Top 4 Tools for Project Management Implementation with Salesforce
Sales and marketing teams look to the Salesforce platform for project management implementation. With so many moving pieces in their quest to grow and engage with prospects and customers, the two teams must work side by side.
If your organization needs a better way to implement project management tools with your Salesforce software package, we review the tools you need below.
Sales and marketing teams collaborate when developing website projects, sales tools and best practices, training materials, and operational projects like comp plans or territory plan drafts.
The problem is that, too often, organizations in need of a project management platform look outside of Salesforce. This adds to the number of disconnected tools that their users must navigate daily.
Unfortunately, with disconnected tools, you get disconnected data. You then get a lack of visibility. Inevitably, these organizations will one day decide they need something that connects that data in a way that provides insights and the ability to make meaningful decisions.
Today, well over 20,000 organizations worldwide use Salesforce (around 33%). That is an increase of more than 400% over the last 12 years.
If you’re considering leveraging Salesforce as your project management platform, the experts at Rainmaker (with their managed services and technology expertise) have put together this How-To guide to help you figure out where to start!
Salesforce is the Robust System Organizations Use for More than Customer Relationships
Salesforce is not a project management system. However, like other customer relationship management (CRM) systems, it can be used for general task management. Therefore, if you use Salesforce Lightning, you can set reminders and enable notifications.
It is not a one-to-one replacement for a more robust task management system. Yet, it gives you the added functionality to keep crucial project tasks from slipping through the cracks.
That said, project management implementation with Salesforce is possible, and there are four tools you can integrate into your organization’s sales and marketing processes.
Getting Started with Salesforce for Project Management
Salesforce can do much more than organize contacts and revenue projections. It can manage project timelines, automate processes, and foster cross-functional communication.
There are many ways that Salesforce can enable teams to work on these and other projects, but the basis of it all is its collaboration framework, Salesforce Chatter.
Chatter is the internal communication framework that serves as a “private social network” within the platform. It allows your team to share expertise, files, data, or simple communications company-wide, all under one umbrella.
Chatter allows your company to track team progress, share knowledge and insights, collaborate on projects, cases, and campaigns. It ultimately serves as an internal forum where communication is the key theme. This application will get your sales and marketing teams started with project management with Salesforce.
Required Features for Project Management with Salesforce
At Rainmaker, they searched what capabilities of leading project management tools apply to CRM programs. CRM project management implementation requires the following features:
- Tools for maintaining and tracing responsibilities regarding territories
- Lists with milestones, tasks, and subtasks highlighting assignees, statuses, and due dates
- Document management and sharing tools
- Useful views of project constructs, such as Gantt chart or Kanban calendar-based or rows
- Collaboration features, such as chats, forums, and feeds
- Optimized interfaces for mobile devices
- Notifications for keeping everyone up to date
- Task status and KPI report capabilities
Project Management Implementation – Build, Modify, Buy
Now, let’s look at the three elements of Salesforce project management implementation, including building, modifying, and buying the right plugins for your organization.
Building Your Project Management Framework
The Salesforce platform includes Files, Quip, Kanban Boards, omnichannel assignment of work items. The Salesforce framework also has tools that sync with existing platforms like Google Apps and Files Connect, streamlining your efforts.
These lightweight, native tools enable your project oversight to blossom from a jumbled mess into a well-oiled, collaborative machine in a matter of a few hours. These are the basis for building your project management framework.
Furthermore, these features and tools in Salesforce are essential in keeping your teams aligned and informed on what everyone is doing and how internal initiatives can be supported.
If the sales team wants to align their client outreach with social media marketing messaging, it’s as easy as dropping a Chatter message to the marketing lead to confirm their content calendar in the Pardot dashboard is updated.
Moving seamlessly within the Salesforce platform where the initiatives live for multiple departments is the shining feature of using Salesforce for your team’s needs.
Improving Your Existing Salesforce Project Management Framework
If you’re looking for a place to start, it’s a good idea to consider installing a free project tracking tool from AppExchange. It gives you a head start on what you need while enabling you to modify according to your needs.
Enhancing an existing framework versus starting from scratch allows your team to invest their time — and company resources. Improving the processes that are already working and helping your projects get further, faster.
The experts at Rainmaker recommend installing and customizing Agile Accelerator, one of our top picks for free platform plugins. Our team has used, customized, and improved Agile Accelerator for over three years to support our internal needs and has given the plugin our official stamp of approval!
If you’re interested in learning more about how Agile Accelerator can be tuned to meet your needs for agile project management, feel free to contact us to speak to one of our skilled team members.
Buy The Project Management Solution You Know You Need
If your needs go beyond what tools like Agile Accelerator or Milestones PM can provide, you can find several options on AppExchange.
For example, if you need time tracking and billing management of resource assignments and workload, and other features of more robust project tools, you can find them there.
The AppExchange — Salesforce’s app marketplace — offers thousands of free and paid plugin applications that “…help you [to] work, collaborate and connect faster” to meet your needs.
Top 4 Salesforce Plugins for Project Management Implementation
Effective project management allows your organization to achieve consistent brand communications and provides exceptional customer experiences. Salesforce is the most effective way to achieve this consistency through the entire customer journey.
When it comes to complex customer engagement, Salesforce has long been the solution organizations have turned to.
While this platform was not explicitly designed for project management implementation, there are several ways to integrate this software with your sales and marketing processes. These tools surpass any other stand-alone project management solution.
However, if the solution isn’t part of the Salesforce platform, it won’t link to other Salesforce applications.
