The Benefits of Salesforce Custom Development
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems are essential to doing business today, and Salesforce is by far the most well-known and widely used by enterprises of all sizes. With a centralized platform for managing customer data, you can attain the whole picture which allows you to do things like prioritize sales activities, improve sales rep productivity, and personalize interactions with prospects. But that’s just the tip of the spear in terms of features and functionality that Salesforce can afford you and your unique enterprise.
Salesforce has evolved into a powerful tool for managing data and processes that extend far beyond the sales department. For example, it can be integrated with legacy systems, such as ERP or payroll software platforms, to manage billing and sales commissions. Because of that ability to seamlessly integrate, 80% of business leaders say they use Salesforce as a single source of truth for data on their customers.
Having a holistic, singular view of your company’s data is incredibly valuable since so many other systems (many of which aren’t owned by sales) contain important customer data that help tell the entire story rather than just a portion of it. To reap these benefits, you may need to consider working with a partner for custom development to meet your organization’s unique needs. Here are some things to think through as you evaluate your options.
Using Salesforce to Consolidate Customer Data
Using Salesforce as a single source of truth for customer data enables you to be more productive and effective by eliminating existing data silos. When data is held in different systems by different teams, it creates organic segregation of information, making it difficult to retrieve and maintain accurate customer data. A single source of truth for your customer information breaks down those silos so you can access data quickly and generate powerful insights by pulling components from various systems informing a holistic story of your individual customers. Having a singular point of reference eliminates the need for manual searching through a multitude of folders and countless meetings with other teams to try to gather data. For instance, you can see all your customer interactions, from website visits to phone calls to email interactions, in a single view, resulting in the most impactful touchpoints.
With Salesforce you can create a 360-degree view of your customers, including everything from purchase history to company org charts. Ultimately, this robust customer view helps improve the quality of your team’s interactions and creates stronger, stickier relationships. Not to mention, it allows for easier data surfacing. You can create reports that pull data from multiple sources in just a few seconds, and strategically place them where they add the most value (such as dashboards or user home pages).
5 Reasons Why Your Organization Might Need Custom Salesforce Development
Salesforce custom development is a common way to take full advantage of your enterprise’s data. You can facilitate automation within the Salesforce platform to execute common repetitive tasks, connect the various systems used throughout the organization, and allow other departments outside of sales to use Salesforce applications for their needs.
1. Tailor Salesforce to meet the needs of your business
Salesforce was designed to support all different types of businesses in virtually every industry. Yet, its out-of-the-box functionalities may not precisely suit the needs of your unique business. Customizing it to fit your people and processes ensures that you’re getting the most out of your Salesforce org.
2. Promote and facilitate process adherence among teams
Even if you have clearly defined processes, getting teams to follow them consistently can be an ongoing challenge. Salesforce custom development can help you put governance in place to help facilitate processes. These guardrails are particularly powerful when they run automatically. For example, imagine if Salesforce recognized when a marketing request needed to be submitted and pre-populated the form for your review.
3. Maintain compliance with security and regulatory requirements
Salesforce can be used to store sensitive data that is required to be protected, either by government regulations or customer agreements. With custom apps and processes, you can set the precise level of record access to keep that data safe. You can control user access to prevent changes to data that shouldn’t be updated and since Salesforce is good at tracking updates to your data, you can use it to verify or audit matters related to data compliance. Salesforce custom applications can also be used to connect your CRM to applications that help support compliance.
4. Maximize automation
When employees have to spend time on repetitive tasks, productivity losses add up quickly. With Salesforce, you can create custom apps that save valuable time and ensure that these tasks are performed accurately and in an automated fashion, eliminating the risk for manual error and resulting in stronger data quality and insights to glean.
5. Improve your data maturity and architecture
Organizations often adopt new systems without established data management practices. As a result, they don’t maximize the full potential of their existing technology stack, or they create unnecessary frustrations for users. For example, it’s important to have a strategy for integrating new and legacy systems with Salesforce. Salesforce custom development, when considered in the context of a broader data governance strategy, can help ensure those integrations function optimally, which ultimately contributes to improving your data maturity.
Common Salesforce Implementation Pitfalls
To maximize the benefits of Salesforce custom development and incorporate it in your broader data governance strategy, it’s important to avoid these common implementation roadblocks.
Poor system design
Salesforce is incredibly flexible out of the box, which allows for rapid development. Without strategy and expertise, it’s rather easy to create a poorly designed system. This can manifest itself in many ways—unscalable solutions, poorly written code, unintuitive design, using sub-optimal automation tools, etc.
Missing/incomplete architectural design documentation
Poor documentation goes hand-in-hand with design deficiencies. But even a well-designed system can become broken quickly without thorough documentation. Systems require maintenance, which if not completed, can have serious impacts. And when employees leave, valuable knowledge about the company’s technology leaves with them.
The result of either one of these pitfalls is system performance issues, frustrating user experiences, and technical debt. Unwinding tech debt isn’t easy. You need to understand the dependencies and downstream implications before you remove a feature or sunset an application.
Avoid Salesforce Implementation Risks
To prevent implementation pitfalls and reap the full benefits of Salesforce, consider working with a partner that understands how to prevent and mitigate technical debt accrual by ensuring strong architectural design documentation. For example, documentation isn’t just a log of what was done and when, it should include a rationale for decisions so everyone involved in managing Salesforce and related systems can fully grasp the system architecture.
This requires technical expertise and knowledge of best practices that will help you avoid implementation challenges and incorporate Salesforce into your broader data governance strategy. The right partner will be able to design a scalable solution that remains useful and accurate as your organization evolves. Salesforce doesn’t stand alone, and your implementation partner should enable you to maximize its value and ensure an optimal fit within the rest of your tech stack.
Kenway’s Approach to Custom Salesforce Implementation
As a Salesforce registered consulting partner, Kenway approaches Salesforce implementations by first working to understand the needs of your business and the strategy that underpins your organization. We examine the potential use cases of Salesforce within the context of your business and begin to flesh out what the future state could and should look like. We take a configuration-first approach. While custom applications have their place, it’s important to maximize the native features within Salesforce, which have already been calibrated to reflect best practices.
Kenway relies on years of experience and Salesforce knowledge to identify processes, automation tools, or additional applications that can address your use case. We recognize that each client—and every Salesforce implementation—is unique. We pride ourselves on understanding the nuances of each client and their processes, within Salesforce and beyond. We understand how to combine your culture with proven best practices to find optimal Salesforce solutions for your organization.
If you’re ready to transform your business with Salesforce or need help maximizing your current CRM platform, reach out to us today.