Salesforce AppExchange strategy

Salesforce AppExchange Strategy: Simple Steps To Creating The Best Strategy

  • Shoaib
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The Salesforce AppExchange is the complete marketplace for all things Salesforce. It has lighting components, apps, flow solutions, and more. It makes it easy to build apps without starting from scratch. You can also easily find useful third-party apps to meet the needs of your customers. As a result, every organization that uses Salesforce for app development needs a perfect Salesforce AppExchange strategy

However, the size of the Salesforce AppExchange makes it a bit complicated. Since it has so many applications, lighting components, and so forth, finding precisely what you need can be a challenge. You may come across so many versions of that “great” component that the options overwhelm you.

That’s where a Salesforce AppExchange strategy comes in handy. For those using Salesforce for app development, an AppExchange strategy helps ensure that you’re picking the highest value apps without duplicating functionality or wasting resources on something you don’t need.

Tips to Develop the Right Salesforce AppExchange Strategy

Every developer has a different strategy that they use in the AppExchange. But, the majority are unanimous on a few basic elements of a great AppExchange strategy.

  1. Identify the departments within the organization that need Salesforce

This is the first and most crucial step in developing your Salesforce AppExchange strategy. You want to know who exactly uses Salesforce within the organization and the specific tasks where Salesforce is used. This way, you can pick and develop apps that match the organization’s needs, in line with your goals and objectives.

Two departments that definitely need Salesforce are sales and marketing. But who else should be covered? Discuss this at length with your stakeholders, and don’t forget to ask about those departments’ long-term plans.

  1. Identify apps on the AppExchange that your organization may need

There’s only one way to do this – discuss with the specific department heads to determine their exact needs and then try to match those needs to solutions that might be available on the Salesforce AppExchange. Some of the questions you want to ask to find out a department’s Salesforce needs include – what business problems they are trying to solve, their main pain points, and how many users will need the app?

Also, don’t forget about the timelines. You need to know when they’re likely to need the app(s), so you can provide it on time.

  1. Find the relevant apps to and download them in a test environment

Two things are essential here. First, you need to find the apps required to solve the challenges you’d identified in the preceding steps. Secondly, you need to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the apps you’ve already installed.

The first part is easy. All you need is to search for the app on the AppExchange. However, the second part requires that you, one, download the app safely and, two, check for duplication. Downloading the app in a sandbox ensures that the new download is sent to a different environment. A separate sandbox allows you to develop and test new software without exposing your existing apps to risk.

  1. Evaluate your choices, especially where you’re picking from multiple apps

You want to make sure that you’re picking the best of the options. So, take some time to evaluate what you’ve tested. What’s the difference between the different apps? Are there feature gaps? Is there unwanted functionality? If need be, invite the stakeholders to try out the apps and provide feedback.

Ideally, you want to pick an app with all the features you need and is within your budget. So, again, ask the stakeholders, if necessary, to demo the app to determine if it has everything they need. It’s okay to go for one with more features than you need but never settle for one with less than what’s required.

  1. You’re ready to go – execute and document

This is the last step in your Salesforce AppExchange strategy where you simply need to install and deploy the new apps in your production environment or sandbox. What’s important here is making sure that the users are ready for the deployment. To ensure that everyone is prepared, send out a message early. Inform them that change is coming, specifying the exact date and who will be affected by the change.

Additionally, always have plans for data management. Many apps will affect your database. You need to put in place measures to move the existing data into safe storage before you allow users to access the new application.

A Word on the Installation Process of Apps in the Salesforce AppExchange

It’s important to understand that the Salesforce AppExchange environment is unlike other app stores. It’s a little more complicated. Therefore, don’t expect to install apps as you’d do with apps downloaded elsewhere.

Once you’ve identified the right app on the AppExchange, click Get It Now. This button takes you to the installation wizard that will guide you through the rest of the process. You’ll need to know two key things;

  1. Where do you install the app? As we’ve already mentioned, you can install it in the production or sandbox. But, unless it’s impractical, you’re advised to install it in a nonproduction environment such as a sandbox or Developer Edition org.
  2. Who gets app permissions? You can give app permissions to admins only, all users, or specific profiles – the choice is yours. If you’d wish to restrict access to a particular user profile, consider modifying those user profiles before installing the app.

Where to Find Your Newly Installed App

Salesforce AppExchange apps are installed using something known as a package. To find the package of the app you just installed, from Setup, select Installed Packages, click on the name of the package you installed from the AppExchange download page, and click View Components. 

Using this Salesforce AppExchange strategy, you can be sure to deploy apps much faster and with little mishappenings. Talk to us today if you need help going about your AppExchange strategy.

Author: Shoaib
Shoaib Chaudhary is an entrepreneur and influencer with over 13 years of experience in the technology industry. He’s influencing global leaders to exceed company goals while advancing social responsibility. Shoaib is a certified Salesforce Consultant and professional with years on helping businesses achieve their digital transformation goals.
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