With its ability to track and illuminate just about every aspect of the customer relationship and sales pipeline, Salesforce has become an indispensable tool for more than 150,000 companies around the world.
But it’s not always easy to leverage the power of this extraordinarily powerful platform. In fact, many companies run into potentially significant challenges that put a hamper over reaping the full benefits of Salesforce.
We conducted a poll of Salesforce administrators and power users to ask them what their biggest challenges were in using Salesforce. Here are their top 6:
#1: Lack Of Support From Salesforce
Salesforce.com (SFDC) offers a free support plan with a 2-day response time. The intent of this support is not necessarily to fix the issues users have but instead to help guide them to the right solution.
Additionally, Salesforce offers free online training resources like its Trailhead video library, guided journeys, and a user community.
But this just isn’t enough for some companies. So they either need to seek other support options or risk having serious issues with Salesforce that could cause serious disruption to their business.
While a typical Salesforce user can learn basic tasks and use online tools to boost their efficiency, when problems – real problems – arise, they’re almost never solved by these users. They need the support of someone with dedicated training and experience fixing and customizing the platform.
The lack of this type of support was by far the most frequently cited challenge faced by the users we surveyed. StarrData offers a Salesforce Administration service that assigns a named Administrator to each account so we can quickly provide you with great support.
#2: Difficult To Customize
Salesforce is a massive product. It’s designed to meet the needs of a large variety of companies. It is meant to be customized, not simply activated and rolled out to users.
But many companies find that Salesforce is challenging to customize to their needs and the needs of individual users.
The tools are there for whatever customizations a company may require. But like with any robust system, it takes time to learn what’s even possible – let alone bring those possibilities to life within the application.
To get the most out of the Salesforce platform, you need someone who both understands the requirements of the business and who has the technical knowledge to customize Salesforce according to those requirements.
#3: User Permissions
Ask yourself … would you assign full access privileges to your accounting software to anybody other than your top executives and the accounting team? Of course, you wouldn’t.
Yet many companies do exactly that in Salesforce. They give administrative access to users who just don’t need it.
Usually, it’s because these companies don’t understand the importance of roles and profiles or don’t think it’s worth spending the time to do this. Big mistake.
Just as with accounting software, you need to protect the data within Salesforce, and you want users to have access to functionality that is just right for what they need to accomplish. No more, no less.
But some companies feel that this is not easy to do. And they are likely right. Customizing user permissions and creating the correct profiles and hierarchal structure does require Salesforce expertise.
Bottom line? Companies who underestimate the importance and complexity of user management and its effect on data integrity may live to regret it.
#4: Compromised Data Integrity Linked to Support Issues
When the Salesforce environment isn’t managed properly, over time the system becomes clogged with inaccurate, non-critical, and outdated data. Users are frustrated when they can’t get the reports and dashboards they need, or worse, think they have the right data when they don’t.
And remember, without the right security model in place, users with system-wide privileges can change any aspect of Salesforce, including what’s displayed on the screen and what happens to the data after it’s entered, which has obvious negative implications for data integrity.
So while this was stated as a challenge by our survey respondents, like all of these challenges, it can be mitigated by creating the right structure that addresses data management.
#5: Lack of Useable Reports and Dashboards
If everyone has full administrative access to your Salesforce instance and can change anything in Salesforce, they also have the ability to create and edit reports and dashboards and store them wherever they want. This is a problem.
Over time, the system is populated with inaccurate, non-critical, and outdated reports generated by inexperienced, untrained users— just like the data we mentioned above.
If available reports number into the hundreds and your team has no ability to understand which ones are accurate and still relevant, you might as well throw out Salesforce and go back to using Excel.
You need a process to protect your reports from the potential chaos that threatens them. You need to have someone doing this who knows what they are doing and is not blind to the problems they are creating for others in the organization!
Successful companies have to pivot all the time to stay competitive, which means the metrics they care about can change over time too. Your reports and dashboards should be as dynamic as your company so you’re getting the best, most relevant information whenever you need it.
Bottom line? If you hope to dominate, you’re going to need a Salesforce report and dashboard specialist on tap. That’s one of the reasons why many companies are turning to our Salesforce Administration service to assist them with this and other Salesforce-related challenges.
#6: Poor User Adoption
This last challenge most likely stems almost entirely from the preceding ones.
Our survey indicated that without access to trained support professionals, your team will almost surely become frustrated with Salesforce and stop using it altogether.
Not only does this mean your reports and dashboards are populated with inadequate data, but productivity and efficiency also go way down. If each employee has his or her own siloed method for tracking sales and customer data, you’ve lost the benefit of a central repository for information.
To optimize the benefits of Salesforce, the “typical” company should be aiming for at least 90% of active users logged in each month, and at least 75% created or updated a record. So why don’t people use Salesforce?
Your sales team comes to work every day to hit targets, close deals, and feed the pipeline. They can’t do any of these things if Salesforce is not customized to properly support them.
Without the proper support in place, even minor irritations like being locked out of an account or password reset issues can become time and productivity black holes.
If it’s a hassle to use Salesforce, your team won’t use it. They don’t care how important their adoption rates are to data integrity. They just know the software slows them down, and they don’t have resources available to help them quickly overcome challenges.
You wouldn’t hire an IT expert to fill a sales position, so why would you hire talented salespeople and expect them to solve admin-level Salesforce software issues? Companies who implement a Salesforce solution customized to meet their needs and supported by a skilled Salesforce administrator see higher user adoption rates, more accurate data, more accurate reports and dashboards, and increased revenue. It’s kind of a no-brainer.
More Support, Fewer Challenges
Companies invest a lot in acquiring Salesforce. But they can’t forget about the ongoing investment required to keep Salesforce running smoothly and effectively.
If you want to maximize the nearly limitless potential of Salesforce to increase your bottom line, StarrData can help with expert support geared to your unique challenges.
For 13 years, we’ve helped hundreds of companies do more with Salesforce. StarrData is in the top 1% for customer satisfaction among all Salesforce Partners in North America. Using our Salesforce Adminstration Service, you’ll have access to our world-class support, our 5-star certified Salesforce teams, and our value-based pricing structure.
If you’re ready to explore the benefits of StarrData’s Salesforce Administration Service, we invite you to contact us.