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Why Empowering Your Salesforce CoE is Essential for Maximizing ROI

Written by
Halie Vining
Table of contents

As the impact of digital continues to grow, companies are forced to move beyond the traditional IT model. IT leaders must be in lock-step with business leaders to create and execute effective technology roadmaps. Companies are simultaneously adopting new technologies and evolving their processes to meet the changing needs of employees and customers. And simply, businesses are facing more change than ever before.

To manage this level of change, leaders must rethink the old “command and control” structure of traditional IT. Instead, an emerging CoE culture is taking hold that brings together top talent from across an organization to contribute to leadership decisions and develop a comprehensive vision for the company’s technology. CoE culture values stakeholders over shareholders as the key decision-makers to ensure that new features are delivered efficiently and effectively. 

The CoE isn’t just a trend. Salesforce teams who empower CoEs to drive and manage change are seeing real results. A recent study from 10K Advisors found that 91 percent of companies who report “Very High” Salesforce ROI also have a CoE. And 82 percent of companies that give their Salesforce adoption an “A” grade also have a CoE in place. But despite evidence of CoE impact, only about 40 percent of Salesforce customers have a CoE.

How an Empowered CoE Drives Change

“Command and control” leadership can stagnate change throughout your organization, but an empowered CoE drives innovation through effective collaboration and informed decision-making.

By bringing key change-makers within your company into one team, you break down silos and merge ideas and resources in service of a shared vision. An empowered CoE stands at the center of any effective governance model, bringing together business and IT teams and managing change with both people and systems. 

Change is easier for people to face with strong communications in place. An empowered Salesforce CoE is an important resource for identifying and communicating how new deployments will affect existing implementations and current users. This can make everyone on your teams more comfortable with change and more amenable to innovation.

The CoE also takes the lead in DevOps value stream management, ensuring that new features move seamlessly through testing and production. Cross-team collaboration results in a steady flow of value, translating to more satisfied customers and an overall higher Salesforce ROI. 

The CoE’s impact on Salesforce value

The primary role of a CoE is to develop a cross-department framework for operating and making decisions. 12x certified Salesforce Architect, Karen Kramer wrote,

“Without having a framework and vision in place to guide these decisions, your Salesforce instance can quickly fall into a state of disorder with disparate configurations and low user adoption."

In Salesforce Governance: A Little Goes A Long Way, Kramer explains that view companies have a consistent vision for Salesforce. She stresses that the first job of the CoE is to answer “why do we use Salesforce?” The answer to this needs to be consistent and persistent across the entire organization. A clearly outlined and shared vision goes a long way in achieving true buy-in and tying technology to business goals.

The vision should be concise and measurable in order to make it easy to evaluate success. A clear vision also becomes a guidepost for prioritizing which features should be implemented immediately and which should be held in a backlog. The CoE can regularly review and modify the vision as your organization’s overall priorities shift. 

Ultimately, the impact of the CoE is tied to value delivery. When teams are aligned on goals, processes and priorities, they’re more likely to release features that drive business productivity, increasing Salesforce ROI. Here’s where CoEs add value.

Prioritize Across Teams

With the clearly defined vision as a guide, the CoE helps set the priorities for Salesforce implementation across your organization’s disparate teams. When you have limited resources for running projects simultaneously, the CoE helps your business determine how to prioritize projects based on timelines and availability. CoEs can resolve conflicts, streamline resourcing and define next steps, ensuring that projects continue to move forward and create value for your business.

Streamline Processes

The CoE brings together many different teams, all of whom likely have their own individual processes despite a shared vision. By identifying and promoting best practices with a comprehensive view of every team, the CoE helps team leaders learn from one another and reduce inefficiencies. This collaboration and mutual learning helps drive change forward and foster a culture of continuous improvement. 

Reduce Risk

Coordinated change management processes also mitigates risk by ensuring that features are tested thoroughly before they move to production. Through effective use of developer sandboxes and consistent oversight of releases, you avoid errors, overwriting, and breaking things in production—which in turn avoids user frustration and eroded confidence in your Salesforce implementation. 

Plan for Growth

The new era of IT is rooted in an organization's ability to continually change. The role of the CoE isn’t to get an organization from point A to point B and then be done. Rather, A CoE provides a centralized place to plan and manage change as your teams pivot to meet the changing demands of customers and employees. Simply, a CoE gives you the consistency, collaboration, and effective communication you need to scale Salesforce and accelerate time to value. 

Learn More About Empowering CoE with Copado

Data is power. And your CoE can drive more impact when they have visibility into workstreams and throughput across your organization. Copado Value Stream Maps provide real-time visibility into your delivery pipelines, so you can identify bottlenecks and continually improve delivery. 



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About The Author

Sr Director, Integrated Marketing Communications and Field Marketing

Halie is digital product and marketing strategist, with experience launching products and digital campaigns for B2B brands like Rackspace, Salesforce, Intel and HP. Her passion sits at the intersection of data and storytelling—and she's never met a pattern she didn't want to decipher.

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