Three development rules for the Salesforce Admin.

Our expert Dana Birkholz names her top 3 Salesforce rules for Salesforce-Admins.

Salesforce makes software development easy: with just a few clicks, the (internal) customer's requirements are met. Due to the fast implementation, people often forget to think and plan. My three guiding principles help to keep the long-term goals in mind, even with rapid development.

The 360° view of the customer is an essential success factor in actively shaping the business relationship. Companies strive to map the complete customer journey including all contact points - offline and online - in CRM.

In practice, this goal is often not achieved. There is a lack of well thought-out system architectures. Rapid success is aimed for. The long-term development and usability of the system are ignored.

There are examples of quick solution implementation without long-term planning in every company. A former employer of mine had the requirement to display shopping baskets of the B2B online shop in Salesforce. The easiest and fastest solution: create a new lead for each shopping cart and save the contents of the cart in a free text field. The sales department was satisfied: Shopping baskets were now viewable in Salesforce as desired. With the use of the solution the requirements grew. The sales department wanted to be able to create quotes directly from shopping baskets. Marketing also wanted to measure the success of the lead. It was not possible to generate a structured offer from the free text information. Neither was a targeted analysis of the shopping baskets possible. This was followed by a complex reorganisation of the process, in which shopping baskets were saved as opportunities in order to meet the mature requirements.

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My three guiding principles for Salesforce development.

To keep Salesforce systems simple in the long term - both for the users and for me as an administrator - I follow these three rules:

  1. Understand Salesforce! Salesforce has a concept idea in the development of its products. There are regular events that provide information and enable an exchange with Salesforce Internas. Those who understand the concept use standards in the sense of Salesforce. This makes customization easier and you benefit from further developments in Salesforce.
  2. Know your goals! CRM projects have different goals. Typical is, for example, the 360° view of the customer. Every further development should be measured against the project goal. It helps to define metrics that are used to measure both the success of the project and the process step. At best, these metrics pay into higher-level key figures of the company.
  3. Understanding needs! Salesforce administrators and developers often think more about the tool's capabilities than the needs of the users. Developing from the tool's ivory tower, they may cover the requirements, but they don't pay attention to long-term system development and the implementation of the digital vision. Active exchange and development close to the (internal) customer is the key.