For that reason, you will want to ensure the plugins you use with your project management tools incorporate into your Salesforce platform.
Our team did some digging and have found the following, highly rated and recommended plugins:
1. FinancialForce PSA – $420 USD/month
FinancialForce Professional Services Automation (PSA) is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to native project management on Salesforce. It provides a full suite project management platform including:
- Project management
- Milestone tracking
- Task management
- Time tracking
- Resource management
It performs all these functions within one platform. Rainmaker has leveraged FinancialForce PSA for over 10 years and is very experienced in the platform and its capabilities.
The FinancialForce plugin is customizable depending on the needs of the organization. You get the flexibility to scale this service and should request a demo for pricing information.
2. TaskFeed – $40 USD/month
The Salesforce-Native app TaskFeed gives you “…complete visibility as you plan, manage and measure high-touch or complex customer onboarding implementation projects & tasks in Salesforce.”
TaskFeed lets users choose convenient views of projects — in Kanban, row, or Gantt-like modes. While tasks are easily manipulated via drag-and-drop interactions, the tool automatically corrects deadlines respecting task dependencies.
The Precursive OBX starter kits begin at $20 per user per month (billed annually). For the full benefits and features of TaskFeed, the price point begins at $40 a month. Nonprofit organizations receive a discount if applicable.
TaskFeed allows your team to:
- Perform remote project management
- Implement project automation & task management
- Share plans directly with your customer
- See project status at a glance
- Project task hierarchy to prioritize data
- Implement real-time customer collaboration
- Create performance reports in real-time
- Lightning Ready
- Salesforce Native App
- No Limit
- Professional Membership & Up
- Salesforce1 Mobile compatible
3. TaskRay – $25 USD/month
TaskRay helps businesses onboard customers faster and more efficiently. With TaskRay, you can manage your company’s:
- Financial Services
By using TaskRay’s project templating and automation functions, businesses can build scaling systems, whether they have 100 customers or 10,000 customers.
TaskRay allows your team to:
- Enable seamless customer onboarding right in Sales Cloud
- Get an overview of key customer onboarding metrics with robust reporting and dashboards
- Utilize built-in templates and automation tools to onboard customers and clients more efficiently
- Decrease your customer’s time to implement your solution and increase customer satisfaction
- Top-rated enterprise customer onboarding solution on the Salesforce AppExchange
- Can work for project management & project automation in: Marketing, Consulting, Back Office systems, Non-Profits, and full-suite project management implementation
- Seamlessly tied to existing Salesforce data like accounts, opportunities, and contacts
4. Mission Control – $39 AUD/month
Mission Control goes further in project management functionality. It can be used for logging and approving project time and expenses. It can also be used for planning project resources based on employees’ skills and availability.
Mission control costs $39 AUD, which converts to a little over $50 USD. Salesforce offers a free 14-day trial, and discounts are available for nonprofit organizations.
Mission Control allows your team to:
- Auto-Generate tasks from Project Templates
- Drag n’ Drop Gantt Charts
- Time and Expense track
- Set up assignment and reminder notifications
- Create checklist and task management items
- Create recurring milestone and actions
- Chatter Integration / Collaboration
- Supports Waterfall and Agile methodologies.
- Risk Log / Risk Chart / Risk Matrix
- Track Team Meetings & Agendas
- Export to MS Project
- Multi-Currency Support
- Kanban Boards
- Billing & Cost Tracking
Whether you’re running a large professional services team with complex needs (like a Salesforce Governance Framework), project management implementation with Salesforce can provide what you need.
If you are just looking for a place to keep track of your projects and who’s doing what, Mission Control can help you with that as well.
Most important, having multiple groups (sales, marketing, customer service, service delivery) sharing the same platform means you’ll never have to figure out how to integrate them to get the kinds of insights you need from siloed systems!
Other Salesforce Tools and Software Solutions You Should Consider
From project initiation, planning, and execution, companies must adopt project management software to accelerate the ROI of their Salesforce platform. These solutions give the much-needed visibility required for all stages of a project.
With a large suite of product offerings, Salesforce is sure to have the tools your organization needs for its project management. Besides the four listed above (which the experts at Rainmaker diligently researched), it’s pivotal to know all your options.
Here is a list of the other top five Salesforce project management tools and software to consider:
- Smartsheet for Salesforce: Track tasks, lists, projects, and any other work for each project. You can import this from Microsoft Excel and share these sheets and attached files with anyone, whether they have Salesforce or not.
- Mavenlink: With this software solution, you can integrate project management with other aspects of your business. It eliminates the hassles associated with data silos and makes communications more cohesive.
- Wrike: Perfect for small to medium-sized businesses, Wrike is a collaboration tool that improves productivity. It creates a real-time workspace and integrates with iPhones and Android apps, making this a perfect tool for a remote workforce.
- Workfront: Formerly known as AtTask, this project management solution unifies team processes, collaborations, and communications. It does this by requesting flows directly into your queue.
- DreamTeam: Not only is this an exceptional project management tool, but it also allows you to manage portfolios. You can organize hierarchical folders and detailed Gantt charts.
Rainmaker Helps Organizations Implement Salesforce for Project Management
To get the most from your project management implementation with Salesforce, you will need to partner with knowledgeable consultants who can facilitate your Salesforce integration journey. It is the only way to truly maximize your ROI and get the most from all that Salesforce has to offer.
With nearly two decades of technical expertise with Salesforce, you know you can trust our experts at Rainmaker to create value in the Salesforce ecosystem for your organization.
Have any more questions on how to get started? Drop us a line today!