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How to Optimize Your Salesforce Org with 3rd Party Apps

 

AppExchange-Salesforce
Salesforce Related
When people discover that I work for Ebsta, I am often subject to the same question – would I truly recommend Salesforce? Followed by the almost inevitable – What sets it aside from all the other CRM systems on the market? My answer differs depending on their list of requirements but there is one fundamental benefit that I always detail – it has an impressive eco-system ready for you to utilise.

The AppExchange

Salesforce boasts an app store ‘The AppExchange‘ which offers over 1000 apps for their users. This space is brimming with 3rd party tools and applications that can transform your Salesforce environment from the standard data hub to a slick, streamlined system that your organization can depend on to run all of it’s processes day-to-day.

Questions and Concerns

One thing that is most surprising is that some Salesforce Administrators don’t tap into the 3rd party apps. Some merely run a report once a month for a meeting; 3rd party apps are the key to opening this up further. There seems to be many questions and concerns that arise around 3rd party apps so I’ve put together some advice for you to utilize before jumping headfirst into the unknown.

Look at the Reviews

Deciding on a 3rd party app is a game-changing decision, not only does it affect the way you organise and run your Salesforce but it is undoubtedly a huge investment. It’s key to remember that Salesforce handles all of your customer data which is utilised across your organization so it’s important that that data is kept in the best way possible. When navigating the AppExchange, it may seem daunting but stick with it. When in doubt, use the quick search bar with a keyword and it will slim down the results. Once you’ve identified the area that provides the best solution to your problem i.e an email integration, you will notice that there is an expansive list of apps that all claim to do the same or similar thing. So how do you differentiate between these competitors? Read reviews. It may sound like a simple suggestion but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to do this before making a decision that could effectively have a damaging effect on their organisation. An app which has a high number of reviews (and a high rating) shows that previous users have trusted in the software, and would not publicly state this on the AppExchange unless they had confidence in the provider. If you also check out the comments and posts where the company has replied constructively to an issue, it proves that they care for customer satisfaction which is a definite plus when using any technology.

Beware of ‘Automation’

Be careful of tools that make bold claims around automating processes such as loading in data on mass. Maintaining high levels of data quality should be at the forefront of everything you do inside of Salesforce, and adding mass, meaningless clutter to bury that handful of really vital activities is only going to slow you down and have knock on effects when you get round to running those all important reports for your board meeting.

Enhance Your Workflow and Data

Being on the AppExchange already shows that you have identified an issue that you have with Salesforce that requires a solution so focus on the tools that provide a feature that answers your main problem. For example, does an app provide you with the valuable contact information that you’re missing or just more expensive clutter that you will still be left searching through? If you’re responsible for delivering performance statistics and reports on your user interactions, look for tools that will ensure you have the relevant data and reporting features to make this happen. Be sure not to be drawn in by the ‘shiny’ apps that offer you features that don’t answer your Salesforce challenges, remain focused and know what you’ve gone onto the AppExchange to find. Similarly, if there are workflows and processes you follow daily, look at apps that will streamline this, and you might just find you don’t need to stay so late in the office as often as you might think.

Quality Over Quantity

App stores can be overwhelming at times. It may seem like a really good idea to install 3 apps that all do 33% of a job, but large numbers of apps can have conflicting affects on one another with varying levels of severity depending on what it is they do. Simplicity is key – a single app that consistently delivers what you need it to is worth it’s weight in gold (quite literally). Working at Ebsta has made me realize just how powerful 3rd party apps can be. Working closely with a large number of our clients, I see first-hand the impact of what we do and often think of Salesforce with additional plugins as an entirely new (and very much improved) workspace. We aim to meet all Salesforce Admins requirements and for the vast majority, we do, whilst continuously striving for organisations to consistency get the most quality out of their CRM.  
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Edd Brownrigg

I'm the Senior Developer at Ebsta and I love providing all the inside tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Salesforce.

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