04 Feb Change Management: Before, during, and after org merge
by Carlos Montejo
Change is always hard, especially when you’re merging what once were two separate and distinct working entities into one organization. Conquering the change management woes of a Salesforce org merge while simultaneously handling the larger culture integration is no small task. And if you think the technical org merge of two Salesforce instances doesn’t impact everyone, think again: a majority of technology projects are enterprise-wide or at least span multiple departments (65%) and those same projects don’t just impact organizational structures and job roles but the very systems (76%) and processes (89%) that keep business going.
As someone who has firsthand experience with M&A, I know the success of a Salesforce org merge is predicated on the success of the overall acquisition itself. Understanding differences in operating models, work culture, and core values and developing an overall integration strategy to harmonize all those variables (and many more) into one cohesive organization can be daunting yet exciting at the same time. The salesforce org merge would be a workstream within the overall integration strategy. A sturdy integration and change management strategy can mediate many of these risks, paving the way for seamless adoption and a more unified company culture. The key is to start your change strategy from Day 1 of the merger announcement, long before the project and formal org merge actually happen. By involving change managers and change agents early, you’ll save yourself time and money down the line.
Before org merge
Before the org merge is formally executed between Salesforce instances, it’s best practice to develop a tiger team with business champions representing various parts of both organizations (“two in a box”). This dedicated team can plan and evaluate the readiness of both organizations. The outcome of this readiness assessment will enable you to develop a tactical change management plan to support the rollout of your consolidated Salesforce instance. This change plan should outline all of the tactical activities and milestones needed to effectively communicate and align the organization with clear expectations and timelines. Because change is not always received by the most open arms from your everyday employee, you’re bound to encounter some team members who are hesitant or resistant to different ways of working. However, as the org merge plan develops and gains clarity, you can remedy these issues by highlighting the benefits of the org merge, being transparent about the “why,” and making your employees feel included in the integration plan as it gains momentum. This may include highlighting areas for business process improvement, such as improved pipeline and forecasting visibility, better account planning, and territory realignment capabilities, providing you with access to new accounts and shared logos across both companies.
Our Simplus change management and training team helped long-time client Ivanti do just that. Ivanti invested in our change managers early on to help steer its transformative “Project Odyssey,” an effort to reorganize and clean up quote-to-cash processes after years of inorganic growth via acquisitions. We conducted a change readiness assessment and…
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Carlos is Managing Director of Advisory Services at Simplus. He possesses over 15 years of CRM expertise in driving global change management initiatives for Fortune 500-2000 companies in both international and domestic markets. He has successfully managed the full lifecycle of 100+ CRM implementations and trained over 3,000 sales, marketing, and service professionals. Carlos is adept at improving business processes and adding efficiencies by developing and utilizing customized tools and change management strategies. He has been consistently recognized by organizational leaders for his deep understanding of organizational behavior and exceptional communication talents. Carlos is proficient at establishing direction and guidance for solution deployments and demonstrates a talent for defining and implementing corporation-wide procedures and policies to support change.