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IMPLEMENTATION OF SALESFORCE:
SELECTION OF CRM SYSTEM

(part 3 of 4)

Dmitri Leichik

CEO, medstifter af Twistellar

Twistellar would like to start a series of articles dedicated to implementation of Salesforce. This is the 3rd part of 4. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook so you won’t miss a new article. You can read the 1st part here and 2nd here.

Twistellar would like to start a series of articles dedicated to implementation of Salesforce. This is the 3rd part of 4. Follow us on LinkedIn or Facebook so you won’t miss a new article. You can read the 1st part here and 2nd here.

In this part we are going to discuss why Salesforce might not be the best fit for you in terms of simplicity and what the maintenance costs are.

Simplicity of Adoption

Now does Salesforce have the definite weak points? Yes, it does, it’s the ease of adoption, and the main reason for it — Salesforce is an enterprise system, capable of lots of functions, already too universal to be a good fit for any single company out of the box. It definitely requires configuration.

Let’s imagine you’re interested in a basic automation of your CRM processes and would like to compare Salesforce interface with alternatives, the natural thing to do would be to go to Sales Cloud overview page and press Try for Free button under one of the editions you’re interested in. You’ll get a sandbox of the selected version of Sales Cloud, for 1 month. But when you try it to see if Salesforce fits your expectations, most probably you’ll be disappointed.

You can try for free one of the editions you’re interested in. But most probably you’ll be disappointed. Salesforce is an enterprise system, capable of lots of functions, already too universal to be a good fit for any single company out of the box. It definitely requires configuration.

The flexibility of configuration available for all Salesforce elements — from the data model and screen layouts to backend automations and integrations with third party systems, combined with the powerful permissions and access management rules, — leads to the fact that initial looks of the system is messy. There’s a number of objects and buttons that you’ll not use and would want to hide. The default composition of screen blocks may seem disordered. Even the simple integration of your email system may seem too complicated, just because though Salesforce provides its own emailing capabilities, there’re at least several alternative ways to connect Gmail or any other email service. You can tailor the system to your expectations, but you’ll have to do it prior to using it. And this free sandbox is empty — you’ll not be able to see a lot there.

That’s why we recommend that the actual acquaintance with the system should also happen first time on a call with Salesforce representatives or a consulting partner, such as Twistellar, using a special org prepared to demonstrate the functions you’re interested in. This org is filled with test data, and it’s much more representative to understand what Salesforce is about.

Free demo

Org prepared by Twistellar for a demo

Having said all that about Salesforce’s orgs initial state, it’s necessary to indicate that you either spend time and money to define clearly what standard functionality will not be used, and hide it, adding the specific automations and UI components that your company will require, or spend more time explaining people and preparing the explanatory playbooks on system interface for them to understand it better and not be confused. While if you take a «simple» system, that’s capable of much narrower range of functions, you’ll be limited with its functionality, but most probably its initial configuration and interface will be initially much more user-friendly.

Good news is that for Salesforce you can create any interface components you want. It’s just a matter of time and money. But you’ll have huge scalability and flexibility, and for a big number of companies it’s much more important long-term.

The main part of the adoption process will be the change of people’s habits. That’s a challenge much higher than getting used to the interface, so mind the importance of the decision factor.

Also please consider that the main part of the adoption process will be the change of people’s habits. Regardless of the interface of the system, people will first have to get used to using a system at all — to input information regularly and accurately, to look at the reports and notifications to make data-driven decisions, etc. That’s a challenge much higher than getting used to the interface, so mind the importance of the decision factor.

Maintenance Cost

The characteristics of Salesforce from a perspective of maintenance cost is not that remarkable, because it’s quite typical for a cloud system. You don’t have to take care of the local IT infrastructure — renewing and administering local servers, making backups, etc. Salesforce is doing that for you. Devops (deployment operations) is also simplified to the maximal extent. So from the technical and operational perspective you’re well protected. And Salesforce has a useful resource — trust.salesforce.com, where you can trace the actual health of its services, that proves that the environment is very stable.

From the functionality perspective, Salesforce is updating their solutions three times a year, and it’s free. Backwards compatibility of all custom code is supported in the prevailing majority of cases. It takes something really major to happen (for example change from Classic to Lightning interface) for some of your custom UI components to stop working. But that happens very rarely, and is announced well in advance (you have years to react).

All that sounds natural, the only thing to realize is that all these advantages that decrease maintenance costs, don’t limit the marvelous flexibility we’ve been pointing out, and that’s a great achievement of Salesforce architecture. Is it meaningful for your company — that’s a personal decision to make.

Additional important consideration that impacts the maintenance costs of your system in future is the professionalism of the developers/administrators who will tailor Salesforce functionality to the needs of your business. There’re always multiple ways of achieving the same business goals in Salesforce, and each process can be automated by different means. We have witnessed many cases when custom code or even codeless configuration of the system was done in such a poor way, that whole blocks or components (backend and frontend) required rework from scratch.

The skills of a contractor may be easier to check in case of selecting Salesforce as a platform for your automation, as the domain itself is very well structured. Salesforce partners have tiers, and the successes of a particular consulting partner company bring it higher in the ladder. The credentials themselves (of companies or people) are not self-sufficient proof of skills and capabilities, but a good basis to start the search and talk. And you can be sure that Salesforce won’t disappear — later in time you will always be able to find contractors able to help.

The skills of a contractor may be easier to check in case of selecting Salesforce as a platform for your automation, as the domain itself is very well structured. Salesforce partners have tiers, and the successes of a particular consulting partner company bring it higher in the ladder. The credentials themselves (of companies or people) are not self-sufficient proof of skills and capabilities, but a good basis to start the search and talk. And you can be sure that Salesforce won’t disappear — later in time you will always be able to find contractors able to help.

Next time we’ll discuss Integration Capabilities and CRM or ERP. Subscribe to our newsletters to be in touch with the latest posts.

Lad os tale sammen, og gennemgå hvad Salesforce kan gøre for jer.

Vi hos Twistellar vil altid med glæde hjælpe og rådgivejeres beslutning om at vælge Salesforce eller ej. Vores højeste prioritet er at i er tilfredse med jeres valg (uanset om det er for eller imod Salesforce).




    Articles from the Salesforce Implementation series
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