set up data model, data migration and the formula offered by me was In-depth requirements gathering and guiding on what is correct from his side.
  • I stated our experience in working in real- estate domains with integration with Twillio and CTI in Salesforce. We had set up of complete dial list of filtered contacts and lists based on Twillio API integration. We can offer a package based on the above.
  • I cited the example of Shoebox an Australian client – with franchise services package and were sent to shops. We had Setup the entire portal. Used to fill a lengthy form, and that we revised the form. We can make a Salesforce site for this client too. The client needs to Pay to Salesforce for licensing or to our development team.
  • The client needed expertise on parameters for qualifying the leads, and quantification of the same. He wanted Prospect to move forward.
  • The business has packages to sell. Wanted to fill the pipeline and is open on options say emails.  I recommended a tree structure of products sold by him to be send.
  • Leverage Salesforce for consultancy business and increase revenue on license sales, increase support packages for  incurring revenue. The client also wants Upwork or upcall agents for setting the process. Outbound auto sync between Salesforce and SalesGenie.  
  • No set packages but set level of implementation services. Packages for support services are made.  For the entire package systems. The client wants the Terminology must be industry specific with questions such as Production Control Needs and Visibility of raw materials. Must be picked up easily by a dummy.
  • Salesforce to be used for quotes, approval and contracts instead of Fieldworks. For invoicing, there are 35 % fees and then rest split. Support plan as monthly and yearly charges.
  • Dynamic Project services is about the project plan and for estimation. Salesforce is not needed here. Dynamics 365 project services or Salesforce to be used on templates.
  • Dynamics has CRM focus operations with unified operations plan for manufacturing, distribution and supply chain. For customer engagement plan need Salesforce.
  • Dynamics needed to sync with Salesforce with Leads Generated. Leads qualified and deals closed.

2. Scope of Training

I clarified also the scope of training the agents, as stated by the client. We can train them only in Salesforce package provided by us and anything related to Salesforce. Classified pitches made must be the client’s responsibility.

3. Request for Proposals (RFPs)

The client is a Cloud Services company with ERP integration with CRM. Salesforce can be used as an option instead of Dynamics. We decided to send a proposal, along with development cost.

Finally, we decided to set up another meeting and discuss further details.  


Author: AJ

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