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Salesforce Customization: The Key to CRM Success

by | Nov 27, 2018

Home » Salesforce » Functional Consulting » Salesforce Customization: The Key to CRM Success

Over the past decade, Salesforce stock has risen 2,000%, and in 2017, the company announced their intentions to more than double their revenue from $8.4 billion to $20 billion annually by 2022. Salesforce is on track to meet that goal, too, and with so many businesses clamoring to take advantage of their software, we wouldn’t be surprised if they hit the mark (or even surpassed it). So what’s the secret to Salesforce’s success?

Artificial Intelligence plays a large part of its recent triumphs—the company embedded Einstein (its AI software) into its platform in mid-2016, which has paid off big time. AI-powered sales, service, and marketing are all pretty incredible, but the aspect of the solution that really shines is Salesforce customization.

Let’s take a closer look at why Salesforce customization is so powerful (if a bit intimidating)…

Cookie Cutters Belong in the Kitchen, Not Your Business

According to Salesforce, 86% of consumers admit that customization plays a role in their purchasing decisions, with 25% of consumers claiming that customization plays a significant role. So it only makes sense that the same would hold true for B2B and B2C businesses—no two companies are the same, so why should they try to use cookie cutter solutions?

That’s why Salesforce has been designed to give users a wide variety of options when it comes to its CRM software, ranging from basic configurations that can be implemented straight from the admin panel to a host of pre-built 3rd-party apps on the AppExchange to the freedom to design custom apps in three separate development tools (Force.com, Heroku Enterprise, and Lightning). No matter what you need Salesforce to do for your business, chances are, there’s a way to customize or configure it to do just that, for example…

The Benefits of Salesforce Customization

One way of modifying Salesforce is through configurations. Configurations—which typically consist of point-and-click work—allow you to add objects and fields, create profiles and permission sets, alter workflows, create reports, modify email templates, and other things of that nature. Customizing Salesforce, on the other hand, allows you to do more heavy lifting, so that process usually involves a bit of code. However, that hard work gives you the opportunity to use JavaScript to add capabilities, integrate Salesforce with 3rd-party systems, create Lightning components, modify Apex classes and triggers, and more. Salesforce customization can help you solve issues as varied as business processes that can’t be accomplished simply through workflows or validation rules to finding a way to examine information that can’t be gleaned from standard reports.

Customization Can Mean Complexity

However, the freedom to do whatever you want can also be a bit intimidating. It might be comforting to know that a skilled user can adjust Salesforce to near-perfectly serve their CRM needs, no matter what they are, but you still need a skilled user to create that custom version. To the company’s credit, Salesforce does a lot to help educate users—Trailhead is a great resource for even novices to get themselves up to speed—but when a big project is on the line (or you’re working on the layout of your company’s entire CRM platform), an expert at the wheel provides considerable peace of mind.

Let the Expert Drive

If you want to make sure you get things set up correctly the first time, you’ll want a Salesforce expert in your corner, someone who can help you tweak your Salesforce customization to just how you need it to be, assist you with everything from integrations and data migrations to analytics and your CPQ process, and provide assistance down the road if and when your business needs change.

Integrations

Your business needs access to a lot of data to run smoothly, and that data lives in a lot of places. Integrating Salesforce with other business-critical systems is a great way to improve efficiency across the board. Oftentimes, however, integrating third-party data with Salesforce is easier said than done. Having a Salesforce expert will help ease any integrations issues you may face.

Data Migrations

Whether you’re switching to Salesforce from another CRM or ERP or you’re moving from a homegrown system, the lifeblood of your business is your data, so understanding Salesforce data migration best practices is vitally important. But how do you minimize errors during the data import process? How do you know which tool to use? How do you prepare Salesforce to receive your data? So long as you have a knowledgeable Salesforce consultant on your side, you can rest assured that you’ll have the answers to those questions, and more.

Analytics

Whether you’re importing data from Salesforce objects, website monitoring, CSV files, or from a source like Oracle, Hadoop, or SAP, Salesforce Analytics with Einstein will not only parse your data, it’ll also give you suggestions on how to improve its quality. Even better, Salesforce gives you the tools to customize how Einstein works for you so that it gives you the business insights you find useful, and with a Salesforce guru at the reins, you’ll be surprised to see how powerful AI can really be.

CPQ and CTQ

Having a strong Quote-to-Cash process in place is critical, but often overlooked. Without it, salespeople can give out incorrect pricing, quotes can take too long to get out to customers, and a whole host of other problems can rear their ugly heads. Luckily, Salesforce CPQ can help solve those issues, and when customized to your exact needs by a Salesforce consultant, you will be excited to see how smooth that process can become.

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