The word “shipshape” refers to keeping everything neat and orderly, because if the slightest thing is misplaced or out of place on a sailing ship, that can spell disaster for the whole journey, and the same is true of your Salesforce data. From customer contact details to sales reporting to data visualization and analytics, your company makes all sorts of decisions assuming that your Salesforce data is correct. If it isn’t, your metaphorical ship might smash into a coral reef (where your map says open water should be).

So if we agree that keeping your Salesforce data shipshape is vital to the success of your business, how do you ensure that there are no square pegs in any round holes? Read on for some advice from our top-notch Salesforce consulting team.

Don’t Spring a Leak—Compliance and Security

Depending on your industry, your business may need to comply with particular regulations regarding how you use and store data. Luckily, Salesforce makes it easy to stay in compliance with these regulations. (Just look at how many certifications and standards they meet!) In addition, you need to ensure that your org doesn’t spring a leak as far as personnel data is concerned. Take some time to look over your security model and confirm that it handles that data correctly.

Broken Compass—Incorrect Data

Your company relies on accurate Salesforce data to make important decisions, and if that data is wrong, those decisions probably aren’t going to make you very successful. (Just imagine how far a sailing ship would get if its compass was off by 45°.) Or as the old software saying goes, GIGO—Garbage In, Garbage Out. Major data mistakes can sometimes be traced back to data migrations gone bad (and you’d better hope you have a backup you can revert to). 

To establish a baseline to use in the future, you should look at your data and how it was mapped, and if you’re not familiar with how it should appear (let’s say that you’re not sure which way is north), bring on a super-user to review and confirm that everything is as it should be. Note that this process should always be performed in a sandbox environment before being moved into production.

To prevent running into similar issues in the future, schedule a monthly review of your data system (both on-premise and cloud-based). Doing so serves two purposes. First, you can use this monthly review to ensure that everything’s flowing smoothly, and second, you can decide if any of your business needs have changed. If they have, you can reevaluate what metrics you’re tracking. After all, even the best captains need accurate information to sail the ship where they intend to.

Buried Treasure—Hidden Data

Salesforce is an awesome tool, but if users aren’t engaging with it as they should be, you can wind up in situations where vital information goes unnoticed. For example, when users put important information in a contact’s “Description” field, or worse, into a completely different system (like Word, Excel, Google Docs, etc.) so that they can keep track of things for themselves. Unfortunately, that’s a bit like if every sailor on a ship decided to have their own secret supply of rope for rigging the sails—OK for the individual, but not great for the group.

Another way to think of that siloed information is as buried treasure. Information that’s not in Salesforce (or not where it should be in Salesforce) is data your org can’t access to make the best decisions. That hidden data could represent potential leads, business opportunities, new markets, and more, so it’s essential to dig into why users aren’t putting information into Salesforce as they should be. Is it because they don’t know what they’re doing wrong? That’s a training issue. Is it because their needs have changed and reaching out to IT is a pain? That’s a process issue. Whatever the reason, Salesforce data your org can’t access is buried treasure you’re leaving in the ground (or worse, leaving for someone else to dig up before you can). 

Maintaining your Salesforce data is critical to keeping your ship of business afloat. However, keeping all that data clean, ensuring nothing gets siloed off in some 3rd-party solution, and confirming that you’re in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations can be a lot to handle on your own, and the consequences of letting something slip through the cracks can be costly. Enter Surety Systems.

Our senior-level Salesforce consulting team has the knowledge and experience you need not only to get your Salesforce org shipshape but to help you keep it that way, too. If you’re ready to weigh anchor and set sail for success, contact us today to learn more.